Microsoft Envisions a Passwordless Future Starting in 2021

Computer security concept shot, with binary code and password textBiometrics are one option.

By Rick Richardson

At least 80 percent of cybersecurity failures involve direct attacks on users’ passwords, the World Economic Forum warns. This is a problem that’s not going away any time soon. For Microsoft, as it explains in an official blog post, the solution may lie in a passwordless future, and it’s hoping to ramp it up this year.

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Whether it’s storing personal information about addresses, finances and highly private records, or running companies entirely virtually, the internet is where people live a good deal of their lives. And these people rely on passwords to guard their data and information against malicious actors. In response to hackers, some experts encourage the use of two-factor authentication, but that still isn’t airtight.
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Go Ahead, Use Your Own Router

It’ll probably take some legwork to make the fees stop.

By Rick Richardson

Many Americans are very frustrated that they have to pay a mandatory router rental charge every month as part of their internet service provider bill. It gets added even if you purchase and use your own router in many cases.

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But as of Dec. 20, the practice is now illegal, and you can demand your ISP stop the charge.
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Optimize Your Scanning Procedures

Woman in business attire with papers flying around behind her backBONUS: Specific tool suggestions.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless: Technology Guide & Checklist

For the next few years it is anticipated that accounting firm clients will continue to deliver a significant amount of their organizers and supporting tax documents to the firm in a physical format. To utilize this information in a paperless environment, it must be effectively scanned and managed at the lowest possible cost.

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Early paperless adopters scanned the tax return and the supporting documents at the back end of the process when a return was complete. This is still usually the first step when firms transition from a completely manual environment.
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5G Delivered Via Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft

plane against planetEach plane can replace 200 towers.

By Rick Richardson

In the near future, your phone may take its 5G signal from the sky instead of a nearby mast on the ground. It’s an innovative way to solve the problem of increasing connectivity without relying on thousands of terrestrial cell towers.

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The concept is known as a High-Altitude Platform Station (HAPS), and it essentially takes the cell tower from the ground and puts it in the sky.
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Why You Want a Digital Tax Workflow System

Pixelated blue text "workflow" on binary code backgroundWorkflow fails when admins are the only ones updating status.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless: Technology Guide & Checklist

The most important aspect of transitioning the firm’s tax process to a digital environment is managing electronic files that are no longer physically viewable in assorted stacks around the office. This requires a digital tax workflow system that lets everyone know the status of every return and easily connects that person to digital copies of the return and the source documents.

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Under traditional manual tax systems, firms utilized due date tracking databases that identified when a return was due, but not what information was missing, or the preparation, review or extension status, which was often recorded manually on a physical routing sheet.
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Five Edge Computing Predictions for 2021

Industrial metal number 5Welcome to private 5G networks.

By Rick Richardson

One of my “go-to” technology research firms is Forrester Research. Recently, the firm said 2021 would be the year that edge computing graduates from experiment to practically applicable technology, primarily driven by AI and 5G.

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Edge computing is a technology that places the processing close to the data source rather than concentrated processing at a distant central location.
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Retaining Documents: How Long and Who Decides?

Finger pressing delete keyRepeat as necessary: You don’t have to keep everything.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless: Technology Guide & Checklist

Managing digital files is in many ways similar to managing paper files in that the firm must have standards for who can create a document, add to or edit a document, file it, and eventually purge the file. Unfortunately, as digital files are on the network and “out of sight,” many firms are not really aware of what files are stored, the most current versions and whether or not they should be deleted.

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As firms transition to the “less paper” environment, it is recommended that they implement a digital document retention policy and make users accountable for adhering to this policy.
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What You Need to Know About Amazon Sidewalk

illustrationIt’s enabled by default, for one.

By Rick Richardson

Amazon is now starting to roll out its Amazon Sidewalk local networking system to customers in the U.S. Here’s what you should know about it.

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First announced in September 2019, Sidewalk is a new idea and long-term effort for extending the smart home to entire smart neighborhoods by using various local networking options.
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