Robocalls flooding your cellphone? Here’s how to
Steps you can take against the flood of unwanted,
How to block the annoying robocalls that you keep
- Robocalls can originate from anywhere and
are hard to fight.
- There are apps you can download to help
prevent them, and steps you should take when you receive them.
- Here's how to stop those annoying
Ransomware warning: This phishing campaign delivers
new malware variants
Tens of thousands of messages are being sent each
day in an effort to trick people into installing this particular
form of ransomware, say researchers.
BMW, Ford and GM want to bring blockchain to your
The alliance hopes to use the technology for
payments and car-to-car data.
The Fitbit Versa is the best fitness tracker and
wearable you can buy right now
Though it's more fitness than smarts, the new
Fitbit Versa is the best all-around wearable right now.
6 Cool Things in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update
Continuing its 'Windows as a service' program,
Microsoft adds time-saving features, dictation, sharing, and more.
Most dangerous attack techniques, and what’s coming
AT&T accidentally blocked Cloudflare’s privacy DNS
Windows 10’s New Redstone 5 Build Brings a New
PDF Files Can Be Abused to Steal Windows
NSA triples metadata collection numbers, sucking up
over 500 million call records in 2017
How to Uninstall Avira Free
3 reasons why you should give Debian a try
Though you may have never heard of this
less-popular distribution of Linux, these three reasons prove why
you should give it a chance.
Facebook admits it didn’t read terms of app that
caused data breach
Seven of the Best Hidden Features in Android
What “WebAuthn” Is and How It Might Replace
YouTube music app gets a streamlined now playing
It looks more like a traditional music player and
may hint at future updates.
Darkest Dungeon is a satisfyingly difficult $25
gothic RPG for Xbox and PC
My attention has been held captive for weeks by
Darkest Dungeon. It's well worth a look for fans of punishing,
The Best Android-Only Apps for Google Fans
For awhile, iOS got first dibs on all the best
apps, but Android has exclusives, too.
Survey Reveals Users Have No Clue About Router
Report claims iPhone with triple-lens camera
‘likely’ to launch next year
Microsoft to Fix Windows 10 Version 1803 Freezing
Mysterious “double kill” Word/IE zero-day allegedly
in the wild as phishing attack
We love augmented reality, but let’s fix things
that could become big problems
Dear Samsung, It's Time to Stop Making Laptops
How to automate Apple's FileVault 2 deployment and
The way you deploy Apple's full-disk encryption
scheme will impact how end users use their hardware and how IT
manages these devices. Here are three tips on automating the
deployment of FileVault 2.
Advanced Hackers Infect X-Ray Machines In
Use Windows 10’s New “Free Up Space” Tool to Clean
Up Your Hard Drive
Enhance Your Music-Listening Experience with These
7 Firefox Add-ons
Microsoft is fixing a Windows 10 bug that causes
Chrome to freeze
Some users are reporting the glitch locks up their
Connect multiple devices via Bluetooth to this $24
Logitech Z207 Stereo Speaker set
This pair of speakers can connect via Bluetooth or
3.5mm audio cable to play your favorite tunes.
FTC Promises Legal Action if Warranty-Voiding
Stickers Aren’t Fixed Soon
Analyzing Operation GhostSecret: Attack Seeks to
Steal Data Worldwide
Debating between Apple and Samsung phones? Open
your eyes a little wider
Facebook Fires 'Stalker' Engineer
Scam Of The Week: World's Largest Phishing Botnet
and Power BI visualizations
AMD Ships Vulnerability Patches To Ecosystem
Bluestar Gives Arch Linux a Celestial Glow
5 signs you've been hit with an advanced persistent
Do you have valuable data on your network? Noticing
odd network behavior? You could be the victim of an APT attack
The US Public Domain Hasn’t Expanded Since 1998.
That Changes Next Year.
Would a Phone With a Keyboard Be Feasible Anymore?
Apple will fix bug affecting iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
Some models running iOS 11.3 are experiencing the
Microsoft's 4 most disappointing products and
Microsoft makes a lot of great products ... but it
also makes a few bad ones.
How AI Is Bringing the Vatican Secret Archives Into
the Light of Day
Orangeworm cyber attack group targets health sector
A cyber crime group is targeting the health sector
and related industries in the US, Europe and Asia in a suspected
corporate espionage campaign, researchers warn
How to shoot better photos with your smartphone
How to Fix: Win10 April Update: RDP,
Mapped Drives Broken
Here is an Email Thread of an Actual
CEO Fraud Attack
Microsoft introduces a pair of new
enterprise apps for HoloLens
Noctua Releases All-New NF-A12x25 120mm
Microsoft Offers New Tool to Grow Linux
How to Battle Credential Stuffing
Attackers Use Stolen Credentials for
Fraud, Warns Shape Security's Dan Woods
Microsoft Just Removed HomeGroups From
Treat Your Dog When You’re Gone with
Furbo Dog Camera at 30% Off
Chrome learns to mute sites based on
your web history
It's no longer an all-or-nothing
Ring Spotlight Cam vs. Ring Floodlight
Cam: What's the difference?
Here's how to choose the right one for
How to Edit Videos Like a Pro With
VideoPad Video Editor
Comments by -- Bob Primak --
Re. Recent FYI Postings: Week of
Apr 29-May 5 2018
Re. FYI#1247 (Sun 4/29/2017):
(Note: That should read 2018.)
Cyber crooks are more interested in
exploiting people, not software flaws, claims Proofpoint
They have a point. If it's getting harder
and harder to crack into the computer code, then the people using
the computers and networks are becoming by default, the weakest
links in the security of the system. This should serve as a
warning to people like us, who take more than a casual interest in
technology, including the security of our own networks and
devices. We are becoming the targets, not just our operating
systems, web browsers and physical networks. The recent Facebook
scandal and the recent misuse of public DNA databases by law
enforcement should serve as notices of where and how we make
ourselves easy targets.
Researchers use machine learning to
quickly detect video face swaps
This has applications in detecting fake
news videos. Some of the recent advances in photo shopping, audio
editing and lip-syncing technologies are making very convincing
fake videos a real possibility.
Radiolab: Breaking News: The Future of
Fake News (with videos)
There's a tab at the top of the page which
links to the actual fake Obama video which was created. Very
Apple makes iTunes available in the
First, it was only a matter of time before
this would happen. Microsoft's flagship products, like the Office
modules, have been showing up in the Apple app store for awhile
now. Second, I wonder whether the Microsoft version includes the
entire iTunes catalog, and the highest quality versions of the
Palantir Knows Everything About You
This company does not look for "pre-crime"
suspects in nice neighborhoods. Most of those who will read FYI or
this reply need not worry. I won't even begin to dissect all the
laws this company has already broken, let alone the laws and legal
precedents which their alleged operations in Chicago may be
violating. Suffice it to say, this company has never made a
profit, got fired by their biggest corporate customer to date, and
is on track to become the next Equifax (minus the deep pockets to
extricate themselves from blame) when (not if) someone inside the
company causes a data breach.
How to mirror iPad or iPhone screen to
A couple members of the West Suburban
Computer Club tried to use LonelyScreen for a presentation about a
year ago. They met with only limited success, and it took a lot of
effort and troubleshooting to get even partial success.
Hotel Rooms Worldwide Can Be Unlocked With
There's a patch out now, but who knows how
long it may take for the patch to be deployed to every hotel
Serenity Now! App helps you meditate,
sleep and relax
If you missed it, Seinfeld Season 9,
episode 3 showed exactly what happens if you use the "serenity
now" technique. Spoiler alert -- it does not end well. (
-- available for $1.99 on
Windows 10 vs. MacOS vs. Chrome OS
Comparing Chrome OS with the two desktop
operating systems is just stupid. They are not designed for the
same purpose, and should not be compared. As with any computer
purchase, decide what you want to do with the device, then decide
on which device and which OS suits your purposes best.
Microsoft to Windows users: Here are new
critical Intel security updates for Spectre v2
First, these patches are not available
through Windows Update. They only come from the Windows Update
Catalog and must be installed through standalone installers.
Second, and this is very important, I noticed after running these
patches and then running Gibson Research's InSpectre testing
script that these patches on my Skylake core-i5 based Intel NUC
actually removed an important Meltdown protection. Running
InSpectre as Administrator, I restored the disabled protection
feature. But this shows that these patches should not be blindly
installed on every allegedly affected Intel-based system. The
Linux kernel-level patches have not caused me this sort of issue.
Microsoft Windows Defender Fights Phishing
on Google Chrome Browser
I would not use Microsoft add-ons to
secure a Google product. I also would not use any third-party
antivirus product or security suite to secure a web browser not
made by that security company. The trouble is, we do not know how
one company's code will interact with the code in another
company's product. Since these are not open source products,
neither do the companies writing the security code. The results
have all too often been that the add-ons actually expose
additional security flaws in the browser code, making the overall
result less secure than doing nothing at all. And need I mention
that all browser security add-ons have "telemetry" and/or
"cloud-based protections" which transmit data (including browsing
history) to (in this case) Microsoft's servers?
MRTouch Turns Any Physical Surface Into A
Mixed Reality Touch Screen
This is not a product at this point. And
like Hololens, it may never be put into mass-production.
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS: The Linux for AI,
clouds, and containers
Ubuntu will still live on as a desktop
operating system, but that's not where Canonical sees it as having
its greatest potential.
Ubuntu is not going to give up on desktop
Linux. This article has the facts wrong, at least in part. But the
fact that Canonical, in partnership with Microsoft, is moving
toward servers and Cloud-based computing is not surprising, given
recent headlines about both companies. It may be time for Linux
and open-source purists to find another distro.
Critical infrastructure needs shoring up
after U.S., U.K. blame Russia for attacks
Outside forces are not to blame for the
lack of investment in infrastructure in the US, both by government
and by the private sector. To improve the appearance of saving
money for taxpayers and investors, both sectors have failed to
invest in improvements and maintenance. This is the same logic
which has wrecked public and private pension systems, and
threatens to wreck Social Security and Medicare. Tax cuts feel
great when the money comes into our pockets. Wall Street loves
cost-cutting. But when the long-term damages have to be paid for,
people start screaming, burning torches and blaming immigrants and
Microsoft attempts to spin its role in
Microsoft was within its rights to
prosecute the illegal distribution of Windows recovery disks.
These are protected by the same laws and EULAs as retail install
disks. And the PC repair outfit which got caught doing this knew
that all along. Not that this is anything different from all those
OEM installation media disks being illegally resold on eBay and
Want to know how to record calls on an
iPhone? Check out our guide
Before you start to do this, be aware that
Illinois is a State which requires both parties to consent before
5 tips to prepare your PC for Windows 10
April 2018 Update
It's time to get your computer ready for
Microsoft's next big update to Windows 10.
No. Sunday was the last day to prepare
your Version 1709 PCs to defer this update. At least for a couple
of months. And it will get harder to defer the next feature
upgrade -- the ability to do so in the Pro editions has been
removed from the settings for Windows Update. You need to go
through Group Policies to get to the deferral options and get onto
the Current Branch for Business, aka the Semi-annual Branch, as of
New Large Email Security Gap Analysis
Shows a Massive 15% Failure Rate
I'm surprised it's as low as 15%. But in
GMail I almost never see spam in my inbox, and only a few pieces
per week in my much more active Yahoo Mail (free) inbox. My Yahoo
Mail spam folder gets dozens of catches every day.
Re. FYI#1248 (Mon 4/30/2018):
Amazon Prime prices are going up — here's
what you get for $119 a year
There are increased shipping costs, and
other factors have been pushing up Amazon's costs. This was easily
predictable -- it was only a question of when and how much. And
this isn't a huge increase.
Microsoft confirms Windows 10 April 2018
Update (version 1803) release date
Get ready! The Windows 10 April 2018
(version 1803) is officially rolling out starting April 30, 2018
This news would have been more timely if
this posting had not been dated on the day of the rollout. Many
folks believed the date would be April 30th at least a week before
the rollout. This extra time would have allowed more folks to take
defensive action to avoid an unwanted upgrade.
Messaging Can Be Open or Secure (But
Probably Not Both)
There are open source advocates who will
strongly disagree with this assessment:
In encrypted-messaging market, open source
not only key to success
7 Software Interfaces That Give Me
Most of these are mercifully gone now. My
worst nightmares included the old Avast Radio Interface, also
similar to one or more of the media players not made by Microsoft.
But more nightmares have risen up recently. Malwarebytes and Avira
have hidden all their useful advanced features from the visible
screens. And lots of desktop applications have interfaces which
would be more at home on a phone. No, I do not want to use my PC
as I would use a phone!
Windows 10 is about productivity — for
businesses and consumers
The Windows 10 interface is not about
productivity for anyone. It is about forcing desktop users to
treat their PCs like phones. That is definitely not about
How to change Windows Boot Logo using
I cannot imagine any use case which would
justify doing something as reckless as hacking the Windows
bootloader just to change a logo. Not to mention that removing or
altering the Microsoft logo from a Windows product probably
violates the EULA. Totally bypassing the splash screena nd the
lock screen is useful, but not altering or replacing the logo.
Re. FYI#1249 (Tues 5/1/2018):
How to download and reinstall Realtek HD
Audio Manager in Windows 10
This is something which on my Intel NUC I
had to do, but I had to download the Intel version from the Intel
site. The stock Microsoft
Windows 10 audio driver simply could not load on the NUC,
and did not survive a restart.
CPU utilization is wrong
Everyone uses %CPU to measure performance,
but everyone is wrong, says Netflix's Brendan Gregg in his UpSCALE
I would not trust Netflix on any technical
issue, much less CPU utilization. This is a classic case of denial
by a company with buggy software. Google has been telling the same
kinds of lies about Chrome RAM utilization for years.
SnoopSnitch shows Android users what
security patches are missing from their phone
So now that I know a patch is missing,
what do I do? It's not like you can force a patch into a phone
when that patch is not offered by your manufacturer.
Vizio adds Dolby Atmos to its latest home
Vertical surround sound may be more
What is vertical sound? As opposed to
horizontal sound? Human hearing exists almost entirely in one
horizontal plane. So what are we not hearing that these speakers
Microsoft working on new Windows 10 screen
Here's an early look at the new screen
clipping experience coming to Windows 10.
Though the description is sparse, this
doesn't appear to function very differently from the current
Windows Snipping tool. Just a different way to access it.
How to Install Adobe Creative Cloud Apps
Well, sort of. IT turns out not all the
Adobe apps will run on Linux even with Play On Linux, and not all
features can be run on Linux. Nice try, though.
Net Neutrality, Cambridge Analytica
Scandal Fuel VPN Use
The findings come from new market data of
VPN paid subscriptions made over Google Play and Amazon's app
What CA is alleged to have done cannot be
stopped by using a VPN. They took data off Facebook's servers. The
only way to prevent this would be to never post the info in the
first place. And again, this incident was not an anomaly -- it was
Facebook doing what Facebook is set up to do.
How to connect your Android phone or
tablet to your HDTV
View your mobile device media on your big
I use Chromecast. Miracast is not
available for Android 6 and above.
Comcast’s wireless service is such a good
deal it’s losing the company money
So they will raise prices once they
establish a toehold in the market. Just like every company before
them. No surprise here. They still have not equaled my deal with
US Mobile. But I don't use my cell phone much.
Re. FYI#1250 (Wed 5/2/2018):
Web standard brings password-free
sign-ins to virtually any site (these have been around for some
time, but fingerprints are copiable and can be used against you)
Use your fingerprint reader or camera in a
wide variety of browsers.
FIDO keys are not limited to fingerprint
readers. That is only one of several types of FIDO keys. The ones
being sold most aggressively are similar to the keys used by
YubiKey, except that they are not proprietary technology the way
the actual YubiKeys are. Other articles are much more clear about
These earbuds are built to sound like
surround sound and they're more than half off
Nothing you can place in or around your
ears will ever have more than two-dimensional stereo. This is a
physical reality. The surround sound effects rely on the echoes
which real rooms produce, and these effects are not physically
possible in the space between a pair of drivers and your eardrums.
What are Virtual Credit Cards and how and
where do you get them?
If you don't already have an account with
the company issuing the virtual credit card, watch out for fees
and other ways these arrangements can cost you money.
Facebook is using your Instagram photos to
train its image recognition AI
There is some question as to whether this
type of tracking will be allowed. So far, the US has not banned
it, but the EU looks poised to implement a ban.
Congress just legalized sex censorship:
What to know
"Sex work" is not another word for
Then again, most "sex work" is still
illegal, and so is advertising for it ("soliciting").
5 of the Best Sites to Learn English for
I think I already know how to speak
English. So do the people who will read this.
Apple is refusing to replace iPhone
batteries, report says
If the phone is damaged, it is damaged.
People keep trying to weasel their way out of just about anything
[Fix] Windows 10 Feature Update Not
Showing on Your Computer
Best fix -- count yourself lucky and wait
a few weeks or months. The Windows Update Assistant can often
identify reasons why the upgrade isn't showing up for your system.
Signal could get kicked out of Amazon Web
There have to be other ways to get around
blocks in repressive countries. Spoofing a famous domain is only
going to lead to trouble for the app and for the company whose
domain is spoofed.
How to configure Cloudflare's 126.96.36.199 DNS
service on Windows 10 or your router
It appears in testing that the DNS is
overridden by Comcast at the network level, so changing DNS
services does not work with Comcast unless you use your own third
Re. FYI#1251 (Thurs 5/3/2018):
CPU Utilization Is Wrong on PCs, and
Getting Worse Every Year
Again, this is Netflix talking. So I would
take anything they say with a gigantic grain of salt.
Recommended Reading: Does Facebook need to
The best long-form writing on technology
and more on the web.
There are some regulations surrounding how
Facebook does business which are likely to find their way into
laws. But in general, the posting of personal information at a
site like Facebook is the responsibility of the users, not the
folks running the site.
System76 just announced a major update to
its developer-focused Linux OS
Buying a purpose-built dedicated Linux PC
is spending a lot of money to get something you can create for
yourself for a lot less money. The OS is free, and so is the
software. I would not use the pre-built PCs as a shortcut for
learning how Linux works and how to install, upgrade and maintain
it for yourself.
Re. FYI#1252 (Fri 5/4/2018):
Secure Gmail Accounts Appear to Be
Google is aware of a spam campaign and
confirmed Gmail accounts have not been compromised.
Forged headers, eh? It seems to me that
Yahoo Web Mail has also been hit by something like this, more than
once, over the years I've had an account with them. Eventually the
issue seems to clear up, but no one on the inside ever tells users
just what went wrong with the spam detection techniques. This is
not a case of contacts or accounts being hijacked, so it isn't
something that changing a password or using 2FA (two-factor
authentication) could help with.
Could Facebook be your company's next
If this is going to be business to
business, the world is still a safe place.
A New Wave of Spectre-Class Attacks May Be
Coming for Intel CPUs
Stuff like this is going to keep happening
for a very long time. By the time this settles down, most of us
will have upgraded to new hardware, which will have new threats
and weaknesses baked into it. Right now, other than keeping all
your operating systems up to date, there's little we as end users
can do to become better protected. Maybe the BIOS and firmware
updates for some systems, but that's just about it.
MoviePass Was a Great Deal, Now It’s
Trying Really Hard Not To Be
Some of their competitors are also jumping
on the Unlimited Movies bandwagon. And strings are starting to get
attached, as pure Unlimited Plans are losing money fast. Who would
have thought that offering something for nothing with no revenue
stream and no paid upgrades would prove unprofitable? ;)
Teen Learns She's in Kidney Failure After
Apple Watch Told Her to Go to ER
A device like Apple Watch should never
advise people to go to an ER or to call 911. The advice should
always be limited to' "You might want to talk to your doctor about
this". This anecdote and a few others do not change the fact that
these on-body devices are not really all that reliable when
dispensing health information and advice.
How to opt out of personalized ads on your
This is something simple, but many people
still don't know how to do it.
How to Uninstall Avira Free
Do the authors of this article realize
that RevoUninstaller won't run in Windows Safe Mode? Anyway, I use
(in Windows normal mode) Geek Uninstaller for these sorts of
programs, but RevoUninstaller will also do the trick. Just don't
restart in between removing the Avira Launcher and Avira Antivirus
programs. There may be a message from the super-uninstaller that
to complete the removal of files and Registry entries, a restart
will be needed. But dio so only after removing everything you want
gone. Follow up after restarting with CCleaner or Glary Utilities
and restart again. All should be gone by then.
If the removal is simply so as to do
something like update the Windows Defender Engine (which we
recently were advised to do for security reasons, even if we are
running third-party antivirus instead of WD) all that has to be
done is to do a single run of Revo or Geek Uninstaller on the
antivirus portion of Avira, restart, then update Windows Defender,
and restart and then reinstall the antivirus from any recently
downloaded Avira installer.
BTW, the old Avira user interface,
complete with all the now-missing Reports options, is still
available from within the Avira program. But you have to locate
the .exe in your Programs folder and make a Shortcut to the
Desktop for the old GUI. I pinned my shortcut to my Windows 10
Admin's taskbar. I see no reason to abandon Avira Free, if you can
put up with slow scan times for full system scans.
Are Huawei, ZTE Phones Actually Unsafe?
It's not a question of whether the devices
are now being used to undermine US security or the personal
privacy of US users. The question is about whether the devices
contain hardware and software ways to gather and exploit
information, and whether these devices can be used to sabotage
networks, including cell phone networks. In a military or
Intelligence setting, these concerns are serious, but not so much
for most private citizens.
As for Android's alleged insecurities,
these do not arise from Android having open source code, and US
government folks know this very well. Android suffers from
fragmentation, which is the fault of device manufacturers
installing non-free versions of Android, then abandoning security
support for their devices after two years. People often keep
phones for longer than two years, or hand them off to other people
who continue to use out of support phones. This leads to users
having unsecured Android versions on their devices. That's the
problem, not the open source origins of Android code.
Why Robolinux Is the Best Linux for
How old is this article? Windows XP is not
available from Microsoft in any form, and hasn't been available
for years. All the other Windows versions require licenses or
Digital Entitlements to run anything. So where and how does
Robolinux get these licenses, and how do users pay for them?
Microsoft Details Deprecated and Removed
Features in Windows 10 Version 1803
One thing not mentioned is the deprecation
of the ability to defer feature upgrades. It's been taken entirely
out of the Advanced Options under Windows Update, and Pro users
are now forced to go into Group Policies and set up the arcane
Policies to move to the Semi-Annual Branch (Current Branch for
Business) and Defer Feature Upgrades for up to 365 days. As for
Homegroup, again it's a lot more work to use the other methods of
setting up Network Shares, so this is also going to get long-time
Windows 7 users even more irate than they generally are now.
Huawei may have a backup OS in case it has
to drop Android
US regulations wouldn't stop it from
The only proposals I've read about are to
ban the sale of the phones themselves in the US. And even that
probably won't happen. There is no talk of Google banning Android
from Chinese made phones. No one outside of China would consider
buying a phone with a buggy Chinese operating system on it. Well,
almost no one anyway.
Apple facing complaints over its iPhone
If your iPhone has significant other
damage, replacing the battery will not repair it. How folks are
not getting this, I don't know.
Nokia 6.1 'pure' Android phone comes to
Amazon, Best Buy for $269
This hunk of aluminum has a 5.5-inch
screen and Android Oreo.
More on specs and availability:
What's attractive about this phone is the
Stock Android. Even if the manufacturer stops updating this
version of Android, there's a chance stock Android ROMs will work
with it. For an unlocked phone, it isn't too difficult to perform
Google’s Advanced Protection program now
allows access from Apple’s mobile apps, too
It's interesting that Google would offer
its protection to apps which are native to Apple's ecosystem. Just
remember, if you use Google's Advanced Protection Program, you now
have not only Apple spying on you, but Google as well. That's how
these companies keep their products profitable. After all, you
aren't paying for all this added security, and neither is Apple.
Chrome OS Gains Improved Tethering,
Android Support, More
Chrome OS version 66 just arrived on my
Chromebook this week. The Meltdown mitigations do require the
latest firmware upgrade, which I did awhile ago, unless there's
something new for my Chromebook, which I doubt.
Re. FYI#1253 (Sat 5/5/2018):
Merging Sprint and T-Mobile Makes
A merger is a bad idea for many reasons,
but the carriers' networks do match up well on 5G.
Although this article pretty much sums up
the advantages and the concerns, I am not sure there is really
much competition as things stand among the major carriers. All
have colluded to prevent eSIMs from being approved by regulators.
And other evidence points toward other collusion issues.
Windows 10 illegally collects data at
install, says Brazil prosecutor
Federal prosecutors in Brazil have asked
Microsoft to have Windows 10 stop automatically collecting user
data within 15 days.
This is a claim of violation of Brazil's
laws. So no matter what the outcome there, this does not affect
North American (including US) Windows users. Nothing will be
changed for us. If you don't already know about Windows privacy
settings, you should review recent articles on the subject.
Consider an automated solution like O&O
Software's ShutUp 10. Given each new update's tendency to reset
user privacy settings, automated solutions offer the best and
quickest way to set things back to the way we want them. Run the
utility after each monthly Cumulative or Security Update to make
sure the settings go back to your preferences. In ShutUp 10, you
can save a Config. file which can be used for this purpose. Reload
the Config. Settings, run ShutUp 10, and you're back to where you
wanted to be.
Facebook gets into the online dating
There have already been complaints about
this feature. Scammers have been setting up imposter accounts with
the photos and some personal information taken from legitimate
users' accounts. They then prey on women or men and ask for money.
Facebook AI has then responded to complaints by shutting down the
legitimate owners' accounts, not the fake accounts. Reputations
and even employment have been ruined in some cases, according to
news reports with interviews of people whose account information
and photos have been misused. So now we see the results of the
"reforms" at Facebook.
Win10 1803 bugs roll in: Chrome freezes,
Skype burps, Alienware craters and… hey, Cortana?
As I have posted before, deferring this
update if possible on your system is a good idea. At least for a
couple of months.
Google Maps Has a Nasty Scam Link Problem
The link in the article returns an "error
400 -- not found" page in Chrome 67 Beta on my Ubuntu 16.04 Linux.
Unroll.me to close to EU users saying it
can’t comply with GDPR
From the article, I don't understand what
benefits the Unroll.me app was supposed to offer to users.
What’s New in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS “Bionic
Beaver”, Available Now
Last weekend (this weekend as of the date
of this post) I tried to find the Ubuntu 18.04 upgrade for my
Intel NUC. It was not offered.
First, I have Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, installed
explicitly as LTS.
Second, I am being offered Ubuntu 17.10. I
accidentally triggered this upgrade, and was left with a system
which would not log into a GUI session from the Greeter Screen,
but did not go to black or loop through the desktop and back to
the Greeter. (I do have backups before messing with upgrades, so I
quickly got back to my Ubuntu 16.04 LTS installation and reran
I do not want such issues when I do try to
upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04. I have a question submitted to the Natick
MA FOSS user group about this issue. Some online threads say the
LTS users don't get offered a version upgrade until the new
version reaches the "dot-one" stage, which won't happen until July
or August this year.
Worst case scenario, I may have to do a
clean install and rebuild my settings and software from there.
Given the issues I've had with wireless scanning in Ubuntu 16.04,
I am not looking forward to that project.
Why everyone, including small businesses,
should be concerned about Russian attacks on IoT devices
We should all do our best to secure our
home and small business networks.IoT manufacturers have not been
very helpful for the most part, so we need to take the initiative.
Setting up a second network or subnet with restricted access is
beyond the skills of the average user, but buying and subscribing
to a hardware security appliance can make the job less
intimidating. BitDefender and several other companies offer
home-small business solutions at reasonable prices.
‘GMA’ Investigates: Inexpensive lightning
cables that could harm your phone
USB-C cables have had the same issues. I
think the ones you can get at Best Buy should generally be safe.
But the ones you can get really cheaply at the Amazon Marketplace,
I would stay away from. iPhones are expensive -- treat them with
10 Things You Can Create With Canva With
...But not zero cost. The app is free, but
to use its features or images, there are in-app purchases.
Licenses are per-use, which can get very expensive over time.
Firefox Browser To Carry Ads
So if you have a habit of clearing your
history when exiting Firefox, where does Firefox get your history
from? What ads will it choose if the user's history contains only
the Firefox Start Page? Will users soon be unable to truly erase
our local History?
Your data is valuable, but you’re never
getting paid for it
Some think companies like Facebook should
pay royalties for the data you share. That will never happen.
Your payment is the continued free use of
services and apps which take time and money to develop and
maintain. You are also paying for the security and privacy
policing which Facebook is being forced to add. So quit
complaining about not being paid to use a service for free --
there is no free lunch.
Which Laptop CPU is Right for You?
This should be a useful general guide for
folks considering buying a new laptop soon. Be aware that the
dates on the comments are 12016-2017, indicating that this article
is a retread and may contain some outdated information. It does
not address hardware Meltdown and Spectre mitigations, which Intel
promises in new chips. Performance and power consumption ratings
may change as a result.
The Best Smart Bathroom Scales of 2018
Just what I need -- more health data which
never seem to improve.
Shuttleworth on Ubuntu 18.04: Multicloud
Is the New Normal
I didn't understand all the technical
jargon in this article. But from what I think I did understand,
there does seem to be a shift in Ubuntu away from traditional
desktop software, to more cloud-centric apps. Also, Canonical
seems to be getting more and more cozy with Microsoft, integrating
Ubuntu into Azure and Windows environments. This may mean that
Ubuntu's days as a free and open source operating system could be
numbered. Meaning, those of us who want a more "pure" open source
Linux distro may have to look elsewhere. This does not mean
Fedora, which is owned and developed by Red Hat, another non-free
Mozilla's approach to sponsored content
aims to protect privacy
The company is expanding its experimental
program to all users in the United States.
The problem I see with what Mozilla is
doing is that it begins the slide toward becoming dependent for
revenue and development on non-free companies. This erodes trust
between users and the Foundation. Like canonical, it may not be
long before this once open source company and its products gets
swallowed up by a for-profit and closed source company or
companies. These developments bear watching for open source
I probably should not be lecturing
Mozilla, as I use Chrome as my browser under Ubuntu Linux or
Chrome OS or Fedora Linux or Windows 10. Definitely not a "pure"
open source ecosystem here!
How to Share Your Screen in Windows (With
or Without Internet)
The required software, Screen Task, runs
on Java or .NET. I looked at the GitHub developer's page, and the
newest version was developed over 4 years ago and does not even
mention Windows 10. This could mean it is using an outdated and
insecure Java version, or even an outdated and insecure .NET
version. I don't see any links to more information about the
developers, and I think they are based in India. This is a red
flag for me. Join Me is also a pretty sketchy operation.
TeamViewer and other local screen sharing applications have a much
better documented history, and have reported and fixed their
security issues. I would stick with someone I know.
Hackers' hotel 'master key' could be big
risk for business travelers
Cybersecurity researchers have worked on
cracking the code to hotel room keys since 2003.
Although there is an update to deal with
this flaw, it is very unclear when if ever every hotel in every
country will be doing the upgrade. Since customers don't get
notified when such security upgrade take place, we are left to our
own judgment about which hotels and which chains to trust in which
New Ubuntu Rethinks Desktop Ecosystem
When I think of Snaps, I think of the
Windows Store Apps or the Apple iOS Store Apps. The user can't
easily modify these apps, and can't troubleshoot when something
goes wrong with them. They are not open-sourced.
But apparently the Linux Snaps are
different in some way. I wonder how many of them won't work
without an Internet Connection. But if this is really about having
self-contained programs without the need to constantly resolve
Dependencies, I can see a strong case for such modular design, at
least in principle. As long as the source code remains available
and can be modified by anyone, having distro-independent apps
makes a lot of sense.
I don't think my Ubuntu 16.04 has any
Snaps installed. So with the 18.04 upgrade or starting over, I may
want to give Snaps a try and see if they are any better or any
worse than traditional Linux applications. Then see if this is the
path I really want to go down for my core productivity
applications. I have several problem applications in Ubuntu 16.04
to test with the new Snaps, if they are available for things like
Cambridge Analytica is closing, but it
We still don’t have an idea of how far
this really goes.
I fear they may be using bankruptcy to
disappear before they ahve to hand over their data. This could
close off forever any meaningful investigation into just how far
the data was distributed.
From My Own Reading:
Windows 10's busted HDR display support
got a whole lot better in the April 2018 Update
Windows 10's April Update is making Chrome
and Cortana freeze PCs
Google Assistant works with over 5,000
smart devices, but Alexa is far in the lead with 12,000
Kiss Apple networking goodbye
Self-driving cars hit the Las Vegas Strip
thanks to Lyft and Aptiv
JEFF BEZOS IS THE RICHEST MAN IN THE
WORLD, BUT HUNDREDS OF AMAZON EMPLOYEES ARE ON FOOD STAMPS
Ticketmaster hopes to speed up event
access by scanning your face