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  • Quick update on swallowing the whale

    Posted on April 22nd, 2019 at 12:30 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    We’ve already merged about a quarter of a million Replies (posts) from the Windows Secrets Lounge to the AskWoody Lounge. My guess is that the mammoth job will be done this week. We’ve goosed the server and more than doubled nearly tripled the merge rate, while keeping response times here pretty reasonable. Apologies to those of you who spent an inordinate amount of time getting around the site over the weekend.

    What’s next? Good question.

    As soon as all of the Replies are merged, we’ll start the job of consolidating the old Windows Secrets “WS”-prefixed accounts with existing AskWoody accounts. I’ll put out a call for those with dual citizenship as soon as we’re braced.

    We’ll also be looking for lost or misplaced Topics (questions, usually). There are many, and we’ll have to manually bring them across.

    And we’re going to be re-organizing the forums. They were set up for the old AskWoody — emphasis on “What Microsoft screwed up, and how to protect yourself” — and need to be more in line with our expanding “tech help” charter.

    Folks signing up for new accounts and anonymous posters will see an “I am not a robot” challenge in the near future. Why? We’re manually weeding out 100 or more new spamming/bot accounts every day. And we’re fielding more and more attempts at direct upload of malicious scripts through anonymous posts. It’s a jungle out there. (UPDATE: That feature’s now working.)

    Afterwards there’s a laundry list of improvements coming. As we get ready for the big ones – such as redesigning the site, improving the Replies editor, separating out “free” and “Plus” content, reinstating the old Free newsletters – I’ll put out a call for your input.

    In the interim, you can use your existing AskWoody account, or your old WS account — either or both — and there shouldn’t be any conflicts, either now or in the future. (See the Windows Secrets Landing Page for details.) Not all of your Replies are melded into AskWoody yet, but almost all of the Topics should be here already.

    Don’t forget that, if you log on with an email address, you need to get switched over to a “proper” AskWoody account. You can’t do it yourself — the old cruft has to be nuked from orbit. Send me mail,

    As we wait for the merge to complete, I want to extend my thanks once again to all of the people who kept Windows Secrets alive for so long. You’ll see many of them right here, every day. I also want to say “many thanks” to the people at Informa/KNect365 (formerly Penton) who helped us move. Moving a million-post web site isn’t easy, and we’ve had tremendous support from the staff at KNect365.

    I also want to thank each of you Plus members for making this possible. I really do believe there’s still a place in the industry for volunteer-based, truly independent tech help, open to everybody. Your donations keep it all going.

  • How to see your entire newsletter

    Posted on April 22nd, 2019 at 08:24 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Just got a note from @rhp52….

    The last two newsletters I’ve received have only contained your article. It ends with a picture of Fred and the title of his article, then the end credits, email addys, etc.

    Good point. Email programs cut off long-winded emails. (Not to say that I’m long-winded, but guilty as charged.) Most have a link at the bottom to “Show more” or something of that sort. But there’s an easier way.

    At the top of each Newsletter there’s a tiny link that says

    Having trouble reading this issue? Click here for the online version.

    Click on that link and you’ll be transported to the full version – which is much easier to read and navigate….

  • Happy Easter 2019

    Posted on April 21st, 2019 at 11:03 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    La Resurrección, de Sebastiano Ricci. Imagen: Google Art Project

  • If your AskWoody username is an email address…

    Posted on April 19th, 2019 at 21:03 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    We have tens of thousands of new AskWoody accounts and will soon have hundreds of thousands of new posts.

    If you’re currently using an email address as your AskWoody account name, please get it changed. To see your username, log in. Open your profile by clicking on the link below your avatar (the picture in the upper right corner, which may just look like a gray watermelon). Click Edit. The username field is under Account, down the page a bit. It’s grayed out. You can’t change it.

    You don’t want to use an email address as your username. Lots of reasons why, but the big one is privacy — if you post something, your email address will be hanging out for anyone to see, and for every spider to crawl. It’s a Big Deal.

    You won’t be able to change the username yourself – WordPress doesn’t let anybody change usernames. Instead, I have to blast away the old and then you can register a new one. I can step you through the process. It only takes a few minutes. And you won’t lose your Plus membership. Promise.

  • Chag Pesach samech

    Posted on April 19th, 2019 at 16:39 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

  • The Chrome vs Edgemium (Chredge?) wars heat up

    Posted on April 19th, 2019 at 06:52 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    With Edge now absorbing the Chromium rendering engine*, I expect all of the Windows-centric bloggers to start explaining, in excruciating detail, why the New Edge is better than the current Google Chrome. The new Edge, it must be noted, is only available in beta preview versions. Even the latest Win10 1903 bits from MSDN contain the old Edge.

    Martin Brinkmann has a detailed side-by-side comparison, and come up with eight significant ways in which the beta Edgemium is better than (or at least different to) the shipping Chrome.

    In the end, I think this sentence hits the nail on the head:

    While you could say that you trade one data-hungry company for another, it boils down to personal preference.

    I think it’s great that Microsoft is getting back into the browser wars. (Deja vu all over again, eh?) It’ll be good for Microsoft, for Google, and most of all for us.

    I think Edgemium’s greatest foe is its pedigree. In my experience, people just don’t want Microsoft products unless they have to use them. But then again, Google’s had plenty of dirty laundry recently.

    Let the best browser win.

    *Good explainer by Gregg Keizer in Computerworld.

  • Facebook admits, one hour before the Mueller report press conference, that oh golly “millions” of Instagram users had plain-text passwords exposed

    Posted on April 18th, 2019 at 14:38 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Talk about Friday night news dumps…

    Iain Thomson, writing for The Reg, wasn’t distracted by today’s news. Previously, Facebook said that “tens of thousands of Instagram users” had their plain text passwords stored on company servers.

    Now the tech goliath has decided to revise that figure, and, well, let’s just say it massively underestimated that number.

    “Since this post was published, we discovered additional logs of Instagram passwords being stored in a readable format,” the amendmentreads today.

    “We now estimate that this issue impacted millions of Instagram users.”

  • The Windows Secrets redirect is in place

    Posted on April 17th, 2019 at 16:55 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    We’ve moved over all of the Windows Secrets users, adding “WS” to the front of their usernames.

    We’ve brought across all 150,000-or-so Topics (mostly questions)

    And we’re rapidly filling in all of the posts (“Replies”)

    Attempts to visit now redirects to our Windows Secrets Landing page.

    We’re almost there, folks.