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  • We’re still at MS-DEFCON 2

    Posted on February 23rd, 2017 at 12:28 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    We just upgraded the site to PHP 7, and it looks like the MS-DEFCON banner at the top of the page took a hit.

    We’re still at MS-DEFCON 2: Patch reliability is unclear. Unless you have an immediate, pressing need to install a specific patch, don’t do it.

  • At death’s door for years, widely used SHA1 function is now dead

    Posted on February 23rd, 2017 at 09:59 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The two most common file encryption/hashing methods are now officially compromised. MD5 was hacked years ago. Now, Google has come up with an algorithm that generates two different PDF files with the same SHA1 hash.

    Still unscathed: SHA-256 and SHA-3

    Important article by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

  • Amazon resists request for Echo recordings in Arkansas slaying

    Posted on February 23rd, 2017 at 09:44 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This is an important privacy case. You should be aware of it, especially if you use OK Google, Siri, Cortana – or even the voice recognition system in your car, GPS device, or other Internet of Things, uh, things.

    Tafi Mukunyadzi Associated Press.

  • Should you use a local account or a Microsoft Account on Windows 10?

    Posted on February 20th, 2017 at 21:37 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Of course, you all know that I’ve long recommended using a local account with Windows 10. I have detailed instructions in both of my Win10 books. Using a Microsoft Account to sign in to Windows 10 gives Microsoft (yet another) way to collect information about you – and it doesn’t buy you much.

    Earlier this morning, Paul Thurrott posted an interesting, detailed list of what using a Microsoft Account will get you. Bottom line: Not much.

    I will continue to forego using a Microsoft account to sign-in to Windows 10. I just don’t see the advantage.

    Here, here.

  • Which Win10 tools do you use?

    Posted on February 17th, 2017 at 12:38 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m collecting recommendations for a roundup on Win10 tools. Do you use any that you’d recommend?

    Built-in, free, or very cheap.

    Post over on the Tools forum. @PhotoM ‘s been posting up a storm.

  • Zuckerberg’s treatise: Building Global Community

    Posted on February 17th, 2017 at 08:02 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m a skeptic at heart. You know that. But this manifesto from Mark Zuckerberg really struck home.

    In times like these, the most important thing we at Facebook can do is develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us.

    It’s an important statement, from a fascinating guy. I wonder how well Facebook, the company, can match Zuckerberg’s goals?

  • Mozilla-sponsored “Privacy Paradox: Note to self”

    Posted on February 16th, 2017 at 17:00 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Privacy remains a thorny problem with no clear solution. I, personally, like to have Gmail scan my mail to snag flights. I don’t mind Cortana. My phone tracks everywhere I go. And I constantly use OK Google. So I’m not a poster child for computer privacy. Still, I understand folks who don’t want all of their data fed into a future General Dynamics overlord. Don’t laugh too hard.

    A friend just forwarded an email to me from Mozilla (the Firefox people), suggesting that I take a look at a series of five talks put on by WNYC, the big public radio station for New York City.

    They have a great hook:

    In today’s world, privacy is less about being alone and more about protecting our identities and information. But if we’re all so concerned about protecting our personal data, why do we regularly give it away to apps, marketers, social media and websites?

    That’s the privacy paradox. And it’s time to tackle it.

    If you’re interested in pursuing the subject, you might want to venture to the Privacy Paradox site. It’s very well put together – and you might change your mind about privacy.

    Or maybe not.

  • Building out the forums

    Posted on February 15th, 2017 at 17:38 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’ve just brought forums on board for Office, DevOps, Admins and Developers.

    Please take a look and let me know what I screwed up!