This is a Must-Read

If you have a smart phone, be sure that you close all your apps and turn it off, leave it off for at least 30-seconds, and then turn it back on: at least once a week. Frankly, I suggest doing this daily – maybe every night will work conveniently for you. We get calls every day from folks who are having problems with everything from email to an array of apps on their smart phone – all because their smart phone has not been ‘flushed’ recently. NB: The above referenced technique is most important before and after installing new phone updates.

Windows 10 Driver Verifier Tool

Let me save myself some ink, and you some eye strain, and just say don’t use it unless you are a developer testing various drivers. Perhaps in the future it will be improved and safe for use by all, but until then – avoid blue screens of death and just skip using it. ‘Nuf said?

Another Scam Technique

It might happen on your phone, your laptop, your desktop – whatever/wherever – a message pops up on your screen. The message alludes to you being a winner –  or something to that effect (see 2 samples below). These are scams that are being directed to your device by the site you’re visiting. Bottom line: do not click whatever it is they suggest you click – even if they say you’ve won a new car. Simply close the browser or app and never return there.

Happy Birthday Chrome

And to celebrate the event, Google is rolling out version Chrome 69. I did not find any exact release date, so you may already have it when this arrives. Inasmuch as this is doubtless the biggest set of changes in the history of this browser, if you do have it, you already know it – and are still trying to navigate all the new features and setup protocols. Trying to tell you how to set it up and which features to use is outside the purview of this newsletter. Of course, we’re always here to help clients with issues. Anyway, my initial read is that it will have some very useful (for some) features and also be more secure. Full Disclosure: Chrome will no doubt still be busily collecting data about everything it can from your system and your system uses.

Upcoming Windows Update Flaw

Here’s what Microsoft had to say: “On Microsoft Windows 10 systems that have limited storage space, when you run Windows Update, the update initialization may fail.” Why? I’ll continue to quote: “Windows Update does not check systems for adequate space requirements before it initializes.” The update is scheduled for delivery to Windows 10 computers on October 10, 2018. NB: Microsoft fails to mention exactly how much space is required for a safe update. Bottom line: empty your recycle bin and run any system cleanup tools you employ: cCleaner by Piriform is a very good one. Windows 10 also has its own disk cleaning tools. Late breaking news – the update, called Redstone 5, is now scheduled to be released on October 2, 2018.

PHP 7 Increases Speed & Security

PHP, Hypertext Preprocessor, is a programming language used to develop some of the more complex functions on websites. You no doubt use it daily, without knowing it. The latest version, PHP7, not only offers additional security, but also increases in speeds – all good for people with websites using it, and for everyone visiting websites that use it – which is just about every website. It’s my understanding that an even newer, better version is a already in the works.

5G is Coming – and There Will Be Changes Aplenty

There’s a lot to talk about regarding 5G, but what we’re all interested in is speed – so I’ll stay with that. 4G has a maximum speed of 100 Mbps, while 5G has a maximum speed of 10 Gbps. Ergo, 5G is 100 times faster than 4G. Please note the maximum speeds mentioned are theoretical, but pretty close to real world. One of the biggest things 5G will bring into being is a realistic alternative to hi-speed wired internet connections, such as those of Comcast, etc. It will also make your phone do everything faster: especially when adding in the maximum latency of 4 milliseconds on 5G; a mere 1/5 of that of today’s 4G LTE delay. It will also greatly affect the in-home device landscape. New products, faster products and products previously not available will be forthcoming.

Laptop Battery Life

You will not get the life expectancy from your laptop battery that you read about – assuming you read about it on the laptop manufacturer’s website. Now, perhaps, if you found a genuinely independent review of your laptop, you might know its true (real world) battery life. Manufacturers advertise the longest possible time using whatever ‘programs’ or ‘tasks’ they need to in order to advertise longer battery life: an important consideration in any laptop, to be sure. I’ve read about many laptops on both their manufacturers’ sites and in authenticated reviews. My rule of thumb is simple: whatever the manufacturer says is the battery expectancy from a single charge, deduct 40-50% of that time if you actually use the laptop – and you’ll be safe. If the package says 14-hours, figure you’ve realistically got 7-8.4 hours of actual use.