February 2024


Google and Yahoo are enforcing stricter requirements for email to cut down on spam.

If your company sends bulk email such as a newsletter or invoices, make sure your email settings are compliant. If not, outgoing email to Google and Yahoo email accounts will be blocked or bounce. Please contact us if you think you may be affected.

This change does not impact recipients who use Gmail or Yahoo Mail, other than possibly not getting email sent from noncompliant mail systems.

Email sender guidelines from Google.

Even stricter policies apply to those who send 5,000 or more emails to Gmail or Yahoo accounts.

New Outlook has Monitoring and surveillance for targeted advertising.

The New Outlook use agreement informs the user that the new Outlook app will share the collected user data with 772 third-party providers. Another reason to avoid the New Outlook. More details here.

New Outlook client: Extended test in January 2024 for enterprises.

Certified Wi-Fi 7 devices you can buy now. Both the client and access point need to support the new standard.

The Walt Disney Company, which currently owns two-thirds of Hulu, is buying the remaining third from Comcast’s NBCUniversal. They will be enforcing stricter password-sharing rules.

Verizon offers a $10 credit on a Disney+ bundle, with Hulu and ESPN+ (ad-supported) and Disney+ with its top two unlimited plans. With lower-priced plans, you can get a $5 credit on your choice of Netflix, Max, or Paramount plans.

If you have saved data to CDs, it may not last. Consider copying any old burned CDs with essential data to another place.

Samsung’s S24 and S24 Plus new smartphones with AI.

Microsoft Edge is now my preferred web browser. It takes a bit of setup to get rid of the unwanted ads and “features,” but Edge has features that are currently unmatched by Chrome.

Things to like in Edge:

  • Integration with MS 365
  • Workspaces to organize browser session focuses (groups of tabs)
  • Built-in Edge Secure Network VPN
  • Autofill for more webform fields
  • Web Capture
  • Copilot (AI)
  • Read Aloud


Microsoft Offers Copilot Pro Plan for Individuals

Free use of Copilot:

Open Copilot in any modern browser at https://copilot.microsoft.com.

A Microsoft account is not necessary, though it’s helpful if you want to save your responses.


AI can make a first-draft document, email, or social media post. Give it the topic and style, and tell it how it’ll be used; then let Copilot give you a starter. For example, “Write a short email asking <insert your topic>.


Copilot can take a chunk of text and rewrite it. You can even choose a different style. In a business, Copilot could rewrite your document in a different style. AI Rewrite can also fix grammar mistakes and messy sentence structure.

Rewrite in Edge browser

The Microsoft Edge browser has Inline Compose, which appears whenever you type text within a webpage. It’s similar to Word 365 with Copilot Pro, but costs nothing.


Similar to Rewrite, any text can be summarized or made into bullet points. (This is good for PowerPoint.) Do it for entire documents, webpages, meeting notes, or any long text.

Research, Excel

Copilot and other AI tools can answer questions from their store of “knowledge” from the Internet. It’s sometimes hard for AI to tell facts from misinformation, so always check.

Copilot can present results as a table which can be exported to Excel, using the green icon at the top-right of any table.

You can manipulate or add to the data by telling Copilot what to do.

Making images

Make an image or graphic from a text description. Copilot uses a more restricted version of Dall-E. Type in the objects, an action, a background, and a style, then see what Copilot makes. For example, type “make an image of a polar bear walking in Times Square.

Image Creator in Microsoft Designer is an easier way to start making AI images with “fill in the blanks” options.

Copilot can also appear as a sidebar in the Edge browser by clicking the large icon in the upper-right corner. (Below)

Remember, common sense prevails: treat AI interactions like any other online communication. Protect your privacy and stay informed about the services you use.

Here are some tips for setting up an AI use policy for your company, or adding it to your computer user policy:

  1. Define the scope and purpose of AI use.
  2. Establish ethical principles and guidelines.
  3. Assign roles and responsibilities, including enforcement.
  4. Provide training and support:

AI results should be checked for accuracy.

Some AI platforms will use anything you type as public data. Train your staff not to type proprietary information into AI tools.

Google Circle to Search provides information on what you select using AI.

Try ImageFX and MusicFX from Google.


Finance worker pays out $25 million after video call with deepfake ‘chief financial officer’

The elaborate scam duped the worker into attending a video call with what he thought were several other staff members, but all of whom were, in fact, deepfake recreations.

Mortgage firm loanDepot cyberattack impacts IT systems, payment portal.

Ads and push notifications are used to create Phone Surveillance Profiles.

Device fingerprinting has enabled nosy marketing firms to spy on smartphone users via everyday features.

AnyDesk remote access vendor was hacked in January. https://anydesk.com/en/public-statement.

Cloudflare, whose infrastructure is used to deliver many websites, announced here that it was the victim of a cyber attack in November 2023. No customer data was affected.

This was probably the result of an earlier hack of Okta, a login security firm.

EquiLend, a securities lending platform, was hit by a cyberattack.

Microsoft Reports Hack by Nation-State Actor in January.

The intrusion wasn’t the result of a vulnerability in Microsoft products or services, and there is no evidence that the intruders had access to customer data.

TikTok seems to be skewing things in the interests of the Chinese Communist Party. More.

The NSA is Buying Bulk Surveillance Data on Americans without a Warrant.

The NSA finally admitted to buying bulk data on Americans from data brokers in response to a query by Senator Weyden.

Facebook’s Extensive Surveillance Network.



We welcome Andrea Navarrette as our new receptionist. Annette will focus on procurement (helping with orders) and tech support.

Tim Torian

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