Posted on June 30th, 2012 at 12:51 2 comments
Oy. And I hoped it was a passing fad.
I just saw my first “Metro style” KB article and I’m ready for the funny farm.
Metro is great for telphones and passable for rarely-used corners of Windows 8. But KB articles? Is nothing sacred?
Posted on June 29th, 2012 at 20:16 3 comments
Lots and lots of things happening.
Windows Secrets Newsletter Top Story.
Posted on June 28th, 2012 at 20:25 1 comment
I don’t know how it happened, but starting on Wednesday morning, people with Automatic Update turned on started getting Skype 5.9 installed on their PCs.
It was supposed to be an update for people who already had Skype. The detection logic failed on some machines.
Susan Bradley has all the details on her MVP blog.
Aren’t you glad you have Automatic Update set to Notify but Don’t Download?
Posted on June 27th, 2012 at 20:38 No comments
The sorry state of WinRT apps on Windows Phone 8.
InfoWorld Tech Watch.
Posted on June 21st, 2012 at 21:29 25 comments
Several of you have written with observations that Windows Update is getting updated on your machine.
It’s part of the fallout of the Flame botnet – a good improvement, if it works.
Not everyone is getting it just yet. Good description by PA Bear here.
Reader AB wrote in with this worrisome report. It may be a coincidence – or it may be a harbinger of problems to come. It’s still too early to tell.
Yesterday, June 20, 2012, when I booted my laptop I found that it automatically downloaded and installed a newer version of Windows Update Agent. This was explained as an attempt to overcome vulnerabilities created by false certificates ala Flamer. So far so good. All was well yesterday.
Today I booted up the little demon and it gagged at ‘loading windows’. Stop. No go. Nada. After 5 minutes of Zen contemplation, I pulled the battery.
After reinserting the battery and hitting the power button, my screen informed me that Windows had a problem starting and did I want to restart in some diagnostic mode. Fair enough. Try it. The little beast worked for a minute and then informed me that I now have the choice of restoring to an earlier configuration. Niiiiiiice. I capitulated and it worked for a while and then restarted. A bit slower than usual, but here I am.
I don’t know how many others are in this boat but I am not happy.
If you encounter similar problems with Windows Update Agent, please reply to this post and give me the details.
Posted on June 19th, 2012 at 23:22 4 comments
Ends up it’s an amazingly long list.
InfoWorld Tech Watch.
Posted on June 14th, 2012 at 22:55 11 comments
The best upgrades and oddest quirks.
InfoWorld Slide Show.
Posted on June 14th, 2012 at 15:55 24 comments
Details are few, but if you have Office installed on your PC, you should head over to Microsoft’s KB 2719615 and halfway down the page, click the Enable Fixit button.
Google reports that they found the XML security hole on May 30, and that the Fixit will fix the problem.
Here’s why this is confusing. Microsoft reported the problem last Tuesday in Security Advisory 2719615, saying “Microsoft is aware of active attacks that leverage a vulnerability in Microsoft XML Core Services 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, and 6.0. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer.” That’s why I recommended that you stop using Internet Explorer. The patch itself is a cumulative update for Internet Explorer – not for Office.
But the Google blog post makes it clear that this could be a vulnerability in Office as well. “These attacks are being distributed both via malicious web pages intended for Internet Explorer users and through Office documents… We strongly recommend Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office users immediately install the Fix it while Microsoft develops and publishes a final fix as part of a future advisory.”
Mind you that Google’s been talking about specific, targeted international attacks. This isn’t the kind of thing that’s been spreading to most Windows users.
Anyway, Fixits are generally harmless – usually they just make a few Registry changes. So I feel confident that running the Fixit will solve the immediate problem, without screwing up much. Go ahead and run it on your PC, and wait until the rest of this month’s Black Tuesday problems subside.