Surface Laptop 3 issues

I must say that while it is somewhat common for manufacturers to release products that don’t quite live up to expectations from a quality control perspective, I was scratching my head at the fact that many owners of the recently released Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 have had their screen randomly crack despite taking the proper precautions and care of the device.

As someone who has seen a fair share of hardware defects (i.e. defective hinges, overheating issues, graphics card problems, bad RAM, bad HDDs/SSDs, defective connectivity ports, etc.) over the last 20 years, I have to admit that I don’t think I’ve ever come across a scenario where the screen itself cracks.

For more info, check out the post on Askwoody.com here!

Physical vs Virtual…which is best?

It’s almost as if we’re asking…which came first: the chicken or the egg?  Ok, perhaps that a heck of a stretch but it does beg the question of which one is better.

I came across an article found on Vembu which is a disaster recovery / backup company but has a great blog that discusses all things related to their core business and the subject at hand was about the differences between physical vs virtual servers.

I feel that this article is a great read for network, systems, and server admins no matter what your expertise is.  Check it out here and let me know what you think…

Operating on the “Edge”…

The highly anticipated, revamped Edge browser has been available to the masses for almost a month now and it appears that Microsoft is forcefully pushing Windows users to adopt when the opportunity arises.

Lawrence Adrams at Bleepingcomputer.com reports here that the tactic being used is in the form of catchy ads within the Windows 10 OS to attract users.

If you happen to be a Firefox user, don’t be surprised if this pops up on your screen…

You’ve been warned…

Taskbar searching in Windows 10 not working

While no one will dispute the fact that Microsoft releases lots of updates on a monthly basis, (sometimes even every week depending on how disastrous that month’s patches are) it’s safe to say that they officially update certain features/products within their OS without warning.

Case in point: the random Windows 10 search bar issue hitting users machines.  Kudos to those that pointed out how the build number within the search bar changed and verified that Microsoft indeed performs secret “updates” that are designed to fly under the radar.

Additional kudos goes to Woody Leonard for providing us with great insight and analysis into this issue and explains it in a way that is easy for the casual user to understand.  Check out his Askwoody post/ Computerworld article here for the 411…

More info on Windows ESUs

Is it just me or does Microsoft continue to confuse the masses of exactly how the “extended security update” program works.  Perhaps the confusion is a vital part in that they want you to have upgraded to Windows 10 four to five years ago.

However, there are many institutions that need to keep their legacy Windows 7 / Server 2008 (R2) machines up to date.  For details on how to keep the update coming, Kurt Mackie gives a thorough breakdown here of what needs to be done as well as what is required to accomplish this task.

PC Mag: Tech companies exploiting users

I have to say that for a story like this, a picture truly does say 1,000 words.  And in the case of companies like Avast that have historically offered a good free antivirus program, just know that there’s no such thing as free and that there is always a price to pay.  In this case, your browsing freedom is being spied on.

As the article’s summary states:

Avast is harvesting users’ browser histories on the pretext that the data has been ‘de-identified,’ thus protecting your privacy. But the data, which is being sold to third parties, can be linked back to people’s real identities, exposing every click and search they’ve made.

Check out the full article written by Michael Kan here for the full scoop!

NSA exposes critical flaw in Windows 10!

According to Microsoft’s security update guide, a spoofing vulnerability that utilizes the Crypt32.dll file can be used to control a machine at will.

As stated within the emergency bulletin:

A spoofing vulnerability exists in the way Windows CryptoAPI (Crypt32.dll) validates Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) certificates.

An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by using a spoofed code-signing certificate to sign a malicious executable, making it appear the file was from a trusted, legitimate source. The user would have no way of knowing the file was malicious, because the digital signature would appear to be from a trusted provider.

A successful exploit could also allow the attacker to conduct man-in-the-middle attacks and decrypt confidential information on user connections to the affected software.

The security update addresses the vulnerability by ensuring that Windows CryptoAPI completely validates ECC certificates.

Good news is that Microsoft has already released a patch to close the loophole so make sure you take care of this ASAP!

R.I.P. Windows 7

At last, the time has come.  Today marks the last day of free security updates for the legacy OS.  For those of you that still plan on using it for the foreseeable future, it may be in your best interests to bit the bullet and spend the extra $50-60 for an additional year of coverage.

For more info on the extended security updates (ESUs), head to Microsoft’s site and check out their FAQ sheet here

 

Whistleblower alert results in security fixes

 

I have to admit that this is a rare occurrence…a whistleblower complaint that was brought to the attention of the company’s Board of Directors which actually resulted in significant change to address the issue.  It definitely should not have to come down this and management should get its fair share of blame and be held accountable.  IMHO, this may actually have more to do with the health provider not wanting to lose customers more than anything else.  Funny how when the financial health of a company is on the line, they more often than not take immediate action to address the problem at hand!

Check out the article here for more info and let me know what you think…

New Edge browser coming soon!

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, mark your calendars!  The latest revamp of Microsoft’s “Chromium-based” web browser will be released to the public January 15, 2020.

As Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet.com states, the new browser will be eventually available via Windows Update on all PCs running Windows 10 version 1709 and can also be obtained as a standalone install package.

I’ve been using the beta version of the browser for about a month now and much to my surprise, so far so good!

Check out the full article here for more details!