• Hacking
    Microsoft,  Technology

    Sophisticated Cyberattacks – NotPetya and Solorigate

    The biggest story in the world of digital security this year (2020) has been the one that broke a few weeks ago. It was the Solorigate aka Solarwinds cyberattack that affected hundreds of corporations and the highest corridors of US Government. Over 18,000 locations and several thousand endpoints have been affected by this sophisticated attack, which was presumably by a state-sponsored hacker. The attackers have infiltrated, maybe through espionage, the source code repository of a popular IT management suite called Orion from SolarWinds. After infiltrating the bad guys were able to sneak in a lightweight trojan code that would get triggered often to escalate privilege and plant additional malware in…

  • Microsoft,  Speeches

    Developing low-code apps with Microsoft Power Apps and AI Builder

    I think the future for the majority of the software being developed will be low-code (and by 2040 No-code) development platforms. Add to this the magic dust of Artificial Intelligence it becomes super exciting. In this connection, I was glad when I was invited to deliver a talk as part of a Microsoft India’s community event today. The title of my talk was “Developing low-code and AI apps with Microsoft Power Apps & Azure AI”. I demoed how easy it is to develop a simple blog viewer application, a blog sentiment analysis, text deduction from a newspaper clip and a food classifier to identify “Rasam” & “Papads”. Agenda: Why low-code…

  • Lounge,  Microsoft,  Social Media,  Speeches

    Maintain your social media san(ct)ity

    Today it has become fashionable to hate social media and talk in length about its bad influence. I have been using social media [Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so on] from 2007. I consider myself to be active, I have been posting almost every single day most of the weeks and I respond with comments on other(s) posts too. I have benefited from social media, seen and experienced its goodness. In the last few years, the way I see has changed. In this talk, I will share with you what I have learned, my own experience, which will be useful to you in charting your own course. Trust me, I am…

  • Microsoft

    Activating correctly the Microsoft Office 2019 Home & Student edition

    I am annoyed when companies design products to get the paying customer into doing things that are good for the manufacturer’s top-line and expensive for the customer. There is nothing wrong in upselling, but they need to be transparent on what is already provided and what’s the upgrade for. Unfortunately, this stealth mode operations are a common theme in the world of Windows PCs and Android Smartphones for decades. The excuse they provide is that there are wafer-thin margins in the business, unlike Apple, who operate on the higher end of the market. Though I am not a fanboy of Apple products, I admire Apple for remaining clean in this…

  • Gadgets,  Microsoft

    Microsoft Surface Duo Phone

    After nearly five years of exiting the Phone market with their last Windows Phones, Microsoft has re-entered the market with a new phone, the Microsoft Surface Duo, which is branded as a “Productivity device with Telephony built-in!” by Microsoft. With dual-screens and running the Android OS, the device is awesome and practical. I have been using Two Monitors in my desk for years, so I can clearly see the huge productivity and ease-of-use that comes with two screens over a single screen. Surface Duo has the potential to kill the iPad (& the Android tablet) along with the ultra-portable laptops. With a two-generation old processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 that’s…

  • Earthen Buildings Theme

    Earthen Dwellings Wallpaper for Windows 10

    Microsoft provides a variety of professional wallpapers for Windows 10 from their store for free. Many of them are breath taking views of landmarks, famous places and so on. Today, in a theme called Earthen Buildings I saw this captivating design of houses. They look like Apple’s spaceship headquarters, with the entrance to the houses from the inside, may be to protect themselves from the outside elements, what an ingenuity. Doing an (reverse) image search, I found out the houses are called “Fujian Tulou (Hakka roundhouses)” and they are an UNESCO World Heritage site. They are Chinese rural dwellings, unique to the Hakka in the mountainous areas in southeastern Fujian,…

  • Windows 10 Your Phone
    Gadgets,  Microsoft

    Make and receive phone calls from your PC

    I didn’t imagine it to be so convenient. I am talking (pun intended) about the Call feature in Windows 10, called the “Your Phone” App that allows you to make & receive telephone calls from your PC. The PC has to be connected via Bluetooth to an Android phone. Once I got it working, it was super cool. Thanks, Microsoft. Already “Your Phone” app allowed you to send and receive text (SMS) messages, access photos from your smartphones. The calling feature is a recent addition to the list. Apple fanboys can save their energy-I am aware that this feature has been available for iOS & macOS for quite some time. Before…

  • Gadgets,  Microsoft

    Microsoft Surface Event of 2019

    I am liking today’s Microsoft Surface event (recording is here) for its: Incremental gains to Surface Pro & Surface Laptop, AI enhancements to Surface Pro X, Leap of faith on a new category of dual screen Surface Neo, and, Most importantly the pragmatic approach of using Android (with what looks like a special “Windows” Launcher) in Surface Duo (3-in-1). This is certainly a ‘new’ Microsoft at all levels. The last two products (Neo and Duo) are very very risky especially with Microsoft’s disastrous record with making Phones, and the immaturity of dual-screen tablets (and PCs). But I like the strategy of Microsoft’s CEO Mr Satya Nadella – to invest in…