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Previous News & Tips Weekly Page - 3/11/18 - 3/17/18 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 3/17/2018 1204
Fri 3/16/2018 1203
Thur 3/15/2018 1202
Wed 3/142018 1201
Tue 3/13/2018 1200
Mon 3/12/2018 1199
Sun 3/11/2018 1198

Sat 1204  3/17/2018

Hackers continue to exploit hijacked MailChimp accounts in cybercrime campaigns



Russian-Linked Hackers Target Foreign Ministries

The hacking group, known as Fancy Bear, is best known for breaching the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 US election.



Get a $250 9.7-inch iPad with Best Buy's Tax Time Tech Sale, along with other Apple goodies

iPads, MacBook Airs, Apple TVs, and Beats headphones are all on sale at Best Buy for the next three days.



If your new PC won't boot at all, check your RAM is properly installed

Nothing happening when you boot your new PC for the first time? Check your RAM.



Best PDF and eBook Reader Apps for Windows 10



46% of orgs never change cybersecurity strategy, even after attack or breach

Security professionals still struggle to prevent attackers from breaking into internal networks, according to a CyberArk report.



Facebook may have broken FTC deal in Cambridge Analytica incident

It comes as the whistleblower accuses Facebook of punishing him.



3 Ways to Fix: Install Failed During First_Boot Sysprep Operation



Millennial habits may bring an end to the password era

Millennials use passwords less than others and as they come to dominate the workforce, their online authentication habits impact the way employers and technology companies provide access to devices and applications.



When It's Time for a Linux Distro Change



Facebook has suspended the account of the whistleblower who exposed Cambridge Analytica



How to Fix Google Play Services’ Battery Drain on Android



5 Search Features Google Removed (And How to Bring Them Back)



Lenovo Is Discounting Its Previous-Gen and Current-Gen ThinkPads



Reddit Removes Accounts Tied to Russian Propaganda

Reddit's CEO, however, indicated that there's many grey areas related to online propaganda that simply can't all be banned.



Get a 2016 128GB iPad Pro with Wi-Fi and cellular at Costco for just $400

It's only available in gold or rose gold, but the previous-generation 9.7-inch iPad Pro remains an impressive device for work and play.



Chime in: Do you prefer OneDrive or Amazon's cloud storage?

Do you rely on Microsoft or Amazon when it comes to storing your files online?



How to use Morph Transition feature in PowerPoint



Western Digital's experimental NVMe-linked SD card could be world's fastest

NVMe capable SD cards could be the potential solution to the slow speeds of SD cards, making high speed use cases such as DSLR cameras more efficient.



Congress wants answers from Facebook about Cambridge Analytica

A Senator has asked how Facebook could have given info without permission.



Best Camera Apps for Android of 2018



Browser stored personal information there for the taking: Report



Kudos to Namib Linux for Making Arch Approachable



Rylo’s shoot first, frame later camera is ideal for casual adventure-seekers



12 Awesome Games You Can Play on Your Chromebook



How to Unlock a Carrier-Locked Phone: Your Guide to Mobile Freedom



Cheaper 13-inch MacBook Coming in June with Retina Display (Report)



$2 Million Worth of PCs Stolen for Bitcoin Mining

Thieves in Iceland stole about 600 computers to mine cryptocurrencies, according to police.



iPad 2018 rumors: New iPad Pro design with Face ID to launch at WWDC in June

If you want to get a sense of where the iPad will go in 2018, look to the iPhone X.



How to clean boot Windows 10 (and why you might want to)

Boot Windows with only crucial drivers and programs to diagnose problems.



How to troubleshoot Time related errors on secure websites for Firefox



Apple patent hints at dual-screen Macbook, iPad

A patent filed by Apple for a dual-screen, 360-degree hinged device may reveal the next-gen Macbook users have been clamoring for.



IBM's tiniest computer is smaller than a grain of rock salt

It's also blockchain-ready.



Poisoned BitTorrent client kickstarted malware outbreak that tried to infect 400,000 PCs



Explainer: What is private browsing and how can it keep you safe online?

Private-browsing capabilities are baked into the internet browsers you use everyday. Here's why it's important.



ASRock Z370 Extreme4 ATX Review: A Solid Coffee Lake Board for Value-Minded Enthusiasts



6 Great Gardening Gadgets to Improve Your Gardening Experience



Do You Think that Violent Video Games Can Do Harm?



How to Cast Local Media From Windows to Chromecast



Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-576G-5762) Review



US Carriers Prep ID Protection That Goes Beyond Passwords

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon have been working on the platform since last September through a joint taskforce.



Report: Apple is developing high-end noise-cancelling headphones

These over-the-ear cans would compete with Bose and Apple's own Beats brand.



Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 review: New processor, new ports, more security



Photos Companion App: Transfer Photos from iPhone and Android to Windows 10 PC



Report: 52% of companies sacrifice security to expedite projects

Businesses can be exposed to vulnerabilities when professionals prioritize a deadline over security, according to research from Threat Stack.



Threat of Russian cyber reprisal puts UK finance, power and water on high alert

Britain’s infrastructure ready as intelligence service warns of risk of virtual strike by Moscow



Report: Samsung Galaxy S9 is Not Durable



Google Web Designer 3.0 makes HTML 5 web content easy to build across multiple devices and platforms

Google has released Google Web Designer 3.0 Beta, its HTML5 content-producing tool for Windows, Mac and Linux.



Microsoft wants to force Windows 10 Mail users to use Edge for email links

A desperate move to grab browser share



Nest’s Long-Awaited Doorbell and Smart Lock Are Now On Sale



Triada Malware Preinstalled on Low-Cost Android Phones – Here’s How to Beat It



How to Increase Dedicated Video RAM in Windows 10



How to Change Your Mac's Default Screenshot Directory



Twitter: We Know the Platform Is Toxic, Please Help Us Fix

Jack Dorsey wants ideas for how best to measure Twitter's 'conversational health.'



Comments by -- Bob Primak --

Re. FYI #1203  (Fri 3/16/2018):

How to create a Test Account on Facebook without email or phone number

So, this is for testing site design or features? Looks like something a business or organization might try, but individuals might have a lot fewer uses for this type of account.


Intel Patches All Recent CPUs, Promises Hardware Fixes For Upcoming 8th Gen Chips

In testing with Windows 10, Gibson Research InSpectre sees my Intel NUC as fully patched. In Linux, there's a more granular script, and this shows at least one CPU vulnerability not patched at the firmware level, and two or more Intel microcode vulnerabilities not patched at the OS level. The Intel microcode patching level is OS dependent, but the hardware CPU patching level is not OS dependent. So, it looks like InSpectre may be missing something.


Newly discovered Slingshot malware was hidden in routers for 6 years

The malware was used against targets in the Middle East and Africa.

Like Stuxnet, now that the malware has been documented, expect it to show up in other places soon. And like Stuxnet, this malware needs an infected USB device to spread -- at this moment. The other thing reported is that as of now, only routers from Latvia, which do not check for signing of firmware updates, have been compromised -- but this could change.


How To Set Up Google Chromecast

When I set up my Chromecast, I had it plugged into my router with an Ethernet cable before doing anything else. It worked just fine for the Google Home App setup.


Your cord-cutting questions answered

Regarding adding PBS content to a streaming device --

I'm surprised the author didn't find this:


(I emailed him with this information.)


Intel Teases Chip Redesign to Stop Meltdown, Spectre Flaws

They're not just teasing -- they will -- they must -- do this. And soon. But it won't solve all possible chipset microcode flaws. Whenever this happens, it will not be necessary to go out and buy new hardware. Not yet anyway.


Samsung Power Outage Kills 3.5% Of Global Flash For March

And the conspiracy theories are already pouring in. Sometimes an accident is just an accident. And no, you cannot have a backup generator which turns over so quickly and so smoothly that the sensitive processes in chip wafer making will not be affected. The real problem is that so few facilities make NAND Flash chips, and none of them is in the US. That is scary.


Best Miracast and Screen-Mirroring Devices 2018

My ScreenBeam Mini has the advantage of not using the TV's USB port for power. Otherwise, no arguments with these selections. (For 4K HD content the ScreenBeam will need to undergo an upgrade. No details on when this may occur.)


Compress videos to reduce size using Simple Video Compressor

Format Factory still does this job. So do Handbrake (but it's more difficult to use), AVIDemux and Miro Video Converter, all of which also have Linux versions, and all of which will do the job with free versions.

Links and info:



Trump Blocks Broadcom, Qualcomm Tech Deal

See also:

Qualcomm’s former exec chair will exit after exploring an acquisition bid


It turns out, the main sticking point which the trump Administration acted on, was the fact that Broadcom is currently headquartered in Singapore. This raised issues of foreign investment. This is different from antitrust concerns which I had assumed were the basis of the Administration's complaint. Either way, even though Broadcom offered to move to a US location, the deal seems to have fallen apart, and those involved in arranging it are losing their jobs. Dell in 2013 had tried to take over Qualcomm and that deal also fell apart.


From My Own reading:

Microsoft tests forcing Windows Mail users to open links in Edge

This isn't going to end well.


(That's the author's assessment, but I agree totally.)


Cortana won't let you search with Google in Windows 10

Microsoft's digital assistant will only work with Bing and the Edge browser from now on.



Cortana lets hackers in Windows even when it's locked



Microsoft lifts update embargo on Windows 10

But Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs must still contain approved antivirus to receive post-Spectre/Meltdown patches.



A New York town just placed a moratorium on crypto mining

The practice is jacking up electricity prices.



New Yorker applied machine learning to blocked bike lane problem


Well, I suppose the first step toward solving the problem is to document it. But this alone will not solve the problem. Boston area communities have taken bike lanes very seriously, and I find them seldom blocked. Except by snow piles, that is! (We're having an unusually late spring this year.) Contrast this with the Chicago suburbs, where a bike lane is as rare as a motorist who yields to pedestrians when making a right turn on red. (The City of Chicago does a better job, thanks to Mayor Daley (the younger) who used to be a bike enthusiast.)


Honeywell Stock Split History: What the Next Move Means for Shareholders


What's interesting is that Honeywell seems to be breaking itself up into separate units. Also interesting is what diverse things this company is doing, given their tech roots.


What everyone gets wrong about touchscreen keyboards


I'm still not sold. It seems with so many very tight tolerances, these virtual keyboards will have a high rate of failures and driver issues. Your preferred keyboard could disappear as fast as a piece of freeware or a free app can disappear or change so much as to be useless.

Back to Top

Fri 1203  3/16/2018

How to create a Test Account on Facebook without email or phone number



Intel Patches All Recent CPUs, Promises Hardware Fixes For Upcoming 8th Gen Chips



Newly discovered Slingshot malware was hidden in routers for 6 years

The malware was used against targets in the Middle East and Africa.



How To Set Up Google Chromecast



How to update Microsoft Surface Dock firmware

Microsoft's Surface Dock occasionally receives firmware updates, and you can manually download and install them using the Surface Dock Updater. Here's how.



Firework lets you convert Websites to Desktop Applications



YouTube Reviewers OK Terror Group Videos






Your cord-cutting questions answered

Advice on making old TVs smart, getting local TV without an antenna, picking the best bundle, and more.



What Is Fuchsia, Google’s New Operating System?



Intel Teases Chip Redesign to Stop Meltdown, Spectre Flaws

The first chips to feature the hardware protections, including the Xeon line and eighth-generation Intel Core processors, will arrive in the second half of 2018.



Logitech's backlit Create keyboard case for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is 42% off on Amazon

A decent case if you're hyping about typing.



13 Free Space Combat, Exploration, and Simulation Games for PC



Help Me, Laptop: I Need a Laptop for a 10th Grader



Samsung Power Outage Kills 3.5% Of Global Flash For March



How to apply an Excel validation control that protects a specific limit

Don't stop with simple validation controls. In this article, you'll learn how to use custom formulas to limit data input.



Best Miracast and Screen-Mirroring Devices 2018



How to remap Xbox One controller buttons on Windows 10

You can remap your Xbox One controller buttons to anything you want, and in this guide, we'll show you how to do it.



Compress videos to reduce size using Simple Video Compressor



Trump Blocks Broadcom, Qualcomm Tech Deal






Reolink Argus 2 review: Better than its predecessor in all the right ways

All the impressive features of the original, but now with a rechargeable battery.



How to Make Facebook Less Annoying



How to Turn On 'Do Not Disturb While Driving' on iOS

Keep your eyes on the road; here's how to silence distracting messages.



Apple is holding an education event on March 27 in Chicago

The invitation reveals few details, but it takes place at a high school and Apple calls it a 'Field Trip', so education products are a natural fit.



How to Use Microsoft OneNote for Work



Kano Computer Kit Review 



CTS Labs Speaks: Why It Blindsided AMD With Ryzenfall And Other Vulnerabilities



5 tips to make macOS more efficient on the go

When on the go, you need to work as efficiently as possible. If you use macOS, there are plenty of tiny ways to gain a boost to your workflow. These five tips are sure to help.



What to Do If Your Roku Remote Is Lost or Broken



Free version of Microsoft Teams may be on the way to challenge Slack

A free tier of Microsoft Teams could be on the way if references spotted in the latest developer preview are anything to go by.



How to Enable or Disable a Windows 10 User Account



New Raspberry Pi Packs More Power



Amazon’s Is Rolling Out “Brief Mode” For Some Echo Users to Make Alexa Less Talkative



How to play music you own on an Amazon Echo

Use your personal music collection with Alexa, even after Amazon Music Storage shuts down.



Ex-Equifax exec charged with insider trading after selling $1 million worth of stock before data breach disclosure




Samsung Galaxy S9+: First Impressions



Smarten up your dumb devices with this $20, two-for-one smart plug deal

You can get a two-pack of the Keewifi Kisslink smart plug for $20, a 50 percent savings.



The 50 Cool Uses for Live CDs



The Best Refurbished Laptop Deals Right Now



Arctic Freezer 33 TR CPU Cooler Review: Breezy & Quiet...for Threadripper?



Apple patents keyboard that resists liquid, dust, and crumbs

In a patent filing, Apple described a number of mechanisms that could be built into MacBook keyboards to prevent damage from contaminants.



How to Use Google Chromecast with iPad, iPhone and Android



5 essential cable management tips

Drowning in cords, cables, and wires? We're here to help.



Stop Firefox from opening new tabs when clicking a link



Kali Linux Security App Lands in Microsoft Store



A Cyberattack in Saudi Arabia Had a Deadly Goal. Experts Fear Another Try.



NICE alliance aims to make home security cameras smarter

A consortium including Sony, Nikon, and other leading tech brands and manufacturers is working to standardize and improve the DIY security experience.



Alert (TA18-074A)

Russian Government Cyber Activity Targeting Energy and Other Critical Infrastructure Sectors



Microsoft Rolling Out New Outlook.com Design to All Users



Where Apple’s reinvention of the keyboard may go next

Would Apple consider one day replacing the Mac’s physical keyboard with a touchscreen?



10 Free Apps to Fix Common Mac Quirks and Annoyances



AMD Investigating Reports of Ryzen Flaws



Breaking Down The New Security Flaws In AMD's Ryzen, EPYC Chips



(Video) Introducing the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+



Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Is More Powerful, Still Just $35



Comments by -- Bob Primak --

Re FYI# 1202  (Thurs 3/15/2018)


Why Your Linux OS Ships With a Default Desktop Environment

When I was modifying my Chromebook to work with Fedora, the chrx install script had the option of choosing your desktop environment. Due to limited resources on most Chromebooks, Xfce is the preferred choice, not the default of GNOME. So I simply used the parameters to get Xfce, and that's what I have in there now. Xfce is more spartan than GNOME, and therefore a bit less intuitive to use, but everything is there, if you know where to look for it.


Windows 10 update KB4090007, KB4091663, KB4091664 release with Intel microcode patch

For my NUC, I applied the stand alone patch for Skylake m-series processors on Windows 10 version 1703, 64-bits. Gibson Research's InSpectre reported all vulnerabilities are patched. Then I went over to Ubuntu Linux on the same hardware and ran the Spectre-Meltdown vulnerability script. The hardware was found to have an unpatched vulnerability. So it appears that InSpectre is missing something. Mind you, this is hardware, not the OS kernel, which was being reported as unpatched in Linux but patched in Windows. These two findings cannot both be present at the same time on the same hardware, if the detection programs are doing their job properly. I am aware that the Linux kernel has not yet been fully patched for Intel Microcode.


Free tool to edit PDF files

This tool allows you to edit links within a PDF File, not to edit the PDF document itself.

Microsoft Blocks All Windows 7 Security Updates Unless You Have Antivirus

So who's running Windows 7 without antivirus? Only people who turn a blind eye toward getting infected. In any event, no more updates might prompt people to get with the program and upgrade to Windows 10 or go with a different OS. I'm going with Linux.


Comments by -- Joe Nowak

Cell Phone Photos that go Beyond Selfies.

Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:03 pm (PDT)

Here are 8 things you can do with your cell phone camera other than just taking selfies.


Back to Top

Thur 1202  3/15/2018

Vulnerability in Robots Can Lead To Costly Ransomware Attacks (don't forget arm like robots that build things we buy and use, like cars)



What to Do if an App is Incompatible with Your Chromebook



U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in Microsoft data privacy case

The U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments in Microsoft's data privacy fight with the Justice Department on Tuesday.



Free software to change Folder icon color in Windows 10



How to Be More Efficient with Quick Parts and Building Blocks in Microsoft Word



Common Cyber Attacks: Reducing the Impact



Hands-on video review with Windows 10 build 17618 (This is what is happening with the Fall 2018 version 1809)

Video review with Windows 10 build 17618 new features and changes, including Sets, tabs in File Explorer, Action Center, Microsoft Edge, and more.



‘Technology alone can’t defeat cybercrime’



Broadcom-Qualcomm Deal Needed to Die, But Not This Way

The government's decision to stop Broadcom from buying Qualcomm protects US innovation. But it was done because of dangerously overblown fears about Huawei and China.



Cyberspace is the New Battlespace



Half of Ransomware Victims Recovered Their Data After Paying the Ransom Demand



How to stop Facebook from blasting auto-play video



Apple Acquires Digital Magazine Subscription Service Texture



3 Reasons to Download Windows Desktop Apps From the Microsoft Store



Apple WWDC 2018 Starts on June 4: Here's What to Expect



How to Use Alexa’s New Follow-Up Commands



Windows 10 'Timeline' is truly useful, but its success is uncertain

Timeline is a new feature coming in the next Windows 10 update that lets users resume activities across devices up to 30 days in the past, but its success will rely on what developers support it.



How to transfer Xbox One Games and Apps to external Hard Drive



myTuner Radio – A Free Cross-Platform Internet Radio App



5 Ransomware Trends to Watch in 2018



Social media phishing on the rise as attackers experiment with tactics



Security Think Tank: Social engineering at the heart of fileless malware attacks



Report: Nvidia Working on New Cryptocurrency GPUs to Relieve Consumer Market (notice in the picture the lack of external connectors for normal use)



"ComboJack" Malware Steals Multiple Virtual Currencies



FTC Study: Millennials Are The Biggest Victims Of Social Engineering



Quick and simple way to listen to radio stations worldwide



Amazon Prime Now Comes With Free Games Every Month



Why Your Linux OS Ships With a Default Desktop Environment



What Is Amazon Prime?



How To Upgrade and Install a New Graphics Card in Your PC



Access Points vs. Mesh: How to get the best Wi-Fi coverage

Does your old router still work well enough or is it time for something new?



Make Cortana perform custom tasks on Windows 10



How to Overclock Your AMD GPU with AMDGPU on Linux



Schools Teach 'Cyber Hygiene' to Combat Phishing, Identity Theft

Common mistakes cause big problems



Windows 10 update KB4090007, KB4091663, KB4091664 release with Intel microcode patch

Microsoft releases updates to mitigate Spectre security vulnerabilities on more Intel processors running the latest and older versions of Windows 10.



Madison Square Garden has been secretly scanning fans with facial recognition



How to Watch March Madness Online

Your ultimate guide to the apps, devices, and streaming services with live access to all the 2018 NCAA Tournament games.



Windows 10 flaw allowed attackers to open malicious websites… even if your PC was locked



Cryptocurrency-stealing malware relies on victims copy-pasting wallet info

Data from over 200 Pen Tests Shows Most Common Vulnerabilities.



Free tool to edit PDF files



Microsoft Plans “Biggest E3 Showing Ever”



How to Stream Videos From VLC to Chromecast



What Is Kodi? Everything You Need to Know



Social Engineering is the new norm in hacking



Cyber threats are ‘coming at us from all sides,’ FBI director says



Everything Surrounding These New AMD Security Allegations Reeks of a Hit Job



Inside the Profitable Underworld of Ransomware

The FBI says that the ransomware “business” continues to turn a handsome profit, and attacks are only getting more sophisticated.



Fake DHL Shipment Notification delivers a password stealer keylogger



Hardcoded Password Found in Cisco Software



Microsoft is in Talks to Join Movies Anywhere



Make Google Search Great Again with These Five Sites & Apps



Exclusive: Inside HGTV's 2018 Smart Home (of Your Dreams)



Microsoft Blocks All Windows 7 Security Updates Unless You Have Antivirus



Comments by -- Bob Primak --


Re. FYI#1201 (Wed 3/14/2018):


So it looks like April 2018. That might be a good time to upgrade my PC to Version 1709 (Fall Creators Update). We have already seen Microsoft declare that Version 1709 is "ready for business", but enough bugs still keep showing up, especially with Version 1709 MS Updates, that sites like Ask Woody have not yet recommended installing Version 1709, let alone the upcoming Version 1803.


Best TV Tuner software for Windows 10 PC

The top three listed here are all good by most reports, so the choice comes down to exactly how you want to use the software, and how much (if anything) you want to pay, as well as how much work you want to do to get the applications up and running. The others are software I have read much less about, so I'm not sure how good they are supposed to be.


What is the HEIF (or HEIC) Image Format?

More info:


Irfanview does not support HEIF/HEIC:


XnView/XnView MP does support HEIF/HEIC:


Google is pushing a competing standard called WebP:


Both Irfanview and XnView support WebP:



Report Claims AMD Ryzen, EPYC CPUs Contain 13 Security Flaws (Updated)

These flaws are not easy to exploit, especially if you're not part of a corporate domain or network. Announcing these flaws was unethical, according to many in the tech press, and so there has been an effort not to report further about these flaws unless in the wild exploits start showing up. This is not like Meltdown or Spectre. And there aren't any patches yet.


I’ve Lost All My Passwords, What Do I Do?

This is the problem with a password manager -- what if you lose or forget the Master Password? So, people write down that Master Password and store it out in the open (or, hidden in plain sight -- https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/hidden_in_plain_sight ), near their PC or phone. Which defeats the purpose of using a password manager. See Leo's article on how to export an unencrypted backup version of the password vault, and where to store the backup: (Lastpass can import and re-encrypt the Vault.)



5 of the Best Online Photo Editors You Can Use for Free

I don't like hanging out online to edit photos. And I really don't like risking that my photos could be screen scraped and reused without my permission.


Xiaomi made a $100 mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches, and it's fantastic

... not to mention, expensive!


Find out if programs are recording your every keystroke

This is an out of date program, never even ported to 64-bit PCs or to Windows Vista. A false sense of security is worse than no security at all.


Watch Out For These Dirty Tricks From Discounted Software Resellers

This includes deeply discounted Windows OS licenses. Especially from sites which sell the keys without the download or the media.


Trump Permanently Blocks $117 Billion Broadcom Bid For Qualcomm

As I stated before, if this Administration doesn't like the deal from an anti-trust point of view, it can't be a good deal for consumers and corporate customers.


What’s the Difference Between Windows 10 Home vs Pro Editions?

Beyond the ability to set limits on Microsoft Updates, the Pro version has features which I find useful. So I have always gone with Pro in spite of the added cost. More recently I've been running Linux almost exclusively.


[CCleaner Tip] Restore Classic Cleaning Results Screen Containing Full Files List

This is one case where I prefer an app which spares me the details. I also use Glary Utilities, which on its main screen, shows even less detail, but tells what categories and how many files will be deleted. Windows Disk Cleanup is even more sparse in what details it shows on its main screens.


How to Clean Your Windows Computer: The Ultimate Checklist

I have bad news for Windows users -- cleaning the Registry , defragmenting the hard drive (or performing Trim on an SSD) and cleaning out temp files will not improve modern PC performance. Neither will deleting files and folders from the Programs and Programs_x86 areas. Unless there's a huge download stuck in the Upgrade Files, Disk Cleanup also won't improve performance. The one exception is if Microsoft Updates needs to be cleaned up. This can result in slow updating or stuck and repeating downloads, which will slow performance. Cleaning out old driver versions will not improve performance unless they are still in use and causing conflicts. (That will usually show up in the Windows Device Manager as those yellow triangles.)


Tim Berners-Lee: Maybe Regulation Can Fix Social Media

Regulation is exactly what social media do not need. At least in the US (and in many other free countries) we take very seriously the right to Free Speech. Government regulations on social media would be almost as antithetical to this concept as putting government regulations on news media. Users simply have to develop better skills and awareness about identifying Fake News and exercising critical thinking before passing on rumors and unverified raw reports. Education, not regulation, is the best remedy. Without making users more aware about social media, American democracy is in danger of being permanently corrupted and subverted.


How to completely uninstall BlueStacks from Windows PC

First of all, why does the author want to uninstall BlueStacks from Windows? Beyond that point, why not use the simpler and safer Geek Uninstaller and be done with the process in two steps? I have no issues with using third-party utility software in Windows or Linux, if it automates and simplifies complex tasks. Just as long as what the software is doing is well documented and user configurable. At critical points in the process, I may want control over what is deleted and what is kept.


Can These High-Tech Eye Drops Improve Your Vision?

Until this is fully tested and gets FDA approval, I would stay very far away from this and also from LASIK. If done improperly, these sorts of methods can cause permanent damage to vision. In the case of LASIK, you need to trust the person who does the procedure. Many folks claim they can do LASIK, but only a few doctors really know how to use the equipment skillfully and safely. I would trust a smartphone app and eye drops even less.


Infected Routers Spread Malware, Log Keystrokes

The main problem here was in allowing the routers to be remotely managed. But there may also have been an issue with unsigned firmware updates, which is solved by manufacturers requiring signing of all updates. Even if this was a State sponsored targeted attack, as Stuxnet proved, such attacks have a nasty habit of getting spread onto the Dark Web and going into the wild from there. So the moral of this story seems to be, don't get your router from Latvia.

Back to Top

Wed 1201 3/14/2018

Windows 10 Spring Update is coming, here's what you need to know




Now with the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update is nearly finalized, there's one question that still remains: When will it release? And here's the answer.



Best TV Tuner software for Windows 10 PC



Everyday tech you never knew you needed



How to Save Battery Life on Android for Beginners



What is the HEIF (or HEIC) Image Format?



Report Claims AMD Ryzen, EPYC CPUs Contain 13 Security Flaws (Updated)



Microsoft announces breakthrough in Chinese-to-English machine translation



Samsung Galaxy S9



A Full PC for $35? Meet the Fast Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+



Upgraded Raspberry Pi 3 delivers more power and faster networking

The Model B+ has a slightly upgraded processor, dual-band WiFi and faster ethernet.



I’ve Lost All My Passwords, What Do I Do?

Losing access to your password vault can be a major inconvenience. Fortunately, that's all it needs to be, and there are ways to prevent even that.



5 of the Best Online Photo Editors You Can Use for Free



Xiaomi made a $100 mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches, and it's fantastic

Black color scheme. Red LEDs. Cherry MX Blue switches. Xiaomi's mechanical keyboard ticks all the right boxes.



DIY PC: Build your own Computer using these online tools



Find out if programs are recording your every keystroke



5 New Security Threats in 2017 You Should Watch Out For



Watch Out For These Dirty Tricks From Discounted Software Resellers



Trump Permanently Blocks $117 Billion Broadcom Bid For Qualcomm



Samsung partners with uBreakiFix for same-day repairs



The 10 Best Original TV Series on Netflix

Netflix all but invented the binge watch; these original shows are our favorites.



The Best VPN Services and Apps of 2018



Apple takes a stance on crypto-miners in apps

The tech titan pulled Calendar 2 but relisted the updated app without the miner.



What’s the Difference Between Windows 10 Home vs Pro Editions?

I prefer Windows 10 Professional edition. Here's what I consider the important differences between Windows 10 Home and Pro.



Counting Your Steps? 7 Free Android Pedometer Apps You Should Try



How to fix your second monitor not being detected in Windows 10

When your PC refuses to detect an external monitor, this guide can help troubleshoot and fix common problems to get your secondary display working on Windows 10.



How to delete a blank page at the end of a Microsoft Word document



Quick ways to stop phone snoops in their tracks



How to Create a Checklist in Excel



How to Set AdBlock to Only Block Ads on Specific Sites



The Vive Pro's New Link Box Adds A Power Button, Ditches HDMI



Pi Day: 12 fun facts and ways to celebrate

Tech teams love Pi day, March 14: Did you know it's also Albert Einstein’s birthday and the release anniversary of Linux kernel 1.0.0? Check out some cool Raspberry Pi facts and DIY projects



How Decentralized AI Will Change Everything

Dan Gailey, CEO of Synapse AI, explains why sharing AI breakthroughs will create a more interesting ecosystem and better AI models. And of course there's a blockchain component.



15 Cheap Gaming Headsets (Under $60) Ranked From Best to Worst



[CCleaner Tip] Restore Classic Cleaning Results Screen Containing Full Files List



Amazon and Twitch Will Now Give Away Free PC Games Every Month



How to Use Padlet for Online Collaboration



Ultimate RAM buyer's guide for Windows PC users

Here's why you need RAM, and how you go about upgrading it.



Moonlight is an Open Source NVIDIA GameStream client



5 common computer problems solved



How to Clean Your Windows Computer: The Ultimate Checklist



How to FaceTime on Your Apple TV



Asus Prime X299-A Motherboard Review: Primo Value for Core X?



Make a digital camera from a 1950s Kodak Brownie with a Raspberry Pi

With a Raspberry Pi, a webcam, and old-fashioned ingenuity, an old Brownie becomes a decent digital camera.



Tim Berners-Lee: Maybe Regulation Can Fix Social Media

In an open letter, the inventor of the World Wide Web raised the question over whether internet companies can effectively police themselves.



Best Fitness Trackers 2018



[Software Update] Mozilla Firefox 59.0 “Quantum” Now Available for Download



Google Assistant Comes to the iPad to Give Siri a Run For Her Money



How to Stream Your Desktop and Non-Steam Games with Steam Link



How to set a website as a Progressive Web App (PWA) using Edge for Android

Setting a PWA on Android can be a bit confusing and weird. Here are two methods using the Microsoft Edge browser that will get you started.



How to completely uninstall BlueStacks from Windows PC



Infected Routers Spread Malware, Log Keystrokes



Microsoft Details Teams Feature Roadmap



Can These High-Tech Eye Drops Improve Your Vision?



Comments by -- Bob Primak --

Re. Recent FYI Postings


Re. FYI#1198 (Sun 3/11/2017):

Vivaldi May Be The Real Chrome-Killer

Why would anyone want to kill Chrome? It's a perfectly good web browser, and they keep improving it. True, Vivaldi gets you away from almost all the Google Tracking and Ad Targeting stuff.


DirecTV vs. DirecTV Now: What’s the Difference?

If you ask me, it's the difference between an unreliable satellite signal vs. very limited content and total dependency on unreliable Internet streaming. When 5G fixed WiFi comes into its own, this problem may resolve itself, but by then it may be too late for AT&T to catch up.


How to configure Windows 10 to protect your privacy

I use O&O ShutUp10 and take its defaults. This makes Windows 10 privacy controls a one-stop shop.

How to Record Windows 10 Screen Using VLC Media Player

I've done this for video, but VLC does not necessarily capture the sound. For showing how I did something in Windows, sometimes VLC Player works for me better than the built-in Windows Step Recorder or other built-in tools.


TunnelBear Joins McAfee

TunnelBear is not a well respected VPN service. So this is not a significant development.


Re. FYI#1199 (Mon 3/12/2018):


Thanks to Joe Nowak for his link to the Infographic about adult use of social media. Also of interest are two Infographics linked at the bottom of that web page: (1) Device ownership among adults 50+ -- what we own and what we don't own. Very revealing. And, (2) Snapchat (and other social apps) use among US Teens. (Links are at the bottom of the page Joe linked to in his FYI Comment.)


7 Weekend Projects for a Better Windows Experience

Per the comment: (8) Install Linux.

BTW, for me these projects are at most a morning or an afternoon apiece. I do software updates the week before I run MS Updates. I strongly disagree with switching from third-party antivirus to Windows Defender. Add (9) Back Up Your Data and Your PC. Cull old Data Archives. And (10) Curate Your Media Collections. That one could be a several-weekends project for some folks. (Each weekend I spend more time scheduling new DVR recordings and culling out watched shows than I spend updating my devices per month. And I still end up wishing my Comcast DVR had twice its capacity.) (11) Organize Your Photo Collection. That one could turn into a major project.


This website is selling your usernames and passwords on the darknet

Information came from darknet breaches

So, even the Darknet is having data breaches! Well, hacking can be a two-edged sword.



Unless it's a video graphhics driver, this usually is pretty straightforward. I've had to roll back bad driver updates more times than I would care to admit. Usually the Windows Device Manager will get the rollback done pretty well. I also use Drivermax, and if it did the update, it can undo that update.

Have a Restore Point ready and a recent, tested system backup archive, just in case. Make these backups before trying any new drivers. Turn off MS Updates driver updates -- they usually do more harm than good. Windows Device Manager can handle any driver updates you really want to get from MS Updates. On some devices under Windows 10, the Microsoft drivers for some hardware may be better than manufacturer OEM versions. But this is the exception, not the rule.


Is Your Windows 10 Slow to Boot? Make It Faster with These Tips

Most of the time the culprit is a Startup Item. Though there are occasions when a driver issue is at fault.


What’s the Latest Version of Android?

More to the point, what is the latest version of Android which can be installed on your device? That answer will determine what you will get.


How to make your VPN more secure

Check out these ways to make your VPN connection more secure

So, why can't VPNs handle ipv6 addresses? This would seem to be a serious technical shortcoming in VPNs.


Should you buy or rent a cable modem?

We'll need some math.

Two more numbers to keep in mind: DOCSYS 3.1, which will require firmware or hardware upgrades; and, ATSC-3, which may change the way Modems and Gateways are used with live TV and value-added premium options. Also, fixed 5G WiFi may change how cable modems operate. All these changes will happen between 2018 (now) and 2022. So your purchase may have a limited shelf-life. If you rent, you are better protected from technological obsolescence.


Windows Defender Does Its Job and Prevents Geographic Malware Attack

It is a sad day indeed when Windows Defender just doing its job successfully, generates worldwide headlines.


How to Fix “The Driver Being Installed Is Not Validated For This Computer” on Intel Computers

If your OEm drivers aren't allowed to be substituted, there may be good reasons. My ASUS Tablet had SoC architecture, and trying to use Intel drivers on that tablet would definitely not work. Some other laptops have OEM drivers which differ from the generic Intel drivers. It is usually best to go to the manufacturer site and only use their drivers. Also, just because there's an update for a driver, this does not necessarily mean that your hardware can use the new features in the new driver. So, Intel is (usually) not lying to you if they tell you that a driver update does not apply to your hardware. The same advice applies to NVidia drivers, which I used to have all sorts of issues updating.


If you're not using Google Chrome's permanent 'Mute Site' feature, you're not using Chrome at its best

I use the little speaker icon on the web page's tab in Chrome to mute tabs. This avoids the hassle of blacklisting web sites.


Re. FYI#1200 (Tues 3/13/2018):

Tips for top: Monitoring CPU load on Linux

Get a real-time view of the processes running on Linux to fix slowdowns and other problems?

AppIndicators put this information in graphic form on the top panel. Unity System Monitor used to be the best example of this class of graphic displays which include CPU load and other load indicators. But Ubuntu went to GNOME for version 17.04 and 17.10, and this AppIndicator is no longer available. The GNOME System Monitor is not as graphic and its display does not use the filled-line chart format which made the Unity System Monitor so useful. But seriously, anything beats a Command Line non-GUI app for this purpose.


Report: Intel Considers Buying Broadcom


Trump administration’s block in Qualcomm vs. Broadcom merger should shake tech to its core

Actually, from an anti-trust point of view, this was probably an inevitable decision. The result of an Intel-Qualcomm-Broadcom mass-merger could be a near-monopoly in several areas of the tech sector.


Dolby Vision vs. HDR10: What’s the Difference Between HDR TV Formats?

I can tell you which one will win out in this format war -- and it isn't the one that is technically the best. HDR10 is now the de facto standard, in spite of its slightly lesser performance.


Do you still need to "close" apps?

Leaving apps open drains battery and slows down the device. So unless youuse the abckground apps a lot, close them when not in use.


This powerful free office program can replace Microsoft Office

Libre Office does not have full compatibility with MS Office. WPS Office comes closer to that holy grail, but also has its quirks. In Linux where there are no Microsoft products, LibreOffice works out just fine. But I do have to go through extra steps to make output which is MS Office compatible.

Astronaut Scott Kelly’s DNA Changed in Space

So what is he now, that creature from Alien?


From My Own Reading:





Security researchers find flaws in AMD chips but raise eyebrows with rushed disclosure



Upgrade to a 24-inch, 1080p monitor for only $80 today


Back to Top

Tue 1200 3/13/2018

7 Great Apps For Tracking The Weather



Get IObit Uninstaller Pro for free

Normally $30, this top-rated Windows utility will cleanly remove unwanted software. Plus: two free games and a Fire sale!



The reality of leaving your phone plugged in overnight

Should you let your phone get some rest while you're asleep?



The 50 best Mac tips, tricks and timesavers

All the awesome things you forgot your Mac could do



How to Back Up Your (Outlook) Email With Windows 10 File History



How to Set AdBlock to Only Block Ads on Specific Sites



Use HP, Lenovo or Dell? Get ready for new updates to guard against Spectre

Intel's fixed microcode updates to mitigate the Spectre attack have now reached Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge chips.



Tips for top: Monitoring CPU load on Linux

Get a real-time view of the processes running on Linux to fix slowdowns and other problems.



Microsoft’s mad scientists are making AR more tactile

New controllers let you grasp soft objects, play the trombone or use a cane for the blind.



Samsung’s New 4K Televisions Can Turn Themselves Invisible



Kim’s Top 5 databases to opt-out of now



[UPDATE] Free Cloud Storage Services Category: Cloud



MDB Viewer Plus: View and Edit Microsoft Access Database Files



Apple Music vs. Spotify: Streaming Services Compared



Report: Intel Considers Buying Broadcom

Intel is preparing to address a potential Broadcom-Qualcomm merger, viewing the tie-up as a major threat, according to The Wall Street Journal.



Trump administration’s block in Qualcomm vs. Broadcom merger should shake tech to its core



How to build a PC: A step-by-step guide

Our comprehensive PC build guide will walk you through how to put together your own computer, to save some money.



The best Kodi add-ons and how to install them

The best Kodi add-ons to enhance your viewing experience



Dolby Vision vs. HDR10: What’s the Difference Between HDR TV Formats?



Why are Mechanical Keyboard Keycaps so Expensive?



Apple's answer to crumb-jammed keyboards? Crush debris, then blast it out

Apple has been granted a patent for a keyboard with crushers and bellows to destroy and blast out crumbs.



Meet Endless OS, a lightweight Linux distro

Endless offers everything teachers and students need to take full advantage of their computers, even where internet access is poor.



Yahoo loses its bid to reject data breach lawsuit

Verizon had tried to dismiss large portions of the case.



New Sensor Measures Blood Pressure While You Hold Your Phone



Do you still need to "close" apps?



Battery Backup Power - What You Need to Know 



Desktop icons slow to load in Windows 10/8/7



Trump Blocks Biggest Tech Deal in History: Here's Why



How to Use Your Amazon Echo to Get in Shape

Alexa can act as your personal trainer by serving up a series of exercise programs.



Alexa calling and messaging comes to tablet devices



A new patent shows Microsoft's experiments with folding tablets, keyboard docks

Say hi to more intriguing folding tablet patents from Microsoft, this time with a dockable keyboard!



How to make a video from a collection of photos

Turn your snapshots into a video that'll impress your friends



10 Ways Your Router Isn’t as Secure as You Think



Do Smart Bulbs Use Up Electricity Even When They’re Off?



Spy malware secrets: How complex 'Slingshot' hit targets via hacked routers

Slingshot malware infects PCs via files downloaded from compromised routers.



What Is “Right to Repair” Legislation? [MTE Explains]



Reddit and the Struggle to Detoxify the Internet

How do we fix life online without limiting free speech?



With New Graphics Cards Out of the Question, How’s the GTX 680 Looking These Days?



This powerful free office program can replace Microsoft Office



Microsoft again forced upgrades on Win10 machines specifically set to block updates

For the third time in the past four months, Microsoft 'accidentally' upgraded Win10 1703 machines to version 1709 in spite of explicit, correctly applied, deferral settings. Gawrsh.



Best Hard Drive encryption software for Windows 10



Fitbit Versa Is the Cheap Apple Watch I Really Want

Fitbit’s new Versa smartwatch has a familiar face and health features just for women.



Astronaut Scott Kelly’s DNA Changed in Space



Toshiba shows off an AR headset running on Windows 10



For Microsoft, 2018 could be a big year in mobile — but not phones

While Windows phones are dead for Microsoft, the company has planned an ambitious push into mobile for PCs in 2018.



10 steps to improve your smartphone photography

Make your smartphone photography even better



7 Things You Need to Consider Before Buying a Hard Drive



How to Organize Your iPhone Home Screen



Comcast 'blocks' an encrypted email service: Yet another reminder why net neutrality matters

Now imagine your favorite websites getting blocked by your internet provider in the name of net neutrality.



Why Does macOS Use DMG Files for New Applications?



Microsoft Admits It Incorrectly Upgraded Some Windows 10 Users to v1709



Microsoft Will Add AMD FreeSync Support to Xbox One S, Xbox One X



How to stop ads from following you online



Turn Automatic Update off, temporarily, in anticipation of another round of pernicious patches

January’s patches were horrible. February’s were a little better. Take a moment now to make sure you aren’t tossed in with the cannon fodder, and wait to see what tomorrow will bring.



How to Disable Enhanced Graphics for “Enhanced Xbox 360 Games” on Xbox One X



Jabra Elite 65t Wireless Earbuds Review: A True AirPod Killer



The Best Keyboards of 2018

Whether you're working or playing, your keyboard is an integral part of your desktop setup. Here's what you need to know to buy the right one, along with a list of our current favorites.



Google’s upcoming OLED display for VR headsets may pack a 3182p resolution



Best Power Supplies (PSU) for Your Windows 10 PC in 2018

The SuperNOVA P2 combines the best in efficiency with quality components and brilliant features, matched by a 10-year warranty.



Monday Apple Rumors: MacBook Air Pro May Be Coming Soon



Philips Hue Is Adding Some Sweet Outdoor Lights to Its Lineup This July



How to Watch Live TV Online


Back to Top

Mon 1199 3/12/2018

How & Why the Cybersecurity Landscape Is Changing

A comprehensive new report from Cisco should "scare the pants off" enterprise security leaders.



Sling Orange vs. Sling Blue: What’s the Difference?



5 ways to add impact with unusual perspectives

Make your photos stand out



How to use mouse gestures in VLC Media Player



7 Weekend Projects for a Better Windows Experience



This website is selling your usernames and passwords on the darknet

Information came from darknet breaches



5 security mistakes you’re probably making right now



Geekly Update - 08 March 2018



Why your internet is slow (and what you can do about it)

It might not be 56K slow, but it's still causing a problem.






Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak scammed by Bitcoin fraudster



Is Your Windows 10 Slow to Boot? Make It Faster with These Tips



What’s the Latest Version of Android?



With AMD FreeSync support, games will look their best on Xbox One S, Xbox One X



Philips Hue Lights: A Guide to What Each Does (and Costs)



How to make your VPN more secure

Check out these ways to make your VPN connection more secure



Kindle app for PC makes reading eBooks an enjoyable experience



How to Build a Great Media Center PC



Ransomware set to become more vicious in 2018: Quick Heal



Best Alexa Skills you didn’t know you could use with your Echo smart speaker



Securely Erasing Your Hard Drive Category: Hard-Drives



Should you buy or rent a cable modem?

We'll need some math.






Apple Shares Tips on Avoiding App Store and iTunes Phishing Emails



Selling PDF Files Online? Here’s How to Secure Them



Troubleshoot Browsing Issues by Reloading the DNS Client Cache on Windows



Another Detail About Apple Inc.'s Upcoming Lower-Cost iPhone X Revealed



Advanced Excel Keyboard Shortcuts



How to protect yourself online in 2018

Anticipate and respond to threats before they happen



OnionShare lets you securely and anonymously share a file of any size



10 Practical Things Your iPhone Does That Android Won’t



Everyone is a Spear Phishing Target

Everyone is a Spear Phishing Target


20 handy things you didn’t know Google Photos can do



White House: Cyberattacks Cost US Economy Between $57B and $109B in 2016



Why does battery life get worse over time?

The chemistry that can provide power from metals makes those metals degrade over time and there's not much we can do about it.



How to send text messages from your desktop using Textto

Android users, if you're looking for an incredibly easy way to text from your desktop, Jack Wallen thinks Textto is tough to beat. Here's how to install and use this efficient app.



Congress Should Return To Consumer Protection For Internet Regulation



How to Create Undeletable Folders in Windows 10



How To Not Drop Your Phone



Google Home Mini vs. Amazon Echo Dot: Which is better?



Apple App Store Scam Stealing Credit Cards: What to Do



Chromecast tips and tricks

Get the most out of Google’s puck-shaped streamer



Auslogics Windows Slimmer: Removes unwanted files & reduces the size of Windows OS



The Best Graphics Card for Surviving the Bitcoin Era



New Incident Response Study Reveals More Than Half of Attackers Use Social Engineering to Target Organizations



Child locks mother's iPhone for 48 YEARS and it could happen to YOU



macOS May Lose Data Due to APFS Filesystem Bug



How to enable Xbox One 1440p support for Xbox One X and Xbox One S

Enable 1440p support on your Xbox One console with these quick steps.



These companies will propel the AR and VR markets to $95B by 2023

Demand for AR and VR technologies in healthcare, retail, and gaming will drive market growth in the coming year, according to ReportsnReports.






Windows Defender Does Its Job and Prevents Geographic Malware Attack



How to Fix “The Driver Being Installed Is Not Validated For This Computer” on Intel Computers



If you're not using Google Chrome's permanent 'Mute Site' feature, you're not using Chrome at its best



How to Stop Ads from Hijacking Your iOS Browser



Raspberry Pi Birthday Tutorial Toast #RaspberryPi @Raspberry_Pi



Comments by -- Joe Nowak

Some Interesting Info About Social Media Usage

Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:10 pm (PDT)

What social media is most popular among adult users? Find some interesting stats about social media use among adults in the 2 charts at this site.


Latest Edition of CyberHeistNews

Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:20 pm (PDT

CyberheistNews Vol 8 #11 [ALERT] "A Really Difficult Phishing Scenario That's Very Hard To Beat"


Back to Top

Sun 1198 3/11/2018

Vivaldi May Be The Real Chrome-Killer 



How to Set Up and Use a VPN

There's more to setting up a virtual private network than just signing up and activating the service. Our guide can help you get the most from this critical privacy and security tool.



Watch your home for cheap with this deal on a simple, affordable security camera

The Blink XT camera and sync module are available for $100 on Amazon right now.



Amazon Fire TV Stick vs. Google Chromecast vs. Roku Stick: Face-Off






How to install a VPN on Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

Get the most out of your Fire device with a VPN



Why Can’t 64-Bit Operating Systems Run 16-Bit Apps?



How to safely delete data forever on your PC or Mac



How to Repair Disk Permissions on Mac



Fix: No sound in Chrome browser on Windows 10/8/7



The Market of Stolen Code-Signing Certificates Is Too Expensive for Most Hackers



How to opt out of Facebook data sharing

Facebook and other companies often buy data from data brokers in order to sell advertisers more targeted ad space on their platforms. Here's how to keep your data safe.



Netflix isn't chasing the competition into sports or live TV

CEO Reed Hastings says the company is better off not following what others do.



How to Use an Xbox One Controller on a PC

Connecting your Xbox One gamepad to your Windows 10 PC is almost as easy as connecting it to your Xbox One.



Ring Video Doorbell 2

Ring's Video Doorbell 2 is a solid performer and will keep watch on your porch with day and night vision.



DirecTV vs. DirecTV Now: What’s the Difference?






How to configure Windows 10 to protect your privacy



Ubuntu to Collect Your PC Data: What This Means for You



Create fun and surprising videos to share with family and friends



How to Record Windows 10 Screen Using VLC Media Player



Applications missing from Volume Mixer in Windows 10



Hackers Can Hijack over 52,000 Baby Monitor Video Feeds



How to properly set up a used Windows 10 PC

Did you get a used PC? In this guide, we'll help you to set it up the right way to have a piece of mind and keep your information secure.



Alexa is randomly laughing, and it's creepy as hell (updated)

Mercifully, Amazon is fixing it.



The Best Mac Antivirus Protection of 2018

Despite what you may have heard, your Apple computer isn't immune to malware. We test the top Mac AV programs to find the ones that will keep you the safest.



Office Q&A: After-the-fact captions and easy counts using a PivotTable

This month, Susan Harkins helps readers learn how to add captions to multiple images and how to count items in a group.



What Is Kodi? Everything You Need to Know






How to make your email more secure

Keep your messages safe from prying eyes



Weird but Cool: 25 Most Bizarre Websites You Haven’t Seen



16 Windows 10 tricks you’ll wish you knew sooner



How to Play YouTube Videos in the Background on Android



Create native Windows application of any web page using Nativefier.



Coldroot RAT Still Undetectable Despite Being Uploaded on GitHub Two Years Ago



Cumulative update fixes USB device issues for Fall Creators Update PCs

Microsoft has rolled out another small cumulative update for Fall Creators Update PCs, bringing a single fix related to USB devices.



Windows 10's next major update includes an AI platform

Windows apps could lean on AI for help.



8 Nvidia GeForce Experience Tips for PC Gaming Excellence

Learn how Nvidia's desktop app can improve your PC gaming sessions.



Millennials are bigger victims of fraud than senior citizens, FTC finds

A report from the FTC reveals that millennials are more likely to lose money to fraud, a fact that should alarm cybersecurity professionals.



Best Music That Isn't On Spotify or, Apple Music (and Where to Find It)



TunnelBear Joins McAfee



5 tech security hacks everyone should use

How to stay several steps ahead of the scammers



Twitter Privacy Settings You Need to Change Right Now



Facebook’s new trick is tracking you like you never knew until now



5 of the Best Free Adobe InDesign Alternatives



How to fix Battery drain issues in Windows 10



Apple Releases Fix for Indian Telugu Character Crash Bug



Which graphics card do you need for VR?

With more choices than ever before, grab what fits your needs.



CBS plans more All Access shows to compete with Netflix

Six to seven new shows in the next year, its COO said in a conference.



The Best Scanners of 2018

Whether you need to scan stacks of family photos, scores of documents for tax time, or even just the occasional business card, there's a scanner designed for the task.



Online Learning For Kids and Adults Category: Education



Logitech MX vs. Microsoft Surface Precision Mouse: What makes a $100 mouse worth the money



Comments by -- Bob Primak --

Re. FYI#1184 (Sun 2/25/2018):

Note: There's an error in the date posted for this FYI entry at the CCS site.


(Personal Note: I have finished setting up Fedora 27 Xfce spin on my Chromebook. It works, with much system tweaking. I installed and configured RedShift for day and night color-temperature shifts. I had to delve pretty deeply into various config areas, but now I have all necessary sound (HDMI with audio, USB-C digital sound output, which requires and adapter with a DAC to get analog -- audible -- sound out), key mapping to give the Chromebook keyboard a forward-delete and caps lock, among other things, and a hotkey script to insert date and time in my favorite format into any application which can use such an insert. There are other quirks, such as calendars set to make Sunday, not Monday the first day of the week as displayed. Overall, Fedora-X does work in the Chromebook, and the RPM Package Manager makes updating and adding or removing packages relatively easy. I think I'll keep it.)


Which Is Better: Shutting Off Your PC or Putting It to Sleep?

I usually shut my PCs off when not in use. Even the Chromebook. This means going into full shutdown, not just closing the lid. Sleep has one big disadvantage -- if you lose power, the session will be lost. You'd better be saving current session data frequently if you choose this option.


UK Government announces tool to detect and block extremist videos

and Isis could easily dodge the UK's AI-powered propaganda blockade

Training an AI to automatically block Isis propaganda will have an impact on its spread – but thousands of videos will slip through

Read this:

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



We have government people like her in America. They are frequently pilloried in the popular and tech press. And they represent real dangers to free speech. Remember, Britain does not have a Bill of Rights. They do not guarantee free speech the way we do. Tech ignorance by the Government or the Courts or our Congress is not bliss! We do not need a sanitized Internet, "sealed for your protection".


This Is How Your Browser Compromises Your Privacy

Read this also:

10 Chrome Extensions You Should Uninstall Right Now


AdBlock Plus is among these. So is HoverZoom. Not surprisingly, so are all antivirus browser plugins.

Privacy Extensions you should install right now (in my opinion) -- Click and Clean, NoScript and Privacy Badger. Also, cull out your unused Bookmarks. (Click and Clean may have its own tracking issues.) I do not store passwords in my browser. I have autofill turned off.


How to see what’s taking up space on a hard drive on Windows 10

Storage Sense looks good. Not as graphical as some third-party apps I've seen, but good enough.


Intel releases more Meltdown/Spectre firmware fixes, Microsoft feints an SP3 patch

Still no updated firmware (BIOS) update for my Intel NUC. There was something for my Chromebook, and I applied it last week, with no apparent difficulties. The Chromebook Powerwash involved in this firmware update didn't even make me reinstall my Fedora 27 installation, which I had backed up just in case. I'm on Windows 10 version 1703, so there is no Microsoft Update Catalog update for Intel Skylake firmware for me.


How to Turn On or Off Pause Updates in Windows 10

I usually pause updates until AskWoody gives a DEFCON-3 or better status. The disadvantage of doing this is, once you release the Pause, wushowhide cannot be used proactively to prevent specified updates from downloading and installing. This means as soon as the connection is released from Metered, updates will begin, including forced Feature Upgrades. You have no control over this if you have Paused Updates. (But I did recently succeed in running wushowhide by un-Pausing the updates, leaving the connection Metered, and waiting for the available updates to list, then running wushowhide as usual before un-Metering the connection.)

What a lot of hoops to jump through, just to avoid getting our Windows 10 PCs borked! This is one more reason I rarely run anything in Windows anymore. Linux can get almost any job done with very much less hassle, once Linux has been set up and configured for the job. Whether it's cleanup, updating or antivirus scanning, Linux does everything faster and with fewer errors than Windows. And many, many fewer instability concerns. (Although in all fairness, Fedora did have instabilities on my Chromebook. I did have to roll back after one of these disasters and start over from a previous stable condition.) If you can't do something in Linux or Chrome OS, it probably isn't worth doing.


Galaxy S9 vs. iPhone X: Which Flagship Should You Buy?

Neither. Both are overpriced for what features they add. I am happy with my Moto G4, except it still hasn't gotten the latest Android security update.


Re. FYI#1185 (Mon 2/26/2018):


The article mentions using the Beta Channel to get some Chrome features before they make it into the Stable Channel. I've been using the Beta Channel for my Chrome browsers in Linux, because at one point, this was the only way under Ubuntu to get the latest Flash Player updates in a timely manner. That issue is less of a problem with Component Updating, so there's less need to run Chrome Beta under Ubuntu. But I remain in the Beta Channel. I am phasing out my use of Windows, so I don't care about anything except keeping things up to date. There I use the Chrome Stable channel. Component Updating keeps Flash Player up to date under Windows.


Photos companion is the fastest way to bring your Android photos to Windows 10

Good to know about this, but I'm on Linux. I can manage my photos with my Google Drive and a photo manager developed for Linux like Fotoxx. I edit photos with The GIMP or Pinta. Both Ubuntu and Fedora have all these apps.


Re. FYI#1186 (Tues. 2/27/2018):   

Bill Gates’ Thoughts on the Government Forcing Tech Companies to Unlock Phones

It is clear from this article that if Gates' comments were not taken out of context, he does not appreciate the difference between a properly warranted search and a fishing expedition. It is because the government has been demanding to be able to engage in warrantless searches of devices for no apparent legal reason, that Apple and other tech companies have been refusing to cooperate. And they will continue to refuse. This is because in spite of what the current and past administrations at the FBI have been saying, the Fourth and Sixth Amendments to the US Constitution have not become obsolete in the 21st Century.


Explained: Windows 10 Upgrade: is Recovery Drive Upgraded as well?

I do know that a WIMBoot device will upgrade its base WIM image, which is irreversible. Also, the Recovery Image in a Recovery Partition may get upgraded, which is also irreversible. But a separate Recovery Drive can be disconnected, which should leave the recovery options of the PC able to recover to an unaltered OEM recovery image. To stay on the safe side, never assume any OEM recovery scheme will work after a system or OS upgrade. Always use some sort of backup utility to make an external archive of the system state before doing any OS upgrade. I use Macrium Relflect Free, and

 I test the Rescue Media before and after the upgrade, to make sure I can roll back to the pre-upgrade condition if necessary.


Tech sector frets it could face fallout if Microsoft case erodes privacy protections

This is a thorny issue. I will not offer any legal advice or opinion. But the best route for the US to go in this matter seems to be to allow the Congress to clarify the conditions under which a company can be compelled to turn over evidence stored on servers located in non-US locations. Let the Congress do its job, because the Courts are not supposed to legislate.


Ubuntu Linux and Bash as a Windows Program!

Yes, this is the BASH Shell. No, it is not Ubuntu Linux. And no, it is not a Program. It is much deeper than that. It is only a different shell operating on the Windows system kernel. That does not in any way make this the equivalent of Linux operating within Windows. Proof of this is how many Linux programs will not run under the BASH within Windows scheme. And there are a lot of these programs.


Tesla Will Install Charging Stations for Free at Your Workplace

In the Boston are, charging stations in general are starting to show up at shops and businesses, as well as some luxury apartment buildings. This is definitely going to spread.


Chrome OS could be getting containers for running Linux VMs

Why make this part of Chrome OS itself, other than to remove the requirement to put the Chromebook into Developer Mode and void the warranty? That seems to be the main advantage over Crouton, which already exists but does void the Chromebook warranty. Changing the Chromebook's firmware, as happens when chrx is used to produce an autonomous Linux install (which I did on my ASUS Flip c302 Chromebook) will still void the Chromebook warranty. To run any VM or container (Child Root System) on a Chromebook will require some rather high-end hardware, as Chromebooks go, to get any speed or responsiveness out of the guest OS.


Best Android antivirus? The top 12 tools

The fact is, if you stick with Google Play as an app source, you don't need any antivirus in Android. Google Play has its own app validator.


SanDisk's New MicroSD Cards Are Too Fast for Your Phone

So we'll have to wait another year or two for the phone hardware to catch up with the speed of the SD Card storage expansion. Well, it will probably be worth the wait. I'll hang onto my Moto G4 for a while longer in that case.


Re. FYI#1187 (Wed 2/28/2018):

How to Disable a User Account in Windows 10

I did not know you could do this. While I have no use for this feature, it could be very useful for many families.


View Image for Google Images extension for Firefox and Chrome

I installed this, and it works fine. I haven't noticed any unusual side-effects, and it usually works.  I am running Chrome 65 Beta under Ubuntu Linux.


Is Google quietly laying the groundwork for Android’s demise?

It will be a few years, but Android and Chrome OS are heading toward some sort of unification someday.


Ubuntu wants to collect more diagnostic data

If there isn't any opt-out, and if they actually do this, I might have to consider converting my NUC to run Fedora. Not that Red Hat doesn't do its own telemetry. But it isn't this intrusive or commercially driven. Canonical has been getting too corporate lately for my taste. Again, not that Red Hat isn't a corporation -- they are.

After rising for 100 years, electricity demand is flat. Utilities are freaking out.

I don't trust Vox as a news source. But if this report is Real News, then I am not very surprised. I know that just trading in my CFL light bulbs for LEDs and making some minor leak-filling insulation changes around my patio doors, has reduced my electricity costs by a significant amount. I have done a few other things, but lighting and dish washing (and laundry) practices seem to be my main cost controls.


A.I. Being Considered to Fix the Fake News Problem

This is not going to work. And it may block a lot of Real News in the process. Smaller operations can't afford the time or the money to keep batting down Facebook's AI decisions to label content as Fake News and possibly censor it.


How to install optional updates on Windows 10

Since these are overwhelmingly drivers, I would recommend using your manufacturer's web site for downloads. I have only rarely found the Microsoft Update drivers to be better or more stable than the OEM manufacturer drivers. In fact, after Feature Updates, my ASUS Transformer Book tablet has always needed its SoC and touchpad drivers reinstalled from ASUS downloads. The Microsoft drivers simply get it all wrong. So do the Drivermax suggestions.


How to Create and Restore a System Image Backup with Macrium Reflect

Nice job of screen-scraping from the Macrium Reflect web site's own tutorials, which are excellent. I hope TenForums paid the royalties for the images they scraped.


How to Disable Facebook's Facial Recognition Feature

Apparently, some users are seeing this setting, while others are not.


Best program to clean up your browser’s cookies, tracks and more

There are three Windows programs I use. CCleaner with a few extra checkmarks. Glary Utilities without checking off Wipe Free Space. And the Chrome extension, Click and Clean. Firefox has an Eraser extension which works pretty much the same. In Linux, Stacer (at least in Ubuntu) and Bleachbit (as User and Root) work well. And the browser extensions work in Linux.


How to Enable or Disable Including Driver Updates in Windows Update in Windows 10

Driver Updates (aka Optional Updates) are one thing, but totally disabling the Windows Update mechanism in Windows 10 is reckless. I do not have to do these things. All I use is Defer Feature Updates (Pro version) for 365 days, and Pause Updates (Pro Version) for 35 days. When unpausing the updates, make sure to leave the metered connection setting on until you prescreen the updates with wushowhide. Then unmeter the connection, and let the updates you want to allow download and install. Do not mess with services, the Registry or other crazy scripts. You will wreck your Windows installation and have to reset or reinstall.


Re. FYI#1188  (Thurs 3/1/2018):

[Windows 10 Tip] Enable “Controlled Folder Access” Protection in Windows Defender

This is used mostly to provide ransomware protections.


Free tool to edit PDF files

You can get more comprehensive editing capabilities with Nitro PDF. In Linux, I use Master PDF 4. (The free version of Master PDF may leave ugly watermarks on the output. This may or may not be correctable without paying for the upgrade product version.)


Best Buy Is Closing All 250 Mobile Stores on May 31

They are still doing a lot of phone and carrier plan sales within their full retail stores.


Daylight Savings 2018: When do US clocks go forward and why do we have it?

This time around all my devices reset themselves to DST. My analog clocks still had to be reset by hand. Except for one Atomic Clock which still works. The other Atomic clock apparently is too old to work automatically anymore.


Can the Stylus Completely Eliminate the Need for a Mouse?

In my experience, no. These two input methods (and the touchpad and fingers on a touchscreen) all serve different purposes. You still should choose the right tool for the right job. Sometimes even the arrow keys are better for the job at hand.


Cord-cutters are basically killing satellite TV

What's killing satellite TV is that it's unreliable. Weather, including solar flares, can wreak havoc with these signals.


5 Things You Should Know When Switching to Linux

New hardware can be selected to make sure its components are likely to work under the Linux distro you choose. This is why I paid extra to have an Intel based Chromebook with enough onboard storage for Linux. When choosing Linux software, you can go outside the repositories or package managers which come with your distro, But you do need to research carefully any outside software, and make sure it should be compatible with your distro and your version. I still use the package managers to install outside software. This screens for conflicts, bad installer packages and missing dependencies before the software gets fully installed. I also back up my system with Clonezilla Live before messing around with anything unfamiliar or untested.


Get Rid of the Annoying Microsoft OneDrive Sign In Popup

Well, this is one less Windows annoyance to deal with. But only one.


Re. FYI#1189  (Fri 3/2/2018):

The HDMI 2.1 low-down: Don't dump your legacy cables

Well, this is good to know, but the cables will have to be tested. Many will pass muster and work, but not all by any means. You don't have to go out and buy expensive Monster Cables just to have the new features available.


Microsoft is Helping Intel Distribute its Firmware Updates

Still nothing for my Skylake based Intel NUC.


Most ecommerce sites fail to protect consumers from phishing attacks

It is not the job of these sites to prevent people from doing something voluntary which will result in their devices or identities being compromised. People have to learn to recognize and not respond to phishing attempts.


Heart Disease Can Be Determined by Google Algorithm

I would remain very skeptical of this technology. It will take a lot of testing and field trials to determine whether this is really a good substitute, or adds any new benefits, compared with existing tests.


Re. FYI#1190  (Sat 3/3/2018):

Your Amazon Deliveries Are Being Photographed

This is a good idea. But the photo needs to include a clear view of the house or unit number. My apartment community looks exactly the same on most porches, so without the number, there's still no proof the Amazon Logistics driver delivered my package to the correct address.


Re. FYI#1191 (Sun 3/4/2017):

How to Fix the MBR (Master Boot Record) in Windows 10

MBR is no longer a part of modern hard drives. Those with capacities over 2TB use GPT formatting, which does not have a single MBR or or Partition Table. MBR died out along with Legacy Boot (BIOS POST). (All my Linux installations do use Legacy Boot, but BIOS POST is not a part of the process. My NUC simulates BIOS POST, but does not actually do the steps. My Chromebook doesn't even pretend to do a BIOS POST. Last I read, Linux still has issues with UEFI Fast Boot.)


How to find your motherboard's Spectre CPU fix

There are also Linux tools for finding motherboard and other hardware details, some with nice GUIs and HTML Reports which can be viewed in a web browser.

I finally dove into the Release Notes for the Skylake and other Intel NUC BIOS updates which deal with the same reported security advisory issue. My NUC got the January BIOS Update, and now there are some NUCs which are getting a February BIOS Update. The Release Notes all reference the exact same Security Advisory, which was originally issued in January 2018. The same Intel posting has been updated several times since then, but it refers to the exact same security issue (the same Intel ID Number -- INTEL-SA-00088 -- ). So it appears the January BIOS Update was not found to be buggy for my NUC's processor, and the BIOS version has not been changed for this reason. The February updates for some Intel processors do not offer any additional security protections vs. the January updates. They only have stability improvements for those chips which were adversely affected by the original January updates.

Confused enough yet? But wait, there's (probably) more...


How to Set Your Default Linux Distribution on Windows 10

Let me one more time try to explain this. There is no such thing as running the Linux kernel inside of the Windows Operating System. You are running the Windows 10 kernel with a Linux shell. This does not allow Linux programs to run the way they run on the Linux kernel. So, many programs do not run properly in this environment. It is a shell platform designed for use primarily by developers, not for use by ordinary desktop end users.

If you want to run Linux inside of Windows, run Windows 10 Pro with Hyper-V or VM Ware, and run Linux as a Virtual Machine. This still does not let you run the Linux kernel with all its features, but it at least does run Linux as an Operating System, not just a shell within the Windows Operating System. I still use dual-boot to allow Linux its full range of features, independently of Windows.

It is for similar reasons that I went to the trouble of using chrx in my Chromebook, not Crouton. Crouton does not allow Linux its full range of features, as it's only a Child Root inside a container within Chrome OS. The running kernel is still Chrome OS. While not a true dual-boot, chrx does allow the Linux Operating System to run independently of the Chrome OS kernel. There are drivers to find and other quirks to iron out, but having a true Linux OS running with all its features is well worth the effort in my experience. YMMV.


Your teeth are begging for this toothbrush

My last two dentists have told me never to use an electric toothbrush. They say these brushes do much more harm than good, as they can easily damage your gums, and their brushing actions are usually incorrect. I know on my teeth the misalignments are so severe that only the tip of a conventional toothbrush can reach some surfaces, and then only with special brushing techniques. I am not the only person with tooth alignment issues. So now you've been warned -- talk to your dentist or oral hygienist about the benefits and risks of using an electric toothbrush.


HP Spectre 13 (2017) review

Spectre -- what an unfortunate name for a PC these days! (But this brand name actually preceded the malware name by quite a few years.) Customer: "So should I be patching my Spectre (laptop) for Spectre (malware)?" Technician rolls eyes.


Not Getting Android OS Updates? Here’s How Google Is Updating Your Device Anyway

This addresses feature updates, but not security updates. The OS must be updated in some cases to get the security updates. But these are not full version upgrades.


Re. FYI#1192 (Mon 3/5/2018):

5 Linux Tools to Help Recover Data from Corrupted Drives

Of course, if you had backed up your data twice (and frequently), you would not be in these dire straits.


Graphene-based edible electronics will let you make cereal circuits

I sure hope graphene has been tested for its potential as a carcinogen. Graphite, another form of structured carbon, is carcinogenic.


Amazon Will Stop Selling Nest Products, Still Isn’t Selling Chromecasts

So what -- Best Buy has thousands of them.


How to stop annoying robocalls on your iPhone or Android phone

I don't get any of these on my phone. What am I doing wrong?


Re. FYI#1193 (Tues 3/6/2018):

Explained: Do I Need Norton Identity Protection and Similar Services?

I am not aware of a single benefit of this service which cannot be had for free.


Hacking Back & the Digital Wild West

Agreed that this tactic will only escalate the problem.


How Long Does Email Delivery Take?

It varies, but I have had emails delayed for up to two days from places which are doing things like trying to send me verification codes. Yahoo is much worse about this than Google. (I have free accounts with both companies.)


Shocking Facebook Survey Asks: Is Pedophilia OK?

This does seem to come under the heading What were they thinking?


Why is Windows 10 Telling Me “There Is a Problem with Your Microsoft Account”?

I ignore this sort of message. My accounts are all local logins. I have no issues updating my Store Apps or using them. Maybe Store Apps get lonely when we neglect them? Deal with it, Microsoft!


Groupy Updates Goes Where Microsoft Fears to Tread

Stardock has a bad reputation for taking its best free products and turning them into paid products. I also don't trust Stardock not to include spyware and adware in their free offerings.


Re. FYI#1194 (Wed 3/7/2018):

Amazon launches a low-cost version of Prime for Medicaid recipients

LINK payments are only allowed at physical POS locations. There are good reasons not to allow LINK to be used online, fraud prevention and cost containment being the top two reasons. Retailers are allowed to require proof of identity such as a State ID card in addition to the LINK Card. Whole Foods which is owned by Amazon, does accept LINK.


Geek Squad staff 'paid by FBI' to flag illegal imagery

You know, if anyone, not just Geek Squad, finds evidence of criminal activity on a hard drive, we are all required by law to report these crimes to the authorities. Failure to do so makes us accessories to the crime. No one should have to pay any technician to contact law enforcement if they see this sort of stuff on a hard drive. The fact that Best Buy did not even mention to their Geeks this legal requirement is the real shocker in this article.


Re. FYI#1195  (Thurs 3/8/2018):

Is This the Future of Computing – A Virtual PC to Run on Any Device?

Regarding the subscription pricing: $50.00/mo = $600.00/year. I paid that much for my entire NUC setup. It runs Linux. Equally, I paid less than this for my Chromebook, which also runs Fedora Linux. Both setups will last about six years before they may become slightly obsolescent. So where's the cost advantage in this virtual PC?


Project Crostini: Chrome OS to Support Containerized Linux Apps

Why reinvent the wheel? Crouton already exists for all Chromebooks. So does chrx for full Linux support on an Intel-based Chromebook.


MoviePass removes ‘unused’ location feature that tracked cinema-goers’ movements

What their CEO was caught saying in public just makes me wonder what kind of a reality distortion field he has been living in. His arrogance was simply stunning. And unfortunately, not an isolated case in American businesses.


Net Neutrality Now State vs Federal, but Will it Last?

Unless someone invokes the Commerce Clause, the State with the most restrictive Net Neutrality laws will set ISP policies nationwide. No ISP will want to set up separate systems in different States -- it would not be cost-effective to do so.


[Windows Fix] When You Right-Click on Desktop, Context Menu Freezes or Takes Longer Time to Display

I've had the entire Windows 10 File Explorer shell crash with one right-click. And it takes forever to recognize my USB devices.


How To Set Up Google Chromecast

I hard-wired my Chromecast to my Comcast Gateway (Ethernet). That made setup a lot easier. There's an Android App (Google Home) which makes it brain-dead simply.


Debian and Kali Linux distros for Windows 10 now in the Microsoft Store

Again, this is not real Linux!


Re. FYI#1196  (Fri 3/9/2018):

Avast: 47 Percent of US Homes Vulnerable to Attack

Actually, it could be a much higher percentage. If you are really serious about protecting your IoT Things, get a security appliance and a subscription, like BitDefender offers.


Windows 10 Version 1803 to be Called the Spring Creators Update

Well, now we know. Wake me in about six months, when it's ready for business.


Why 5G is coming to the US faster than expected

What do they mean, fast? South Korea has had this for years.


Why (and how) Windows 10 PCs with LTE and eSIM will change the game

Soon having a PC that's always connected to the internet via a cellular network will be the new normal. And that change starts now.

Like hell if that will be the new normal. Normal now is that more than half of American households don't even have decent broadband Internet service at home. Uh, waiter, Reality Check please!


Visa: EMV Cards Cut Down Counterfeit Card Fraud in the US by 70%

Well, so far, so good. Until someone hacks the blockchain networks.


High tech bullet-proof police protection gear that you can get too

Oh great. As if we weren't threatened enough by gun violence, now Kim Komando is showing criminals how to survive getting shot by police. Great public service, this is (NOT)!


6 Safe Websites for Downloading Windows Software

FilePuma, Major Geeks, Softpedia -- these top my list of safe places with very little adware or unexpected installer piggybacking. CNET downloads has installed Avast Antivirus onto my NUC  silently and without any opt-out on two occasions lately. Irfanview uses CNET as its exclusive download partner now. I use Geek Uninstaller to get rid of little monsters like that, but it should never be allowed to happen in the first place. Getting rid of Avast requires a system restart, which disrupts my updating sessions significantly.


Free antispy tool for Windows 10

Well, Kim Komando finally got her hands on O&O Shut Up 10. Too bad she hasn't shed any light on who actually owns that company. (Who are the actual people, and what are their backgrounds?)


Best Mini PCs 2018

OK, so why are all the comments from about 2015? Nice to see an Intel NUC mentioned in there.


Re. FYI#1197  (Sat 3/10/2018):

5 Popular Firefox Extensions You Should Remove Right Now

Not being a fan of ad blocking is different from pointing out that adblock plus, and any blacklisting service for that matter, will slow down browsing. Better to block popups, popovers and GIFs and maybe by default scripts and certainly Flash content. None of these steps will slow down anything. Relax script blocking only when on a page which needs scripts, and only release specific scripts until the page works. Once you get to know your favorite sites, this can become quite automatic. BTW, if your blocking is not based on specific blacklitstings, the malvertising tactic of changing domains (the DGA algorithms) may not be so effective anymore. That would be a bonus if it's true.


What you need to complete your PC when buying an Intel NUC

DDR4 RAM is recommended, not DDR3. The EVO series M.2 form factor SSDs work very well in NUCs. 8GB RAM is fine for Windows, but Linux can use RAM to cache data during transfers, which can speed up the transfers, especially between two or more USB drives. I have 16GB RAM in my NUC, which is probably a bit of overkill. No one seems to need 32GB RAM, which is the max for the NUC PCs. A Bluetooth keyboard and mouse worked well for me, but I now use a wired keyboard and mouse. You will also need a monitor. I use an HDMI cable and a switch to connect to my bedroom HDTV. My NUC can also use WiDi/Miracast or Chromecast. For Windows, I would opt for the full retail $199.00 Pro license. I bought this on a USB stick from the Microsoft Store. I also wanted two more USB ports for the keyboard and mouse, so I added a GoRite lid. (The NUC internal USB port is tricky to hook up, but it's worth the effort.)


Why You Should Stop Using Facebook in 2018

So, even after posting this article, CCS is still planning to move their presence to Facebook? Maybe some rethinking is in order, guys!


US wants to force Microsoft to break EU data protection laws in landmark case

The courts in this country don't have the right to legislate. If new laws are needed, it is up to our Congress to pass new laws. Which the Congress is in the process of doing right now. The conditions under which evidence stored on servers overseas could be subpoenaed by US law enforcement or US courts are being worked out in pending legislation which will resolve this case one way or the other. The US Supreme Court has no authority to override pending legislation in the way the Government is asking.


How to Test Your Web Browser’s Cryptojacking Protection

With the right extensions, Chrome and Firefox easily pass these tests.


Chime in: Do 'computer glasses' really work?

Short answer – not the kind which are popular with millennials these days. But as for prescription eyewear:

I have a visual-motor dysfunction and the usual effects of aging eyes. So I use glasses for reading and for distance, and neither pair works well at the normal distance for a desktop PC monitor. So yes, for me computer glasses with the intermediary prescription are essential for long sessions at the PC. For folks with progressive myopia, computer glasses might even save their eyesight. They certainly reduce eye strain for a lot of people, even those who normally don't use glasses.

It has been speculated that some folks like myself with autism spectrum disorders are adversely affected by certain colors of light and should tune our monitors to filter out some wavelengths (shift the Gamma). RedShift for Linux and the Windows 10 Night Light feature can be adapted to these needs. Without some adjustments, I have near-dyslexia with many monitors, especially smaller ones like my Chromebook and my tablet. So for me, the effects of screens using the standard default Gamma go way beyond fatigue and headaches. Glasses alone will not correct this issue, but they help.


How to Back Up Your Gmail Account to YOUR Hard Drive

For all this jumping through hoops, you might as well set up Thunderbird or some other desktop email client, and back up the Profile or the mailboxes to a couple of external data backup drives. (This nearly certainly excludes Outlook as your desktop client.) In Linux I use Claws Mail and back up my Home Directory regularly. (Select in View to show hidden files, as ./claws-mail and ./cache are parts of the Claws Mail storage system.) The User Home directory contains almost all your personal data in Linux, so backing it up will capture the email at the same time as all your other data are being backed up.


New Sensor Measures Blood Pressure While You Hold Your Phone

Not recommended to use if the caller is a telemarketer -- unless you like excessively high blood pressure readings.


Ford proposes remote drone-tracking system for the FAA

The automaker's affordable solution: Have UAVs flash their ID using anti-collision

Fascinating concept! This might also be useful in avoiding drones hitting each other or planes or people on the ground. Definitely a way for authorities to seize control of a rogue drone.


Hands on: How one mouse can control multiple PCs with Microsoft's Mouse Without Borders app

Slide seamlessly from one PC to the next, cut and paste between PCs and more. And it's free!



What’s new in Google’s Flutter mobile dev framework

The first beta release is now available for Android and iOS developers



The best budget computer speakers: Surprisingly sound choices for $50 or less



Multiple vulnerabilities in 7-Zip. Get it updated now!



7Zip exploit protection settings recommendation



All of Oculus’s Rift headsets have stopped working due to an expired certificate



California lawmaker introduces 'right to repair' bill



Jack Dorsey wants to measure how Twitter affects society



Child locks his mother’s iPhone for 48 YEARS after repeatedly entering the wrong passcode


This is why I back up everything on my phone. Not necessarily this exact reason, but anything can happen to a phone.

Or any device for that matter, especially tablets, Chromebooks and other stuff which travels with us.


Alexa is randomly laughing, and it's creepy as hell (updated)


Well, at least this isn't the device that lets you get clothing advice.


White House wants to let law enforcement disable civilian drones



MoviePass: The new face of unbridled data greed

Yet another horrific "hold my beer" moment with our personal data.



Facebook-owned Onavo quietly launches Bolt App Lock, a data-tracking app that locks other apps



Comcast 'blocks' an encrypted email service: Yet another reminder why net neutrality matters



ACLU sues TSA over electronic device searches



Yahoo loses its bid to reject data breach lawsuit



Asus Chromebook Flip (C101PA) review: Is this convertible the future of Android tablets?


Except for the ARM architecture and running Chrome OS with Android Apps, this little tablet reminds me of my ASUS TransformerBook which ran (most recently) Windows 10 Pro (32-bits). I'll soon get my tablet ready to hand off to a family member or friend, as my new ASUS Flip c302 Chromebook is now fully ready for use.


Microsoft sets May kill date for OWA apps on iOS, Android

The move riles enterprise users who still rely on older apps to access email because Outlook apps don't cut it for them.



Why autonomous cars won’t be autonomous

The truth is that artificial intelligence is neither artificial nor intelligent. A.I. is made out of people.



Google's Chromium browser explained

Chrome is the most popular browser in the world, but there would be no Chrome without Chromium, the open source project that underpins it. Here's what Chromium is, where you can download it and how it shapes your online experience. [And, if you hate it, here's how to get rid of it.]



Comments by -- Joe Nowak

Ransomware Recovery

Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:08 pm (PDT)

When your computer becomes a victim of ransomware, paying the ransom doesn't necessarily mean you'll recover your data.



Baby Boomers and Technology

Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:48 pm (PDT)

Older Americans, and baby boomers more specifically, have finally started to embrace technology.


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