Virtual vs In-Person Conferences

A few years back, I remember reading an article discussing how the trouble of attending a tech conference in-person far outweighs the benefits that could come from it.  Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced practically all well known tech conferences to shift to a virtual format at least for the remainder of this year.  Ironically enough, the organization that runs CES (shown in the featured image) plans to hold the show as scheduled in early January 2021 while adopting physical distancing and cleanliness measures.

As the pandemic has continued keeping me work from home since March, one bright side of this is that almost all the companies that throw these huge (and expensive) conferences have shifted to a virtual format that’s free for attendees and others like myself who would not have been able to attend.  Still, despite the great advances in technology that have made virtual conferences possible, the social interaction that us humans need is something only that an in-person conference can bring.

Kurt Mackie has written an article that gives his perspective on attending in-person conferences and makes no apologies about what his preference is; I have to say that I mostly agree with him.  Check out his article here and here’s to hoping that at this time next year, in-person conference will be back and safe to attend.

Issues with Zoom

Amid all the security and privacy concerns regarding Zoom and the subsequent hacking of it that has randomly taken place, their CEO has responded via a blog post on the company’s website detailing the issue at hand.

Although this doesn’t absolve them at all, it’s definitely a good first step in working towards making the necessary changes to give their 200 or so million users some peace of mind.

Check out the post here for more details!

COVID-19 and working from home

 

Just came across a great article by Susan Bradley from Askwoody.com who does an awesome job of explaining the challenges that come with being forced to work from home.  My two main takeaways is 1) how will businesses meet the challenge of making this as convenient as possible for its workers and 2) how will workers be able to balance this new normal given that school-aged children are also home bound as well and need to meet their educational goals?

Check out the full article here for more details!

Verizon joins the free data party! (finally)

In order to help customers impacted by the coronavirus epidemic, the company will be giving an additional 15GB of data for free.

Whether you’re a regular consumer or a small business, you’ll be allowed to take advantage of this offer between March 25 and April 30.  As a Verizon subscriber, I greatly appreciate this however I wish that they would have jumped on the bandwagon much earlier and extend it for a longer period of time.

For more info on this, check out the post from Appleinsider.com here.

A closer look at the Modern Desktop

The latest buzz throughout the IT industry is about the ever changing landscape of its future, namely the shifting of all things towards cloud computing.

As more resources get redirected to the cloud, what does that mean for the average end user?  On the surface, you may think “mot much” but when you take a deep dive into the topic at hand, it is quickly realized that the expectations for productivity can increased being that whatever devices that are assigned to them can be managed and monitored at all times.

For a more detailed explanation, Paul Schnackenburg did a masterful job here in breaking down this shift towards what is now called the “Modern Desktop” along with its pros and cons on how it can and will affect us going forward…

Physical vs Virtual…which is best?

It’s almost as if we’re asking…which came first: the chicken or the egg?  Ok, perhaps that a heck of a stretch but it does beg the question of which one is better.

I came across an article found on Vembu which is a disaster recovery / backup company but has a great blog that discusses all things related to their core business and the subject at hand was about the differences between physical vs virtual servers.

I feel that this article is a great read for network, systems, and server admins no matter what your expertise is.  Check it out here and let me know what you think…

Two excellent posts by “The Patch Lady”

Kudos to Susan Bradley aka “The Patch Lady” who gave us some interesting insight here as to how Microsoft plans to handle extended updates for Windows 7 (apparently the service plans are not available! Yuck!) and also sheds some light here on an FBI precinct’s recommendation to place all IOT (Internet Of Things) devices on a different network segment for security purposes.

R.I.P. Cortana

Well that was quick!  A mere four to five years after introduction, Microsoft has banished its digital assistant Cortana to its “dustbin” of history.  I don’t know about you but I never took much of a liking to its capabilities (very linited IMO) within Windows 10.

According to Gizmodo.com, it appears that Microsoft will most defer to Amazon’s Alexa when it comes to providing smart assistant capabilities.

Check out their article here as well as ones from TheVerge.com here and WindowsCentral.com here.

The battle of the streaming set-top devices

As the holiday season rapidly approaches, tech companies have all but unveiled their latest offerings in anticipation that they will become a big hit with consumers.

One of the more appealing “stocking stuffers” as of late are set-top streaming devices that offer a myriad of entertainment options in the form of free streaming movies, news, music, and so much more.

After reviewing all available options, the latest Roku Ultra (2019 model) and Apple TV are definitely the top contenders.  When it comes to breaking down the pros and cons of each, AppleInsider.com (to my surprise indeed!) seems to have come up with the best and most unbiased assessment of these devices.

Check out the comprehensive review here for more details and let me know what you think about it!  Also, if you happen to own a device from either Apple or Roku, we would love to hear what you think about their respective performance.

Update on Web Browsers

 

So which one is truly the best?  Who knows but what we do know is which one reigns supreme in terms of market share after Q3 2019.

According to Computerworld.com, coming in at the top spot is Google Chrome with a 68.5% market share.  Microsoft (with IE and Edge combined) has 12% and Mozilla’s Firefox browser checks in with 8.7%.

It’s crazy to see how much Internet browsing has changed over the years and as a result, companies like Microsoft which used to dominate the browser market are now struggling to keep their head above water.

Check out the full Computerworld.com article here and let me know what you think about these “browser wars”…