So long WiFi Sense, don't let the door hit you ...

Subject: General Tech | May 11, 2016 - 01:26 PM |
Tagged: wifi sense, security, microsoft

Here is an update we can get behind!  Windows 10 Build 14342 will no longer have WiFi Sense, that bizarre feature which Microsoft added which would pass on any of your stored WiFi passwords to your contacts as well as overriding your preferred network if one of your contacts signals was available.  This caused a certain amount of alarm as you might not trust every contact you might have on Outlook.com with your WiFi password nor trust their WiFi networks.  The blather about high cost and low demand is an interesting cover for changing their minds, regardless it is good to see it go.  There were a couple of other updates included in this release, check them out at The Inquirer.

2015-08-18_14-11-50.png

"We have removed the WiFi Sense feature that allows you to share WiFi networks with your contacts and to be automatically connected to networks shared by your contacts," explained Aul."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Another reason not to use UEFI Secure Boot

Subject: General Tech | May 9, 2016 - 01:38 PM |
Tagged: KB3133977, microsoft, asus, uefi, Secure Boot

There are many good reasons to use the new UEFI Secure Boot under Windows 10 but there are also numerous reasons not to.  The latest is an issue with a specific Windows Update patch which was recently changed from an optional update to a recommended update.  For systems using an ASUS motherboard and running Windows 7 this can be a bit of a bother as your Secure Boot will report that the OS has unauthorized changes and will refuse to boot.  If you can get at your UEFI BIOS you can change the OS Type from Windows UEFI mode to Other OS in the boot menu.  If this does not resolve your issue The Register has been told you should contact ASUS for support, as opposed to Microsoft since the issues root cause lies in a feature similar to Secure boot which ASUS added to their boards.

SecureBootConfig.PNG

"Windows 7 machines that have installed Microsoft's KB3133977 update may trigger a "secure boot violation" during startup, preventing the PC from loading the operating system, Asus said."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

What Will Happen After July 29th with Windows 10 Upgrades?

Subject: General Tech | May 9, 2016 - 11:47 AM |
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10

I've been wondering about what will happen after July 29th. This machine was granted a Windows 10 license because I used it for the Windows Insider program before the official launch. After leaving the pre-release branches, it remained activated for Windows 10 Pro. That said, I already had a license of Windows 7 Professional, which could also be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro for free. I'm not sure how lenient Microsoft will be with re-activating a Windows 10 license, especially one gifted through Windows Insider, over the phone if my hardware changes too much.

windows-10.png

Granted, a new license of Windows 10 Pro would... only... be a couple hundred bucks. That's an annoying burden, but not an impossible barrier, assuming I even need Windows 10 as a main or virtual OS at the time. I'm still curious whether this transferable license of Windows 7 could be a cheaper route, though.

At the moment? We don't know.

Last week, Microsoft published a blog post that... strongly implied... existing Windows 7/8.x users would need to purchase a full license of Windows 10 (or just get a new PC with Windows 10 pre-installed) after July 29th. Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet contacted Microsoft for clarification, and received a slightly less firm response. “The free upgrade promotion is currently slated to end on July 29 and we encourage all of our customers to take advantage of it while it is still active.”

In other words: We still don't know what Microsoft will plan to do. The free upgrade could be extended, or they could create an official upgrade SKU that is cheaper than an official license. There might be other options too, including sending Joe Belfiore to your house to stare at you quizzically, but we'll leave the list of possibilities at free, upgrade SKU, and no promotion for now.

Note that, if you have tried Windows 10 but later rolled back after it was successfully activated, then this doesn't really apply to you. As I understand it, unless your hardware changed in that time such that it registers as a new PC, downgrading will not revoke a Windows 10 license, even one granted through the free upgrade promotion. Once you return to Windows 10, if you do, it should activate.

Finally, WinBeta says that “Get Windows 10” will be removed after July 29th, although it probably won't be an immediate change. (“... It will take time to ramp it down.”) Given how aggressively Windows 10 has been pushed, it seems odd that Microsoft will just back down after their arbitrary date. They could have just wanted to offset the inertia caused by how daunting an OS upgrade seems to average users.

Source: ZDNet

Podcast #398 - AMD Radeon Pro Duo Review, Godavari Refresh, ECS Z170-Claymore, ICY DOCK hot-swappable SSDs, and more!

Subject: General Tech | May 5, 2016 - 05:33 PM |
Tagged: Z170, video, radeon pro duo, podcast, nvidia, nfme, microsoft, icy dock, Hot swap, GTX 1080, Godavari, freesync, ECS, Claymore, Antec P9, amd, a8-7670k, A10-7860K

PC Perspective Podcast #398 - 05/05/2016

Join us this week as we discuss the AMD Radeon Pro Duo Review, Godavari Refresh, ECS Z170-Claymore, ICY DOCK hot-swappable SSDs, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

This episode of the PC Perspective Podcast is sponsored by Lenovo!

Hosts: Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Josh Walrath

Program length: 1:29:10

  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
    1. Jeremy: Microsoft - “Pray I don't alter it any further
  4. Closing/outro

Subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube Channel for more videos, reviews and podcasts!!

Well fork me, there is a schism at OpenWRT

Subject: General Tech | May 5, 2016 - 12:19 PM |
Tagged: openwrt, LEDE, networking

The Rebel scum known as the LEDE Project have broken away from the OpenWRT project in an unannounced move meant to increase transparency.  Jokes aside, The Register named seven of the developers who are part of this forking, a not uncommon practice in open source projects.  LEDE will try to bring in fresh enthusiasm to a Linux project which has been losing the interest of programmers, perhaps due to the lack of transparency that they cite or possibly just due to waning interest in a long running project.  Pop on over to their page to see their mission statement, rules and processes if you are interested in how they compare to OpenWRT.

fork-in-the-road.gif

"The LEDE Project – Linux Embedded Development Environment – describes itself as a breakaway project that wants to overcome what it sees as faults in OpenWRT."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Microsoft Removes Windows Store Blocking Policy from 10 Pro

Subject: General Tech | May 4, 2016 - 07:26 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10, Windows Store

Well that's a great precedent, Microsoft. In Windows 10 1511, which released in November for the general public, they removed the group policy setting to disable Windows Store from Windows 10 Pro. From a consumer standpoint? I can't see this decision making any difference. I doubt that a group policy setting would be the best line of defense for any use case that requires a disabled Windows Store.

windows-10-bandaid.png

From an enterprise standpoint -- there might have been good reason to disable it. Microsoft's solution is to use Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education. This doesn't help those who already purchased a significant number of Windows 10 Pro licenses. I've also talked to someone in an enterprise environment who pointed to this decision as their reason to not upgrade to Windows 10 earlier in the year. Their organization cannot justify upgrading to Windows 10 Enterprise, and they have legal obligations that require locking down the apps that end-users can install.

So enterprises have been privately responding to this decision, apparently, but I'm not sure whether they're considering the bigger precedent. This is a concrete example of Microsoft removing user choice after they accepted the platform. This should start to make users think about all the other ways that Microsoft can alter the deal going forward, especially since you cannot just sit on Windows 10 1511 for a decade like you could with Windows XP or Windows 7.

Preventing users from blocking Windows Store (and the UWP) could be seen as a step toward deprecating the “wild west” method of installing software that we're used to. You can install unsigned Win32, for now. You can sideload UWP applications that aren't certified by Microsoft, although they need to be signed by a handful of root certificates, for now. This will always be a concern when dealing with a closed platform, where society isn't allowed to just fork away from disaster, but it's good to continually remind people of what could happen if decisions are extrapolated.

It would be wrong to assume malicious intent, though -- that stuff would leak all the time. But, with sufficient tunnel-vision, we could end up with negative consequences. It could be an enterprise worth of PCs becoming useless legal liabilities overnight, or it could be policies that allow a government to ban encryption software from installing on a platform.

Source: ZDNet

Get ready to Limbo! GAMDIAS goes RGB with their new Hermes

Subject: General Tech | May 4, 2016 - 05:53 PM |
Tagged: gamdias, Kailh Blue RGB, Kailh, input, mechanical keyboard

GAMDIAS chose to use Kailh switches as opposed to Cherry MX in their Hermes RGB keyboard but only those with very sensitive fingers will notice the difference.  The keyboard still allows you similar customization, if you want all your keys to be a different colour you will be able to make it so.  They also offer an interesting choice, instead of a WIN key on the left, there is an Fn key which controls your macros and switches lighting profiles.  The key can be programmed as a WIN key but that disables your macros and profiles, an interesting choice.  The use of Kailh Blue keys means you are in for a loud and bumpy ride, which some prefer and others despise.  Take a look at it in action over at Techgage.

GAMDIAS-Hermes-RGB-Mechanical-Gaming-Keyboard-680x429.jpg

"When RGB mechs first hit the market, they were priced as if they were the first RGB mechs to hit the market. Since then, some vendors have been releasing more affordable options for those who love both RGB LEDs and mechanical switches. GAMDIAS is one of those, and with its $100 Hermes RGB, it’s no longer that expensive to add color to your typing or gaming."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Techgage

It's raining Men ... and Orks and Eldar

Subject: General Tech | May 4, 2016 - 03:00 PM |
Tagged: gaming, warhammer 40k, dawn of war III

The Dawn of War series has been very popular, well designed and as pretty as there were bloody; THQ and Relic even managed decent add-ons that surpassed your run of the mill DLC for the most part.  The trailer below gives you a CGI tease of what Dawn of War III might look like when brought to you by Sega and Relic.  Those who preferred DoW II are in for a very unpleasant, even heretical, surprise; according to what Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN have heard, the base building of the first instalment is coming back.  They do promise to continue the equipment customization of heroes from the second game; here is to hoping they are not just talking about silly hats.

"This isn’t the first public mention of Dawn of War 3. That was way back in 2011, when Relic were still owned by the now departed THQ. It’s likely safe to assume little of that original plan remains."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

 

Psst Comrade! Want to buy some email account details cheap?

Subject: General Tech | May 4, 2016 - 12:39 PM |
Tagged: security

272.3 million is a big number and sadly it refers to the number of email accounts which have been affected by a recent data breach.  The vast majority of the accounts are from Russia's Mail.ru but Yahoo accounts for 15%, Hotmail 12% and Gmail 9% of the leak.  With 50 rubles and the right connections you can have the email addresses and passwords of a very large number of people.  Sadly, The Inquirer also heard that this collection includes details of user accounts of US banking, manufacturing and retail companies.  When you are changing your passwords today, try to avoid obvious Star Wars references.

7449344_m.jpg

"Reuters has the scoop, having heard from Alex Holden, founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security - and the man who last year uncovered the largest data breach to date - that the details of 272.3 million stolen accounts are being traded."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Patch 'em if you got 'em; 40 Google patches for you

Subject: General Tech | May 3, 2016 - 02:09 PM |
Tagged: Android, google, security

Assuming your service provider is not one of those who block Google's patches from coming to you directly you should probably charge up that device, get on WiFi  and check your available updates.  Any Google device running 4.4.4 or newer, including Nexus devices, will have up to 40 patches to slurp up.  Many of the patches are for a vulnerability similar to the previous Stagefright exploit, apps can use the drivers from Qualcomm and NVIDIA to break into the Qualcomm TrustZone on unpatched devices.  The Register provides a full list of the patches which are being pushed to Nexus and Android One devices.

android versions.PNG

"Google has today issued a bundle of 40 security patches for its Android operating system.

A dozen of the fixes correct critical vulnerabilities in versions 4.4.4 of the operating system and above. About 74 per cent of in-use Android devices run Android 4.4.4 or higher."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register