Tech Headlines for Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Computers, Internet, Tech News, Tech Talk

Tech Headlines for Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Tech Talk show notes for Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Listen live Tuesday mornings on WTCA FM 106.1 and AM 1050 in Plymouth, Indiana. This is a new technology news feature we hope to continue on every Tech Talk show starting on August 4, 2020. It will be a quick overview of the latest technology headlines in the week leading up to the show. Trump Warns that He will Ban TikTok President Trump said last Friday night that he will ban the popular app TikTok because it poses a national security risk. The app is owned by a Chinese software company. Some claim that the app is piping personal information directly to the leaders of the Communist Party in Beijing. Microsoft Tries to Buy TikTok Microsoft is apparently reopening negotiations with the Chinese owners of TikTok...
Ransomware is Still a Threat and Even the Big Guys Can Get Hit
Computers, Internet, Tech Talk

Ransomware is Still a Threat and Even the Big Guys Can Get Hit

Tech Talk show notes for Tuesday, July 28, 2020. Listen live Tuesday mornings on WTCA FM 106.1 and AM 1050 in Plymouth, Indiana. Sorry for the late post, but this past week has been a busy one! Usually, I try to get my Tech Talk info on the blog information posted the same day, but sometimes work gets in the way. Go figure! But I digress. On the show this week I talked about how Garmin got hit with a ransomware attack. Garmin is well-known for its GPS devices, but they also make a broad assortment of other tech items, particularly wearables. Last weekend, the ransomware attack took down some of Garmin's services and impacted an unknown number of customers. Thankfully, Garmin says that they don't believe any of their customer data was compromised. So when a multi-million doll...
Problems Online? You’re Not Alone.
Internet, Tech Talk

Problems Online? You’re Not Alone.

Tech Talk show notes for Tuesday, July 21, 2020. Listen live Tuesday mornings on WTCA FM 106.1 and AM 1050 in Plymouth, Indiana. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the internet is a fragile place. I don't know how the internet even works. It's just magical. I may jest, but there's a hint of truth to how I feel. The last week gave me a couple of good reasons to feel that way. Two major incidents occurred that really shows how one small problem can quickly escalate into a global crisis. Outlook Update Cripples Users As I explained in a blog post last week, Microsoft pushed out an update that crippled their own Outlook app. This was a major headache for me, especially since there weren't any immediate clues as to what was happening. Thankfully, Microsoft's own forums ...
Microsoft Outlook is Crashing and Won’t Even Load when Asked to Launch into Safe Mode
Computers, Internet

Microsoft Outlook is Crashing and Won’t Even Load when Asked to Launch into Safe Mode

Microsoft is actively investigating this problem and will hopefully have a fix for this problem in the very near future. This afternoon on July 15, 2020, Apheus became aware of a problem some users were experiencing when trying to open Outlook. The problem seems to come from a faulty update in Microsoft Office 365. Utilizing the Microsoft forums, we were quickly able to determine that there was indeed an active problem with Microsoft Outlook. From what we have seen, when trying to load Outlook, the app immediately crashes with no recourse. When trying to reopen the app, it prompts the user to start in safe mode, which immediately crashes. Again, there is no recourse or remediation available. We attempted to perform a fix by reinstalling the Office software, which DID NOT fix the...
Is TikTok Really All That Dangerous?
Internet, Tech Talk

Is TikTok Really All That Dangerous?

Tech Talk show notes for Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Listen live Tuesday mornings on WTCA FM 106.1 and AM 1050 in Plymouth, Indiana. I wouldn't be surprised if you told me you that you haven't heard of the TikTok app... at least until recently. TikTok has made plenty of news lately as the United States government has put the social media app in its cross hairs. TikTok is owned by a company called ByteDance, which is based in China. Over the last year or so, TikTok has taken the social media landscape by storm. It's extremely popular with young people and the app has been downloaded more than 2 billion times. There's always been some controversy swirling around TikTok because of its younger user base and the fact that the parent company is based in China. Citing national security,...
Should You Buy One of Those Cheap, High-Capacity USB Flash Drives? Probably Not
Computers, Internet

Should You Buy One of Those Cheap, High-Capacity USB Flash Drives? Probably Not

One of my good friends recently purchased a pair of thumb drives he saw advertised in a Facebook ad. The deal was for two 2 TB USB 3.0 flash drives for an amazingly low price of just $15. That's right, a whopping 4TB of storage for just $15. Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Keep reading... The first clue that something was wrong was the packaging. The package the flash drives came in said: "USB Cable" not "USB Thumb Drive" or "USB Flash Drive" or anything remotely similar. This made my friend suspicious enough that he brought them to me one Sunday afternoon for a closer inspection. Another big clue was the price. If you take a look at reputable brands, not one offers a drive at that low price point. In fact, PNY offers a 1 TB flash drive for $200. The largest SanDisk flas...
Fact-Checking Stuff You Find on Social Media
Internet, Tech Talk

Fact-Checking Stuff You Find on Social Media

Tech Talk show notes for Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Listen live Tuesday mornings on WTCA FM 106.1 and AM 1050 in Plymouth, Indiana. If you're on social media, I'm sure you've seen plenty of posts that might, or at least should, raise an eyebrow. It's OK to question what you see, especially if you're unfamiliar with the source. Or even if you are familiar with the source, you should take a moment to ponder if the information you're seeing is biased. Whether it's a meme, a pseudo-news article, or a video, you should spend a little bit of time researching the subject. Don't just share it and assume the information you're sharing is accurate. In many cases, there may be a hint of truth to the post in an effort to get you to believe it. That's been the basis of Russian interfe...
Computer Supply Chain Problems in a Pandemic World
Computers

Computer Supply Chain Problems in a Pandemic World

Back in January, I began noticing a problem. I was trying to order computers from my regular suppliers and I noticed that there were none available. According to the inventory system, they would be back in stock in a week or so, so I didn't think it was a big deal. Then the arrival date got pushed back to mid-January, then the end of January. By the end of January, they had pushed back the arrival dates into February. By the end of February, I still couldn't order the computers I needed. My customers were getting frustrated and so was I. They kept pushing the dates back further and further. Of course, by March, most everyone had already heard about the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe. But the problem for Apheus began back in January. There were rumors circulating in the ...
Computers, Tech Talk

The May 2020 Update for Windows 10 is Causing All Sorts of Problems, At Least for Some People

Tech Talk show notes for Tuesday, June 23, 2020. Listen live Tuesday mornings on WTCA FM 106.1 and AM 1050 in Plymouth, Indiana. The latest major update for Windows 10 came out on May 27, 2020, and a number of issues have been reported since then. While I have heard rumors and seen the after-effects, I have yet to see any of these problems as described first-hand. Here's a run-down of some the problems people are experiencing: Unable to fully install the update. The update loads to around 90% and simply stops. It appears that there's no real reason for this, although some users are eluding that the Windows registry could be the culprit.The user gets logged out of apps. For some reason, user credentials are lost after a reboot in Chrome and One Drive. Which is odd, s...
Internet, Tech Talk

Should You Be Concerned About Online Privacy?

Tech Talk show notes for Tuesday, June 16, 2020. Listen live Tuesday mornings on WTCA FM 106.1 and AM 1050 in Plymouth, Indiana. When I talk to people about online privacy, they're usually shocked to hear that they are the product. This usually leads to the question, "What do you mean that I'm a product?" There are tons of free services available online. The most common are ones you've already heard of and are probably using right now - Google and Facebook. These services are free to use. But you have to question yourself this question - how do these companies make money if they're free? The answer is simple. You are the product. These companies make money by collecting personal information about your digital life. They collect everything they can about you - your geographic ...