As of the end of the year, Penton/Informa media group is handing the Windows Secrets Newsletter and Lounge baton over to the people who started Windows Secrets years ago. Many of you will remember the original Windows Secrets “dream team” — Brian Livingston, co-author of 11 Windows Secrets books; Susan Bradley, Patch Watch diva; Fred Langa, author of LangaList, the ultimate tech Q&A; and yours truly with Woody’s Windows Watch and a bunch of books. All of us, along with former editor in chief Tracey Capen and many current and former newsletter contributors, are joining forces once again to launch a new AskWoody Plus Newsletter. Those of you who subscribe to the Windows Secrets Newsletter will see your subscriptions carry over, uninterrupted, to the AskWoody Plus moniker. We’re also merging the AskWoody and Windows Secrets Lounges. The new combined Lounge will sit on a software foundation that’s solid and reliable unlike, ahem, what we’ve had in the past. We’re implementing some of the features you’ve requested — email Plus Alerts, downloadable Patch Watch files, a reconstituted MS-DEFCON system, and much more. All of the AskWoody and Windows Secrets Admins and MVPs will make the trek. It’s a massive effort that’s going to … Read More
This is the final edition of Ask @WinObs, but indulge me in a little history and context. I started providing this column to Windows Secrets more than a year ago — a weekly column on Tuesdays covering the latest in the world of Windows 10 and related technologies, questions and answers on Thursdays. Consumer technology is a huge passion of mine and it has been a lot of fun sharing my insights in that area with all of you. It has been an honor to bring you content here in the newsletter over the last year and I have learned a lot through our interactions about technology. Passions Around Technology This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Q. Where Can I Track Updates for Windows 10? A. There has been a lot of talk over the last several weeks about various updates for Windows 10. If you want to keep an eye on these updates it is easy to do because Microsoft documents them all as they are released. Most everyone knows about Patch Tuesday, but as Microsoft recently detailed in on the official Windows Blog, there are multiple update categories which they use to organize the patches they push out for Windows 10 each month. Here is a quick rundown of those categories according to Microsoft: B Release –- This is the well know Patch Tuesday updates which are released on the second Tuesday of each month. These updates are cumulative, so they contain not only new security-related patches, but the ones released in previous months as well. Using the cumulative update process means less fragmentation between Windows 10 devices because of some patches not being previously installed. Typical release time is at 10:00 Am Pacific time – Microsoft’s time zone at their headquarters in Redmond, Washington. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
A lighter Patch Tuesday this month as Microsoft released just 38 security patches for December, including a fix for a privilege escalation bug that has been reportedly exploited in the wild. A patch for a denial-of-service vulnerability in web applications built with .NET Framework was also released, but is not under active exploit at this time. Of the patches, nine updates are considered critical, and most of those are browser related. The rest are rated important and should also be prioritized. “The mix of affected products is fairly standard, with most fixes being browser-related and a handful of Office patches. The most critical this month is server-side: CVE-2018-8626 is an RCE against Windows DNS Server which could allow an unauthenticated attacker to run arbitrary code by issuing a malicious request to the server,” said Greg Wiseman of Rapid7 in a blog post on the releases. Wiseman said server-related fixes to note this month include two CVEs for SharePoint, as well as patches for Exchange Server 2016 and Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Here are the highlights from this month’s release with the information you need to prioritize your patching efforts. Notable Patches CVE-2018-8611 – Windows Kernel Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability This article is part … Read More
Now that Microsoft has re-released their October 2018 Update for Windows 10 — and hopefully, this version sticks — it is time to take a closer look at some of the new features. This sixth feature update for Microsoft’s operating system is still on a limited number of systems and only available through manual update checks or by using the Media Creation Tool (MCT) or Update Assistant. We’ll be spending this week looking at the most pertinent tweaks, upgrades and improvements. The Display Feature High Dynamic Range (HDR) – With more monitors supporting this technology, Microsoft has incorporated settings to help you tweak the appearance of HDR based content on a by display basis. Included in these new settings is an option for maximizing battery life when running HDR content on your device and calibration tools. Wide Color Gamut (WCG) – If your monitor supports this display technology, you will also find settings alongside the HDR options for managing this display option. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Close out 2018 on an organizational high note by getting your filing system right, deleting old data, protecting yourself against viruses and malware, and freeing up space on your devices. If spring is a great time to clean your physical house, then the end of the calendar year is a great time to clean your fiscal one. It’s very satisfying to spend some time as the year closes out getting your inbox and files in order, unsubscribing from mailing lists you don’t get anything out of, and ensuring your important documents are backed up properly for the present and the future. This is a huge task for larger organizations, says Eric Hobbs, CEO of Technology Associates. “On a larger, corporate-wide scale, there’s a lot to consider — a comprehensive equipment audit, ensuring that your data security is sound, implementing a reliable backup strategy, and evaluating your tech and IT management options and budgets are usually at the top of the list,” Hobbs said. But you can take this small scale for your personal digital files, devices, and storage. Here are tips on ending 2018 with a digital house cleaning that will set you up for efficiency, productivity, and security in … Read More
It seems like just when we get used to the devices we have, new ones come along to replace them. Wireless charging has been around 10 years but it is reaching the tipping point in the consumer market now. Same goes for the USB-C connection, appearing as ports on more and more PCs Whether it’s wireless charging, wireless typing, or wireless communication, there are now a cornucopia of devices beyond mobile phones to connect our devices without the tangle of cables thanks to the increasingly available Qi technology. USB-C ports found on new PCs also requires a new learning curve on how to get the most from them. Laptop-Size Portable Keyboard Works for Phone, Tablet, and Smart TV My boilerplate signature on my mobile phone is “Sent from my iPhone so pArdon any TyPos” Really. I am not making this up. And that’s because typing on the teeny, virtual on-screen keyboard all but guarantees email goes out as digital alphabet soup. Same goes, but maybe not as much, for tablet keyboards. That’s why I am thankful for Zagg’s $80 Flex keyboard. Designed in a thin, foldable, portfolio-style, the Flex keyboard and cover attach magnetically. When attached, the folding cover converts … Read More
There are legitimate reasons to critique Google for how it chooses to track and use our data, but it does have some very helpful tools. One that I found extremely useful was Google Reader (October 2005 – July 2013). It was a well-conceived and executed service that enabled users to subscribe to any RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed and subsequently keep up with new content on those feeds. Its popularity also meant developers were building tools to interface with that service to make it more accessible across different platforms. Google Reader was also a de facto social sharing site — people could start discussions on items in their RSS feeds. Unfortunately, Google shut down Reader in an attempt to move users over to its fledgling social media service Google+. Instead, they killed the working social site they had and booted a community of RSS fans out of the Google ecosystem. Following Google Reader’s announced sundown, a few different services stepped in to take up that void. The one I went with at that time was Feedly. As a replacement, Feedly made it very easy to import my 150 RSS feeds. They were also not new to the business of helping users access … Read More
This latest Windows 10 iteration — the sixth update since Windows 10 debuted — has had a rocky roll-out thanks to a data-deletion issue. After figuring that out and making the appropriate fixes, the October 2018 Update was re-released in mid-November but it is still not generally available through Windows Update. Currently, seekers can go initiate an upgrade to this feature update by visiting Windows Update or using either the Media Creation Tool (MCT) or the Update Assistant. There is no evidence at this point that the October 2018 Update is being automatically pushed out to any users through Windows Update. Apparently, there is a very good reason for the lack of automatic updates based on information listed on the Windows 10 Update History page. Last month, just as Microsoft re-released the October 2018 Update, Corporate Vice President for Windows Michael Fortin laid out the company’s plans for better quality for future Windows 10 updates. He also discussed the company’s plans to be more responsive and transparent about issues impacting the roll-out of these updates. Well, the Windows 10 Update History page has become the portal they are using to increase at least the transparency around these semi-annual feature updates and monthly … Read More
Continuing our theme of taking care of old business in the old year — now that you’ve safeguarded your data, what about ensuring it’s not lost or erased? Several Windows Secrets writers have tackled the unglamorous but vital question of how to safeguard your files so you can always get to them. Dig in. Backup on OneDrive: It Finally Makes Sense Three Built-In Options to Back Up Your Data on Windows 10 How to Move Your Windows Personal Files to a Different Drive Why It’s Important to Back Up Your Cloud Storage, And How to Do It