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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 6/2/2018 1281
Fri 6/1/2018 1280
Thur 5/31/2018 1279
Wed 5/30/2018 1278
Tue 5/29/2018 1277
Mon 5/28/2018 1276
Sun 5/27/2018 1275

Sat 1281 6/2/2018

Man pays $930 for Apple 'iPhones,' but gets a surprise when he opens the boxes



Virustotal launches Android Sandbox Droidy



4 Easy Ways to Get Out of a Ubuntu Crash



Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 710 chip could be a game changer

With support of 4K playback, and AI improvements, the Snapdragon 710 is going to change the game for mid-range phones.



Noctua Unveils High-Performance PC Fans, Built From a Brand New Material



Galaxy Note 9 Release Date and Features Revealed



Windows 10 With S Mode Enabled, Everything You Need to Know



Cracking 2FA: How It's Done and How to Stay Safe

Two-factor authentication is a common best security practice but not ironclad. Here's how it can be bypassed, and how you can improve security.



AMD Ryzen 5 2600 CPU Review: Efficient And Affordable



Half a Dozen Uses for OneDrive

OneDrive is a surprisingly powerful service that many people overlook or don't understand. I'll review six ways you can leverage OneDrive.



Will Apple play nice with others to make Siri smarter?

We’re going to hear lots about embedded vision product development during the Embedded Vision Summit, but the first announcement may have implications for Apple's machine learning systems.



6 Practical Ways to Use Gmail’s Multiple Inboxes Feature



How To Change Your Outlook.com Password



Exploding hoverboard case shows how hard it is to beat Amazon in court

  - The Fox family's house burned down in 2016 after a hoverboard purchased on Amazon caught fire, but a judge ruled this week that Amazon isn't responsible.

  - Amazon has won numerous court cases against customers who have sued the company for products purchased on the marketplace.

  - "They don't have to play by the same rules," said a lawyer, who unsuccessfully took on Amazon.



How to Get a Month of iCloud Storage For Free



Google Container for Firefox to isolate Google



What Are DNS Leaks and How to Fix Them



Code in the latest Windows 10 update fuels rumours of a Surface Phone

The latest Windows 10 update, which had been expected to be called the Spring Update, is out now.



Water-Based Battery Could Boost Solar and Wind Power



What Is Terrarium TV? (and Is it Legal?)



List of Commands to Launch Specific Settings Page Directly in Windows 10



Google Groups Misconfiguration Exposes Corporate Data

Researchers say as many as 10,000 businesses are affected by a widespread misconfiguration in Google Groups settings.



Synopsys Shows World's First USB 3.2 Demo With 20Gbps Speeds



VeraCrypt: Free Open Source Industrial Strength Encryption

VeraCrypt provides a solution for encrypting sensitive data -- everything from portable, mountable volumes to entire hard disks.



6 tips for faster Apple iPhone charging

Apple will allegedly introduce a fast-charging system inside the box with every iPhone sold later this year. While we wait, I’ve put together six tips for faster charging using the technology you have.



The 3 Best Places to Buy a Used or Refurbished iPhone



What is Pro Mode in the Samsung Galaxy Camera, and What Can You Do With It?



Facebook kills off trending topics in battle to stop 'fake news'

  - Facebook is shutting down the 'trending news' section after four years 

  - Company says tool is outdated and not popular; but also plagued with fake news 

  - Testing features including a 'breaking news' label that publishers add to stories



How to Handle Email Spam From Yourself



How to detect Zero-Width Characters fingerprinting



Fix Common Problems with macOS Time Machine



How to: Put Alexa on Raspberry Pi

Here's how you can build a home-brew Amazon Echo



How to Move Users Folder to another Location in Windows 10



52 Best Amazon Alexa Skills



FBI: Kindly Reboot Your Router Now, Please



10 commands every Linux user should know

Start mastering the Linux CLI with these 10 fundamental commands.



Facebook To Design Its Own Chips For Real-Time Content Filtering



What are Browser Cookies and How Are They Used?

Browser cookies are a simple and powerful way websites can leave information on your computer to use when you return.



FBI, DHS share intel on RAT and worm linked to North Korea



How to Merge and Unmerge Cells in Excel: Tips and Tricks to Know



Can You Plug Surge Protectors and Extension Cords Into Each Other?



How to stop Facebook stalking, Amazon burglars, expediting videos and more: Tech Q&A



Skip 'Hey Guys!' YouTube Video Intros With These Two Handy Hotkeys



Use SetupDiag to diagnose Windows 10 upgrade issues



3 Ways to Fix the Service Battery Warning on Mac



How to: Spot and stop false positives in your PC's security

What to do when overzealous defences flag, block and filter innocuous "threats".



How to Setup and Use Hyper-V in Windows 10 for OS Virtualization



Amazon Prime Day 2018: When It is, Shopping Tips and More



Are Your Google Groups Leaking Data?



What is your favorite desktop Linux distribution?

Let us know your favorite in our annual poll.



Corsair One Desktop PC Review: Cooler than the Rest



Google quits selling tablets



State elections systems still hackable, report



How to Easily Switch Between Multiple DNS Servers in Windows



How To Use Reading View In Microsoft Edge



10 incredibly useful ways to use a USB drive you didn't know



You Really Need to Delete Your Old Tweets



HTTPS Everywhere: ruleset updating without extension updates



Back to Top

Fri 1280 6/1/2018

This Tool Can Hack Your Accounts Even with Two-Factor Authentication



Qualcomm, Facebook to deliver high-speed internet for 'a fraction' of the cost of fiber

The companies plan to deliver lower-cost connectivity with Facebook's Terragraph tech and Qualcomm's 60GHz technology.



How to delete your Google search history



What’s Really Going On with YouTube Music? Red vs. Premium vs. Music Premium



Here's Where You Need a Band 71 Phone to Boost T-Mobile Coverage

T-Mobile's coverage is expanding with its new 600MHz network. We worked with Ookla Speedtest to show where it's showing up in the wild.



Roccat's New 'Membranical' Keyboard Tries to Be Everything to Everyone



How to create location-based reminders on iPhone

Apple’s iPhones can make sure you’ll remember to get things done when you are in the right place at the right time.



New Windows Build Adds Revamped Snipping Tool and Expands Access to Sets



14 Biggest New Android P Features



The Caveats of Owning Connected Smart Home Devices



PDF exploit built to combine zero-day Windows and Adobe Reader bugs

A privilege escalation vulnerability patched last week in Microsoft Windows and an Adobe Reader remote code execution bug fixed in a product update were both jointly targeted by a PDF-based zero-day exploit.



The ultimate Google Chrome Zoom guide



18 Advanced Tips for Pages, Numbers, and Keynote



How to Go 'Incognito' in YouTube Right Now 



Microsoft releases quality improvement builds for Anniversary and Creators versions of Windows 10

Still running Windows 10 version 1607 or 1703? Microsoft has released new builds for both, but you'll need to install them manually.



Free photo editors turn your pictures into masterpieces



Basic Home Maintenance Tasks That Most People Overlook



Arianna Huffington Wants You to Thrive in an Era of Tech Overload

At Thrive Global, Huffington has been working to help people find emotional and mental well-being in an always-connected world. We talk to her about what that means.



Oculus Go's VR Is Good and Cheap, So Why Am I Still Disappointed?



24 keyboard shortcuts Mac users need to know

This collection of keyboard shortcuts for macOS can help users get the most from their iMacs, MacBook Pro and MacBook laptops.



Did Google Fake Its Duplex AI Demo?



OnePlus 6 vs. Galaxy S9: This Couldn't Be Closer



The 10 Most Secure Email Services for Better Privacy



Head2Head: LibreOffice 6 vs Microsoft Office

Version six of The Document Foundation's LibreOffice released back in January, making some major changes and adding new features to the popular open-source Microsoft Office alternative.



Avast Secure Browser review



5 New Mobile Browser Alternatives to Chrome and Safari



How to Easily Convert Your iPhone's HEIC Images in Windows



Teen phone monitoring app has thousands of passwords stolen, highlighting need for secure servers

An app designed for parents to keep an eye on their teenagers' smartphone use was storing plain text passwords on an unsecured AWS server.



How to use your smartphone to diagnose bad Wi-Fi



What is Windows 10 in S Mode?



'The Dark Overlord' Hackers Shrug Off Reported Arrest

'The authorities have done nothing to affect our operations. None of our members have been lost to an arrest,' a member of the group told PCMag.



Equifax Operates Another Credit Bureau, and You Can't Freeze Your Report Online



How to Backup and Restore Photos app Settings in Windows 10



[Fix] Windows 10 Feature Update Not Showing on Your Computer



The Best Cheap Cell Phone Plans (Under $40 per Month)



How to Fix Mobile Data Not Working on Android



SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 promises full Office 2016 compatibility, debuts optional ribbon interface

Why pay a monthly subscription for Office software?



Handbrake 1.1.0: major video converter update



The Pros and Cons of Building Your Own Linux PC



How to Set Up Two-Factor Authentication For Firefox



5 ways to delete blank rows in Excel

Deleting blank rows in an Excel data set isn't difficult, but Excel 2016 is the only version that offers predictable results.



These hyperrealistic sculptures of celebrities are breathtaking



What to Do If You Replaced Your iPhone Battery and Still Have Issues



The Endless Scroll: How to Tell if You're a Tech Addict

Don't let your apps, games, and smartphone control you. Once you understand what's happening in your brain while you use technology, you can do something about it.



The Best Budget Desk Lamps For All Your Lighting Needs



Turn On or Off Acrylic Taskbar Transparency in Windows 10



[Guide] Things to Do After Installing Feature Update in Windows 10



40 Best Free Android Apps



8 Windows 10 Registry Hacks to Optimize Your Windows 10 Experience



How to: Master Microsoft’s Edge browser on your iPhone or Android device

Getting to grips with Microsoft's mobile browser.



A look at GNU/Linux exclusive Flowblade video editor



How to Set Up a VPN on Your Router



Always Remember When to Water Your Plants With This App



How to connect your Android device to your Linux desktop

If you've been wishing you could connect your Android device to your Linux desktop, your wish is about to come true. Jack Wallen shows you how to get Android and the GNOME DE talking.



Country Plans to Ban Facebook for a Month



Back to Top

Thur 1279 5/31/2018

Apple Watch Alerts Man to Serious Heart Condition



Why Restarting Your Phone Makes it Perform Better and Fixes Common Issues



LA's Street Lights Get a Futuristic Overhaul Ahead of the Olympics

LA's Bureau of Street Lighting is turning 220,000 street lights into 'smart poles' with sensors, solar panels, cameras, and communication monitoring nodes.



Q&A: Should you reboot your router like the FBI says?



New Google Lens features are now live on Android phones

And they'll be "coming soon" to Google Photos.



4 Ways to Generate a List of Apps Installed on Your Mac



YouTube Music Starts Rolling Out Today



AMD Launches Broad Portfolio of Ryzen Pro Hardware



iOS 12 Could Cure Your iPhone Addiction: Here's How



[Fix Windows 10 Bug] If You Change System Time (Zone), Start Menu doesn’t Save Your Changes



How One Recalled SUV Destroyed $45 Million In Cars, Burned A Massive Ship, And Sparked A Legal Battle Between Ford And BMW



Security alert: Watch out for password-stealing malware says FBI

North Korean malware can steal data and spread across networks.



7 genius new gadgets to make your home smarter



Google may contractually require OEMs to perform regular patching



CloneApp: backup Windows program settings



How to Get Started With Usenet, the Best Alternative to Torrents



The Best Grilling and BBQ Gadgets of 2018

The oldest form of cooking has moved well past the dark ages of kettle grills and charcoal briquettes. Here's all the gear you need to host the ultimate high-tech barbecue this Memorial Day weekend.



Amazon's physical bookstores are coming to 3 more US cities



Google's Pixel 3 XL might have a notch and edge-to-edge screen

So, just like every other damn phone in 2018



5 Feature-Rich iPhone Voice Recorder Apps



Essentially Gone: Not Even Andy Rubin Can Build an Android Company



Corsair’s New 1000D Chassis Holds 2 PCs in 1 Enclosure



Google Pixel 3 Rumors: Everything You Need to Know



[Windows 10 Bug] Settings Page to Add / Remove Icons in Left-Side Toolbar of Start Menu is Broken



Here's The Difference Between Synthetic And Normal Motor Oil, And What The Numbers On The Bottle Mean



Chrome 67 is out: Password-free logins get closer, plus bug fixes, better AR-VR support

Google's Chrome 67 has new APIs for augmented reality and virtual reality, as well as support for WebAuthn spec.



Avoid vacation rental scams online



Move over Silicon Valley, Japan is still light years ahead

From Japanese-translating smart glasses to synesthetic hairclips, Japanese innovations still put people first.https://www.pcauthority.com.au/news/stalinlocker-deletes-data-if-you-dont-enter-the-right-code-in-time-491159


Catfish File Search for GNU/Linux



You Can Now @ People in Gmail



How to Get Organized With the Google Tasks App

Overwhelmed? Google Tasks is up to the task of handling your to-do items.



I was the victim of ID theft and fraud, and this is what I had to do to undo it



Google Chrome now supports more password-free sign-ins

The browser also supports sensors for VR and fitness trackers.



How to Make Windows Speak the Time Out Loud Every Hour



How to Backup and Restore Maps app Settings in Windows 10



How your web browser tells you when it's safe

As Google moves to change how its Chrome browser flags insecure websites, rival browsers may be forced to follow suit. Here's how other browsers currently handle website security and what changes they have coming.



Russians Hack Wi-Fi Routers: What to Do Right Now



A New Reason to Not Buy These Cheap Android Devices: Complimentary Malware



This Ring Is Nearly the Perfect Minimalist Fitness Tracker



iOS 11.4 tip: How to enable Messages in iCloud (and why you might want to keep this feature turned off)

A cool new feature rolled out in iOS 11.4 is Messages in iCloud, but it's not turned on by default. Here's how to activate it, along with a reason why you might want to keep it disabled in order to save money.



Do it now! Protect your router from the Russian hackers



Best free email backup tools

A look at some of the easiest to use tools for saving your essential data.



YouTube Container for Firefox isolates YouTube in the browser



Instantly Jump to The Rightmost Tab In Any Browser



SimpliSafe Home Security System



Reboot Your Router, But Don't Stop There



How to reset Windows Update on Windows 10 to fix downloads and installs issues

Here are two techniques to reset the Windows Update components to fix stuck updates trying to download and install on Windows 10.



How to Embed a Google Slide Into a Google Doc



How to Backup and Restore Camera app Settings in Windows 10



Windows 10 quick tips: 10 ways to speed up your PC

Want Windows 10 to run faster? Take a few minutes to try out these tips, and your machine will be zippier and less prone to performance and system issues.



The Best Android Phones You Can Buy Right Now


Samsung Monitors and Displays

Eyes are the windows to the soul. Monitors are the windows to the internet.



Public DNA Databases Are Now Crawling With Law Enforcement and We Better Get Used to It



Credit Freezes Are About to Become Free



Use a USB drive to lock and unlock your PC



StalinLocker deletes data if you don't enter the right code in time

Ransomware is under development that gives victims 10 minutes to enter a code and will delete the contents of a hard drive in the event of failure.



DoNotSpy10 4.0: new privacy settings and PUP offer



How to Use the Reader View in Firefox



Google's Pixel 3 Is Already in Trouble


Brother's New and Improved All-In-One Laser Printer Is Cheaper Than Ever



Back to Top

Wed 1278 5/30/2018

How to Listen to and Delete Everything Your Alexa Has Recorded



What Are Hot-Swappable and Cold-Swappable Devices?



27 Things You Didn't Know Your Chromecast Could Do

Bring out new and hidden features with these tips for Google's streaming dongle.



Apple's iOS 11.4: What to know before you update



Motorola May Be First with a 5G Phone




Hate the Gmail Redesign? How to Switch Back to Classic Gmail



Fixing Windows 7 Boot Problems

Your Windows 7 Setup disc can help you repair many types of boot problems.



Microsoft Reportedly Working on $400 Surface Tablet With Less Battery Life



How Android P’s Gesture Navigation Works



MacBook meets iPad meets iMac in this supercool new concept



[Tips] Things To Do When Computer Hangs or Freezes



FCC asks Amazon and eBay to stop selling fake pay TV boxes



Avoid Google Maps with GNOME Maps on GNU/Linux



7 travel hacks only the pros know to save time and money



The alluring danger of in-app mobile transactions

Or, how I fell into the trap I once ridiculed.



How GDPR Will Impact the AI Industry

Under the new data protection and privacy regulations, AI companies will have to reveal the full scope of information they collect as well as how they use it and how they'll protect it.



Nvidia’s mini supercomputer is the fastest single computer humanity has built



iOS 11.4 Is Out: Here's All the New Features



5 Lesser-Known Free Stock Image Sites for Images That Stick Out



How to Tell if Your Email, Computer, or Facebook Has Been Hacked

Unless a password's been changed, it's difficult for a typical user to tell if their computer or account is being hacked.



RoboFly Is the First Wireless Insectoid Robot to Take Flight



Avoid iTunes Bloat With the Windows Store Version



Apple and Russia face off over Telegram on App Store



[Windows Tip] Master List of All Commands to Use Command Prompt Like a Pro



Google Calendar now lets you add a message when you change an event



Why I'm using multiple web browsers



Recover deleted photos, videos and documents



Oval is a tiny all-in-one smart sensor that monitors your home, alerting you as conditions change

A dinky informant that sticks around.



Man Convicted for Helping Hackers Beat Antivirus Products

Ruslans Bondars ran Scan4you, an underground service that let cybercriminals pay to anonymously test their malware against more than 35 antivirus engines.



Xbox reportedly lays off its support staff, replaces them with volunteers



What Is Amazon Prime?



5 Ways to Generate a List of All Installed Programs in Windows



How to Update Your BIOS to Protect Against Vulnerabilities



Yet another bunch of Microsoft Surfaces don’t work with Win10 version 1803

If you shelled out $3,000 to $4,500 for a Surface Studio, you may be a bit disconcerted to discover that many don’t work with the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, version 1803. Mice and keyboards keep disconnecting.



Reminder: It’s Really Easy to Buy Fake Facebook Accounts



Apple's iOS 11.4 software drops days before WWDC: What to know before you update your iPhone



Open command window here as administrator - Add in Windows 10  



Wyze’s $30 security camera adds motorized panning



TabWalk for Firefox: move between recently active tabs quickly



How to dual-boot Linux and Windows

Set up your computer to boot into Windows 10 or Ubuntu 18.04 as needed.



How Microsoft is getting under the skin of surgery with HoloLens

Mixed-reality technology is being used to help surgeons at a UK hospital, with encouraging results.



The Best Mac Antivirus Protection of 2018

Despite what you may have heard, your Apple computer is not immune to malware. We test the top Mac AV programs to find those that will keep you the safest.




Tomorrow’s laptop will work more like your phone, and you’re going to love it



Pixel 3 Leak Just Revealed a Notch Surprise




How to Set Up Gmail in Outlook



Find Out if Your Password Has Been Leaked in a Data Breach With This Chrome Extension



Everything you knew about Chromebooks is wrong

Myth: Chromebooks don’t run apps. Fact: Chromebooks run more apps than any device ever.



How to Change Your iPhone Ringtone



New iPhone Leak Highlights Apple's Risky Choice



How to Enable or Disable Built-in Elevated Administrator Account in Windows 10



Mining Cryptocurrency Guide

Mining Cryptocurrency: Everything You Need To Know



New InSpectre release reveals if microcode updates are available



Advanced use of the less text file viewer in Linux

Learn more tips and tricks using the less command-line text file viewer.



CrowPi is a Raspberry Pi powered electronics kit packed into a tiny suitcase

Something to crow about.



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



Generating Good Passwords, Part I



Monitor Your Home In 1080p For Just $38



Here is everything you need to know about the Fitbit Versa



First Line of Defense in U.S. Elections Has Critical Weaknesses


Back to Top

Tue 1277 5/29/2018

Windows 10 Redstone 5 (version 1809): All the new features and changes

UPDATED 5/28: Windows 10 Redstone 5 (version 1809) is expected to rollout in October 2018, and here are all the new features and changes thus far Microsoft has added to the new version.



Google and Facebook face GDPR backlash, Jeff Bezos reaches for the moon

Today's biggest tech stories include the impact of the EU's privacy regulations for Google and Facebook and Jeff Bezos' plans for the future of civilisation.



Best TVs 2018



How to Split Screen on iPad (And the Best Tips and Tricks When Doing It)



3 ways scammers are using ATMs to steal from you



OnePlus 6



Archimedes: The AI Robot Owl

A wearable robotic owl familiar. Archimedes judges your emotions, via Google AIY.



How Graphics Cards Work



Google Maps vs. Waze: Which One Is Really Better?






Microsoft pushing Win10 version 1803 to PCs specifically set to avoid it

We saw it happen three times with Win10 1709. Now we’re getting reports of Win10 1803 being pushed to Pro PCs with “branch readiness” set to Semi-Annual Channel -- the setting that’s supposed to specifically keep 1803 away until it’s ready.



Amazon Prime Members Will Get 10% Off Sale Items at Whole Foods Starting This Summer



Arctic Makes A Passive Cooler For AM4 APUs



Facebook and YouTube are the worst offenders for exposing children to suicide and sex

NSPCC report looked at the risks posed by social networks as the UK government announces plans to reign the companies in with new laws.



The simplest way to make a LiveUSB from within GNU/Linux



Pandora quietly launches $15-a-month family plan

Plan echoes offerings from rivals Spotify and Apple Music.



Galaxy Note 9 Could Boast Whopping 512GB of Storage



Windows Keyboard Shortcuts 101: The Ultimate Guide



Serenity Now! App helps you meditate, sleep and relax



Playing on Your Phone While Watching TV? You're Not Alone

What are people doing with their phones while in front of the TV? Looking up details about actors or chatting with friends, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers.



Smart Landscaping RGBW Lights

Create landscaping lights that can automatically turn on/off at set times and change the color of all from your phone.






What is the New EasyMesh Wi-Fi Standard? (and Why It Doesn’t Matter Yet)






10 ways to get more from Spotlight Search on the Mac

Spotlight Search (Command + Space) is the easiest way to get around on your Mac -- you can use it to do things, as well as find things.



The Best Laptop Docking Stations for Every Laptop



Cisco: VPNFilter Malware Has Infected 500K Network Devices



Millions of Android and iOS users at risk of Roaming Mantis malware

The malware uses compromised routers to infect Android phones and tablets and redirect iOS devices to a phishing site.



MailStore Home 11.0 is out



What the GDPR means for Facebook, the EU and you

Everything you need to know about the European Union's new data privacy law, regardless of where you live.



7 Essential Privacy Tips for When You Travel



How to Download a Copy of All Your Instagram Data Right Now



7 ways to finally end robocalls



The Best Wireless and Bluetooth Speakers of 2018

Whether you're looking for a rugged, take-anywhere speaker for the beach or a multi-room sound system, here are some of the best Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speakers you can buy (along with advice on picking the right one).



How to Create a System Image in Windows 10



Monitoring a Greenhouse with Ubuntu



Stop Your Friends From Changing Your Whatsapp Group Names With New Admin Tools



Traceur Pendulaire 'DrawPI' (its in French, use Google Translate to read an English version)



[Tip] How to Set or Change Security Questions for Your User Account in Windows 10



Amazon’s Checkout-Free Store Is Coming to Chicago and San Francisco



Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 4x8GB DDR4-2666 Memory Review



Microsoft to take on the iPad with 'cheaper Surface range'

Redmond tries again to capture the budget market after previous failures.



Intel Threat Detection Technology launches



US Postal Service wants you to smell its new stamps

The US Postal Service announces first-ever scratch and sniff stamps with a popsicle design and scent, debuting in June.



Best Smart Locks of 2018




How to Use Google Drive Access Checker for Smarter File Sharing



Zero-Day Attack Exploits Windows via Malicious Word Doc

Microsoft Patches Flaw, Warns It Could Be Exploited via Websites, Malvertising



Member of 'The Dark Overlord' Hacking Group Possibly Arrested

'The Dark Overlord' is allegedly behind hacks of hospitals, schools, and even Netflix, which were then blackmailed over the return of their files.



How to Create Elevated App Shortcut without UAC Prompt in Windows 10



9th Circ. Assesses Insurance For Social Engineering Scams



Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Is Now In The Microsoft Store



Everything You Need to Know about the Cloud and Cloud Computing, Part II: Using the Cloud



[Tip] How to Reset Forgotten User Account Password in Windows 10



Patch Lady – Get back to a schedule



Backdoor Accounts, Security Vulnerabilities Found In D-Link DIR-620 Routers



The latest health data breach is one reason why I’ll be opting out of MyHealthRecord

Hackers exploited a weakness in the web-based booking system of Family Planning NSW to infect the system with ransomware.



Fix PCs no longer recognized in network after Windows 10 version 1803 upgrade



6 things you should know about FreedomPop's Unreal Mobile service

With prices starting at $15 per month, it sounds like a killer deal on phone service. Is it?



Best Phones of 2018



Why You Shouldn’t Bother Repairing Damaged Charging Cables



How AI is being leveraged for social engineering attacks




Comments by -- Joe Nowak

Facebook Privacy

Mon May 28, 2018 10:25 pm (PDT)

Facebook will be coming out with a Clear History Tool in the next couple of months.



Google and Facebook Data Collection

Tue May 29, 2018 1:48 pm (PDT)

Lots of folks have been getting upset about the data collection of Google and Facebook. It's not a real big thing to be concerned with as this article explains. Every time you take one of these "What character would you be...." or "only 1 out of every 500 Mensa members get these answers..." you're providing information to data collection services. Read what Google and Facebook do to protect the data and why they need to collect it. Then keep calm and surf the net.


Back to Top

Mon 1276 5/28/2018

Symantec Stock Plunges After Firm Announces Internal Probe



iOS users are 18x more likely to be phished than to download malware



The 1 Apple iPad That You NEED to Upgrade to Right Now



Is Facebook Doing Enough to Stop Bad Content? You Be the Judge

Facebook will publish transparency reports and let you judge its content moderation efforts, although the data it provides has some holes.



7-Zip 18.05 update: performance improvements and security patch



TicPods Free are like AirPods for Android, with added gestural smarts



Best waterproof gadgets for the beach, pool or lake



20 Best Games for Laptops and Low-End PCs in 2018



Vermont passes first law to crack down on data brokers



How to Remove Viruses and Malware on Your Windows PC



AMD Ryzen 2 vs. Intel Coffee Lake: What's the Best CPU Platform?



Avast blames Microsoft for Win10 1803 upgrade blue screens, nonsensical options

Avast says it has fixed the problem that triggered Win10 April 2018 Update installation blue screens and dysfunctional 'boot to another operating system' options.



The best SSDs

Take a look at the Crucial MX500.



How to Snooze Emails in the New Gmail (Both Web and Mobile Apps)



Not Good: Alexa Records and Shares Woman's Private Conversation (Update)



Apple could be secretly working on an ARM-based, touchscreen computer



Twitter to Hide Troll Tweets

The company will use 'new behavioral signals' to identify the internet trolling and prevent it from intruding on your Twitter experience.



All the issues of Windows 10 version 1803 you may run into



How to: Install Kali Linux on Windows 10



Warning! New clever port out phone scam is spreading



Apple’s Next-Generation iPhone SoCs Now in Production



The notch will totally be worth it if iPhones eventually look like this



How To Enable Offline Support in the New Gmail



Acer’s Got Game: New Predator, Nitro PCs Inbound



15 useful tips iPhone users need

I’ve spent years collecting iPhone tips. Here are 15 iPhone hints you’ll probably use every day.



iPhones will reportedly get the power to unlock doors using NFC

The Information says Apple will announce its NFC's new features at WWDC in June.



How to Share Large Blocks of Text With Someone Over the Internet



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



The best web browsers



Feds Identify Suspect in CIA Hacking Tools Leak

However, prosecutors have yet to file formal charges against the former CIA software engineer for his suspected role in the leaking..



Firefox 59.0.3 fixes Windows 10 April 2018 compatibility issue



Explainer: What is a Trojan virus?



Get help packing everything you need for your next trip



Acer Announces New 13 and 15-Inch Chromebooks



'EternalBlue' still popular exploit among cybercriminals: Seqrite



How Google’s New Storage Pricing Compares to Microsoft, Apple, and Dropbox



Intel To Launch Spring Crest, Its First Neural Network Processor, In 2019



How to Enable or Disable Sets in Windows 10



5 reasons why your next light bulb should be a smart bulb

From brightening up the party to improving your sleep, here are five reasons to upgrade to a smart bulb.



6 Ways to Speed Up the GNOME Desktop



Essential Tips to Avoid Getting Hacked



The best smartphones



12 Simple Things You Can Do to Be More Secure Online

Follow these easy tips to protect the security of your devices, your data, your internet traffic, and your identity.




Security Task Manager review



Intel finally reveals 10nm Cannon Lake processors



The 5 Best Trackball Mice for Every Budget



Critical Windows bug fixed today is actively being exploited to hack users

Latest Patch Tuesday included 68 fixes, 21 of them rated "critical."



Wipers - Destruction as a means to an end

Wiper Malware: Attacking from inside

Why some attackers are choosing to get in, delete files, and get out, rather than try to reap financial benefit from their malware.



Can You Get Sued for Leaving a Bad Review?



Cryorig Unveils Frostbit M.2 SSD Cooler With Dual Heatpipes



How to Get Windows Experience Index (WEI) Score in Windows 10



12 things you should be organizing with Command Hooks

Command Hooks are great for temporarily hanging things for the holidays, like string lights, stockings or a wreath on your front door. But the rest of the year there are a number of ways in which you can use those plastic hooks more permanently.

Here's a bunch of things you should be using Command Hooks for!



5 Popular Security and Privacy Apps You Should Uninstall and Replace



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



Apple Car Has a Flat and Samsung Must Pay Up



New Rowhammer Attack Can Hijack Computers Remotely Over the Network



Privacy Plugins



Comments by -- Bob Primak --


Avast Issue With Windows 10 Version 1803 (Spring Update) Revealed At Last:

And the SSD issues appear to be getting addressed.



Is Microsoft avoiding the Win10 (1803) upgrade on PCs running Avast?

Several Win10 version 1803 upgraders have raised a red flag about Avast antivirus: After running the upgrade, PCs hit blue screens with nonsensical options. Now, there appears to be an official note on the Avast forum that says Microsoft has blocked forced upgrades to 1803 on machines running the software.



Microsoft (finally) releases this month’s second cumulative update for Win10 1803, KB 4100403 — and it claims to fix both of the acknowledged solid state drive bugs


Patch Lady – Black screen issue acknowledged

UPDATE:  Avast admits it’s them



[Microsoft says:]

Windows 10 April 2018 Update may boot to a “Choose your keyboard layout” screen or to a blank screen with a Recycle Bin


"On a system with Avast antivirus installed, when upgrading to Windows 10, version 1803, Windows automatically restarts…"


[Woody Leonhard continues:]

"... to a blue screen asking the user to choose a keyboard language. After doing so, a few options are given, including to 'boot from another operating system'. Clicking here will take the user to another blue screen with three options to continue "booting" to:

·    Windows Rollback

·    Windows 10 on Volume [x]

·    Windows 10 on Volume [x]

The lower two options are identical."


Avast blames Microsoft for Win10 1803 upgrade blue screens, nonsensical options

Avast says it has fixed the problem that triggered Win10 April 2018 Update installation blue screens and dysfunctional 'boot to another operating system' options.



Susan Bradley on AskWoody.com:

"If you are on Home you need to uninstall any third party antivirus and stay with Defender.  If I had a dime for every time I saw an issue where antivirus interfered with updates I would be an EXTREMELY rich woman right now.  I know that folks like something third party to monitor what is happening to their systems, but these days with phishing, antivirus no longer is as effective as it once was, it brings risk of attacks (I can point to many an enterprise attack that used antivirus vulnerabilities to gain a toe-hold into the systems), and most importantly in times of upgrades, antivirus that is deep into the kernel often causes major issues."



So there you have it. Third party antivirus strikes again. Uninstalling and reinstalling Avast would not have helped with this issue. It was only after Avast updated their products that the offending Behavior Shield inside-the-kernel driver and its accompanying undocumented API(s) were fixed or removed from the Avast products.


I would not go so far as to make Susan Bradley's recommendation never to install any third party antivirus on Windows 10 Home Edition (she is not talking about Pro or Enterprise Editions). But if you do go with something other than Windows Defender, be prepared for periodic issues. Undocumented APIs are necessary because of the 64-bits Windows kernel's "patch guard" which gives rise to antivirus lockouts from injecting their drivers inside the Windows kernel. This issue has been around since 64-bits Vista, and is still an issue between Microsoft and third party antivirus vendors.


So now you have been warned. Choose and proceed accordingly. I use Avira Free and several second-opinion on-demand scanners in my Windows 10 Pro, 64-bits. And I have had a few issues, most recently when Windows Defender itself needed to update its engine due to a security issue. Avira needed to be totally uninstalled with Geek Uninstaller, then the WD update had to be run twice, then Avira had to be put back in, and the PC had to be restarted twice for Avira's active shields to be restored. This without any driver or API conflicts with Windows itself.


I don't know how I will proceed when I upgrade to Version 1803 in there. This is not my fight between the third party AV vendors and Microsoft, and I do not want to get dragged into it. Life's too short. Windows Defender by itself, or with Malwarebytes Antimalware paid edition is "good enough". Just not really very good at prevention, detection or removal compared with other vendors' products. A lot to decide if Avira experiences the issues Avast just presented.


Back to Top

Sun 1275 5/27/2018

5 Useful Tools to Help You Spot Fake News



[NEW]: KnowBe4 Just Released A Massive Improvement Of Vishing Security Tests



How to Uninstall Kodi Repos



HP EX920 SSD Review: Affordable And Fast Mainstream NVMe



The UK's ultimatum to Zuckerberg: Answer MPs or face summons



14 Biggest New Android P Features


Best Buy Memorial Day deals on MacBooks, iPads and more

Here's a look at some of the top deals at Best Buy during its annual four-day sale.



17 Amazon Alexa tricks that you will use time and time again



Windows 10 Redstone 5 (version 1809): All the new features and changes

UPDATED 5/28: Windows 10 Redstone 5 (version 1809) is expected to rollout in October 2018, and here are all the new features and changes thus far Microsoft has added to the new version.



Apple and Valve, which run two of the world's biggest stores for buying video games, are feuding with each other — and iPhone users could end up losing out



The Best Graphics Cards for 1080p Gaming of 2018

Don't buy more (or less) pixel power than you need. Here's how to shop for a graphics card for 1080p gameplay, along with the top-rated cards in our testing.



How to Free Up Disk Space on Windows 10 with Storage Sense



FastStone Image Viewer 6.5 supports video import



How to Use Sets in Windows 10 to Organize Apps Into Tabs



Cryptomining with JavaScript in an Excel spreadsheet




13 Kodi Repos You Need to Uninstall and Why



Adata Reveals New Industrial 3D NAND SSDs



Meet North Korea's AV tool: SiliVaccine



Smart TVs: Everything You Need to Know



iPhone beats Samsung in court, but Apple has to pay you $50

Your juiciest iPhone news this week.



With this operating system you can have privacy and anonymity



Weekly Digest: Windows 10 updates, Variant 4, tech tips

In case you missed it, Microsoft fixes problem with Intel and Toshiba SSDs for Windows 10 version 1803, Variant 4 CPU flaw disclosed, Redstone 5 preview rolls out to testers, and more tech tips to get the most out of your PC.



Here's what it means when an item is marked 'Amazon's Choice'



'Google One' Simplifies Internet Storage With New Plans, Perks

Google is moving paying Google Drive customers to the upcoming Google One, which will offer perks like credits on Google Play or deals on select hotels found in Google Search.



Yamaha ATS-1060-R Sound Bar, Factory Recertified Refurbished, for $70 Off



Spectre Next Generation vulnerabilities affect Intel processors



The Best Hidden iPhone 3D Touch Tips You Might Not Know About



Police Dept Loses 10 Months of Work to Ransomware. Gets Infected a Second Time!



3 Reasons Why You Should Be Using a VPN With Kodi



Zotac Announces Passively Cooled Zbox CI329 Nano PCs



Net Neutrality comes to an end on 11 June



Got $4,500? This Solar-Powered Case Includes an iPhone X



How to Rename Groups of Tabs Set Aside in Microsoft Edge in Windows 10



11 useful ways to repurpose your old cellphone



How to fix microphone and camera after upgrading to Windows 10 version 1803

If you're not able to use your microphone or camera after installing the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, then use this guide to fix this issue.



OnePlus 6 Reportedly Has Exciting Feature Turned Off



Dragos' Adversary Groups

Read the latest details about threat groups the Dragos Intel Team tracks (7 articles)



Email Encryption With PGP May Have a Serious Flaw

A team of researchers in Europe uncovered a way to pull the plain text from emails secured with PGP and S/MIME encryption. But not everyone agrees on the severity of the threat.



How to Fix the No Sound Issue in Ubuntu



FreeFileSync 10.0 updates removes ads from installer



How to Share Large Files Over the Internet



What Is The Reason Why The Ransomware Threat Is Not Going Away Any Time Soon?



How to Set Up and Use Kodi: For Beginners



What's The Difference Between USB 3.1 Gen 1 And USB 3.1 Gen 2?



Review: The C64 Mini



iPhone X Clones: All the Notch Phones Coming This Year



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



New Vega Stealer shines brightly in targeted campaign



How to delete Windows 10 settings synced to a Microsoft account

It's possible to delete those Windows 10 settings that have been uploaded to your Microsoft account, and here's how to do it.



The Little Black Book of Billionaire Secrets

Latest Microsoft Leak Reveals Mysterious New Surface



Google Staffers Resign Over Work on Pentagon AI Project

Some employees want Google to end its involvement with Project Maven, a Pentagon effort to use AI systems to analyze footage taken from aerial drones.



How to Rotate a Video in VLC (And Save It)



Windows 10 version 1803: removed or deprecated features



11 Tips to Make Instagram Work Better for You



[Heads-up] New Attack Blindsides Microsoft Office 365 Anti-Phishing Filter And Blacklists



Sony Plans to Move Away From ‘Gadgets.’ What’s That Mean for the PS5?



Useful Tips to Speed Up Windows Shutdown



Comments by -- Bob Primak --


Re. Recent FYI Postings: Week of May 20-26, 2018:


Re. FYI #1268 (Sun 5/20/2017):

The Digital Vigilantes Who Hack Back

American companies that fall victim to data breaches want to retaliate against the culprits. But can they do so without breaking the law?

This is not a good idea. It only stirs up the hive -- it does nothing to kill the bees. Same with trying to "fight back" at telemarketers. Don't be tempted!


Oath's privacy policy is a privacy nightmare

Among other places, this means Yahoo.


[Heads-up] New Exploit Hacks LinkedIn 2-factor Auth. See This Kevin Mitnick VIDEO

For this to do anything, you still need to fall for a phishing attack. This exploit simply makes the phishing attack more dangerous.


Like the New Gmail? 5 Other Google Tools You Might Not Know About

No, I don't. And no thanks.


Crisis management expert: Here's what Google should do about '60 Minutes'

Google should treat that 60 Minutes "expose" the same way most companies treat that show's sensationalistic Ratings Sweeps Month stories -- ignore it. It's nothing new or newsworthy. Just huff and puff to try to inflate the show's sagging ratings.


Listen to These Auditory Illusions When You’re Bored With Laurel and Yanny

Or maybe just get a real life. We all know how unreliable human auditory perception can be. Our visual perceptions are not much harder to fool. Magicians make a living using deception to entertain us and take our money.


Mobile AR is evolving faster than you think

Except for one demo at West Side by Sanford, I have yet to see hid nor hair of mobile AR in my world. The Moto Z and X devices have not gotten me into a buying mood yet.


Review: HP Spectre 13-AF008TU ultrabook

They really ought to change that name!


Cybercriminals taking over email accounts and scamming contacts

Actually, they don't take over the account. You can still access and use the account. It's not a front-end (user facing) hack. It's a back end (server side) attack. And it's still working even after years of efforts by service providers to stop it.


Fancy that, Fancy Bear: LoJack anti-laptop theft tool caught phoning home to the Kremlin

Stolen PC locator plays double agent, say researchers

First Kaspersky, now Lojack -- what will show up next? And what is a good Lojack alternative?


How to Back Up Your Data When Your Windows PC Won’t Boot

That is not the time to be backing up your data. Data like the system, needs regular, disciplined backup. Or automate data backups to the cloud and to your local network. Then make offline copies (disconnect from your network and from the Internet when not making backups or restoring data). In a disaster you should only need to recover the last few hours or days of file changes.


Stop Throwing Cellphone Batteries in the Trash, You're Firebombing Garbage Trucks

While not considered hazardous waste, LiIon batteries can cause serious damages if disposed of improperly. Most household hazardous waste facilities will take these batteries, except the very smallest ones.


86% Of Passwords Are Terrible And Employees Reuse Them All The Time

Makes FIDO look pretty good, doesn't this?


Facebook Compartmentalization

Paranoid much?? If I were this worried, I'd just quit Facebook altogether. But wait -- I never joined.


Chrome, Firefox browsers are targeted by new 'Vega Stealer' malware

This is the MS Word Macro attack -- it is being patched this month or next month. Edge seems unaffected.


Google Duplex is the first real AI game changer

Not the first, not the last. For better and for worse. This needs some sort of regulations.



The things people post on Instagram!! What's next, your driver’s license and social security card? I've seen postings where people complaining about utility bills or cable bills will post pictures of their bills. (Headslap) OY!!


Windows vs Mac vs Chrome

...vs. Linux! Never leave Linux out of these discussions.


AT&T's Dash-like smart button doesn't need WiFi

Once again, AT&T positions itself in a niche for which there is very little demand, and stays out of the mainstream of the consumer market.


Apple to Disable USB Connection on iPhones Left Locked for a Week or More

This is not really a bad thing. The feature should be left off when not in active use.


Windows 10 version 1803 does not play nice with some Solid State Drives (SSD)

There's a patch in the works.


8 Vital Google Sheets Add-Ons for Better Spreadsheets

As with add-ons for all the Google apps, these add-ons can't be used while offline.


Firefox Quantum 60 released

I have this in my Ubuntu Linux, but I don't use Firefox, so I can't say how good or bad this version is.


Re. FYI#1269 (Mon 5/21/2017):


(ALERT: if you own an iPhone X, don't drop it as you may have problems getting it repaired!)


We Dropped $18,000 Worth of Phones, and These Are the Toughest (and Weakest)

I presume we're talking about reports like this one:


Don't drop it! Shocking repair prices for the iPhone X

(NBC News report)


Actually, no price Apple charges for anything shocks me anymore. I jsut don't choose to pay their "coolness tax".


The Best High Speed Internet Providers

How We Found The Best High Speed Internet Providers

While this is a noble effort, it does not cover all areas of the country or all aspects of customer service. AT&T was awful toward me when I had billing questions. They kept billing me for months after I left Chicago, then sent the check for the refund to the wrong address. But if you have any technical issues, don't ask Comcast reps for help. They are worse than useless unless you stick strictly with their default configuration of equipment and use only Windows 10 with Edge Browser. The others are not available where I ahve lived, except Verizon FiOS. I have no experiences with Verizon.


Here's how Google is using AI to make your Android smartphone battery last longer

DeepMind for Google and Android have joined forces to pioneer AI that can anticipate what app you'll need next.

Isn't it this sort of speculative processing which led to the Meltdown and Spectre issues with Intel CPU chips? In any event, this type of predictive preloading works best for folks who have very consistent app usage habits. I don't even have consistent use of my phone at all on any given day.


Office 365 defences vulnerable to baseStriker malware

Microsoft's Office 365 has been found vulnerable to attack methodology that enables malicious links to sneak past most of the product's cyber-security defences by splitting off the dangerous part of the link to it is not spotted.

Presumably Microsoft is working on a fix. Since this is a Cloud Service type of product, the fix could go in online at any time. I don't think Office 365 has any installed components other than a small app which basically just signs you into your Microsoft Cloud Account and goes to the app's server. Maybe there's more, so a Patch Tuesday update may be in the offing. (Again, Office isn't patched on Patch Tuesday, so this will be some other time in May or June.) My point is, this will get patched pretty soon.

Mozilla is working on Firefox multi-tab management

You mean, like Chrome has had for a long time?



That depends on how you use your media choices, which choices you make and how often and for how long you use mass media in general. We need to limit ourselves. The social media world will keep turning without us for a while.


5 must-do spy hacks you need to use now

So dramatic! And the urgency is elevated by the need we have to buy the Kim Komando Overpriced Web Cam Cover RIGHT NOW!! Seriously, there are some good tricks in there, between the piles of hype.


12 Simple Things You Can Do to Be More Secure Online

A lot of good points in there. And a few which are not so good.

But there's a lot more wrong with the following article:


How to Crack a Password

This article has no date on it, but it is severely out of date. Nothing about Windows 10 password security. But many of these tools (the ones which still exist) are still effective unless Bitlocker has been used. And the Linux Boot Media (Linux Live Media) tricks still work. Linux can still modify Windows files and folders in any account -- even the Read-Only and Hidden ones, and Windows 10 is none the wiser. Use this info wisely!


Chrome, Firefox browsers are targeted by new 'Vega Stealer' malware

I use these browsers under Linux and Windows. For Windows, Microsoft is releasing a patch for Office to put a stop to this type of attack -- at least for now. Linux does not run MS Office or Word macros, so I stay safe that way.

And these attacks are not widespread, unless you're a high-value corporate user.


With Gmail Implementing More Smart Features, Will You Still Stick with It?

As long as I can still get a clean view of my entire Inbox on one screen, I have no issues. Even if I did, I have an email client on my desktop which can solve most of the problems web mail's ever-changing features and interface layouts can cause. GMail may not be the most private means of communication, but it has good reliability and I know how to use it (once I learn to turn off the new features). Yahoo on the other hand, would be gone from my life if I didn't belong to 2 user groups which use Yahoo Groups (although West Side and CCS may be moving off of Yahoo Groups last I heard).


iOS 11.4 will block data sent on USB connections if the phone is locked for 7 days

In a change possibly targeted at law enforcement, Apple is changing iOS to disable the USB port after a device is idle for seven days, and only a user unlock can reverse it.

This feature should be off all the time when not actively in use. It's a security risk if nothing else.


How to erase things from the internet quickly

First, this is an ad for a costly service. Second, like Lifelink, this service cannot force the removal of anything. It can only report what has happened and where, not even anything exact about when the info was first posted nor by whom. Nothing posted online ever really goes away. People download, make copies and back up everything.


How to Download & Install Linux (Ubuntu) in Windows

Actually, you are only preparing bootable install (live) media in Windows. These methods will either replace Windows or create a Ubuntu virtual machine inside of Windows. Dual-booting seems to have been beyond the scope of this article. And to be fair, not many people dual-boot or run Windows as a VM inside of Linux these days. That's a shame, because both of those methods are more private and more secure than running Linux as a VM inside of Windows.


Linux Apps Are Coming to Chromebooks

Actually, they're already here on my Chromebook. I am not excited about this, because I don't find Android apps appealing. So I use Fedora Linux on the Chromebook most of the time, with its full-scale desktop applications. Most applications run smoothly and do not strain the Chromebook's resources too much. (This is an Intel core-i5 based Chromebook with plenty of RAM and storage.)


Mastercard partners with Microsoft to make cities smarter

Well if it's all going to be based on apps, the Cloud and subscriptions, we have to have some way to let all those payments get silently added to our credit cards. Best not to let us see how much we are paying in real time -- that might spoil the fun.




Many companies, including Facebook, will not be extending the EU protections to users outside of the Euro Zone. Users should not expect to see changes in the US.


Chrome Now Blocks Sound in Classic Web Games

Comparing Safari to Chrome is ridiculous. But it appears the Chrome mute feature has been taken out again. Maybe try again in Chrome 70 this fall.


How the GDPR could spark a lean data revolution and help companies control data costs

Then again, none of this will happen, because no company has to follow EU rules outside of the EU.


Intel won't patch new Spectre-like chip vulnerabilities for another 12 days

First, there are no in the wild exploits based on Meltdown or Spectre. Second, it's better to wait and get things right than to rush in with a half-baked "solution" which later has to be removed.


Trace blocks multiple tracking techniques in Firefox and Chrome

Chrome version (may not be as effective because well, it's Chrome):



Smart Fridge

Turn your refrigerator into a smart home IoT device using computer vision and voice

So no you don't even have to get up from your easy chair to know what's in the fridge? Can this ting be trained to make dinner as well? It may benefit from a weatherproof case:




(as posted in this FYI installment)

The solo traveler's guide to keep you and your cards safe

Start by assessing your credit cards. Are they the best ones for where you are going?

This is a question I bet not many people ask while packing for a trip.


Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 (9575)

Not every laptop needs to have a tablet mode. Carrying around a 15.6-in "tablet" is mightily inconvenient!



So how do you type on such a tiny keyboard?


Microsoft Finally Fixes Notepad After 20 Years of Inadequacy

This is why I can't read my Ubuntu Linux Text Files in notepad undo Windows. I always wondered about that quirk. Now that I know, it's being fixed. Why do I feel a bit of a letdown? Seriously, fixing this incompatibility is yet another step toward becoming a bit more Linux friendly.


How to set up Livepatch and the information gathering tool in Ubuntu 18.04

What this means is, you can now do kernel level patching without restarting the PC. Very useful, but I wonder if this has an impact on being able to clean up old garbage, old kernels, etc.; and what is the effect on overall stability and system size on the disk.


Digital Media Bremen

Looks a lot like another Google Glass knockoff. Why not invent something original?


Re. FYI#1270 (Tues 5/22/2018):

Details on AT&T's newly revamped streaming TV service

Cloud DVR and wireless bundle deals make DirecTV Now a lot more interesting.

Still crippled by lack of programming and need to get high-speed Internet service from someone else in most areas of the country. Also, by lousy customer service.


Ericsson's CTO on What Really Goes Into Rolling Out 5G

The emphasis on Edge Computing and real-time processing are two keys not only to cell phone and AR/VR applications, but also with logistics, self-driving cars and IoT devices. All pointing to a very interesting future, if things don't get stalled by companies fighting each other over turf or excessive or inadequate regulations and standards.


OnePlus 6 vs. iPhone X: Can the Flagship Killer Steal Apple's Crown?

This actually looks pretty interesting. It's a mid-priced phone with near-stock Android.


Did Google’s Duplex AI Demo Just Pass the Turing Test? [Update]

They are coming close, very close. Which is both encouraging and a bit creepy.


Kaspersky Lab plays Swiss gambit in attempt to assuage Russian spying fears

Calling themselves Swiss does not make them Swiss.


Microsoft: Here's our 4 step plan for getting rid of passwords forever

This is largely a step in the right direction. But Microsoft is tying these changes to forcing users to sign in with Administrator Microsoft Cloud Account logins. That would be totally unacceptable. (There's no technical reason these login types need such a close tie-in to Microsoft Cloud accounts or Administrator level privileges at login.) I suspect this will get rolled out in such a way that local accounts and limited user accounts also will get some of these features, but Microsoft is not advertising how that will work.


5 best gadgets to keep criminals from stealing your information

Instead of a roller, if I have to dispose of anything with personal info on it, I tear off the info containing parts and shred them with a diamond-shredder. The rest is harmless and can be recycled. Sometimes a whole piece of junk mail has to be shredded -- mail spammers are that bad about spewing out your personal data all over their mailings. And from those mailings they expect to get my business? Pffft! PIN protected storage -- what could possibly go wrong? Try resetting your PIN if you forget it. RFID protective phone cases are anywhere from worthless because they don't work, to unnecessary because nothing ifs being actively transmitted from phones. RFID is near-field, meaning it only operates at centimeter or less "contact" distances. No one is going to steal anything from your phone unless your payment app is open and they actually brush up against your phone.  So save your money on that one. Chip credit cards also do not "leak" data.


Google Is Overhauling Google News With AI Curation and Built In Subscriptions

As always, who determines how AI filters the news? The built-in subscriptions are of course yet another monetizing technique, and these added costs make Google and its services less and less appealing to me.


Wi-Fi Alliance’s Wi-Fi EasyMesh certification aims to standardize mesh networks

The new certification program will ensure that wireless mesh network routers, gateways, and access points from different manufacturers will all work together.

This standard could seriously impact the IoT landscape.


Hulu Live vs. YouTube TV vs. Sling vs. Vue vs. DirecTV Now: Face-Off!

Nothing to get excited about with any of these streaming services. Although, Hulu Live is getting more and more local TV news onboard. Our NBC affiliate in Boston just joined.


Four-million Facebook users’ data wide open for anyone to download for years


Sadly, this isn't the last time we'll be hearing about stuff like this.


A look at Scribus – Open-Source Desktop Publisher on GNU/Linux

Interesting, but it will take awhile to learn to use this. Also, to get the latest version I downloaded the AppImage version. This AppImage, unlike Krits (another AppImage I recently downloaded) totally lacks Ubuntu Unity Desktop integration. I can't get it into the Unity Launcher or the Unity Dash as a working application launcher. And it won't launch from the Command Line Interface. The only alternative is to stick with an older version until I can upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04. Then I stand a chance of getting the latest version as a desktop application. Ubuntu is getting more and more like Windows (impossible to manage) every day.


The State of Microsoft's AI

Between them, Microsoft, Google and Amazon are changing the way we interact with the machines and things in our lives. I call out the claims of "emotional AI" as overreaching, and "empathy" it certainly is not, but it is getting so that except for complex emotions, AI chat-bots are getting nearly impossible to distinguish from human phone reps (in fact, sometimes the bots seem more human than the live reps!). This is aimed at allowing us to use our natural language to interact with out Things and with support services more naturally than is currently the case. That is actually a good thing so far -- these machines and this AI is still under human control.


Industry collaboration was the "silver lining" of Spectre & Meltdown, says Red Hat

This is a form of collaboration which the open source community has known about since its beginnings. Nice to see the Closed Source world starting to catch up. Just as long as collaboration doesn't degenerate into collusion, which would limit our choices.


This Is Your Last Chance To Save Net Neutrality (Updated)

Actually, this bill still has to clear the House (unlikely) and get our President's signature (very unlikely) to become law. Good luck with all of that.


Chinese School Piloting Face-Recognition Software to Make Sure Students Pay Attention in Class

And if they catch you not smiling in the halls, you get sent to reprogramming -- er, counseling -- classes immediately. It's already happening in one US school, I think somewhere in Tennessee.


How secure or private is Gmail's new confidential mode?

Your messages sit unencrypted on a Google server. Google reads the messages. The data gets sold to advertisers. Business as usual at Google. So whom do you trust now?


Free alternative to Adobe Lightroom

The problem with Adobe products is that no matter how good any alternative is, the file formats will remain incompatible. So no professional shop will touch free alternatives. They need Adobe format compatibility. Other than that, I haven't used Dark Table, so I don't know how well it stacks up technically.


Why is My Amazon Echo Blinking Yellow, Red, or Green?

So, they have a nonverbal language as well? Interesting...


How to change the Google Assistant voice

People often do prefer one voice over another, and not everyone likes the same voice. So this is a good feature to have.


PC Makers are Embracing Alexa

Well, Alexa might just as well join Siri and Cortana on the devices we use.


Comcast is (update: was) leaking the names and passwords of customers’ wireless routers

It's very bad that this was happening. It's good that they have fixed this. But there's probably more to come.


Oh Good, a Former Lawyer for Facebook and Equifax Is Now in Charge of Investigating Them

If this lawyer was dissatisfied with these companies, this could be a good thing. Otherwise, I am not at all surprised that it comes down to this.


Free check to see if your router has been hacked by criminals

F-Secure Router Checker

My router (Comcast Gateway) checks out just fine, although it can be identified.


From Joe Nowak:

12 Apps to Carry with you at all times

The article and the comments have some good suggestions. You could also carry a full Linux operating environment on today's big flash drives. If you've ever gotten locked out of a Windows partition or PC, a Linux Live drive can sometimes get you back in business.


Re. FYI#1271 (Wed 5/23/2018):

Windows 10 'Lean' is a smaller edition of Windows 10 for devices with 16GB of storage

Windows 10 Lean is Windows 10 on a diet. Featuring a much smaller footprint, Windows 10 Lean is designed for devices with 16GB of storage and ensures those devices can remain up to date.

This is a glimpse of what Microsoft seems to want the future of Windows to be. Not the current "S Mode" but a leaner, more modular Windows, which gets its more advanced featurwes and snap-ins through web-centric subscription services. One day, if this trend continues, we will be logging in on our devices, but our desktops will be in then Cloud. (Think Chromebook for a current example.)


Windows 10 April 2018 Update reportedly breaking some critical PC features

Avast antivirus has become one of the impacted programs. Third-party antivirus is causing problems due to undocumented ways of injecting their drivers inside the Windows 10 kernel.

Microsoft and these AV vendors have been at war ever since Vista's "patch guard". Patch Guard also gave rise to most of the SysWOW64 and WinSxS expansions which kept filling up hard drives and SSDs. Since Vista these expansions have been trimmed considerably, but it's still a problem.

At the AskWoody.com blog, Susan Bradley (former Windows Secrets "Patch Lady") is now recommending not using third-party active antivirus programs anymore, and using Windows Defender alone now. This is partly due to these update issues, which are increasingly severe.

Richard Hay of Windows Secrets Newsletter (paid content) is still recommending Windows Defender plus Malwarebytes Antimalware paid edition, which has anti-exploit (ransomware protections) built in.

Windows 10 Pro also has these protections, but with many unwanted prerequisites. Other third-party AV products, mostly paid, also offer anti-ransomware features, but again these programs may interfere with Windows 10 feature updates.

So the AV Wars rage on.

I haven't yet upgraded my Windows 10 Pro which uses Avira Free as its active AV product. I do not use any specific anti-ransomware measures. I use Malwarebytes Free as a second-opinion scanner.

Also, check this out:


How To Scan Your Computer For Malware With Google Chrome


This second-opinion online scanner is from ESET. It is not just for malware, so do not treat its findings as infections or PUP/PUA. This is more like the cleanup module inside of Glary Utilities than an actual antimalware scanner. I haven't tried this tool, but may do so next time I'm doing AV scans in Windows. Right now, I'm in Linux, as usual. Chrome for Linux does not have this feature.


A very early look at the Cloud Clipboard experience in Windows 10

This is another example of moving Windows features up into the Cloud. It also allows the Continuum Experience, so that something clipped on one device can be pasted into a place on another device. Potentially very powerful.


How to Manage Startup Programs in Windows 10’s Settings App

This isn't as convenient as the old Control Panel way of managing Startups, and CCleaner has a tab which makes things even easier. But at least Windows has a way of managing certain resource-hogging and unnecessary Startup Items.


Useful Shortcut Keys in Ubuntu

Bookmarked for future download.


Turn Your Phone Into a Powerful PC

It is impractical to type extensively into a phone. Just as I do not want a PC to act or look like a phone, I do not want to try to use a phone as a desktop PC. I believe in using the right tool and size factor for the right job. In between the PC and the phone sits the Chromebook (Chrome OS and Linux). Chromebooks are just right for meetings and travel.


Windows 10 quick tips: 10 ways to speed up your PC

The old advice still holds up. With a few new twists.


Google Duplex Is Classist: Here's How to Fix It

With Duplex, the Google Assistant can trick people into thinking it's human. It's cool, but ultimately turns service workers into inconvenient interfaces.

Google can do better.

Or maybe they can't. Let's face it -- call center workers are the army of clerks which data entry specialists once were. Their jobs were ripe for automation, and now it's finally happening. Progress cannot be stopped. All workers can do is adapt and upgrade your skills. I've had a few conversations with bots, and they do better than overseas call center reps for simple questions.


Google Declares Victory for HTTPS in Chrome 69 [Nice]

Yes, nice. And long overdue.


Extract email addresses and other data from files on Windows

This is still beta, but it fills a niche I haven't seen anything else "address" (so to speak).




The 10 Best Free Movie Streaming Sites

Veoh and Vudu are not entirely free, and when you sign up, you grant them access to a credit card or bank account. Popcorn has been accused of violating US copyright laws (though this was some time ago). How Pluto TV can offer live TV legally, I don't know. Maybe it's not US TV content.


How to Upgrade to the Latest Version of Ubuntu

Those of us on the LTS version of Ubuntu 16.04 will be waiting for the "dot-one" version of Ubuntu 18.04, due out in July or August. I'd just as soon wait, or at least get the latest news from the open-source user groups I attend around Boston. I'll probably do this as a clean install, even though this means a lot of time spent customizing and tweaking to make everything work properly, then loading up the non-repository software I really want to add. This will be an ongoing project for some time to come.


What Is a PPA in Ubuntu, and How Do You Use It?

This is how I will get most of the non-repository software I will be using in Ubuntu 18.04.

One new addition is AppImage software. This is the Linux version of stand alone programs, containing all necessary dependencies in one package. AppImage software packages are also distro-agnostic, at least within the same family of Linux distros. (Debian is the family of Fedora and Ubuntu.) But getting full desktop integration (Search, Dash and Launcher functions) from an AppImage is still not standardized. It's very much hit or miss.


The Strangest Social Security Benefit You Can Get

The burial benefit is not strange -- it's just anachronistic. And small, and not available to those with much else by way of financial resources.


Fuchsia and the future of Android

Google's mysterious new operating system is assumed to be a replacement for Android and Chrome OS — but what if the situation isn't actually so simple?

I'm guessing things may not be so simple. If you look into the partition structure of any recent Chromebook, you will see extra partitions for a third copy of an operating system (the "C" System and User Data partitions). "OS C" could well turn out to become Fuchsia. (The only limit to how many partitions can be put onto GPT solid state media is how much room each OS and user data space needs.) I also have Fedora in my Chromebook, but there are still two "OS C" spaces reserved. Android devices (and some low-end Chromebooks) would need more than a simple firmware upgrade to run Fuchsia.

"Perhaps Fuchsia could instead end up becoming a new underlying structure for one or both platforms while still leaving the original outward-facing identities intact."

Well said.


Congress Releases 3,500 Russian-Made Facebook Ads

The ads show how easy it was for trolls to ape activist causes to rile up Americans.

See also:

Spygate: How Right-Wing Media Creates a Conspiracy Theory Out of Thin Air


Please read this not for the politics, but for the analysis of how Fake News is created and spreads across all media, not just social media. We all need this sort of education to be protected against having another Election subverted by Fake News from any direction. Left-wing sites and media outlets have done many of the same things.


Notepad gets extended line endings support in Windows 10

This is significant beyond programmers writing lines of code. In Linux, text files use the same kind of line ending encoding, and up until now, Notepad could not render these files correctly. Now there should be better handling of Linux generated text files. I run into this frustration all the time between Ubuntu and Windows 10 on my Intel NUC, and also with files like meeting notes from my Chromebook's Fedora programs.


The 3 Types of Antivirus Scans and When to Use Each One

We all don't have the time to run full AV scans in the normal course of using our PCs and devices. So this is a useful guide as to when to run the full scans, and when less time-consuming scans will suffice. I run quick scans weekly and full scans once or twice a month, when doing other updates and maintenance, including making system backups. (Data backups are a once-weekly task now, as I have come to distrust the updating process both in Windows and in (Ubuntu and Fedora) Linux lately.


Facebook is asking users worldwide to review their privacy settings

We should have been doing this all along, yes?


Ring Doorbell Doesn’t Keep You Safe After Password Change

From the Comments:

"The Ring vulnerability is an example of how IoT device manufacturers operate. In the haste to be the firstest with the mostest to the market, Q/A and security get a short shrift."

I couldn't have said it better. I don't know what makes this flaw so difficult to patch. Maybe it's connected with how credentials are stored in a Cloud Account? That latency should be easy to fix.


Windows 10 tip: How to turn on System Protection and create System Restore points

I'm not sure why Microsoft disabled this feature by default, but I think it was meant to conserve storage space on devices with limited onboard storage. Anyway, it should be turned on where space is available, though not necessarily on a smaller System SSD.


What is Reddit? A beginner’s guide to using the front page of the internet

This is info I haven't had time to review until now. When I have a particularly weird looking Linux issue, often there is a Reddit or sub-Reddit about that particular issue. At least then I know it's not just me.


Google Assistant Will Soon Make Calls on Your Behalf (Really)

Yeah, really. One more feature to turn off. Some people might find a use case for this, but I don't care for it.


Microsoft plans to change Alt-Tab behavior on Windows 10

I agree with the Comment which suggested using Alt+ Windows Key for this feature when applied to a window, and Alt+Tab for a tab. Less confusing. But this is Microsoft, so...


How to Convert a PDF to PowerPoint Presentation

Too bad there aren't any free programs which will do this.


Box expands Zones to manage content in multiple regions

I'm not clear on the legalities involved, but recently proposed US laws and regulations might make storing data offshore less attractive. GDPR would make storing data in the EU more attractive. So this may or may not be useful, depending on the specific use case.


Gmail’s Smart Compose Basically Writes Emails For You And It’s Live Right Now

This is something to disable if possible right away.


Okta's Chrome plug-in tells you when hackers have your password

So now all you have to do is change your passwords every time the extension issues an alert. I feel safer already.


The best Chromebooks

This is the article I said before is out of date. The models have mostly been updated with newer models, like the flip c302 instead of the flip c202.


Windows 10 April 2018 Update problems: Users struggle with mystery 'black screen'

Is third-party antivirus to blame for the latest Windows 10 update issues?

The issue seems to be that these AV companies have reacted to Windows Patch Guard by using undocumented ways to inject drivers inside the Windows 10 kernel. Users are now paying the price for this cat and mouse game between Windows Patch Guard and third party AV vendors. I guess more lawsuits will be forthcoming from AV vendors.


Tired of Waiting, Apple Cancels $1B Irish Data Center

Originally announced in February 2015, Apple is giving up on trying to build the new facility.

The story here is that an Irish ecology group was fighting over the fate of a grove of trees. Draw your own conclusions.


Nest Devices Went Offline Last Night, Disabling Some Key Features

This is another issue with IoT devices -- you need a failsafe plan if the servers (or networks) you are depending on go offline for some reason.


At Build 2018, Microsoft will continue to form the foundation for ubiquitous computing's future

If you blink, you may just miss how the world of computing is changing right now.

This is the Cloud Computing and Intelligent Edge paradigm which is driving the IoT future of the Internet and 5G data (and cell phone) communications. The main ideas include pushing AI out to the edge of the network, so that latency is reduced and real time processing can be done more reliably. Also, if one piece of the Edge goes down or loses contact with the Cloud (the network's hub, so to speak) another Edge node can be activated, within certain limits.

This gives the Internet in IoT systems more redundancy and reliability. Very necessary for things like self-driving cars and delivery logistics, as well as power distribution management.


Re. FYI#1272 (Thurs. 5/24/2018):  

Malwarebytes acquires Windows Firewall control firm BiniSoft

The startup develops Windows Firewall Control management tools for network endpoints.

Most of us using individual PCs and home networks won't be using these firewall controls. I think Malwarebytes would be better served to develop a more complete antivirus program.

This watch uses a built-in projector to turn your arm int...

That idea has been around for a long time. It never worked, and has yet to find its way into a real product.


5 reasons to upgrade to Windows 10 pro

Also, Group Policies, better ransomware protections, ability to control the regular Windows Updates and privacy settings.


Future iPhones Could Scan the Veins Beneath Your Face, Apple Patent Suggests

I'm not sure how much practical use this would be. Medical applications are not many, and not well proven.


Firefox 60.0 release overview

Firefox 60 has already arrived in my Ubuntu Linux. Nice to have a guide to its new and changed features.


5G Is on the Horizon. How’s It Shaping Up?

5G is not just about better and faster cell data communication. It's also about the future of home Interne services. Imagine not having to get a technician to come over to set up and turn on your service. With 5G for the last few hundred feet, this is possible. Just buy or rent the gateway from a nearby store (or online) and plug it in, connect your equipment and turn on the service. Some equipment will not even need to be connected, as it's wireless. TV services can be distributed this way as well, even those not (yet) requiring Internet service.


Microsoft and Publicis unveil Marcel, an AI-based productivity platform for the ad giant

One key point is creating business apps which closely resemble consumer apps. This reduces training time and employee learning curves, allowing new hires to hit the ground running faster and more efficiently. Ultimately however, this will create further pressures to cut jobs. That's a worrisome aspect.


With Android P, Google Stops Playing Catch-Up on Security

What is being referenced here is that Google is taking a more centralized role in making sure vendors keep their Android devices up to date with the latest security updates. My own phone vendor, Moto (Lenovo) has been very slow bringing security updates to my Moto G4, even when this was a well-supported model. Sadly, the phone will never get Android P.

Microsoft Adds a Dark Theme to File Explorer in the Latest Windows 10 Update

Frankly, I'm not a fan of Dark Themes. They originated with the gaming crowd, and hacve infected everything ever since.


Not Good: Alexa Records and Shares Woman's Private Conversation (Update)

Was it a bug? Or a feature? No one knows, and Amazon isn't saying.


How to connect an Android smartphone to Microsoft Windows 10

5 things you need to know about Microsoft's 'Your Phone' for Windows 10

Making a phone and a PC share a common launcher and common interface compromises the unique strengths of both devices. But this is a way to continue work across these two platforms. So some folks might need this feature. I don't. And this feature isn't here yet. It's coming with the Fall 2018 feature update.


How to: Use Windows XP securely

Windows XP, even in a virtual machine, is simply not secure. Period. It also doesn't work with the modern Internet.


A Shady Company Offering Police Cellphone Location Data Was Reportedly Just Hacked

It's too bad that it often takes a leak like this to reveal how far law enforcement has gone to violate the principles of individual liberty and the rule of law. In all fairness, most of the time, law enforcement does not go to these lengths, as far as we know.


Windows 10 update KB4103714 (build 16299.461) releases

It may be too soon to apply this update, if you can postpone it a bit longer.


How to Download Your Passwords in Google Chrome

This probably can be hacked. Yet another reason not to store passwords in your browser. Get a password manager app, and don't leave yourself open to such hacking.


Amazon Map Tracking Lets You Follow Packages in Real Time

So now you can see in real time where they misbelieved the package? So helpful. Also helpful to thieves if they ever hack into this.


How to set your Firefox homepage to your New Tab page

If you do this, you probably will want to to turn off the suggestions and ads on the New Tab page.


Here's What's Next in the Fight to Save Net Neutrality

Very unlikely this will get through the House,, let alone get our President's signature.


Google experiments with new Chrome New Tab Page options

I like the ability to set a background on the New Tab page.


How to extend the period to uninstall a Windows 10 upgrade

If you really can make this happen and stick, this would be a nice thing to be able to do. Even nicer would be to allow everyone, even Home users, to defer the upgrade for up to 90 days.


Hackers can bypass Windows Meltdown patch, and early builds may be at risk

We will be seeing this sort of cat and mouse game over these vulnerabilities and the patches for some time yet to come. This is not a reason to apply the April MS Updates patches just yet. There are still no exploits of Meltdown or Spectre reported in the wild. None.


Is it nearly time to dump Windows for Chrome OS?

Google shows Microsoft how it's done with OS updates, but there's still one thing missing.

Local storage vs. Cloud storage vs. Android storage is a problem when running Android apps under Chrome OS. But I find I can do without Windows very well, as long as I also have Linux to work with offline. Trying to get files to transfer and to work well in all the environments (Chrome OS, Android and Linux) is a challenge sometimes, but the power of being able to work online, offline, mobile or desktop, all without the hassles of Windows updating, for me overrides the issues of trying to manage files between three different operating systems and storage environments.


How to Add Security Questions to Windows 10 Local User Accounts

See also:

How to enable reset local account password on Windows 10 April 2018 Update


This article shows the actual security questions you can choose from. Like all such systems, all the questions can be answered by a Google Search or knowledge of your social media posts. So unless you make up lies and can remember your lies, these security questions will destroy the value of pass word protecting an account in the first place. I would not enable this feature on my PC. Better to use other password reset methods which are more secure.


Re. FYI#1273 (Fri 5/25/2018):        

Google Autocomplete Could Breach Court Orders

It appears that autocomplete circumvents some of the filters and algorithms used by Search. This should be corrected globally, but instead, Google is addressing individual complaints on a case by case basis. This probably violates much more than British laws.


Google Accidentally Reveals Names of Rape Victims Despite Law



What is Hulu with Live TV, and Can It Replace Your Cable Subscription?

In the Boston area, they lack the CW network. Combined with the instant-fail interface and no live TV guide, why bother? With the enhanced DVR and just one other add-on (name any) you aren't beating bundled Cable TV on pricing either. And Hulu Live is one of the best cord-cutting options. So cord cutting is not really a thing.


Microsoft publishes Windows Command Line reference

Probably the second-most-useful thing I've seen posted here in FYI ever. (The most-useful is the Linux CLI TL;DR reference.) I downloaded this and put it into my Windows Data Partition.


Inside Relay, the Anti-Smartphone for Kids

I think the idea is, don't give kids a choice. So the lure of an iPhone is a non-issue for parents who will be choosing this phone for their kids.


Why Does My Microsoft Word Document Display Differently on Different Computers?

Format issues and display driver differences are one reason the printing industry does not use Office formats. Their preference for PDF formatting is rooted in problems like this one.


How to opt out of most internet advertising: Jeff Rossen demonstrates

I prefer to use browser extensions and block everything. If I run into a page or a logon which requires loosening up these blocks, I can remove just what needs to be removed, then switch back. Much easier than the often-ignored opt-out lists, which often require retaining cookies in your browsers.


Hands on with Acer's premium Chromebooks and Helios 500

We also got a brief glimpse at a Swift 5 mock-up.

These are all Intel based, not ARM Chromebooks. That fact alone nearly doubles their price. Unless you are dual-booting Linux like I am, you really do not need an Intel based Chromebook. (Even my needs do not require these premium configurations.) There are some nice, much more modestly priced Chromebooks with the ARM processors.


She sold phony $100 bills to an undercover cop. Then she offered something else phony.

What else phony did she offer? The article doesn't say.


Is Microsoft avoiding the Win 10 (1803) upgrade on PCs running Avast?

First, if Avast is even installed, the upgrade should not be offered. Same with some other third-party antivirus vendors. I would remove the AV program or suite entirely, then do then upgrade, then reinstall the AV if desired.

The problem is, according to Susan Bradley writing in the AskWoody.com blog ( https://www.askwoody.com/2018/patch-lady-black-screen-issue-acknowledged/ ) when you reinstall the antivirus, it may cause crashes or other instabilities in Windows 10 version 1803 even after an otherwise successful upgrade.

The issue (according to several other online sources) is that third-party antivirus programs have been using undocumented APIs to inject their drivers inside the Windows kernel. This is not sanctioned by Microsoft. Recent security improvements in versions 1709 and 1803 are clamping down on the kernel "patch guard". The anti-ransomware feature in Windows 10 is designed to prevent unauthorized changes in critical system files, and to prevent injection of new files inside the Windows kernel, among other protections.

This may be bringing back the old antivirus wars, in which third-party companies claimed that Microsoft was deliberately sabotaging third-party products to force users to rely on the built-in Windows Defender alone. I can't verify such a scenario, but if this turns out to be a widespread issue, there may well be a new round of lawsuits against Microsoft by third-party antivirus vendors.

In the meantime, choose your AV products wisely. I haven't upgraded yet, so I can't say which products work or don't work for me. In version 1709, I've already had to dump several on-demand scanners because they violate Microsoft's new security requirements regarding ASLR. (Windows 10 Pro does not flag 7-ZIP, which also has no ASLR protections, but these scanners are flagged for some reason(s).)

Related Articles:

Avast update fixes Windows 10 version 1803 upgrade issue


Is Microsoft avoiding the Win10 (1803) upgrade on PCs running Avast?


Documented / Undocumented API – Why Should I care? – Part 1


Part 2 - What would YOU do?


Part 3 - How to identify 3rd party products using undocumented program internal intefaces


Undocumented APIs [2017]


They (Avast and others) were warned!


Privacy Possum is Privacy Badger on Steroids

Testing this now on Chrome Beta in Ubuntu Linux. Will report any issues. This replaces Privacy Badger in my Firefox. PB had already been removed from my Chrome Beta (I don't remember why).


How to stop Facebook, Google and Amazon from tracking you

Don't depend on the EU rules to protect your privacy if you do not live in the EU. Facebook in particular is not applying the EU rules worldwide. Use a privacy extension in your browser instead.


Acer's Chromebook Spin 13 Could Be the Most Well-Rounded Chrome OS Laptop On the Market

It's certainly one of the most expensive. And needlessly so.


Windows 10 is Changing How Alt+Tab Works, Here’s What You Need to Know

This is coming in the Fall 2018 update. More and more emphasis on Sets -- big mistake!


A look at FocusWriter distraction free text editor on GNU/Linux

I see nothing to recommend this app over myriads of other text editors for GNU/Linux. I use gEdit or Notepad most of the time.

People in New York were lining up around a city block to buy this $530 Android phone

It's a good phone. A bit too fancy for my taste, but a good phone.


How to Automatically Create System Restore Point on Schedule in Windows 10

If you're already going into the Registry, why not just change the DWORD value to something which matches the frequency you want? Or is this not a recognized variable anymore? Ahh! The linked article tells why not in the Comments:


How to Change System Restore Point Creation Frequency in Windows 10


Apparently Windows Update keeps reverting the DWORD or removing the entry. Dear darling Microsoft!


Microsoft is reportedly working on a new lightweight version of Windows 10

Windows 10 Lean is aimed at low-end devices with only 16GB storage, according to reports.

This is where Windows is headed in the future for everyone not using Pro or Enterprise versions. A lightweight Windows Core OS on our devices connects to a Cloud based virtual desktop, where all of our subscriptions are located. Modules or apps are added or deactivated as we pay or don't pay for these upgraded features. Our documents are saved to our Microsoft Cloud Accounts. The device is always connected to the Internet when in use. And all of that which follows. Like a Chromebook with Chrome OS. Or you can start using Linux now and not have the issues which happen when you lose your Internet access under this scheme. Just don't choose Ubuntu -- they're heading in the same direction.


Apple's Reputation Tested by Latest Revelations

Which reputation is this? Apple has had a long history of shipping products broken or having software issues. All of this notwithstanding Apple's lousy track record on account security.


Using Windows 10’s New Clipboard: History and Cloud Sync

Interesting features. Just remember that this means your clipboard and its history may be retained on Microsoft's servers -- unencrypted. Remember this when you are preparing a sensitive document and you use copy/paste. I don't know how you will be able to clear the clipboard sync and history, but once something is out on MS servers through sync, it is not going to be easily deleted by the user. I would have preferred a separate app for clipboard sync and history.


Fix Google Chrome's font looking off

My Google fonts don't look "off". Never have. I have Chrome set to use my (default) System Font.


The new Gmail steals some great ideas and invents some fresh ones

Gmail's redesign borrows heavily from other apps. Now it's their turn to push email forward again.

Well, at least I still have Fastmail. They don't do crazy interfaces or bloatware features which further erode what's left of our privacy.


How to Add or Remove Ultimate Performance Power Plan in Windows 10

While this probably will not improve performance for most non-workstation PCs, I may try it on my NUC at home.


How to: Stop your browser freezing

I can't remember when the last time was my browser froze or crashed. Even in Linux this is rare for me. And I sometimes really pound on the browser's capabilities.


Apple Knew iPhone 6 Would Bend Before Its Release (Report)

See? It's not a bug -- it's a feature.


Alexa Can Hear Commands You Can’t, Which Hackers Could Exploit

That's the trouble with electronics -- they can detect "sounds" people can't hear. There is a Mute Button, you know.


Re. FYI#1274 (Sat. 5/26/2018):

Gmail's Creepy New Smart Compose Will Write Emails for You

I don't find this creepy. It's just for me unnecessary, and a privacy and security risk I don't want to expose myself to. These new features should be opt-in, not opt-out or mandatory.


AirTV’s new tuner carries broadcast TV on—and beyond—your home network

Dual tuners let you distribute two channels within your home, and you can stream one channel outside it.

The second channel is more than my SlingBox Mini could do with my AT&T DVR, but otherwise, this is much the same type of box, with many of the same restrictions. I have these features with my Comcast gateway and DVR, so I don't need this box.


7 Essential Privacy Tips for When You Travel

Bad VPN advice. Hotspot Shield was singled out as leaking personal information and keeping logs on users. No free VPN service should be trusted. Also, not mentioned, consider using your own travel router, such as the TP-Link N300 Wireless Wi-Fi Nano Travel Router:


For $33.00 plus change, this is a precaution you can afford to take with you.


What Are Travel Routers & How Do You Set One Up?


You can also use the router for streaming or screen mirroring if you can get a Chromecast dongle to work with the hotel's TV. Just remember, smart TVs can be bugged or hacked.


Nanowires could hold the key to safer, less flammable Lithium-ion batteries

This is just one of the new technologies for better, safer batteries. Nova recently had a whole program on these technologies:


Nova Search for the Super Battery [video]


(Mike Zimmerman segment. Mark 4, @31 min.)

Especially interesting is the Solid State Electrolyte Battery, which has a plastic (solid) electrolyte. This actually inhibits fire, and these batteries cannot form dendrites and short themselves internally. Punctures and tears are also incapable of setting these batteries on fire. They produce twice the power of conventional Li Ion batteries, because one strip in the ribbon can be Lithium Metal, which cannot be used in conventional Li Ion cells due to the dendrite issue. I am not sure I agree that solid state electrolyte batteries cannot be scaled up economically.


Google Sued $4B for 'Secretly Tracking Users'

I don't consider Google tracking of users to be a secret. What they did was to bypass iPhone security, which is a great big no-no. Class Action suits like this one are no longer possible in the US after the very recent Supreme Court ruling that consumers have no automatic right to enter into class action lawsuits over privacy breaches. Arbitration is mandatory now in the US, and class actions are no longer permitted.


Dual Boot vs. Virtual Machine: Which One Is Right for You?

The one thing they said in this article which I question is whether any malware operating on say, Windows as a virtual machine inside a Linux host, could cause the Linux host OS to become infected. In Windows we have pretty well established ways to tell if this sort of thing might happen, but with Linux, detection and remediation might be more difficult, and the signs of an infection might not be immediately obvious.

I have an SSD in my Intel NUC, and the storage on my Chromebook is solid state, so I don't get bothered by the transition times when moving from Windows or Chrome OS into Linux and back. I also don't make that transition during most sessions, so there isn't that issue for me. Dual-booting in a Chromebook is known to reduce the security of a normal Chromebook, but GNU/Linux has pretty good security itself, so I don't worry about that. On a conventional PC like my NUC, this isn't an issue at all, though Linux has better security than Windows 10, last I read.


How to Bring Back Nautilus ‘Type-Ahead Search’ in Ubuntu 18.04

I'm sure I'll find a lot of things this upgrade (to Ubuntu 18.04) will break. Workarounds or substitutions will have to be found, so it's nice to see one instance where someone has simply added back the functionality without the need to recompile an app or the Linux kernel using Source materials.


New Microsoft Edge security features were just bypassed, opening door for exploits

This sort of thing is always happening in all browsers. For the Spring Update (1803) I'd use Edge if I were stuck with Microsoft products only. Otherwise, Chrome looks strong for the foreseeable future.


Streaming TV on vacation: What you need to know

Not all streaming bundles work the same way when you're away from home. Here's a rundown of the restrictions and workarounds.

There certainly are a lot of restrictions! These come from legitimate content protections, but the whole process of trying to stream content outside of the home network is made unnecessarily onerous by the major ISPs. This seems to me to be deliberate -- and very annoying.


Net Neutrality, Cambridge Analytica Scandal Fuel VPN Use

How sad that people didn't and don't understand that due to how Cambridge Analytica conducted its misuse of user data, a VPN would have offered zero protections. People really need to learn what a VPN can -- and cannot -- do for personal privacy. Do not depend on a VPN to preserve your privacy. Like active antivirus, it has a lot of limitations. And in the long run, these products can lead to worse problems than the purport to protect against.


Firefox: Downloads highlighted on New Tab Page

This is another annoying monetization feature I could live without. Mozilla Foundation has sold out to advertisers.


Secret Windows Hotkey Instantly Makes Your Start Menu Bigger

A great giant Start Menu with blocky tiles -- isn't this what many of us rejected before with the Windows 8.0 interface?


How to Check If Your Online Accounts Have Been Hacked

Have I Been Pwned has serious credibility issues with me. I checked my Yahoo email address, and it was involved in three listed breaches, but the two Yahoo breaches were not listed. But my GMail address, which I used to sign up for Disqus, which was involved in a breach, was cleared as not found in any breaches. This result does not make any sense. And it is not the only example of very weird results from this and other sites which purport to be listing where and when your information may have been breached. My passwords never show up as involved in a breach, even though they were used at many of the compromised sites. Again, this is not a credible result.


Lenovo launches full Windows 10 laptops that are cheaper than some Chromebooks

Lenovo has used cheap parts in these laptops. They underperform even low-end Chromebooks on most tasks. Definitely not worth the cost savings vs. Chromebooks or better-built Windows laptops.


6 Cool Things in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update

These are not improvements. This is not how I want to use my PC.


Future of Windows is all about collaboration — for businesses and consumers

For consumers, what does "collaboration" even mean? I am the only user of my PC and its data.


How Do You Feel About Syncing Your Clipboard to the Cloud?

It's one part convenience, four parts privacy risk, and six parts security risk. Why would I want all my clipboard data stored, even temporarily, unencrypted, on Microsoft's cloud servers? Hint: I do not need to sync anything among different Windows devices.


Walmart's next healthcare move: Using data to identify bad doctors

And who is deciding what "evidence" to base their judgments on? This has a lot of very malicious potential, and seems aimed at destroying alternative medicine. I do not want any corporation to stand between me and my doctor when deciding a medical diagnosis or course of treatment.


Poor password hygiene still rules

We still need authentication methods which do not depend on remembering passwords or phrases. People simply do not remember strong passwords, which results in poor password practices. I don't do any better at this than anyone else. While it can get misplaced or corrupted, a hardware key makes a far better first factor than a password. Combined with just about any second factor, this is the way to go if you ask me.


Google reveals how well Chrome's autoplay-blocking feature works

They call a half-effective tool good?? What if we apply this standard to antivirus? Or to preventing car crashes? In my experience, the success rate is about 75%, but this is still not good enough for me, especially late at night or early in the morning.


Intel Finds New Spectre Derivative

Here we go again. More patches, more firmware updates, and still the problem is not solved. And there are still no known exploits in the wild.


How to See and Delete the Data Windows 10 Collects and Sends to Microsoft

This tool does not show everything Microsoft collects. And it is a very serious pain to use. It also does not prevent the data from being collected, copied and shared with third parties. The only privacy protections I'm interested in are ones which prevent data collection in the first place. Once something's up in the cloud, it's everywhere in no time. O&O ShutUp 10 helps, but does not eliminate Microsoft's spyware problems. I mean, telemetry features. (No I don't.)


5 things Microsoft should do to further integrate Windows 10 and Android

Many of Microsoft's apps are available on both Windows 10 and Android, but there are still limitations when it comes to connecting your devices.

While it's nice to have any cross-platform continuity, don't expect smooth and full integration of Microsoft and Google (or Apple, or Linux) products. I like to be able to sync settings and share data, but I don't feel a need to start a session inside an Android app and finish the same session inside a Windows desktop program. That's asking a lot -- too much if you ask me. Running Android apps within Windows could be nice, but most would not render well. The UWP (universal apps which work on different platforms) paradigm seems to hold some promise, but I don't need anything more.


Why native advertising and branded content works

In an interview with TechRepublic, Adweek's Josh Sternberg talked about the blending of editorial and advertising content as a tactic to capture more consumer attention.

Maybe it's time to write off all CBS Interactive web sites as advertiser platforms, not serious sources for accurate journalism about technology and other news. I've already written off ABC News and Yahoo over this same issue.

Other names for this are advertorials, Fake News and some words which are unprintable here at FYI.

This is the ultimate in corruption of information and news media. The scenario is that a pure advertisement is rewritten or reformatted to look just like  a real news or feature story. But it is nothing more or less than an advertisement. The driving force behind this corruption of content is to get "more eyeballs", not to improve the quality of information.

Kim Komando does this constantly, and frankly it's one reason I no longer trust her postings. More and more tech publications are doing this, and it hurts their credibility as news and information sources. I dropped Windows Secrets Newsletter over a similar dispute.

Whatever you call it, "native advertising" is unethical and further prime’s people to think uncritically about Fake News. This is anathema to democracy and an educated electorate. It creates a "reality distortion field" which only serves the interests of the advertisers. They are and represent the One Percenters, not the general public. And all which follows from allowing that kind of reality distortion to rule our lives.

People who allow this kind of garbage to serve as their primary sources of news and information will get exactly the governments which they deserve. Unfortunately, they will drag down the rest of us with them. Most of us do not deserve to be mistreated this way.


Tripp Lite TLP1008TEL review: Good protection for 10 outlets at a bargain price

This is the right choice for a 10-outlet surge protector with spacing that allows maximum deployment of plugs.

A surge protector without battery backup (UPS) is as dangerous as no protection at all. Under voltage or unexpected shutdowns can be just as damaging to electronics as overvoltage events.


23 Best TV Shows to Stream This Summer

Was this a compilation of paid ads? Some of these might be decent shows, but most are either really poorly produced or else are absolute garbage (GLOW = women's pro wrestling -- how low can you sink??). Tom's Guide used to be a reliable and well-presented web site for tech info and reviews. Now it's a complete sellout to advertisers.


How to set up Livepatch and the information gathering tool in Ubuntu 18.04

Ubuntu 18.04 includes some very interesting new features, two of which reveal themselves in the first-run wizard. Jack Wallen explains what they are and how to set them up.

These are two very different features which are being added to Ubuntu. LivePatch allows the kernel to be patched without the need to reboot. That is a good thing. But the information gathering tool is pure telemetry, Windows 10 style. It serves little development purpose, and only makes Ubuntu look and feel more and more like commercial spyware. The telemetry can be turned off before it relays anything to Canonical, and this is better than Windows 10's behaviors. But not good enough. Telemetry needs to be opt-in, not opt-out to satisfy my sense of personal privacy. Today it's nonpersonal data, but tomorrow...??? Maybe time to find a new distro.


From My Own Reading:

Notice to people who were using Pixlr with Cloud Storage:

I received an email message which says that Pixlr is no longer offering Cloud Storage for its graphics editors (offline or online). This is in response to the GDPR (EU retained data privacy) rules. If you have been using Pixlr Cloud Storage, it will be removed as of July 31, 2018. I killed my Pixlr account altogether, as this is one more Cloud Service I signed up for a long time ago and forgot I even had the account. I haven't been using Pixlr.


Microsoft acquires Semantic Machines, advancing the state of conversational AI



The Theranos deception

How a company with a blood-testing machine that could never perform as touted went from billion-dollar baby to complete bust


A "60 Minutes" expose with new details.


AirTV’s new tuner carries broadcast TV on—and beyond—your home network


Using SlingTV as its protocol, this device gives live TV its own channels and its own app. Can be set up to record. Two tuners. One stream outside the home network, just like a Sling Box. Can connect to existing Sling, Roku and FireTV devices. No AppleTV app yet.


How the Un-premium OnePlus 6 could shake up the entire Android landscape



FBI seizes domain Russia allegedly used to infect 500,000 consumer routers

The sinkholing is a major coup but doesn't automatically kill VPNFilter infections.



Amazon's Map Tracking feature lets you stalk your delivery driver

It shows you how many deliveries the driver has left before arriving at your place.


And they will still mark the package as delivered hours before they arrive, if not days. And the package will still mysteriously not show up, but will be at a different address several houses away. All mapped out for you in glorious detail in real time. Amazing! How about fixing the real issues, Amazon?


Bitcoin Falls 7% -- Why Are Cryptocurrencies Plunging?


You should have been out months ago. This bubble has burst.


Apple offers $50 credit if you paid full price for an iPhone battery replacement last year

Check your email for instructions.



Amazon Echo recorded a conversation and sent it to a random contact

Audio files of a family chat was sent to the husband's employee without warning.


Which still leaves open the question -- How exactly did this behavior get triggered? I know there's a "drop in" feature in the Echo these days. Did that feature malfunction?


T-Mobile bug let anyone see any customer's account details



A second-grader said they wish cellphones didn't exist because their parents are on them all the time — and it's going viral



FBI warns consumers about malware aimed at Internet routers



Everything you knew about Chromebooks is wrong


To clarify, Chromebooks do not run Windows Apps natively. Not yet anyway. UWP is not yet on Chromebooks, but it may be coming. Everything else in this article is pretty accurate. I run Linux on my Chromebook, and I like it that way. Due to limitations on using extensions and add-ons offline, I do not agree that you can do much with a Chromebook running nothing but Chrome OS and apps when not connected.

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