Law professors torch Trump legal memo

So much of this is not normal, but if this is the reality we must amplify those fighting to defend the institutions that make America a thing.

The Office of the President is not a get-out-of-jail free card for lawless behavior,” the professors wrote in their letter, obtained by POLITICO. “Indeed, our country’s Founders made it clear in the Declaration of Independence that they did not believe that even a king had such powers; they specifically cited King George’s obstruction of justice as among the ‘injuries and usurpations’ that justified independence. Our Founders would not have created — and did not create — a Constitution that would permit the President to use his powers to violate the laws for corrupt and self-interested reasons.”

Agnostic Tech Podcast

Podcasts have become more popular, but there is still no perfect technology around them. We have changed how and where and our shows are hosted so that means you will need to update your favorite way to listen with the new show information. At some point the old feed will show the new episodes, but why wait? We will be back later this week with new content. Apparently there are things going on in the tech world, and we need to talk about it!
Thanks for staying patient, but in the meantime come join us over in our Slack channel!

Windows 10 Privacy Matters

There has been a lot of stuff out there about Windows 10 and the new privacy settings that come with the new operating system.  While much of this is overblown it does not matter.

The Windows division of Microsoft makes a majority of their money by selling the product to the enterprise.  These are the same customers that will be the most sensitive to privacy concerns.  That is why with each day, and each new article written about Windows 10 privacy it is going to make it less and less likely that enterprise customers jump on the upgrade bandwagon in the near future.  Sadly whether the stories that are being written are based on fact or fiction, it does not matter.  Microsoft now has a PR problem, and they need to respond quickly and loudly.  

Many consumers are ready to trade some privacy for features.  The business community is going to be a lot slower to adopt that model.  Microsoft has to fight back against these memes that are now becoming the norm on the internet.  That is if all of these articles are actually wrong?

If You’re Using Google Docs, Stop!

No, I am not going to tell you to leave Google Docs for Microsoft Office.  I don’t believe those two products compete.  Office is still the best tool when it comes to the big important projects for life and business.  There is no part of the Docs suite that can compete with Word, Excel, or Powerpoint.  Google Docs can work for simple tasks where you need to collaborate with others.  

A few years ago another tool was released to the world called Quip.  It came out as a mobile first product with a web presence.  Like Docs, it is great for your everyday word processing work with really good sharing and collaboration tools built in.  Since then Quip has been adding tons of features.  It now has a simple spreadsheet, and also includes a Slack like chat feature.  Two weeks ago Quip became my go to when they released desktop apps for both Windows and the Mac.  Adding this to the already great mobile apps has made Quip a great alternative for many people.   It offers a tool to export to both Word and PDF, and if you are a writer that enjoys Markdown, Quip works for you as well.

For me Quip is not going to replace my Microsoft Office Suite, but it is quickly replacing Evernote and has been my go to for writing posts like this one.  

Give Quip a try today!

Switching User Default is Wrong, Dead Stop!

When you upgrade to Windows 10 Microsoft will not honor your current default browser settings.  Instead it will change your default browser to their new Edge browser. Firefox came out attacking yesterday, but I am not sure they are the right company or they even delivered the right message when writing their post about this.  Then came the response from many that cover Microsoft defending this absurd decision.

Let’s make a few things clear. If you are writing an article today telling people the steps to change the default browser in Windows 10, your readers are not the people who need this tutorial.  You know who does need it? People like my mom.  She reserved her copy of Windows 10 on her laptop.  She also runs the Chrome browser.  This means when Chrome was installed it asked her if she wanted Chrome to be her default.  So that is done.  Now in the coming days, weeks, or months Windows 10 will be installed on her machine. Like most users she will hit next, next, yes, next, yes, next, and done!  Now when she boots back up into Windows 10, her default browser is Edge.  Microsoft did not care that all her favorites, usernames, and passwords are saved in Chrome.  Microsoft made the decision to push their browser, which is not even complete yet, onto the masses.  My non technical mom will not know where to go, and no she will not read your blog post on how to switch it.  

I know this is a new era at Microsoft, and Windows is now an agile service that can be fixed on the fly.  Well some advice to Redmond, fix this setting before you start rolling out Windows 10 to the next group of people.  Some advice for those defending this crap, if Marco Arment can write an article going after Apple software you can be honest about this as well.

Microsoft’s Dangerous Gamble

Well it is Windows 10 week.  While details are still a little sketchy, we do know that some users will start to get their Windows 10 upgrade this week.  There will also be some new hardware available from their “partners” at Dell, Lenovo, HP, and others.  

I am glad to see those OEM partners coming out with new hardware at launch.  They are the reason Windows 10 is coming out this week, and not in October.  As Paul Thurrott has written on his site, the OEM partners have been pushing Microsoft to move up this release so they could get out new hardware for back to school. I mean after the Windows 8 disaster these companies feel that Microsoft owes them.  So Microsoft decided to go along and release what they have ready now, and has promised that other features will come later.  Many will come in the fall when Windows 10 should be launching.

Here is the thing though.  These OEMs who pushed Microsoft into this July launch are going to be the first to throw Microsoft under the bus if this launch does not go well.  They will be the first people to start releasing public apologies blaming Microsoft for bugs that are going to be in these early releases of Windows 10.  

Microsoft had a choice on a timeline, and they capitulated to Dell, HP, and others.  While I understand why they want to get new hardware out for back to school, I also would like to know where HP would go if Microsoft said they had to wait until October?  We will know in a few days if this gamble paid off.  

Note to Microsoft Press and “Fans”: Stop The Whining

I have not written in a while, but thanks to IFTTT my Instagram photos have been keeping this site full of fun and exciting pictures.  Okay, maybe they are not fun or exciting!  Then I see something that makes me angry, so here I am.

This week Facebook is cutting off access to a very old version of their Graph API.  An API that has been updated over and over again.  At an event well over a year ago Facebook announced that they would be cutting off access to this old version, and that anyone who uses it should update their app or service to use the new version.  So this week Microsoft posts that because of this change many Microsoft services that were connected to Facebook using this ancient version of an API were no longer going to work.  Then comes the crazy and stupid headlines.  Some said that Facebook was f**king Microsoft, and many others made it sound like Facebook was going after Microsoft users specifically.  This was factually incorrect, but that does not matter.

This reminds me of the Google cutting off Exchange Active Sync story from a couple of years ago.  If you just listened to and read many that covered or followed Microsoft you would think that Google was targeting the twelve Windows Phone users (I was one of them at the time).  The truth is that this was a move by Google that impacted a lot more iPhone users who used EAS to connect their Gmail accounts.  Google was trying to force their free users to use the Gmail app in order to have push e-mail.  If you still wanted EAS access, they said pay up for a Google Apps account.  You can disagree with what Google did to their users, but this was not a shot at Microsoft or Windows users.  They were doing what every company is doing, trying to get their users to use the official app.

Then there was the YouTube app debacle.  Google once again did not make an app for Windows Phone users, so Microsoft at the time decides to build their own app.  There are ways to make a third party YouTube app that works, but that is not what Microsoft did.  They built an app that broke every rule Google had set for app developers in order to get the reaction they did from Google.  Microsoft even had an option to download videos in the app!  This was going on at the same time that Microsoft was running an online and TV ad campaign called “Scroogled”.  Somehow people wanted you to believe that Google was the one targeting Microsoft here.  The truth is that Microsoft was poking Google over and over again trying to get Google to react so Microsoft can spin it and use public pressure to get an official app.  Well that did not work.

The good news is that the new regime at Microsoft stopped the “Scroogled” campaign, and seems to have moved pass this mentality.  Microsoft is going back to what they do best, making software.  This software is now running well on every platform their customers run.  From iOS to Android to Windows, you can use Microsoft’s software and services and Microsoft says thank you.  It is time for Microsoft users and the press that covers them to realize the reality they now live in.  Facebook and Google are not going out their way to target Windows Phone users.  Apple and Google are in the middle of  a holy war over privacy, but Google is still creating new apps for iOS.  They are doing what they need to do to run their own business.  The same way Microsoft is now doing what they have to do.