Chromebook adds new features for 10 year anniversary

Google has added new features to celebrate 10 years of Chromebooks as part of Chrome OS 89. These include:

  • Phone Hub
  • Clipboard
  • Quick Answers
  • Tote file manager
  • Nearby Share
  • Select-to-speak enhancements
  • Screen Capture and media controls added to Quick Settings menu

Chrome OS is currently the second most popular operating system, according to Google.

A full list of Chromebook keyboard shortcuts may be found here.

Microsoft releases urgent Exchange Server security updates

Microsoft released several urgent security updates for Exchange Server based on cyber attacks believed to be from HAFNIUM and other groups starting March 2, 2021.    This includes Microsoft Exchange Server 2019, 2016, 2013 and 2010, but not Exchange Online.  Microsoft recommends installation of security updates and running tests to see if Exchange servers have already been compromised.

Hospital Price Transparency rule in effect on January 1st 2021

U.S. Hospitals must list the price they charge for at least 300 different services as of January 1, 2021 according to the new Hospital Price Transparency law.  The price lists must be in a consumer-friendly display format as well as downloadable data file formats on each hospital’s website.

More resources regarding this new rule can be found at www.cms.gov/hospital-price-transparency/resources.

Microsoft Office app combines Excel, Word and PowerPoint in one app

The newly released Microsoft Office app combines Excel, Word and PowerPoint into a single app that requires less storage space to install.  New features include converting images into editable Office documents, scanning and signing PDFs, scanning QR codes, and transferring files between devices.

The Office app is now available for Apple iOS and Android and is free to download.

Tech companies launching satellites to provide broadband internet service

SpaceX has launched numerous satellites related to the new Starlink internet service which is now available to a limited set of customers in the US, UK, and other countries.   Starlink will add more customers as it continues to expand its operations.  A Starlink app is also available at the Apple iOS and Google Play app stores.

Amazon has also launched satellites as part of Project Kuiper, which will also provide internet service to multiple countries.

Microsoft Edge browser becomes Chromium compatible

Microsoft now has made their Edge browser Chromium compatible with its latest release on January 15, 2020.  New Edge browser extensions are also available.

The new Microsoft Edge will replace Microsoft Edge Legacy with the Windows 10 Update on on April 13, 2021. Other changes include vertical tabs and new privacy settings.

Internet Explorer Mode in Microsoft Edge is available to view older websites that do not run as intended using modern web browsers.

Oracle Database 21c and learning resources

Oracle Database 21c has been released with several new features.   This includes Blockchain tables, which is a new type of table that only allows  insert operations. Other enhancements include a new JSON data type and new SQL Function JSON_TRANSFORM.  Oracle has also updated its Database Administrator’s Guide and JSON Developer’s Guide for this database version.

More information about these new features of Oracle Database 21c at its online  documentation site.

Oracle also has a free cloud tier option as well as a free entry-level training program: Oracle Learning Explorer.

Adobe recommends uninstalling Flash Player

Adobe no longer supports Flash Player as of January 1, 2021, and recommends that all users immediately uninstall Flash Player to help protect their systems.  They stated that developers should move Flash Player content to newer platforms such as HTML5 in a prior post.

Microsoft Windows update KB4577586 will also permanently remove Flash Player.  It is installed automatically as part of regular Windows updates.

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