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Previous News & Tips Weekly Page - 10/01/17 - 10/07/17 Next

Weekly News & Tips Index

NOTICE:If you go to a page via a link and it can't find it, try copying the article heading and doing a search on the article web site.  Sometimes they move articles after I post them which changes the link address.

  Day of week Date News & Tips Number    
Sat 10/07/2017 1043
Fri 10/062017 1042
Thur 10/05/2017 1041
Wed 10/04/2017 1040
Tue 10/03/2017 1039
Mon 10/02/2017 1038
Sun 10/01/2017 1037

Sat 1043  10/07/2017




MacOS High Sierra 10.13 Update: Flaw That Exposed Passwords Fixed



Apple Watch Series 3 LTE doesn’t work, and Apple just admitted it



Windows Firewall Control 5 is out



Firefox Quantum beta promises to double your browser speeds

At least that's what some benchmarks are showing,



5 Reasons to Build a Hackintosh (and How to Get Started)



Dyson Launching 'Radical and Different' Electric Car in 2020

It will not be cheap, it will not be for the mass market, and James Dyson has wanted to do this since the 80's.



Free Netflix? Is T-Mobile's new deal too good to be true?



Post-Equifax Breach, It’s Time for a Digital Universal ID



New infotainment tech causes big distractions, AAA study finds

Just because it's new doesn't mean it's safer to use while driving.



The Equifax Hack: The Aftermath






How to Stop Apple Pay from Opening on Your iPhone All the Time



How to activate & use OneDrive Files On-Demand feature in Windows 10



Discover immersive gaming with Acer's 27-inch curved monitor for $190



Is Your Computer Fan Too Loud? Here’s How to Fix it



Google's search app now makes suggestions of other things to read



Nuke Anything Enhanced for Firefox 57



Driving with AR glasses may be information overload

Does augmented reality really belong in your car?



IRS Chief Says Aborting Equifax Contract Could Harm Hurricane Victims



Whole Foods Discloses Credit Card Breach

Hackers accessed the payment card information used at Whole Foods taprooms and full table-service restaurants.



Hacking groups targeting U.S. power plants



[Windows Tip] Remove “Sharing”, “Security”, “Customize” and “Previous Versions” Tabs from Properties



10 frightfully wonderful Halloween tips



Apple's Jony Ive: Some people 'misuse' iPhones






Uninstalling Fonts Probably Won’t Speed Up Your PC or Mac



Whisply lets you transfer files via Cloud Storage service using Encryption



OneDrive is getting a cleaner web UI and improved sharing options



Knowing the Limitation of VPN and How to Keep Yourself Safe



You may be out of luck if you have an older iPhone or iPad — Here are the devices that can't run iOS 11



Microsoft plans to release Edge for iOS and Android



Microsoft’s new coding language is made for quantum computers

By the time the complex machines are ready, you might grasp the tech.



Kaspersky Under Scrutiny in New Revelations About NSA Security Breach



The Best VPN Services of 2017

A virtual private network is the best way to stay anonymous online and secure your web traffic. We've tested more than 50 VPNs, and these are our top performers.



Keep your family safe during natural disasters



How To Check Your PC's Compatibility With Windows Mixed Reality



How to fix 7 annoyances in iOS 11

As with any iOS update, you may not welcome all of iOS 11's changes.



Passwords, hackable yet accessible, are poised to stay popular



Apply Windows Image using DISM Instead of Clean Install



Review: HP EliteBook x360 G2 laptop



How to Insert, Move or Delete Page Breaks in an Excel Worksheet



Best PC Monitors for Less Than $200



How to Manage Nvidia Optimus Chipsets in Ubuntu with Bumblebee



Target rolls out Bluetooth beacon technology in stores to power new indoor maps in its app



Bootice: manipulate the MBR or PBR of hard disks



Microsoft Surface Pro with LTE could arrive on December 1st

According to rumors, it will have an i5 Core processor with two possible configurations.



Researchers: Uber’s iOS App Had Secret Permissions That Allowed It to Copy Your Phone Screen



The Best Smart Home Devices of 2017

Ready to dive into the Internet of Things to automate your home? Start with the top products we've tested for every room in the house.



3 ways to add Bluetooth to your older car



How to Update an Android Phone



Here's how to protect your Yahoo account from hackers

Yahoo's 3 billions accounts were hacked. Instead of deleting your account, it's better to mothball it and move to another email service like Gmail.



Apple Inc.'s Touch ID Might Come Back in the Next iPhone X After All

New evidence may indicate the return of this technology in Apple's 2018 iPhones.



How to Run System Maintenance Troubleshooter in Windows



The dream of eGPU is still not here… yet



How to convert Excel file to PDF online using Google Drive



How to use new Edge favorites in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update



The Ultimate Firefox Privacy & Security Guide



Apple's decision to add wireless charging reveals a huge weakness with all current Apple products



Microsoft Edge comes to Android and iOS

Microsoft Edge is now available on iPhones and Android devices on an effort to bring Windows 10 PCs and phones closer together.



10 tips for mastering Apple's Photos app

Your guide for how to use the Photos app on Mac, iPad and iPhone.


Back to Top

Fri 1042  10/06/2017

Is privacy dead in an online world?

Last month, 145 million Americans discovered they were victims of one of the biggest data breaches in history, after the credit rating agency Equifax was hacked.



Anti-virus program is a must, but Defender might not be the way to go (one of our members relied on Defender and got Trojans)



Cortana can command your smart home devices on Windows 10



Apple macOS High Sierra Review



How to Connect Your Phone to a TV



Convert Ps1 To Exe files using free software or online tool



How to Use Twitter on the Amazon Echo



Watch as Samsung phone explodes in a man's shirt pocket

Samsung says the man wasn't using an approved battery.



Yahoo Admits: All 3 Billion Email Addresses Hacked



Cops Arrest Florida Man Over Parody Account That Allegedly Hurt Police Department's 'Brand'



Google: Windows 10 patches put Windows 7 users in danger

If Microsoft is going to patch Windows 10, it should patch the same bugs in Windows 7, says Google's Project Zero.



How a missing smiley foiled a $70,000 email fraud



Surprise! Microsoft Edge is Coming to Android and iOS



Best Smart Speakers: Amazon Echo, Google Home and More



CCleaner Malware second payload discovered



Amazon launches Echo Spot, an Alexa-powered alarm clock

It's a tinier, more focused alternative to the Echo Show.



Turn your Android gadget into a motion-activated security camera



Gmail finally turns addresses and phone numbers into links



7 Ways to Tweak Your Windows 10 Taskbar

Here's how to customize and beef up your Windows 10 taskbar.



How to Use the Built-in Microsoft Office Clipboard in Windows



Convert VBS to EXE using Online tool or VBScript converter software



How to Fix Kodi’s YouTube “Quota Exceeded” Problem



T-Mobile, Sprint may seal their merger deal real soon

An announcement could come as early as the end of the month.



Top web browsers 2017: Microsoft takes another thrashing

IE and Edge lost a big chunk of market share in September, falling under 20% for the first time.



Apple Is Investigating Battery Swelling in iPhone 8 Plus



This sneaky phishing attack hijacks your chats to spread malware

Organisations around the world have fallen victim to a highly-targeted phishing campaign which intercepts ongoing email threads to customise messages and spread malware.



Pumpkin Season theme for Windows (download)



Near-Final Windows 10 Version 1709 ISOs Are Now Available



Best Phones of 2017



CCleaner 5.35 released with new digital signature



Amazon's new Fire TV is a 4K-capable, Chromecast-style dongle

$70 gets you a tiny and capable Fire TV that can also carry out Alexa skills.



Save your data while traveling with these easy setting changes



Apple is working on a fix for Watch Series 3 LTE issues



Netflix Offers its Streaming Tech to Airlines

Netflix offers to cut in-flight bandwidth costs by 75 percent while allowing passengers to binge watch House of Cards with zero buffering.



Top 5 Pomodoro Timers for Mac to Help You Stay Focused



3 free Time synchronization software for Windows 10/8/7



How to Turn Any Web Page Into a Web App on a Chromebook



How to Create and Restore a System Image Backup with Macrium Reflect (version 7 is out)



Windows by the numbers: Windows 7 acts like it will live forever

Migration watch: In September, Windows 7 surrendered some user share, but it still refused to plan for retirement.



AIM Will Finally Die Its Last Death Later This Year



Raspberry Pi: Hands-on with the Pi-Desktop kit

This kit promises to turn your Pi into a functional desktop computer. I'm going to try it out and see how easy it is to assemble and use.



Report: Security hole in macOS Keychain puts passwords at risk



You can still back the all-in-one Noodle Pi handheld PC



Google's Pixel Buds Are (Nearly) Universal Translator



Chrome 64 will block autoplaying media with sound



Echo Button is Amazon's tiny accessory for party games

Buzzing in to answer trivia is the obvious use, but we'll have to wait and see what else the Button is good for.



You've been doing your passwords all wrong! Fix them with these new tricks



Apple bumps up the the over-the-air download limit for apps to 150 MB



Apple TV 4K



How to Monitor Linux System Health and Performance with Netdata



Reg Converter lets you convert .reg file to .bat, .vbs, .au3 files



The Fastest Ways to Rename Files on macOS



How to Change the Default System Font in Windows 10



Elon Musk Wants to Help Puerto Rico Rebuild Its Grid Using Tesla Batteries [Updated]



Apple Says It Fixed High Sierra’s Password Leaking Problem



WSJ: Kaspersky software likely used in Russian-backed NSA breach

Hackers working for the Kremlin reportedly found sensitive information on the home computer of an NSA contractor who was using Kaspersky antivirus software.



Paying for antivirus software is mostly BS



Microsoft will support Windows 10 on older PCs until 2023



Pixel 2 vs Pixel 2 XL: Here's How They're Different



Wave goodbye to CloudFlare Captchas: Cloudflare Privacy Pass lands



Amazon Echo Connect gives you a smart speakerphone for your landline

You can even call 911 using only your voice.



How to check if your personal data was exposed in Equifax breach



iOS 11 is a fresh start for the iPad



How to turn off WiFi or Bluetooth on iPhone and iPad in iOS 11



Report: Equifax Hacked Months Before Major Breach

The previous hack may have been carried out by the same attackers who eventually stole troves of personal information.


Back to Top

Thur 1041  10/05/2017

(In this issue I am including some information regarding LastPass.  Do not consider them as ads or promotions, but to inform you of features you may have in your choice of password manager and what they are about to make better decisions and use of your choice. I use this on all my devices.)


Google Says Government Data Demands Way Up



Every Single Windows 10 Version You Must Know About



First impressions of the $49 Google Home Mini



ClearStream TV review: This digital TV tuner lets you pause and rewind live TV

And an onboard Wi-Fi adapter lets you stream live TV to any streaming box or mobile device on your home network.



The biggest hack in history is actually three times bigger than we feared

Yahoo-oops x three billion.



How to convert BAT to EXE file on Windows



5 Raspberry Pi Alternatives to Build Your Own Small Computer



How to Change the Size and Color of the Mouse Pointer in Windows



Krita for Windows 10 is a potential Paint replacement that helps you get creative



How We’re Making It Easier to Generate Passwords 



HUGE Windows bug leaves gadgets open to malware infections



How to Turn Off Autoplay Videos

How to turn off autoplay videos on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu.



It’s G-Day: Do You Know Where Your Next Phone Is?



Mac always booting into Safe Mode? Here are ways to troubleshoot it



iOS 11's Control Center buttons don't fully turn off Bluetooth or WiFi

This could be confusing for many.



The best part of the $999 Google Pixelbook is its design



Best smart thermostat

Sure, you could buy a Nest Learning Thermostat and call it a day. But there are so many smart thermostats to choose from. We'll help you pick the right one.



'Critical' zero-day bug found in three popular WordPress plugins

Evidence of exploitation in the wild, so patch now!



MiniTool ShadowMaker lets you backup and restore data quickly



Should Facebook Have a Temporary Unfollow Feature?



How to Choose Which Files Windows Search Indexes on Your PC



How to create a Windows 10 account using any email address



It’s Two-Factor Tuesday, So Turn It On!



Forget privacy! New feature lets you record ANYTHING, texts, photos, and videos on your phone



Mini Commodore 64 Including 64 Games Launching in 2018

The NES Classic and SNES Classic have been successful enough to trigger other classic gaming machines to appear in mini form.



Microsoft Pushes Forward with Mixed Reality



Tempted to muck about in media library folders for Apple apps like Photos? Don't do it



macOS High Sierra is well worth the upgrade

It's all about behind the scenes changes.



9 Gmail hacks you need to know since they will basically change your online life



Roku revamps its entire line of media streamers and slashes the price of its Roku Ultra

Several models support voice recognition, 4K resolution, and HDR.



Heads roll, as it's revealed Equifax's IT team knew about web app vulnerability

Music-loving CSO is being unfairly vilified.



Purple, Brown, Yellow, Red, Green Screen of Death explained



Everything You Need to Know About Usenet



Quick Tip: Place Your iPhone Face Down to Save Battery Life



Creators Update now on just over 72 percent of Windows 10 PCs, AdDuplex says



Families That Play Together, Stay Safe Online Together



One mistake people make when cutting the cord on cable TV



YubiKey 4C Nano Is the World's Smallest USB-C Authenticator (I use the Type-A keys)

An extremely small USB-C authenticator that could mean the difference between your online accounts being compromised.



iOS 11 Feature Focus: Screenshots



How to create a bootable macOS High Sierra installer drive

Put the macOS High Sierra on an external USB thumb drive or hard drive and use it to install the operating system on a Mac.



NVIDIA's Shield TV is the latest home for Google Assistant

Voice control is coming to the Android TV platform, starting here.



Apple Users, Watch Out for This Email Scam That Looks So Real It's Scary



Nest Thermostat E review: Plastic replaces stainless steel and glass to achieve a lower price tag

Nest's latest thermostat is a whole lot cheaper, but it's not boring.



Misleading headlines about Equifax's *earlier* hack

Calm down. They did go public about the earlier security incident.



How to open Command Prompt from the Task Manager using CTRL key



6 Essential Laptop Apps for People on the Move



How to Set a Temporary Facebook Profile Picture or Frame



How to create a Windows 10 USB bootable media with UEFI support



Security Challenge

How to Audit Passwords with the LastPass Security Challenge & Why You Need To



Charge your phone even when the power is out



iFixit iPhone 8 Teardown Finds Qualcomm Gigabit Modem

The teardown reveals Qualcomm's fastest modem, but a missing feature is holding it back.



SwiftKey for Android Gets a Redesign, New Themes



How to install macOS High Sierra

Apple’s update to macOS is now available and ready. Here are the instructions for getting it on your Mac.



Wandercraft's exoskeleton was made to help paraplegics walk

But marrying robots with humans is no easy task.



iOS 11 will break your old apps and maybe even your iPhone, but that’s a good thing



The Easiest Way to Install Microsoft Excel on Linux



Friday Lock review: A competitor to the August retrofit smart lock arrives at last

The Friday Lock wins on looks, but loses big on features.



How to Hacker-Proof Your Email in Four Steps



Comments by -- Bob Primak --

Re. FYI#1039 (Tue 10/03/2017):

(NOTICE: All Yahoo! accounts have been breached.  Change your password immediately.)

This is the 2013 breach, being recycled and upgraded. Anyone with a Yahoo Account of any kind who has not changed their password since the 2016 headlines about this breach is probably going to ignore this warning as well. Repeat, this is not a new breach.


Dremel Announces 40 Watt Laser Cutter

I looked at the descriptions of several of these laser cutters. They don't cut everything (especially materials which are transparent to light) and they can't be safely used on everything (due to fumes). But where they work, they are neat, if expensive, toys.


An Ex-Google Engineer Is Founding a Religion to Worship AI. He’s Decades Too Late.

Reification (making something seem godlike) of robots, computers and AI software definitely has a history already. Fortunately, the realities of tech are far more mundane.


The dangers of making your home a smart home

"Previous owners still have access"? Are you kidding me? How can anything connected to the outside ever be sold or transferred without changing the passwords or access codes? Oh yeah, this happens with phones and PCs all the time. In fact, most people when selling or giving away (or even disposing of) a device never bother to erase or encrypt the contents. It's even likely that most lost cell phones are never deactivated by their owners.


This security camera offers a sweeping view of your home for $40

For $60.00 (in white) you can have an upgrade of this camera:



How to view the Advanced Threat Protection Reports

This feature is supported only in Enterprise Editions of Windows.


Use This USB Drive Trick to Secure Your Laptop in Public (or Anywhere Else)

Last time I tried to install Predator (possibly before Windows 10 came out) the company made me give them personal information, and then the software would not install or work on my laptop at the time. So much depends on OS and hardware that I would not trust any roll your own USB key utility. Remember, you could get locked out of your laptop, and it could be very hard to recover from this if you are using a third party utility.


External Hard Drive not showing up or detected in Windows

Drivers may be specific to the drive model, or may be USB interface drivers.

Two other things which make USB drives "invisible" to Windows File Explorer -- lack of an assigned drive letter, and "offline" status, both detectable and fixable in theWindows Disk Manager. 


Some phones and laptops are vulnerable to 'BlueBorne' exploit

First, not many phones run actual Linux. Second, the article is wrong about Linux not having been patched for a wide array of this and related Bluetooth vulnerabilities -- at least that's how the patching has been going in my Ubuntu 16.04 desktop environment.


Yubico's new authentication key is super tiny and works with USB-C ports

The small size is actually maeant for leaving the key always in the device. Unfortunately, most mobile devices don't have a lot of ports, so losing one is a real problem.


FTC lawsuit over D-Link’s lax router security just took a big hit

A judge dismissed half of the FTC’s complaint against D-Link.

So, in all those complaints from consumers, the FTC couldn't include even one instance of financial loss or identity theft? Shamefully underprepared complaint! Our government hard at work keeping us safe!


Paint.NET Comes to Windows Store

I wonder how this will differ from the desktop version? Windows 10S, like Windows RT before it, does run .NET applications.


Re. FYI#1040 (Wed 10/04/2017):

Google Search Results Wrongly Name Man As Vegas Shooter

Yahoo, Google and Facebook rely way too much on algorithms and have no humans to filter early news reports. This does indeed give momentum to fake postings and mistakes. What would help would be for all these sites and others not to refer to early, "raw" reports as "News". Maybe a new category like "Rumor and Gossip"? (Actually, that category "Gossip" used to cover all of what now passes for Celebrity and Entertainment "News".)


3 Billion Yahoo Accounts Hacked: What You Can Do

Given that these are old breaches, folks should have changed our passwords long ago. The rest of the article actually amounts to Q:"My identity is out there in the hands of criminals. What can I do to get it back?" A:"Nothing."


Cutting the cord? How to pick your streaming services

The Chart (linked in this article) shwows where the issues are. The choices have gotten a bit harder recently, with major networks and ISP services taking content into their own paid apps. You can quickly end up paying much more than a Cable or FiOS bundle price. And that's without the coming changes in how broadcast TV is distributed (starting in 2019, just two years from now).


Why Do Password-strength Meters Give Different Results?

Password-strength meters don't always agree. My take is to avoid them completely.

If you are making up your own passwords, these meters can serve as a rough guide. But if you get your passwords generated for you (with a password manager or online generator sites) you will gain little from a strength meter. Still, I see web sites using their own "strength meters" all the time.


3 awesome apps that block unwanted robocalls

I have successfully used Nomorobo with two different Cable TV phone services. I haven't had a spam issue on my phone, so I don't use anything there yet.


When Is It Safe to Say “Yes” to User Account Control (UAC) Notifications?

Actually, I usually say Yes. But if anything came up when I hadn't initiated an action, I would let UAC protect me. This has not happened to me in several years. UAC is for me mostly an annoyance, but not a real hindrance like Smart Screen Filter, which I have turned off on both of my Windows devices.


Google Drive goes down and takes worldwide productivity with it (updated)

Good thing I wasn't using it during the few hours it was slow or unavailable. It's not like other services don't have periodic outages. The correct perspective is, how often does your provider go down, and for how long, and do you lose data when this happens? For Google, I rate these factors good to very good. Unlike some other services I have used (and a few I still use).


How to run old DOS programs in Windows 10

I wonder how many people actually have DOS programs and media (and input devices) to try on Windows 10? 


From My Own Reading:

Where’s the antenna support on streaming-TV boxes?


This kind of convergence will probably wait until the ATSC-3 conversion starts after 2019. With big changes coming in how OTA broadcast content is delivered, antennas may be the least of the technical challenges faced by streaming box manufacturers.

Back to Top

Wed 1040 10/04/2017

Phones, Retinal Scans Could Soon Replace Your Car Keys



Google Search Results Wrongly Name Man As Vegas Shooter



Before you update to iOS 11 here's how to check which apps won't work



How to Log In to Windows 10 With a Non-Microsoft Email Address



3 Billion Yahoo Accounts Hacked: What You Can Do



Report: Every iPhone X Earns Samsung $110

Such is Apple's reliance on Samsung for iPhone X components, the Korean company is going to make billions from its customer and main rival.



Cutting the cord? How to pick your streaming services



Why Do Password-strength Meters Give Different Results?

Password-strength meters don't always agree. My take is to avoid them completely.



Microsoft Ends Groove Music Pass, Offers Transition to Spotify



Turn OneNote Into Your Personal Cliff Notes Collection



Dell S2417DG monitor review: This bargain G-Sync display is a genuine steal



How to Create a (Well-Compressed) ZIP File



Windows 10 Search not finding files from Google Drive



'Rainbow Six Siege' update could make your PS4 crash (updated)

Ubisoft says it's working on a fix.



Why continuous backups on your Mac are a good idea



FBI: Car repair shop selling drugs was named, no kidding, 'Get Your Fix'



How to Use Virtual Desktops in Windows 10



Best Identity-Theft Protection 2017



How to Build a 4K Gaming PC in BitFenix's Portal Mini-ITX Case

When you have an interesting-looking, compact PC case like BitFenix's Portal, the only responsible thing to do is pack it full of high-end parts. We'll show you how.



3 awesome apps that block unwanted robocalls



When Is It Safe to Say “Yes” to User Account Control (UAC) Notifications?

User Account Control, or UAC, pops up when programs need special permission to do something. I'll look at when those are, and are not, appropriate.



Microsoft Ships Possible RTM Build of Fall Creators Update



Want to Install Elementary OS? 7 Reasons Why You Should!



Mixer is bringing its signature FTL streaming to its mobile apps



How to Connect to a VPN Automatically on Linux



Free email signature generators to create professional email signature



Facebook's 'M' AI assistant will help you choose a movie

Other new features include a GIF picker and quick replies.



How to keep Migration Assistant from overwriting existing files on a new Mac



Life after the iPhone — what it's like to switch to Android



How to Download a Backup Archive of All Your Gmail, Calendar, Docs, and Other Google Data



Protect Your Computer with This One Simple Trick



The Best VPNs for Netflix

VPNs protect your web traffic, but they don't always work with must-have services like Netflix. Here are the best VPNs (for now) that play nice with the popular video streaming app.



Don't fall for this incredibly tricky phone scam



'I don't need to understand how encryption works,' admits UK Home Secretary

Amber Rudd is fed up with “sneering” and “patronising” technology experts.



10 Lightroom editing skills every photographer should know

Discover how to get started with this powerful editing tool



Is Hulu Plus Worth Your Money?



OLED laptop display pros and cons



Google Play Protect: Android’s New Security System Explained



PNG vs JPG vs GIF vs BMP vs TIF: Image file formats explained



Roku reportedly has a 4K streaming stick on tap for this fall

And a new universal remote, too.



Troubleshoot and recover a Mac with a failed drive



Google Drive on PC/Mac is dead, long live Backup and Sync



How to Turn Off Live Photos on Your iPhone or iPad



Got a Netgear Router? You Should Probably Patch It Now



21 Hidden Roku Tricks for Streaming Success

We help you discover hidden features in your favorite streaming device.



Get certified refurbished electronics on the cheap



Android keyboard app misled 200 million users about how it was collecting data

Fortunately, that’s no longer the case…



How to hide files in images using OpenStego



How Do I Know VPNs Won’t Intercept Bank Login Details?



Never be without light again thanks to this rechargeable extremely bright $10 flashlight



How to Delete Old System Restore Points in Windows



Your connection was interrupted – ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED



Synthetic muscle breakthrough could lead to 'lifelike' robots

Researchers claim it's the closest artificial material equivalent to a natural muscle.



How to block all calls on your iPhone except those from your contacts



Google Drive goes down and takes worldwide productivity with it (updated)



Microsoft’s Roadmap Shows What’s Ahead for Office 365



Essential Tips to Avoid Getting Hacked



How to run old DOS programs in Windows 10



Comments by -- Joe Nowak

Latest copy of CyberHeistNews

Tue Oct.3, 2017 11:15 pm (PDT

CyberheistNews Vol 7 #39 New Evil Locky Ransomware Strain Evades Machine Learning Security Software


Back to Top

Tue 1039 10/03/2017

(NOTICE: All Yahoo! accounts have been breached.  Change your password immediately.)


Windows 10 Photos App Gets a Great Video Editor … with 3D Effects, Too



Dremel Announces 40 Watt Laser Cutter



iPhone 8 and 8 Plus hands-on: Familiar, but not too familiar



Apple ditches Bing for Google search results in Siri and Spotlight

Goodbye, Bing



How to Spot Fake Reviews on Amazon



Is a VR Headset Worth Buying in 2017?



An Ex-Google Engineer Is Founding a Religion to Worship AI. He’s Decades Too Late.



Best non-wearable sleep trackers to help you wake up refreshed



Hackers Locking, Ransoming Macs: How to Protect Yourself



Facebook will show ads based on the stores you visit in real life

If you allow Facebook to track your location, that is.



'Phish for the Future' spearphishing campaign set digital civil liberty activists in its sights

Well, you can’t say they weren’t persistent…



Best Laptops Under $300



How to open Microsoft Word documents in Apple Pages on a Mac



Apple iPhone X



Optimize your Solid State Drive with Crucial Storage Executive



This battery-free cellphone runs on light and radio waves



Talking to my thermostat feels like the future, but the present isn’t ready

Ecobee’s latest smart thermostat has Amazon’s Alexa built right in



17 Shift Key Shortcuts You Should Remember in Windows



7 Essential Tips for Safer Internet Banking



Apple Is Quietly Designing and Building Its Own Silicon Empire



The dangers of making your home a smart home



Would You Pay $1,750 for a Chromebook? Google Thinks So



Kodak’s app and chatbot will scour your photos for forgotten gems

They use algorithms and AI to find ‘Kodak Moments.’



Taboola ads exploited to serve up tech support scams

As always, users need to be careful about what they click.



This security camera offers a sweeping view of your home for $40



How to open Microsoft PowerPoint presentations in Apple Keynote on a Mac



Quantum Computer Cross a New Threshold



How to view the Advanced Threat Protection Reports



This Levi’s jacket with a smart sleeve is finally going on sale for $350



Use This USB Drive Trick to Secure Your Laptop in Public (or Anywhere Else)



The Best Free Alternatives for Microsoft Office



Apple Confirms Reports of iPhone 8s Splitting Open While Charging



How to properly secure your Android to keep snoops out



HP's New Chromebook x360 Offers Durability for Kids



Court rules Stingray use without a warrant violates Fourth Amendment

The ruling could have widespread implications for the technology.



How to install a VPN on your router



Spice up your Windows 10 Start Menu with Pin More



How to open Microsoft Excel spreadsheets in Apple Numbers on a Mac



New Malicious Ads Mine Cryptocurrency in Your Browser

Why bother infecting a PC when you can profit from mining cryptocurrency while your victim browses the Internet?



External Hard Drive not showing up or detected in Windows



Some phones and laptops are vulnerable to 'BlueBorne' exploit



Yubico's new authentication key is super tiny and works with USB-C ports



Sen. Franken to Apple: How Safe Is Face ID Really?



The Cheapest and Best 4K HDR Smart TVs You Can Buy



Useful Excel Tricks that Will Impress Your Boss



Is BabyX the Future of Silicon-Based Life Forms?



Turn your Apple gadget into a motion-activated security camera



[Windows Tip] Remove “Customize This Folder” Option from Context Menu



FTC lawsuit over D-Link’s lax router security just took a big hit

A judge dismissed half of the FTC’s complaint against D-Link.



20 iOS 11 tips and tricks you need to know to master your iPhone or iPad



How to create VideoScribe and whiteboard animations in PowerPoint 2016



Can ransomware hijack Mac backups? Yes, but...



How to set up ATP Safe Attachments policies in Office 365



Windows 10 will give you more control over app permissions



Paint.NET Comes to Windows Store



How to Fix: VM Can't Connect to Windows Server (No Trust Relationship)




Comments by -- Bob Primak --

FYI#1038 (Mon 10/02/2017

ISPs May Be Helping Hackers to Infect you with FinFisher Spyware

This article looks like it's closer to the source of these reports:


"All ESET products detect and block this threat as Win32/FinSpy.AA and Win32/FinSpy.AB. Using ESET’s Free Online Scanner, you can check your computer for its presence and remove it if detected. ESET customers are protected automatically."

The article reads almost like a scareware campaign to sell ESET security products, whose popularity has fallen in recent years.

FinSpy has been around since at least 2014, when there was a thread in Wilders Security about it and other alleged NSA spy tools. All major antimalware companies are aware of FinSpy and would detect and block it if such infected downloads or web page redirects were taking place. Emsisoft and Comodo are specifically mentioned here:


Note that the date of that thread was 2014.

The current ESET report is nothing new. It only adds the (unfounded) rumor that ISPs are complicit in redirecting users to infected download sites. Apparently, ESET is trying to capitalize on the recent reports of CCleaner being infected with malware.

I have the Emsisoft Emergency Kit (EEK) running on-demand on both of my Windows 10 devices, and have not yet encountered any warnings of this malware. My active antivirus is Avira on both devices. No warnings there either. Redirects of the type being alleged this time around should be picked up by any competent web browser, and should trigger warnings or blocked access.

I won't call this report a hoax, but I find it very difficult to believe, given that no one else (other than ESET) seems to be detecting this latest alleged threat. And no one else has accused ISPs of being complicit. ESET is a Russian based company, FWIW.

Just checking the version number of VLC Player et al is not going to prove anything, if the report has any merit at all.



See Also:






This is a problem related to the one I encountered with a certificate for the download site for Acrylic WiFi, where the Certificate Authority in question had been declared universally untrusted by Google. The problem cleared up only after the site's owners got new certificates, from a different issuing authority.


Why Equifax’s error wasn’t hiring someone with a music degree

Turns out that what you studied is a terrible indicator of infosec skills.

The mistake was a widespread corporate culture of not caring about data security. (Which is deeply ironic, considering the company's reticence in dealing with outside requests for annual credit reports or requests to change erroneous information.) It did not matter what the CEO had studied in school.


Get Control Over Your Writing with Nisus Writer Pro

The author's pathetic efforts to cover her own incompetence in writing this so-called article is almost as hilarious as the piece itself. (See Comments below the article.) And deeply ironic, given what the product claims to be doing.


[HACKED] A Reminder To Be Vigilant

If trusted software coming from the usual download site gets infected before it leaves the host server, most of the time there is no way to detect the infection until a signature or blacklist notice is developed. So we are too vigilant of what? And how are we to be vigilant? One thing to do is to send the download through VirusTotal, which might have found the infections inside of CCleaner, VLC Player and others recently reported. Another defense is to run antivirus scans on demand for every download which contains executable code. (Running automatic scans whenever new files show up uses a lot of computer resources, so is generally discouraged.)


How to do a free background check online

This must be a recycled old article. None of the links produced anything like a free online search service. The one link which did work did not find anyone in my address book. They all have extensive web presence.

Back to Top

Mon 1038 10/02/2017

1.9 Billion Data Records Exposed in First Half of 2017



ISPs May Be Helping Hackers to Infect you with FinFisher Spyware



The $999, eyebrow-raising iPhone X: David Pogue's hands-on review






The Best Home Security Cameras of 2017

If you want to keep an eye on what's happening at home when you're not there, but you don't want to invest in a full-fledged home security system, a Wi-Fi-connected camera is worth a look. These are the best we've tested.



The best Amazon Echo Alexa skills and commands: The best uses for your Echo



Google Daydream's web-browsing features surface in Chrome

The first set of features are available now in Chrome 61.



How Spear Phishing (Targeted Scam) Detection Works



How to Use Sparklines to Create Mini Graphs in an Excel Workbook



iOS 11: How Control Center works

Control Center gets a complete redesign, for the better.



Equifax or Equiphish?



Tame Your Overflowing Inbox 



Best Windows 10 apps of September 2017



Samsung reportedly working on a Windows Mixed Reality headset



iPhone X and iOS 11 details leaked by disgruntled Apple employee



How to Securely Send Large Files to Anyone With Firefox Send



The new iPhones vs. the iPhone 7: What's changed?



Bluetooth icon missing in Windows 10/8/7



The Best Projectors of 2017

Whether you want to display an important business presentation or the latest blockbuster, these are the top-rated projectors we've tested.



What is augmented reality?

AR is all the rage at the moment, but what is it?



Why Equifax’s error wasn’t hiring someone with a music degree

Turns out that what you studied is a terrible indicator of infosec skills.



Get Control Over Your Writing with Nisus Writer Pro



The Best iPad Writing Apps



How to stop spam emails from reaching your inbox



Google Experiment Tests Top 5 Browsers, Finds Safari Riddled With Security Bugs



[HACKED] A Reminder To Be Vigilant



How to use a keyboard and mouse with Xbox One



LG’s latest TVs will be able to stream Comcast cable next year



How to work at home for Amazon.com



Why Are the PCI Express Ports on My Motherboard Different Sizes? x16, x8, x4, and x1 Explained (traditional desktops)



To control AI, we need to understand more about humans



Block websites from using your CPU to mine Cryptocurrency



The Best To-Do List Apps of 2017

Get organized and complete tasks more quickly and more reliably by using the right to-do app. These are the top performers in our tests.



10 Photoshop editing skills every photographer should know

Get to grips with the best image-editing software available



The West Coast is finally getting an earthquake early warning system

This will save lives



Start Menu Not Working in Windows 10? Here’s How to Fix it



Amazon Alexa: The smart person's guide

Amazon Alexa is the leading digital assistant on the market. Find out more about this machine-learning innovation with our Alexa smart person's guide.



How to recover your files when your Mac won’t start up properly



Google continues the ongoing effort to communicate the transport security status of a given page labeling resources delivered via FTP as “Not secure” in Chrome,



The Windows Problem Steps Recorder Category: Windows



If Microsoft is the 'platform for everything,' does it really need a phone?



GPS will be accurate within one foot in some phones next year



Slay vampire electronics to save money



How to Replay a Snapchat Snap



4 reasons to choose the iPhone 8 over the iPhone X



Windows 10 stuck in an endless reboot loop



Should You Believe the Rumors About Kaspersky Lab?

Is Russian software company Kaspersky Lab colluding with the FSB? Stealing private information? Rumors abound, without any hard evidence to back them up.



How to free up disk space on an iPhone



'Vincent' AI transforms your rough sketch into a Van Gogh

By applying the history of human art, it takes style transfer to a new dimension.



How to Run iOS Apps on an Android Device



Report: SMBs paid $301M to ransomware hackers last year

About 5% of SMBs fell victim to ransomware attacks in the past year, leading to financial strain from downtime and data loss, according to a new survey from Datto.



When it Comes to Phishing the Best Defense is Education



How to copy a Live Photo from your Mac back to an iOS device



Getting Apple's iPhone 8 or iPhone X? Here's your upgrade checklist

You do have an upgrade checklist, right? If not, let us help you prepare for the newest iPhone.



Thursday Night Football streams free starting tonight with Amazon Prime Video

As though Amazon Prime members needed another benefit to brag about...



There's one good reason to update to macOS High Sierra



How to do a free background check online



How to Use a Physical Keyboard With Your iPad or iPhone



Apple streamlines iTunes 12.7 by removing the App Store






Comments by -- Bob Primak --

Re. FYI#1035 (Fri  9/29/2017):

Get a better night's sleep

Bonus Tip for a good night's sleep -- stop playing with your phone before bedtime!


Microsoft 365 recasts Windows 10 S laptops as inexpensive corporate machines

'Firstline workers' who staff service counters and support lines could get these PCs.

So, failing to displace Chromebooks in the classroom, Windows 10S devices look to the corporate field office for a Hail Mary. Brilliant marketing of this crippled version of Windows!


How to Let Someone Else Use Your Computer Without Giving Them Access to All Your Stuff

At least the author admits there is no Guest Account in Windows 10. Now if the author would only admit that the Visitor Account does not have the functions of a Guest Account. In any event, User Accounts can be restricted fairly easily, and this is often a better approach anyway, as specific limitations can be imposed, especially if you have the Pro version, with its Group Policies Editor. While Parental Controls are no longer natively supported for Local Login accounts, the GPE also allow similar restrictions fairly easily.


How to Change the Default Font in Windows 10

I'm not sure I'd want to be messing with the Windows Registry just to change the Default Font, unless I were having a lot of difficulty reading the existing Default.


Here's Why Your Password is Hackable 

The password tester linked in the article would not load into any browser I tried with ad blocking enabled.


What’s the Best Way to Back Up My Computer?

One key thing to remember is that sync is not backup. If you are syncing and anything gets corrupted, the online "backup" of the data may also get corrupted, and there's no restore option to revert to the previous (uncorrupted) version. Backup should be separate from anything which syncs. While useful, Cloud Backup does not cover total system loss. I for one use far too many tweaks and settings changes to reinstall from scratch and rebuild from there. You also lose all your installed and stand alone software. Reset or reinstall only work well if you use a stock OS and run only Store Apps. If you use anything else, run a backup program locally, make an extras copy of the archive, and consider getting one copy off site.


Experian makes it easy for someone to undo your credit freeze (updated)

Its procedure for obtaining credit file PINs asks for easily accessible information.

Experian's defense reeks of obfuscation and outrigh lying. If they really have additional measures in place, they should have named what kinds of measures these are, instead of once again repeating the Credit Bureau Mantra, "Trust Us".


11 Cheap Monitors (Under $150) Ranked from Best to Worst

What the article shows is that none of these cheap monitors is really much good for anything. Thanks. Didn't need an article to tell me that.


Re. FYI#1036  (Sat 9/30/2017):

Equifax breach shows signs of a possible state-sponsored hack

Even if this is true, how does knowing this help me get my identity back?


Microsoft 'Windows Core OS' aims to turn Windows 10 into a modular platform for the future

Strip this article of all the gobbledygook and all you have left is Windows 10S, running nothing but Windows Store Apps. This is not a valid blueprint for any future for Microsoft on any device.


How to Set Up Two-Factor Authentication in Ubuntu

Having to use a phone generated validation code every time I use a Sudo command makes this totally impractical for the way I use Ubuntu Linux. I'd be reaching for the phone every ten minutes or so. Fro account logins, this may make sense, although during maintenance restarts are frequent enough that the feature would have to be turned off. I hope they allow for this.


How to Disable SMBv1 and Protect Your Windows PC From Attack

I did this in Windows and Linux awhile ago. No one needs the old protocol anymore if all your systems are up to date.


The best Kodi add-ons and how to install them

The best Kodi add-ons to enhance your viewing experience

SickBeard, Couch Potato and ROM Collection Browser are still questionable from the piracy point of view. Just keep that in mind if you access content through these channels.


Ruling gives FAA more power over drones than local governments

A city in Massachusetts will now have to tweak its drone ordinance due to a landmark ruling.

I live just up the road from Newton, MA. I can tell you, with our topography and the contradictory rules regarding commercial flights vs. non-commercial flights, these municipal rules would be totally unworkable. This said, I have yet to see even one drone being operated over Newton or nearby towns. It is also true that town boundaries around here wind around the landscape so as to make having to get separate permits from each town you would overfly would be a nightmare of red tape and expense. MA property owners can get very territorial, and trying to please everyone when it comes to what can fly over your land or home is well nigh impossible around here. But this ordinance definitely needs some serious rewriting to become enforceable. I haven't looked into whether Waltham has any plans to regulate drone operations here. But Newton may be offering itself up as a test case for the entire Commonwealth. Nearby Lincoln, Lexington, Concord and Bedford have a worse issue -- they border on Hanscom Air Force Base, which has its own restrictions. And then there's the patchwork of municipal, State and Federal open lands, which change jurisdiction by the block around here. There needs to be a single, final authority to make regulations as uniform as possible.


Your Android lock screen pattern isn’t as safe as a PIN code

Don't most Android phones use a four-digit PIN? How does this compare?


Find constellations, planets and more with this unbelievable sky map

Why does this post have two links for the same Android App?


Apache Mounts Strong Defense, Equifax Retreats

So, was Equifax spreading malicious gossip that the Apache struts flaw it allowed to go unpatched was not in fact a known vulnerability with a readily available patch? Wow! Just wow.


3 Useful Windows Apps to Change Wallpapers Automatically Everyday

Who needs an App? I have a slideshow enabled, and I get plenty of variety.


The best air purifier

Your best option is from Coway.

The article was updated at:


But the conclusions are nearly the same. To be clear, Endgadget does not have a test lab for air purifiers.


Bitdefender Ransomware Recognition Tool will help identify Ransomware

Or maybe not so useful:


Still the best security against ransomeware is a good, unconnected backup.


Re. FYI#1037 (Sun 10/01/2017):

Should You Believe the Rumors About Kaspersky Lab?

No. You should use whatever security products you feel are the best match for your own situation. Do not base your choices on country of origin.


How to Restore Closed Tabs in Various Browsers [Quick Tips]

As ling as I haven't cleared the browser history, Chrome does this quite easily.


Get Your Free Credit Reports Online

There are those of us who due to special circumstances, cannot get our credit reports online.


Nvidia’s CEO Declares Moore’s Law Dead

What the article proves is that Moore's Law, like many other tech metrics, does not operate by itself, and is therefore not the only standard by which to measure progress in hardware design. And yes, Moore's Law, in the strictest sense, broke for pure CPUs in about 2012.


Process Manager for Windows lets you manage processes easily

Tools like this one are becoming less and les useful as the Windows 10 Task Manager is expanded and takes in more features.


Sprint and T-Mobile could merge in late October

Talks are supposedly close to wrapping up.

I would not count on automatic regulatory approval. Other than that, I have no objection to this.


What Is “SmartScreen” and Why Is It Running on My PC?

For folks like me who know Windows and know PCs pretty well, this is yet another "feature" which at best does nothing but take up resources, and at worst makes us jump through hoops to do simple tasks. I have it disabled on all devices because it would not let me download, install and run utilities like the Nir Sofer utilities. These are powerful tools and could be used maliciously, but they are perfectly benign when I am the one launching them for my own use. And yes, nearly all third-party security software totally covers what Smarscreen is designed to do. So it's really only useful if you use nothing but Windows Defender and Edge Browser or Internet Explorer.


Don’t sign up for Equifax’s free credit monitoring - Here’s what to do instead

Kim Komando really loves Lifelock, doesn't she? More seriously, freezing your credit is preventive, while any monitoring service is only informative after the fact.


Why You Should Replace Windows’ Default Image Viewer With IrfanView

I've been a fan of IrfanView for many years, and more recently, of the Linux utility XnViewMP, which is quite similar.


Can You Use Your Gaming Laptop for Video Editing?

Some folks can do this, but it really strains most laptops, resulting in a lot of heat buildup. So, if a lot of transcoding will be taking place, this is probably not a good use case for a gaming laptop.


Google Deletes Inactive Android Device Backups After 2 Months

Good to know, but if I understand correctly, I probably don't have anything valuable backed up anyway. My photos are about the only large stash of anything on there, and those go to Google Drive as part of Google Photos and manual uploads anyway, so they're safe from automatic deletions.


23 Cool Firefox About:Config Tricks You Need to Learn

Old, recycled article. Many of these settings may not work anymore. And there are (or were, before the elimination of most extensions) extensions to do many of these tasks.

Back to Top

Sun 1037 10/01/2017

DHS cyberinsurance research producing insights about security trends

The US Department of Homeland Security says it's starting to see interesting security trends based on a long-term research project into cyberinsurance markets.



Apple Watch will soon support a huge variety of workouts



Should You Believe the Rumors About Kaspersky Lab?

Is Russian software company Kaspersky Lab colluding with the FSB? Stealing private information? Rumors abound, without any hard evidence to back them up.



How to Restore Closed Tabs in Various Browsers [Quick Tips]



macOS High Sierra: How to use Reader mode in Safari 11

Want to visit websites without annoying ads, videos, and other distractions? Safari's Reader mode is the way to go.



Take control of all your email accounts with Postbox 5, now just $30!

Dealing with a single email account these days can be a pain due to the amount of spam and other unwanted correspondence we receive on an hourly basis. What about dealing with multiple accounts?



How to Middle Click on a Laptop Touchpad



Nest Cam IQ Outdoor: First look

Nest's new Nest Cam IQ Outdoor matches some of the image recognition smarts from Nest's indoor sensor and a more sturdy housing.



Get Your Free Credit Reports Online



MacOS High Sierra Already Hacked: Here's What to Do



Nvidia’s CEO Declares Moore’s Law Dead



Woman says hacker spied on her through the baby monitor

Did a “smart” device get hacked?



Asus' new ZenBook Pro is the thinnest and fastest ZenBook Pro ever



Process Manager for Windows lets you manage processes easily



5 of the biggest tech myths busted



Sprint and T-Mobile could merge in late October

Talks are supposedly close to wrapping up.



Redesigned Jaunt VR app hits Windows Mixed Reality next month



Google Pixel 2: What We Know

New Google Pixels will likely appear on Oct. 4. Here's what we know about them so far.



You can mount HFS+ volumes with High Sierra and APFS



How to annotate EPUB files in Microsoft Edge



Top 4 Retro Add-Ons for Your Apple Devices



What Is “SmartScreen” and Why Is It Running on My PC?



Price Busters For Online Shoppers Category: Shopping



Liquid Nitrogen Drives 18-Core Core i9-7980XE Above 6GHz (this is too extreme for over 99% of us)



The Best Refurbished Laptop Deals Right Now



Woman says hacker spied on her through the baby monitor

Did a “smart” device get hacked?



Microsoft is releasing Office 2019 next year



Windows 10 Cortana Ask Me Anything not working



Don’t sign up for Equifax’s free credit monitoring - Here’s what to do instead



Nintendo rolls out two-step authentication for online accounts

It works through the Google Authenticator app.



Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone 8 and iPhone 7s Details Surface After Leaks



7 Signs You Have Malware and How to Get Rid of It

PC acting strange? These warning signs could mean that your computer's security has been compromised. Here's what to do.



How to change an Apple ID email address without access to that email address



Seagate 8TB Game Drive Hub HDD review: Space for so many games! (a bit over-board)



The Best Safari Extensions for Mac Users



Why You Should Replace Windows’ Default Image Viewer With IrfanView



Plex now streams the news for free, with no media server needed

The media server mainstay branches out with personalized news from the web.



New Internet Explorer Security Bug Exposes Search



How to test your home internet connection speed

Stop waiting on a slow Internet connection and do something about it! Testing your internet connection only takes a few minutes, and it can help you figure out how to address network issues.



Can You Use Your Gaming Laptop for Video Editing?



Your Android lock screen pattern isn’t as safe as a PIN code



Bill Gates now uses an Android phone



GSmartControl is an easy way to check the health of your Hard Drive



How to protect your mobile device from smishing



The iPhone 8’s glass back costs way more to repair than the front

It’s subject to ‘other damage’ fees not those for screen repair.



Apple iPhone 7 VS. iPhone 8: Is It Really Worth The Upgrade?



Google Deletes Inactive Android Device Backups After 2 Months

If you don't use your smartphone for two months, no notification is sent and your backup will be removed from Google Drive Backup.



23 Cool Firefox About:Config Tricks You Need to Learn



iOS 11: The Notes app and how it works

New features for the most versatile app on your iPhone or iPad.



Everything you need to know before buying an external hard drive



What Is YouTube TV, and Can It Replace Your Cable Subscription?



Microsoft Digs Deeper to Bankroll Open Source Initiative



How to Fix: Disable Full Screen Popup Ads in Android



How to tell which iPad model you have

It's easy if you know where to look.



How to Add Decimal Points Automatically in Excel



Internet Explorer bug can reveal the contents of your address bar



Intel investigates chips designed like your brain to turn the AI tide

A rivals close in, the chipmaker takes a punt on ‘neuromorphic’ processors



Best free Sticky Notes for Windows PC



4 apps that stop texting and driving



Some brave soul volunteered for a completely robotic dental surgery

The robot implanted 3D-printed teeth into a woman without help from dentists.



I don’t want the new iPhone X and I can't be alone



The definitive guide to privacy settings in Windows 10 Creators Update

Here's everything you need to know about Windows 10’s many and varied privacy settings -- and how to claw some of your privacy back.


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