Adobe to end-of-life Flash Over Next 3 Years

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Adobe is working with Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla to put the last nail in Flash’s coffin over the course of the next three years. A statement from Adobe elaborates, “Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.”

(Re-titled this article so you don’t have to deal with Gizmodo’s clickbait titles. You’re welcome.)

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Win10 Fall Creators Update Deprecates MS Paint

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During its 32 years of faithful service, MS Paint has functioned as the go-to screenshot-cropping application for millions. This fall, Microsoft is deprecating the program with the intent to roll out Paint 3D, a spinoff version to go along with a suite of other graphical design apps. We will remember it fondly as a tool to draw circles around important items or an easy way to convert image formats, with the hopes that its spiritual successor will be just as capable.

You can find the other changes in the upcoming Creators Update here.

Dell Customer Survey Feedback

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I don’t know if Dell reads their surveys at all, but I know my company really hones in on when people take the time to write in. Having gone to a Dell salesperson for assistance with purchasing the right laptop, I was asked to submit feedback. I’m not usually on the giving end of these things, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to interject. Here’s what I came up with:

1. The agent pre-loaded 3-year service plans, 36-month McAfee, and Adobe Acrobat DC on my quote. Customer service is determining what the client needs and giving them only what they do, not giving them what they don’t and making them double back to have you take it off. Dell has zero reason to be pushing this business practice to their salespeople. This breeds distrust towards your already outsourced staff and pushes people towards customizing their purchases themselves, rather than using agents. If I have to double-check what I’m being quoted to make sure I’m not getting shafted, then there’s not much point of having agents at all.

2. I received conflicting information regarding the form factor/protocol of the SSDs in the XPS 15 line of laptops. If you look at the product line, the $999 version comes with a 500GB HDD paired with a 32GB SSD. Subsequent higher-priced models come with 256GB and up PCIe SSDs. My question to the agent was is the SSD in the lower model the same thing as the higher, just smaller capacity, and if the higher models still had a slot for the 2.5″ form factor. I assumed it was all the same chassis but I wanted to make sure.

The agent responded with a blurb about the higher SSDs being NVMe, and that they were the best and that clients didn’t have any issues – not my question, I wanted to know about form factor and if for whatever reason the design choice in the pricier models was to leave a blank space in the 2.5″ slot (which doesn’t make any sense considering the price of HDDs these days. No reason to not put SOMETHING in there). Either way, if agents are going to effectively push the XPS line, they’re going to need to be better versed in its hardware and be ready to field the more technical questions, because that could cost them a sale.

3. Speaking of choosing the right product, I had communicated that I was intending to use this PC for my work in IT, virtual machines, remote desktop connections, and the like. I had to specify a version of Win10 Pro with my quote. It’s little things like that (i.e. the ability to domain-join a PC) that I believe the tech should have suggested as part of fitting the right hardware/software to me as a prospective client, as opposed to pre-loading my quote with hundreds and hundreds of dollars of stuff that I don’t need. This is less on him and more on the way he was trained. Either way, I was overall pleased with the outcome. Could have been a lot faster, but I understand that I was asking questions that he probably doesn’t get often. I would ask questions of his leadership, however.

This is why domestically-based IT complete with its quality control, training programs, and supervision will always be needed. I really feel for those whose jobs are to follow a flowchart or a script. People are not machines and you should treat them like they are just because they work with them. I dwell very heavily on the human side of IT, with all its soft skills that go along with it, because I believe that one of my main responsibilities as an IT professional is to de-mystify technology and then make it better for everyone I come in contact with. That is how you make a difference.