Monthly Archives: October 2023

  • Microsoft 365 Copilot is upon us

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    ISSUE 20.44.1 • 2023-10-31
    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    Not to scare you, but tomorrow, November 1, represents the general availability of Microsoft 365 Copilot.

    Copilot for Microsoft 365 is the artificial-intelligence module that will be included in Word, Excel, Outlook, and other Microsoft Office apps. Because it could potentially expose your internal information to Microsoft’s servers, make sure you have a policy or understanding in place to ensure that any sensitive information is not included in any input you enter into Copilot.

    Read the full Plus Alert (20.44.1, 2023-10-31).

  • 14th Gen processors, and (of course) AI

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    ISSUE 20.44 • 2023-10-30


    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    Intel made some impressive announcements, but Qualcomm may get all the good press.

    You know we’ve been following developments in silicon carefully over the past couple of years. Our focus has been largely on Apple because of its bold initiatives with its M-series of chips.

    That coverage has not been to tout Apple, although it’s abundantly clear that the company’s products, especially Macintosh, have shown market share improvements. Our purpose has been to underscore what we perceived as a lag in Intel’s ongoing development. Windows users don’t gain anything from Apple’s proprietary silicon, but they lose something if Intel can’t keep up.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.44.0, 2023-10-30).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Anyone can render you naked with three mouse clicks


    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    Artificial-intelligence technologies have so invaded our lives that now dozens of sketchy websites enable anyone to upload a picture of your face and immediately receive an AI-generated nude that’s completely photorealistic.

    Tech-savvy perverts have published fake nudes of celebrities for years, of course. But making those falsified images required at least some talent with Photoshop and other image-editing tools.

    At the new AI-fake websites, you just upload a fully clothed headshot of anyone. You then click, click, click, and you have a “nudified” copy. Most people would believe the resulting image is an actual photograph of how the victimized person supposedly looked at the time.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.44.0, 2023-10-30).

  • Why not to use Outlook (new)


    Peter Deegan

    By Peter Deegan

    Underdeveloped and overhyped, a truly new Outlook is coming. But it’s not yet a proper replacement for either the Windows or Mac version of Outlook.

    As usual, Microsoft is hyping a product that’s still a work in progress. I’ll explain the dirty little secrets behind Outlook (new) — that’s one of its names — and why serious Outlook users should not touch it yet.

    Outlook (new) is now replacing Windows Mail and Calendar apps in new Windows 11 installations. Existing Mail/Calendar app setups will continue to work.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.44.0, 2023-10-30).

  • A strong Microsoft


    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    Microsoft’s FY24 Q1 numbers are excellent and will please investors, but results in certain sectors may spell future trouble.

    These days, decoding financial statements can be very difficult, much more so than during my time as a securities analyst in the ’90s. Complicating matters today are strained economies, inflation, political uncertainty, post-pandemic recoveries, supply-chain disruption, and currency fluctuations.

    Despite all that, Microsoft’s first-quarter financial results justify optimism.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.44.0, 2023-10-30).

  • Browsers and search engines


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    If you are as old as I am, you will remember the revolutionary changes the browser Netscape Navigator and search engine AltaVista brought to our desktops.

    In what now seems like an overnight event, all those research topics that used to require a trip to our local libraries became a mere dial-up call away, using our light-speed, 9600-baud modems. Okay, a little patience was required in those days, even once those ubiquitous modems reached the dizzying heights of 56K.

    At about the same time, we witnessed the start of what was to become a decades-long browser and search-engine war, during which we all have probably changed allegiances several times.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.44.0, 2023-10-30).

  • Have you dropped cable?

    The other day I was chatting with the gentleman who was installing the voice over IP at the office and we were agreeing about how much not only voice over IP but television has been changed by technology. Lately I am seeing more and more people cutting the cord and going back to either antenna television or just picking one streaming service.

    Of interest is seeing the number of streaming services ADDING advertising as a means to either lower the price tag on the lower tier or keep the price down as they increase the fees for the other tiers. But the worse thing about all of these streaming services is trying to remember WHICH one has what program.

    The next thing to be aware of it speed. For some streaming services, unless they have the ability to adjust the quality, you may see buffering unless you have decent web speed.

    What about you?  Have you dropped cable?  Tell me in the comments or in the survey link!


  • Apple security updates October 25, 2023

    Apple is out with some security updates today:

    Like with any device – ensure you have a backup BEFORE installing updates.  No actively exploited bugs are included in this batch, but there are interesting bugs that are getting squashed.

    I’ll be adding this to the master list tonight and tracking any side effects.

    iOS 17.1 and iPadOS 17.1 iPhone XS and later, iPad Pro 12.9-inch 2nd generation and later, iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 11-inch 1st generation and later, iPad Air 3rd generation and later, iPad 6th generation and later, and iPad mini 5th generation and later
    iOS 16.7.2 and iPadOS 16.7.2 iPhone 8 and later, iPad Pro (all models), iPad Air 3rd generation and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and iPad mini 5th generation and later
    iOS 15.8 and iPadOS 15.8 iPhone 6s (all models), iPhone 7 (all models), iPhone SE (1st generation), iPad Air 2, iPad mini (4th generation), and iPod touch (7th generation)
    macOS Sonoma 14.1 macOS Sonoma
    macOS Ventura 13.6.1 macOS Ventura
    macOS Monterey 12.7.1 macOS Monterey
    tvOS 17.1 Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K (all models)
    watchOS 10.1 Apple Watch Series 4 and later
    Safari 17.1 macOS Monterey and macOS Ventura
  • Out of band .NET update?

    This time of the week and month we normally get the optional Windows updates to Windows 11 and 10. So far this week, I’ve yet to see the optional updates, however we got two interesting updates that were a re-release of some of the security updates released earlier in the month.

    Apparently they forgot to include the September fixes in their October releases.  “Microsoft is releasing an update to October 10, 2023 security release.  The .NET 6.0.24 release contain the security fixes from our previous September release that were missing in the October release.” Now not all machines may see this, you typically only get .NET 6 and 7 updates if something has installed these .NET versions on your machines.  I have not seen side effects, but anytime I see a re-release with a kinda dumb reason like this that showcases once again a lack of testing and follow up,  come on Microsoft you can do better.
    Bottom line if you got a restart this morning (and why a person in the office couldn’t connect to cellular on his Surface with LTE and called me this morning and I had him reboot and sure enough a .NET patch got installed), well there is your answer.
  • MS-DEFCON 3: Should you patch? It depends.

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    ISSUE 20.43.1 • 2023-10-24


    By Susan Bradley

    The October updates have been either mildly annoying or downright hostile.

    Stop the presses: I’m urging caution by lowering the MS-DEFCON level to 3.

    A big reason for this is that many folks are experiencing multiple reboots after patches are applied. We normally expect one reboot — one reboot only — when we patch. In theory, all updates should download the parts they need, install the updates, and then reboot. Only when all are installed and the system is ready should it reboot.

    But not this month. Some of us received three updates, each of which triggered a reboot.

    Anyone can read the full MS-DEFCON Alert (20.43.1, 2023-10-24).

  • How to use the Microsoft Edge sidebar

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    ISSUE 20.43 • 2023-10-23


    Lance Whitney

    By Lance Whitney

    The sidebar in Microsoft Edge offers you a handy way to access frequently used tools, apps, websites, and other items.

    When it comes to browsers, I’m a dedicated Firefox user. But I have to admit I’ve been using Microsoft Edge more often. One Edge feature I like is its sidebar, through which you can easily access Microsoft 365, Outlook, Bing Search, Image Creator, and other tools and apps.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.43.0, 2023-10-23).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Introducing Microsoft PC Manager


    Ed Tittel

    By Ed Tittel

    Not many people know about the Microsoft PC Manager application, despite its being available in English since October 2022.

    One reason you might not be aware of PC Manager is because it is still in beta. It also began as a Chinese-language app in early 2022, which in all likelihood would not have caught the immediate attention of English speakers.

    However, it’s clear just from the URL of PCM’s microsite,, that Microsoft has plans for the program. (It even has its own logo.) You can download the program from that location.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.43.0, 2023-10-23).