Privacy – VPN encryption benefits July 2020

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An excellent article from PC Magazine highlighting value of VPN encryption while online

Have you ever connected to a public Wi-Fi network and wondered if someone, somewhere might be able to see of your online activity? That’s entirely reasonable, considering the forces arrayed against your privacy. With a virtual private network (VPN), you can protect your information from prying eyes and regain a measure of privacy online.

When you switch it on, a VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between you and a remote server operated by a VPN service. All your internet traffic is routed through this tunnel, so your data is secure from prying eyes along the way. Because your traffic is exiting the VPN server, your computer appears to have the IP address of said server, masking your identity and location.

To understand the value of a VPN, it helps to think of some specific scenarios in which a VPN might be used. Consider the public Wi-Fi network, perhaps at a coffee shop or airport. Normally, you might connect without a second thought. But do you know who might be watching the traffic on that network? Can you even be sure the Wi-Fi network is legit, or might it operated by a thief who’s after your personal data? Think about the passwords, banking data, credit card numbers, and just plain private information that you transmit every time you go online.

Opera Browser v69 – Twitter integration June 2020

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The Opera sidebar now includes a Twitter icon to launch this resource in an easy-to-find location.

The Opera browser already includes a sidebar with links to several messaging apps. Now the company has added Twitter support, too, as part of Opera 69. Twitter, like Instagram, Telegram, Facebook Messenger and other messaging apps, will reside in the Opera sidebar, which lives on the left rail by default. Sidebars have increasingly become ways in which some browsers, such as Firefox and Vivaldi, have integrated additional functionality.

With Opera 69, Twitter can be embedded in the sidebar, though you’ll have to enable it. To do so, click the three-dot icon at the bottom of the sidebar, then click Twitter in the Messengers section. (That will probably require you to click a small Show more link as well to expand the Messenger section.) Twitter’s main feed, the search function, as well as direct messaging are all enabled—the sidebar version is essentially a web widget, with even Twitter’s new tweet scheduling function enabled.

Chromebook – Windows 10 laptop comparison June 2020

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As this recent PC World article shares, Chromebook based laptops offer inexpensive basic computing while Windows 10 laptops offer more power but require more care in servicing & staying up-to-date.

A notebook PC powered by Microsoft Windows offers several advantages. Windows offers the most flexibility to run just about any app, as well as your choice of any browser. You can tweak and configure your PC as you choose That convenience demands more computing horsepower, and often a higher price compared to most Chromebooks.

Chromebook powered by Google’s Chrome OS is a simpler, more optimized affair, a locked-down PC that’s little more than the Chrome browser—but it can be hundreds of dollars cheaper than a comparable Windows PC.

Google has also hinted that it will support Windows apps on Chromebooks, by building a version of Parallels into Chrome OS. (Parallels can be used to provide remote access to Windows apps.) At some time in the future, enterprise Chromebook users will be able to run Windows apps directly on their Chromebooks, including Microsoft Office. But we don’t know when that capability will arrive.

Security – NetGear Router warning June 2020

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NetGear has shared an awareness for home & business users to update their router firmware or even decommission out-dated older routers that are no longer secure

Multiple Netgear router models contain vulnerabilities that a remote attacker can exploit to take control of an affected device.   CISA encourages users and administrators to update to the most recent firmware version and to replace end-of-life devices that are no longer supported with security patches. Given the increase in telework, CISA recommends that CISOs consider the risk that these vulnerabilities present to business networks.

See the following products for additional information.

Windows 10 v20H2 – New Features as of June 2020 build

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The 2nd half of 2020 features release will be more of a tuning & stability release like 2019 Fall release … The chrome version of EDGE will replace the proprietary version as default browser in further phasing out original version of EDGE

QUOTE:  Microsoft is hard at work on the next version of Windows 10, known as version 20H2 and launching later this year with new changes and enhancements. While this next version is in development, we’re going to assemble all of the changes and new features added to Windows 10 version 20H2 through the Windows Insider Program here into one convenient list.  Just like the Windows 10 November 2019 Update, this upcoming release isn’t a full feature update. That means when it’s ready, the update will sit on top of the May 2020 Update instead, equating to a much smaller download and install period.

The new Microsoft Edge is now preinstalled. The touch experience is more optimized when in desktop mode

Also the Windows v2004 change log is noted below:

Windows 10 19H1 complete changelog

Windows 10 – Clean installation guide June 2020

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How to do a clean installation of Windows 10 — Do you need to upgrade, reinstall, or set up a new PC? A clean installation of Windows 10 is the way to go, and in this guide, we’ll help to accomplish this task every step of the way.


Leadership – Resiliency best practices by John Maxwell

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9 Ways to Grow Your Resiliency (RQ) in a Pandemic

9 Thoughts on Developing Endurance with Direction (Resiliency)

1. Perspective – As John Maxwell teaches, how you view things will determine how you do things. Resilient people put things in perspective.
2. Reflection – A great add-on to developing perspective is reflecting on what has really happened and how it affects you. Reflecting on the things you can control versus the things you cannot control is often a difference-maker when developing resilience.
3. Focus – With so much going on and so many unknowns in the mix, choose to focus on a select few things you can do to move forward.
4. Self-Empathy – Give yourself a break. Don’t beat yourself up. These are challenging times, and the same empathy you give to others so freely could go a long way with yourself.
5. Positivity – Avoid the negative. Turn off the news. Stop looking at social media. Focus on positive actions that can move you forward.
6. Possibility – Things may not be optimal right now, but what is possible now? What is now in play because of what has happened?
7. Adaptability – Stop resisting the change you know you need to make in your thinking. Adapt to the changing environment. Use this unprecedented time as a reminder that another change is coming somewhere in the future. You don’t know when. You don’t know what. But change is a fact of life, and adaptable people make the best of change when it occurs.
8. Physicality – Resilient people stay active. Invest some time each day in some form of exercise. The more active you can be, the greater your ability will be to engage with all that is going on around you.
9. Get your rest – Lack of sleep is a big reason many people struggle with resilience.

Apple WWDC 2020 – Keynote and highlight videos

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Several U-Tube videos document the Apple WWDC 2020 conference


SAS – Expands Microsoft cloud and AI partnership June 2020

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Microsoft and SAS continue to enhance their strategic partnership offering advanced AI, statistical & expert reporting systems, and cloud based data storage.

SAS’ AI and analytics more tightly integrate with Microsoft Azure.  This allows Microsoft to bring cloud-based SAS industry solutions to its customers

Microsoft Corp. and SAS today announced an extensive technology and go-to-market strategic partnership. The two companies will enable customers to easily run their SAS® workloads in the cloud, expanding their business solutions and unlocking critical value from their digital transformation initiatives.

As part of the partnership, the companies will migrate SAS’ analytical products and industry solutions onto Microsoft Azure as the preferred cloud provider for the SAS Cloud. SAS’ industry solutions and expertise will also bring added value to Microsoft’s customers across health care, financial services and many other industries. This partnership builds on SAS integrations across Microsoft cloud solutions for Azure, Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365 and Power Platform and supports the companies’ shared vision to further democratize AI and analytics.

Microsoft EXCEL – Advanced Page Layout functions June 2020

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The June 2020 IIL blog features several techniques for advanced margin & page break controls for Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.


Using Page Layout Features with Efficiency

It seems not much has been written about this feature. In this blog, I’ll cover the items shown here (which do not include all the commands in the Page Layout tab). If you click the dropdown arrow below Margins (in the Page Setup group) — You can select any of the built-in margins if it fits your needs, or you can modify them using the bottom item, “Custom Margins…” It looks like the first 2 choices have identical settings, but the “Last Custom Setting” changes to reflect the last setting you used. Suppose you select Custom Margins. If you change some of these settings, say the top, left, bottom and right are all set to .5 (inches), then when you click the dropdown next time, you’ll see this at the top …

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