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Chris Powell Posts

Buy a laptop straight from Microsoft, avoid worry and confusion

When you buy a new Windows PC from Dell, HP, Acer, or anyone else, it comes loaded up with “helpful” little utilities pre-installed on the system. In the industry, it’s a phenomenon known as “bloatware,” “crapware,” or “craplets,” and it’s a common practice: Often, software developers pay the manufacturer to have their products pre-installed.

If you buy a computer from Microsoft, you get what it calls a “Windows 10 Signature Edition” PC. That’s just Microsoft-speak for a PC without any of that bloatware, and with nothing pre-installed on it other than what comes with Windows 10 itself. It’s clean and fresh for you to install what you want, as you want it.

Buying a device directly from the company has some sound logic to it. No bloatware on a Windows computer eliminates friction with  the real software you want to use. Just the OS, ma’am. Straight up, no chaser.

Google does the same thing with their Pixel smartphones when you buy directly from their Play Store. A slimmed down, stock Android operating system without the phone carrier app cruft. Less worry and less confusion for you.

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Here’s why it feels like you have no free time, in one chart

…how we spend our precious remaining free time — a period of just a few hours, during which we do many of the things that make us individuals — has changed dramatically.

This is a quick read with some sobering graphs that show just how much personal time is dedicated to our screens.

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Bonus Context – The article’s source, Adam Alter, gave a fabulous 9-minute TED Talk regarding society’s shift to screens. Fast forward to 6 minutes 30 seconds and marvel at the unexpected round of applause Alter received for this fact:

At Daimler, the German car company, they’ve got another great strategy. When you go on vacation, instead of saying, “This person’s on vacation, they’ll get back to you eventually,” they say, “This person’s on vacation, so we’ve deleted your email. This person will never see the email you just sent. You can email back in a couple of weeks, or you can email someone else.”

When you’re on vacation, you can really be on vacation. No more worrying about the pile of email waiting for you upon your return to the office. How many employees would immediately jump on their social media accounts to rave about working at a place that offers this?

We’re halfway through 2017.  It’s time for businesses to reconsider “we’ve always done it this way” and consider forward-thinking ways to invest in their employees that don’t involve increased salary.

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Don’t Answer Text Messages of This Type. It May Be a Scam

7. Do not share your cellphone number on social media or anywhere else online.
Sharing your phone number on social media gives criminals easy access to both your phone number and information about you — which, when combined, can help them orchestrate a smishing attack against you, your family, or your work colleagues.

Smishing is a new term you’ll probably hear more about as the months and years progress. It refers to SMS phishing, or text messages that are intended to go after your phone or personal information.

Once again, it’s essential to protect these bits of information at all costs:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your personal email address and password
  • Your personal phone number and lockscreen PIN code
  • Passwords and PIN codes to your phone


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The web is littered with videos that play automatically that nobody asked for

It’s not your imagination. There are videos playing on most of those websites you visit, whether you wanted them to play or not.

But that dynamic may soon change if new web browsers coming from Apple and Safari gain wide adoption. These browsers will have some ad blocking products baked in – including features designed to block some autoplay videos.

You can block videos from playing automatically in Google Chrome by installing a free Disable HTML5 Autoplay extension found in the Chrome Webstore.

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