Thursday, 30 April 2015

COL'S ONLINE SHED 10th SEPTEMBER 2017





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A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
This will be my last SHED SHOW today as I'm moving to a Tuesday time slot to take over the Country Music program that has been hosted by Billie Jo Cheers for 30 years. It has been a pleasure to present THE SHED SHOW for many years and I want to thank each and every listener for your support. Also to those who have assisted with the show when I have been away.
So from next week the shed show will continue to be presented by various HFM volunteers and you can catch me every Tuesday 2pm to 4pm with "COUNTRY MUSIC ROUNDUP" See you then.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK


NOTICE BOARD



Return of steam trains to feature on

 reclaimed Picton to Mittagong rail trail


ABC Illawarra By William Verity
Steam trains will run alongside cyclists and walkers between Picton and Mittagong. The track is finally clear for the establishment of the first rail trails in NSW, after the change of a law enacted in 1880.
Although commonplace in the rest of Australia, NSW has established no rail trails on former state lines because of its unique legislation, designed to protect the rail network.
All that is about to change.
In June, permission was given to establish a trail for cyclists and walkers between Rosewood and Tumbarumba, a 22-kilometre section of disused line between Canberra and Albury.
John Moore, chairman from Rail Trails for NSW, said there were 13 rail trail projects planned across the state, and he expected further bills to be passed down the track.
Putting money into the bush
'We are very pleased because it is really a change of will to generate some tourism. They are going to put money in the bush to make these things happen," Mr Moore said.
Closer to Sydney, another project is gathering pace and one that, uniquely, does not require an Act of Parliament because it plans to keep and restore the rail line.
The rail side trail linking Picton with Mittagong along 34 kilometres of track would restore the single track line and use it for heritage trains housed at the NSW Rail Museum, which occupies one end of the track, at Thirlmere. Under this scenario, steam trains would run alongside cyclists and walkers.
The project has the support of Federal MP Angus Taylor, and will need an estimated $16 million of federal funding if it is to become reality.
The trail would revamp what a part of what used to be the main Sydney to Melbourne line, until it was bypassed by the current line at the end of  the World War I.
The 34-kilometre line is 150 years old this year and includes some of the deepest cuttings in Australia.


Jennifer Edmonds, heritage manager at the NSW Rail Museum, said the museum had a number of steam trains in the collection that would be suitable to do to 68-kilometre round trip. She said the museum would be interested in exploring the idea, and that the attraction of steam was evident by record-breaking numbers of visitors last year. 'I think it's the smell, the sound, it's something different,' she said.


'Steam just seems to evoke that era of romance, of the age of travel. A time when the easiest, best way to get around was by train.
'Royalty travelled by train, politicians and heads of state all travelled by train. Put a steam engine on a set of 1900 vintage cars, and people get to relive that glamour and that romance.
'I think it sounds like a great opportunity. Provided it can be done safely, it would be a fantastic thing.'
The track is finally clear for the establishment of the first rail trails in NSW, after the change of a law enacted in 1880.
Although commonplace in the rest of Australia, NSW has established no rail trails on former state lines because of its unique legislation, designed to protect the rail network.  
                       Bush track revival
David Thurlow stands on the disused track that would be the rail trail.
If the plan goes ahead, it would be an emotional moment for David Thurlow, who at the age of 82, is the final surviving train driver from the loop line, which closed in 1975. He remembers is as a 'bush track' where he would know most of the passengers and stop the train outside their house, even helping them to the door on occasion, if they were drunk.

PHOTO: David Thurlow, 82, is the last surviving driver from the old bush track. (ABC Illawarra: Chloe Hart)
He said the gradient was the enemy of the line and it soon became impractical to send extra engines to pull trains up the hill.
"In its day it was a vital form of transport and played a major part."
"To me, it's sad that it's got to this stage but once lines are abandoned this is what happens. Nature takes over pretty quickly."


Ticks all the boxes

Villagers along the line are already planning for the economic activities — one progress association is exploring the possibility of opening a tea room in a heritage halt. For Wingecarribee deputy mayor Ian Scandrett,  who is pushing the idea, the benefits are clear.
"I am keen on this project because it ticks all the boxes," he said.
"It's also the only shovel-ready rail trail in NSW that keeps that rail, and the only one that is within an easy day trip of Sydney."


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EMAIL OF THE WEEK

COMPUTER NEWS

How to Check a Website’s Security

The web is full of dishonest sites which exist solely to steal your information, money and identity. While the vast majority of sites are secure and trustworthy, it’s wise to know how to check the security of a site. 
A secure website uses encryption, evidenced by two very clear indicators. The first is a closed padlock on your browser, either located in the status bar at the bottom of your window or at the top of the window between the address and search fields, depending on the browser.
The second element is a URL that begins with “https:” rather than “http:”. The https treatment is proof that the site is using the HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure technology to encrypt data between its servers and your computer. Encryption helps protect your information from being intercepted by someone else.
A secure site also has a security certificate from a ‘trusted’ authority (such as VeriSign) that verifies the site’s identity and protects it from being modified. Not all authorities are equally trusted by your browser company, however. Recently, Google said it will stop granting its highest status to certificates issued by Symantec, after finding more than 30,000 security issues in the company’s certificates.
When you type a URL or follow a link to a secure web site, your browser checks the certificate for verification that the web site address matches the address on the certificate and that the certificate is signed by a certificate authority that the browser recognizes and trusts.
If your browser detects a problem, it typically presents you with a dialog box saying there is an error with the site certificate. Common errors include
  • The site name does not match the name of the site to which the certificate is registered.
  • You have previously chosen not to trust the company that issued the certificate.
  • The certificate has expired.
You will usually be presented with the option to examine the certificate, after which you can accept or reject it.
You can check a site’s certificate by clicking on the padlock icon, which should tell you who issued it, who the certificate is issued to and the expiration date. The certificate should be issued to the organization that owns the web site. Do not trust the certificate if the name on it does not match the name of the organization or person you expect.
Most certificates are issued for one or two years. One exception is the certificate for the certificate authority itself, which can be valid for ten years or more. Be wary of organizations with certificates that are ‘valid’ for longer than two years or that have expired.
Armed with these useful tips, you now have a few safety measures in place to help you determine whether or not you should trust a site. And as always, better safe than  never.

PHOTO ALBUM



PREVIOUS COMPUTER POSTS


10 Uses for Baking Soda in Your Home, From 

Cleaning to Firefighting

A little box of baking soda goes a long way toward making your house look and smell fresh. While other multipurpose grime-fighters cost a pretty penny, humble baking soda gives you the best of both worlds: It's effective and affordable!

This sodium bicarbonate salt does everything from making cakes rise to neutralizing odors in the refrigerator. Consider it the miracle solution that no pantry should be without. "Baking soda is the utility player of the cleaning world,"  "It strikes the perfect balance between being gentle and effective."
Most commercial cleaning products "contain harsh chemical ingredients that are harmful to the environment and detrimental to our health." Baking soda, however, achieves the same results (if not better!). And it does more than clean, too.

Household uses for baking soda
Here are 20 ways you can use baking soda to scrub, deodorize, and freshen your home and everything in it.
1.Remove stains in bathrooms: Sprinkle a little baking soda on a damp sponge and scrub the tub, sink, tiles, and fixtures. Rinse and wipe off the residue, then dry.
2.Dissolve grease and gunk: Add 2 tablespoons baking soda to soapy dish water, and soak pots and pans covered in baked-on food. Then scrub pots and pans with a sprinkle of baking soda on a damp sponge.
3.Clean the microwave: Sprinkle baking soda on a sponge and gently clean the inside of your microwave. If that doesn't work, boil a cup of water in the microwave; the steam will loosen stubborn food stains.
4.Remove coffee stains: Say goodbye to coffee and tea stains on mugs and pots by washing them with a solution of ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 quart warm water. If stains remain, soak overnight in the solution, or sprinkle baking soda on a sponge and scrub.
5.Wash walls: Apply baking soda to a sponge, and gently scrub off crayon art, food stains, and scuffs from walls.
6.Remove floor scuffs: A little baking soda on a damp sponge will make floor scuffs disappear.
7.Neutralize carpet smells: Sprinkle baking soda onto the carpet or rug, let set overnight (or for as long as you can stand it), and vacuum.


8.Remove food stains from the oven: Spread baking soda on the bottom of your oven, spray with water or white distilled vinegar, and let set overnight. Then scrub and rinse.
9.Boost laundry detergent: Add ½ cup baking soda to liquid laundry detergent to brighten and freshen clothes.
10.Deodorize refrigerators: Store an open box of baking soda in the back of your fridge, which will neutralize odors.
11.Freshen drains: When a foul odor rises from you sink, pour ½ cup baking soda down the drain, followed by warm tap water.
12.Get rid of funky smells in sponges: Soak your sponge in a quart of water mixed with 4 tablespoons baking soda. If the sponge still stinks, place it in the dishwasher during your next cycle.
13.Freshen musty closets: Place an open box of baking soda on a closet shelf.
14.Fight fire: If a small grease fire breaks out, douse the flames in baking soda. Heated baking soda emits carbon dioxide that smothers flames. Leave the area and call the fire department immediately if the flames get out of hand or you feel unsafe.
15.Fight bad breath: Mix 1 tablespoon baking soda with 8 ounces of water. Swish (don’t swallow), and spit.
16.De-stink your trashcan: Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of smelly trash cans to cut the smell.
17.Shine teeth: For an every-so-often whitening boost, add a sprinkle of baking soda to your toothpaste, and brush.
18.Gently exfoliate: To remove dead skin cells and revive a healthy glow, make a baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda to 1 part water), and gently rub on your face or body in a circular motion. Rinse and dry.
19.Soothe bug bites: Make a paste of baking soda and water, and dab on the swollen areas.
20.Substitute for dry shampoo: Sprinkle a little baking soda onto your hair roots and brush, to cut the grease.

Roomba creator wants to do for gardens what he did for your floors
The Tertill robot can weed your garden while you relax on the patio.

Let's be honest: while planting your garden can be fun, weeding it usually isn't. Not unless you enjoy crouching down for long stretches, anyway. You might not have to endure the drudgery for too much longer, though. Roomba co-creator Joe Jones and Franklin Robotics are launching Tertill, a robot that weeds your garden all by itself. The machine automatically roams the soil, using sensors to identify small plants (you use collars to protect young crops) and chop them down. It's solar-powered, so you don't have to dock it -- you can even leave it out in the rain.
In addition to pairing with your phone through Bluetooth, the machine has a USB port to charge during particularly gloomy weeks.
The design does require some careful planning to work properly. You need to space your crops loosely so that the robot can kill weeds in between, and you'll want to avoid any steep inclines so Tertill doesn't stuck. There will have to be some kind of basic barrier to prevent the vehicle from wandering away, too. You may also have to rethink how you kill weeds. While you're probably used to pulling weeds out by the roots, Franklin is counting on its bot repeatedly cutting down weeds until they wither and die.

Franklin is launching a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for Tertill on June 13th, with a price around $300. That's not a trivial figure, but the company is betting that the convenience will pay for itself. It might have a point. There's a chance you'll need to double-check Tertill's work (it might not catch weeds very close to your crops), but the time you save could be better spent on the rest of your gardening... or just relaxing on the back porch. And it's even a bit eco-friendly, since it reduces the pressure to use herbicides.


IBM squeezes 30 billion transistors into a 

fingernail-sized chip



It found a way to make practical 5-nanometer processors.

Who said Moore's Law was dead? Certainly not IBM or its chip partners Globalfoundries and Samsung. The trio has developed a transistor manufacturing process that should pave the way for 5-nanometer chips. While the team etched the chip using the same extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) used for the breakthrough 7nm chip, it ditched the common FinFET (fin field effect) transistor design in favor of stacks of silicon nanosheets. The switch makes it possible to fine-tune individual circuits to maximize their performance as they're crammed into an incredibly small space. How small? At 5nm, the group says it can squeeze 30 billion transistors into a chip the size of a fingernail (see below) -- not bad when the 7nm chip held 20 billion transistors a couple of years ago.

IBM sees the technique helping its own cognitive computing efforts as well as the Internet of Things and other "data-intensive" tasks. However, it's also painting a rosy picture for the future of mobile devices -- it imagines phones having "two to three times" more battery life than current devices. That's likely optimistic (phone makers tend to focus on speed over longevity), but it won't be shocking if future hardware is both faster and wrings out a little more from every charge.

Just don't expect to see real-world examples of this for a while. We haven't even seen devices shipping with 7nm chips (they're not expected until 2018 at the earliest), so it could easily be a couple of years or more before 5nm arrives. Still, that 5nm is even on the roadmap is important. Chip designers won't have to reinvent the wheel to get meaningful improvements, and you won't have to worry about device performance growing stale for at least the next few years.

How to work faster by making the Windows key a habit
The Windows key has been around for more than 20 years, yet many users don't appreciate its time-saving value. These handy shortcuts will speed your work and streamline your keyboarding habits.
The Windows key was introduced on the first Microsoft Natural Keyboard in 1994, and while it is now a mainstay on just about every PC keyboard, I am still surprised that not many people use it to their advantage. Sure, lots of folks use Windows key to open the Start menu or in combination with the [Tab] key to launch Task View. However, there are many other handy, time-saving features that the Windows Key can provide—if you take the time to learn the keystrokes and make using them a habit.

Windows + E

One of the first Windows key shortcuts I learned was Windows + E, which launched Windows Explorer. Of course, the tool is now called File Explorer, but Windows + E still works. However, making this one a regular shortcut has always been difficult since it is so easy to launch File Explorer from the Taskbar, where it's pinned by default. File Explorer is also available from the left panel on the Start menu, but I hardly ever launch it from there. 

Windows + R
Microsoft removed the Run command from the Start menu a long time ago. However, you can easily launch the Run dialog box with a simple Windows + R key shortcut. Give it a shot and you'll see how easy it is.
You'll also find that the Run dialog box keeps a history list of your most recent commands, as shown in Figure A, and this makes it easy to relaunch those applications and commands.



Figure A


The Run dialog box keeps a history list of your most recent commands.


Windows + Break
Probably one of the easiest Windows key shortcuts is Windows + Break, which brings up the System window, shown in Figure B.
Figure B
Windows + Break instantly brings up the System window.


Windows + 1-9 & 0
This set of Windows key shortcuts is pretty neat, as it allows you to sequentially launch or access the applications displayed on the Taskbar. Moving from the Start button to the right, the first icon is accessed by pressing Windows + 1, the second icon, by pressing Windows + 2 and so on. If the icon is pinned to the Taskbar and the application is not running, pressing the Windows key shortcut will launch the application. If the application is running, pressing the Windows key shortcut will bring it to the foreground.


Windows + arrow keys
Snap is a windows management feature that allows you to arrange open windows, including maximizing and resizing, just by dragging and dropping a window to different edges of the screen. While drag and drop is easy enough, you can also use the Windows key along with the arrow keys to snap your windows. Table A shows the Windows key shortcuts used to snap windows.

Table A

In addition to snapping windows to the left or right half of the screen, you can also snap windows to four quadrants of the screen, which will give you a bit more flexibility when working with multiple applications.


Windows + plus/minus keys (+/-)
This Windows key shortcut activates the Magnifier desktop app and immediately zooms in on the screen. Toward the end of the day when your eyes get tired and can't always focus on small items on the screen it's easy to transition into using Windows + plus/minus keys.


The North Korea cell that worries the West
North Korea's main spy agency has a special cell called Unit 180 that is likely to have launched some of its most daring and successful cyber attacks, according to defectors, officials and internet security experts.
North Korea has been blamed in recent years for a series of online attacks, mostly on financial networks, in the United States, South Korea and over a dozen other countries.
Cyber security researchers have also said they have found technical evidence that could link North Korea with the global WannaCry "ransomware" cyber attack that infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries this month.
The crux of the allegations against North Korea is its connection to a hacking group called Lazarus that is linked to last year's $81 million cyber heist at the Bangladesh central bank and the 2014 attack on Sony's Hollywood studio. The U.S. government has blamed North Korea for the Sony hack and some U.S. officials have said prosecutors are building a case against Pyongyang in the Bangladesh Bank theft.
No conclusive proof has been provided and no criminal charges have yet been filed. North Korea has also denied being behind the Sony and banking attacks.
North Korea is one of the most closed countries in the world and any details of its clandestine operations are difficult to obtain. But experts who study the reclusive country and defectors who have ended up in South Korea or the West have provided some clues.
Kim Heung-kwang, a former computer science professor in North Korea who defected to the South in 2004 and still has sources inside North Korea, said Pyongyang's cyber attacks aimed at raising cash are likely organized by Unit 180, a part of the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB), its main overseas intelligence agency.
"Unit 180 is engaged in hacking financial institutions (by) breaching and withdrawing money out of bank accounts," Kim told Reuters. He has previously said that some of his former students have joined North Korea's Strategic Cyber Command, its cyber-army. The hackers go overseas to find somewhere with better internet services than North Korea so as not to leave a trace," Kim added. He said it was likely they went under the cover of being employees of trading firms, overseas branches of North Korean companies, or joint ventures in China or Southeast Asia.
"North Korea is carrying out cyber attacks through third countries to cover up the origin of the attacks and using their information and communication technology infrastructure," Ahn Chong-ghee, South Korea's vice foreign minister, told Reuters in written comments.
MALAYSIA LINK
Malaysia has also been a base for North Korean cyber operations, according to Yoo Dong-ryul, a former South Korean police researcher who studied North Korean espionage techniques for 25 years.
"They work in trading or IT programming companies on the surface," Yoo told Reuters. "Some of them run websites and sell game and gambling programs".
Two IT firms in Malaysia have links to North Korea's RGB spy agency, according to a Reuters investigation this year, although there was no suggestion either of them was involved in hacking.
Michael Madden, a U.S.-based expert on the North Korean leadership, said Unit 180 was one of many elite cyber warfare groups in the North Korean intelligence community.
"The personnel are recruited from senior middle schools and receive advanced training at some elite training institutions," Madden told Reuters.
"They have a certain amount of autonomy in their missions and tasking as well," he said, adding that they could be operating from hotels in China or Eastern Europe.

Windows 10 tip: Create direct shortcuts to shared network folders

Why waste time browsing through File Explorer folders to find shared resources on your local network? Use these two tricks to create mapped shortcuts, with or without drive letters.
Browsing for shared network resources can be a tedious process. It can also be frustrating if an available network resource isn't visible in File Explorer's Network node.
The time-saving, frustration-free alternative is to create mapped shortcuts to those shared locations so that they're always available when you click This PC in the File Explorer navigation pane.
You can choose either of two techniques to create one of these network shortcuts, which I've numbered in the accompanying screenshot:


After choosing This PC from the navigation pane, click Map Network Drive to open a dialog box where you can enter the full path to the shared folder, using the syntax \\Computername\Sharename. If you start from the Network folder, browse to the shared computer, right-click a shared folder, and then click Map Network Drive from the shortcut menu.

As an alternative, right-click any empty space in the This PC window and then click Add A Network Location. That opens a dialog box where you can enter the full path to the shared folder, using the same \\Computername\Sharename syntax. (Don't be confused by the explanatory text that asks you to enter a website name; that UNC path will work just fine.)

Regardless of which technique you use, the shortcut you create shows up in the Network Locations section of This PC. The difference between the two techniques is simple: If you map a drive, you must assign a drive letter to it, whereas the network location shortcut doesn't require a drive letter. In either case, you can choose an option to connect with a separate set of credentials than the one you signed in to your PC with.
If you choose to assign a drive letter, consider using one that includes a mnemonic shortcut. Try using drive P: for the Pictures folder on a shared PC, for example, or V: for Videos.

Google Releases New Security Patches for Android — But Getting Them Is Difficult

It’s time to update your Android device as soon as possible, if your smartphone manufacturer and telephone carrier are up to the task.
Last week, Google released new security patches for its Android operating system, designed to address a swath of vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malicious attackers.
The most severe issue is a critical security vulnerability that could enable a hacker to execute remote code on a device through multiple methods, said Google in its latest Android Security Bulletin. Those methods include email, web browsing, and multimedia messaging, when a device is processing media files.
Here’s the good news: the company said it has received no reports of any of these vulnerabilities being exploited in the wild. However, bear in mind that cybercriminals often do not start to tinker with code flaws until they are in the public domain.
The bulletin noted that exploitation of the security vulnerabilities is made more difficult by improvements Google has made in newer versions of Android. For this reason, Google encourages all users to update to the latest version of the OS where possible.


The bad news: The problem for many Android users is simply getting the updates. Device makers and telephone carriers can be slow – or even very slow – at delivering updates. Getting an update depends on Google, a smartphone manufacturer and a carrier all co-operating efficiently in a timely fashion. Such co-operation is rare and the chief reason why so many devices are still running out-of-date versions of Android. If you own a Google-made phone, such as a Nexus or Pixel, your chances of downloading patches quickly will be much higher.

Experts say another large-scale cyberattack is underway

Another large-scale, stealthy cyberattack is underway on a scale that could dwarf last week's assault on computers worldwide, a global cybersecurity firm told AFP on Wednesday.
The new attack targets the same vulnerabilities the WannaCry ransomware worm exploited but, rather than freeze files, uses the hundreds of thousands of computers believed to have been infected to mine virtual currency.

Following the detection of the WannaCry attack on Friday, "researchers at Proofpoint discovered a new attack linked to WannaCry called Adylkuzz," said Nicolas Godier, a researcher at the computer security firm.
"It uses the hacking tools recently disclosed by the NSA and which have since been fixed by Microsoft in a more stealthy manner and for a different purpose," he said.
Instead of completely disabling an infected computer by encrypting data and seeking a ransom payment, Adylkuzz uses the machines it infects to "mine" in a background task a virtual currency, Monero, and transfer the money created to the authors of the virus.
Virtual currencies such as Monero and Bitcoin use the computers of volunteers for recording transactions. They are said to "mine" for the currency and are occasionally rewarded with a piece of it.
Proofpoint said in a blog that symptoms of the attack include loss of access to shared Windows resources and degradation of PC and server performance, effects which some users may not notice immediately.
"As it is silent and doesn't trouble the user, the Adylkuzz attack is much more profitable for the cyber criminals. It transforms the infected users into unwitting financial supporters of their attackers," said Godier.
Proofpoint said it has detected infected machines that have transferred several thousand dollars worth of Monero to the creators of the virus.
The firm believes Adylkuzz has been on the loose since at least May 2, and perhaps even since April 24, but due to its stealthy nature was not immediately detected.

"We don't know how big it is" but "it's much bigger than WannaCry", Proofpoint's vice president for email products, Robert Holmes, told AFP.
A US official on Tuesday put the number of computers infected by WannaCry at over 300,000.
"We have seen that before — malwares mining cryptocurrency — but not this scale," said Holmes.
The WannaCry attack has sparked havoc in computer systems worldwide.



Britain's National Health Service, US package delivery giant FedEx, Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica and Germany's Deutsche Bahn rail network were among those hit.



Information about recovery from #WannaCrypt

* It was first discovered on May 12, 2017, via an email attachment.
* WannaCrypt cyber attack has already affected more than 200 thousand systems in around 150 countries the world over.
* It is already described as unprecedented in nature by Europol.
* It is better to recover your files beforehand to protect your crucial information from this cyber attack. 


Steps to Remove the WannaCrypt Ransomware
I. Use folder options to make every file and folder visible.
Since the malware won’t be visible at first, you need to ensure that no files are hidden on your system. To do this, you have to visit the “Folder Option” on your system and make all the hidden files visible.


You can get the Folder Options by visiting Control Panel > Appearance & Personalization > Folder Options. Here, in the View tab, you need to check the option of “Show hidden files, folders, and drives”. Now, simply apply these settings to make the malware visible.
Directly Scan & Recover from iOS Devices

II. Reboot the PC in Safe Mode.
When you have completed the first step, you need to start your Windows system in the Safe Mode. To do this, simply restart your system and as it reboots, press the F8 key in intervals of 1 second a few times.

This will provide the advanced boot options to you instead of simply restarting the system the usual way. Using your arrow keys, select “Safe Mode” and press Enter to turn on your system in safe mode.



III. Enter Task Manager and terminate all suspicious processes.
After entering your system in the safe mode, you got to start the Task Manager. You can do it by pressing Ctrl + Shift + ESC keys at the same time.

 You will get a task manager window like this. From here, you have to manually examine any suspicious process that is running on your system. After examining it, simply right-click on it and select “End Process” to terminate it.

Don’t refrain yourself and select almost every kind of suspicious process that you might find to get rid of the malware.

Recover All Your Data
IV. Recover the encrypted files from WannaCrypt
WannaCrypt doesn’t directly encrypt the actual file. Instead, it first makes a shadow copy of the file and encrypts its copy. The original files are deleted from your system. While you can’t decrypt the copied files, you can still get your deleted files back by taking the assistance of any secure data recovery software.



If you wish to get your originally deleted files, then you can simply use a readily available data recovery application. There are plenty of data recovery tools available, but only a handful of them can let you retrieve your data in an extensive manner.  

Windows 10 tip: Use filters for faster and more accurate searches
The Windows 10 search box does an amazing job of helping you find files and folders, photos, apps, settings, and more. Typing one of eight words at the start of a search can make your results even more useful. Here's the list.
Pick a category to filter the search results.
Windows 10's built-in search is simple to use and extremely effective. Just click in the search box to the right of Start (or tap the Windows key) and then begin typing the word or phrase you're looking for. As you type, the search pane shows results instantly, with those results categorized using headings. You can click any of those headings to narrow the results so they just show results from that category.
But if you already know you're looking for a folder, or a Windows setting, or a picture, you can skip past the "all items" search and go straight to that category. The trick is to type the category name first, followed by a colon and then your search term (a space after the colon is optional).
To see which categories are available, perform a search and then click the Filters list in the top right. That shows the eight available categories, in addition to the default, All.
The full list includes Apps, Documents, Folders, Music, Photos, Settings, Videos, and Web.
Clicking one of the categories on the Filters list adds that category to your query, but you can start your query with that term and skip the Filters list. Enter photos: dog to see all of your saved photos that have that term in the metadata or the file name.
To save a keystroke, use the singular form of any plural filter: For example, photo: instead of photos: or folder: instead of folders:. Try setting:display to return all available display-related items in Settings.
You can use shortcuts, too. Try doc: or file: instead of documents: and you'll get the same results, from both local storage and OneDrive.
10 new enterprise-friendly features in Windows 10 Creators Update
Take a look at 10 of the most significant features aimed at enterprise users in the Windows 10 Creators Update and see how much they will impact your network.
With the release of the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft continues to make good on its promise to provide steady, yearly updates to keep improving the OS over its lifetime. This third feature update, dubbed Build 1703, brings with it an assortment of end-user enhancements intended to help users push the boundaries of what their Windows 10 computer can do. Let's have a look at the 10 best features contained in Creators Update.


THESE NEXT FEATURES ARE FOR MORE TECH MINDED USERS:-
1: Mobile device management (MDM) enhancements
Taking a page out of Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), Microsoft has enhanced its MDM support by allowing security policies that were previously available only to GPMC to be applied natively via MDM. This includes configuration service providers (CSPs) ,which extend management to a number of configuration settings controlling hardware, software, deployment, and application virtualization.


2: Registry Editor
The Windows Registry has gained an address bar feature to better search for specific keys and entries. It also has picked up keyboard shortcuts and the ability to recognize abbreviations for commonly used data fields to simplify the process of managing the registry.


3: Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)
In an effort to bridge the gap between Windows and Linux distributions, Microsoft has designed the WSL to allow the use of Linux command-line tools natively on Windows 10. No virtualization required.


4: Mobile application management (MAM) support
Built on top of Windows Information Protection (WIP), MAM is used to effectively manage access to a company's data and security on personally owned devices. When enabled, enforcement of WIP policies is limited to WIP-aware applications, as well as, those applications which are "enlightened", and can discern corporate data from personal data to apply its policies to safely protect corporate data without handling personal data.


5: Windows Configuration Designer
Used in the provisioning of packages for a number of Windows-based devices, Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer, as it was formerly named, was available as part of the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK). Now called Windows Configuration Designer, it's available as an app in the Windows Store. It retains its feature set and gains several abilities. Not only can it configure devices offline, but it can also do so through a number of means, such as NFC tags, USB flash drives, and barcodes.


6: MBR2GPT.exe
Though not a tool that will be immediately utilized by organizations, those with the existing equipment in place will welcome this new command-line tool that enables Master Boot Record (MBR) disk conversion to the more modern GUID Partition Table (GPT) format, which is a requirement when using UEFI instead of the older, less secure BIOS.


7: Windows Hello for Business

Drawing upon its success with Windows Hello in the consumer space, as well as accommodating Azure AD users, Microsoft has developed its authentication scheme for Creators Update to include enhanced facial recognition, dynamic locking of a device when the user is away, and two-factor authentication for improved security.

8: MDM Migration Analysis Tool (MMAT)
MMAT is a new Microsoft application aimed at providing administrators guidance on transitioning Windows 10 device management from Group Policy to MDM. The tool assesses which policies are being applied and whether they are currently available (or have a similar component) within MDM for ease of manageability.

9: Group Policy
The Creators Update includes new policies to manage Start Menu and Taskbar layouts, including restricting access to pages within the Settings app by hiding the pages from end users. Additional policies are geared toward managing support for Microsoft Edge by customizing various security and privacy settings in addition to the overall experience.


10: Windows Defender Antivirus
Beginning with a name change to Windows Defender Antivirus, Windows 10's built-in malware protection now sports the capability to set the level of protection, along with Block At First Sight—Microsoft's answer to protecting against new strains of malware that may as of yet be undetected, based on a file's suspicious activity and by comparing it to automated analysis with its cloud protection back end.


Windows 10: The big changes headed your 

way in 2017

During 2017 the OS will undergo significant changes and will appear on a variety of new hardware. Here's what to look out for.

1. Windows 10 phones edge closer to replacing desktop PCs
Microsoft has long pushed the idea that Windows 10 on phones will be so powerful, it'll be akin to carrying a full PC in your pocket, courtesy of the OS' Continuum feature.
But while select Windows 10 phones, such as the Lumia 950, can be hooked up to a mouse, keyboard and monitor and used as a Windows desktop, there are significant limitations.

2. Low-cost Windows 10 PCs with all-day battery life
The ability to run a full Windows 10 desktop on smartphone hardware should lead to more affordable Windows PCs that enjoy better battery life. Windows 10 PCs based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset will be out this year. The chip consumes 25 percent less power than its predecessor, and offers a fast-charging technology called Quick Charge 4.0.

3. CShell
Microsoft is rumored to be doubling down on the technology that will allow Windows to automatically adapt and scale how it looks to suit the device it's running on, whether that's a phone, PC or augmented-reality headset like HoloLens. This technology underlying this is dubbed CShell or Composable Shell, and said to go beyond the limited adaptive interface offered by Windows 10's Continuum feature today and be on the cards for a bigger reveal in 2017/18.

4. Tabbed Shell
Fans of how tabs simplify browsing the web will be pleased to hear that Microsoft is reported to be adding support for tabs to File Explorer and many more Windows apps. In the meantime, Windows users have to use third-party tools such as Clover 3.

5. Decent offline web apps come to Edge
Windows 10's Edge browser might still be lagging behind competitors when it comes to extensions, but Microsoft continues to add new features. This year, Edge should catch up with Chrome when it comes to running web apps that work well offline, minimizing frustrations related to lost data or endless loading when a connection drops, thanks to forthcoming support for Service Workers and Cache API in Edge.

6. Easy communication with friends and family
The major Redstone 3 update to Windows 10 in September will boost the OS' social credentials, with a series of changes to make it simpler to stay in touch and share content with friends and family. The Windows MyPeople feature will allow users to pin their favorite contacts to the right-hand side of the Windows taskbar. Clicking on a pinned contact's face brings up email or Skype messages from only that person and files can be dragged to that person's face for quick sharing. Informal check-ins also become easier, with the Shoulder Taps feature allowing pinned contacts to send friends animated emojis and other clipart, which pop up above that contact's face on the taskbar.

7. Better Gmail support
Gmail users running Windows 10 miss out on some of the more advanced features in the OS' Mail and Calendar apps. However, Microsoft says Gmail users will soon no longer be second-class citizens, with plans to add support for syncing to Google email, calendar and contacts. The support, already available to those testing Windows 10 under the Insider program, will allow Gmail users to access Microsoft's Focused Inbox smart filter, provide the ability to track travel dates and shipping deliveries, Twitter-style @mentions to grab someone's attention in an email, and themed calendars to keep track of sporting events.

8. Home Hub
In an effort to broaden the ways users can interact with Windows, it seems as if Microsoft is working on transforming Windows 10 into what it calls a Home Hub. Sources told Windows Central that Home Hub will turn Windows into a shared computing environment for the home, allowing family members to more easily share calendars, apps and services. 

Windows 10: The big changes headed your 

way in 2017
During 2017 the OS will undergo significant changes and will appear on a variety of new hardware. Here's what to look out for.

1. Windows 10 phones edge closer to replacing desktop PCs
Microsoft has long pushed the idea that Windows 10 on phones will be so powerful, it'll be akin to carrying a full PC in your pocket, courtesy of the OS' Continuum feature.
But while select Windows 10 phones, such as the Lumia 950, can be hooked up to a mouse, keyboard and monitor and used as a Windows desktop, there are significant limitations.
Support for more PC features, such as running multiple Windows side by side on the desktop, pinning apps to the Taskbar and hitting the Windows button to bring up the search box. Other improvements include the ability to keep your phone in your pocket and have it connect wirelessly to a docking station and to independently customize the Windows Start screen on the phone display and on a PC monitor.

2. Running classic Windows software on your phone
This year, Microsoft should be updating Windows to allow traditional desktops apps to run on mobile phone hardware, and not just a limited subset of Windows Store apps, as was the case with the failed ARM-based Surface tablets running Windows RT.

One of the supported smartphone chipsets will be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, the same chip found in the US version of the Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone. Devices based on the Snapdragon 835 will run Win32 apps using emulation, necessary to run this x86 software on its ARM-based hardware. While emulation has a performance overhead, Microsoft has demoed Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word and the game World of Tanks Blitz running smoothly on the emulator.

3. Low-cost Windows 10 PCs with all-day battery life
The ability to run a full Windows 10 desktop on smartphone hardware should lead to more affordable Windows PCs that enjoy better battery life. Windows 10 PCs based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset will be out this year. The chip consumes 25 percent less power than its predecessor, and offers a fast-charging technology called Quick Charge 4.0.

4. Return of OneDrive placeholders
Since the launch of Windows 10, many users have been petitioning Microsoft to reintroduce placeholders to the OS' built-in OneDrive cloud storage service. In Windows 8.1, placeholders, also called smart files, let users see all their files stored on OneDrive, whether those files were stored on the device or not.
This feature was removed from Windows 10 but is now due to be bought back in Windows 10 File Explorer when browsing OneDrive. The returning feature will work in a similar fashion to Windows 8.1's placeholders, showing users files stored both locally and on OneDrive, allowing them to download files and folders to the device and keep them in sync with OneDrive.

5. Windows 10 Cloud
With the Chromebook challenging Windows in the education market, Microsoft is reportedly poised to release Windows 10 Cloud, a stripped-back, easier-to-use version of Windows, which would emulate the simplicity of Chrome OS. The OS will supposedly also only be able to run apps from the Windows Store, an option already available in the base version of Windows 10 by the Creators Update.

6. Windows 10 Cloudbook
Windows 10 Cloud is expected to run on a new range of low-cost PCs with minimal storage, similar to the Chromebook.
According to leaked information, these PCs would have a minimum of a quad-core Intel Celeron processor and 4GB of RAM and target 10-plus hours of battery life and a 20-second boot time.

7. Longer battery life
Microsoft is also attempting to extend the battery life of laptops and tablets not built around power-efficient smartphone tech.
The Power Throttling feature, due to roll out to most Windows 10 users in September this year, limits the performance of non-essential software to prevent it burning through the battery in new Intel-powered PCs.

8. Capture 3D scanning

Windows 10's Capture 3D Experience feature has been shown making it almost as simple to capture 3D scans of real-world objects as it is totake a photo. In a demo last year, a Microsoft employee used the feature running on a HP X3 handset to create a full-color, 3D scan of a real-world sandcastle, simply by pointing the camera at the castle and walking around it. Originally due out in spring, it is now expected to be released in September this year.


9. Project Neon
This September, Windows 10 is expected to get something of a facelift. The new-look design language, known as Project Neon, has only been glimpsed here and there, such as in this slide captured by Windows Central. New animations, transparencies and other effects that echo those used in the Aero Glass design found in Windows Vista and Windows 7 are expected, alongside the Acrylic feature, which will blur the background, sidebar or nav for apps, depending on how a Universal Windows App is being used.


10. CShell
Microsoft is rumored to be doubling down on the technology that will allow Windows to automatically adapt and scale how it looks to suit the device it's running on, whether that's a phone, PC or augmented-reality headset like HoloLens. This technology underlying this is dubbed CShell or Composable Shell, and said to go beyond the limited adaptive interface offered by Windows 10's Continuum feature today and be on the cards for a bigger reveal in 2017/18.


11. Tabbed Shell
Fans of how tabs simplify browsing the web will be pleased to hear that Microsoft is reported to be adding support for tabs to File Explorer and many more Windows apps. In the meantime, Windows users have to use third-party tools such as Clover 3.
12. New Windows 10 wearables — but for biz
The fitness-oriented Microsoft Band may be on hiatus, but there is a Windows 10-powered wearable on the way. Trekstor is building a Windows 10 IoT Core-based smartwatch aimed at businesses, specifically industries such as retail, hospitality, manufacturing, and healthcare.


13. New augmented- and virtual-reality headsets
Low-cost, priced from $299, headsets from Acer, Lenovo and other computer makers running on the Windows Mixed Reality platform are expected to be released to consumers this year. Mixed reality is Microsoft's name for headsets that can believably project digital objects into the wearer's view of the real world, for example, placing a 3D-rendered chessboard on a real-world table, as well as dropping users into a full 3D virtual environment.One possible use for the headsets is enhancing online shopping, with a Microsoft demo showing a user dropping actual-sized 3D models of stools from the furniture site Houzz around the room, to see what they look like in real life.


14. Decent offline web apps come to Edge
Windows 10's Edge browser might still be lagging behind competitors when it comes to extensions, but Microsoft continues to add new features. This year, Edge should catch up with Chrome when it comes to running web apps that work well offline, minimizing frustrations related to lost data or endless loading when a connection drops, thanks to forthcoming support for Service Workers and Cache API in Edge.


15. Desktop apps come to the web
In the near future, expect the sophistication of apps running in the Edge browser to approach that of those on your computer. Edge will soon support WebAssembly, a low-level, assembly-like language designed to run alongside JavaScript. WebAssembly enables applications that have historically been too complex to run in browsers — like 3D video games, computer-aided design, video and image editing, and scientific visualization — to run as web apps, thanks to the language's near-native performance. WebAssembly is already supported as an experimental feature in Edge, as well as in Chrome and Firefox.


16. Easy communication with friends and family
The major Redstone 3 update to Windows 10 in September will boost the OS' social credentials, with a series of changes to make it simpler to stay in touch and share content with friends and family. The Windows MyPeople feature will allow users to pin their favorite contacts to the right-hand side of the Windows taskbar. Clicking on a pinned contact's face brings up email or Skype messages from only that person and files can be dragged to that person's face for quick sharing. Informal check-ins also become easier, with the Shoulder Taps feature allowing pinned contacts to send friends animated emojis and other clipart, which pop up above that contact's face on the taskbar.


17. Better Gmail support
Gmail users running Windows 10 miss out on some of the more advanced features in the OS' Mail and Calendar apps. However, Microsoft says Gmail users will soon no longer be second-class citizens, with plans to add support for syncing to Google email, calendar and contacts. The support, already available to those testing Windows 10 under the Insider program, will allow Gmail users to access Microsoft's Focused Inbox smart filter, provide the ability to track travel dates and shipping deliveries, Twitter-style @mentions to grab someone's attention in an email, and themed calendars to keep track of sporting events.


18. Home Hub
In an effort to broaden the ways users can interact with Windows, it seems as if Microsoft is working on transforming Windows 10 into what it calls a Home Hub. Sources told Windows Central that Home Hub will turn Windows into a shared computing environment for the home, allowing family members to more easily share calendars, apps and services.


19. Cortana challenges Amazon Echo
To support this vision of Windows being at the heart of the home, Microsoft is preparing Windows 10's virtual assistant to challenge the Amazon Echo smart speaker, with harman/kardon planning to release a Cortana-powered smart speaker in 2017.


20. Less troublesome virtual machines
The new Revert VM feature in Windows 10 will create automatic checkpoints when using virtual machines, allowing users to more easily roll systems running in VMs back.

     DOES WINDOWS 10 NEED ANTIVIRUS 

                       SOFTWARE?

There's no easy yes-or-no answer to this controversial question.
Every copy of Windows 10 includes Windows Defender Antivirus (the successor to Microsoft Security Essentials), which includes all the features normally associated with third-party antivirus software. It downloads new signatures several times a day and also has a cloud-based component.
That built-in software is turned on automatically with a new installation of Windows, and Windows also turns it on if you have third-party antivirus software installed that reports it is out of date (if you fail to renew a subscription, for example).
We won't pass judgment on whether Windows Defender is better or worse than third-party alternatives. But if you prefer a third-party program, feel free to install it. Windows Defender slides gracefully out of the way when it detects a third-party program.


DOES WINDOWS 10 COME WITH OFFICE?
The combination of Windows and Office is so popular that it's not surprising some people wonder whether they aren't included as a single package. But a standard installation of Windows 10, whether it's from a retail copy of the software or on a new PC, does not include any version of Microsoft Office. If you want Office on a Windows 10 PC, you'll have to pay for it.

STOP PRESS!!

The Creators Update is here... Here's how to get it now!!


What’s In Windows 10's Creators Update

From Windows Defender to 
Windows Defender Security Center
Chances are that you only think about your PC’s security when there’s a data breach, or an increased risk of being hacked. Microsoft’s Windows Defender Security Center, available in the upcoming Creators Update, is designed to provide a clearer view of any risks your PC may face.
Microsoft has already begun rolling out some of the capabilities of the Creators Update. For example, Build 15002 has added the ability to refresh Windows 10 quickly by reinstalling the basic files. On Tuesday, Microsoft provided a brief walkthrough of what you’ll see inside the Security Center once the final version of the Creators Update drops.
Our goal with the new Windows Defender Security Center is to help you become more informed and make safety simple,” Rob Lefferts, the partner director of the Windows & Devices Group, wrote in a blog post. "It is equally important to us that you are protected by default and continuously protected – never giving the bad guys an opportunity to harm you.”

1 The current Windows Defender

The current Windows Defender dashboard takes its visual cues from traditional Win32 apps, with a tabbed view that provides a quick, simplified look at your PC. It actually does a nice job of summing up the traditional metrics of securing a PC: antimalware and antispyware protections.




2 The Security Center Dashboard
Microsoft believes Windows Defender should protect what it calls the “five pillars” of PC security: virus and threat protection, device performance and health, firewall and network protection, app and browser control, and family controls. Those five pillars comprise the dashboard view of the new Windows Defender Security Center, which looks like the new Settings menus typical of Windows 10.



3 The threat landscape
Microsoft’s Windows Defender antimalware solutions have traditionally been the last resort of your PC’s defenses, in that they’ll give way to a trusted third-party solution, such as Kaspersky. But if your third-party antimalware subscription expires, Windows Defender will jump in automatically, providing Microsoft’s antimalware protection. Defender also helps secure your network if you’re not already running a firewall.



4 The threat landscape
Microsoft’s Windows Defender antimalware solutions have traditionally been the last resort of your PC’s defenses, in that they’ll give way to a trusted third-party solution, such as Kaspersky. But if your third-party antimalware subscription expires, Windows Defender will jump in automatically, providing Microsoft’s antimalware protection. Defender also helps secure your network if you’re not already running a firewall.

5 Basic network security
Maintaining network security is equally important. Windows Defender and the Windows Defender Security Center won't provide a VPN or automatically update your router, but it can provide some basic protections.



6 Device performance

You might not think of, say, battery life, as something that Windows Defender should monitor, but it can certainly impact how happy you are with your PC. Ditto for storage capacity—if your SSD gets too clogged up, for example, data access can slow. This is handier than it looks

Things You Didn't Know Your 

Chromecast Could Do

Bring out new and hidden features with these tips for Google's streaming dongle.
Google helps simplify your online life—from email and online storage to news and digital maps. But it can also take over your TV with its Chromecast, a streaming dongle that got a colorful makeover in 2015 and a 4K "Ultra" upgrade last year.
The Chromecast was atop Amazon's list of best-selling electronics for two years until Amazon stopped selling streaming devices that don't support Amazon Video. Not to worry, the gadget is still available directly from Google, as well as most Computer Retail Outlets.
The Chromecast Ultra is Best Buy will set you back $69, but it's really for those who already have a 4K TV; be sure to check out the differences between the two devices before picking one up.
While the ultraportable device is pretty much plug and play, there are a few tips and tricks that can make casting more magical. Check them out in the slideshow.

1. There's plenty of great content on Facebook Live that would benefit from being on the big screen (like, ahem, PCMag's Random Access). To send a Facebook Live broadcast to a TV, make sure both the device you're casting from and the TV are on the same Wi-Fi network. Then open a Facebook Live broadcast and hit the Cast icon that appears on the screen.

2. The Chromecast is a handy gadget for streaming Netflix, YouTube, and other content from mobile devices to your TV, but it requires a strong Wi-Fi connection to deliver streams that don't buffer. Not everyone has a super-fast Wi-Fi network, though, and for those people, Google has an Ethernet adapter for Chromecast. The adapter looks like the existing Chromecast power cord, but the plug end now includes a small Ethernet port. Connect an Ethernet cable that's also connected to your modem to that port, plug the USB end of the adapter into the Chromecast, attach the Chromecast to the HDMI port on your TV, and you're ready to go. It's $15 in the Google Play store.


3. Google often gives away free movies and other perks to those who have a Chromecast. Check out Chromecast's Offers page to see all current ones.


8 Security Threats Wearables Pose to Companies and Individuals
Security alert: your wearable devices can be hacked.
Wearables — smart electronic devices and accessories worn on the body — are prominent players in the Internet of Things (IoT). Wearables enable objects to exchange data through the Internet with a manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices, without requiring human intervention. But, as with everything computer-related, these devices pose security threats.
Here are some of the most prominent threats:
Lack of software and hardware standards
All software and hardware is proprietary, meaning that wearable users are at the mercy of the security provided by individual manufacturers. If a manufacturer’s system gets hacked, a user’s device and the corporate network will be vulnerable to attack. Most wearables do not ship with built-in security.
Many devices have no basic security
Wearables often provide no PIN or password protection, no biometric security and no user authentication to access data on a device. You get the picture — if a device falls into the wrong hands, sensitive data could be accessed very easily.
Some devices enable extensive tracking
For example, fitness trackers can provide geolocation data minute-by-minute to the cloud, sharing employee as well as company locations. At the same time, employees and consumers are opting in to data aggregation and analytics.
Cloud connections make wearables vulnerable
Because wearables are usually connected to cloud apps, these apps can be targeted as entry points to the corporate network. Much of the risk revolves around the security of the services that store personal data and transmit it to and from mobile applications.
Some IoT devices have a history of poor security
To protect their corporate networks, companies should segregate all IoT devices, such as wearables, onto a separate, dedicated network, preferably one that doesn’t allow them to connect directly to the Internet. In this way, wearables cannot get infected or infect the corporate network.
Insecure wireless connectivity
Most wearables connect to smartphones or tablets wirelessly, potentially hackers easy access to devices and a launch pad to an attack on a corporate network. Many wireless communications cannot guard against a determined, forced attack.
Wearables are not part of MDM systems
Mobile Device Management systems, created to deal with the BYOD trend, often do not deal with wearables, which work differently from notebooks, smartphones and tablets.
Poor asset management of wearables
Companies must treat each wearable as they would any other network asset — as something they need to track, so they know what the asset is, who is using it, what mobile apps the wearable communicates with and what security threats it poses.


Wipe Your Digital Devices Before Trading or 

Discarding Them
According to a recent study by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), 40% of discarded digital devices contain personal data or private information. Most people use their mobile devices for all sorts of day-to-day activities. From checking emails and talking to friends, family and colleagues to mobile banking and online purchases, there’s almost nothing that can’t be done on the go anymore. But when the time comes to upgrade to a new device or simply discard an old one, an alarming number of people are not taking the time to wipe their personal data. The NAID study of 250 devices in resale markets found tablets contained the most recoverable personal information.
A significant secondary market for digital devices has emerged in recent years but the real treasure lies in the data within. That seems to be lost on the layperson, however, as people continue to leave plenty of data behind when they move on from their devices.
In the business world, this type of oversight can be dangerous if not downright disastrous, as discovered by a look at some of the data collected. Usernames and passwords, credit card and contact information, company and personal tax data, tax details and more were all recovered through the very basic measure of leveraging downloadable shareware.


40% of digital devices available in second-hand markets for resale carry personal identifiable information (PII) unintentionally left behind by the user, according to the study. Of the more than 250 devices examined, tablets contained 50% of recoverable PII; hard drives, 44%; and mobile phones, 13%.
Even more concerning is the fact that this study was done on only a handful of devices, relatively speaking, as compared to today’s digital and mobile world, with millions and millions of people on their mobile devices every day.
40 percent is horrifying, when you consider the millions of devices that are recycled annually.
The harsh reality is that, in our data-driven society, people simply need to be more protective of the data on their devices and not allow for even the possibility of allowing it to be delivered straight to the wrong hands. When that happens, effectively, people are hand-feeding cybercrime by neglecting what should be considered a very basic privacy practice.


3 Security Reasons to Clear Your

Browser’s Cookies
If you’re tired of companies tracking you across the Web, it’s time to clear your browser’s cookies. Cookies are ‘tracking’ files placed on your system by websites you visit, designed to be readable only by the websites that created them. Websites use cookies to track users’ site preferences, login status and information regarding active plugins. Third-parties can leverage cookies to gather all sorts of information about users across multiple websites.
Frequently used to identify unique visitors of a website, cookies come in two different varieties: the session kind, which disappear when you close your browser, and the persistent kind, which remain on your computer until their expiration dates are reached.
While cookies, along with browsing history, help browsers speed up sessions, they are potentially dangerous. For example, if attackers steal cookies, they can steal your personal information.


1. Stop Websites From Tracking You.
Once you delete cookies and your browsing history, you will prevent websites and third-parties from following you around the web across multiple sites. By deleting your history, you make it very difficult for websites and other entities to identify and track you.


2. Strengthen Your Web Experience.
If you encounter bugs when a website is loading, the problem might be caused by you having cached an older version of the site — one that might clash with a new feature or update that affects how the site functions. To avoid buggy and possibly risky experiences, clear your cache routinely to ensure you’re accessing the most current version of websites you visit often.


3. Create Safe Passwords.

Most people know to change their passwords often but it is less-commonly known that changing them can be problematic if you don’t clear your cookies. Failure to do so could prevent a website from authenticating you for one or more of its services and, worse yet, can give hackers access to your computer and personal information.


Microsoft moves quickly to patch Word bug that steals users' bank details.
Microsoft has moved swiftly to patch a major security flaw in all current versions of Word, used by millions of Australians. The bug, known as the Dridex banking Trojan, targets users' personal banking details.
In the age of phishing and hacking, here are three steps to help you become a cybersecurity expert. It gives the hackers control of the infected computer and the users' personal banking details and passwords. The bug was detected late last week by multiple sources, including cyber security companies McAfee and FireEye.
Victims are affected by opening compromised Word documents sent to them via email with attachments that are loaded with the bug, security firm Proofpoint said in a blog post on Monday.
The subject line in all cases reportedly reads "Scan Data" and the attachments are named Scan_xxxxxx.doc", where xxxxxx is a random number. Scanned documents sent via email commonly carry similar subject lines. The targets were primarily in Australia and across numerous organisations, Proofpoint said.


Targets for the exploit included millions of recipients primarily in Australia. Dridex is a so called "zero-day vulnerability", which means that it was sent out with zero notice for Microsoft to create and implement a patch to thwart it.
While most malware requires human intervention to activate it in a system, the Microsoft zero-day can run by simply opening the corrupted Word document.
Proofpoint said its testing revealed computers infected with the malware to be "fully exploited" (exposed).
It recommended that "because of the widespread effectiveness and rapid weaponisation of this exploit, it is critical that users and organisations apply the patch as soon as possible".
"One of the reasons Dridex actors targeted millions of Australian recipients [was] because they wanted to take advantage of the small window before it was patched.
"Sending it to Australian organisations early on Tuesday morning Australian time/late Tuesday US time provided a longer window of possible exposure," Bryan Burns of Proofpoint said.
A Microsoft spokesperson said: "[The vulnerability] was addressed in the April security update released on April 11, 2017.


"Customers who applied the update, or have automatic updates enabled, are already protected."
A similar exploit allowed hackers to steal more than £20 million ($33 million) from British bank accounts in 2015, the BBC reported.


It's April 11: Do you know where your Win 10 Creators Update is?
April 11 is the start of the multiple-month-long rollout of the Windows 10 Creators Update. Here's what's happening starting today.
Today's the day when Microsoft officially kicks off the rollout of its latest Windows 10 feature update, known as the Creators Update and/or 1703.
Starting around 1 p.m. ET on April 11, Microsoft began making Creators Update available, along with a first Cumulative Update with fixes (15063.138) to the Creators Update release.
The plan, as officials have said, is to make this a phased rollout, with newer machines getting the release first.
Microsoft's guidance is for users to wait until Creators Update is automatically made available to them. This way, lingering bugs and incompatibilities have a better chance of being worked out before users install the latest update.
Those who really want to get it immediately can do so by proactively downloading it from the Software Download site or using the Media Creation Tool. The bits are also available via Windows Update, Windows Update for Business and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) as of today, April 11.
As officials said: "This (manual download) option is recommended for advanced users on devices running a licensed version of Windows 10."
Last week, Microsoft made Windows 10 Creators Update available a bit early to tech savvy users who wanted to grab the 15063 bits hot off the Microsoft servers.
Users who are willing to wait for Creators Update to come to them will have the ability to set a convenient time, hold off for a few days, and/or expand the "active hours" window during which the release won't be pushed.
Eligible Windows Phone users who want the Windows 10 Creators Update will see the rollout of that release begin on April 25. Volume licensees who normally get new Windows releases through the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) will be able to get Creators Update starting May 1 via that channel. Windows 10 Creators Update was available to MSDN/TechNet subscribers as of last week.
The Windows 10 Creators Update includes a number of consumer-centric features, especially around gaming and 3D. There are a number of business-focused features, including more granular privacy and feature/bug fix update settings, which are itemized in this Microsoft blog post.


Forget self-driving cars: Here's how driverless trains are moving ahead
When it comes to automated vehicles, all the talk is about cars. But the Dubai Bluewaters project shows how driverless trains could overtake them.



Rather than run on rail track, automated people movers will operate on an elevated, bi-directional line.
In an age where Silicon Valley tech companies and traditional automakers conspicuously compete to develop driverless cars, advances in driverless trains continue to evolve unsung.
Operating with or without a supervising driver, automated trains regulate their own starting and stopping mechanisms and speed, while the newest models are fitted with complex onboard computers and rechargeable batteries. Some do not even need to run on rails.
Their drawbacks are hard to overlook, however. As a transportation mode, driverless trains are not versatile. They cannot navigate roads and remain limited to elevated, unobstructed tracks that are typical of urban metro lines, airport terminal connections, and amusement parks.
Yet driverless trains may become increasingly relevant as municipalities look for greener transportation for last-mile routes between a main transportation node, such as an airport, and a destination, like a city's downtown area.
IBM has teamed up with Local Motors for a new autonomous vehicle. Here's how it will handle difficult passengers - and why you won't be able to buy one.
Dutch tech firm 2getthere is among the companies trying to make evolved versions of driverless trains, called automated people movers, more attractive to municipalities and more accessible to users outside of downtown areas.
As the idea of driverless cars starts to entice urban dwellers, 2getthere sees an opportunity to attract people to its own automated vehicle technology, which has been available for some time.
"You have to convince people to leave their cars at home," says Robbert Lohmann, chief operations officer at 2getthere and one of the company's co-founders. Lohmann has over 18 years' experience in the automated people mover industry.
"The automated transportation system has to provide an added value to the passenger. Whether it's a quicker trip time, a lower cost, or a combination of both, preferably," Lohmann says.
In a project announced this month with Dubai, 2getthere will employ the world's largest fleet of non-rail-guided automated people movers to connect Dubai's inner-city metro system to one of the city's planned waterfront developments, Bluewaters.
Each of 2getthere's 25 automated people movers will carry up to 24 passengers to make the 2.5km (1.5-mile) trip in 4.5 minutes.
Rather than run on rail track, 2getthere's automated people movers will operate on an elevated, bi-directional line. Each vehicle will also have the capability to navigate public roads, but this is not currently specified in the Dubai project.

The dedicated line will run parallel to a road bridge, competing withground transportation for traffic.
The system's batteries will allow each vehicle to operate 1.5 hours between charges, while recharging will only take 10 minutes, maximizing the system's operating on-time. In addition, the batteries will minimize their vehicles' strain on Dubai's urban power grid.
The success of the Bluewaters project may serve as an example to other cities to follow on how automation will bring value to their transportation grids.
Capelle aan den Ijssel, near Rotterdam, already has an automated people mover system in place from 2getthere. But starting next year, 2getthere will build a new loop into the city's line where 2getthere's automated vehicles will drive alongside road vehicles, sharing public roads with other traffic.
It could be the start of a trend that will overtake driverless cars.

Microsoft opens up more on data it's collecting with Windows 10
Microsoft is continuing to hone the privacy settings that will debut in the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update.
With the kick-off of its Windows 10 Creators Update rollout less than a week away, Microsoft is providing more details about the type of diagnostic data it is collecting with Windows 10.
On April 5, Microsoft published lists of the type of diagnostic data it collects when users opt for the "Basic" level and the "Full" level in choosing their privacy settings. Microsoft will provide a "detailed summary of the data we collect from users at both Basic and Full levels of diagnostics," company officials said in a blog post today.
When "Basic" is selected. "The Basic level gathers a limited set of information that is critical for understanding the device and its configuration including: basic device information, quality-related information, app compatibility, and Windows Store," the article states.
Microsoft officials said earlier this year that the company would be providing more explicit privacy information and controls to users when they set up the Creators Update.



When choosing privacy settings for a device running Windows 10 Creators Update, existing Windows 10 users' settings are going to be carried over as the default. Users will then have the option to turn on/off location data, speech data, advertising relevancy data, and more. For those setting up a new Windows 10 device for the first time or running a clean install of Windows 10, the data collection settings will all be set to off and diagnostics to the Basic level by default. Again, users can change this if they so desire.
Microsoft's "recommended" settings, unsurprisingly, call for Windows 10 to collect location, speech, tips, and ad relevance to be turned on and diagnostics set to Full.

As part of the Creators Update release, users will have the option to choose whether their diagnostic data is collected at a Full or Basic level. Microsoft describes this diagnostic data collection on the privacy-setting screen as helping the company "fix and improve Microsoft products and services." The type of diagnostic data that Microsoft is collecting includes browser, app and feature usage, and inking and typing data, according to that screen (embedded in this post above).
Microsoft has faced an ongoing stream of complaints by various protection watchdogs about its privacy settings since Windows 10 first launched.


Windows 10 tip: Startup and
shutdown secrets
Thanks to a default feature in Windows 10, choosing Shut Down from the power menu doesn't really shut down Windows. That's a great time-saving feature, but it can cause problems with some updates and installers. Here's how to do a full shutdown when necessary.

Click the UAC link to change fast startup settings
 When is a shutdown not a shutdown?
In Windows 10, fast startup mode is enabled by default. This feature uses the hibernation file to restore a previously saved image of the Windows kernel and all necessary drivers for installed devices. This process that is significantly faster than a "cold" start, which has to load and link the Windows kernel, enumerate all connected devices, and then load drivers for each of those devices.
To make this magic possible, the fast startup feature changes what happens when you choose the Shut Down option from Start. Just as with a full shutdown, Windows closes all running apps and signs out of all user sessions, leaving the system in the same state it would be in if you had just started up. It then saves that state to the hibernation file so it can return to that state the next time you start up.


To manage the fast startup feature, go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options and then click Choose what the power buttons do. Use the checkbox shown here to toggle this setting on or off.
But you don't need to disable this otherwise useful feature to do a full shutdown. Instead, hold down Shift as you choose Shut Down from the power menu. That forces Windows to do a cold startup, ignoring the hibernation file, the next time you restart.

Note that when you use the Restart option from the power menu, Windows also does a full shutdown and a cold restart. That's the preferred way to ensure that updates and installers are able to complete their work properly.

Microsoft confirms Windows 10 Creators Update 

rollout to begin April 11

As has been rumored for the past few weeks, Microsoft will begin rolling out to customers worldwide the Windows 10 Creators Update, also known as 1703 (as in March 2017), starting April 11. As was the case with the Anniversary Update which Microsoft started rolling out last August, the Creators Update release will be throttled and likely take several months.
The build number that Microsoft is expected to roll out to mainstream users beginning April 11 is 15063, along with a number of subsequent fixes and updates which will be installed.
The Creators Update includes a handful of new consumer-focused features, include a new Game Mode, Beam game streaming, Windows Mixed Reality support, and new ebook and tab-management capabilities in the Edge browser. Microsoft will include a new 3D Paint application with this release, but still continue to make regular 2D Paint available alongside that release.

Microsoft demonstrated in late October 2016 a companion 3D mobile application that would allow users to capture 3D images on their phones and subsequently edit and even 3D-print them.
The Creators Update also includes several incremental security updates and features aimed mainly at business customers.
With Creators Update, Microsoft is giving users more control over when their PCs and tablets will restart after updates are applied. Microsoft also is making its privacy and telemetry settings clearer in the Creators Update release.
The Creators Update will be a free update to those already running Windows 10.

Microsoft officials still are not commenting in any way on the Cloud version of the Creators Update, which is a version of the product that can only run Windows Store apps and will be upgradeable to Windows 10 Pro.


Windows 10 tip: Make sure your hardware drivers are up to date
Do you have the latest device drivers for your display adapter, network card, and other crucial components? Here's how to see which driver is currently installed and how to check for the latest updates.
Outdated drivers can slow down performance and in some cases can cause reliability problems, including crashes.

Microsoft delivers some hardware drivers directly, installing them through Windows Update to replace a generic driver after you do a clean install, for example. Those drivers are certified using the Windows Hardware Certification Kit. In addition, you can often download the latest drivers directly from the manufacturer of a device.
Your starting point for all driver-related activity is the Windows 10 Device Manager (Devmgmt.msc). To open this tool, use its shortcut on the Quick Link menu, which you can access by right-clicking Start or by pressing Windows key + X.

To find details about currently installed drivers, use the categorized list to find the device and then double-click its entry in Device Manager. On the driver tab (shown here) you can see the driver version number and the date when it was released.


Click Update Driver to open a dialog box that lets you install a new driver. The Search automatically for updated driver software checks Microsoft's servers for a newer driver version than the one you have installed. If one is available, it will download and install immediately.

NEWS FROM APPLE

How to use Facebook Messenger's new Live Location 

feature on iPhone

Facebook this week introduced Live Location to its Messenger app for iOS, letting people temporarily track each other when trying to rendezvous. Here's how to make use of the feature on your iPhone.
Like a lot of Facebook features, Live Location is being rolled out as a silent update, so you may not get access immediately. When it does become available though, it's relatively easy to invoke from any conversation in the app.
In a chat, begin by tapping the arrow-shaped Location icon —if it's visible —or else on the triple-dot More button, then on Location. This should bring up two options: sharing a fixed location by tapping on a red pin, or Live Location by hitting a big blue bar.
Be warned that Messenger may ask for permission to track your location in the background to make the feature work.
Once live sharing is active, the other person will see a map appear in chat, along with a 60-minute countdown until tracking stops. They'll also see an ETA for car travel, which may be useful in figuring out how quickly a family member will get home, say, or whether or not there's time to make it to a movie.


On the sharing side, tracking can be ended early by tapping a large white Stop Sharing button, whether in the chat map or by repeating the steps above.

Two Out of Three Seniors Have Been Targets of Scams and Hacks
Sixty-seven percent of seniors have been targets of at least one common online scam or hack, according to a new survey. Thirty-eight percent said someone tried to scam them online, and 28 percent admitted they had mistakenly downloaded a virus.
Other findings include: 41 percent of seniors are banking online; 26 percent pay their bills online; 21 percent file their taxes online.
Just this week I was speaking with 2 friends who have experienced serious on line threats. One said he was contacted by someone who said they were from Telstra Tech Support and after giving them some personal details they were asked to leave their PC turned on for the next 2 hours while Telstra cleaned up a few problems on the computer for them.

Here are five popular scams targeting seniors:
Tech support scams: These typically appear as pop-ups that look like legitimate offers from reputable companies such as Microsoft. They try to sell fake software, ask for remote computer access, or want to install malware to steal personal and financial information.
Tax scams: One common ATO scam, sent via email as well as mail, is an official-looking notice for the tax year in question. Scam emails may instruct that a payment be sent immediately. If you get a notice like this, delete it. The ATO never contacts people by email nor does it call demanding payment. Stay up-to-date on current tax scams.
Ransomware: This is a variant of malware that criminals greatly love because it is easy to execute and is financially rewarding. You can prevent ransomware by ensuring your devices have up-to-date antivirus software installed. Also, never open suspicious emails from unknown senders, and do not download attachments from senders you do not trust.
False debt collectors: Fraudsters send emails that resemble official-looking documents with a threatening and urgent tone. Do not respond, open any attachments, or click on any links. Delete these emails. If you’re concerned about whether you owe money, contact a creditor directly to find out if it sent the email.

Sweepstake and charity scams: A sweepstakes scam often asks you to pay to receive your prize. A charity scam, masquerading as a charity with a name similar to a real one, asks you to help those in need. However, a scam charity will not be able provide important documentation of its identity and mission, nor provide proof of a tax-deductible contribution.

New Credit Card Scam Targets
Google Chrome Users
A smart credit card scam targets Google Chrome users. Here’s what to look out for. A new credit card scam, using malware disguised to look like the Chrome web browser, seeks to trick users into entering their payment card details.
If users provide those details, the fraudulent software saves, stores, and sends them to the cybercriminals behind the malicious app — without users’ knowledge or permission.
The app, called “Betaling – Google Chrome.exe,” was discovered on March 13. Right now, Betaling’s user interface is only available in Dutch, a fact which reveals its intended target. ‘Betaling’ is Dutch for ‘payment.’
The malware pops up on users’ computers along with the authentic Chrome icon — making it very difficult for people to distinguish the real application from the false one. Once users load a browser window in Betaling, they find the same-style URL navigation bar as Chrome and the same HTTPS lock icon. This attention to detail helps criminals to dupe people into believing they are using the real app, and therefore trust it with their payment card information. Much less sophisticated malware has been able to infect hundreds or thousands of users in the past, which means Betaling and its user interface can be quite effective.
Betaling, however, is far from being a perfect Chrome clone. First, it requires users to have a minimum version of .NET Framework 4.0 or higher — which the real Google Chrome does not require.
Second, the app uses the standard Windows 8/8.1/10 Metro style, even when running on a Windows 7 PC.
Third, while Betaling tries to trick users into thinking it’s the real Chrome, outside of the locked icon and the address bar, the rest of the Chrome UI is missing, such as the tab bar, the menu, and the Chrome buttons.
Last but not least, only the close button works. Users can’t resize the window, can’t minimize it, can’t make it fullscreen, can’t drag it, and can’t enter a new URL.

Windows 10 Creators Update in the homestretch: 

Here's what's next
With a flurry of recent Windows 10 preview releases, anyone in the Windows Insider Program has a right to feel exausted. What comes next?  If you want to know how Windows as a service works, the blueprint is in plain sight.
As we approach the official release date of the third big feature update to Windows 10 since its debut in July 2015, it's worth examining the details of the development process, especially as it follows the same template set in earlier feature updates.


This will be the biggest test ever of Microsoft's Windows Update network, with more than 400 million PCs eligible for the upgrade. That's well over an exabyte of data in total, which is why that big update will roll out gradually to the general public.
Some nontrivial number of PCs will hold off on those updates for at least four months, as network administrators configure the devices for the Current Branch for Business.
Microsoft has historically "throttled" these big releases on Windows Update, sending them in rolling waves that start with devices that have the highest compatibility scores and thus the greatest likelihood of successfully upgrading.
Subsequent waves will roll out slowly to other devices, with Microsoft engineers again watching telemetry for problems that can be fixed with cumulative updates that could come more often than the usual monthly Patch Tuesday release. (Because this is a brand-new code base, these cumulative updates in the first month or two can be very small and install relatively quickly.)


Roughly four months after the Current Branch release, that build, with four months of cumulative updates under its belt, will be considered for release to the Current Branch for Business. That might be as early as August, although it could be delayed for a month or two if unforeseen issues arise.
Meanwhile, as Microsoft closes the books on the Redstone 2 development cycle, Redstone 3 will kick into high gear, with an official marketing name akin to Anniversary Update and Creators Update, as well as a projected release date before the end of this year.
And the cycle begins again.




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