• December 2022 Office non-Security updates have been released

    The December 2022 Office non-Security updates have been released Tuesday, December 6, 2022. They are not included in the DEFCON-3 approval for the November 2022 patches. Unless you have a specific need to install them, you should wait until Susan Bradley (Patch Lady) approves them and any problems have been reported.

    Remember, Susan’s patching sequence and recommendations are based on a business environment that has IT support and may have time constraints on the updating process. Consumer patching should be more cautious due to limited technical and mechanical resources. The latter is the reason for the AskWoody DEFCON system.

    Office 2016
    Update for Microsoft Project 2016 (KB5002193)

    There was no update for Office 2013.
    On April 10, 2018, Office 2013 reached End of Mainstream Support. Extended Support ends for Office 2013 on April 11, 2023.
    Office 2016 also reached  End of Mainstream Support on October 13, 2020. EOS for Office 2016 is October 14, 2025.

    Updates are for the .msi version (perpetual). Office 365 and C2R are not included.

    Security updates for all supported versions of Microsoft Office are released on the second Tuesday of the month (Patch Tuesday).

  • Microsoft Insider: Pros, and the many cons

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    ISSUE 19.49 • 2022-12-05

    MICROSOFT 365

    Peter Deegan

    By Peter Deegan

    Microsoft pushes its Insider versions of Office software very hard, promising the latest features faster than the public at large receives them.

    But it doesn’t mention the downsides of using beta software, the confusing and ever-changing labels, and the real reason why the company promotes the Insider editions of Office and Windows so strongly.

    Anyone can become an Office or Windows Insider. Microsoft pushes the various levels of test software for Office and Windows with phrases such as “Get the scoop on our newest builds and features” and “Help shape the future of Office.” As usual, that’s stretching the truth, hiding the real purposes of Microsoft’s Insider program.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.49.0, 2022-12-05).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Bankrupt technology: How FTX crushed $40 billion to bits

    PUBLIC DEFENDER

    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    The world’s fifth-largest cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, was valued by investors at $40 billion in early 2022 but wound up in bankruptcy last month and is now almost worthless.

    FTX, short for “Futures Exchange,” launched its service in 2019 and minted its own digital token with the ticker symbol FTT. With almost 250 million FTT units available to the public, FTX’s CEO and majority owner, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF, as he’s known) had a net worth of $26 billion in early 2022.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.49.0, 2022-12-05).

  • Randy’s remedies: Oops! — I called the scam number

    SUPPORT

    Randy McElveen

    By Randy McElveen

    The fact that you got tricked into calling a scammer’s phone number does not mean you’re stupid. It means the world has gotten stupid.

    I remember the vacuum salesman coming to the door when I was a kid. Of course, my mom and dad let them in. They were just people doing their job. They showed my parents what this new vacuum could do, and my parents made a decision to buy a vacuum or not. If they said no-thank-you, the salesman didn’t put a padlock on our old vacuum. He didn’t set any booby traps in our front yard as he left. He just told my parents to have a great day and moved on to the next house.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.49.0, 2022-12-05).

  • It’s time to install Windows 10 22H2

    PATCH WATCH

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    Unless you have a pressing need to stay on 21H2, Windows 10 22H2 has proven stable enough to be my new recommended version for Windows 10.

    However, I can’t say the same for Windows 11 22H2. I’m still tracking numerous issues with it and thus do not recommend it.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.49.0, 2022-12-05).

  • Is technology a good gift for Christmas?

    Ehhhhhhh …. typically not.  For several reasons. You never know how someone might feel about the tech you are giving them. It may bring up privacy issues that they would rather not deal with. Or like me in the case of a laptop, the keyboard isn’t quite right. So often you may wish to opt for tech gift certificates rather than technology itself.

    What you can consider is a gift certificate to a streaming service (to see if they want to cut the cable on TV) or maybe a gift certificate to learn something new.  Something like ContextLearning or maybe even a virtual pastry class?

    Bottom line, often I give something that needs technology, but not the technology itself. Too often that’s a personal decision. What’s your thoughts?

  • 9th Chrome Zero day being patched

    Just a kind reminder, it’s that time of the year where depending on which hemisphere you are in it’s either a bit nippy, a bit tropical or a bit warm. But regardless of where you are located, it’s also that time of the year to ensure that whatever browser you use is fully up to date.

    Chrome is releasing a fix for the 9th zero day patch of the 2022 year. An exploit has been used in the wild. It’s unsure if this bug has been used in targeted attacks or widespread. The details are being withheld until we all get patched up.  Which also means that Edge will get it’s update soon. While you are there, make sure Firefox and any other browser you use is up to date especially given this is holiday surfing time.

    I was just online finding a recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich that looked really good and also saw the alert about the zero day.  Let’s be careful out there while we find good recipes for grilled cheese sandwiches!

  • A major change to our newsletters

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    ISSUE 19.48 • 2022-11-28

    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    We’re developing new, bonus content!

    When I acquired the AskWoody business, I felt that we would face difficulty in publishing our newsletters every week, 52 weeks per year. One of my first decisions was to change the publishing schedule to 48 times per year, approximately four issues per month. That remains our official policy.

    However, that’s not actually what we did.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.48.0, 2022-11-28).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • How our little business is run

    FROM THE EDITOR

    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    The operation of a small business isn’t usually the subject of a paper in the Harvard Business Review.

    Neither is AskWoody Tech LLC.

    In one of our regular and routine conversations, Susan and I talked about our respective operational roles, the things we regularly do, and — more to the point — the technology we use every day. The surprise was that despite common links, we do dramatically different things.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.48.0, 2022-11-28).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Behind the scenes: The site

    COMMENTARY

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    A newsletter about Windows isn’t run on Windows.

    I’ve always found it interesting to see how something works, and I’ll bet many of our readers do, too. So I’m going to use my space in this bonus issue by giving you a peek into the technology we use to run the site and our forums, to prepare the newsletter, and to get it to your inbox.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.48.0, 2022-11-28).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Behind the scenes: The newsletter

    COMMENTARY

    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    When I took this job, I was surprised at the number of moving parts involved in publishing the newsletter.

    My predecessor, editor emeritus Tracey Capen, did an excellent job with general organization and collaboration. Tracey wrote a very comprehensive document in OneNote about how to produce the newsletter, which was extremely helpful in my early days. I was very grateful to have that guide because otherwise, I would have been at sea on day one.

    Publishing an issue of the newsletter involves a lot of steps.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.48.0, 2022-11-28).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Got pop ups and ads?

    Someone mentioned the other day “I’m having more and more ads … so many it’s often hard to read anything on a website …”

    Whenever anyone complains about ads that are so annoying to where they interfere with a web site, chances are you don’t need an ad blocker, chances are you have either browser notifications enabled or some sort of advertising software installed on your system that it making your system pop up an ad.

    This is the American holiday of Thanksgiving when I review the health and well being of my computer systems. One key way to review your systems is to literally look in the add/remove programs (or programs and features) section of your computer and sort by date installed. If those annoying pop ups started a month ago, scroll down and review what programs are installed. If you don’t recognize something, ask here in the forums and we can help you figure the good programs from the bad ones.

    Next, see any funky tool bars installed?  Is your search engine not going to what you want it to go to?

    Next open up each browser you have installed. Click on the (typically) the three dots in the upper corner and click on extensions. What do you have installed? Do you personally remember installed each installed extension?

    Go into the settings of the browser and search on notifications. In Chrome it’s chrome://settings/content/notifications?search=notifications, in Firefox it’s about:preferences#searchResults and then search on notifications. Make sure only those sites you WANT to notify you are set to be notified from.

    Especially if you are going to be online shopping this weekend, make sure your browser is up to date, ONLY has the extensions YOU intend to have installed, and ONLY uses the search engine you intend to have.

    If there is something not quite right, ask here in the forums, there are links to the right to get you started!