Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Remember when I praised Bing maps? Not so fast

Back in July, I wrote an article about Bing maps and how improved they are. I'm going to hit rewind on that and ask Microsoft wtf? 

 I've been dizzied by an array of errors that keep popping up since the release of Windows 10. Not sure if there is a correlation, but holy hand baskets they've been loopy. Here's one example from last weekend:

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Cabinet of computer curiosities - where old computer parts go

I was helping a customer clean out their "box 'o useless parts" a couple of weeks ago. Every customer has one, you know, that box of computer manuals, cables, electrical devices they breathlessly tell you they “have no idea what they belong to but keep just because well … one day I might need it”. Ah yes, computers – enabling that little hoarding gene in so many. So for decades junk gets thrown into this mysterious box of parts, hidden deep in the closet, like shameful computer porn. Eventually someone in the house gets frustrated or fed up with the black box of mystery and drags it out when I come to fix their computer.

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Bing Maps - all grown up

Bing maps has been a utilitarian map for awhile but the new beta shows an all grown up feel to the site.  It has all the useful tools, but the improvements are impressive. The feature I like the best is the ability to sync my saved sites between my devices. So, if I'm at home, looking for an address and directions, I can save it on my laptop and it will appear on my phone or tablet. When you're traveling about the city as much as I do, this is a welcome feature.

The interface is cleaner, less cluttered feeling. When you're working off a small screen, this is a relief. It still has the directions feature, which will tap into local transit. As well, when available, it will still help find a transit route between cities. What I did notice is a far more sophisticated traffic alert system.

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Word It smartphone game – The 1950’s are calling & want their stereotypes back.

Word It smart phone game

I like word games. I have a couple on my phone and spend way too much time playing them. I’m always throwing in games, testing them and ripping them out. I stumbled across one a few months back that had me rolling my eyes in disbelief. Word It embodies all the stereotyped thinking that makes female gamers run screaming from the room.

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Critical Update - Security updates required - Flash, Reader & Acrobat

Adobe has issued 2 critcal security patches for Flash Player as well as Adobe Reader and Acrobat. The vulnerability affects Mac, Windows and Linux systems. The vulnerabity allows attackers to take control of the affected computers. 

If your Adobe is set to automatic, you will be nagged to death when to install. If your Adobe software  isn't set to automatically download updartes, open the program, click HELP  --> CHECK FOR UPDATES. Flash users should go to the Adobe Flash page and get the latest version https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

You can also manually download the latest patch  and read more about the vulnerablity on the Adobe Systems page - http://t.info.adobesystems.com//r/?id=t7a40e0e6,1aa13d24,1b039386 and http://t.info.adobesystems.com//r/?id=t7a40e0e6,1aa13d24,1b039385

APSB15-09: Security updates available for Adobe Flash Player
APSB15-10: Security updates available for Adobe Reader and Acrobat

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Tech support tales - Microsoft Store support

Last week my beloved out of warranty, Surface 2 died.  I'm surprised you couldn't hear the wails of despair coming out of Toronto. It has been lugged all over the city on service calls, espresso breaks, sitting on my bed reading newspapers, watching Netflix, reading books, listening to radio - it was rarely off.  I LOVED MY SURFACE.... yea, a bit sad and nerdy but the tablet did everything I needed in a portable device. The big bonus has always been the inclusion of Office.  All my invoices were quick and easy to use, Word to peck away at and OneNote. I've become a OneNote power user by the way.  It's like carting a big ass binder around, without the hassles of paper falling all over the place.

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“We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.”

 ― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

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