Monthly Archives: October 2022

  • Can DuckDuckGo raise enough money to give Google a scare?

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    ISSUE 19.44 • 2022-10-31


    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    People in a small but dedicated movement known as “degoogling” strive to avoid being tracked by the Google search giant. That’s a challenge, because Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., also compiles data on you through YouTube, the Play Store, and many other subsidiaries.

    A major alternative is a privacy-focused search engine with the weird name of DuckDuckGo. (Founder Gabriel Weinberg, soon to become a father, chose the moniker in 2008 after the children’s game Duck, Duck, Goose.) DDG, as the search engine is sometimes known, promises not to save searches you enter nor retain any information about you.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.44.0, 2022-10-31).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • HDCleaner — Stay out of my store!


    HDCleaner — Stay out of my store!

    Deanna McElveen

    By Deanna McElveen

    Today’s featured program is a way for you to stay out of my computer store and clean up your own darned computer.

    It’s not that I don’t like to see a new customer walk in the door. I just know that people remember when you help them, and they will return the favor someday. You know, regular civilized-society stuff.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.44.0, 2022-10-31).

  • “Which laptop should I buy?”


    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    I thought I knew the answer to that question, but it’s changed.

    During idle chitchat at my podiatrist’s office recently, my involvement with computing came out and the nurse immediately asked me which laptop she should buy.

    Family, friends, and clients have asked me this question for decades. I thought I had a pat answer, but I found myself fumbling this time. Afterward, it occurred to me that my thinking had not completely evolved with the market. Here’s my new, updated answer.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.44.0, 2022-10-31).

  • Tracking the larger Microsoft ecosystem


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    With Microsoft 365 making inroads onto platforms other than Windows, it’s increasingly important to track versioning and patches elsewhere.

    For example, it’s not enough to talk about Microsoft 365 as if it existed only on Windows PCs. We know our readers have more than one device, including phones and tablets. So while my focus with Patch Watch will continue to center on Windows, you’ll hear more from me about the broader Microsoft universe.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.44.0, 2022-10-31).

  • Always have parts on hand

    My office PC was getting a bit tight on it’s C drive and then I wanted to upgrade my spare hard drive to a SSD drive. I copied the spare drive to the SSD and mounted it in the computer. Then I used Macrium reflect to clone the C drive. So I’ll just swap the SSD drive out, right? When I went to pull the power cable and move it to the new hard drive it wouldn’t fit in the new SSD drive. It appeared to me that the cable prongs may have been bent. No worries says I, I’ll just get out the spare power cable that I have in that box of cables that I have kept in a corner of the closet for years until ….uh…. just last month when moving things around I sent some things off to the e-waste. and uh…. I now can’t find the ONE cable I need.

    So I had to send off and do an overnight shipment of a cable kit just so I could reconnect the drives how I wanted to.  There’s no good local store that carries this kind of geek stuff.

    Just proving the old rule… the minute you throw away or get rid of THAT cable is the EXACT time you need THAT cable.

    Of course I now have ANOTHER power cable, an enclosure, and several other cables I don’t need, but I don’t dare get rid of them now as you know I’ll need them tomorrow.

    So what cables do you have that you don’t dare get rid of?

  • Master patch list updated for out of band

    Patch Lady Master patch list is being updated AGAIN for an “out of band” release for Windows 10 21H2 to fix an issue with OneDrive. KB5020953 for Windows 10 was released as an “out of band” to fix the issue.  It’s unclear if there will be additional out of band releases for the other platforms to fix this issue. It does not appear to be occuring on Windows 11 platform, only Windows 10.  You’ll need to go to the catalog site to find the exact version you’ll need for your Windows 10 versions.

    • It addresses an issue that causes Microsoft OneDrive to stop working. This occurs after you unlink your device, stop syncing, or sign out of your account.

    Also be aware of an issue that some might see in business deployments where you reuse computer accounts.  See KB5020276. Note this does NOT impact home users.

  • Got an older iPhone or iPad?

    If you are still running iOS 15.7 get ready for an update:

    iOS 15.7.1 and iPadOS 15.7.1

    iPhone 6s and later, iPad Pro (all models), iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch (7th generation)

    27 Oct 2022

    Yet another zero day being patched. “Apple pushed additional updates for Kernel zero-day (CVE-2022-42827) that may have been actively exploited.”  This is where I REALLY wish all vendors were held to a standard of documentation and explanation.  “may have been actively exploited”  Uh folks it either is or it isn’t.  And if it was (apparently) used in attacks,  in order to determine risk I need to know the HOW of the attacks.  What mechanism was used?  Text messages?  Through an application I haven’t downloaded or don’t use? Through native email apps or third party?

    Again, I have yet to see us normal folks with an iPhone or iPad who do not jailbrake their device, who ignore scam text messages, who don’t open emails willy nilly….. you get the idea. So far all of the reports I’ve seen on these “may have been exploited” are targeted attacks against key individuals, journalists in high risk areas, and the latest target de jour, not you and I.  Bottom line, don’t panic.  Always ensure you have a backup first.


  • Master Patch List as of October 25, 2022


    I’ve updated the Master Patch List which now matches the guidance in the alert released today.

    You will note that I recommend that you defer at least temporarily the big releases that Apple came out with yesterday. You’ll want to hold off a bit and ensure there are no major issues.

    I have given the “install” for the major updates released on October 11.  I do not recommend either the Windows 10 22H2 (minor update) or Windows 11 22H2 (larger upgrade).

    As always, thank you all for supporting the cause! Remember a donation will give you access and if you donate $50 or more you’ll get a special code to enable text messages sent to your phone each time the Master Patch List gets updated and when I change the MS-DEFCON level.

  • MS-DEFCON 4: Install or defer updates? Your choice.

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    ISSUE 19.43.1 • 2022-10-25

    By Susan Bradley

    I’ve got a slightly mixed message about the latest round of updates.

    In the most general terms, updates this month have proven safe and unlikely to cause many problems. It is for that reason I am lowering the MS-DEFCON level to 4. But there’s a grain of salt to go along with that recommendation.

    I continue to recommend that you not install the feature-release updates for Windows 10 or Windows 11 version 22H2. But I do recommend that you allow the rest of the updates to install. That’s the mixed message.

    Anyone can read the full MS-DEFCON Alert (19.43.1, 2022-10-25).

  • Apple out with security fixes

    💻 macOS Ventura 13 – 112 bugs fixed
    📱 iOS and iPadOS 16.1 – 20 bugs fixed
    ⌚ watchOS 9.1 – 10 bugs fixed
    📺 tvOS 16.1 – 9 bugs fixed
    🌐 Safari 16.1 – 4 bugs fixed
    💻 macOS Big Sur 11.7.1 – 3 bugs fixed

    Ventura, the new release for Apple is out todayiPad 16 is also out today. But like EVERYTHING in patching, one does not install it on day one.  We will be watching and reporting on any side effects in next week’s newsletter.  Stay tuned.

  • Windows’ built-in basics

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    ISSUE 19.43 • 2022-10-24


    Chris Husted

    By Chris Husted

    When it comes to adaptive and assistive technologies, especially those found under Ease of Access in Windows Settings, most people think the extra functions do not apply to them, simply because they are not disabled.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    As Stephen Dawes, a long-time Plus member and a Senior IT Systems Analyst based in Calgary, Canada, points out, “When a technology is developed to help a specific group of people, and when it is done right, everyone benefits.”

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.43.0, 2022-10-24).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Windows 11 has a silent feature that you can’t undo


    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    The latest version of Microsoft’s much-maligned Windows 11 silently runs in the background a new security app that could possibly protect you from downloading a virus, ransomware, or other hobgoblins.

    What’s the catch? You can run this new capability only on a fresh copy of Win11 Update 22H2 (otherwise known as Win11 Version 2022, released on September 9, 2022). If the feature’s strict, protective regime interferes with your normal PC use and you turn the app off in disgust, you can’t undo your decision and switch the app back on without performing a “factory reset” or a clean install of Win11 22H2.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.43.0, 2022-10-24).