Modern website design may look pretty, but it often comes at the cost of readability. Many websites have light colored text on a light background, such as light grey text on white. If you're frustrated by this new trend, there is something you can do about it on your end to make things easier. Microsoft Windows has a "high contrast" mode, and you can either turn it on permanently in the settings, or you can just toggle it on and off as needed.
Image: SecureList / AO Kaspersky Lab
Mary has an old XP computer and she's worried about getting the WannaCry virus. Can she get a patch to protect herself? Leo says that Microsoft has ended life for Windows XP, but did make a patch for it and she can go into Updates and get it. But according to Leo, 98% of infected computers with WannaCry are Windows 7 computers. So XP isn't even on the radar. It doesn't hurt to be safe, though.
Last weekend, the WannaCry Ransomware bit several hundred thousand computer systems, including sixteen hospitals in the UK. The ransomware infected the systems and encrypted all data. The reason this one was really bad is that it was a "worm," or a "network aware virus" that would spread out over the local area network to find other computers to infect, and bring the whole establishment to its knees.
Julie has a Samsung Galaxy S3. Leo says the S3 was a great phone, but it won't get past Android 4, so she's missing out on some important security protections. Now she can't get her email on her phone. Leo says that since Julie had been using Hotmail, it has been replaced by Outlook Mail, and the settings Julie uses have probably been discontinued.
Quarterly earnings came out this week and Microsoft, Google, and Amazon all posted record earnings in cloud services. Leo says that sadly, hardware earnings fell short for Microsoft whose tablets and laptops fell short. Leo says that's unfortunate because they make some nice hardware these days.
Leo also says that Google made a lot of money, up 49%, on their Pixel Android phone and their Google Home devices. Google's advertising revenue was also up 29% with nearly $2 billion a month in profit.
Joseph is blind and he uses a screen reader. He wants to customize his Windows sounds, but he is having trouble doing it. Leo says to create day to day limited/standard user accounts to run. If his screen reader needs an administrator level, then that's OK.
Microsoft is going to start rolling out the Creators Update to Windows 10 starting April 11. This won't be a massive change in terms of how it looks, but there will be a considerable amount of new features. While last year's Anniversary Update was a problem for some people, Microsoft has fixed those bugs over time. Leo's not counting on it being quite reliable, but it is still good advice that if you get offered the Creator's Update on April 11, you may want to wait. You should be able to defer the update for as long as you can.
In the hopes of avoiding a repeat of the mistakes made with rushing a product out to market, Microsoft has announced that development of their mixed reality HoloLens device will be deferred to at least 2019. The hope is that they can avoid any similar mistakes that made the launch of the Kinect camera so problematic. Meanwhile, people can still get the current developer edition for $3500.
Stan is having problems opening XLS files due to an error message from the "Trust Center." It'll open the file, but he can't write back to it or save it to his hard drive. Leo says that is Microsoft's security center for excel spreadsheets because it's possible for bad actors to embed commands into an Excel file. There is a workaround for this. Stan can enable all content in the Excel Trust Center settings. But that can be risky if he's unsure of the content in the file he's opening. If he's sure about it, then he'll be OK.