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 on: January 20, 2018, 09:27:44 PM 
Started by riso - Last post by riso
Meltdown/Spectre patches also cause reboots on newer processors. When it was revealed last week that Intel was advising many of its larger customers to delay installing patches for the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities due to a bug, the company had claimed only older Haswell and Broadwell processors were affected. It has now amended that claim after further internal testing.
The bug, which is causing many to experience an above-average number of unexpected reboots after applying the patch, was found to also affect some configurations of Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake and Kaby Lake chips in the company's internal testing, according to Vice President of Intel's Data Center Group, Navin Shenoy.
Unfortunately, the company has not yet identified what the root cause of the problem is, though Shenoy promised they are making significant progress in that regard. He added, "In parallel, we will be providing beta microcode to vendors for validation by next week."
The blog post also goes over Intel's findings regarding the impact of these patches on performance, specifically on servers running its latest two-socket Intel Xeon Scalable microarchitecture. Java-dependent and other workloads saw relatively minimal slowdowns of up to 4%. The most significant slowdowns occurred in I/O testing, with some particularly strenuous tests resulting in a decrease of as much as 25% in write performance.
Ending the post on a slightly more hopeful note, Shenoy suggested the company is looking at ways of alleviating the impact on performance in operations that were found to be significantly affected, and was considering other, less intensive means of mitigating these vulnerabilities, such as through Google's Riptoline approach.
Source: Intel via Engadget/Neowin

 on: January 20, 2018, 08:43:17 PM 
Started by riso - Last post by riso
Since the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update was released in mid-October, there's only been one Insider Preview build to make it to the Slow ring. Build 17025 was offered on November 1, and the ring has been quiet since then.
Today though, Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview build 17074 to the Slow ring, and it introduces a ton of new features, mainly because it's been so long since the Slow ring got any attention. Indeed, there have been five Fast ring builds since then, some of them quite significant.
Build 17063, which was released exactly a month ago, was probably the most notable of the five. It included headlining features like Timeline and Sets. Timeline allows you to go back to things that you were previously working on, while Sets lets you group UWP apps into tabs, similar to how a web browser works. Sets is still in control testing, meaning that not all Insiders have it yet, and it's unclear if Slow ring Insiders will get it right away.
You'll also notice some big changes in the Settings app, including a new design and some Fluent Design elements. Naturally, there are new options in Settings as well, as Microsoft is continuing to reduce the need for Control Center in Windows 10.
And naturally, you'll find many improvements in Edge, Cortana, My People, the Windows Shell, and much more.
Unfortunately, if you're looking to do a clean install with fresh ISOs, those aren't available quite yet, although they should be soon. The 17025 ISOs were made available on November 7, six days after the Slow ring release.
Via Neowin

 on: January 19, 2018, 05:08:32 PM 
Started by riso - Last post by riso
FeedLab, one of the best third-party Feedly clients for Windows 10, has been updated to version 3.0 this week. The major release introduces many new features including improved Live Tiles, several UI improvements and even Fluent Design touches here and there.
The new version also brings some welcome bug fixes, three new languages (German, Spanish and Bralizian/Portuguese) and more. The full changelog is available on this page.
The app is still free to use with a $2.99 in-app purchase to remove the ads. It’s a solid universal app overall, and probably a must have for news junkies. If you don’t use Feedly and RSS feeds, you can still use FeedLab without signing in and enjoy some curated news in a well-designed app. You can download FeedLab on your Windows 10 PC or phone with the download link.

 on: January 19, 2018, 04:53:01 PM 
Started by riso - Last post by riso
Microsoft today released an update for Groove Music app in Microsoft Store for Insiders in the Fast Ring. This update brings the much-awaited Equalizer feature. Users can access the equalizer from the Settings page. Microsoft is offering several presets like Flat, Treble Boost, Bass Boost, etc. for users to choose from. Users can also select their preferred sound levels using the Custom preset feature.
Microsoft is also working on visualizations for Groove app. Hopefully, they will release it soon for public testing.
Download the updated app here from Microsoft Store.
Thanks to Leo for the heads up. via

 on: January 19, 2018, 03:05:05 PM 
Started by riso - Last post by riso
Microsoft is now hard at work on its next major update for Windows 10, codenamed Redstone 4 and scheduled for launch in the spring of 2018. Windows 10 Redstone 4 is now in full-time development at Microsoft, and there are plenty of new features and functions planned to be excited about. The beginning of the Redstone 4 development cycle has recently begun. This means the new features list is not a definite at this point, but I am continuing to get updates and changes to the preview edition that I am running on my test computer.
Here is a preview of what may be coming in this release.
Windows Shell (the base operating system)
Fluent Design reveal effects have been softened.  Fluent Design Acrylic and Reveal effects are now showcased in more areas of the Shell. The Start menu now features Fluent Design "reveal" effects in tiles and the apps list. The "clear all", "expand", "collapse" and "see more" text in the Action Center now uses your chosen accent color.

On touch system, you can now use a two finger swipe gesture to dismiss all notifications in the Action Center.
Windows will now show you your personalized lock screen when selecting your account on the login page. The Calendar fly-out on the taskbar now features reveal effects.
Contacts pinned to the taskbar now show a list of connected apps rather than tiles.
The Taskbar now features the Acrylic blur effect.
Action Center notifications now feature Fluent Design reveal effects. The "clear all" text in Action Center now says "clear all notifications" instead.
Near Share is now present in the Share UI and lets you share content between nearby devices. Right clicking a live tile will give you the option of jumping straight into those apps Settings.

Task View now includes Timeline that allows you to go back and resume apps you had open in the past up to 30 days.
Virtual Desktops has moved to the top of the Task View UI.
Fluent Design effects will be disabled when in battery saver mode.
The My People Hub now features Reveal and Acrylic effects. You can now drag to reposition contacts pinned to the Taskbar. You can now drag contacts between the Taskbar and the My People Hub.
It appears that none of these Windows Shell improvements are earth-shaking, but they do improve the look, feel, and function of the basic operating system.
Microsoft Edge (your access to the internet)
You can now mute audio coming from a specific tab.
Edge now has the ability to save free EPUB books.
Edge will now automatically fill out preferred information in address and related forms.
The Edge UI (user-interface) now features an improved UI with Fluent Design reveal effects and more prominent Acrylic title bar.
The EPUB and PDF bookmarks UI has been updated.
Edge now supports Service Workers that allows websites to send notifications and refresh in the background even when Edge is closed.
Cortana (Your personal assistant)
Cortana now has a new Lists/Collections app that allows you to create Lists that sync across devices with Cortana.
Cortana's proactive content will now appear in Action Center.
Cortana is now better at alerting you about apps that you can pick up where you left off.
Cortana now features a new Notebook UI that better promotes things like Skills, Lists and more.
The users profile picture is now showcased in Cortana's hamburger menu.
Input Improvements (for touch users)
Touch keyboard now features Fluent Design.
Physical keyboard users now have the option to enable an on-screen text suggestions function.
The wide virtual keyboard now features shape-writing.
New gestures when writing with a pen are now present in the pen insert field. You can now insert more than one emoji at once when using the emoji panel.
You can now change the font used in the handwriting panel.
The emoji panel now supports more languages.
Settings (the new control panel)
Settings now features a new redesign with Reveal effects and Acrylic blur.
You can now configure Startup apps in Settings.
There is now a colorwheel in the Ease of Access area. Ease of Access has been categorized into subcategories in the sidebar and reorganized.
Sound settings are now present in the Settings app.
Users can now limit download bandwidth for updates in the foreground.
You can now manage what data is stored in Timeline.
You can now adjust how bright SDR content appears when using a HDR monitor.
Windows Update will now place an update icon in the System Tray when there is an update pending.
You can now customize the amount of contacts that can be pinned to the Taskbar up to 10.
Users can now recover local accounts from the lock screen.
More Control Panel elements such as Fonts, Display, Sound, and more have now been moved into Settings.
There is now a new Keyboards area located in Settings.
Language Packs are now powered by the Microsoft Store and feature a new install UI.
HomeGroup has been removed.
Overall, the thrust of the new update appears to be consolidating Windows 7 and Windows 10 functions, Also, improving usability and clarity to many of the internal settings that are used to provide the individual customization of your desktop.
Stay protected!
George Cox is the owner of Computer Diagnostics and Repair.  He can be reached at 346-4217.

 on: January 18, 2018, 09:05:42 PM 
Started by riso - Last post by riso
Microsoft is on the verge of releasing the "semiannual channel" version of Windows 10 update 1709, according to Michael Niehaus director of product marketing for Microsoft's Windows Commercial group.
Semiannual channel is Microsoft's lingo for an operating system update that's deemed tested and ready for deployment by organizations. Windows 10 update 1709, known as the "Fall Creators Update," is expected to arrive in a day or so through the Windows Update service. When available, its published date will show up in Microsoft's release history page here. Currently, that page just records that the "semiannual (targeted)" test release of Windows 10 update 1709 arrived back in October.
The final semiannual channel version of Windows 10 update 1709 is expected to arrive via the Windows Update service after Jan. 18. Refreshed media (ISOs) are expected to be available in the week of Jan. 22.
In a Wednesday phone interview, Niehaus explained Microsoft's communication approach with regard to Windows 10 updates. It has been trying to arrive at a more uniform messaging, both for consumers and IT pros. Last week, Microsoft noted the "full availability" of Windows 10 update 1709, but that phrase is just an attempt to prod awareness. The full availability release is the same thing as the semiannual channel release. Microsoft was just giving advance notice.
In a brief Q&A, Niehaus explained Microsoft's approach in trying to get its customers aligned to Windows as a Service cycles with Windows 10.
Is the full availability release different from the semiannual channel release of Windows 10?
Niehaus: They're all kind of interrelated. If you think about how we are updating Windows 10 on consumer noncommercial devices, we go through basically acting as IT for the world at large, starting out slowly, starting out with newer machines, and then over time broadening up to a point where we basically say, "All right, full speed ahead." At this point, let's remove all of the brakes and keep deploying as quickly as we can to get the newest Windows 10 release out to all of the machines that are talking to Windows Update. So that's kind of the point where [Microsoft Director of Program Management John Cable's] blog is saying we're at. We're making that declaration that we've removed all of the throttles from Windows Update and we're deploying to all of the remaining machines. Now, there probably are some exceptions to that where we have specific blocks in place for specific issues, but as far as the broad population goes, we are full speed ahead.
What we've been working toward is aligning that point in time with the commercial point in time -- that "ready for broad deployment" declaration -- so that when we are confident enough to say we are ready for broad deployment for the consumer audience, we're also making a statement for the commercial audience. So, they're kind of tied together at this point, and that's where the note in the blog talking about commercial refresh availability comes in. That generally, when we are making that "ready for broad deployment" declaration for businesses, we refresh the media to give you a new baseline that you can build from or to deploy with, and that's what we are saying will be available probably within the next week. I think there was a week range in there just to make sure that we have all of the channels updated -- Windows Update, Windows Update for Business, WSUS, MSDN, Volume Licensing Service Center -- all of them will get updated with new media. That new media is basically provided as a convenience where we inject the latest cumulative update into that media and publish it.
Will that timing be reflected on the Windows 10 release information page?
Niehaus: If you watch, as soon as the media is available through all of those channels, the Windows 10 release info page will be updated to reflect that Windows 10 [update] 1709 is now a semiannual channel release. It will no longer be labeled a semiannual channel (targeted) release. It's all linked together like that.
What's Microsoft trying to signal?
Niehaus: I think what you're seeing is kind of a...I wouldn't say a change in messaging, but more of a tweak in the messaging to put more of the focus on the process that we want our commercial customers to go through. We want them to go through a validation process with each new release, starting with targeted pilot deployments, where they validate their apps, infrastructure, devices -- just to make sure that everything works well with the new release. And as soon as they finish that validation, then begin deploying broadly. Some customers will finish that process in a couple of months; some customers might take six.
So, to have this kind of arbitrary point where we make this declaration, where we say we think it's ready for broad deployment, who's really going to listen to us anyway? We really want them to be comfortable themselves with when it's time to begin that broad deployment, and if you're ready before we make that declaration, by all means, go for it. If it takes a little longer after, fine. But we want to make sure that you're going through that motion of doing those targeted pilot deployments to get the validation in place. The problem that we've run into is a lot of customers look at that "ready for broad deployment" declaration as their starting point, not as their "take out the shackles" point. It's not advantageous to them if they just sit back and do nothing until that declaration arrives because we are actively trying to get feedback from these customers so that we can address any issues that we run into before we shift focus to the next release.
There have been some complaints that Windows 10 update 1703 instances are updating to update 1709, even when delays have been set. Any insights to share?
Niehaus: We have heard about the reports of that and we are investigating. At this point, I don't know that we've gotten to the bottom of any of the issues, but what we have been trying to do is look at our own telemetry and identify the machines based on their deferral settings -- how many of them have been upgraded and then drill into that set of machines and figure out why those machines have upgraded. In some cases, it's people manually initiated the upgrades, so we have to sort those out of the pile and then keep digging in deeper until we can figure out what's going on with each population of machines. I don't think we have a definitive answer yet, but we continue to investigate.
Via, About the Author
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

 on: January 17, 2018, 03:01:51 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Today, Thomson Reuters revealed the world’s 100 leading technology companies in its first Top 100 Global Technology Leaders listing which identifies the most operationally sound and financially successful organizations.

Microsoft was ranked No.1 on this list and it was followed by Intel, Cisco, IBM, Alphabet, Apple, and others. Thomson Reuters Labs came up with this list using a complex 28-data-point algorithm.

The methodology measures performance across eight pillars: Financial, Management and Investor Confidence, Risk and Resilience, Legal Compliance, Innovation, People and Social Responsibility, Environmental Impact, and Reputation. Its patent-pending approach was developed by.

On the Top 100 list, forty-five percent are headquartered in the United States; Japan and Taiwan are the next most prolific regions with 13 top 100 tech companies each.

Find the full list here.


 on: January 17, 2018, 02:26:24 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Droid Life has published a series of three posts that the site claims may show off the upcoming Motorola Moto Z3 and Z3 Play, Moto X5, and Moto G6, G6 Plus, and G6 Play.

The new phones should all be getting spec bumps, but they’re also getting a bit of a design refresh.

If these leaks are accurate, that is. There’s always a chance that Droid Life’s sources are wrong or that we’re looking at early designs that have since been changed.

Moto X5

From the back, this phone looks a lot like last year’s Moto X4. But the front has slimmer bezels and a 5.9 inch, 18:9 (or 2:1) aspect ratio display.

It also looks like it may have an iPhone X/Essential Phone-like notch that lets the screen fold around the front camera and speaker assembly. In the leaked photo is seems like wireless and battery status notifications, as well as the time, are shown in a thin bar on either side of the camera notch.

Speaking of that notch, it seems to include two cameras rather than one.

There’s no visible fingerprint sensor on this phone, but it’s possible that Motorola has hidden one on the back of the phone (below the logo) or under the display glass.

Moto Z3 and Z3 Play

The company’s new flagship phones remain compatible with all the current Moto Mods available for earlier Moto Z phones, but the company still managed to extend the screen to a 6 inch, 18:9 (2:1) with an “FHD+” resolution.

There are no notches on this phone, and no visible fingerprint either.

Droid-Life has also found a picture of a new Moto Mod labeled “5G,” suggesting that while no current phone support the emerging 5G standards yet (and no carrier actually offers them yet), you may be able to upgrade this phone and other Motorola devices to a 5G capable device in the future by slapping a module on the back of the phone.

Moto G6, Moto G6 Plus, and Moto G6 Play

While the new Moto X and Moto Z phones are getting new display sizes and shapes, the Moto G6 series has a more familiar design… not because these phones look like the Moto G5 line of devices, but because they resemble last year’s Moto X4.

That means the all-metal frame has bee replaced with a glass-backed design. These budget smartphones also still have room for a fingerprint sensor below the display (at least on some models — Droid Life says it’s on the back of the Moto G6 Play).

The Moto G6 is said to have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor, a 3,000 mAh battery, and a 5.7 inch FHD+ display.

Rumor has it that the Moto G6 Plus is  5.9 inch phone with a Snapdragon 630 chip and a 3,200 mAh battery.

Both models are expected to have dual rear cameras, support for 32GB or 64GB of storage, and at least 3GB of RAM (with a 4GB option for the G6 and 4GB and 6GB options for the G6 Plus).

There aren’t as many details available for the Moto G6 Play, but it should have a 5.7 inch HD display and a 4,000 mAh battery for extra long run time.


 on: January 17, 2018, 12:44:31 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Today, Microsoft released a new Windows 10 SDK Insider Preview, build 17069. The new SDK coincides with Windows Server build 17074, which was released earlier today, and Windows 10 Insider Preview build 17074, which was offered to the Fast ring last week.

Obviously, new SDKs can't be pushed out with a higher build number than the actual version of Windows that they'll be running on. In other words, while the build number of the SDK still isn't quite as high as the current Fast ring build, it's still higher than the previous one, which was 17063.

The new Windows SDK is only formally supported by Visual Studio 2017 or later, but the good news is that it can work side-by-side with older SDKs. You shouldn't have a problem running this is a production environment, as long as you're targeting your apps at a production version of Windows 10.

Microsoft hasn't published a blog post just yet outlining what's new, although for this feature update, the big new feature is support for C++/WinRT compilers in the Windows SDK. Another thing that we'll likely see in the known issues is that this can only be installed on a PC running a Windows 10 Insider Program build.

You can download Windows 10 SDK Preview build 17069 here.


 on: January 17, 2018, 12:38:40 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Microsoft yesterday released new Windows Server Insider Build 17074 to Insiders. It is a preview build of the next Semi-Annual Channel release of Windows Server. This build comes with improvements to Storage Spaces Direct and Failover Clustering. Read the full changelog below.

• Storage Spaces Direct (S2D)

   ♦ In this preview build, we continue to expand and simplify the hardware for Storage Spaces Direct.  SCSI Enclosure Services (SES) is no longer required for Storage Spaces Direct to be compatible, this unlocks a breath of new hardware which was not capable of running S2D. 

Storage Spaces Direct now also supports Persistent Memory (aka. Storage Class Memory), this unlocks a new class of extremely low latency storage which is incredibly interesting in particular as a caching device.  Storage Spaces Direct now also supports Direct-connect SATA devices to AHCI controller, again this will expand the hardware ecosystem compatible with S2D as well as unlock a new class of low-cost hardware. 

In this preview, we have also enabled the Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) Cache is enabled by default, which delivers an in-memory write-through cache that can dramatically boost VM performance.

• Failover Clustering

   ♦ In this preview, we have introduced enhancements to Azure enlightened Failover Clusters, with enhanced eventing on host maintenance events and nodes about to be in host maintenance are excluded from placement.  By making high availability software running inside of an Azure IaaS VM be aware of maintenance events of the host, it can help deliver the highest levels of availability for your applications.

• Dedup support for ReFS and Storage Spaces Direct

You can download this latest Windows Server Insider Build here.


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