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Daily Archives: March 2, 2020

  • Windows Health Release – the AskWoody version

    Posted on March 2nd, 2020 at 21:44 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    So I’ve started a new knowledge base section that I’m calling the Ask Woody version of the Windows Health Release dashboard.  The Windows Health Release dashboard is great…but… if there is something that SOME people are seeing but not ALL people are seeing they won’t acknowledge it.

    So the goal here is to gather the places where we’re seeing issues and possible solutions.  I will be noting if issues are not widespread and if Microsoft is not acknowledging the issue.

    Let me know what you think!

    AskWoody – Windows Health Release Dashboard

  • Microsoft cancels the MVP summit

    Posted on March 2nd, 2020 at 15:34 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m sure many of you are breathing a sigh of relief. The COVID-19 situation doesn’t look good, especially in the Seattle area, and MS has officially cancelled the Summit. If you’re registered, you should’ve received an email.

    In light of recent developments globally and the growing concerns around the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Microsoft has made the decision that this year’s MVP/ Regional Director Summit will be an online-only / virtual event. It will be scheduled for the same week (Mar 16-20).

    Our entire team is working hard to plan and prepare an alternate experience that still provides the exclusive in-depth technical sessions in an online-only format and be inclusive to our globally distributed community.

    Good decision.

    P.S. I stopped going to conferences about 25 years ago. Always wondered why the computer industry, of all groups, would have physical get-togethers.

  • Privacy update: Brave is the most private browser, Edge blabs like crazy

    Posted on March 2nd, 2020 at 15:12 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    An interesting white paper from Prof Leith, Trinity College, Dublin (PDF):

    We measure the connections to backend servers made by six browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Brave Browser, Microsoft Edge and Yandex Browser, during normal web browsing. Our aim is to assess the privacy risks associated with this back-end data exchange. We find that the browsers split into three distinct groups from this privacy perspective. In the first (most private) group lies Brave, in the second Chrome, Firefox and Safari and in the third (least private) group lie Edge and Yandex…

    [When typing the text leith.ie/nothingtosee.html,] Edge sends text to www.bing.com as it is typed. A request is sent for almost every letter typed, resulting in a total of 25 requests. Each request contains contains a cvid value that is persistent across requests although it changes across browser restarts. Once the typed URL has been navigated to Edge then makes two additional requests: one to web.vortex.data. microsoft.com and one to nav.smartscreen.microsoft.com. The request to nav.smartscreen.microsoft.com includes the URL entered while the request to web.vortex.data.microsoft.com transmits two cookies…

    For Brave with its default settings we did not find any use of identifiers allowing tracking of IP address over time, and no sharing of the details of web pages visited with backend servers. Chrome, Firefox and Safari all share details of web pages visited with backend servers. For all three this happens via the search autocomplete feature, which sends web addresses to backend servers in realtime as they are typed…

    From a privacy perspective Microsoft Edge and Yandex are qualitatively different from the other browsers studied. Both send persistent identifiers than can be used to link requests (and associated IP address/location) to back end servers. Edge also sends the hardware UUID of the device to Microsoft [emphasis added] and Yandex similarly transmits a hashed hardware identifier to back end servers. As far as we can tell this behaviour cannot be disabled by users. In addition to the search autocomplete functionality that shares details of web pages visited, both transmit web page information to servers that appear unrelated to search autocomplete.

    So it looks like the new Edge (Leith says the tested version is 80.0.361.48, which is definitely Chredge) not only tracks what you’re doing, it flags all of your actions with a hardware-unique identifier.

    Somebody tell me again how Microsoft values your privacy?

    Thx Catalin Cimpanu.

  • How to tell if software truly needs updating

    Posted on March 2nd, 2020 at 01:15 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Top post:

    LANGALIST

    By Fred Langa

    There are four types of useful version-checking tools that can help determine exactly which patches and updates are actually worthwhile or important — and which you can safely ignore.

    Fully automatic updating apps and services should be avoided — they might needlessly destabilize your system by chasing pointless, trivial updates.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.9.0 (2020-03-02).

  • Questions on controlling Windows 10 updating

    Posted on March 2nd, 2020 at 01:10 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    PATCH WATCH

    By Susan Bradley

    With the end of free support for Windows 7, there’s a spate of new Win10 users.

    One of the most common questions I see from this group is how to manage the monthly updating task.

    Over its many revisions — culminating with Version 1909 — Windows 10 has come a long way toward making the patching experience more agreeable to rank-and-file users. But the key is to follow some important guidelines. Here are my rules for making Win10 updating as pain-free as possible.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.9.0 (2020-03-02).

  • Managing multiple email accounts in Outlook

    Posted on March 2nd, 2020 at 01:05 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    OFFICE

    By Lance Whitney

    These days, it’s not uncommon to have several email accounts.

    Keeping them all under a single email-client umbrella makes the task of managing those accounts almost as easy as working with just one.

    Almost any good email client such as Mailbird (paid), Thunderbird (free/donation), and eM Client (free/paid) will support multiple accounts. But I’m focusing on Outlook because it’s familiar to millions of workaday folks and it comes with Office 365.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.9.0 (2020-03-02).

  • Freeware Spotlight — KillEmAll

    Posted on March 2nd, 2020 at 01:00 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    BEST UTILITIES

    By Deanna McElveen

    Computer troubleshooting typically means careful diagnosis and working through one solution at a time.

    But there are occasions when you have to take an ax to the problem.

    At our computer shop, we often see machines that are totally infested with malware. Just getting a malware-cleaning tool to run can be a challenge when you’re constantly bombarded with bogus popups, malicious anti-virus apps, and fake system cleaners — all running in the background.

    When the stuff really hits the fan, we load up one of our favorite utilities: KillEmAll. It comes from d7xTech.com, known for its extremely useful paid and freeware tools for computer techs and system administrators.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.9.0 (2020-03-02).