On Episode 445 of the Waves of Tech, we are loading you up with a range of technology topics to get you through the hour. We share some personal IT stories that have shaped the beginning of our weeks and proudly support the men and women behind the scenes getting things up and running. Microsoft is attempting to modernize the voting system around the world with their new open source and free software called ElectionGuard. The art and enjoyment of magazines is fading away quickly and share why their place in today’s world still matters. Microsoft is also pushing out prompt messages letting users now to migrate to Windows 10 as support for Windows 7 support nears the end of life in January 2020. With Mother’s Day right around the corner, we share some technology related gift ideas that will surely bring a smile to the faces of your loved ones.
IT Stories – Networks & Data Loss
Mondays are sometimes smooth, and some Mondays are not but smooth. The start of our weeks have been anything but predictable and routine. Steve was called out to a consumer’s location at 2:00 a.m. to troubleshoot and fix various phone and networking issues. At Dave’s work, a file server crash resulted in unrecoverable data loss and limited access to servers.
- IT professionals deserve the credit for all they do behind the scenes and for us
- It is our job as employees to be understanding, helpful, and patient
- Data loss is going to happen, but let’s consider how infrequent it actually happens
Big Tech Jumps into Election Protection
Microsoft announced at their Build developer conference a new free and open source software built specifically to make elections more secure and transparent. It’s called ElectionGuard and is available now for administrations to implement as they look to modernize voting systems. ElectionGuard works in the background to provide security and verifiable voting results.
- Microsoft is the first giant tech company looking to improve the voting process
- The system even provides updates to voters on status of their vote
- Several benefits – verifiable, secure, auditable, open source, free
- “Tech can’t fix politics, but it can sure build a better way to vote.” (TechCrunch article)
Magazines – A Lost Enjoyment
After Steve’s wife brought him home a latest edition of Supercross Monthly, it begged the question of how magazines have lost their appeal and importance in the digital age. For the most part, magazines are bought for travel, bought by customers on impulse while in line, and bought for one particular celebrity or story on the cover. Sadly, it’s not what it used to be.
- The dedicated magazine aisle at grocery stores has dwindled to a few shelves
- Taking a break from routine digital consumption for paperback items is helpful
- Health, fitness, beauty, celebrity, and gossip publications seem to trend upward
- A digital magazine simply does not have the same vibe and feel as paperbacks
Shifting from Windows 7 to Windows 10
If you are running Windows 7 on your personal computer still, chances are that you have seen some prompting messages stating that operational support is phasing out by January 2020. This is another attempt from Microsoft to move their 626 million devices running legacy operating system to the modernized and optimized system you should be on.
- Microsoft offered a free upgrade to Windows 10 last year, millions passed on it
- Some level of education and tutorials will be needed for users, YouTube is a great start
- Microsoft allows exceptions for some specific commercial and business use cases
- A shift to Windows 10 is more secure, reliable, and makes sense moving forward
Mother’s Day Tech Gift Ideas
The first weeks of May are always a busy month for shoppers looking to find the perfect Mother’s Day gift. There are hundreds of technology products that would make great gift ideas and many items you can find on discount if you act sooner than later. This could be a great opportunity to upgrade to a new technology or introduce a new item in the household for mom.
- Amazon discounted products – Fire HD 8, Echo Dot, Kindle Paperwhite, Echo Show
- Techbargains.com offers personal care items, home security, and fitness trackers
- Consider smart home appliances – teapots, coffee makers, fridges, and BBQs
- And maybe buy a few items for yourself along the way to grab those holiday savings
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