Leadership – Building Corporate integrity in 2020

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This is one of top leadership articles I’ve read so far in 2020 from Harvard Business Review:

How to Build a Company That (Actually) Values Integrity

For decades, leaders were expected to focus on one thing: financial results. But we are now in the midst of an ethical revolution. Leaders are increasingly held accountable for poor behavior, and companies are pushed by employees, governments, and customers to step up and adopt a multi-stakeholder approach that serves social purposes as well as investor demands. Canned codes of ethics that ask employees to check a box to certify that they’ve read the material and third-party online ethics training courses might be all that is required to comply with the law, but they don’t move the needle. Employees see them mostly as a nuisance they have to suffer through. Business leaders need to do more …

Google cloud – Free iPhone and Android backup

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Last year, Google added automatic Android phone backups to Google One, the company’s “membership” program that includes Drive storage, family sharing and a handful of other perks. It made sense for Google to bake that feature right into Android, but today the company announced it’ll soon do the same for iPhone users as well. And whether you use an Android device or iPhone, the phone backup feature will be free for everyone, regardless of whether or not you have a Google One subscription.

This means that people who aren’t paying for Google One’s extra Drive storage will have their base 15GB to split between Gmail, Drive, Photos and now phone backups. That’ll likely be tight for a lot of people, but if you aren’t using Drive or Photos much it should be workable. iPhone users can manage their phone backups through a new Google One app that’s coming out soon; it’ll store photos, videos, contacts and calendar events in your Google account. Given that Apple already has backup options for all those things (albeit with a paltry free 5GB of iCloud storage), it wouldn’t surprise me if this feature mostly goes unnoticed.


Microsoft 365 – in-depth overview by PC Magazine

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What Is Microsoft 365? — Microsoft 365 is a way for businesses, and now consumers as well, to subscribe to Office, Teams, and other Microsoft software.


Microsoft 365 is an umbrella offering of software and services for organizations that launched in the summer of 2017. Because some may be scratching their heads as to what precisely Microsoft 365 is, we provide an explanation of what it’s all about below. Microsoft representatives (who also call it M365) describe the product as Office 365 plus Windows 10 plus Enterprise Mobility.

Update: In March 2020, the company unveiled a version of Microsoft 365 for consumers. That offering differs from the business plans, and it replaces Office 365 plans. It includes not only the Office apps, but also OneDrive cloud storage, Outlook, Family Safety (including apps for Android and iOS), and Teams for Families. It also includes new consumer-targeted finance templates for Excel, and AI-powered style checking for Word.

The offering has been a success at attracting customers: At a recent Goldman Sachs conference last month, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Jared Spataro stated that “over a quarter of Office 365 licenses are being purchased through M365 or through Microsoft 365.”   Microsoft 365 is available in three flavors: Business, Enterprise, and Education. Pricing starts at $20 per user per month for the Business level, which gets you all of Office 365.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 – review

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I enjoyed Microsoft Pinball, Golf & Flight Simulator during advent of PCs in early 1980s.  Latest version has advanced “AI” that interacts with “Bing Maps” & Azure for highest level of realism so far. 


Microsoft is releasing perhaps the biggest upgrade to the series in its 38-year history. Microsoft Flight Simulator, is an ambitious attempt to leverage Microsoft’s Bing Maps data and Azure-powered procedural generation technology to render our planet in unprecedented detail.  I’ve been playing a pre-release alpha version for a couple of weeks, and it’s frankly astonishing. This is a full-throttle effort from Microsoft to re-create the natural world and the magic of flight. And while it carries the weight of an iconic series, it feels like it came from nowhere. Why is Microsoft reviving Flight Simulator now?

Mozilla – Firefox v79 security and features release

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Mozilla has released security updates to address vulnerabilities in Firefox, Firefox ESR, and Thunderbird. An attacker could exploit some of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system.  CISA encourages users and administrators to review the following Mozilla Security Advisories and apply the necessary updates:


Windows Virtual Desktop – Adds Azure Portal and Teams support

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The Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) service now has Azure Portal integration, plus Audio/Video (A/V) Redirect support for Microsoft Teams client sessions, Microsoft announced on Monday.   Both capabilities are now at the “general availability” commercial-release stage for users of the WVD service, Microsoft indicated. The WVD service, which supports remotely accessing desktops and apps from Microsoft Azure datacenters, got commercially released by Microsoft back in September.

Security – VPN selection involves risk management analysis July 2020

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SANS ISC has just published an in-depth article on Virtual Private Network (VPN) pros/cons and how to select best protective options.


In more generic terms, VPNs offer a more secure and private way to use the internet. VPNs do deliver on some of these claims. But I think they also over promise. think it does not make much sense to talk about security without a clear threat in mind that you are defending against. On the other hand, even without a VPN you may be in pretty good shape. With 80+ % of websites using HTTPS, and browsers/operating systems implementing DNS over HTTPS, you pretty much already have all the protection a VPN would give you. Do your homework, search recent news for VPN providers who leaked data (or didn’t encrypt traffic at all).

CES 2021 – Virtual all digital event planned

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Most “in-person” conferences continue to migrate to virtual approach until safety improves in future


The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has announced its decision to switch CES 2021 to be an all-digital experience.   Last month, the CTA quietly announced that it intended to hold CES 2021 as an in-person event running Jan. 6-9. At the time, the website stated, “While we plan to produce another in-person event in Las Vegas, we all face new considerations around attending conferences, conducting business and traveling to meetings.” Now the decision has been reversed.

Windows 10 – Remote Virtual Desktop extends to Android

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Microsoft has unleashed a new version of its Remote Desktop client for Android that brings full support for the Windows 10 Virtual Desktop.  Remote Desktop, which was brought out of beta earlier this year, allows users to access Windows apps and desktops directly from an Android device or a Chromebook that supports the Google Play Store.  Microsoft has released an update client, version 10.0.7, that brings a number of new features to Remote Desktop for Android, chiefly full support for Windows Virtual Desktop.


Hardware – Tower or Desktop may be future trend

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Tower or Desktop based units may one day return as a future trend based on less travel to office or for business purposes


Laptops are designed for a world many of us don’t live in anymore. That world was very different, one where travel was frequent, where meetings were mostly in person, and where, if you didn’t show up, you absorbed career damage. Now meetings are virtual; the person who goes to the meeting will likely be in a room alone (and look stupid), and travel is something we remember not too fondly.  The entire work model we built the concept of laptops around not only doesn’t exist anymore, it may not ever exist again.   I’m coming around to the idea that laptops as a trend are over, that the new trend will be desktop computers.

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