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  • New beta version of Win10 Fall Creators Update doesn’t have a watermark

    Posted on September 12th, 2017 at 17:40 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    That’s not a sure sign of an impending “RTM” release of the next version of Windows 10, but it certainly points in that direction. In spite of what Microsoft says officially:

    On Build 16288, you will notice that the watermark at the lower right-hand corner of the desktop has disappeared. You will also see that the OS now reports as “Version 1709” which is the official version number for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update release. However, this is NOT the final build as we’re not done yet.We’re just now beginning the phase of checking in final code to prepare for the final release. So we will have more builds to release to Windows Insiders between now and then. And the desktop watermark may re-appear in these builds.

    Remember that, in the past, Insiders in the Fast ring got the “RTM” version of Win10, and there was a big cumulative update released at the same time the RTM version went into General Availability.

    I have two bare-metal PCs running Win10 betas, and both of them are currently reporting “An update is being prepared for your device, but it’s not quite ready yet. We’ll keep trying or you can try again now.”

    Perhaps somebody found a last-minute glitch and they’re trying to fix it before suffering the slings and arrows of outraged testers?

    UPDATE: This tweet from JenMsft:

    If you aren’t able to download 16288, we’re looking into it and will have more info in a bit

    By the way.. for those who have asked… Microsoft patched the BlueBorne security hole in its Bluetooth-enabled devices back in July. If you’ve applied July or August patches, you’re fine. Details from Dan Goodin at Ars Technica.

    Yes, you have to update sooner or later…

  • September Security patches for Windows and Office are out

    Posted on September 12th, 2017 at 12:06 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’ll keep this post updated (as I furtively watch the Apple announcement – there’s a reliable one on YouTube).

    Overall list here. I see 259 individual security patches.

    Martin Brinkmann just posted his overview on the Ghacks site.

    • Windows 7:  22 vulnerabilities of which 3 are rated critical, 19 important
    • Windows 8.1: 26 vulnerabilities of which 4 are rated critical, 22 important
    • Windows 10 version 1703: 25 vulnerabilities of which 2 are rated critical, 23 important

    I swear, I don’t know how Martin gets his list out so quickly.

    The release notes still refer to the 1507 LTSB edition (now known as the Win10 2015 LTSC).

    Win10 1703 (Creators Update) cumulative update announced, build 15063.608. It’s huge – many dozens of bug fixes, in addition to multiple security patches. Watch out for this one!

    Win10 1607 (Anniversary Update) cumulative update announced, build 14393.1715. A half dozen bug fixes and all those security updates.

    September Office Updates for all versions are available here. Considering the recent track record, you may want to wait on these.

    The Windows Update release list now has the Sept. 12 entries.

    For those of you who only want to install “Group B” security patches (NOTE: I strongly recommend against it; much too early!) PKCano advises:

    Win 7 KB 4038779 – Download 32-bit or 64-bit  IE11 KB 4036586- Download 32-bit or 64-bit

    Win8.1 Security-only KB 4038793 – Download 32-bit or 64-bit  IE11 KB 4036586- Download 32-bit or 64-bit

    While this site is broken, if you want to retrieve an old version of the list of “Group B” patches, start with the Internet Archive.

    Microsoft posted an advisory about a specific security hole in Word, CVE-2017-8759, that involves opening an RTF file, then changing from Protected View to enable edits. If you’re opening RTF files in Word, then switching them to enable edits, and fear an infection from the Russian-linked NEODYMIUM group, you need to get a bunch of Windows and .NET patches installed. Yes, all versions of Windows are susceptible, including all the Win10 variants, as well as all versions of .NET, including the very new .NET Framework 4.6. Full list of patches here.

    Two critical security holes in Adobe Flash Player, security update APSB17-28.

  • Why I ordered a Galaxy Note 8

    Posted on September 12th, 2017 at 10:39 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I don’t usually talk about phones here, but many of you have asked about the phone I’m using -and whether I’m going to consider getting a new iPhone X (when it’s announced in a couple of hours).

    Short answer: I’ve been using a Nexus 6P for about a year and a half. The main draw is its use of the Google Fi network. I’ve had very good experiences with Google Fi while traveling.

    But times change, and in this case the battery’s on its last legs. Like most modern phones, you can’t change the battery in the 6P, so I’m in the process of changing phones – and carriers.

    By all appearances, and judging by a quick hands-on at the local phone shop, the Galaxy Note 8 is a wondrous phone, although it’s ridiculously expensive. I signed up for T-Mobile and, using their 2-for-1 sale, bought two Note 8’s for more-or-less the price of one.

    I switched my Nexus over to T-Mobile last week, and so far haven’t seen any negative side effects. The Note 8 should be here in the next few days, and I’m waiting with bated breath.

    My wife still uses and loves her iPhone, so we’re going to be a multiple-OS family for the foreseeable future – Android phone and tablets, iOS phones and tablets, Chromebook, even a Raspberry Pi.

    Diversity is good, eh?

    UPDATE: Reuters reports that the Galaxy Note 8 “Pre-orders reached about 650,000 Note 8 handsets over five days from about 40 countries.” It’ll be interesting to see if Apple announces its pre-order levels.

  • We’re back – but the comment links still don’t work

    Posted on September 12th, 2017 at 09:43 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Not sure how long we’ll be up this time, but we ARE back.

    AskWoody started redlining the server around 1:30 on Sunday afternoon, Pacific time. It’s been up one time since then, but only briefly.

    Please accept my apologies. Rest assured we’re working furiously to get things back together – and figure out what the %$#@! happened.