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Daily Archives: July 29, 2019

  • Patch Lady – wow Windows 10 is four years old

    Posted on July 29th, 2019 at 22:31 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Just reading “how to geeks” birthday list of all the changes we’ve seen.

    So, what’s your favorite change you’ve seen?  What’s the biggest change you don’t like?

  • Apple’s revelations about keeping/scanning Siri recordings demand a response

    Posted on July 29th, 2019 at 10:11 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Excellent article out this morning from Johnny Evans in Computerworld.

    You may have heard on Friday the Guardian assertion:

    Apple contractors regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex, as part of their job providing quality control, or “grading”, the company’s Siri voice assistant

    For a company that touts its privacy superiority, that’s clearly way over the line. Even I was shocked – and I’ve been jaded by years of Microsoft’s snooping.

    This morning, Johnny Evans published a clear plan for fixing the wrongs:

    • Apple should introduce much clearer and easier to understand privacy warnings around use of Siri on its devices.
    • When setting up Siri on a new device you as a user should be given the chance to explicitly reject use of your voice for any purpose other than the original request.
    • Apple should bring this [contracted human snooping] work in-house, become completely accountable for what its voice workers and management do with these recordings, and ensure customers have some way in which to punish any infraction of their data privacy.
    • In the event Siri is invoked but no specific request is made, the system should be smart enough to ignore the interaction and delete any recording made as a result of that interaction.
    • Only in those instances in which different voice recognition systems can’t find a way to agree on what is said should human ears be necessary.

    It’s an excellent article. Windows users take note.

  • Even though there’s a BlueKeep exploit for sale, it doesn’t work very well – doesn’t propagate, for example

    Posted on July 29th, 2019 at 09:37 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Catalin Cimpanu wrote in ZDNet on Friday that there’s a “weaponized” BlueKeep exploit available if you have the cash.

    (More BlueKeep info here.)

    There are several reasons why I didn’t raise the alarm, among them one comment from the folks selling the “pen test” exploit:

    our version is not self-propagating (a worm)

    It’s ostensibly only used to test your system to see if it’s vulnerable to BlueKeep-style exploits.

    A couple of hours ago, Kevin Beaumont (who invented the name “BlueKeep” and is following it intently) reinforced my reticence:

    Still nothing to worry about. But for heavens sake, if you run a Win7, Vista, XP or related server, and you haven’t installed any patches since May, you need to get patched NOW.

  • Is Win10 1903 adoption growing quickly?

    Posted on July 29th, 2019 at 06:30 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I just saw the report on Paul Thurrott’s site (paywall), showing how Win10 version 1903 usage is increasing — now up to 11% of all Win10 usage — while version 1809 usage is staying put at around 30%. (Win10 1803 is around 54%.)

    I just wanted to toss in my usual caveat. The data from AdDuplex is very, very biased. As the company itself says, the numbers are “based on data collected from around 5,000 Windows Store apps running AdDuplex SDK v.2 (and higher).” Which means that you’re looking at numbers based on a tracking program installed on a small subset of Windows Store apps.

  • We’re still at MS-DEFCON 2

    Posted on July 29th, 2019 at 06:09 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Susan Bradley’s recommendations are out for the July Windows and Office patches. In the latest AskWoody Plus Newsletter, she gives almost all of them a green light. You can see the detailed recommendations in her latest Master Patch List.

    I just wanted to post a reminder that Susan’s Master Patch List is directed at people who are down in the patching trenches. If you’re looking for detailed advice on installing individual patches, that’s the place to look.

    Most of you, though, aren’t under the gun to get patches installed immediately – you can take a longer view and wait until the dust has settled a bit. For those of you who aren’t worried about safeguarding corporate secrets or political shenanigans, there’s no need to rush – no pressing need to install any of the July patches just yet.

    For most folks, now’s a good time to do nothing. Let’s sit back and see what else might unfold.

    When the coast is clear, I’ll change the MS-DEFCON rating. For now, sit tight.

  • Many ways to track down a PC’s energy problems

    Posted on July 29th, 2019 at 01:12 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Fred Langa

    Overheating, poor battery life, fan noise, and shortened component life are just some of the problems a PC can face when its energy-control systems run amok.

    But Win7, 8.1, and 10 all offer tools to help you see exactly where your device’s energy is going — and to pinpoint what, if anything, is using too much power.

    Plus: The world’s most private search engine?

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.28.0 (2019-07-29).

  • Wrapping up July Windows and Office updates

    Posted on July 29th, 2019 at 01:10 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Susan Bradley

    For those of us who live in the slightly toasty northern part of the world (and by toasty, I mean cooking!), it’s almost too hot to sit at a keyboard and deal with July’s patches. Almost.

    We humans might suffer in the hot weather, but it can be just as challenging to our digital devices, as noted in a related article. According to the report, Apple recommends keeping Macs and iPhones at operating temperatures under 95° F — but our Windows machines hate excessive heat, too.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.28.0 (2019-07-29).

  • Windows 10 gets better at taking screenshots

    Posted on July 29th, 2019 at 01:05 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    WINDOWS 10

    By Lance Whitney

    Starting with Windows 10 1809, the legacy screen-capture Snipping Tool became Snip & Sketch — with great new capabilities.

    Ages ago, most of us downloaded third-party screen-capture apps because they were far superior to anything built into Windows. And it’s still true that products such as the paid Snagit and the free/paid PicPick offer extensive screen-capture and manipulation tools you won’t find in Windows.

    But the new, built-in Snip & Sketch is an excellent — and free — option. The app lets you capture an entire screen, any rectangular area, or an area that you draw freeform. And with Win10 Version 1903, you can also capture a specific window.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.28.0 (2019-07-29).