Google Security, Adobe Alts

If you use Gmail, you might want to get more comfortable with Google’s 2-factor authentication. If you have ever gotten code numbers texted to you as part of logging into a bank or credit card site (along with typing in a password), you have experienced 2-factor authentication. Google is going to roll this out to all their users.

There are subsidies for broadband users with low incomes or those who lost income during the pandemic. Cable, fiber-to-the-home, DSL and fixed wireless ISPs are among the over 825 ISPs offering these discounts. Apply for up to $50 per month by enrolling at and be ready with tax forms and ID documents. You should also be able to apply directly through your ISP—and remember, this is a temporary program.

Google Chrome version 90 users can now create links to a specific block of text on any web page: right-click and select “Copy link to highlight.” However, like many Chrome features, this is being rolled out slowly. To get this feature, type “chrome://flags/#copy-link-to-text” into your search bar and then actively enable “Copy Link to Text.”

Some of us have come to rely on Adobe products, such as Photoshop or InDesign, but find them too expensive for just basic use. There are alternatives that provide base functionality without the high cost. For Photoshop alternatives, check out online editors such as Affinity Photo, Photopea or SumoPaint or downloaded applications such as GIMP, Glimpse Image Editor or Krita (download to install). To accomplish many Illustrator tasks, try Inkscape, and for InDesign-type work, look at Scribus. For Lightroom replacement, I know of RawTherapee and Darktable, but I cannot vouch for how far they will go. And if I had more time, I would love to play with DaVinci Resolve 17, an alternative for Premiere that I have never tried.

Microsoft is rolling out their next feature update to Windows 10, version 21H1 (also known as the May 2021 update) with a few exciting new features. Of course, some of you might like that Microsoft isn’t changing much this time. Their next version, currently called Sun Valley and coming out in the fall, will feature more visual changes and some new tools that might turn out to be useful.

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