Monthly Archives: May 2023

  • All in on AI

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    ISSUE 20.20 • 2023-05-15

    MICROSOFT NEWS

    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    On May 4, Microsoft announced the “next wave of AI innovation.”

    Well, we’ll see about that.

    There was no parade, nor any hoopla associated with this announcement. The entirety of the presentation was in a single blog post, which might have gone unnoticed had I not received an email from a Microsoft spokesperson telling me about it. That was unusual.

    But that’s not the news.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.20.0, 2023-05-15).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Browser security and privacy — with the right extensions

    INTERNET

    Lance Whitney

    By Lance Whitney

    Each browser offers its own settings for security and privacy, but you can often control these options better via third-party extensions.

    Managing your online privacy and security is always a challenge, especially as you browse different websites where you shop, bank, invest, and sign in to accounts personal or professional.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.20.0, 2023-05-15).

  • Upscayl — Killer robots are good at other things

    FREEWARE SPOTLIGHT

    Randy McElveen

    By Deanna McElveen

    All you hear about these days is the lightning-fast advancements of artificial intelligence. It’s as if no one had watched a single science-fiction movie in the past 30 years.

    Luckily, until our toasters take us out in our sleep, AI can be pretty useful. When you lack the skills to complete a necessary task, many free software programs that use AI are ready to help.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.20.0, 2023-05-15).

  • May’s messy updates

    PATCH WATCH

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    Although the May releases for both Windows and Apple have not introduced side effects or hiccups so far, they haven’t been as problem-free as they should have been.

    Apple released the first of its “rapid response” updates, announced last June and supposedly allowing the company to deploy important security-only software updates without demanding a reboot.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.20.0, 2023-05-15).

  • Do you touch your screen?

    When I have my Kindle, I use touch on the screen.  On my iphone or on an iPad, once again, touch is the preferred method. Obviously because all of those devices are designed for touch and were intended for touch.

    But on a Windows computer?  Even though I may have several computers that support touch screens about the only thing I use touch screen for is to swipe up and log into the computer and then use the keyboard. The advantage of buying a computer – even a laptop – WITHOUT touch is that it’s always cheaper.

    So when Windows 11 comes out with new touch enhancements I tend to go, “that’s nice” and go back to my keyboard. But slowly you can tell that Microsoft is responding to feedback. Case in point this week is that you can enable seconds in the time view on Windows 11. Reportedly it was removed because refreshing the screen caused performance issues.

    But what about you?  Do you use touch with Windows?

     

  • Master Patch List as of May 9, 2023

    I’ve updated the Master Patch list for the May releases.

    Remember to always review the known issues we are tracking on the Master Patch List. I will keep the latest info there.

    So far trending issues are:

    Business patchers – In order to fully patch systems for potential UEFI/Secure Boot there are a series of manual steps. I am NOT convinced that this is needed for anyone other than targeted nation state organizations. I’ll have exact instructions and a video should you want more information.

    I am recommending at this time that you install Apple updates, I’m not recommending Windows updates at this time. I’ll have more details in the newsletter on Monday.

    • Windows 11 22H2: Not recommended
    • Windows 11 21H2: If you have a Windows 11 PC, recommended
    • Windows 10 22H2: Recommended
    • Windows 10 21H2: Recommended (if a vendor won’t support 22H2)
    • Apple Ventura – Recommended for newer hardware – as always check with the applications you rely on if they recommend this release.

    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

  • It’s May updating time!

    It’s that time of the month that I’ll urge you to pause your updates on your Windows platforms, but review any pending updates on your Apple platforms.  Recently Apple’s “Rapid response” patches weren’t quite as “rapid” as we would all like.  In fact on my iPhone iOS 16.4.1 is still pending even though I have auto updates enabled.

    I’ll be discussing what SHOULD have occurred in Sunday’s newsletter.  In the meantime, let’s keep an eye out for this month’s Windows releases:

    49 vulnerabilities if the count here is correct

    Windows 11 22H2 has a new toggle button

    • New! This update adds a new toggle control on the Settings > Windows Update page. When you turn it on, we will prioritize your device to get the latest non-security updates and enhancements when they are available for your device. For managed devices, the toggle is disabled by default. For more information, see Get Windows updates as soon as they’re available for your device.

    As well as fixing issues in both Windows 11 22H2 and 21H2 as well as Windows 10  in the newly released Windows Local Administrator Password Solution

    • This update addresses a race condition in Windows Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS). The Local Security Authority Subsystem Service (LSASS) might stop responding. This occurs when the system processes multiple local account operations at the same time. The access violation error code is 0xc0000005.

    Remember if you aren’t on Windows 10 22H2 at this time, I’ll want you to move to 22H2 as June 13, 2023 is the last time Windows 10 home and Pro 21H2 get updates. Windows 10 Enterprise and Education, Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, and Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session will still be serviced (apologies had that backwards). 20H2 is now fully out of support.

    Ugh.  There is a secure boot vulnerability that is being “fixed” with code in the May updates, but not fully implemented.  Because you need PHYSICAL access or administrative rights to install code, this is yet another of those updates that will need to be “risk” rated for additional action.  I’ll go into this more in the newsletter.

  • The right to be sued

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    ISSUE 20.19 • 2023-05-08

    LEGAL BRIEF

    Max Oppenheimer

    By Max Stul Oppenheimer, Esq.

    Law students are sometimes puzzled by the section of the Corporations Statute saying that corporations have the right to be sued.

    Why, they wonder, would anyone want to be sued? Wouldn’t it be better to have the right not to be sued?

    The answer is subtle.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.19.0, 2023-05-08).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Want a faster, quieter PC? Cool it in water.

    PUBLIC DEFENDER

    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    I’m not actually suggesting that you soak your computer in a bathtub. But keeping a high-powered CPU from frying — without the earsplitting hum of roaring fans — means a liquid cooler could be just the thing your PC needs.

    It’s well known that water and some nonconductive oils are much more efficient than air at removing heat from electronic components. Many tower and desktop PCs have enough space for a built-in or add-on liquid chilling system. This can enable you to push a CPU to the max without burning it out.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.19.0, 2023-05-08).

  • Microsoft Office’s drawing tools

    MICROSOFT 365

    Peter Deegan

    By Peter Deegan

    Many people are aware of the powerful program Visio and its drawing powers. Fewer know that a comprehensive, though basic, set of drawing tools is available in Office programs such as Word and Excel.

    Let’s dig into the hidden and more interesting possibilities of Microsoft Office Shapes and its close cousin, Icons. You can use them to make a simple flowchart or diagram, or just add some easy decoration to a document, sheet, or slide.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.19.0, 2023-05-08).

  • Planning for the final digital divide

    ON SECURITY

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    In a letter to Jean-Baptiste Le Roy in 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote a phrase that has often been repeated ever since.

    Most of us don’t realize that his comment started with a mention of the recently signed U.S. Constitution, but instead remember only the final part of his saying.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.19.0, 2023-05-08).

  • MS-DEFCON 2: Settling down for a stable Windows 10

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    ISSUE 20.18.1 • 2023-05-04
    MS-DEFCON 2

    By Susan Bradley

    The order of the day is Windows 10 22H2.

    With Patch Tuesday just around the corner, it’s time to defer updates. Therefore, I’m raising the MS-DEFCON level to 2.

    However, there is one exception. If you are running Windows 10, update to release 22H2 as soon as possible. If you can’t get to it by Tuesday, defer — but be sure to get it done before the end of May.

    Anyone can read the full MS-DEFCON Alert (20.18.1, 2023-05-04).