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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 4/28/2018 1246
Fri 4/27/2018 1245
Thur 4/26/2018 1244
Wed 4/25/2018 1243
Tue 4/24/2018 1242
Mon 4/23/2018 1241
Sun 4/22/2018 1240

Sat 1246 4/28/2018

The next major Windows 10 update is launching on Monday




While we're still waiting for Microsoft to launch the Windows 10 April update, a new rumor suggests that May 8 is likely to be the release date for next major update of the OS.



MICROSOFT’S WINDOWS 10 LEAN IS A NEW EDITION FOR LOW STORAGE PCS (this could help low-cost budget machines and those more than 5 years old)

Microsoft is building a new edition of Windows 10 called "Lean" that makes the installation smaller by removing 



How to use multiple Download folders in Firefox or Chrome



AMD Earnings Soar on Exploding Ryzen Growth, Crypto Mining Craze



GSMA puts eSIM work 'on hold' due to US collusion investigation

You might not see card-free phones for a while.



How to install and use Kodi on Windows

Your go-to guide for all things Kodi on Windows



Facebook shrinks fake news after warnings backfire



Buying Apple’s next-gen iPhone X is probably going to be a big mistake



48 million people put at risk after firm that scraped info from social networks left it exposed for anyone to download



'Detroit: Become Human' is a game where your choices matter



Gigabit Ethernet vs. Fast Ethernet: What’s the Difference?



Playing with the new HoloLens gestures in Windows 10 Redstone 4

Redstone 4 for HoloLens is packing a lot of under the hood changes, and a few noteworthy changes on the surface. Let's go hands-on.



10 Pros and Cons of Jailbreaking Your iPhone or iPad



Snapchat's Second-Gen Spectacles Have Arrived

The new Spectacles are on sale now in the US, Canada, UK, and France for $150.



Firms using WebEx at risk of poisoned Flash attacks

Companies should check they are running latest version of WebEx, and beware attacks via the road less travelled.



Difference between OneNote and OneNote 2016



Microsoft Releases New Round Of Spectre Microcode Updates



How to recycle your used and unwanted gadgets

Because you love the earth as much as you loved your iPhone, right?



How to install Kodi on Android and Android TV

Get Kodi up and running with this easy guide



T-Mobile is reportedly much closer to a merger deal with Sprint



Google’s Gmail redesign is hiding a new Tasks app – here are our 5 favorite things about it



Hijack of Amazon’s internet domain service used to reroute web traffic for two hours unnoticed

Between 11am until 1pm UTC today, DNS traffic — the phone book of the internet, routing you to your favourite websites — was hijacked by an unknown actor.



5 tips for spring-cleaning your gadgets



Google Launches Dedicated Tasks App for Android and iOS



New authentication standard may let you ditch passwords across the web

Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox are all slated to support the standard.



How to Protect Your Identity, Personal Data and Property



5 New Gmail Features to Check Out Now

Google's first Gmail desktop redesign in years packs in features like confidential mode, nudging, and deep G Suite integrations. Here's what that means for your inbox.



Now Amazon wants the keys to your car




Prevent Facebook from tracking you using Facebook Container addon for Firefox



Gmail Adds New Security Features During Redesign



Ask Engadget: What are the best apps and tools for the blind?

What would you recommend?



10 steps to improve your smartphone photography

Make your smartphone photography even better



Apple ends production of AirPort base stations



Apple spent 5 years developing an iPhone feature it may soon abandon forever






8K TVs are coming, but don't buy the hype



How To Download All Your Instagram Photos



New authentication standard may let you ditch passwords across the web

Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox are all slated to support the standard.



New Skill Let Amazon Alexa Spy on Users



Ready for a 5G Revolution? It'll Be Awhile

According to Strategy Analytics, 5G will only start to make a dent in wireless subscriptions beginning in 2021.



Prick up your ears! There’s a new biometric in town




How to stop Amazon ads from stalking you around the web



‘Jellyfish’ No More: Adata Reveals Spectrix D80 DDR4 Memory



Atlanta spends more than $2 million to recover from ransomware attack

Affected services are still down.



How to download Kodi on your iPhone or iPad without jailbreaking

There’s no need to jailbreak your beloved iPhone to get Kodi



Your annual Amazon Prime membership fees are about to increase



Major DDoS attack lasts 297 hours, as botnets bombard businesses

In 2018, Q1 saw a DDoS attack that lasted 12 days, the longest since 2015, according to Kaspersky Lab.



How to move photos on your phone to a microSD card

MicroSD cards can free up precious storage space on our phones, but only if you set it up to.



Why you should actually install the new Windows 10 update



How to Use a USB Flash Drive with Your iPhone



Upgrade your storage space with the $80 WD Elements 4TB desktop hard drive

Save all the data!



Bitdefender Box (2018) Review: Flexible Protection



Wearable Taps Into Tendons To Measure Human Movement



Excel pivot table data leak leads to £120,000 fine for London council



Sophos Home is a business grade antivirus software for Windows home users



5 things to know about Google's new Tasks app

Finally, Google has a dedicated to-do app that integrates with Gmail.



Comments by -- Bob Primak --

– April 15-21, 2018 –

Re. Recent FYI Postings: Week of April 15-21, 2018 --


Re. FYI #1233  (Sun 4/15/2018):


I can't comment specifically on this story, but I found it totally incredible that an otherwise educated person would fall for such obvious social engineering. It isn't her willingness to comment or correspond about another author's work which was her downfall. It was her failure to recognize the site requesting her Twitter credentials as a fake which surprises me.


Comcast to Offer Netflix With Cable Bundles

Verizon FiOS already does this. So why not Comcast? Netflix is becoming a de facto cable channel.


Georgia Senate Passes Bill That Criminalizes Unauthorized Pen-Tests

Note: Pen-Test means Penetration Testing -- a practice of testing security of clients' servers and networks by white-hat hackers, with the intent of discovering and remediating security flaws. This activity should have been exempted, but the Courts would probably remedy that omission pretty quickly if anyone's actions were ever challenged. The folks who would be subject to criminal consequences would be white-hat hackers who are not asked by companies to test security perimeters. Those uninvited "pen-testers" would be subject to prosecution. Again, the Courts would be asked to clear up these kinds of issues.


Google is redesigning Gmail, and here’s what it looks like so far

Uh-oh! Here comes another crazy interface. I can't tell much from the illustration, but it looks superficially like Yahoo Mail now. We'll see more later, I'm sure.


Why You Should Use TimeShift in Linux Mint to Back Up Your Computer

Just to be clear -- TimeShift is not backup. Not any more than Apple Time Machine or Microsoft Windows File History are backup. They all are in the same category as versioning and system restore. Not true backup solutions, but good to have for specific types of user errors or software failures.


The Dark Side of the GDPR

This article is not available without registering with the site. I won't do that.


Chrome OS Gains Touch Support to Make It Viable on Tablets

What are these folks talking about? On Chromebooks, Chrome OS has always supported touchscreens and touch pads. My ASUS Chromebook has touch for both Chrome OS and Fedora Linux (worked with Gallium OS Linux too).


Hackers have taken down dozens of 911 centers. Why is it so hard to stop them?

America’s emergency-response networks remain dangerously vulnerable to criminals bent on crippling the country’s critical infrastructure.

Like ATMs, these systems are not upgraded very often. Your tax dollars are being saved -- but at what cost?


Re. FYI #1234  (Mon 4/16/2018):

Yahoo and AOL just gave themselves the right to read your emails (again)

(both owned by Verizon)

I noticed this. I am not sure this announcement is actually a change in what Yahoo Mail already does. It's just a new disclosure by Oath, a Verizon partner. Oath is the entity which actually will operate Yahoo and AOL from now on.


It’s time to give Firefox a fresh chance

Because everyone using Chrome for everything is a bad idea

No. This is not a good reason to use Firefox. "Just because it's not closed-source" is the worst excuse in the universe for inferior, less useful open-source substitutes for perfectly good products and services, “just because” the better ones are closed-source. I’ve caught a lot of flack from the Natick (MA) FOSS user group for this opinion.


Android Phone Makers Caught Fibbing About Security Patches

Not good news. And from some vendors, not surprising.


Should Individually Targeted Advertising Be Banned?

This would be unconstitutional and unenforceable. How personal would an ad have to be to be considered "too personal"? Which data would be permitted to be collected, and which data would not be permitted? And so forth...


Microsoft patches Malware Protection Engine to protect against devastating memory corruption attack

Microsoft warned that the vulnerability could allow attackers to execute arbitrary code and take control of a system.

This is the patch which required me to uninstall my Avira Antivirus, restart, apply the update to Windows Defender, then reinstall Avira and reset its settings, and restart twice more before the Avira real-time protections went back into effect. Thanks, Microsoft for a lovely Sunday morning!

I hear Avast Antivirus also has to be uninstalled to get this update. And since WD is part of the Windows 10 core OS, yes you do have to patch it even if you aren't using it.


Data exfiltrators send info over PCs' power supply cables

Malware tickles unused cores to put signals in current

This is another Proof of Concept, and is not out in the wild.


Gmail Will Offer Self Destructing Emails

In all likelihood, these emails, or anything else gimmicky, will not be read in my GMail account. I use a desktop client to download emails -- how will anyone reach into my offline copies and destroy them? And if anyone puts any restrictions on copying, downloading or other functions, their emails to me will become instant trash. No exceptions! This includes trying to entice me into entering into encryption pairings. I run a no-nonsense email archive, and I intend to keep it that way.


Facebook Defends U.S. Mass Surveillance Of EU Citizens For ‘National Security’ Reasons

Unless this is a clickbait article title, this sounds like a treaty violation.


Sales tax fight reaches Supreme Court

If a sales tax is legitimately owed, it should be paid. Since customers don't voluntarily pay this or Use Taxes, it is up to merchants to impose and pay the taxes due. But small online retailers or private sellers could be driven out of business by having to keep records of taxes paid to 52 separate tax jurisdictions. That is not fair. So how do we make exceptions for small sellers without being called out for this by larger sellers?


The One Router Setting Everyone Should Change (But No One Does)

I did this with my Comcast Gateway. The installer implored me (and my sister) not to do it.


Re. FYI #1235  (Tues 4/17/2018):

How to record macros in Google Sheets

Macros and plugins don't work offline. Be aware of this.


Putin might already have your Wi-Fi password

Last I knew, the routers the Russians hacked were mostly business-class Cisco based routers, plus at least one East-European brand. Most home users don't have these routers.


Linux computer maker to move manufacturing to the U.S.

They're still going to be very expensive for Linux laptops and PCs. And they use a proprietary (non-free) Linux distro.


How to Take a Screenshot of the Login Screen in Linux

As of Ubuntu 18.04 this will no longer work. Ubuntu is going over to Wayland with this new LTS version. Someone will have to develop new scripts.


Which CPU Should You Buy? Intel Core i5 vs. i7

Unless you're a serious gamer or are editing 4k videos, you do not need the extra features and power of a core-i7 chip.


Arris Modems and Routers Have Major Security Flaw

These are the modems and gateways used in AT&T landline and UVerse services. I am so glad I dropped those folks (had to do so) when I moved out here to Mass.! Their attitude toward customer service is the worst I have ever encountered in any company. Not that Comcast is that great.


Samsung's Folding Tablet Could Challenge Apple's iPad

Again with these folding tablets? No one wants these!


How to install and use Flatpak on Ubuntu

I assure you, Ubuntu does not depend on only Snaps. I use none of these. Flatpak is an outside repository, and raises serious security concerns.


SPAM? Verizon gives you a new tool to avoid those pesky robocalls with new Caller ID feature

I simply set up NomoRobo and got on with my life. The spam callers can ring me once, then they get derailed. They still show up in my Comcast call records, so I can see who's been calling. No one important has been blocked, and very few spammers have gotten through.


Microsoft keeps cozying up to former rival Linux, and will now use it to secure web-connected gadgets

Not entirely true -- Microsoft has partnered with Canonical (Ubuntu) and Red Hat (Fedora) but not much of anyone else. And this is not about the Linux kernel -- it is only about the BASH Shell environment. Microsoft remains opposed to most Linux distros and is still virtually at war with Linus Torvalds, the founder and leader of the GNU/Linux community.


Should YouTube Be Allowed to Target Kids with Ads?

With appropriate restrictions, I don't see any real problem with this. It happens with broadcast television all the time.


Microsoft wants to stuff Linux, not Windows 10, into Internet of Things devices

This would be true Linux. Microsoft would probably license their Linux from Canonical (Ubuntu) or Red Hat (Fedora).


Avoid the Trash Heap: 14 Great Uses for an Old PC

Linux can make an old PC work pretty well. And it is great for anything you want to hand down to a younger person. They can learn coding and other skills while having a well-running PC to work and play with.


Is Apple really better about privacy? Here's what we found out

Remember the iCloud leaks? And all the issues with fake iTunes accounts? I had my identity stolen and used in an iTunes account once.


Every TV Show That's Been Canceled in 2018 — So Far

This article is not accurate and is not up to date.


Microsoft Begins Flagging uTorrent as Malware

This is too bad. uTorrent used to be a legitimate way to get large files transferred over the Internet. I bet Kodi falls prey to the next round of Microsoft acting as the Nannystate.


A brilliant, devious way to stop telemarketing calls once and for all

Or you could just use NomoRobo and get on with your life.


You've Got Scanned! Yahoo and AOL Emails Targeted for Ads

This is not anything new for these services. It's just newly disclosed by the new owner, Oath, a Verizon partner.


5 Reasons Kodi Users Should Just Switch To Plex Already

I hate to say something I just railed against, but Kodi is open-source and free. Plex is closed-source and uses a Plex Pass subscription. Make your own choices, but I (generally) go with free stuff when it's just as good. Which Kodi is in this comparison?

Microsoft Account Gets New Look With Fluent Design Update

Uh-oh! Another random interface change to distract us from changes in where to find the privacy settings.

Simple Tricks to Remember Insanely Secure Passwords

I guess it's just me, but if I use any truly random password obtained from LastPass or some such place, in time it becomes memorized and I don't need to write it down or store it in a password manager. Recent articles by security pros have been recommending uses not to change passwords frequently, which helps with keeping the strong passwords memorized.


Re. FYI #1236  (Wed 4/18/2018):

For the first time ever, Microsoft will distribute its own version of Linux

Azure Sphere is not Linux. It does not run any open-source code. This is a proprietary, closed-source operating system with some elements stolen from Linux (or maybe licensed, but with Microsoft, that should be considered not true until proven true). Microsoft seems poised to try to pull off a Netscape on Canonical (makers of Ubuntu Linux). (I refer to how MS gutted Netscape and stole its code to create what eventually became Internet Explorer, driving the real Netscape out of business. It was only with great effort that Firefox was forged from Netscape's ashes.)


The psychological impact of an $11 Facebook subscription

Would it make us love or hate ads?

Facebook cannot exist without harvesting and selling user personal information. Charging a subscription on top of that price is outrageous and in my mind, pure theft. Even if the user is not presented with ads, Facebook will be collecting and selling personal information from those users. This makes this model a change without any difference.


Why router-based attacks could be the next big trend in cybersecurity

A joint statement issued by DHS, FBI, and NCSC claim that Russian state-sponsored hackers are leveraging vulnerabilities in routers to harvest data.

Maybe it's time to combine routers with security appliances. This might stop those attacks in their tracks. BitDefender and Symantec, among others, stand ready and waiting to provide such devices to home and small business users. The biggest cost for the Bitdefender Box 2 security appliance is a $99.00 per year subscription to updates. This also covers basic security for all your Windows and Android devices. Combined with a good router, this would be a good start toward defending ourselves. To date, most router manufacturers have been dangerously lazy in containing router costs while virtually ignoring router security.


CTRL-Labs' EMG wristbands may spell the end for keyboards and mice

Why type when you can just think about typing?

I'll keep my thoughts to myself, thank you.


How to save your privacy from the Internet’s clutches

Practical tips to fight surveillance capitalism

Well, it's nice they now have a cute marketing term for theft and misuse of personal data.


Will a Scheduled Backup Wake My Machine Up If It’s Sleeping?

Some backup programs can wake up a sleeping machine, but there are still things that could go wrong and cause a backup to fail.

Personally, I don't do scheduled backups. Then again, I don't have dozens or hundreds of PCs and devices to back up.


Intel's new malware scanner will be easier on your CPU

Turns out integrated GPUs have their uses.

I'm not sure what practical impact this will have, other than to raise prices on Wintel PCs and other devices. And maybe introduce subscription costs into hardware purchases.


Windows Defender Extension Enhances Chrome's Security

Microsoft's claims about Edge vs. Chrome security is pure FUD. Like any other AV vendor's promise of securing third-party web browsers, I completely distrust this extension as probably nothing more and nothing less than more Microsoft spyware.



Didn't that headline last week say "should not"? Well, it should say "should not". This is no big deal in the world of non-Apple users. Though, Apple users might worry that Apple may not be able to keep up its own chip production at the pace its own hardware builds might require. And I sincerely doubt that this will be an American based manufacturing plant, so there is the Foxconn in China issue.


How to Remove Google From Your Life (And Why That’s Nearly Impossible)

Not to mention unnecessary.


Cloudflare launches Spectrum to protect the internet beyond the web

This is of interest more to businesses than to consumers.


Facebook Hacked? What You Need to Do NOW

It's not a hack -- it's a feature. Most of what people think are hacked Facebook accounts are actually Facebook doing what Facebook does -- sharing personal data with advertisers. Other than sharing passwords, there are very few ways anybody can gain access to a Facebook account without being invited. Same with Google and GMail. Most alleged "hacks" are actually phishing events.


Dutch uni spinout gets $1.2M for its zero ink printing tech

If the ink is in the paper, you will be paying a lot more for the paper. You won't win financially.


What’s the Difference Between Hibernate and Sleep?

Hibernate and sleep are two optimizations to the boot/reboot process that can speed things up.

What's important to users is that Sleep must remain connected to a power source, or else you will lose the session. Hibernate is persistent, but uses disk space for the Hiberfile. Hybrid Sleep (the "shutdown" state in Windows 8 and Windows 10) uses some power, but reduces greatly the size of the hybrid hibernate file on the disk.


How to fix Hibernate problems on Windows 10

You can use these instructions to resolve issues using the Hibernate power mode on your computer running Windows 10.

Many Windows devices are built on the hardware level to work best if they don't go into zero-power Hibernate. In fact, some UEFI firmware makes a true Hibernate sleep mode unavailable. On these devices it is unwise to try to force the hibernate state to become available. In general, Windows 10 works best without Hibernate. So unless you have a serious reason why you need to enable hibernate on a Windows 10 device, don't do it. Hybrid Sleep goes hand in glove with Windows Fast Startup, so leave that setting alone if possible as well. In my Linux dual-boot setup, there are shared partitions, so Fast Startup cannot be left enabled.


Re. FYI #1237  (Thurs 4/19/2018):

Voice Assistants Are Only Intuitive If You’re Already Tech Savvy

I have to agree. Which is probably one big reason I avoid voice-controlled devices, including TV and DVR remotes.


[Software Update] Google Chrome 66 Stable Release Now Available for Download

I've only been seeing the Beta as yet. Still waiting, especially on my Chromebook, for the Stable Channel release.


The best Chromebooks

The ASUS c202 is a model year and some hardware specs behind my c302. But it is nice to see those ASUS Chromebooks making good marks in some review stories.



How to Hide a Recovery Partition (or Other Drive) in Windows

There are devices on which you do not want to do this. Some laptops and tablets boot from a compressed image which lives in that Recovery Partition. Hide it and the device won't boot.


Facebook class action lawsuit over facial recognition OK'd by judge

Plaintiffs accuse the social network of violating an Illinois law.

While this law is unique to Illinois, the precedent a successful cease and desist order could set would affect Facebook users and non-users worldwide.


Facebook pushes ahead with controversial facial recognition feature in Europe

I doubt that the EU is going to permit this.


Would a Facebook Subscription Model Work?

No. An ad-free paid version is still Facebook. Facebook cannot exist without collecting and sharing personal data with advertisers.


Report: 100% of web apps have at least one security vulnerability

Welcome to the future of personal computing. And there is nothing we as users can do about this. Web Apps are often beyond our control to update, modify or not use.


Browse the internet anonymously with this easy-to-use VPN tool

CyberGhost is another VPN service which has been found to be leaking user information.


Police Link Smartphone Hand Photo to Jail Dealer

What this does indicate is that biometrics which rely on fingerprint readers can be fooled by photos. And it demonstrates that once something has passed through someone else's server, it may be there long after the users think we have deleted it.


Re. FYI #1238  (Fri 4/20/2018):

Letting Your iPhone Trust Random PCs Is a Bad Idea

The thing you need to remember is that iPhone USB connections to a PC or Mac are a two-way communication channel. So things can travel both ways. Windows can get infected by malware from the phone, and the phone might pick up something if it is carefully crafted from the PC. Definitely not as risky as a flash drive which connects to different PCs, but something to be aware of. Windows antivirus may not be scanning for iOS malware. Of course, Symantec offers a product which does scan for everything, but I'd bet it isn't free.


Next-gen TV to usher in viewer tracking and personalized ads along with 4K broadcasts

More of your life will be lost to advertisers when TV stations switch to a new digital format

How exactly ATSC3 will be implemented is still not known. It may not be all that intrusive for most folks. Some of the tracking may depend on which paid value-added services we subscribe to. This isn't coming until after 2022 in most markets.


Animations in Windows 10 breathe life into a cold, sterile experience — we need more, not less

Microsoft is adding some UI flair to Windows 10, but it still has work to do.

GUI glitz, like WinAero in Windows 7, takes up system resources, slows the PC and makes the OS look slow. Many folks with less capable hardware will want a way to turn off animations.


Why Isn’t PBS Offered By Sling and Other Streaming Services?

PBS, due to its charter, cannot sell commercial-style subscriptions. So it is limited to its own website and its own streaming apps. There is no way to create a PBS streaming channel without violating the charter. Some PBS shows have production companies who are not so strictly regulated. These shows often crop up on other streaming services like iTunes and Vudu. Some PBS shows are partnerships with National Geographic Channel, so NGTV will offer some of this content from time to time.


What Is Fast Charging?

One key difference is that fast charging requires smart chargers with (sometimes) higher amperage than normal chargers. Trying to use a generic charger with a fast-charging device can actually drain the battery.


Microsoft's refocusing on the cloud will have personal and far-reaching impacts

For many Microsoft watchers, the company's cloud focus has set it on a course toward inevitable irrelevance. That's a profoundly misguided assessment.

With all desktop OSes going for cloud-based components, Windows is just following everyone else. The local OS is just an OS core, with modules hosted in the Cloud. Your desktop GUI environment and your apps, as well as your default data storage locations, will all be in the Cloud. If you go offline, your ability to use apps, access your data, and work with app-specific files will be severely curtailed. Think of Google Docs Offline vs. online in Chrome OS. Also, 5G LTE connectivity will be used on all devices, blurring the differences between PCs, tablets and phones. All OSes except some Linux distros are headed this direction. And it seems to be what younger consumers want.


Plover.io Quickly Shares Files Between Local Devices

This is not direct peer to peer sharing, and it is not nearfield or Bluetooth sharing. This is a Cloud Sharing service, and it uses a third-party server as an intermediary. Do not expect any privacy when using this service.


How the CLOUD Act Will Damage Your Data Privacy Forever

Cry me a green river! This is a law enforcement effort to prevent criminal investigations from being stopped cold by someone storing evidence of criminal activity in offshore servers. These servers were up until now inaccessible to US law enforcement and courts. While the Act must be monitored for adherence to proper procedures (like getting specific warrants before requiring data turnovers) it is a step in the right direction. Data on US servers enjoys no greater protections than this Act allows for data on overseas servers. It simply makes the rules the same, regardless of the country where the data may physically reside. And it will only be applied to countries which have treaty agreements with the US.


With 5G Still in the Works, 6G Is Already Taking Shape

Define 6G. 5G only recently got actual standards. These "6G" concepts look right now to be pretty vague and sci-fi focused, not based on real-world tech trends. No one knows what tech will be available in 2037. Nor what threats to security and privacy may emerge in the interim which could change the whole landscape.


How to Install Google Chrome on Ubuntu 18.04

What is so difficult about downloading the installer package and running it through your distro's installer (or installing it directly from the CLI)?


Microsoft outs new cumulative updates for Windows 10 Creators and Anniversary Update PCs

A slew of fixes are on the way to Creators and Anniversary update PCs with the latest batch of cumulative updates.

Woody Leonhard is recommending waiting awhile longer before installing the current (April 2018) MS Updates patches. And while we're at it, even though the Spring Feature Update (1803) has been indefinitely delayed, now is a good time to block it if your Windows 10 version has that capability. There is no compelling reason to upgrade to this version right away.


Windows Hello Will Support FIDO2 Security Keys

This applies mostly to enterprise level domain logins.


Solid-state drives Part 2: SSDs are great, but are they too expensive?

As long as you aren't going for bleeding-edge technologies, SSDs are coming down in price. Some of the more mainstream brands and models are looking pretty affordable now. Sizes of 1TB and upward are still more expensive by far than conventional hard drives.


Use the Surf Browser for a Minimalist Web-Browsing Experience

I am not impressed. I want a complete web browser.


3 Popular Online Services to Avoid If You Value Free Speech

Web Sites are run by private businesses. As such, these businesses can impose whatever rules and restrictions they deem fit. None of these sites or services is a news site, in the traditional sense. So they do not have to abide by any policies of fairness or equal time to opposing opinions. If you want to rant and rage, start your own blog on a service which permits such "offensive" content. There are plenty of those around. If your online conduct is getting you banned or threatened with banning, you really need to take a good look at yourself.


Headlines About ‘The Dark Web’ Are Usually Nonsense

Original source material:


Making Light of the "Dark Web" (and Debunking the FUD)



Re. FYI #1239  (Sat 4/21/2018):

How to check if network traffic is using DNS resolver you set

These DNS tests only test the settings at your router. If you have a gateway belonging to Comcast or XFinity or XFi, there is no way to change their DNS server settings at the gateway. I don't know about any other equipment provided by the ISP. Setting a different DNS server in the operating system is thus capable of being overridden by your ISP unless use your own router instead.


Shutting Down Doesn’t Fully Shut Down Windows 10 (But Restarting Does)

That's not true. Restarting and shutting down do nnot fully shut down a Widnows 10 device in its default settings. To do so requires a Command or a Script, or else disable Windows Fast Startup in the hidden settings in your power plan. In a dual boot with shared NTFS or FAT-32 partitions, disabling Fast Startup is necessary to provide the non-Windows OS with access to the shared partitions. Fast Startup locks these partitions at "shutdown". Restart does nothing to change any of this.


Ransomware Protection Section Included in Windows 10's Spring Creators Update

Only works if you use Windows Defender and no other antivirus.


Can Power Cuts and Surges Harm My PC?

Under voltages and surges have similar effects on electronics. Both conditions can wear out components or even outright damage them. Use a UPS with voltage regulation to protect your plugged in devices which don't have their own batteries. Even battery powered devices take time to switch over and if they have to switch too frequently, they can also be damaged.


Chrome Now (Sort Of) Mutes Auto-Playing Videos

Emphasis on sort of. I find up to a quarter of sites are not effectively muted by the Chrome auto-mute feature.


How to download music from YouTube for free

Discover, rip, and convert songs from videos

Technically, this is probably a violation of the DMCA law.


Don’t Give Away Historic Details About Yourself

It's kind of hard to give false answers when most bank and financial organizations use multiple choice questions, where the “correct” answers are obtained from the companies by Equifax, TransUnion or Experian. Over the phone, if you use nonsense answers, you will not pass verification.


How to Access Your Google Drive Account on Ubuntu

I just use the web browser (Chrome) version.

Back to Top

Fri 1245 4/27/2018

Windows 10 is getting a big update on April 30. Here’s what you need to know (next week)



How to find everything Microsoft knows about you



AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Overclocked to an Insane 6GHz Across All Cores



The Best Graphics Cards for Compact PCs

Outfitting a compact PC for 4K and VR, or a tiny budget tower for 1080p gaming? These are our favorite cards for your next build or upgrade.



Why you should actually install the new Windows 10 update



The best Kodi add-ons and how to install them

The best Kodi add-ons to enhance your viewing experience



How To Stop All Of Amazon’s Many (MANY) Emails



Alexa will soon gain a memory, converse more naturally, and automatically launch skills



[Problem] Windows 10 Hangs (Not Responding) For Few Minutes After Restart



How to Make Sure a Browser Extension Is Safe Before Installing It






Best Steam Tips and Tricks you need to know



Best Computer Speakers in 2018

Enjoy music, movies, and games with a new set of PC speakers.



The Best Routers and Modems for Every Budget



Apple Watch can now unlock your August Smart Lock

You don't even need to have your phone with you.



Amazon May Announce a Domestic Robot This Year



How to Download YouTube Videos

Hours of footage is uploaded to YouTube every single second. What if you want to download it? In some circles, that's considered a big no-no, but you have your reasons, right? Here's how.



How Technology Can Turn VR into Powerful Therapy



How to take dramatic landscape photos

Use ‘bad’ weather to add mood to your landscape images



How To Force Microsoft Excel To Show Leading Zeroes



Facebook’s Internet.org has connected almost 100M to the ‘internet’



[Tip] How to Try New Redesigned Gmail Interface (UI)



Open-back vs. Closed-back Headphones – Which One Should You Get?



How to enable Google Chrome’s Material Design Refresh interface

The desktop version of Chrome is getting an UI refresh with version 68, and you can test it now using these instructions.



How to reset all File Associations to default in Windows 10



WD's portable 1TB My Passport drive is down to $50 at Amazon

Simple, fast, large storage solution.



6 Reasons to Start Buying Used Computers Instead of New Ones



Apple will replace swollen batteries in newer MacBook Pros

A flaw in the affected devices could cause their built-in batteries to expand.



What Computers Could Have Inside Them In the Next 5 Years



The Best Wi-Fi Mesh Network Systems of 2018

Have a larger home with Wi-Fi dead zones? A multi-node system might be a better solution than a traditional wireless router and extenders. Here's what you need to know along with the top-rated reviews.



Amazon's Alexa catching cheating spouses



Switch carriers without Early Termination Fees: How to avoid phone ETF fees

Have an easier time switching to Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and 



Facebook Insists You’re Not The Product



Microsoft is reportedly working on a leaner Windows 10 for low-end devices



Samsung Leak Reveals New Galaxy Is Massive



Can Police Search a Phone without a Warrant After Death?



Xbox One April update (version 1804): All the new features and changes

The April feature update is available for the family of Xbox One consoles bringing support for 1440p video, AMD Radeon FreeSync, scheduled theme, audio improvements, and much more — Here's everything you need to know.



How to Block or Unblock someone on Skype



Fitbit Versa now available starting at $199

The followup to Fitbit's Ionic is now available in standard and special editions.



Facebook’s New Privacy Settings, Explained



Teen who hacked top US officials gets two years in prison

His targets included ex-CIA chief John Brennan.



Microsoft May Plan a Return to Phones With New Windows 10 Lean



LG gram 15 (15Z980)



Amazon hikes up price of Prime to $119 a year



How to unblock and watch Hulu outside the US with a VPN in 2018

Here are the simple steps to access Hulu wherever you are



How to Move Ubuntu’s Launcher Bar to the Bottom or Right



Microsoft is reportedly working on a leaner Windows 10 for low-end devices



Google's Pixel 3 Can Beat Apple And Samsung With These Features



How to Password-Protect Folders and Files in Linux



The best new tech of 2018

Here's our pick of the best new tech for creatives this year so far.



How to download Music online legally



Why Microsoft's 2018 reorg matters to everyone, on every platform

Microsoft's recent reorganization aligns its organizational structure with the future-focused cloud, AI and edge computing investments to which it has committed.



15 Fun Websites for Instantly Beating Boredom Online



Microsoft's AI-powered offline translation now runs on any phone

Translator should be more accurate when you're traveling abroad.



5 Reasons Space Exploration Is More Important Than Ever



Leaked iPhone pics show glass back and headphone jack



PGP Encryption: How It Works and How You Can Get Started



Google's mysterious 'Fuchsia' operating system could run Android apps – and it's a huge step to prevent a flop



Comments by -- Bob Primak --

– April 8-14, 2018 –

Re. Recent FYI Topics:  Week of April 8-14, 2018 –


Re. FYI #1226  (Sun 4/08/2018):

Note: The Date Bug showed up again -- this was listed in FYI at CCS as 2017.


Congress Asks FCC Not to Kick Poor People Off the Internet

Clearly, it's not as simple as the headline implies. Technology is changing, and universal landline access is no longer the best answer to how to connect poor and rural populations to the Internet. the subsidies need to shift away from obsolete landline tech over to state of the art, subsidized 5G (mostly wireless and satellite direct) alternatives. (5G satellite uplink antennas are no longer those ugly, giant dish receivers used by direct TV and Dish.) This would be a win for everyone. Congress needs to become educated about these shifting needs and to develop new strategies to deal with them.


101 of the Best Free Software and Apps for Your Windows PC

Needless to say, they missed a few good ones, and some of these apps are either no longer free or just don't work well in Windows 10. One glaring omission is Macrium Reflect Free for backup.



Apple users should worry maybe, but no one else is going to lose anything.

'Severe' security flaws can turn popular smart cameras into spying tools

So what else is new? These sorts of reports will keep coming at us for a long, long time.


How to keep your home internet alive when your power dies

This is great for the first couple or three hours. But in Eastern MA, we can have power outages which last for days. You Internet will still go out, and probably also your phone unless you charge it from your car battery.


Use Cloudflare’s New DNS Service to Speed Up the Internet While Also Protecting Your Data

So far, this DNS has been fast, and has not blocked me from many of the web pages I've tried to access. I'd call this a success so far.


Re. FYI #1227  (Mon 4/09/2018):

How Badly Would a Loss of Apple Business Hurt Synaptics?

Apple is reportedly planning to make its own display drivers, but Synaptics investors shouldn't worry.

That about sums it up. Apple is less than 11% of the total market for hardware. Even Linux devices, Playstation game boxes, some Android devices and Chromebooks use synaptics drivers.


Connecting devices without thinking hits healthcare

Security basics fail to be ticked off as medical devices are hooked up and left open to the internet.

Welcome to your brave new world of always-connected devices and poorly secured IoT Things.


Windows 10’s “Free Up Space Now” Ushers In a New Era for Disk Cleanup

Their graphic display of what's taking up the space leaves much to be desired, leaving open a large market space for programs like DiskFan and WinDirStat. But once you really understand the disk geometry, it's nice to have the cleanup tools all inside the OS.


How to Reset and Re-register Windows Spotlight in Windows 10

That is, if you really feel you want this advertising platform...


Amazon slashes Fire TV prices to undercut Google Chromecast

They had to do something, and we can all benefit now.


Extra-large solid state drives raise questions about real-world use

Not to worry -- we will all find plenty of uses (eventually) for all that SSD real estate. But how to clean and erase it all?


6 Desktop Apps To Be More Productive in Windows 10

Cortana is not a productivity app -- it is a spyware app for Microsoft's benefit, not our benefit.


[Tip] Restore Pop-up Window Blocked Notification Message in Mozilla Firefox

There are sites on which those popup windows are needed to complete a transaction or to see the data requested. That's when those notifications need to be seen and acted upon. I know how to allow the popups in my browsers for the most part, but sometimes an extension needs to be disabled for the site.


How to take a screenshot in Windows 10

The Snipping Tool is pretty much all we need to know now, especially with the upcoming Windows 10 Spring Update (1803).


Will my computer run the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update?

It turns out, the answer for nearly everyone was a definitive "No", so Microsoft withdrew the update. They'll probably try again in May, 2018. That's two months delayed. They are slipping in their semi-annual upgrade cadence, as many had predicted they would.


How Windows 10's Near Share feature wirelessly beams files to nearby PCs  (version 1809 due this fall)

Uh, no, it's in 1803.


Everything You Should Know About Your IMEI Number

I copied out all this information about my phone and put it in a hard copy note. I'll have to look for that note, but I know I put it somewhere.


Monday Apple Rumors: 2019 iPhone May Have Triple-Lens Rear Camera

What the heck does a "triple lens camera" actually do?? (I found out later what this really means.)


LockCrypt Ransomware Cracked Due to Bad Crypto

Very ironic!


Apple needs to stop promising new products and start delivering them

This is starting to get ridiculous now.

I don't know -- maybe the latest trendy-trend is Vaporware. After all, vaping is cool now...


Windows 10 is about productivity — for businesses and consumers

Contrasting enterprise with consumers when talking about Windows 10 makes no sense.

Do these authors realize that they contradicted themselves in their own headline? Anyway, the last half of the headline about Windows 10 making no sense is absolutely spot-on, and is incurable. Microsoft has developed a corporate culture of navel-gazing and it isn't getting any better for consumers or businesses.


You Are the Product’: Targeted by Cambridge Analytica on Facebook

Or, to put things the way other authors have put them -- CA was not an anomaly -- it was just Facebook being Facebook. This is how Facebook was designed to work. Get over it or get out.


Re. FYI #1228  (Tues 4/10/2018):

HP Chromebook x2 is the world's second Chrome OS tablet and costs $599

That price includes the tablet, stylus, and keyboard dock.

The internal storage could stand to be bigger at this price point, but otherwise this looks like a good 2-in-1. Let'as call it what it is, folks.


After massive MyFitnessPal breach, firms should reconsider mobile fitness programs

A breach of the Under Armour-owned app affected 150 million user accounts.

After the Strava app revealed the locations of US air bases and personnel, and now this breach, everyone should reconsider what we are carrying on our bodies (watches, phones, etc.).


Do you need a smart home hub?

Spoiler: Not necessarily.

If you don't need a hub yet, you soon will. Smart money goes with getting a hub, but one which has room for future expanded capabilities.


Privacy Groups Push FTC to Probe Facebook on Facial Recognition

Here we go again!


What is a eSATA port for? Is it one of these useful in a laptop or I can use the USB port to connect an external HDD?

E-SATA is being displaced by USB-C. If you have e-SATA, go ahead and use it. But most future devices will use USB-C.


Here’s How to Mute Those Annoying Gas Station Video Ads

I just go in for gas at busy times and let the ambient noise drown out the ads. This works most places.


9 Chrome Flags You Should Enable for a Better Browsing Experience

Many of these Flags are obsolete as of Chrome 65 Stable-66 Beta.


SpaceX plan for global satellite internet service approved by FCC

As I say, this is where the government subsidies should be going, not into traditional landline phone services.


Electric Vehicles Are Coming for Your Snacks

Don't worry -- the cars will program themselves to stop at C-Stores along your way.


6 Windows 10 Registry Hacks to Optimize Your Windows 10 Experience

Deleting Pagefile.sys upon session end is ridiculous and does not improve performance. In fact, it slows down the next session startup. And why on earth would you want to prevent Startup Delay? Do you enjoy system freezes and crashes? Registry hacking in general is dangerous and should be avoided.



For Windows I prefer CCleaner or Glary Utilities. For Linux there is little choice, so I use Stacer (for Ubuntu) and Bleachbit (for every other distro).


Soon You Won’t Have to Sign Credit Card Receipts

I feel safer already -- NOT!!


How to export saved passwords from Chrome to a CSV file

You should never, never save passwords in .csv format or in web browsers or extensions.


Gallery: 10 free backup applications to help you prevent disaster

This slideshow makes one unholy mess of blurred lines of definitions. Backup means System Image or Disk Clone. Data backup and VM backup are entirely different categories. Cloud Backup is really syncing, not backup. I hate it when folks fail to make distinctions which can make the difference between being able to recover your system and data, or failing.


Understanding Linux filesystems: ext4 and beyond

The most important thing for Windows users to learn is which file systems can be read by the other operating system. The universal file systems include NTFS, FAT-32 and in some cases, ex-FAT. The other thing to know is whether each file system preserves metadata (most don't) and which ones include journaling and indexing.


Facebook to exclude North American users from some privacy enhancements

I should start doing my "told you so" dance about now.


Re. FYI #1229  (Wed 4/11/2018):

Linux all-in-one: Slimbook Curve comes with your distro of choice pre-installed

Prebuilt Linux laptops and this desktop PC are all vastly overpriced for what hardware they contain. And most are not the actual Linux distros, but closed-source, branded versions limited to a vendor-curated gallery of apps (no real package manager). They can be jailbroken, but then vendor support and warranties are voided. Users would be far better served by picking up an older Windows laptop, and then wiping out Windows, reformatting and installing a real Linux distro. You'll be doing these sorts of things yourself sooner or later anyway, so it's best to start learning to work with Linux from the beginning.


VirusTotal Launches Droidy, Its New Android Sandbox Technology

This could be useful.


Windows 10 version 1803 (Spring Creators Update) video review

The release has been delayed indefinitely last I read.


Firefox, Chrome and Edge Will All Support WebAuthn’s Hardware Two Factor Authentication

So, the concept behind YubiKey is going open-source with some standards baked into it? This is a good step forward. Just don't lose your hardware key! Baking this tech into a device seems more loss-prevention oriented, but it means changing your hardware key if it ever gets cracked would be a major repair nightmare. Also, if the keys are tied to specific hardware configurations, changing your internal hardware would require resetting the hardware key for all apps, sites and services you are using. That would be a major hassle. If you ever sell or give away your device, you would have to wipe the hardware key also. And individual devices could be tracked and fingerprinted, which would end privacy completely. Your location would always be known. This is just one step above chipping people on the creepy scale.


HTTPS Everywhere Now Delivers New Rulesets Without Upgrading Extension

(I use and recommend this)

I like it too, especially in the Chrome Browser.


This Is Why I Back Up

I back up everything twice, but I don't (yet) do off-site storage of a third copy.


Microsoft holds on releasing Windows 10 Version 1803 to the public

Definition of Blocking Bug -- fatal flaw (BSOD) which prevented the public release of the upgrade.


How many Linux users are there anyway?

It depends on how you count them.

Depending on how you define a user, it can be tricky trying to count Linux users. Browser fingerprinting does not always correctly identify my web site visits as coming from a Linux device.


Power checklist: Managing backups

Link no longer exists. Article has been moved or pulled.


Lenovo X1 Carbon (2018) brings Dolby Vision HDR to a work-focused laptop

The trouble is, Dolby Vision is not the standard the HDTV industry is settling on. They are going with the open-sourced HDR10+ standard.


How AI Can Outsmart Criminals and Improve Society

We should be very careful about applying AI to criminal profiling. It can catch "criminals" who are totally innocent. As a tool to predict who will commit crimes, AI is worse than a bad Hollywood joke.


Re. FYI #1230  (Thurs 4/12/2018):

Does eSATA require power source?

It depends on the device you want to connect. Some require their own power supplies, while some are port-powered. there are also different types of e-SATA ports, but most supply some power.


How to find your motherboard's Spectre CPU fix

Such a crucial patch should be much simpler to find.

Intel passed off the distribution of its latest round of patches to manufacturers.

I believe this was a mistake. Such critical patches should be distributed through Windows Update or Intel's site itself. I had to do some serious sleuthing to find out which patches are the most recent for both my NUC and my Chromebook. ASUS had nothing for the Chromebook, leaving patching to Google for Chrome OS. This leaves my Fedora installation on the Chromebook high and dry. (Actually not, as Chrome OS patches of this sort are firmware updates, and require a powerwash cycle to apply them. But does this mean the MrChromebook (chrx) substitute firmware needs an update? I don't know.)


FTC Warns Companies ‘Warranty Void if Removed’ Stickers Are Flatly Illegal

I was not aware of this law. Does this also apply to the tags on pillows which say Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law?


How to Recover Your Windows Product Key

These products flat-out do not work on Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. There are no more product license keys. All Digital Entitlements are on Microsoft's own servers, and may be accessed for activation purposes through a Microsoft Cloud Account. This is actually easier on consumers the the old product license key method.


Windows 10 update KB4093112 (build 16299.371) releases

This is just the normal monthly CU for 1709 for April, 2018 Patch Tuesday. Not recommended for installation (yet) by AskWoody.com


Europe’s new privacy law must work because Facebook didn’t want to roll out worldwide changes initially

This is twisted logic. There is no proof that any privacy laws are being respected anywhere in the world as it stands. This is not going to change. And Facebook has not updated its privacy policy anywhere but in the EU countries.


Cybercriminals secretly use your Chrome extensions to steal from you

Not my Chrome extensions!


What is Android One?

If it's controlled by Google, does this mean it gets its updates on time -- very unlike Motorola's in-house Moto series phones like the one I own?


When is your phone getting Android 8.0 Oreo? We asked every major manufacturer

For my Moto G4 -- never.


Re. FYI #1231  (Fri 4/13/2018):

Comparing eSATA vs. USB 3.0

Wrong comparison -- e-SATA competes with USB-C, not USB 3.0.


New Michigan Law Makes Possession of Ransomware Illegal

So if ransomware is found on your PC, you will get arrested? Isn't this punishing the victims? Or have I misunderstood?


What to Do If Your Facebook Data Went to Cambridge Analytica

Don't worry -- all Facebook users had this happen.


Trump Signs FOSTA, Igniting Online Censorship Concerns

Some content needs to be censored. Look at COPA (Child Protection Act) if you don't believe me.


Cloudflare’s new ‘privacy-focused’ DNS service speeds up your web browsing

This DNS works for me in my tests.


Intel Reveals Some CPU Models Will Never Receive Microcode Updates

Just as some OS versions are too old to be secured, so some chips are too old to be made secure. If you can't live with this reality, upgrade.


How to Disable the Recycle Bin in Windows 10

Why in the world would anyone want to do  this?


You’re Slowing Down Your PC: 6 Common Mistakes and What to Do Instead

So, run CCleaner and reboot. OK, fine.


Amazon’s $95 sound bar has so much bass it doesn’t need a separate sub

It also doesn't need the $6.00 TOSLink Optical Cable add-on item Amazon is pushing.


Amazon Patent Eavesdrops, Targets User Ads

Any always-on listening device is too creepy for my use. It doesn't matter to me what the captured conversations are used for.


Re. FYI #1232  (Sat 4/14/2018):

Microsoft's 4 most disappointing products and services

The article missed two -- The MS Office Ribbon and the Windows 8.0-10 Modern (Tiles) Interface.

Anker’s pocket-sized portable home theater has never been cheaper than it is on Amazon today

DRM, no Chromecast or Miracast, no screen mirroring -- useless!


Zuckerberg Admits Facebook Collects Data on Non-Users

He doesn't recognize the term "shadow profiles" and says the data collection is for security purposes.

This is just beyond creepy.


Use a USB drive to lock and unlock your PC

If you aren't using YubiKey or some other officially supported technology, I would not do this. And I still would not do this, unless there's a fallback in case you lose the USB key or it becomes unreadable.


Leaked Apple memo reveals 12 people were arrested for leaking last year

The company found a total of 29 people who leaked private info.

And these were just the ones they caught!


Why You Should Always Install 64-bit Windows

32-bit hardware support is going away. It won't be long before no new drivers or updates will be available to 32-bit devices. This is one reason I gave away my ASUS Transformer Book t100 tablet.


5G is coming, and it will cost you. What you need to know

No matter which 5G applications we're discussing, there will be new equipment needed to take advantage of the new features and services this tech will offer. We're still waiting to see exactly which new features there will be, as well as exactly what equipment will be available.


8 Dumbest Things Congress Asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

We voted for these folks, people! And we can vote them out. BTW, IL's own Dick Durbin was asking some very good questions, and he really made Zuck squirm a few times.


Some Chrome VPN Extensions Leak DNS Queries

So what else is new? Never, never use browser extensions for: security, password management, VPN sercvices, bookmarks retention -- or anything else where you really care about privacy.


What to Do If Your Facebook Account Is Hacked

Again, don't worry -- you have all been hacked.

Back to Top

Thur 1244 4/26/2018

How Looming Privacy Regulations May Strengthen Facebook and Google



New MIT ‘Dormio’ Device Controls Your Dreams to Boost Creativity



Instagram will let users download all their data

A data portability tool could help the company respond to criticism and comply with EU regulations.



Everything you need to know about the Apple iPhone SE 2



What Can You Do with Samsung Health?



Yahoo Hit With $35M Fine Over Data Breach Fail

Yahoo's decision to not tell investors about the breach for two years did not sit well with the Securities and Exchange Commission.



Ultra-Cheap Phones Even iPhone Users Will Crave



Microsoft is dropping its Windows Phone apps for Teams, Yammer, Skype for Business in May

Windows Phone users will lose support for their native Microsoft Teams, Yammer, and Skype for Business apps as of next month.



Remove 3rd-party applications where you have used Facebook to log in



How to download a copy of everything Apple knows about you



5 ways to add impact with unusual perspectives

Make your photos stand out



Amazon Wants to Put Some Junk In Your Trunk



Best Bluetooth Travel Mice in 2018

Razer makes great mice for gaming. The company also makes solid mice for travelers.



Leaked iPhone pics show glass back and headphone jack



How to Test Your Wi-Fi Speed (And 7 Mistakes You Should Avoid)



An e-waste recycler is going to jail for ‘pirating’ Windows

It's not a good look for Microsoft.



New ‘affordable’ iPhone will offer iPhone X-like features



Six Tips to Help Save Yourself from Poor Computer Posture



Are You Ready for Office Buildings With Alexa-Like Personalities?

USC's Dr. Burcin Becerik-Gerber wants to make buildings smarter and more efficient, which could mean offices with distinct 'personalities' like Alexa or Siri.



Make your music sound as fantastic as it can be



What's the most popular Linux of them all?

The data's messy for picking out the most popular Linux distributions, but there are some things we know we know.



How to add Windows 10 Store Game apps to Steam



Google overhauls Gmail to lure businesses away from Microsoft



Secure your VPN in a few steps

Check out these ways to make your VPN connection more secure



The Best Smart Toothbrushes for Everyone



Let this $5 outlet tester help you diagnose electrical problems in your house

Don't guess with electricity.



Say hello to the new Gmail with self-destructing messages, email snoozing and more



How to Play Minesweeper on Windows 10



Steam's revamped privacy features put an end to Steam Spy

The service can no longer gather info on games.



The best Chromebooks



Spotify’s Free Tier Now Offers (Some) On-Demand Music on Mobile



First Look: Inside Spotify's Revamped Mobile App

Let's scroll through the customized playlists, data saver mode, and updated interface in Spotify's overhauled free app.



5 quick fixes for a finicky computer



Windows warning: Tech-support scammers are ramping up attacks, says Microsoft

Windows 10 security won't protect you from tech-support scammers' lies and trickery.



What do common HTTP Status Code errors stand for?



How To Share Drives Between Windows PCs With Windows Network Drives



How to protect yourself online in 2018

Anticipate and respond to threats before they happen



Your T-Mobile Service Probably Got Better Last Week



Intel turns to its integrated graphics to scan for viruses

Intel is turning to its integrated graphics to make virus scanning more efficient.



Snapchat launches Spectacles V2, camera glasses you’ll actually wear

...so the opposite of Google Glass



The Best Dark Web Websites You Won’t Find on Google



Now Cortana for Android beta can read your texts out loud

The feature makes it easier to use your phone hands-free.



TCL 6 series Roku TV: CNET's first look



Standard Ebooks Offers Public Domain Downloads That Aren’t Ugly



The Best Wi-Fi Mesh Network Systems of 2018

Have a larger home with Wi-Fi dead zones? A multi-node system might be a better solution than a traditional wireless router and extenders. Here's what you need to know along with the top-rated reviews.



Fast and easy way to sell your unwanted cellphones and tech gadgets!



The iPhone X Plus might copy the Galaxy Note for a change



How to use Quick Parts to paste text from Microsoft Word to Outlook



Zotac Mek1 Desktop Review: Killer 1440p Gaming



Chromecast tips and tricks

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



Robot Puts Together Ikea Furniture



The ultimate Xbox One (PC-free) Mixer streaming setup

The best gear to get to stream directly from your Xbox One to Mixer.



Samsung tempers record earnings with pessimistic smartphone outlook



12 Essential Apps to Install on a New Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick



Google's phone app will boot spam calls to voicemail automatically

Not even a missed call or voicemail notification.



Anker SoundCore 2 Bluetooth speaker review: Good sound in a super small, very affordable package

This could be the best and most affordable backpack speaker we've reviewed.



Comments by -- Bob Primak --

Re. Recent FYI Topics:

– April 1-7, 2018 –


Re. FYI #1219  (Sun 4/01/2018):

Band Steering: Should 2.4GHz and 5GHz Be One Network or Two?

There are some networks which can experience improved throughput and quality of service by splitting the two bands into separate subnets. But you'd have to have a lot of people and devices using your bandwidth at the same time to notice any significant differences. Comcast here auto-selects the band as well as the channel for its network(s).


This Laptop Is the MacBook Pro People Wish Apple Would Make

So, Apple people actually want something with cheap parts, poor performance and breaks very easily? And from Huawei?


Microsoft shrinks Windows 10's upgrade downtime

Not really true. Microsoft is playing Three Card Monty. They are robbing Peter (longer time spent using up bandwidth and performance resources by running in the background pre-restart) to pay Paul (shorter time between beginning of restart and end of restart. The total time the device will be impaired will actually increase a lot for many devices. Metered Networks are not always being respected.


Spectre-like attack exposes entire contents of Intel's SGX secure enclave

This is not out in the wild. But it does pose a new problem for Intel in their ongoing chipset redesigns. We will be hearing about these sorts of exploits and Proofs of Concept for a long, long time to come.


The Best Antivirus Protection of 2018

These are the paid ones. The usual suspects are clustered as Editor's Choices. Nothing new to see here. BitDefender's new security appliance (Version 2) has just hit the markets. This is worth looking into. I mention it here because it comes with a one-year subscription to practically unlimited devices for the security suite. It costs $99.00 per year thereafter.


Checked Your Credit Since the Equifax Hack?

Sure have. I am still nearly invisible.


How to Disable Pocket in Firefox on Desktop and Mobile

Just did this. Thanks.


Backups vs. Redundancy: What’s the Difference?

Even redundant multi-disk systems like RAID can have catastrophic whole-device failures. You still need traditional backups.


Waste Phone Scammers' Time Instead of Yours With RoboKiller

Better yet, use NomoRobo and be done with the callers without tying up your own phone line.


Get your old PC running like new

If you want to use Chrome OS, get a Chromebook. It usually isn't worth the effort or the compromises (no access to Google Play comes to mind) to try to shoehorn Chrome OS or its open-sourced cousins onto anything other than a genuine Chromebook. The user experience will suffer.


Do You Trust Ratings and Reviews at Online Stores?

In a word, no. I look for professional reviews and ratings, from trusted tech sites.

How To Use Your Phone To Lock And Unlock Windows 10

Just what Windows 10 needs -- one more set of moving parts to go wrong and lock you out of your device.


How to Add or Remove Devices and Printers from This PC in Windows 10

If a printer starts misbehaving or not responding, sometimes the smartest move is to remove it and add it back as a new device. Same thing for severe Bluetooth issues. Or Miracast/Chromecast devices.


How to Update to Latest Version of Windows 10 using Windows 10 Update Assistant

There are lots of reasons to use the Update Assistant instead of Windows Update. My now-retired ASUS Transformer Book tablet could not upgrade through Windows Update, due to its WIM Boot configuration. And then there are the update readiness issues, which the Update Assistant addresses before downloading the installer. It's a more complete and safer experience all around. So, block (defer) Feature Updates through Windows Update if you can.


Microsoft Store spring sale offers big discount on PCs and Xbox

I have bought PCs and peripherals through the Microsoft Store. I have been satisfied with my purchases, and the prices aren't too bad. The PCs came with little or no bloatware, which is a part of the Signature of many Microsoft Store offerings.


Cloudflare makes it harder for ISPs to track your web history

It may be time to try a new alternative DNS.


Re. FYI #1220  (Mon 4/02/2018):

Track Your Smartphone Usage and Waste Less Battery Life With This Android App

This app should be vetted for whether it has been sharing what it finds with advertisers or others. Many apps which monitor other apps also spy on them.


USB-C explained: How to get the most from it (and why it's great)

My Chromebook has only USB-C ports, plus a SD Card slot. Pretty much all peripherals have to be adapted to this port, or a dock or mini-dock has to be used. Be careful with USB-C audio -- it needs to be converted with a DAC (digital to analog) for headphones, and if there's both charging and audio in a dock or especially some of the cheaper mini-docks or splitters, if you start charging, you can lose your audio or suffer a marked decrease in volume or clarity (interference). What does work it charging and data transfer through the same port.


How to Fight Mobile Number Port-out Scams

My carrier won't let me put extra security on my account. Not good.


Free alternatives to the most popular computer programs

Much as I like free alternatives, The GIMP is not Photoshop by a country mile! LibreOffice, good though it is, does not do the best job of maintaining format compatibility with MS Office. WPS Office (Kingsoft) is better at maintaining compatibility. But still not perfect. The online Office Apps are actually possibly the best bet when you need absolute fidelity to Office formats.


Drop Google and Facebook Groups and Use This Instead

Should CCS (or its member user groups) be looking into using this platform instead of Yahoo Groups or Facebook?


Evasions common flaw in popular security products, says NSS Labs CEO Vikram Phatak

There's a distinct lack of details about which security products are being bypassed by what kinds of malware. So once again we are left wondering, "Now that I know all this, what do I do?".


Cloudflare Launches a New Privacy-Focused DNS Server, But Should You Use It?

I just started trying out Cloudfare. If anything unusual results, I'll post again. So far, fast and reliable. I have set this up on my home network in my Ubuntu Linux installation only so far. Google Chrome 66 Beta browser.


How to Delete Sync Settings for Windows 10 Devices from your Microsoft Account

Since I am giving away my ASUS Transformer Book tablet, I also had to remove that device from my Microsoft Account for the apps and the activation pages. In other words, when giving away or retiring a device just ending sync is not enough. The device also has to be detached from the MS Cloud Account.


USPS Finally Starts Notifying You by Mail If Someone is Scanning Your Snail Mail Online

Yes, this was long overdue.


How to Reinstall and Re-register All Built-in Windows Apps in Windows 10

It's been awhile since I had to do this. Not as many Store App updating fiascos since Version 1703.


Why You Shouldn’t Use an Admin Account as Your Main Account

People still do this? Of course, it doesn't help that the folks at the Microsoft Store tell you that you must do this, and you must set it up as a Microsoft Cloud Account. (They also used to tell us we could not set up Windows 10 to boot directly to the "legacy" desktop.) They should be held legally and financially liable for such self-serving bad advice.


Re. FYI #1221  (Tues 4/03/2018):

Privacy groups ask tech companies to sign user data 'security pledge'

This will probably have about the same effect as the current Do Not Track and the Do Not Call List have on spammers/telemarketers/(etc.). It is voluntary and therefore toothless.


The Path Ahead for Microsoft’s Windows

The main idea is that the local desktop OS has to become leaner and more agile. This kind of begs for a modular design where you are provided with the kernel and a lightweight shell to run locally. The rest you either download on demand (for a fee) or use in the Cloud (for a subscription). Nearly all software would follow a similar path. There are pluses and minuses in such a trajectory, but to become an agile, flexible OS for an increasingly mobile audience, Windows has to trim its bloat massively.


It’s World Backup Day: Here’s How the ExtremeTech Staff Stays Backed Up

All of the OSes I want backed up (Fedora, Ubuntu and Windows 10, one each) are archived onto three hard drives each, with any data from each install I want to keep archived. Windows uses Macrium Reflect Free, while Linux uses Clonezilla Live, no matter which distro it is. Data can still be managed in my world with copy/paste or dd-copy operations. I don't keep versions or running backups in real time. Not yet, anyway.


How to Enable or Disable Automatic Updates for Offline Maps in Windows 10

Now there's a bandwidth waster and a resource hog. I usually only update when I am about to use the Maps App offline (which is seldom now).


Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller review: New tricks from the market leader

Bad Link (404). But the exact same link comes up in Google for the article title followed by Tech Hive.

5 reasons your next light bulbs should really be smart bulbs

These are way too expensive for my needs. Lamps on timers would provide as much security, for elss money. Some timers are variable, meaning the lights won't be on or off at the exact same time and sequence every day and evening.


7 Reasons to Upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Yep, that's my next upgrade project. Sometime before summer ends, I'd guess. Fedora has a new release scheduled not too far off as well.


How to prevent typing data collection on Windows 10

Inking, typing and Cortana -- the first three features I turn off after each Feature Update in Windows 10.


Kim's 5 reasons to set up a financial Chromebook

Chromebook is one way to go -- Linux is another way.


Do I Need All These Partitions?

Regular computers use partitions for recovery, EFI Fast Boot, Windows Reserved and other uses. Chromebooks use even more partitions. If you really want to mess up booting, upgrading and recovery options, just start messing around with these partitions. Some manufacturers are even putting "virtual partitions" inside of the main (C:/Windows) partition. This makes resizing or reformatting to reinstall or upgrade Windows very difficult indeed. I had to be very, very careful when setting up Fedora on my Chromebook. And making a Clonezilla backup for just Fedora restoration means selecting carefully which other partitions might benefit from a rollback at the same time as the Fedora system partition, in the event something might go wrong in there.


Free antispy tool for Windows 10

Whether you're grabbing Windows 10 Version 1709 while it's still there, or whether you're going to grab Version 1803 when it comes out, this is a good time to review your privacy options. O&O Shut Up 10 is a good one-stop shop for the basic privacy settings you will probably want. It gets updated in step with Windows 10, so by the time version 1803 comes out, Shut Up 10 should be ready for the new and changed settings it will need. How sad we need a cottage industry to control Windows 10's presets and automatic features.


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

With the upgrading season upon us, this is also a good time to review and test our backup and recovery options.


Software Roundup: 6 Uninstallers that Help You Get Rid of Apps on Your Devices

The ones I know and trust are Geek Uninstaller and Revo Uninstaller. The IoBit program is also pretty good, but I don't trust it as much. If these programs don't get the job done, you are probably dealing with something malicious and need to take an antimalware approach to the issue.


How Do I Find Out What Program Is Using All My CPU?

Windows Task Manger and Sysinternals Process Explorer are the best tools I know of for tracking down resource hogs and managing them. (Usually this means finding and disabling or turning off offending items, and removing them from Startups.)


Too many IoT smartphone apps making life easy for online criminals

This is a real and growing problem with IoT Things. BitDefender is in the forefront of pushing IoT security out to the consumer. Norton also has hardware solutions.


Is Online Document Conversion Safe?

I wouldn't trust any of these services with sensitive documents like my Social Security or banking documents. This is why I have offline apps for most of these operations.


Consumer DNA Tests Are Wrong 40 Percent of the Time

In genealogy especially, I've been warning about this sort of thing for awhile now. Add to this the fact that not enough markers are tested, and some pretty wacky results can be obtained. Results which are only too often wrong, and are disproven eventually by historical, religious or government documents.


Chrome Will Remove Scammy Cryptocurrency Mining Extensions, But Not Until June

You can do this now with the right extensions. Again, we seem always to end up fighting bad software with more software.


Re. FYI #1222  (Wed 4/04/2018):

How to Make Sure a Chrome Extension is Safe Before Installing It

What it finally comes down to is, whom do you trust? I would place as little trust in unknown extension authors as I place in unknown software sources. Remember, if anything is free, you are the product.


Is Edward Snowden’s Haven a Security App… or the Ultimate Spy Tool?

Again, it depends on who's offering it, and who controls the servers it uses. If Snowden has complete control, you're likely safe. But if not, whom do you trust? And how do you know?


Kim's 5 reasons to set up a financial Chromebook

Chrome OS itself on a Chromebook is very secure. From everyone except Google that is! Once you mod a Chromebook to accept Crouton or chrx for Linux installation, you are compromising Chrome's security. But you will gain privacy, while generally staying as secure as the Linux kernel you are using. Remember, Crouton is a container within Chrome Os, so it's using the Shrome OS modified Linux kernel -- not the kernel of the Linux distro you have chosen. Only chrx with Intel-based Chromebook hardware and firmware mods is truly independent of Chrome OS, and therefore (potentially) free of Google's spying. Unless you use the Chrome Browser, that is. Firefox for all its shortcomings, does not include Google spyware. Neither does Opera, last I checked.


Firefox users can now ‘isolate their Facebook identity’ from the rest of the web

Again Firefox shows itself to be more independent of social media spying than any other popular web browser.


NY AG Eric Schneiderman talks about holding Facebook accountable for violation of user privacy

Then again, once the data leaked out, nothing can call it back.


A Mac, a tablet, and a mobile device

Not at all unexpected. If I want a truly local device these days, I either mod the mobile device to accept Linux, or else install desktop Linux on a desktop PC.


Do I Need All These Partitions?

Newer machines often come with multiple partitions. While it's tempting to remove them, there's little to be gained.

Beware of removing or merging any of those "extra" partitions. Three examples -- some PCs (Dell?) have within the Windows C; partition a virtual partition which is said to be a Recovery Partition. It also contains a compressed Windows recovery image -- which is necessary to boot Windows. Then there are the WIMBoot tablets like the ASUS Transformer Book t100 series, which had either a ROM or a partition also labelled Recovery. Remove this and the OEM Windows KEy is gone. The device won't boot. Then there are the Chromebooks. They have three copies of Chrome OS and user data partitions, as well as several UEFI related partitions. Up to thirteen partitions by the time chrx and Fedora Linux were added in my case. Don't try to remove any of these partitions -- they all serve necessary functions, including allowing for powerwashing and restoration of user data and settings in that process. The trick is to determine exactly which partitions really need to be backed up to allow Linux to be restored without destroying the Chrome OS installation. I'm still puzzling that one out, but I think I have it narrowed down to about four partitions which can be safely rolled back and will restore Fedora in there. Clonezilla does not provide any help in figuring this out, nor do any disk analysis utilities I have found. Online articles are also pretty vague -- they do show the structures, but they do not fully identify which partitions are associated with which functions.


5 Ways to Secure Your Alexa Device

Wow! That's a lot of stuff you have to change or delete. And Amazon Echo is not the worst IoT Thing in regards to privacy setup. Not by far. Do protect the network -- preferably with a security box in addition to router hardening.


Free antispy tool for Windows 10

O&O Shut Up 10 -- don't do Windows 10 without it!


macOS High Sierra bug will show hackers what your password is

It's patched now, but it was a major face-plant by Apple. And sadly not their first, nor their last. In light of this, do we really want:


Apple's next big idea: Private healthcare ?

How Do I Find Out What Program Is Using All My CPU?

Task Manager and Sysinternals Process Explorer are good tools to use to track down and tame Windows resource hogs. Linux has similar tools, and I've used them as well. My rule of thumb -- if the program is using my resources and it isn't paying my rent, I evict it!


Facebook rewrites Terms of Service, clarifying device data collection

Everybody's redoing their privacy policy statements these days. Microsoft and Yahoo (Oath) have both sent me update notices. Read at least the TL;DR versions of the changes. Then decide whether or not to disconnect.


Apple Might Ditch Intel, Design Own Mac Processors

This will be no skin off Intel's nose. Windows still holds about 90% of the desktop and 2-in-1 market.


Is Online Document Conversion Safe?

These services are certainly convenient. But I would never trust them with sensitive financial, tax or government reporting documents. Instead, I have a carefully selected and curated library of offline desktop (Linux, mostly) tools for conversions. They are all free, and they are too many to list right here.


Why 2018 will be the year apps go to the edge

I disagree with this timeline. The year to watch is 2020-2022. That's when 5G services will start to roll out, TV will go over to ATSC3, and self-driving cars will begin to arrive in the mainstream. All of these technologies, as well as cashier-free shopping, wil require processing in real-time with very low latencies. AI, local processing, co-processing, etc. will all play roles in the logistics of the 5G Internet and related mesh (neural) networks.


Consumer DNA Tests Are Wrong 40 Percent of the Time

At the very least. It does depend on just what they are trying to predict though.


How to get Alexa to call 911

I sure hope it doesn't have the same sort of bug which made iPhones being services make thousands of calls to the local 911 dispatchers. Allowing Personal Assistants to call emergency numbers can have its drawbacks. That's why law enforcement does not like alarms which are hard-wired into police dispatch systems.


Software Roundup: 6 Uninstallers that Help You Get Rid of Apps on Your Devices

I primarily use two third-party uninstallers -- Revo Uninstaller and Geek Uninstaller. But these would not cover Mac or iOS. Android does not need a third-party uninstaller, as it removes its own apps with built-in tools -- provided you only use Google Play Store apps. Linux has its own tools. Command Line Remove and Purge commands work the best -- as long as you know the exact name of what you want to uninstall. Clean up with Bleachbit and/or Stacer in Ubuntu.


Chrome Will Remove Scammy Cryptocurrency Mining Extensions, But Not Until June

I have cryptomining blocker extensions in Chrome now. They seem to work very well, judging by the lack of mysterious extraneous network outbound traffic.


Re. FYI #1223  (Thurs 4/05/2018):

How to Use Nearby Sharing on Windows 10

Another half-baked feature to turn off. Security isn't so much the issue -- it's that this feature can too easily activate itself with little warning and not much of a way to stop it before it connects.


Why not the best? Why not Linux Mint?

I like Ubuntu and Fedora pretty well. But Mint is not up to date with OS kernel level security. That for me is a major show-stopped.


Microsoft wants you on Edge, even if it has to trick you

All the more reason not to use Windows Mail, as if I needed more reasons. I also won't use Outlook, as the .PST files are not the sort of thing you can just port over to Linux and back again easily. Thunderbird isn't totally UNIX Mailbox compatible, but it works well enough for exports to Claws Mail, my Linux go-to email client.


Amazon Would Like to Clean Your Filthy House With Amazon Home Assistants

How well do they vet the people they contract with? If Amazon Logistics is any indication, you might get good people one day, and really lousy or untrustworthy people the next day. It only takes one bad experience to give the whole service a bad reputation.


Free alternative to Adobe Lightroom

Dark Table is a new one to me. I've heard of Fotoxx for Ubuntu, but not this one. Might be worth a try.

Walmart's Chinese Grocery Store Delivers in 30 Minutes

...and you're hungry again two hours later!


8 Smartphone Accessories to Have in Your Car at All Times

I do keep a charger, cables and Bluetooth connector in my car. But what you may need and won't always have, is a way to reload those prepaid data megabytes. I got caught short one winter day and wished I could remember my Comcast logon password so I could have used WiFi to reload my data plan. The phone apps were useless without the data.


3 ways to search the web without Google tracking you

There are some searches I do without Google or Bing. But not many.

Microsoft will bring 64-bit app support to ARM-based PCs in May

This does not mean that Win32 desktop applications will run on ARM. Two very different concepts!


Re. FYI #1224  (Fri 4/06/2018):

Zuckerberg says Facebook will offer GDPR privacy controls everywhere

He said it one week. Then renegged on it the next week.


How to clean install Windows 10 version 1803 (Spring Creators Update)

We won't have the Spring Update any time soon. It causes BSOD conditions due to a bug, and Microsoft can't seem to figure out what exactly went wrong. The Clean Install is necessary due to how buggy the Fall Update (1709) was, in case anyone's keeping tabs.


3 free downloads for optimum Windows security

MS Security Essentials (Windows Defender) is no longer a download. The Security Baseline Analyzer is a bad joke. And no one needs a third-party Windows firewall anymore. What are you running anway, Windows XP?


Don’t blame Panera Bread’s security guy just because he used to work at Equifax

Just because he used to work at Equifax does not mean he was part of their culture of denial about security. Wait, it does.


Google unveils Chrome OS tablet for students, goes to war with iPad in education market

If this weren't based on a weak ARM processor, this might be a nice little Chromebook.


HP's new monster ZBooks: Latest Intel Xeons, up to 32GB RAM, 4TB SSD

Wow! That's more powerful than my desktop NUC. But much more expensive!


5 tricks to get the best possible reception with your indoor antenna

I do pretty well here on my hilltop in Boston (Waltham). Much better than I did at the bottom of a wetland in Willowbrook, IL in my last apartment. I might even consider getting rid of Cable if the bundle weren't still the best deal for getting Internet services around here.


Who are Windows 10 on ARM-powered devices for?

Basically, they're for the same crowd who will like Chromebooks running Chrome OS -- people who don't mind being tethered to the Internet and who don't want to do their own PC upgrades and maintenance. Which sadly is most users.


Intel ushers responsive Optane memory into laptops with Core i5+, i7+, and i9+ brands

I don't like Optane -- it pushes memory from volatile RAM onto non-volatile HDD disk space. This is a privacy or security nightmare waiting to happen.


How to Fix: Windows 10 1709 Won't Install

Most of us really want to know what to do if it does install. Often against our expressed wishes.


Linux on Windows 10: Microsoft makes it simpler to port your favorite distros

Again, this is not Linux!! It is not the Linux kernel. It's the BASH Shell running on the Windows kernel. With all the security and privacy implications that entails.


Symantec may violate Linux GPL in Norton Core Router

Well, that would not be a first for a big tech company, and it probably won't be the last time. Microsoft, SUSE and others have done similar things, dating all the way back to the Browser Wars when Microsoft pilfered code from Netscape. Among other transgressions.


50 influencers Windows users and Microsoft fans need to watch

I guess Woody Leonhard, Susan Bradley, and all those former Windows Secrets and InfoWorld folks don't count for anything in the minds of these authors.


Apple Is Reportedly Planning Some Game-Changing Features for Future iPhones

Would these guys and Microsoft just cut it out already with these foldable smartphone displays? Nobody's going to want one of these, trust me.


Cryptocurrency Mining Extensions Banned From Chrome Web Store

Trouble is, it's not extensions which are doing the mining anymore. More and more, ads or the web pages themselves, have hard-coded miners inside their HTML.


Joe Nowak's link to those PDF Guides to Windows is a real find! Thanks, Joe!


Re. FYI #1225  (Sat 4/07/2018):  

Google Hits a Major Renewable Energy Milestone

That's really nothing to write home about. They are not eliminating greenhouse gases by doing this, and they are not carbon-neutral, except by some sort of really funky carbon credits pseudo-math.


The Grim Conclusions of the Largest-Ever Study of Fake News

I really don't even want to look at this article, because I think I already know what it will say, and it is really, really depressing.


You Can’t Reverse Search Phone Numbers or Email Addresses on Facebook Anymore

You mean, you could do this up to now??


Hotspot Shield VPN: Alluring but Mysterious

This is another VPN service found to have privacy issues.


Google Project Zero Researcher Finds Bug In Windows Defender

I have Avira antivirus on my NUC with Windows 10 Pro, Version 1709. I had to use Geek Uninstaller to completely remove Avira before I could even access Windows Defender to apply this patch. Then I had to put all of Avira back. Avast has presented users with similar issues. And yes, you do have to apply this patch even if your protection is covered by a third party antivirus app or suite. Thanks, Microsoft for a lovely Sunday morning!


TunnelBear VPN: Middle of the Pack

This is one of the VPNs which was found to be leaking. They improved their security, but I still would not trust this company.

Back to Top

Wed 1243 4/25/2018


Google hoards way more of your personal data than Facebook



A recent leak says Windows 10’s next update has been pushed back to May 8



AI stuntpeople could lead to more realistic video games

Why use motion capture when characters can learn for themselves?



Microsoft releases Windows Defender Browser Protection extension for Chrome

The extension promises to protect Chrome users from a variety of online phishing threats and malicious websites.



This app makes finding live legal sports streams less painful

Bleacher Report Live is a handy streaming TV guide for live sports (which can also send you to the nearest bar).



Windows 10 Settings you should check & change right away



The Best Refurbished Laptop Deals Right Now



Leak Reveals Enlarged Display For Samsung's New Galaxy



Google confirms some of its own services are now getting blocked in Russia over the Telegram ban



Your T-Mobile Service Probably Got Better Last Week



How Do I Gain Access to My Deceased Relative’s Computer?

If no preparations have been made beforehand, accessing the machine of a deceased loved one can be anywhere from easy to impossible.



Samsung 970 EVO SSD Review: The 64-Layer Refresh



The Best Free Screenshot Apps for Windows



6 ways to make your phone more secure

Keeping your device locked is just the start



Microsoft boosts anti-phishing skills of Chrome, the IE and Edge killer

The company has released an add-on for Chrome – dubbed 'Windows Defender Browser Protection' – that effectively gives up a major asset in its own Edge browser.



Apple’s iOS 11.3 is now available for download on the iPhone and iPad



Aquatic drone swarms are coming to a body of water near you

They could be useful, but then again, they also look mildly terrifying.



How to use a keyboard and mouse with Xbox One

You can use a keyboard and mouse along with your Xbox One. Whether you should is an entirely different matter.



Q Acoustics Concept 20 loudspeaker review: These gorgeous bookshelf speakers sound positively divine

A box-within-a-box design contributes to a delightfully impressively sonic signature.



How to enable & configure Focus Assist on Windows 10



Next Big Windows 10 Update Gets a New Name



How Moore's Law Now Favors Nvidia Over Intel



Glowforge opens public orders for its desktop 3D laser cutter



YouTube TV Review: Finally, Live Television Is Tolerable In the 21st Century



Will a Hacked Website Leak My Email Address?

Your password protects your account from unauthorized access, but it doesn't protect your email address from exposure.



'Futuremark' Is No More; Benchmark Maker Adopts Parent Company's 'UL' Branding



Facebook’s ‘Download Your Data’ Feature Leaves Out a Lot



How to make your email more secure

Keep your messages safe from prying eyes



Where is Apple's AirPower?

What is happening with Apple’s AirPower? Announced months ago, expected in spring, Cupertino’s wireless charging solution still hasn’t launched. Why?



Bosch Says It's Made a Breakthrough That Can Save Diesel Engines



Google Lens can identify dog and cat breeds

You can also search your photo collection by breed, species and...emoji.



Windows Hello adding support for FIDO2 Security Keys

Microsoft is stepping Windows Hello up a notch with support for FIDO2 security keys.



DarbeeVision DVP-5000S video processor review: A clever, but pricey fidelity upgrade for 1080p video

This box uses a unique stereoscopic algorithm to increase apparent detail in video.



MailTag for Gmail offers email tracking, scheduling, and auto follow-up

http://www.thewindowsclub.com/mailtag-for-gmailLenovo Yoga 730 (13-inch) Review


Apple Replacing 13-inch MacBook Pro Batteries: What to Do



Want Free Wireless Internet? Here's How!



Unstoppable exploit in Nintendo Switch opens door to homebrew and piracy



AI for Everyone: Google’s AIY Neural Net Kits Go Mainstream Retail



Is it Safe to Just Turn Off an External USB Drive Without “Safely Removing” First?

"Device cannot be stopped" can be a frustrating error if there's no obvious cause. Turning off device power or unplugging anyway isn't really safe.



Samsung 970 Pro SSD Review: Expensive MLC Excellence



How to Stop Ubuntu From Collecting Data About Your PC



5 tech security hacks everyone should use

How to stay several steps ahead of the scammers



Where is Apple's AirPower?

What is happening with Apple’s AirPower? Announced months ago, expected in spring, Cupertino’s wireless charging solution still hasn’t launched. Why?



Russia Is Attacking U.S. Forces With Electronic Weapons in Syria Every Day, General Says



FDA approves AI-powered software to detect diabetic retinopathy

The software can be used by health care providers who don't typically deal with eye care.



MSI announces small and powerful Vortex W25 desktop workstation

MSI has bolstered its Vortex W25 with new graphics and processor options, adding a powerful punch for professionals.



The Anker charger that brings Amazon's Alexa into your car has never been cheaper

You can get Anker's Roav Viva car charger with Alexa for $40.



Lenovo Yoga 730 (13-inch) Review



Do You Need These Privacy Tools (and do they work)?



How to move Single or Multiple Steam Games to another Drive or Folder



How Microsoft helped imprison a man for ‘counterfeiting’ software it gives away for free



Net neutrality is dead! Four ways to get around the net neutrality repeal



If you buy these tech accessories, you're inviting hackers to take control of your car

Old smart car exploits can allow hackers to leak data, demand a ransom, unlock your doors, or track your location, according to Kaspersky Lab.



AMD Details Lower-Power Ryzen 2400GE, 2200GE



Why Do Some Smartphones Use Multiple Cameras?



The best Alexa skills and commands: the ultimate Amazon Echo tips and tricks



Where is Apple's AirPower?

What is happening with Apple’s AirPower? Announced months ago, expected in spring, Cupertino’s wireless charging solution still hasn’t launched. Why?



Another major Apple supplier just delivered potential bad...



5G is overhyped and expectations need reining in

Why 5G doesn’t yet have the use cases to justify the excitement



Comments by -- Bob Primak --


Re. Recent FYI Topics:

– March 25-31, 2018 –


Re. FYI #1212 (Sun 3/25/2018):

NOTE: There's an error which I picked up here in the Dates of the More FYI Postings from Tim K. He has been posting the Sunday entries as 2017, when they’re supposed to read 2018. Please fix ASAP.


Chrome 66 Will Finally Block Autoplay Audio in Videos With Sound

I'm running Chrome 66 Beta on Ubuntu 16.04 Linux. The autoplay blocking is spotty at best, even with a few other extensions in place to do the same job. Yahoo Free eMail and Yahoo story tabs all play audio, no matter what Chrome or its extensions tells them not to do. So do numerous other sites which host ads. The effort still needs improvements.


What if Amazon Closed Up Shop Tomorrow?

I'd experience some inconveniences, but my Web and bricks and mortar shopping do not depend on Amazon. I'd say fewer than one in four of my last 24 purchases were from Amazon. There are tons of alternatives out there, or close to home.


The 10 Most Popular Linux Apps and Distros in 2018

This poll was from Linux Questions, which is not the most widely used Linux forum out there, and not one which caters to traditionalists. But these apps and distros are worth watching, if anyone wants to try Linux or try something new under Linux. I'm sticking with what I use now, which is Fedora on my Chromebook and Ubuntu on my Intel NUC. Some of the apps I do use, but not most of the ones listed.


Amazon Patents Delivery Drones That Detect Screaming, Flapping Arms, May Smell Human Fear

I can see this type of AI being used to avoid hitting people or doing other harm which could result in liability. But I'd think there would be better ways of helping drones zero in on their intended delivery spots. They respond much better to geometric, flashing or special colored patterns than to human gestures. Something like a heliport or an airport runway, the way these places are specially marked to direct traffic. Maybe have something which could be set up temporarily when a delivery is scheduled. Why reinvent the wheel?


Vegas Casino Routinely Tracked Patrons’ Every Movement by Monitoring Their Phones

With the new 5G indoor tracking technologies, we're going to see a lot more stuff like this. Get used to it. Inside a private place of business, folks can do pretty much as they please about tracking us. This includes inside or outside any shopping plaza or mall. The idea there is to show or play or text personalized ads for products or services when we're nearby.


9 Famous Amazon-Owned Websites You Should Be Using

I know about most of these sites. I use a couple of them occasionally. I don't like the shopping experience at Zappos. The rest I've tried are OK most of the time.


Google starts blocking its apps on uncertified Android devices

Your custom ROMs will still work, but there are new restrictions.

Actually, a lot of the apps from Google Play have not worked on open sourced or stock Android ROMs for a long time, if not forever. The Play Store itself does not work on most stock ROMs for that matter.


KB4090913 for Windows 10 fixes USB bug

And it only took them what -- two, three months?


Re. FYI #1213 (Mon 3/26/2018):

Tech Q&A: Why is Chrome eating up memory and slowing my PC?

I haven't had this issue, even on my Chromebook, under either Chrome OS or Fedora 27 Linux. And definitely not on my Intel NUC, which has 16GB of RAM.


Do We Really Need To “Safely Remove” USB Devices?

In a word -- YES!! I have seen USB drives lose data, get their file systems messed up, and even get physically fried by being uunsafelyn yanked out. SD Cards are even more fragile! ALWAYS use Safely Remove, and NEVER pull out a device which is still reading or writing. Even Linux will usually warn you not to remove an active device, even if it has already been unmounted.


FCC aims to block purchases from non-US firms posing ‘security threat’

The agency wants to limit use of its Universal Service Fund subsidies.

This may be an overreaction. But in any event, if the Government is going to get involved in communications infrastructure, they should err on the side of safety. This is in that context, probably a wise move.


Folding phones: Is this the beginning of the end of slate-shaped smartphones?

This is a passing fad, if it ever makes it to market. Not likely to catch on. Voice control is much more likely to take hold long before anything foldable takes root.

Networking Sucks


After all this time, networking computers remains out of the reach of the average user, and that's really frustrating.

Much more work could be done to help with this issue. Setting up and maintaining personal networks should not be this difficult.


One of These Smart Email Tools for Gmail Can Fix Your Inbox

I use a desktop email client. With POP-3 or IMAP-4, I can have just about any GUI user experience I want.


Facebook Denies Collecting Call and SMS Data Without Permission

Android users are apparently giving the social network permission to collect this data.

When your company is under fire from its own users, this is not the time to call them stupid for not reading all those lengthy Permissions Pages.


Joyoshare HEIC Converter for Mac Makes It Easy

There will be many third-party conversion programs and plugins before the standard either makes it into Irfanview and XnView MP, or it dies. I'm not concerned, but then again, I don't get many photos from iPhone or iPad sources.


How to delete or turn off 'My Activity' in your Google account

It's true, Google stores your user data, but you have some control.

There isn't really all that much control. But I have minimized these intrusions and found that from time to time I have to remind Google not to snoop.


How to reset a Windows password with Linux

As long as the volume is not encrypted, this should work. Bookmarked.


Hey Siri! Read me this locked iPhone’s hidden messages…

Messages sent to your iPhone may not be as private as you think.

Is this still possible? I thought they fixed this.


How to Get Hulu Plus for Free Every Month

If the comments are correct, this offer is no longer available. It was never worth the effort or the fact that you are letting Microsoft dictate your search engine and your search activities, just to get Hulu Basic for free. But I guess some people will jump at anything, as long as it's marked "free".


Re. FYI #1214 (Tues 3/27/2018):  

Windows 10 version 1803 hits RTM with build 17133

Delay this update if you can, at least for awhile:


How to delay the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update while still getting updates


Just wait long enough for the initial bugs to get squashed (a few weeks to a couple of months should be fine).


5 reasons even smart TV users should own a streaming box

I don't own either. But I do have both a Comcast DVR and a TiVo OTA. This allows me to use streaming services when and if I choose, without upgrading my HDTV just yet. (Remember, in two years we may start seeing ATSC-3, and we'll have to upgrade everything all over again.)


How to Secure Your (Easily Hackable) Smart Home

Firewall the network, either with a stand-alone appliance or software that ships with the router, to restrict incoming connections.

Install a unified threat management appliance (UTM)...A good UTM — small-business models start at about $300 — will have signatures and countermeasures to detect and stop the more common network entry points that attackers will use...

These two tips have not been included in previous articles I've seen. I'd like more info on how a UTM differs from a Firewall Appliance, and whether the two functions are combined in some home security appliances. I think the BitDefender 2 appliance may have both kinds of features.

Fortinet, a company mentioned in the article, has been handling security appliances for businesses for a long time.


6 Great Apps For Tracking Your Receipts and Expenses On The Go

This is one area where I could stand to get a lot more organized. I bookmarked this article for further consideration.

How to Delete Your Facebook Account (Or at Least Protect Your Data)

Deleting your account or protecting your data are two very different things, with very different goals.


Experience the biggest sound you've ever heard

This might be worth the money if you aren't using an equalizer of some sort between your HDTV and your speakers (assuming you don't stick with the built-in TV speakers). I simply added an inexpensive soundbar with a center channel. That seems to take care of dialog and overly-loud special effects.


Is Your Linux PC Truly Free and Open Source?

I prefer pure open source when it's really the best choice (or when there's too little difference to matter). But I am not a strict open-source purist. I run my Linux PCs with plenty of proprietary and non-free components. In fact, for some devices, only non-free drivers will work for some hardware components..


What is the System32 Directory? (and Why You Shouldn’t Delete It)

Who is dumb enough to delete this??


Still running Windows 7 instead of Windows 10? You're at greater risk from malware says report

That's never stopped some people (including two members of my family) fro running Windows XP while connecting to the Internet -- why would it stop anyone determined not to use Windows 10 from continuing to use Windows 7? I always advise people who ask, that Linux is better for older PCs than unsupported Windows versions. But no one seems to listen -- they have too much of their egos invested in clinging to the old, expired OS versions. There's no reasoning with such people -- they are running on pure emotion and pure fear.


The Danger of 2 Million Spotify Users Figuring Out How to Use It Ad-Free

Spotify nearly went broke because of this. They had to do something, and they did it. Scream all you want, but there is no such thing as a free service.


Free alternative to Photoshop

Much as I like the idea of an open source alternative, The GIMP does not do all the things Photoshop apps do. It simply is not an alternative for folks who work with photos or video professionally.


How To Reply To Android SMS With Windows 10

I've had mixed results with this sort of method. Sometimes with some phones on some carriers it works, sometimes no dice.


How to Open and Use Steps Recorder in Windows

If you have an issue which may not show up in normal diagnostic testing, it's always good to have the issue documented exactly as it happened. Technicians can often use the output of Steps Recorder to help with these sorts of issues. Steps Recorder also works pretty well for capturing how to do things for presentations. Time consuming steps can be condensed to fit limited time slots.


Could Facebook's data debacle force more companies to act like Apple on privacy?

Apple CEO Tim Cook called on Congress to create tougher measures protecting people's data and privacy.

Let's hope they do even better. Remember when iCloud was leaking all over the place?


Foxconn Is Buying Belkin for $866M

The deal includes over 700 patents as well as control of the Linksys, Wemo, and Phyn brands.

Foxconn is a Chinese company. But without the reputation (so far) of Huawei for placing spyware and malware into its products. These brands should survive such a takeover without being banned in America by the FCC and the NSA. Let's hope so anyway.


Apple's new iPad is fine, but it's no Chromebook killer

That's the general concensus, although:


Why Apple's new iPad is a better option for schools than a Chromebook tablet

Privacy matters.


So take your pick of opinions.

Facebook Container Isolates Facebook From The Rest of Your Firefox Browsing

I don't known how effective this will be, but it looks good on paper. Maybe there is or could be something similar for Chrome?


Purism Librem 13 review: This Linux-based laptop takes your privacy to the next level

Given the price and the non-free or proprietary nature of the OS and software, this is not an option which will appeal to many consumers. Businesses may choose something like this, but they have whole IT departments to help them modify existing OSes and brands which everyone uses in business.


Software Roundup: 9 Google Docs Add-ons to Extend Its Functionalities

Great if you remain connected to the Internet. But most of these add-ons are not available for offline work.


Watch Your Mouth on Microsoft Platforms

Microsoft's new service agreement can punish you for using 'offensive language.'

I have rarely seen anyone get kicked off any social platform for offensive speech. When it starts happening for real, then I'll worry.


Microsoft Uses Intel FPGAs to Drive Better Search Results

That's "field-programmable gate arrays" for those of us not in the IT industry. I presume the upshot is that these chips will be useful in machine learning (AI).



Know when malware or spies turn your webcam or mic on with this free download

Mac only. You have to watch a video to see what the product is. And this will only be good until someone figures out how to hack it. (Betcha they already have done so!)



So it'll get what -- 1% or 2% of those markets? It's only about 10% of the Widnows market now.


Re. FYI #1215 (Wed 3/28/2018):

New iPhone Leak Reveals Apple's Expensive Surprise

No one buys an iPhone based on its low cost.

What is Firmware or Microcode, and How Can I Update My Hardware?

Windows is moving this type of update into the OS updates now. At least tentatively, the Intel Spectre hardware microcode updates are being integrated into Windows Updates. Upon restarting, the firmware itself is updated, along with the OS code. Google's Chromebooks have been doing this for awhile now. But doing a BIOS update yourself isn't really that big a deal on modern devices. I've done it myself several times on my Intel NUC, and at least once on my Chromebook. I also did it a few times on my Transformer Book tablet.


Chrome feature makes it easier to cast videos from your desktop

It's only a test feature for the beta channel at the moment, though.

I use Chrome Beta in most of my OSes now. So this might come in useful.

Should You Use a PCI, USB, or Network-Based TV Tuner For Your HTPC?

Unless it's going to be USB-C, the USB option is running short on bandwidth lately. Otherwise, it's best to select hardware based on what you will be doing with it and its available features, not so much on how it connects.


How to Set Windows Photo Viewer as Default in Windows 10

Why would I want to do that? Third party options are way better, including IrfanView.


Report: Facebook Delays Smart Speaker Launch

There's no point launching a smart speaker while users don't trust you.

There's more fallout to come, I am sure.


Patch Your Lenovo, Moto Phones Now or Risk Hacking

Umm... this article has an October 2017 date on it. This is a very old story, dealing with the Sept. 2017 security updates for certain Android phones. My Moto G4 just got the February 2018 security update for Android 7.0.


How Chromebooks became the go-to laptops for security experts

Also follow the link to this:


My $169 development Chromebook


Either way, my Chromebook has no longer got the security of Verified Boot due to altering the firmware for a Linux dual-boot (sort of, via chrx and Fedora 27). GNU/Linux is reasonably secure on its own, but it is not as secure as ChromeBook with Chrome OS unadulterated. Having more flexibility in how I use my Chromebook seems to me to be worth the security tradeoff (which is very slight).


Is it time to give up on 7-Zip?

The concensus seems to be that 7-ZIP is secure enough for most folks now. But if someone wants to do the work, 7-ZIP could be forked to produce a more secure version. There is no need to abandon this app as things stand at this time.


How to Protect Your Router From KRACK Flaw

My router is part of my Comcast Gateway, so if they have updated it (which is highly probable by now) it's protected. If not, there's little I can do to update the gateway's firmware on my own. My Android Moto G4 smartphone just got the Feb. 2018 security update which explicitly said it addresses the KRAK issue. So I should be covered now. My Chromebook is covered, as are both of my Linux distros and Windows 10 Pro on my NUC.


Rumored ASIC Cryptocurrency Miners Could Be Welcome Relief for the GPU Market

ASIC = application-specific integrated circuit. The rest of the article is not very interesting, and highly speculative:


Why Bitmain’s Ethereum ASICs Will Never Replace GPUs


What to Do If Your Phone Is Lost or Stolen

This is useful information. I'll have to see how much of this I can actually do on my phone. Some of it I already have in place, but not all.


Re. FYI #1216 (Thurs 3/29/2018):

Windows 7 Meltdown patch opens worse vulnerability: Install March updates now

Microsoft's Meltdown fix opened a gaping hole in Windows 7 security, warns researcher.

Of course, if folks were on Windows 10, any version, they would not have been hit by this. Just saying...


The New Apple iPad: Should You Upgrade?

In terms of size and the hardware inside, this is actually a downgrade. Only Apple can make such a move into an "upgrade".


How to Update Your Router's Firmware

Not much help for those of us whose gateways are owned by the ISP. But we can check when the last firmware update was. (Hint: unless there's something blocking your updates, Comcast and most other big names have updated their gateways to be less vulnerable to the KRACK issues.)


How to create a complete Microsoft experience on Android

Forget Windows Phone: With the right set of software, you can turn any Android device into a Microsoft-centric, PC-syncing machine.

Other than wanting a more seamless experience when moving from the phone to the PC, why would I want to do this? Android with Google services and apps is much better as a phone environment than Microsoft products and services.


iOS now informs you when it wants your personal data

Android informs you too. The problem is, most people won't read a long list of permissions and check or uncheck them one by one.


Why CPU Clock Speed Isn’t Increasing

It appears that chip makers have reached the point where more cores are more efficient than faster clock speeds. But this means more hyperthreading, which means software has to be rewritten. So the software and Operating Systems are lagging behind chip design advances. We've seen this happen before, and this is where Moore's Law really breaks down. It does not apply and never has applied to software and OS design. It apples only to chip and motherboard (and other hardware) designs, and only down to a certain physical size limit, which is about the width of a silicon atom. That's the limit chip makers are approaching now.


Android Monero-mining malware can destroy phones, and it's nearly impossible to remove

This malware depends on two bad habits -- using pre-Android 6.0 versions (old versions) and side-loading apps from sources other than Google Play. Which explains why this malware is most often seen in places like India where such conditions are often present. So beware of using "hand me down" phones and side loaded apps.


Grindr flaws spill personal info on users, reveals locations

So Facebook isn't the only app which can leak personal info to unauthorized parties. Why there isn't regulation to make app developers legally liable for these types of flaws and breaches, is a mystery to me, until I remember that the courts and the Congress are full of folks who have less than zero understanding of how tech works. Probably add to that a lot of the folks who run the world's intelligence agencies.


The new Subaru Forester can tell if you're sleepy or distracted

Thanks to its new facial recognition technology.

If tuned properly, this could be a useful feature. And one I'd really rather folks could not easily turn off.


How to Install Skype in Ubuntu

There's also a Linux RPM package, for those who use RHEL or Fedora. All Linux versions of Skype are more like the web version than the app version under Windows or Android (don't know about Mac or iOS versions).


Mute Every Website Automatically with This Chrome Extension

Like every auto-mute extension or feature I've ever tried, this one ios only partially effective. I still get unexpected blaring audio from ads and popups at sites like Yahoo when they are not in the active Chrome browser tab.


Size of a Raspberry Pi, power of a MacBook: The Windows 10-powered LattePanda Alpha

The LattePanda Alpha has more in common with a laptop than a low-cost board like the Pi.

This is a Kickstarter campaign, so it may never get to market. Also, you can get a decent 2-in-1 or tablet for about the same price point, with similar specs.


How to Install and Use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

I recently used the installer to update Malwarebytes Free. It reverted to a free trial of the paid version. There is a Settings tab which is labeled Account. From there you can disable the active components and revert to MBAM Free again. It's too bad this company resorts to such trickery. This used to be a good product.


7 Ways to Protect Against Cryptomining Attacks

This applies to site owners, not to end users who are visiting sites.


Re. FYI #1217 (Fri 3/30/2018):

You Trusted Facebook: Own Up to It

Key question re. regulation: "how much do we need to be protected from ourselves?" A good question.


When Does an Old Smartphone Become Unsafe to Use?

Depending on what you are doing with it, an old phone which no longer gets security updates can be plenty dangerous. But for anything you don't consider sensitive, they're still generally OK in my opinion. You do not need the very latest phone or the very latest Android version to be safe, but you do need a version which is still getting security updates (and this may vary by manufacturer and model).


How to Speed Up an Old Android Device With 3 Essential Tips

I simply don't let apps run in the background. I got burned badly when the Google Play Store was running in the background, my phone switched from WiFi to cell data, and Poof! There went a month's worth of prepaid data! Also, I don't store photos I'm not actively using on the phone. That's a privacy issue as well as a performance issue.

There are additional things you can do, but usually these will not help much:


Every Android User Should Tweak These 10 Developer Options


Also read:


Why RAM Boosters And Task Killers Are Bad For Your Android


(Still mostly good advice even after a few years.)


New Security Exploit Found for Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerability

"The good news is that the software patches that have been developed -- you know, the ones that come with performance hits as a side effect -- will most likely work against these exploits.

"The bad news? It might be back to the drawing board time for the chip makers. The hardware modifications being developed to make the future safe probably won't work against these new variants -- although Intel says it's done enough."

We're going to be dealing with these issues for a long, long time. So just buckle up, sit back and ride out the daily reports of new exploits. There's not much we as end users can do, except to keep Microsoft Updates and Linux kernel version updates up to date. (As of this posting, both my Chromebook's Fedora and my Intel NUC's Ubuntu kernels are at about the 4.15.15 level = March 31, 2018, which is safe enough.) Do NOT go chasing after the latest hardware or firmware solutions!


Google Play now offers speed control and bookmarks for audiobooks

Some people really have to train themselves to catch up to an audio book playing at 3x normal speed. But blind people do this all the time, and I have the ability to use these speeds even though I can still see quite well.


‘Maybe someone dies’: Facebook VP justified bullying, terrorism as costs of network’s ‘growth’

But remember, Mark Zuckerberg truly loves us, each and every one! (End Sarcasm)


How Tech Companies Use ‘Dark Patterns’ To Trick You

Read also:

Dark Patterns: inside the interfaces designed to trick you


As is the pattern at The Verge, this article is edgier. It takes a more no holds barred look at just how insidious these "dark patterns" can be.


Adrian Lamo, ‘Homeless Hacker’ Who Turned in Chelsea Manning, Dead at 37

A stark reminder of how very differently any of our lives could have turned out, if just a few events had been a little bit different. This guy is a sad example of an autistic person who never got the help he could have used. Turns out, his family were right to be concerned for his safety, no matter how he actually died.


New York City is launching public cybersecurity tools to keep residents from getting hacked

While this app doesn't take any actions on its own, it's a good first step toward reminding phone users when they may be putting themselves and their personal data at risk.


How to Install and Use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

The first thing to do if you only need the free version is to go to the settings tab which says Account, and deactivate the free trial for the paid version (Premium). Then the active components of Premium won't be there to interfere with other antivirus programs. Or to automatically delete your Nir Sofer utilities.


The Best Chromebook 2-in-1 Convertible Laptops

I have a slightly more capable version of the ASUS flipc302. I only need the extra hardware because I also run Linux on that Chromebook. If you want to just run a Chromebook, you can get decent ones for $280 or less. Amazon Certified Refurbs can be even cheaper, at not much more risk of getting a bad one.


USB-C explained: How to get the most from it (and why it's great)

From my Chromebook experience, I can say that the most expensive thing most folks with only USB-C ports will add is a dock. Make sure the dock matches the wiring of your device's USB-C ports. And if the dock does charging, make sure this feature is isolated from the audio output to headphones or speakers. Not all docks can handle charging and audio at the same time. Found that out the hard way! Consider using a DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) and a cable for headphone output if your device doesn't have the traditional 3.5mm jack.


Re. FYI #1218  (Sat 3/31/2018):

Add a microSD card slot to any iPhone with this Lexar accessory

Best Buy has ones like this too. And for those who don't have built in SD card readers on other mobile devices, there are adapters for USB-C as well. Some Android smart phones these days have gone from Micro-USB to USB-C (not Lightning).


Stupid Geek Tricks: How to Fake a Web Page Screenshot (without Photoshop)

Oh great! Now everyone knows how to create and spread Fake News.


Flash, Windows Users: It’s Time to Patch

The latest Flash Player update has been out for nearly a month now. But it's seriously getting to be time to uninstall Flash.


Walmart may be acquiring Humana, says report

I am so glad I got off Humana! They are getting to be a really bad insurance company. Their customer service has become especially painful to deal with. In Mass. I had no choice but to get off Humana, as they really don't operate in this region. We have our own good, bad and worse health insurers, but that's getting off-topic.


PC Mag called this VPN “outstanding” — and at this price, we can see why

"Unlike in previous reviews, extensive testing did not find any obvious leaks with the Windows or Mac OS apps."

Apparently, their privacy issues (cited by PCMag) were taken seriously and addressed within the past year. There is still some question about IPv6 leaks with this VPN service.


Turn On or Off Use sign-in info to auto finish setting up device and restart apps after update or restart in Windows 10

This has been a controversial feature in these newer builds of Windows 10. People not used to these behaviors have found apps reopening after restarts or shutdowns, and they were surprised and dismayed. ("Jane! Jane! Stop this crazy thing! Jane! Jane!") But once you understand what the feature is and how to control its behaviors, it can be left turned off, or else you can enable it (or leave it enabled, as this was the default in early builds of the Spring Creators Update) and let your session restore to where you left off at the close of your last session. I think this is a matter of personal choice, now that it's clear there is a choice.

Back to Top

Tue 1242 4/24/2018

Google's Project Zero exposes unpatched Windows 10 lockdown bypass

Google denies multiple requests by Microsoft for an extension to Project Zero's 90-day disclose-or-fix deadline.



Xbox One update can automatically put your TV in game mode

120Hz support and new game organization features are on the way.



Turns Out, (Cyber) Crime Does Pay

Cybercrime is generating at least $1.5 trillion in annual revenue, according to a new study from UK criminology expert Michael McGuire.



Microsoft is working to cut the file size of the basic Windows 10 install



Google and Carriers Plan to Replace SMS With a New Protocol Called ‘Chat’



QLED vs. OLED TV: Similar names, totally different technologies



How to mirror Android screen on Windows PC



[DRIVE] Trading Privacy for a Discount?



New Skill Let Amazon Alexa Spy on Users




These are the Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) you can download right now on Windows 10 version 1803.



Why SSL is part of the problem behind a dramatic increase in malware and ramsomware in Q1 2018

Attackers are using HTTPS to carry malware, which means companies need to do DPI on SSL packets to guard against it.



Best Computer Speakers for Under $100 in 2018

Gaming, music, YouTube. Get top-notch sound quality for less than a C-note!



How to set up your TV for the perfect picture

Your guide to setting up a picture-perfect television



Maximus Camera Floodlight review: Brand X is trying harder

It’s been around for years, but now it's doing more to earn your attention.



The Morning After: Gmail gets an overdue redesign

And BMW reveals a new electric new car.



Amazon Wants to Deliver Orders Inside Your Car

Not content with gaining access to your home via Amazon Key, the company will now leave orders in your car, provided you have a compatible connected vehicle.



Massive Gmail redesign rollout starts today for home and business



Shutting Down Doesn’t Fully Shut Down Windows 10 (But Restarting Does)



Android features that iPhone users envy



New Features in Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 v1803



Time To Ban Caller-ID Spoofing (Again)?



Facebook 'Gave Me the Data,' Cambridge Researcher Says




It now appears that Microsoft is planning to use "Windows 10 April update" as the final name of its upcoming major OS refresh.



iPod recycling program revives love of music for the elderly and dementia patients

Nursing home patients saw noticeable changes in activity, mood, and memory when they started listening to their favorite music using recycled iPods.



Microsoft moving on from OneNote 2016 to focus on OneNote for Windows 10

OneNote for Windows 10 will soon replace OneNote 2016 as the default in Office 365 and Office 2019.



How to configure Windows 10 to protect your privacy

Make with the 'Off' switches



Stream all the things to your TV with this killer deal on a Google Chromecast

Save 30 percent on Google's streaming dongle.



Anti-drone tech protected a weekend of NASCAR racing

It could set a precedent for guarding American sports against drones.



Computers Help YouTube Remove 6.7M Problematic Videos

Most of the videos — at 76 percent — were removed before they received a single view, YouTube said.



Everything you need to know about the Apple iPhone SE 2



Minecraft’s Official Website Distributed Malware-Infested Skins



How to remove unwanted apps from Windows 10



How to use Timeline feature in Windows 10



Google's plan to fix texting on Android is really about the death of SMS



How to Make Sure Alexa, Google Home Don't Hear Too Much



How to set up parental controls on a Chromebook

After a short hiatus, parental controls are coming back to Chrome OS through Google's Family Link platform.



How ecoATM Gazelle turns more than 4 million recycled smartphones into quick cash every year

Get an inside look at ecoATM Gazelle's Louisville, KY processing and repair facility, where employees see a little of everything stashed away in the smartphones they process for resale.



Take the $18 Anker Soundcore mini portable Bluetooth speaker everywhere



How to protect yourself from cryptomining

Don't let your computer get hijacked



What’s the difference between Ring’s Video Doorbell and Video Doorbell 2?

The new model is double the price, but it brings much better image quality.



Mozilla activates Tracking Protection by default for Firefox on iOS

It's the same tech that's used in Firefox Focus and the desktop browser.



Report: Amazon Is Building a Domestic Robot

Think Alexa, but with the ability to move around your home autonomously.



Net neutrality is officially dead today, but the fight to revive it lives on (Update: Not quite)



How to Send Web Pages from Chrome to Your Phone



Unlimited data won’t stay forever



What’s new with Cortana in Windows 10 v1803



Hackers want your data. Meet the ones who are trying to protect it.



Bitdefender Box (2018) Review: Flexible Protection



Gmail spam mystery: Before you change your password, read this

Some Gmail users have been reporting spam in their sent folders. But before you change your password, do this first.



Upcoming Windows Defender feature will tell you when security fails

Microsoft is planning a new feature for Windows Defender that will continually check for system integrity, informing users if any secure part of the operating system has been compromised.



The Dell Outlet is taking up to 17% off already discounted laptops, monitors, and more

Save big money with this sale.



How to become invisible online (well almost)

Pull off an internet disappearing act



Ring Video Doorbell review: The gadget that makes crooks think you never leave home

Ring provides home security through a video peephole, letting you see who's at the door whether you're inside the house or 100 miles away.



Facebook can’t move fast to fix the things it broke

It'll be months -- if not years -- before Facebook fixes some core issues.



iPhone SE 2 rumors: Release date, specs, price, and features!

Rumor has it that Apple is making a second-generation 4-inch iPhone, dubbed iPhone SE 2 (for now). What will it look like? How much will it cost? Here's everything we know!



Hackers Go After X-Ray, MRI Machines for Corporate Espionage

The hacking group Orangeworm has been secretly delivering the Windows-based malware to about 100 different organizations across the world, Symantec said.



Zelle Instant-Payment Service Ripe for Fraud (Report)



Drinking baking soda could be an inexpensive, safe way to combat autoimmune disease: study



Dell was the bright spot in a lousy winter for PC shipments

Most other companies struggled to sell computers.



Comments by -- Bob Primak –

– March 25, 2018-April 24, 2018 –

From My Own Reading:


Topic -- Microsoft's Roadmap for the Future of Windows OS


From a discussion thread at AskWoody.com


[For the new Cloud-First paradigm, and for devices based on this concept...]

"...I think Microsoft should have just made an entirely new operating system entirely."



AskWoody.com My Reply #180498 under Topic

Cloud is in, desktop is uh... . well?



Microsoft is not idle on this front. Read this article:


Understanding Windows Core OS and Microsoft's 'Polaris' for modern PCs

By DANIEL RUBINO 26 Jan 2018



[This has already been announced by Microsoft as being under development.]


Some highlights:


"Windows Core OS is setting the path for Windows for the next decade. How it all works is a bit mysterious, but this is why "Polaris" will be significant for consumers, the education market, and enterprises."

"Legacy components are being gutted to streamline Windows for the next decade."

"Microsoft wants to get consumers using the Microsoft Store and apps on the UWP platform."

"...[I]t should be noted that Microsoft is not forcing Windows Core OS -- whether Andromeda or Polaris -- on anyone."

[No forced "upgrades" on existing devices -- but often will be found installed on new devices. This new Windows Core OS will not be the same as the S Versions of Windows 10.]


"...[I]t will be positioned in the education market, including primary and secondary schools, first-line workers (FLW) and information workers."

"...[F]uture Always Connected PCs running Snapdragon processors will eventually come with Windows Core OS. "

[Note: the article mentions 4G LTE connectivity. They should have printed this as 5G connectivity, as new standards are already in the works for mobile and fixed wireless communications infrastructures.]

"None of this is to say that Windows 10 Pro will be retired...But long-term, Microsoft sees Windows Core OS as the primary play for desktop, mobile, gaming consoles, mixed reality, and ambient displays (Surface Hub-like devices)."


Question to think about: Is this the sort of new, leaner, more modern OS which Microsoft should be developing?


Microsoft to finally retire Windows 10 1511 in two weeks

The company also plans to end support for 1607 to users of Windows 10 Home and Pro.


Time to move on up, folks!


Microsoft in the Trillion-Dollar Club? Cloud Will Get It There, Says Morgan Stanley



DOJ renews push to require access to encrypted devices

It's hoping researchers will tell it what it wants to hear.


If someone can make it, someone can hack it.


New US law changes rules for cross-border data requests



Apple CEO Tim Cook Calls for 'Well-Crafted' Regulations on Data Privacy After Facebook Controversy



CLOUD Act gives U.S, foreign law enforcement more access to Americans' emails



The web will soon be a little safer with the approval of this new security standard



Judge Dismisses Lawsuit That Accused Google, YouTube of Bias Against Conservatives



Mobileye chastises Uber by detecting struck pedestrian in footage well before impact



Google launches a Chrome OS tablet for schools ahead of Apple’s iPad education event



Why Apple's new iPad is a better option for schools than a Chromebook tablet

Privacy matters.



What’s weirder: A Chrome OS tablet or an Android laptop?



China offers to buy more U.S. semiconductors as it mulls stabbing Qualcomm in the back



Facebook scraped call, text message data for years from Android phones [Updated]



Facebook denies it collects call and SMS data from phones without permission



Facebook's focus on local news goes global



Tumblr outs 84 accounts it says are trying to game you



Emojis for people with disabilities have been submitted to Unicode



Yet another security vulnerability afflicts India’s citizen database


America's Equifax isn't the only huge national database to be discovered leaking. These guys are denying the breach.


Smart wine bottle company Kuvee is going out of business


"[I]t took proprietary wine cartridges you could only buy from Kuvée." Something to be careful in the IoT -- niche products whose niche dries up or never pans out.


NBA is experimenting with 99-cent fourth quarter live streams


(In-App micro-purchases of streaming content)

"[When]somebody wants to watch the last five minutes of the game, and they go click, they'll pay a set price for five minutes as opposed to what they would pay for two hours..."


Ford vending machine begins dispensing cars in China



Big-name tax software might lead to phishing risks

Popular tax software may expose users to phishing attacks



Android malware found inside seemingly innocent QR code apps



Developers: These are Mozilla's Firefox changes that will affect you in 2018



Nissan is using recycled Leaf batteries to power street lights



Seoul will turn off workers' PCs to curb excessive overtime



Lenovo's VR camera with Daydream is now available for pre-order



Suspect arrested for cyber bank heists that amassed $1.2 billion



1.4B stolen passwords are free for the taking: What we know now



Chinese Space Station Could Crash to Earth Late Sunday or Early Monday


Happy Easter. (Or, Passover. Or, April Fools Day. Except this is very real.)


Tiangong-1: Defunct China space lab comes down over South Pacific


So it was a Happy Easter after all. Actually, the odds were always vastly in favor of a reentry over water.


Windows chief out as Microsoft reorganizes its business


Terry Myerson is out, with Panos Panay taking control of Microsoft's device business.


Facebook starts fact checking photos/videos, blocks millions of fake accounts per day



Facebook is probing reappearance of users' never-posted videos


Users downloading their Facebook archive are discovering the social network kept videos they recorded but never published.


Google's piracy filter nixes 'Kodi' from autocomplete search results


Time to start using DuckDuckGo.


IoT could help seniors with dementia


A chain of Ontario-based retirement homes is looking to add sensor bracelets to its Aruba Wi-Fi networks, internet of things devices that will track whether residents are starting to wander away from the facilities so staff can intercept them.


Wild Type raises $3.5M to reinvent meat for the 21st century


Let me know how this turns out. (Could be interesting, or could be too expensive or lack the qualities which people value in real meat.)


Smugglers used drones to sneak $80 million worth of phones into China



Alexa gets a DVR recording skill



Spectrum wants you back: cut-rate Internet TV package targets cord-cutters


The streaming service is like Direct TV Now, which can be streamed over anyone's Internet Services, but you would still need to subscribe to someone's Internet Services from the available providers where you live. In other words, this is not truly independent of the local Cable/Teleco duopoly which most places have.


Tesla reveals the driver killed in a Model X crash was traveling with Autopilot engaged, received 'several' automated warnings before the collision (TSLA)



Driverless Cars Resume Testing in Boston Following Weeklong Pause


The Boston tests are in areas of the City where there are fewer pedestrians, but where there are business and commercial activities.


US visa applications may soon require five years of social media info


I wonder how many US Citizens would be able to recite all their social media phone numbers, email addresses and handles if asked?


The real threat to Facebook is the Kool-Aid turning sour

Who wants to work on a weapon?



Google is shutting down its goo.gl URL shortening service

The company wants you to use the more app-centric Firebase Dynamic Links.



AI predicts your lifespan using activity tracking apps

Neural networks could fill in where medical tests can't.


So they say...


Intel AMD Hybrid Kaby Lake-G Processor Proves Powerful In First Real-World Evaluations



Moment lenses — the DSLR killer?



FCC approves SpaceX plan for 4,425-satellite broadband network



Windows 10 Spring Creators Update: Act fast to delay this big upgrade

Each time Microsoft rolls out a major upgrade to Windows 10, you have the option to wait a few months before you install it on PCs running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise. But you have to act quickly.

By Ed Bott for The Ed Bott Report



Tapster’s robots are built to poke touchscreens



The Acer Aspire S24 is an $879 all-in-one PC with touches of class



Dell's updated XPS 15 could crush the MacBook Pro 15—again



Report: Apple to use its own chips in Macs starting in 2020



MIT's wearable device can 'hear' the words you say in your head


Another creepy first for technology.


Under a millimeter wide and powered by light, these tiny cameras could hide almost anywhere



Best Buy customer info may have been exposed in data breach


This happened on October 12, 2017 with the online Chat App. Credit Card info may be involved. Affected customers will be notified.


Ultra HD group outlines next generation of 4K TV broadcasts



Global cyberattack targets 200,000 network switches (updated)



Microsoft plans to bring native 64-bit apps to Qualcomm-powered PCs, but it'll take time

The company plans to announce an ARM64 developer kit preview at its Build conference in May.



A 4K, HDR Dell UltraSharp monitor is $240 off, and comes with a $200 gift card



A Dell laptop with a speedy Intel 8th-gen CPU is $150 off at the Microsoft Store



Amazon is selling a 2TB WD external hard drive for just $58.49


It went back up to $64.99 later, but this is still a very good deal for this size drive. It's pretty much a clean external USB-3.0 hard drive.


Upgrade to a big-screen 4K display for just $260 with this Staples deal



A 4K, HDR Dell UltraSharp monitor is $240 off, and comes with a $200 gift card


Full price (on sale) = $549 plus shipping.


WatchOS 4.3.1 beta warns that watchOS 1 apps won't work on future versions



How to block the Windows 10 spring update, version 1803, from installing



AMD rolls out CPU firmware and Windows 10 patches to protect against Spectre exploits



Microsoft shows IT how to get bigger bang from Windows Analytics


So here we go again with our data, collected through supposedly anonymous telemetry, being sold to advertisers by Microsoft. Whom can you trust anymore?


How to save your privacy from the Internet's clutches



Apple cracks down on leaks, 12 arrested in 2017



Google loses 'right to be forgotten' case over man's past conviction



Elon Musk says ‘humans are underrated,’ calls Tesla’s ‘excessive automation’ a ‘mistake’



Tesla batteries will live longer than expected, survey finds

The packs are on track to last over 500,000 miles.



Samsung's newest phone can't connect to the internet

For the folks who want a phone but not the ability to access the internet.


The phone is supposed to cost about $30.00. That's before you add in the cell and data plans. And without WiFi and WiFi calling, the inevitable overages. BTW, I used to have a flip phone with no data capabilities at all. It cost more than $30.00.


Zillow will flip houses on its own internet marketplace



The cheapest live TV streamer heads to Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV


"Philo's bundle lacks big-time sports, round-the-clock news, big broadcast networks, local channels or the biggest cable networks..." but it costs only $16.00 per month.


New York’s programming ed tech startup, General Assembly, sells to Adecco for $413 million



Stream all the things to your TV with this killer deal on a Google Chromecast


$25.00 is about what I paid for my Chromecast awhile back. They go on sale every so often, though this time, they may be clearanced to make way for the newer, costlier 4k models.


What the Mac 32-bit app phase-out means to you


This is exactly what Microsoft and their partners have been trying to do to Windows for a couple of years now. 32-bit hardware and drivers are next to go. No more updates for you! (No soup for you!)


Scientists create mutant enzymes that eat plastic bottles



Facebook hit with lawsuit over facial recognition technology



T-Mobile to Pay $40 Million Fine for Faking Outgoing Calls to Rural Areas



Ajit Pai’s ex-broadband advisor arrested on charge of forging fiber contracts



Casino Gets Hacked Through Its Internet-Connected Fish Tank Thermometer



Microsoft holds up Windows 10 feature upgrade after finding BSOD bug


I urge everyone to defer feature updates if your version of Windows supports this feature, for at least 30 days to avoid this sort of surprise.


Oculus updates privacy controls to comply with GDPR rules


Meanwhile, Facebook in general is not extending the EU privacy rules worldwide, in spite of having promised to do so earlier this year.




Google Maps uses landmarks to provide natural-sounding directions


This seems like an improvement, especially in places like the Boston area where streets don't always have identifying signs, and where intersections are rarely well marked.


Learn how to code for free with Area 120's new app 'Grasshopper'



Meet Daisy, Apple's newest iPhone-recycling robot



Cambridge Analytica reportedly planned a cryptocurrency


Why is it that cryptocurrencies seem to almost never get associated with good news stories?


MoviePass’s finances show that it might be too good to be true



Amazon’s new ‘Alexa Blueprints’ let anyone create custom Alexa skills and responses



Amazon can deliver packages to the inside of your car


Yeah, what could possibly go wrong?


First-ever ocean plastic cleaner will tackle Great Pacific Garbage Patch


Back to Top

Mon 1241 4/23/2018

How to Get Google Lens on Any Android Device or iPhone



How to send a fax from your iPhone

Many users are unaware of how easy it is to send a fax message from an iPhone. Follow these simple steps to perform this sometimes critical task.



Intel Docs Reference an 8-Core Coffee Lake CPU



Facebook users aren’t changing their privacy settings, despite uproar

The company doesn’t expect any major changes in its revenue.



Firefox for iOS Gets Default Tracking Protection

The feature uses a list from Disconnect to identify and block trackers that normally follow you around the web, collecting your browsing history.



How to disconnect your Facebook account from third-party apps

Stop advertisers and other organizations harvesting your data



How to change Boot order in Windows 10



Do I Really Need a System Image Backup?



Ford is using bionic suits help employees work safer



14 Apps to Install on Your New PC



iOS 11’s new App Store boosts downloads by 800% for featured apps



Chime in: How often do you actually use your PC's touchscreen?

It's nice to have sometimes, but do you actually use it?



Microsoft Kills OneNote Desktop in Favor of the Microsoft Store Version



Ring Spotlight Cam review: Intruders can't hide in darkness with these cameras on watch

This combo spotlight and security camera protects the most vulnerable areas outside your home after sundown.



The system-wide dark mode everyone wants on the iPhone is finally coming… to Macs



Here's why Apple built a recycling robot that rips apart 200 iPhones per hour

Apple also announced a new GiveBack program where people can bring in old tech for recycling in exchange for store credit.



Nvidia GTX 1180 Specs Allegedly Leaked



Police across the US are buying an affordable iPhone cracker

It reportedly works even on the iPhone X and iOS 11.



Which Tech Companies Do You Trust?

According to data from Forbes and Statista, 51 percent of consumers do not trust Facebook to obey laws protecting personal information.



Play Android games on Windows with BlueStacks App Player

Emulate a smartphone on your PC



Audio Router routes audio from programs to different audio devices



[ALERT] Facebook Surveys and Quizzes



Google wants to kill SMS texting, Tim Cook says iPads and Macs aren't merging



Boost your storage with these great deals on giant portable flash drives

Amazon is selling a 256GB SanDisk flash drive for $65 and Best Buy has a PNY one for $30.



Pivotal CEO talks IPO and balancing life in Dell family of companies



Every smart home device that works with Cortana

Looking to have Cortana make your home a little smarter? These are the products that'll help you do just that.



Skill Blueprints Lets You Design Your Own Alexa Responses



Get Alexa's smarts for less than $20 with this deal on the Eufy Genie smart speaker

Plus Google Home is 30 percent off.



Report: AT&T and Verizon have been working together to screw you



How to prevent phishing by studying the psychology behind digital fraud

Studying how online users react to attacks in of itself is not going to solve the phishing epidemic. Researchers suggest looking at digital fraudsters' adversarial behavior.



PSA: The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Is Faster Than It Used to Be



Backpage.com CEO pleads guilty to human trafficking

CEO Carl Ferrer faces up to five years in prison and is cooperating with the prosecution.



Where Are the Great Voice Phones?

Voice-calling technology is advancing, but simple voice phones are being left behind. Why won't our carriers offer us a great one?



How to set up a proxy server

Unblock websites and protect your network from malware



Cortana Show Me app offers a visual guide for using Windows 10



Opera is shuttering its VPN app for iOS and Android, sending users to SurfEasy

Another one bites the dust.



Facebook Inc.'s In-House AI Chip Is Bad News for Intel Corp.'s Nervana



Mac Pro: Features, specifications, and prices for Apple’s workstation



AT&T CEO says a new $15-per-month, sports-free streaming service is launching in a few weeks



Elgato's 4K60 Pro Stream Link does it all for content creators

Elgato's top of the line capture card can now record at 4K60 while still allowing you to stream at up to 1080p thanks to Stream Link.



How to Disable the “Low Disk Space” Warning on Windows



Nest Hello review: This is a great video doorbell

Nest's video doorbell is a worthy addition to its premium smart home security range



A Pixel 3 this stunning might actually make people ditch their iPhones



How to create new Google Docs using jump lists in the Microsoft Windows 10 taskbar

Adding the links necessary to create a new Google Doc to the Microsoft Windows 10 taskbar is a powerful and flexible feature. Here is how you use it.



Google Builds Augmented Reality Microscope to Detect Cancer



Google AI can pick out voices in a crowd

It could boost audio quality for video chats and hearing aids.



Intel Offloads Antivirus Scans to Graphics Processor, Freeing Up CPU

The feature was quietly introduced in Windows Defender last month, and Intel is working to bring it to other antivirus software too.



How to upgrade your smartwatch to Wear OS

Get yourself Wear OS ready



Screeny is a free screenshot software for Windows PC



Best Wireless Mice for Chromebooks

Which wireless mice are best for Chromebooks?



Microsoft is working to cut the file size of the basic Windows 10 install



The only reasons to stay with the iPhone right now have nothing to do with the iPhone



Amazon eyes a move into home shopping TV with possible Evine acquisition



Windows Template Studio snags interface tweaks in move to version 2.0

Windows Template Studio's interface is now "faster and more approachable" than before, Microsoft says.



How to Create the Perfect Facebook Cover Photo



The best second-screen apps for watching Major League Baseball

Geek up the grand old game with data feeds, social media, and other interactive enhancements.



The iPhone X is being outsold by a 4-year-old iPhone design



Windows shops be warned: New Internet Explorer bug lets hackers hijack your system

A Chinese cybersecurity firm has discovered a "double kill" bug in Internet Explorer that it said is already being used by possible nation-state hacking groups.



5 incredibly useful tools for your digital spring cleaning



How to Use the Ping Command to See the Status of a Site



Comments by -- Joe Nowak

Microsoft Excel Tips

Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:22 pm (PDT

Here are some Microsoft Excel Templates that may be of some use to you.


How to Write a Simple Macro in Excel



Gmail Spam Spoofing

Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:53 am (PDT

If you have a GMail account, you'll want to check on this.


Back to Top

Sun 1240 4/22/2018

Download “Windows Defender Browser Protection” Extension for Google Chrome



How to download YouTube videos for free



[AUTO] Are Carfax Reports Reliable?



20 quick Windows tips for power users (free PDF)



The Best Password Manager for Every OS and Platform



Microsoft Brings Windows Defender Protections to Chrome



VR and your privacy: How are these companies treating your data?

Know where your data's going.



4 clever ways to prevent spying and 1 way to spy



Google loses 'right to be forgotten' case over man's past conviction

It could set a precedent for internet companies' handling of user data.



7 signs you’ve been hacked that you need to know now



LAN drive



Best Password Managers 2018



The Best Computer Monitors of 2018

The right display will help you make the most of your movies, your games, or your work. Our buying guide outlines everything you need to know when shopping, and includes our top-rated monitors in a variety of sizes and price levels.



Meet Daisy, Apple's recycling machine where old iPhones find new life



The 10 laws of landscape photography

Discover how to capture your best ever landscape photos



Get Ready For Big Gmail Changes



Google shutting down goo.gl shortlink service: Here are the alternatives

The service is being sunsetted in favor of FireBase Dynamic Links for developers, while regular users are advised to use competing services.



6 Ways You Can Get Creative with Google Drawings



Why Do Some Smartphones Use Multiple Cameras?



Best USB-C Adapters for Windows Mixed Reality and VR

Fix the problem of a laptop without proper ports for VR.



Flip phones are back: Less distracting and a lot cheaper than a smartphone



Low-latency JPEG XS format is optimized for live streaming and VR

It will supposedly work well over 5G and wireless networks too.



Best home office and family printers that will save money






How to Steal Someone's Identity in 45 Minutes

It takes less than an hour online to gather enough public information to steal a person's identity. Here's what not to do online.



The Best Cheap Laptops of 2018

You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to get a capable PC for everyday computing. Here's what you need to know to achieve the perfect balance of price and features in a budget laptop.



Here's how to see which apps have access to your Google info — and cut them off



Windows Movie Maker is back: how to use Windows 10's hidden video editor

There's more to the Photos app than meets the eye



Geekly Update - 18 April 2018



How to use the Firefox Multi-Account Containers extension

If you're looking to gain even more privacy from Firefox, Jack Wallen shows you how to add and use the Multi-Account Containers extension to help protect your browsing footprint.



Should Companies Be Allowed to Collect Data on Non-Users?



How to Protect Your Privacy on Facebook



Connected Devices app aims to improve sharing between Windows phones and PCs

You don't need to message yourself to send text between your Windows phone and PC thanks to the Connected Devices app for Windows 10.



Confused about mobile platforms? You’re not alone. Here’s clarity.

Finally: Here are answers to the questions everyone suddenly has about mobile and IoT platforms.



Wireless Android Auto is available for Google phones

You need a Pixel or Nexus to ditch the USB cable in your car.



5 free programs you may not have heard of until now



G.Skill Releases New Memory For 2nd-Gen Ryzen And X470



What to Do If Your Social Security Number Is Stolen



The Best External Hard Drives of 2018

Whether you're running out of space on your laptop hard drive, or you want to back up your photos and videos, portable storage has never been cheaper. Here's how to get the right drive.



This Intel Processor Rumor Doesn't Sound Right



How to download Kodi for Mac

Get your favorite media streamer on your Mac in minutes



[HOWTO] Send Email to a Group



How to use Excel formulas to compare multi-column lists

Duplicates in the same column are easy to find by sorting, filtering, and using conditional formatting. When none of those are an option, try this simple formula solution.



How Active Noise Cancellation Works



Google and Carriers Plan to Replace SMS With a New Protocol Called ‘Chat’



How to upgrade your laptop's hard drive to a solid-state drive (SSD)

Boost your laptop's performance with a speedy SSD.



Oculus’s handling of personal data is an ‘existential crisis’



Android P might include iPhone X-style navigation gestures

This is on top of screen notch support.



Could we please, for the love of all things good, stop these annoying robocalls?



Adata XPG Spectrix D40 32GB DDR4-3000 4x8GB Kit Review: Bling's Not the Only Thing



iPhone SE 2 Coming Soon? New Evidence Points to May



Until We Ban Data Brokers, Online Privacy Is a Pipe Dream

Facebook is only the first of a wave of artificial intelligence that will seek to manipulate us. To stop them, we need to stop them from sharing data.



This New Social Security Bill Aims to Put More Money in Seniors' Pockets



How to stop third-party apps accessing your Google account

Protect your personal info



How to add and enable users for Samba share

If your users aren't able to authenticate to Samba, chances are you forgot one very important step. Jack Wallen shows you what to do to allow users to gain access to those shares.



How to Set Up Remote Control on Kodi With Kore



Facebook Is Using Dark Patterns To Undermine EU Privacy Rules



Verizon Follows Facebook and Google's Lead Into Targeted Ads

The telco wants to read your AOL and Yahoo e-mails.


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July 02, 2018

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