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No More Passwords?

Apple, Google, and Microsoft are working to end passwords. Before you cheer too loudly, review what they are trying to do. This does not mean that there will not be a need for some type of authentication. Have you ever tried to login to a website and had to get a one-time code sent to a trusted device, like your smartphone, that you have to type in to finish the process? This new process, called FIDO (Fast IDentity Online), for replacing passwords will be similar. The companies are working out some of the easy-to-guess complications, such as making allowances for those who don’t have smartphones or who have lost theirs. You will still need to remember a master password that will grant access to FIDO, but you won’t have to remember passwords for any site using this authentication. So long as you control a trusted password and/or smartphone, it will be more difficult for others to access your accounts.

If you find it too easy to find your own personally identifiable information (PII) through a Google search, the company now lets you request such information be removed. This won’t remove it from the entire web, but it makes PII harder to find. Go to tinyurl.com/stt6crns to find out more.

Khan Academy, in partnership with Arizona State University Prep Academy, will open an online high school this fall. It looks like out-of-state students will pay tuition. Information at asuprep.asu.edu/khan-world-school and look through the ASU Prep enrollment at asuprep.asu.edu/enroll.

I recommend the Ninite tool (ninite.com), which will easily install and update many applications in Windows. Check off the apps you want and then download your custom installer. If you run it again some weeks later, it will update all your apps. There is something analogous for your Mac. Visit macapps.link and click to select. You will have to learn a little bit about Terminal in order to copy and paste a long text link to actually perform the installations. It is good to learn something new!

I wish I could read Dutch, but luckily, this Dutch nature conservancy’s list of live bird webcams needs no translation (vogelbescherming.nl/beleefdelente).

Anyone still running Office 2013: Microsoft will stop providing security patches for that suite of apps in April 2023. It will still work, but if you are concerned about security, you should upgrade.

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