Cortana's feeling vulnerable; that's why she's always eavesdropping on you

Subject: General Tech | June 13, 2018 - 12:39 PM |
Tagged: security, windows 10, cortana, microsoft, spectre

If your Win10 machine did not go beep in the night, you might want to get on that reboot as there are numerous security patches waiting to install.  One of them is a long standing flaw which effects those who haven't disembowelled the Cortana search assistant on their computer.  For those that have managed to subdue Cortana, rest assured she is not listening to you at all times; those who haven't should be aware that she is always listening, even in her sleep.  As creepy as that already is, it has also been a way to take advantage of long standing security flaw in the assistant.   This, as well as a patch for a Spectre variant and a variety of other patches is waiting your installation. 

You can check out information on Cortana's bad habits over at The Inquirer.

dims.jpg

"Lane Thames, a senior security researcher at Tripwire, spoke out about the long-standing flaw with Cortana, that meant the AI helper was always listening for commands, even when a PC is locked."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

Microsoft Tetchy Net, no more Win7 support for you

Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2018 - 01:22 PM |
Tagged: Windows 7, technet, microsoft

Today Microsoft announced the end of forum support for a wide variety of products, from Zune to Windows 7, as well as IE10 and a variety of office products.  The official end of life of these products was some time ago, but users could still access the technical support forums and occasionally get an answer from a Microsoft representative or forum VIP.  This is coming to an end as at least some of the forums are being locked, which will prevent users from helping users.  On the plus side, this also means that those threads will not receive posts from users who only want to vent and bury any previous answers that they may or may not have tried. 

Slashdot commenters are somewhat agitated by this move, as you would expect.

MSFT_logo_rgb_C-Gray_1200_x_627.png

"Microsoft has announced that starting next month it will no longer be participating in the technical support forums for Windows 7, 8.1, 8.1 RT and numerous other products. On the software front, the company says that it will also no longer provide support for Microsoft Security Essentials, Internet Explorer 10, Office 2010 and 2013 as of July."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Slashdot

Podcast #502 - Computex coverage and more!

Subject: General Tech | June 7, 2018 - 11:50 AM |
Tagged: xTend, xps, video, Vega, Threadripper, Snapdragon 850, seasonic, scmd, ROG, qualcomm, podcast, Optane, nvidia, microsoft, logitech, Killer Wireless, Isaac, InWin, Intel, i7-8086k, git, fortnite, EPYC, dell, crystal, corsair, CaseKing, asus, aorus, amd, 7nm

PC Perspective Podcast #502 - 06/07/18

Join us this week for discussion on Computex 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!

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Ken Addison

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:45:27

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
    1. 1:00:40 ASUS all the things
  3. Picks of the Week:
  4. Closing/outro
 
Source:

Git outta here! Microsoft just bought the largest open source repository hosting service?

Subject: General Tech | June 4, 2018 - 01:54 PM |
Tagged: open source, purchase, microsoft, github

It is true, barring any legal challenges to the purchase, Microsoft will soon own GitHub, everyone's favourite source for open source software projects.  This might not come as a complete surprise to those who remember Microsoft working with GitHub to create the Git Virtual File System to scale up the versioning and other features Git offers to be able to handle Enterprise sized storage, including the Windows development.  Microsoft's in house solution, CodePlex was shut down recently with all code moving to Git, perhaps not a great sign.  There is also the fact that Microsoft has tended in the past to scale support directly with the cost of a license, which is less than encouraging for those who strictly contribute to the open source community on Git. 

We shall see what the coming months bring; Ars Technica offers insight into how the leadership at GitHub will change if this deal goes through.

40890924-4bad5ce0-6732-11e8-9648-192aa71f0830.png

"Microsoft has reached an agreement to buy GitHub, the source repository and collaboration platform, in a deal worth $7.5 billion. The all-stock deal is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to regulatory approval in the US and EU."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Ars Technica

Rumor: Microsoft May Be Acquiring GitHub

Subject: General Tech | June 3, 2018 - 07:46 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, github

Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft has decided to acquire GitHub for an unknown amount. Some people are reporting that the deal was worth $2 billion USD, although they might have misread the Bloomberg post, which was talking about a $2 billion USD valuation during a round of private investments back in 2015. That said, the price seems right for what GitHub is, so it wouldn’t surprise me if that was what Microsoft paid.

microsoft-ballmer-goodbye.jpg

And, of course, now people are also promoting alternatives. Personally, I use BitBucket and GitLab for work, but my personal projects are still on GitHub. While the new ownership doesn’t seem too bad to me, at least in the short term, I don’t say that with 100% confidence. In fact, just last year, Microsoft shut down CodePlex, which is like GitHub although it launched back in 2006. Bloomberg also reports that GitHub has been bleeding money in recent years, citing three quarters of 2016, so maybe it wouldn’t have lasted much longer to begin with.

There’s also some irony in Microsoft buying a company whose namesake, git, was created by Linus Torvalds.

Source: Bloomberg

.NET Core 2.1 Released

Subject: General Tech | May 31, 2018 - 10:31 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, .net

Oh hey… Visual Studio wants to update again.

Microsoft and the .NET Foundation has just released .NET Core 2.1. This one is a long-term support (LTS) release, although they are expecting to stuff some extra features in the next couple months before the metaphorical train leaves the station. So, basically, expect a nice, stable version of .NET Core by the end of summer that will be good until around 2021.

microsoft-dotnet-foundation.png

The headlining feature of this version is Span<T>. This struct allows C# to view into an existing buffer without copies, but also with type- and memory-safety. If you’re interfacing with a native DLL, you will no longer need to use the unsafe keyword if you operate on the Span. I’m guessing this will be useful for enterprise applications, although that might just be my personal experience clouding my world-view.

For a little extra background, .NET comes in two flavors: .NET Core and .NET Standard. They are kept up to date in parallel, but .NET Core is a multi-platform subset that ignores a lot of stuff like WPF / Windows Forms, etc. That way you can develop cross-platform applications to a specific standard, while Windows-centric developers can do their own thing with windows and buttons and stuff.

It’s available in Visual Studio 2017 (15.7) so click on that yellow flag.

Microsoft's predictable bug; optional updates no longer being optional

Subject: General Tech | May 29, 2018 - 01:28 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10, spring update

Stop us if you've heard this one before; Microsoft's optional Windows update just became mandatory.  In the exact same pattern as the Fall Creators Update, the supposedly optional Spring Update is finding its way onto those who have chosen the delayed upgrade path and is installing whether you like it or not.  On the consumer side this ranges from an annoyance to a machine breaking bug for owners of some SSDs that weren't lucky enough to receive patches in the correct order.  From a business side it is far more than that, as once again Microsoft have proven that SMBs and Enterprise simply can't count on the deferred updates path as safe as Windows 10 has forcibly installed both these updates on machines set to not receive it.

Will Microsoft offer insight into how this bug continues to happen, or will The Inquirer's prediction hold true and we will hear nothing but silence and the occasional POST beep codes?

007d7e00-fb8a-4d3b-9b0f-144111de53f9.png

"MICROSOFT APPEARS to be making up its own rules regarding Windows updates once again as users report that they are being forced to download Windows 10 version 1803 (Spring Update) - even if they had set the option to defer the update."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

Making the XBox X-cessible for everyone

Subject: General Tech | May 17, 2018 - 02:48 PM |
Tagged: gaming, microsoft, xbox, accesibility, Adaptive Controller

The front of the Adaptive Controller looks rather plain and hides the ability this controller has to change some peoples worlds.  The back of the controller hides the magic, 19 3.5mm jacks, which can be used to accept input from a gamut of controller designed for those with limited mobility.  The devices include everything from breath inputs, finger switches and foot pedals, just to name a few, allowing those aids to be used to control the XBox and allow those who have been unable to play their favourite games a chance to enjoy them once again.  As Ars Technica points out, many companies have talked about making gaming more accessible but this is the first actual product to do so. 

If you now anyone who would benefit from this, or someone involved in projects like our occasional guest David Hewlett's UpgradeRequired.org you should check this out. 

ur.PNG

"Rather, these ports see Microsoft connecting with, and loudly celebrating, what has long been an open secret in the world of gaming peripherals: the community of add-on devices designed for limited-mobility gamers."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Ars Technica

What If Windows XP Released in 2018?

Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2018 - 05:13 PM |
Tagged: windows xp, windows 10, windows, microsoft

YouTube pushed this video onto my suggested list, and it was a minute and a half well spent. From what I understand, Kamer Kaan Avdan has a YouTube channel where he creates concept videos that look quite professional. This one takes the feel of Windows XP and grafts it to Microsoft’s current design and marketing process, with a few hilarious nods to the weird parts of our favorite candy-coated OS. The “Welcome” fade-in felt perfect to the point that I wasn’t sure if he was doing this as a joke, or as a legitimate suggestion for a Windows 10 theme pack.

Then I saw the search dog…

I’m not going to lie – I’d want that theme pack. (Edit, May 12th @ 6:50pm: Clarification -- I would want that theme pack, if it existed.) Of course, non-default themes in Windows tend to lead to serious bugs, like some programs failing to hide or correctly align elements in Basic or Classic themes on Windows 7, so it really would be asking for a world of hurt from a “bugs” side of things. But, you know, it looks cool. Check it out -- it's embed above.

Source: avdan

Podcast #499 - Onyx Boox, BitFenix, and more!

Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2018 - 04:35 PM |
Tagged: podcast, velocity micro, qualcomm, Portal, Onyx Boox, nvidia, Netflix, microsoft, linux, K63, Intel, hyperx, google, evga, corsair, coolermaster, ChromeOS, bitfenix, arm, amd, 4k, video

PC Perspective Podcast #499 - 05/10/18

Join us this week for discussion on Onyx Boox, a slick BitFenix case, 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!

Hosts: Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Ken Addison,

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:01:13

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Picks of the Week:
    1. 0:47:40 Jeremy:Building a Ryzen on a budget eh?
    2. 0:50:10 Josh:I have issues.   We know
    3. 0:52:20 Allyn: System monitoring Gadgets. On Windows 10. Good ones.
  4. Closing/outro
 
Source: