May 2020

Windows 10 version 2004 will be released to the public at the end of May.
The list of new features in Win10 version 2004 seems even less compelling than any Windows version upgrade, ever.  The second feature update of 2020, expected around October, will likely be a minor cumulative update and not a full feature update.
There is no rush to install the new update – Windows 10 version 1809 (Nov 2018) will now get monthly security updates until November 2020. Updates were originally due to end in May 2020.

Technology and COVID-19
Be careful of scams when looking for information and tools related to COVID-19. The CDC continues to update the website and is the most reliable place to look for information.

COVID-19: Special offers

A Running Guide to Services Now Free (or Discounted) in Response to the Coronavirus

Streaming Services Offer Longer Free Trials During the Coronavirus Pandemic.
SiriusXM extends free Premium streaming offer through May.

Paid software and services available for free during the pandemic [updated daily].
More cloud service offers: Zoho and Zendesk.

Training Companies Offering Free Products and Services During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Free Online Learning Due to Coronavirus (Updated Continuously).
450 Ivy League courses you can take online right now for free.

Google Meet now free for everyone
Google’s Announcement is here. It may take a few weeks before everybody has access.
Find it on the web at and via mobile apps for iOS or Android.
Start or join a Google Meet video meeting directly from Gmail.

Comcast and Verizon extend no-disconnect pledge through June 30th.

Visalia Unified to blanket district in free Wi-Fi by summer using COVID-19 money
TCOE is working with the same company as VUSD — called Red Rover Ltd. — to bring broadband into the homes of every Tulare County family for as little as $10 a month.
Hotspot deliveries are expected by mid-May.

COVID-19: Identifying symptoms and getting tested

The COVID Symptom Tracker is a phone app developed by researchers in collaboration with a health science company called ZOE.

  • “Report your health daily even if you feel well
  • Get a daily estimate of COVID in your area
  • Help slow the outbreak near you”

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-Checker is a website for checking your symptoms.

Telemedicine services offering free health care during the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19: Predicting the future

Various models try to predict what will happen.

The Gates Foundation also offers a wealth of information about the pandemic. 

COVID-19 Data Hub from Tableau Software.

Facebook & Carnegie Mellon University COVID-19 Symptom Map.

A comprehensive, crowd-sourced open-source interactive map of free meal sites in the U.S..

COVIDcast  displays signals related to COVID-19 activity levels across the United States, derived from a variety of anonymized, aggregated data sources made available by multiple partners.

 COVID-19: Contact Tracing and Technology

 Will Americans Be Willing to Install COVID-19 Tracking Apps? -Scientific American Magazine.

 Governments have to decide whether to scrap their own COVID-19 contact tracing apps in favor of tech built by Apple and Google. Here’s what’s at stake.

 Why Smartphones may not help – Nature Magazine.

COVID-19: Developing a Vaccine

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has shifted “almost entirely” to working on addressing COVID-19.
What you need to know about developing a vaccine.
How we must respond to the coronavirus pandemic | Bill Gates (Video)
The next outbreak? We’re not ready | Bill Gates (2015 Ted talk)


Plasma donation

Microsoft has developed a new chatbot to help folks who have recovered from the COVID-19 virus determine if they can donate plasma to help with clinical research and treatment.

The CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance


COVID-19: The Economy

Deloitte launched an economic recovery dashboard to illustrate coronavirus’ impact across geographic, demographic, and economic sectors.

World Economic Forum – Economic impact of Covid:  World vs Virus


Webcams have become impossible to find, and prices are skyrocketing.

Where to buy a webcam  – Laptop Magazine
Webcam buying guide – Tom’s Hardware

If you already own a standard camera check out Elgato Cam Link.

Canon software turns your EOS camera into an overpowered webcam.

EpoCam is a desktop and mobile app that turns any phone into a web cam – $8 for iPhones and $5.50 for Android devices.

 Walmart has introduced a faster delivery service called Express Delivery, which can get your orders to your door in less than two hours.

Microsoft Teams will be upping the number of participants that you can view while on a call to a 3×3 grid, or 9 participants with a single view. It is currently limited to 4.

Web hosting software WordPress 5.4.1 released.  Contact your web hosting company to get updated if your site uses WordPress.

Microsoft Office 365: US issues security alert over rushed remote deployments

Microsoft earlier this year revealed that 99.9% of compromised accounts don’t use Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) and that only 11% of enterprises had enabled MFA.

How to tell if a US Census survey is legitimate

  1. Ensure the Web address provided in the letter is a “” domain.
  2. Correspondence will contain reporting instructions and a toll-free number for survey assistance.
  3. On the log-in screen, a warning message should be present stating the respondent is accessing a U.S. Government computer.

Zoom – more security concerns

Reports claim that Google is preventing its employees from using the Zoom desktop client over security concerns, whilst the US Senate is also urging members not to use it. They join the likes of SpaceX, NASA, the UK’s Ministry of Defense, New York school districts and the Taiwanese government.
Zoom problems include critical vulnerabilities discovered in its platform, encryption failings, poor default settings that exposed user meetings to disruption and eavesdropping, and privacy issues.

Treat Zoom meetings as public. If you do decide to use Zoom, you should avoid the Waiting Rooms feature, enable passwords for your meetings and follow security guidelines.

Login Credentials for Over 500,000 Zoom Accounts on Sale Via the Dark Web

The NSA’s guide for choosing a safe text chat and video conferencing service

Why old Microsoft Office documents should be banned.

Avoid opening .doc or .xls files from unknown sources.

Microsoft Warns of Malware Hidden in Pirated Film Files. This is an old tactic. Newer movies with malware are now spreading.

The SBA notified nearly 8,000 business owners of the potential inadvertent disclosure of information, which included names, Social Security numbers, tax identification numbers, addresses, dates of birth, email, phone numbers, marital and citizenship status, household size, income, disclosure inquiry and financial and insurance information

While applying for an SBA loan, if the user attempted to hit the page back button, he or she may have seen information that belonged to another business owner, not their own.

267 Million Facebook User Records for Sale on Dark Net

Check your account at,

Millions of Guests Impacted in Marriott Data Breach, Again


By Tim Torian

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