July 2020

Windows 10 version 2004 (released in May 2020) has a number of bugs.  Certain machines have problems printing; the external display goes black while trying to draw in Microsoft Office Word; the Chrome browser has issues. We recommend holding off installing till the bugs get worked out.

Microsoft removed the defer feature update setting in Windows 10. Beginning with version 1903, users of unmanaged PCs will be offered feature updates, but those will only be downloaded and installed if the user specifically requests it or if the current Windows 10 version has reached the end of its support period.  Updates will be offered for Windows 10 version 1809 starting in June 2020. Support for this version ends in November.

Many of the Vendors offering free or discounted services during the pandemic are ending their offers as of July 1.  This includes Comcast and Cox Cable’s temporary removal of their data cap.

Comcast raised their monthly Internet data ceiling to 1.2 terabytes.
AT&T has waived its home Internet data overage charges through September 30 for customers on Fiber or U-verse only.

Cox Communications has raised data allowances across the board by 25%, to 1.25GB.

CenturyLink has eliminated data caps until August 1, according to Ars Technica.

Charter Communications does not currently have a data cap.

Details are here.

YouTube TV now costs $65 for new members. Other providers are also raising prices: Hulu with Live TV ($55+), AT&T Now Plus ($55+) and the base FuboTV plan ($60+).

With Amazon Watch Parties, you can chat with up to 100 friends while you watch movies and TV shows online together.

Adobe Flash Player will be shut down on December 31, 2020.

Dropbox launches its own password manager and a secure vault for your files.

OneDrive File Upload Size Increased, Sharing Improved, Security Enhanced.

LastPass had updated the user interface. If you have “form fill” entries, they need to be migrated to the new format.  If your data is missing, see the instructions toward the end of the article.

Using UV light to kill coronavirus: The benefits and risks.

It works because UV-C light is strong enough to destroy the genetic material — either DNA or RNA — of viruses and bacteria.

Ultra-violet (UV) lamps should NOT be used to disinfect hands or other areas of your skin.

leaf is the world’s first transparent n99+ HEPA filter mask with UV-C self-sterilization.

Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature). They cannot detect people who are infected with COVID-19.

Harnessing wearable device data to improve state-level real-time surveillance of influenza-like illness in the USA (scientific article).

If you have a wearable device that tracks your heart rate, consider joining DETECT and help out with scientific research.

The best weird social distancing tech of 2020 (so far)

A number of companies are coming out with devices that clip on to hard hats, wrists or belts, and sound an alarm if the wearer gets within six feet of another person.

Proximity Trace At-a-Glance (wearable distance monitor).

How Covid-19 Contact Tracing Works on Your Phone

Restaurants face high fees from delivery apps. Uber buying Postmates will make it worse.

Surveys estimated that in the month of May, nearly a third of renters failed to pay their landlords on time, and over half had lost jobs due to the crisis. Moratoriums are ending and 40% of states no longer offer renters any protection.  Washington Post  NY Times

Microsoft predicts global unemployment in 2020 may reach a quarter of a billion people.

They are offering free training resources to assist. These are:

LinkedIn Learning “paths” aligned with tech roles like software developer, project manager, IT administrator and data analyst will be free of charge through the end of March 2021.

Microsoft is making exams for these Microsoft Certifications available at a significantly discounted fee of $15 available to those who self-attest that their employment has been impacted by COVID-19.

MicroMasters programs are a series of graduate level courses from top universities designed to advance your career.

I have included the links below because they have implications for what the role of social media should be in filtering out hateful or misleading content, including that promoted by foreign governments.

Twitter began placing fact check warnings on some of the president’s tweets.

Facebook to add link to ‘authoritative’ info on posts about voting.

The announcement is loaded because Trump used Facebook to spread misinformation about voting, and the company did nothing about it. Companies have cancelled ads in protest.

Here are the (many) companies pulling their ads from Facebook.

Reddit bans some users with new hate speech policies.

“I have to admit that I’ve struggled with balancing my values as an American, and around free speech and free expression, with my values and the company’s values around common human decency,” Huffman told the Verge.

Twitch (temporarily) bans Donald Trump’s channel

Police used ‘smart streetlights’ to surveil protesters, just as privacy groups warned.

‘BlueLeaks’ Exposes Files from Hundreds of Police Departments

Oracle’s BlueKai tracks you across the web. Billions of records exposed.

By Tim Torian

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The Torian Group Times Newsletter is a service to our clients, and anyone who finds it useful. Topics include security updates; known problems with recent patches; new and upcoming software and hardware that might affect your business; and information about technology in the Visalia area.  It is free to anyone who wishes to subscribe by providing their name and email address. We will not do anything with this information other than sending the newsletter – no unsolicited marketing of any kind.

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