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Keeping an eye on Windows and other things tech!

Last Build Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2017 16:51:36 +0000


Observed.Tech PODCAST Episode 226 #OTP

Sat, 22 Apr 2017 16:51:36 +0000

Welcome to Episode 226 of Observed.Tech. It should not come as a surprise that we have a lot of Windows 10 related topics to talk about in this show plus a whole lot more. I kick off this episode talking about a patch that surfaced this week that allows users to bypass Microsoft's patch from a couple of weeks ago that blocked the installation of Windows 7/8.1 on modern devices. This had been announced by Microsoft for well over a year ago and April's Patch Tuesday was the day of reckoning. Well this patch will certainly allow a user to install Windows 7/8.1 on these newer devices but is it worth the risk? My opinion is that anything which messes with the integrity of your operating system is not worth it plus Windows 7 will be out of support in less than three years - time to move forward! OK - in other news we learned this week there will now be a predictable release cycle for not only Windows 10 but also Office 365 and System Center Configuration Manager. In addition, each product update will be supported for 18 months after its release which means users should be moving along with the development of the operating system instead of staying with it for 10 years at a time. This is good and will keep end users on a modern OS capable of doing what they need it to do. I also have other items about a Windows 10 information push from Microsoft, a few hands on videos/galleries of Windows 10 Creators Update features, Steve Ballmer's new website project, Xbox updates, IoT news from Microsoft, and the risk in crowd funding projects. Enjoy the show and thanks again for listening!

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Observed.Tech PODCAST Episode 225 #OTP

Sat, 15 Apr 2017 18:10:17 +0000

Welcome to Episode 225 of Observed.Tech. Of course this show has some more Windows 10 goodness as the Creators Update has now been officially released along with a bevy of information from Microsoft on the upgrade. I have info about the overall update and some specifics about Microsoft Edge's continued maturation. However, we start the show off talking about some recent release of several exploits that were released by a hacking group. The good news upfront is that after reports that Windows was very vulnerable, it turns out most currently supported systems are patched already against these issues or are not susceptible to them. We then talk about some new features that have recently come to Windows 10 over on Xbox One and also the discovery of a modern version of a very handy system tool for Windows. We also have a huge amount of news about the future of Windows 10 Mobile and what devices will be officially supported for the Creators Update on mobile, which will be released on the 25th of April, and the Windows Insider Program. That list of supported hardware only has 13 devices listed and that is causing a lot of consternation for Windows 10 Mobile users. I also have tidbits about Steve Ballmer and his reflective perception of Microsoft's mobile moves, commercials triggering your digital assistants, ad blockers and the way some companies are approaching them, and Apple's drop on the Best & Worsts Laptop Brands of 2017. Enjoy the show and thanks again for listening!

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Observed.Tech PODCAST Episode 224 #OTP

Sat, 08 Apr 2017 15:00:18 +0000

Welcome to Episode 224 of Observed.Tech. After being away last week on personal retreat I am back behind the microphone for this week's episode that is just chock full of Windows 10 news. Since we hit the early unofficial launch of the Creators Update just a few days ago we get caught up on the final stages of Redstone 2 and getting everyone started on upgrading to this third major feature update for Windows 10 now that it is available. However, I lead off the show with some personal news that many of you may have already heard about on social media but I wanted to make it official on the show as well. I then very quickly jump into details about the Creators Update, which will begin its official rollout via Windows Update on 11 April which is this month's Patch Tuesday, and get you ready to understand all the new features and enhancements. We also got a big surprise Friday afternoon from the Windows Insider Program team that was truly unexpected and gets Insiders right back into pre-release builds. Yes, that is correct, Microsoft has already pushed out the first Redstone 3 build to Insiders. This now begins the development journey towards the four major feature update for Windows 10 which is expected this fall. Plus there are already some surprises in this first build even though no new features were officially announced for Redstone 3 Build 16170. There is also news for Xbox One and its Creators Update process plus some serious details about Project Scorpio - the next version of Microsoft's Xbox gaming console. As always I have a few interesting tidbits at the end of the show including firmware and driver updates for Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 running the Creators Update, 80% of Windows 10 PC's already running Anniversary Update, the ROI for migrations to Windows 10 in businesses, unboxing and trying out new hardware, extended introductory pricing for Premium, and Windows Vista reaching then end of its lifecycle support this month. Enjoy the show and thanks again for listening!

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Observed.Tech PODCAST Episode 223 #OTP

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 15:17:47 +0000

Welcome to Episode 223 of Observed.Tech. This is show is an abridged version of the podcast because I have been away from my podcasting studio this week while taking a small vacation with my wife as we celebrate 33 years of marriage. However, since it has been a working vacation that means I have kept an eye on things so we could talk about them and this week, just like the last three shows, a lot of Windows 10 news for PC and Mobile devices plus the Xbox One. All three of these platforms are in the home stretch heading towards the release of the Creators Update which is now looking like it will be come available, at least for PCs, on 11 April 2017. The official release date for the console and mobile devices is not yet known but I expect them to be within a couple of weeks of the PC release date. For those without a calendar the 11th of April is next month's Patch Tuesday and will be the first time a feature update has been shipped on the same day as other Windows updates. As always I have a few interesting tidbits at the end of the show including information about FedEx paying customers to use Adobe Flash in their website, Amazon collecting sales tax in more states, NFL replays now moving to Surface tablets on the sidelines, and Twitter going to a subscription based service for power users. Enjoy the show and thanks again for listening!

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Observed.Tech PODCAST Episode 222 #OTP

Sat, 18 Mar 2017 15:16:48 +0000

Welcome to Episode 222 of Observed.Tech. For the third week in a row it was Build Central for members of the Windows Insider Program with four PC builds released in a four day period plus the movement of two former Fast Ring builds into the Slow Ring. We even saw builds released on back to back days for the first time in the Redstone 2 development process. It is all just more proof that we are approaching that final build that will eventually become what everyone will see on their Windows 10 Anniversary Update systems in a few weeks. The Creators Update is one more week closer to reality as the third major feature update for Windows 10. This week we also heard a couple of interesting rumors with one related to the possible release date for the Creators Update next month and then another about what Surface Book 2 might look like and the fact it is currently in mass production already. Another thing that popped up this week in one of the Windows 10 Creators Update builds was the addition of verbage concerning metered connections and how some Windows Updates could be delivered on these restricted connections. Many of you know that metered connections have been a widely used method to keep updates from installing so this got picked up by a lot of sites across the tech blog world. There are plenty of other items intermingled throughout the show such as the GA of Microsoft Teams, some smart home testing, a great example of an app on Windows 10 that came from iOS and the Desktop Bridge for iOS, progress with the Xbox Preview program including new UWP apps that are now on the console, and the world of cloud computing. Enjoy the show and thanks again for listening!

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Observed.Tech PODCAST Episode 221 #OTP

Sat, 11 Mar 2017 14:45:16 +0000

Welcome to Episode 221 of Observed.Tech. A crazy 14 day period for the Windows 10 Creators Update has just wrapped up after another busy week of builds as we get even closer to the release of this third major update for Windows 10. We saw a total of nine builds over this two week period including two mobile builds released just three days apart. No worries though as I will get you caught up on where we stand and what clues we have that might let us know when the Creators Update will be released. This week was the Google Cloud Next '17 conference so there was a lot of news items that came out of that including new enterprise collaboration services and a renewed security focus across their offerings. There are plenty of other items sprinkled in the show including a pre-order page for Xbox Scorpio, HP's big acquisition for storage, Surface hardware driver updates, and another Mac vs Windows discussion. Enjoy the show and thanks again for listening!

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Observed.Tech PODCAST Episode 220 #OTP

Sat, 04 Mar 2017 14:52:40 +0000

Welcome to Episode 220 of Observed.Tech. It has been a busy build week for the Windows 10 Creators Update as we enter the final stages of that feature update reaching General Availability for all Windows 10 users. I bring you up to speed on where everything is and the five different builds we saw released to testers over the last seven days. I also spend some time talking about the changes that are coming to Creators Update that will have a direct impact on end users including the Unified Update Platform (UUP), privacy choices during install/setup, and controlling the installation of desktop software. As always there are other tidbits scattered throughout the show including Windows Mixed Reality which used to be known as Windows Holographic, Xbox Game Pass, Amazon S3's big outage, Google Pixel laptop flip-flop, and YouTube TV. There is also some solid space junkie news at the tail end of the show. Enjoy the show and thanks again for listening!

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Observed.Tech PODCAST Episode 219 #OTP

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 15:55:28 +0000

Welcome to Episode 219 of Observed.Tech. In this week's show we start off by talking about an out of band security update for Flash on Windows after the normal Patch Tuesday updates were delayed last week however, we also discuss whether another vulnerability will also be patched before next months updates are issued on 14 March 2017. I share with you my experience in signing up friends to use my premium service for their own unique email address on my custom domain which was a lot easier than getting everything setup in the first place. We also talk about the slow trickle of Microsoft Edge extensions, a new email search utility for Outlook and Gmail accounts, and how HoloLens is helping a medical technology company design operating rooms for hospitals. There is plenty to discuss about Windows 10 as well including confirmation of Redstone 3, a lack of new builds over the last two weeks, and concerns about privacy in the EU getting some attention despite the efforts Microsoft has made to be more transparent in this area. As always there are other tidbits scattered throughout the show including Gmail and Blizzard dropping support for Windows XP and Vista, a new Windows 10 bug tracker for developers, using an Outlook calendar with Alexa, Microsoft's call for a Digital Geneva Convention, and whether Windows Phone/Mobile is dead. Enjoy the show and thanks again for listening!

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Hands on with the Logitech Z337 Desktop Speakers with Bluetooth

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 17:56:00 +0000

I recently received these Logitech Z337 speakers to check out and while desktop speakers are a pretty straight forward thing these deliver a bonus that comes in very handy. Many devices that sit littered across our desks these days are Bluetooth enabled/capable so imagine having these speakers on your desktop hooked up to your PC via...

Observed.Tech PODCAST Episode 218 #OTP

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 12:55:02 +0000

Welcome to Episode 218 of Observed.Tech and what is only our second show of 2017. I explain why as I kick off this episode and then I dive into what has been happening over the last month or so - or at least the big picture stuff. The first item of big news is a 30 day delay in releasing February Patch Tuesday updates due to an issue impacting the building of the patches for distribution. Then we jump into all the movement with Windows 10 on both the PC and Mobile fronts so I talk about the builds released since my last show and catch you up on some features and other new including Creators Update now being feature complete. I also discuss what that means for Windows 10 and Insiders who are testing Fast Ring builds. I share my experience earlier this month when I traveled to Houston, Texas to attend the NASA Social SpaceBowl at Space Center Houston and the Johnson Space Center. Technology plays a role in our space program but it is not all about flashy gadgets and gizmos. I also talked to a NASA ISS Flight Controller who used to be an IT Pro. He shared some information about ISS and its computer systems that he helps to manage - including HoloLens! Logitech announced and released their new BRIO 4K Pro Webcam and I share my experience with it so far as I have a review unit on hand. It is amazing to think it is only the second consumer webcam available for Windows 10 that supports facial recognition log on with Windows Hello. As always there are other tidbits scattered throughout the show including a new Insider program for IT Pros, Premium, using an Outlook calendar with Amazon's Alexa, and the upcoming release of Visual Studio 2017. Enjoy the show and thanks again for listening!

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