Barbs Connected World

Surface Pro (2017)

For me, this is a dream machine

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Multi Factor Authentication App Backup and Usage Strategies
Change Your Hue Light
Colors with Alexa
Microsoft Authenticator
2 Factor Authentication

Microsoft Authenticator helps keep me safe. The baddies are out there, and I know my logins are protected. Easy to setup and a real pleasure to use!

Turn on your lights when Dona Sarkar tweets a new #flight for Insiders
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Pricing for Out of Warranty Surface Exchanges

Microsoft has published current pricing (in US Dollars) for those needing an out of warranty exchange for Surface devices (refurbished devices with a 90 day warranty). Until the end of March, the cost to replace a Surface Pro 3 was $450.00. It’s now jumped to $599.00. This is upsetting customers afflicted by the fallout from Batterygate and other issues. That’s a lot of money for this device and you definitely can do better looking elsewhere if you want to replace your sick SP3 with another SP3.

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Turning a WordPress Blog into a PWA

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are web apps that feature a native Windows app experience, and can use features like push notifications. The addition of Service Worker support in EdgeHTML makes this all possible. Other platforms (iOS, Android) have had this support for a while. PWA’s can be defined to run as standalone, run in browser, or minimal UI. Microsoft has been using Bing crawlers to find existing “high quality” PWA enabled sites and will be automatically adding some of these to the Windows Store (and later letting site owners to claim these apps and augment them).

I decided to get a head start on this technology and have gone through the process to produce a PWA for digitalmediaphile.com which runs on WordPress. It took some “fiddling” so I am sharing the process here. Continue reading

Alexa you aren’t doing very well with weather forecasting

All of my Alexa enabled devices are configured with the correct geo location, but I’ve had doubts for some time as to the accuracy of weather forecasts. We have a winter storm heading this way, I’ve got email alerts from Accuweather, FEMA is sending notices, but Alexa thinks the weather will be fine.
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Cortana, IFTTT, Invoke all together now

Microsoft just announced that Cortana now works with IFTTT. Cortana has had an appalling lack of third party skills (still does) but at least IFTTT offers some hope to folks who have services and devices that are not natively supported by Cortana but which have IFTTT support.

One of the neat things Cortana and IFTTT can do is post to Facebook, Twitter, etc. I can be working in the kitchen and ask Cortana/Invoke to TWEET or post to Facebook.

I’m sharing the recipes for these for others to play with below.

Twitter:

 

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