AskWoody

Woody Leonhard's no-bull news, tips and help for Windows, Office and more… Please disable your ad blocker – our (polite!) ads help keep AskWoody going!
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Report of new bogus Intel driver offered through Windows Update: “Intel Corporation driver update for Intel HD Graphics 3000”

    Posted on June 25th, 2017 at 20:20 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    A report from an anonymous poster:

    On a Windows 8.1 PC which had not been powered-on for a few weeks, another in the series of broken Intel updates appeared, with the title being “Intel Corporation driver update for Intel HD Graphics 3000.” I selected it and clicked on “More information,” with a Microsoft webpage appearing with “Driver Information: Coming Soon.”

    This PC has a Sandy Bridge processor, so it’s conceivable that a new graphics update was released by Intel, but it’s highly unlikely, as I downloaded the latest graphics driver from Intel’s website when I built the system not that many months ago. Also, Sandy Bridge is circa 2011. This was either another Microsoft auto-barf or the result of an incompetent Microsoft employee.

    A couple of days ago, @AElMassry reported similar problems with Win10 version 1511.

    Has anybody else hit a bogus Intel driver, offered through Windows Update, lately?

  • Net Neutrality Day is July 12th, 2017 – a call to action

    Posted on June 24th, 2017 at 12:55 Kirsty Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Moves are again underway in U.S. to remove net neutrality, a subject that Woody raised a few years ago, more than once. Several groups have united to bring attention to this, and have created online sites for sending letters to FCC and congress-critters.

    To have your say (and with further information), check out:
    battleforthenet.com – This is a battle for the future of the internet
    ACLU – Tell the FCC: Keep the internet free

    For further information about Net Neutrality Day, see:
    wikipedia.org – Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality

    What is Net Neutrality?
    It is the principle that your Internet Service Provider should not control what (or how) you see and do online. This could mean not being able to access to your chosen provider of services, being restricted in your speed of access or having to pay a premium for faster access for all otherwise-throttled internet access. More information is here:
    ACLU- What Is Net Neutrality?
    Wikipedia.com – Net Neutrality

    Also check out the mention of it here on askwoody.com and on Twitter

    (& PS Thanks for the suggestions for topics I have received recently, this one comes from @Elly)

  • ZDNet: Windows 10 S, the safest Windows yet, can be hacked

    Posted on June 24th, 2017 at 12:01 PKCano Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft says ‘no known ransomware’ runs on Windows 10 S — so we tried to hack it

    By | June 24, 2017

    We enlisted a leading security researcher to test if Microsoft’s newest, locked-down version of Windows 10 is protected against all “known” kinds of ransomware, as the company claims.

    Microsoft claims “no known ransomware” runs on Windows 10 S, its newest, security-focused operating system.

    The software giant announced the version of Windows earlier this year as the flagship student-focused operating system to ship with its newest Surface Laptop. Microsoft touted the operating system as being less susceptible to ransomware because of its locked-down configuration — to the point where you can’t run any apps outside the protective walled garden of its app store. In order to get an app approved, it has to go through rigorous testing to ensure its integrity. That’s one of several mitigations that helps to protect the operating system to known file-encrypting malware.

    We wanted to see if such a bold claim could hold up.

    Spoiler alert: It didn’t.

    Read the full article on zdnet.com

  • Google will no longer scan Gmail to serve up personalized ads

    Posted on June 23rd, 2017 at 17:14 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    It’s a remarkable development. Martin Binkmann at gHacks reports that Google’s giving up on its email scanning.

    Wouldn’t surprise me a bit if EU privacy concerns prompted the move. Whatever the impetus, the result is important. Google stopped scanning email in paid accounts and educational accounts years ago. This is another step in the right direction.

    Far as I know, Microsoft still scans the subject line in free Hotmail/Outlook.com mail accounts.

  • The Reg: Windows 10 source code leaked

    Posted on June 23rd, 2017 at 17:04 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Chris Williams at The Register reports that 32TB of Win10 internal builds, including some source code for core processes, is available for download.

    The leaked code is Microsoft’s Shared Source Kit: according to people who have seen its contents, it includes the source to the base Windows 10 hardware drivers plus Redmond’s PnP code, its USB and Wi-Fi stacks, its storage drivers, and ARM-specific OneCore kernel code.

    I searched betaarchive.com and couldn’t come up with a link to the goodies, so I won’t vouch for the veracity of the claim, but it’s certainly provocative. The search continues.

    Leaked Shared Source Kit ain’t the end of the world, but it certainly would make the search for exploitable bugs a whole lot easier.

    UPDATE: the Reg is backpedaling. There’s a reason why I couldn’t find the code on betaarchive – they’ve removed some of it. The Reg article has been updated

    In a statement, Beta Archive said: “The ‘Shared Source Kit’ folder did exist on the FTP until [The Register’s] article came to light. We have removed it from our FTP and listings pending further review just in case we missed something in our initial release. We currently have no plans to restore it until a full review of its contents is carried out and it is deemed acceptable under our rules.”

    Translation: some smoke, no 🔥

  • Snapchat’s new Snap Map shares your location

    Posted on June 23rd, 2017 at 02:51 Kirsty Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    A furore has erupted over Snapchat’s new location-sharing Snap Map – unless you set the app to “Ghost Mode”, your location is shared with your contacts.

    We’ve built a whole new way to explore the world! See what’s happening, find your friends, and get inspired to go on an adventure!

    It’s easy to get started — just pinch to zoom out and view the Map! You decide if you want to share your location with friends, or simply keep it to yourself with Ghost Mode.

    If your friends are sharing their location with you, their Actionmoji will appear on the Map. Actionmojis only update when you open Snapchat.

    We hope you enjoy the new Map as much as we do!
    Happy Snapping!
    Team Snap

    Many are retweeting instructions on how to set the Ghost Mode, while many are debating why anyone thought this was a safe idea…

    If you are using Snapchat, please check your settings now.

  • MS-DEFCON 1: Office security patches are all screwed up and IE patches aren’t much better. Don’t patch.

    Posted on June 22nd, 2017 at 23:20 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Kirsty caught the initial whiff, based on a GĂĽnter Born post about problems with Outlook. PKCano raised the alarm about Office patches in general on June 19. Now, it seems Outlook is under attack by Microsoft’s own security patches — and IE still doesn’t print properly.

    The situation’s so bad, Microsoft itself has documented the problems with Outlook, after installing the June 2017 Office patches.

    There are seven separately identified, potentially show-stopping bugs in Outlook that appear after you install this month’s Office security patches: Can’t open attachments, VBScript doesn’t run, Outlook search doesn’t work, and the previously described IE failure to print mis-fires from inside Outlook.

    The workarounds? Forward the mail to yourself and then open the attachments in the forwarded email. Save the attachments to your computer and open them manually. Use something other than IE. Or, it would seem, anything but Outlook.

    Microsoft really screwed up this month’s patches — both for Office and for Windows. Unless you want to use your machine as a Windows/Office beta test environment, I strongly suggest you refrain from applying any of this month’s updates.

    Accordingly, I’m moving us to MS-DEFCON 1: Current Microsoft patches are causing havoc. Don’t patch.

    I’m seeing “secret” reports all over the web that Microsoft will be fixing some or all of its malicious patches next Tuesday, June 27. You would be well advised to wait until we see the fallout from the fixes to the fixes before installing anything.

    As MrBrian notes, Microsoft now has official acknowledgments posted for 16 known-bad June 2017 patches.

  • New (2017) Surface Pro’s narcolepsy, battery, Bluetooth bull

    Posted on June 22nd, 2017 at 18:37 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The new Surface Pros are out and, like roses and puddles follow rain, complaints have come pouring in.

    If you’re a Bluetooth connoisseur, you may be distressed to find that your early Surface Pro — advertised to come with Bluetooth 4.1 — may, in fact, only have Bluetooth 4.0. The complaint on the Microsoft Answers forum from PBPB2222288888 says:

    Just brought I surface Pro 16GB, 512GB mem,
    The description on the website states Bluetooth 4.1, however the box for the surface states 4.0 and the HCI number for the Bluetooth module 6.33536 which also indicates to me that it is version 4.0.
    I have looked at stores that also sell the Surface and some say 4.0 and others say 4.1. I have also spoke to a number of Microsoft agents and technical people and I have had conflicting answers.

    Looks like the best advice at this point is that, if you want Bluetooth 4.1 and kinda figure you should’ve gotten 4.1 as advertised, you should return your Surface Pro and get a new one. Apparently all of the latest Surface Pros have 4.1.

    Maybe they should call it Surface Pro 2017.4.1? (I just hate hardware without readily accessible version numbers.)

    Then there are complaints about the Surface Pro 2017 narcolepsy. Posting on Reddit, srkhannnn says:

    Just picked up the Surface Pro I5 Friday.

    At random intervals the screen goes black and the device seems to power off while I am actively using it (typing). Pressing the power button presents the black and white windows logo and a few seconds later a login screen with the desktop in the exact setup before the shutdown.

    Similar symptoms from Pro (mid 2017) owners are described in that Reddit thread, and from this thread on the Microsoft Answers forum. beccas05 says:

    For some reason my new Surface is shutting off randomly. I check the setting and a few other things but it’s still randomly turns off without warning. I’m losing some of my school work because of it. Is anyone else having this problem?

    The one stellar bull flinging that still has me laughing: Microsoft says you may need to replace the Surface Pro 2017’s battery at some point. The box, no less, says:

    Battery has limited recharge cycles and may eventually need to be replaced by an authorized service provider.

    Unless the MS authorized service provider has telekinetic powers, that seems unlikely — although it may well “eventually need to be replaced.” As PKCano said earlier this week:

    It would seem Microsoft has created a $1000.00 (minimum) disposable laptop

    Surface Pros have been plagued from the beginning — going all the way back — with bad hardware or, at the very least, bad firmware and drivers. I have no idea why anybody would pay real money for one. The fact that it’s a billion dollar business reminds me of PT Barnum’s admonition – but I guess there’s more than one born every minute.

    Triumph of hope over experience, I s’pose.