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Daily Archives: April 23, 2019

  • Still no April second cumulative updates for Win10, or Monthly Previews for Win7 or 8.1

    Posted on April 23rd, 2019 at 14:13 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    10 am Redmond time on the third  fourth Tuesday of the month has come and gone, and… no patches.

    Is Microsoft messin’ with me?

    Or is there a deeper reason?

    I’m still willing to venture a guess that MS is having problems with its promised 1809-blocking “Download and install now” feature.

    Details and an update in my Computerworld Woody on Windows article.

  • Google’s JavaScript team: Spectre mitigation doomed to failure

    Posted on April 23rd, 2019 at 11:38 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    That isn’t exactly what they said, but it’s pretty close. Here’s what they do say:

    A year with Spectre… When it was shown that JavaScript could be used to mount Spectre attacks, the V8 team became involved in tackling the problem…  offensive research [from the white and gray hats] advanced much faster than our defensive research, and we quickly discovered that software mitigation of all possible leaks due to Spectre was infeasible… the engineering effort diverted to combating Spectre was disproportionate to its threat level… the increasingly complicated mitigations that we designed and implemented carried significant complexity, which is technical debt and might actually increase the attack surface, and performance overheads… We still know of no attacks in the wild, outside of the curious tinkerers and professional researchers developing proof of concept gadgets

    Make no mistake, Meltdown and Spectre could become nightmares. At some point in the far future. For now, don’t worry about it, OK?

  • The demise of Windows 10 “Sets” – the part you won’t read about

    Posted on April 23rd, 2019 at 05:09 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The Windows blogosphere was all alight yesterday about the announcement that Microsoft has given up on a feature called “Sets.”

    The feature showed up in one of the Win10 beta builds, didn’t work worth squat, got pulled, and isn’t coming back. “Sets” basically turned any Windows window into a tabbed window — so, for example, you could have File Explorer and Google and Notepad open in different tabs in a single window. Like this screenshot, taken from The Verge:

    I never thought much of Sets, frankly. It seemed (and seems) to me to be an attempt to match Stardock’s Groupy. Meh. Putting tabs in File Explorer would be nice (see EJIE’s Clover – which is free), but as far as having windows with a mixture of random apps open in tabs, you can count me out. I do just fine with Chrome and Firefox.

    So when I read that Sets weren’t coming back, I wasn’t exactly heartbroken.

    Here’s the interesting part.

    Chris Hoffman over at How-To Geek originally wrote about the demise of Sets on Saturday. He took a tweet from ‘Softie Rich Turner and fleshed out the topic. Turner said, “The Shell-provided tab experience is no more, but adding tabs (to Windows PowerShell) is high on our to do list.” That’s not exactly an official announcement, but it’s close enough.

    Chris’s article appeared in the middle of a three-day weekend here in the US, and didn’t get much traction. But on Monday, boy howdy, everybody and his brother was writing about it. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth accompanied a description of how Microsoft had yanked this wonderful new feature from our poor, anxiously awaiting souls.

    Except… nobody bothered to credit Chris. The Windows blog echo chamber articles have popped up like dandelions in my lawn and with a few notable exceptions (Bleeping Computer among them), none of the authors have credited Chris or How-To Geek.

    It’s a tough business, folks.