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  • Patch Lady – uh best to be on guard while surfing

    Posted on September 23rd, 2020 at 18:07 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    So I was reading a news story from a web site on my iphone and this popped up.  Others have reported it as well.

    In the past it’s been reported that it’s a fail of a google-doubleclick advertisement, but I have enough Reynolds wrap on my head to be on the safe side and to close the browser app on my phone.  I have seen javascript files in banner ads on Windows machines trying to load up malicious payloads.  Therefore I’ll err on the side of caution and close the app.

    Let’s be careful out there and remember you can always shut down a device, close a browser, and back yourself out and not click open or download

  • Patch Lady – why can’t Surface devices have the BEST experience?

    Posted on September 20th, 2020 at 21:27 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    So why can’t Surface devices have the absolute BEST patching experience EVER?

    Instead…

    After installing driver updates from Intel and Microsoft, offered up to me by Microsoft for a Microsoft built product it demanded that I reenter the bitlocker recovery key.  Surface devices that are set up with either a Microsoft 365 account or a Microsoft personal account have bitlocker set up automatically and backed up to the cloud.  And that’s a good thing because then you need ANOTHER working computer to log into said backup location and type in one key stroke at a time your recovery key hoping it works, mentally thinking about if the backup you have set up ran last time to the tiny external flash drive you have to plug in or if you will be spending tomorrow night rebuilding your Surface Go device.

    I had to go to another PC, log into my recovery bitlocker area – this one is a firm Surface Go so it’s backed up in Azure AD

    Then, I had to enter the Bitlocker recovery key not once, but twice.  It wanted to reboot, I did, it stopped again wanting the recovery key, I had to enter it a second time.

    But it just drives me INSANE that the most hiccups I have is on Microsoft built hardware.

    The items that were installed were Surface- System, Surface-Firmware, Intel-System, Intel-Software Component, FTDI-Ports, FTDI-USB.

    Come on Microsoft, you need to be better than this on your own hardware.

    Surface Go Device.  Purchased December 2019.

     

  • Patch Lady – Office retail flipping to 365?

    Posted on September 17th, 2020 at 20:56 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Got this in the mail the other day

    Susan –

    Since you are the undisputed Queen of Microsoft update patches, so I wanted to share my story with you. I haven’t ever run into an update like this.

    My office computer – a Dell XPS desktop running Win10 has Microsoft Office 2016 installed. This is a stand alone set up in my home office. No network, no Exchange server. Just about the simplest set up possible.

    In August, I ran the update to Office. Afterward, I opened Outlook and was amazed at the extensive design changes. New icons, fonts, spacing, and features like the search bar had been moved. Most curious was that when starting Outlook, the splash screen said Outlook 365. I noticed similar cosmetic changes in Excel and Word.

    I thought it curious but I was very busy with some projects so I adapted and moved on. This week, I was surprised to see that all the changes disappeared! My icons, fonts etc reverted to the pre-update appearance. All the prior mentions of “365” are gone.

    I did a quick google for problems related to the update and nothing I saw mentioned temporary conversion to 365 as a feature or flaw. My computer seems to run fine and I am happier with the older design but that was just a weird sequence of events. I guess Microsoft giveth and Microsoft taketh away!

    Then also received this email

    Also, just now when I went to open a Word document I noticed it says “Office 365”.  I don’t ever remember seeing that before and I definitely don’t have the online subscription.  I bought both Word and Excel as stand alone programs two years ago and now I also notice that the screens for Word and Excel look different including the appearance of the icons.  Microsoft couldn’t have just changed my programs to subscription only programs with the Win 10 update could they?  I am so annoyed because the icons look different and I have to be sure what each on is now to avoid making a mistake.

    These are two credible reports I received that retail versions of Office got an update that caused them to get 365 “branding” as well as design changes… and then in September they got their original branding back.  Okay Microsoft… what were you up to?

  • Checking on your vote (USA centric)

    Posted on September 14th, 2020 at 22:39 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Patch Lady Susan here with a bit of an off-topic post.  Being in a country that lets all individual states run their own elections means that there’s no set rules across the country to check if your vote has been counted.  Where I live (smoky and a bit orange) Central California, I can use a web site called Ballottrax.com to track that my vote has been counted.  Specifically in the state of California I can go to this web site on the Secretary of State site and sign up to be alerted when my ballot is sent to me and when they receive my ballot back.

    After listening to the Blackhat presentations on election security I am convinced that electronic voting is NOT the way to go.  You want to make sure there is a paper trail and the ability to audit the vote, but with something more direct and confirmable than hanging chads 😉

    Here are some resources to know more information about voting in the upcoming elections:

    Turbovote has a site to help you get to your State’s resources.  From there you can check to see if your state allows you to check to see if you are registered, and if available, you can sign up to get email alerts about the acceptance of your ballot.  Vote411.org is put out by the League of Women Voters so you can check when and where to sign up to vote and the issues on the ballot.

    The bad guys are REALLY trying to get into accounts having to do with the UK and USA elections.  And they are really using social media to sway and influence.  One of the suggestions I’ve heard of recently to get a different view regarding the issues is to go outside of your own country and read the media from another country and see what they say about the elections in your country.  I’m personally a fan of reviewing the actual language of the bills and propositions on the ballots and ignore any radio or television commercial regarding an issue.

    Regardless of your views, I urge you to step away from the dollars being thrown at this election and go back to deciding the issues the old fashioned way:  Read the ballot.  Read the propositions you have to vote on.  Read the words of the candidates rather than listening to them.  Often reading the plain boring words allows you to see through the ….uh…. fluff on both sides and get a clearer picture of the issues and what you need to vote on.  Use resources like the League of Women Voters or other non partisan sites that you trust to give you an unbiased viewpoint.  Get ready to turn off the television and the social media in the next few weeks and do your own research.  A LOT of money is going to be spent in the next few months to sway you.  I challenge all of us to make sure that all of this money is a waste of funds and that you will make up your mind with good old fashioned minds made up with good old fashioned research on the issues.

    To anyone in the way of the fires or dealing with the smoke, stay safe and take care.

     

  • Patch Lady – just a kind reminder about Office 2010

    Posted on September 13th, 2020 at 00:36 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    In the consumer patching survey, quite a few of you indicated that you still were running Office 2010.  Just a kind reminder that as of October of 2020 that platform will no longer receive security updates.  Given HOW MUCH malware, phishing and what not is coming through email, given HOW MUCH malware, phishing and what not are using macros to enter systems, given HOW MANY times Office is being patched for remote code execution attacks that you will no longer be protected for after October 13, 2020, just a kind reminder to take the time to review your options.

    Many of you do not like subscription versions of Office.  I’d be reviewing alternative platforms such as LibreOffice.  Bottom line you have one month and the final updates for Office 2010 will be released.

    Access 2010
    Dynamics GP 2010
    Excel 2010
    Excel Mobile 2010
    Exchange Server 2010 (all editions)
    FAST Search Server 2010 (all editions)
    Groove Server 2010
    Office 2010 (all editions)
    OneNote 2010
    PowerPoint 2010
    Project 2010
    Publisher 2010
    Search Server 2010
    System Center Data Protection Manager 2010
    System Center Essentials 2010
    Visio 2010 (all editions)
    Word 2010
    Windows Embedded Standard 7
    Office 2016 for Mac (all editions)
    Excel 2016 for Mac
    Outlook 2016 for Mac
    PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
    Word 2016 for Mac

  • Patch Lady – HP support assistant being a bad patcher

    Posted on September 12th, 2020 at 16:19 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Logged into the computer at the office (remotely protected using duo.com two factor, but I digress) and the HP support assistant had updated.  I purposely have this set these days because firmware updates are a key way to ensure that Windows 10 is healthy and patches well.

    BUTTTTTTTTTTTT…. this time at the end of installing the updates I saw this:

    Changing browser home page is not cool.  I thought we grew out of this nonsense.  Shame on you both Microsoft and HP for doing this.

  • Patch Lady – what is Excel spill?

    Posted on September 11th, 2020 at 00:07 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    So today on two different spreadsheets at the office I experienced “Spill”

    It’s hard to describe Spill.

    I’m sure to someone, somewhere this works.  But in my case I was doing an @sum function and all of a sudden I got a series of entries.  In the case of a coworker she was trying to “+” something and got this #SPILL error.

    Dearest, sweetest Microsoft…. just give me a nice quiet boring Excel and stop introducing things we don’t need and in my case, in an unexpected location that I didn’t ask for and feels more like an introduced bug.  Mind you I’m on the enterprise channel so it appears that Spill is now in wide distribution in Excel.

    Bottom line if you get this Spill error, it’s not just you, and you may have to clear out some cells to get your Spreadsheet back to normal.

  • Patch Lady – anyone else getting 2004?

    Posted on September 7th, 2020 at 10:12 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Just when I think I understand the consumer updating experience…. I didn’t click to approve to install this.

    Now I did go into the update settings last night to check some settings and the 2004 was set to be approved to install.

    Current status as of July 22, 2020
    Windows 10, version 2004 is available for users with devices running Windows 10, versions 1903 and 1909, who manually seek to “Check for updates” via Windows Update. We are now starting a new phase in our rollout. Using the machine learning-based (ML-based) training we have done so far, we are increasing the number of devices selected to update automatically to Windows 10, version 2004 that are approaching end of service. We will continue to train our machine learning through all phases to intelligently rollout new versions of Windows 10 and deliver a smooth update experience. The recommended servicing status is Semi-Annual Channel.
    This on my Lenovo Thinkpad with cellular.  But I still don’t see that 2004 should have been pushed like this.  Anyone else seeing 2004 on their machines and you didn’t “check for updates”?  I was on 1909.