Internet

Watch Out for Amazon Scams
Internet, Tech Talk

Watch Out for Amazon Scams

I've noticed an increased number of Amazon scams as of late. Some of my clients have been reporting fairly elaborate (and convincing) messages telling them that they have problems with orders, unpaid invoices, or orders pending delivery. The links in these messages are obviously not goint to take you to an Amazon website. These types of messages are a type of phishing message. Most of the time, they are trying to get into your Amazon account where you probably have your credit card information stored. Once they're in your account, they start placing orders using your name and credit card. When they place the order, they won't usually have it shipped to your home or business. Instead, they'll ship it to a drop point for pickup later. Recently, I uncovered just this situation happen...
The Great Suspender has Seemingly Been Suspended from the Chrome Web Store
Internet

The Great Suspender has Seemingly Been Suspended from the Chrome Web Store

Google's Chrome web browser is a memory hog. It's been that way for a while and it's somewhat annoying. However, I'm still a big fan of Chrome because it integrates so well in my day-to-day operations. So much so that I find it hard to move away. I was using Firefox for a time, then switched back to Chrome, only to switch to Brave (which disappointed me when it stopped syncing), then back to Chrome. So it seems that I'm sticking with Chrome for the time being. I'm even using Chrome on my new Mac Mini, much to the disdain of my intern who is frequently encouraging me to use Safari. But I'm sticking with Chrome for the time being. Even though my main computer is now a Mac, I still use Windows PCs quite frequently, so Chrome helps me keep everything uniform and synced. I'm also a b...
Facebook, Google, and Twitter Are Tracking You
Internet, Tech Talk

Facebook, Google, and Twitter Are Tracking You

If you're online, you're being tracked. Simple as that. I think a lot of people are experiencing the illusion of anonymity. You may think that everything is private, but it's not. But it's not the government that may be tracking you. The vast majority of that tracking is actually being done by corporations seeking valuable data on what you're searching for and how you move across the world wide web. Online tracking is primarily used for marketing purposes and to make your online experience a more valuable one. Online tracking really doesn't bother me, but I can understand why some people would feel a little uneasy online. Everything you do is being tracked. The stuff you search for, the videos you watch, the posts you make on social media. This is, by all means, not meant to ...
The End of Adobe Flash
Computers, Internet, Tech News, Tech Talk, Websites

The End of Adobe Flash

I think everyone can agree that 2020 sucked. However, there was one bright spot on December 31, 2020. It was the end of Adobe Flash. Made popular in the early days of the internet, Flash made moving graphics a mainstay for websites. Movie studio websites and online games took advantage of the software, but it quickly became apparent that Flash had a number of security holes. Constant patching by Adobe couldn't stop the eventual adaptation of HTML 5. Goodbye, old friend.
You Weren’t Alone – Google Was Down Yesterday
Internet, Tech News, Tech Talk

You Weren’t Alone – Google Was Down Yesterday

If you were having trouble accessing Google services yesterday (Gmail, YouTube, Google Docs, etc.) you weren't alone. Google experienced a widespread outage on December 14, 2020. It has since been reported that the issue was related to an authentication problem. According to Google's Cloud Status page: Google Cloud Platform and Google Workspace experienced a global outage affecting all services which require Google account authentication for a duration of 50 minutes. The root cause was an issue in our automated quota management system which reduced capacity for Google's central identity management system, causing it to return errors globally. As a result, we couldn’t verify that user requests were authenticated and served errors to our users.https://status.cloud.google.com/incid...
Outages Caused Problems in 2020
Internet, Tech News, Tech Talk

Outages Caused Problems in 2020

The internet is a magical place. In fact, it's so magical that I don't think that any of us really understand how it works. Apparently, I'm not alone. Even the big guys have experienced outages throughout the year. Let's look back at some of the biggest outages of 2020. Microsoft Microsoft Azure had a failure on March 3, 2020, that lasted more than six hours. It impacted Microsoft's East US region and was caused by a "malfunction in building automation control caused temperatures in multiple rooms of a data center in the East US region to spike impacting Storage, Compute, Networking and other dependent services." This was followed up by another outage impacting European customers between March 24th and 26th. This "outage" was caused when Microsoft's system were overwhelmed by...
How COVID-19 Has Changed the World of Technology
Computers, Internet, Tech News, Tech Talk, Technology

How COVID-19 Has Changed the World of Technology

You can listen to Tech Talk on WTCA AM 1050 and FM 106.1 in Plymouth, Indiana, every Tuesday morning at 8:30 am. Join Bob and Rusty and they discuss the latest technology news and whatever else comes to mind. It's been less than a year since COVID-19 hit the United States and it has left lasting effects on almost everyone. Those of us who work in the information technology fields know how difficult it has been to adjust, innovate, and deploy. In fact, our industry has changed so quickly it has been difficult to come up with solutions that meet the needs of our customers. The biggest change has been how most customers now realize how important technology is to their daily operations. Remote Work Many of our customers, particularly local municipalities, have never given remote ...
Microsoft 365 Service Problems on October 7, 2020
Internet, Tech News

Microsoft 365 Service Problems on October 7, 2020

If you're experiencing problems this afternoon, you're not alone. According to Microsoft, users are unable to access Microsoft 365 services. These services include Microsoft Teams, Exchange Online, Outlook.com, and SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business. Microsoft says that it is currently investigating the cause of the issue. According to DownDetector, they are showing more than 21,000 reports of problems with Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365). Of the top 12 reported items on their homepage, 7 of the services shown are Microsoft products and services. These include: Office 365, Outlook.com, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Exchange, Minecraft, and OneDrive. All of the services have shown sharp increases in problems being reported. Microsoft 365 just ex...
Tech Headlines for Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Computers, Internet, Tech News, Tech Talk, Websites

Tech Headlines for Tuesday, September 8, 2020

You can listen to Tech Talk on WTCA AM 1050 and FM 106.1 in Plymouth, Indiana, every Tuesday morning at 8:30 am. Join Bob and Rusty and they discuss the latest technology news and whatever else comes to mind. Adobe Flash Player is Going Away Finally. After many years of disgust on both sides of the spectrum (IT and web design), Flash is finally going away. Flash was great for doing certain things, but it really caused more problems than it was worth. Flash is destined to cease existence in December 2020, but Microsoft (for some reason) if offering extended support for some enterprise users. For some reason, movie studios really latched onto the software to build websites for their upcoming releases. I'm grateful that it's going away. Although I will soon expect a sl...
Tech Headlines for Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Computers, Internet, Tech News, Tech Talk

Tech Headlines for Tuesday, September 1, 2020

You can listen to Tech Talk on WTCA AM 1050 and FM 106.1 in Plymouth, Indiana, every Tuesday morning at 8:30 am. Join Bob and Rusty and they discuss the latest technology news and whatever else comes to mind. Windows is Killing SSDs So as you know, you probably shouldn't defrag an SSD. Defragging has been around a long time and is a process used to improve the performance of an old spinner-type drive. Modern SSDs really don't need to be defragged. In fact, you could potentially damage an SSD by performing the defrag operation. A report came out this week that says that the latest version of Windows 10 is actually defragging your SSDs every time the system boots up. Well, that's really not how it supposed to work. In fact, Microsoft is apparently working on a fix for...