Further changes to Windows Update

Back in October, Microsoft started to release cumulative or roll-up packages for Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2.

They consist of a security only package that has all the updates for that month only. They call it the Security Only Quality Update [SOQU].

There is also the monthly roll-up which includes all security and non-security updates since October 2016. They call it the Security Monthly Quality Update [SMQU].

If you install the SMQU, it will bring you up to date quite fast. It also replaces all SMQUs since October 2016]. It technically also replaces all SOQUs since October 2016 as well.

If you just want security updates, you would need to install every monthly SOQU available from October 2016 and on.

From October 2016 to January 2017 the SOQU contained all supported Internet Explorer updates. As of February 2017, Microsoft has removed IE from the SOQU and IE will be a separate update. This was requested by enterprise clients. [The SMQU will still incorporate the latest IE update.] As usual, none of the updates will upgrade your version of IE.

Months with no new Windows security or reliability fixes will not have a SOQU or SMQU release. [Of course with Windows, that gets a bit unlikely!]

Confused?

 

 

It’s the end of the US, but do they feel fine?

At precisely this time in 12 hours, the US has its 45th president. Good luck.

In just a single day, Trump went on a rant against America’s closest allies, calling NATO obsolete, praising the UK for leaving the European Union, and expressing uncertainty that he will get along with German chancellor Angela Merkel. Two days later, he said the American dollar was too high. Sure enough [for example], the Canadian dollar rose a cent against the US dollar.

According to a new CNN/ORC poll, Donald Trump will take office Friday with the lowest approval ratings for any recent president and his transition efforts. His approval rating is 44 percentage points below President Obama and the transition efforts are 20 percentage points lower than Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Not surprise, Trump had to fire back on Twitter saying “The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval rating polls. They are rigged just like before.”

Four in ten say Trump is qualified to server according to another poll.

A new CNN/ORC poll finds Obama’s approval rating stands at 60%, his best mark since June of his first year in office. Compared with other outgoing presidents, Obama lands near the top of the list, outranked only by Bill Clinton’s 66% in January 2001 and Ronald Reagan’s 64% in January 1989. About two-thirds (65%) say Obama’s presidency was a success, including about half (49%) who say that was due to Obama’s personal strengths rather than circumstances outside his control.

Amid those glowing reviews, one-quarter of Americans (25%) say Obama is one of the nation’s greatest presidents, far outpacing the share who felt that way about other recent presidents as their terms ended (11% described Reagan that way, 10% Clinton, and 5% or fewer said so about either President Bush). Still, nearly as many (23%) call Obama a poor president, more than said so about Reagan, Clinton or the first president Bush, but well below the 46% who said George W. Bush was a poor president as he prepared to leave the White House.

In the U.S. capital, the incoming president received four per cent of the vote — the worst result for any major party nominee in the district, ever.

With Trump in charge soon, some Americans were so happy that ObamaCare will be pulled. They then say that they are happy “the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” won’t be touched. They like it. It’s the same thing.

Trump’s tweets may already land him in hot water – with his daughter. He tweeted @Ivanka instead of @IvankaTrump. – two different accounts. Whomever uses @Ivanka will get very popular shortly [or not]. Trump had retweeted a message from a Twitter user that said his daughter was “great, a woman with real character and class.”

Trump was tweeting whether or not outgoing CIA chief John Brennan was the “the leaker of fake news”.

Trump likes to start fights and this one isn’t even from Twitter. Fashion designer Tom Ford has said he declined to dress Melania Trump years ago, saying “she’s not necessarily my image.” Seems The Donald remembers petty things like these. So he had his buddy, hotel owner Steve Wynn to pull selling Tom Ford cosmetics and sunglasses. Trump said Wynn thought what Ford said was terrible. So why now? Trump told Fox his wife never asked Ford to dress her as first lady and “doesn’t like” Ford or his designs.

The Secret Service says a vehicle in a motorcade for Vice-President-elect Mike Pence struck a D.C. police reserve officer according to TV station which reports that police say the officer was conducting traffic control in northwest Washington on Wednesday afternoon when a vehicle in the motorcade hit him.

“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” Expect the US to go further into deficit then.

Trump has already stated that he would claw back President Obama’s sanctions against Russia regarding Ukraine and Crimea incursions.

A women’s march on DC on the day after the inauguration is expected to have 1800 bus loads [those registered] at the time of this blog was sent out. In comparison 400 registered buses for the inauguration.

Banned for those sitting close to the stage for inauguration include: umbrellas, guns, fireworks, backpacks, balloons, drums, whistles, and selfie sticks.

Few Canadians appear inclined to celebrate this year’s event, if polls are to be believed. A mere 18 per cent told an Angus Reid survey in November that they were somewhat or very pleased with Trump’s win.

Canada’s event usually draws a strong turnout given the prime location as the only foreign embassy in the area, near the National Mall and right along the parade route. On Friday, Donald Trump will take the oath of office at the U.S. Capitol to become the 45th president, then pass the embassy and its string of Canadian flags on the way to the White House. 1800 showed up at the last inauguration party. Expect poutine, tourtiere [a meat pie originating from Quebec, usually made with finely diced pork, veal or beef], beef and Canadian beer to be served.

The performers list for the inauguration looks a bit pathetic. At this time, the best known is Toby Keith followed by Lee Greenwood. One list didn’t even list Wayne Newton or Paul Anka, which I mentioned before. After that you have 3 Doors Down [one hit wonder in Kryptonite 16+ years ago] and Jackie Evancho from “America’s Got Talent” to sing the national anthem [her career is about to be toast!]. Then it gets worse. The “B Street band” – a tribute band based on Bruce Springsteen’s music was supposed to perform. Add Sam Moore from the duo Sam and Dave. Add some of the Radio City Rockettes. After that you have nobodies.

Initially a tribute band called the B Street band were to perform but the band leader saying the decision was based on the respect they have for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Some believe a backlash was also a reason.

Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli will not be performing at Trump’s inauguration. He’s received death threats if he performs. Trump’s people said he was never invited [save face?].

Can’t wait to see what the estimates of the crowd will be compared to previous inaugurations. I’m sure anything less than Obamas’ and Trump while start to whine on Twitter. Unsure who does the official estimates for inaugurations but usually the cops usually give an estimate. He’ll have someone in his team say that it’s at least triple the official estimates. Although he may just say it is 10 times the official estimates and not say where that figure came from [top of his head].

They expect maybe 900,000 but that will probably drop as it is expected to be a cloudy day with rain in the forecast. The umbrella ban doesn’t help. [Or the main  guest!]

Estimates that the inauguration will cost $200 million US including over $100 million for security.

Two days before his swearing in, Donald Trump has forked over $25 million to settle three Trump University fraud lawsuits. The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, originally known as Trump University, delivered the payment, plaintiffs’ lawyers told CNNMoney. The settlement was reached in November shortly after the election. It kept the president-elect from having to testify in a trial. Students said they were promised access to private financing options that never materialized, and concluded the program was effectively a bait-and-switch. Though initial seminars were free, attendees alleged that teachers only used them to get students to shell out for paid sessions.

Trump finally got a tweet right: After civil right icon John Lewis said he hasn’t missed an inauguration in a long time, someone in Trump’s entourage did some research and found out that Lewis wasn’t at George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001. Trump tweeted it. In an interview he called Lewis’ error “a really big lie”. Exaggeration and Lewis is older than Trump.

Already a couple of nicknames have shown up: Commander in Thief, Groper in Chief.

Personally, I’ll be watching the 2009 inauguration on YouTube.

 

How to restore an uninstalled Windows 10 app

If you have somehow uninstalled a Windows 10 app [the ones that came with Windows 10], you can restore the app. There are a number of ways but this method seems the least confusing [well to me]:

Find PowerShell in the Start menu [choose one that says “PowerShell” and not “PowerShell (x86)” or the others].

  • Right click on it and select “Run as administrator”. A big deep blue window opens up.
  • Run the command:

Get-Appxpackage –Allusers

  • Because of the number of applications, I would suggest you redirect the output to a text file.

Get-Appxpackage –Allusers > c:\temp\output.txt

  • You can use a different name. Use a location to save the text file and you have rights to save it there. You will be deleting it after.
  • Open your output.txt file.
  • Find the application that you want to restore. For our example, it will be the “Windows Store”.
  • So look for and copy the text to the right of “FullPackageName” under “Windows Store”.
  • So for this version of Windows 10 that I’m using [Windows 10 Pro v1611 64-bit] it is “Microsoft.WindowsStore_11610.1001.10.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe”.
  • Now build/copy the following line:

Add-AppxPackage -register “C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\XXX\AppxManifest.xml” –DisableDevelopmentMode

  • Replace XXX with “Microsoft.WindowsStore_11610.1001.10.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe” [no quotes] in my example and you should be left with

Add-AppxPackage -register “C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.WindowsStore_11610.1001.10.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe\AppxManifest.xml” –DisableDevelopmentMode

  • Copy the full line [to the clip board].
  • Go into the big deep blue PowerShell window, and right click on the top line where you have the PowerShell command prompt. It should automatically insert the line that you “built” two lines above. Hit the “Enter” key.

If there is no error, it will bring you back to the PowerShell command prompt. Now if you go to the Start menu, your application should be back [in our example, it show up as “Store”].

Note: I am not a PowerShell expert. So, if something is missing, I can’t help. At worst case, this procedure should do nothing.

 

Another interesting week from Trump

Classified documents presented recently to President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings have said. The FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources.

Trump said prior to the beginning of the confirmation sessions that all his confirmation picks will be confirmed. Uh huh.

At his first press conference in months, Trump slammed Buzzfeed News earlier in the press conference for publishing the unsubstantiated documents in their entirety. Trump called Buzzfeed News a “failing pile of garbage” and suggested the website would suffer the consequences of reporting on the material.

Trump wouldn’t even take questions from a CNN reporter saying CNN was “terrible,” repeatedly telling him to be quiet and “No, I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news!” The exchange came the day after CNN and several other news outlets reported that U.S. intelligence officials had briefed Trump and President Barack Obama on unsubstantiated claims that Moscow had compromising financial and personal information [unusual sexual activities] about the president-elect, including scandalous allegations of a sexual nature.

Not surprisingly, Trump vehemently refuted the reports calling them “fake news”, a “political witch hunt”, and “tremendous blot” on the record of the intelligence community if material with any such allegations had been released. As well, he says that United States is hacked by other countries as well, including China – brushing it off as if it wasn’t critical.

Trump claimed that the documents, which were placed next to him as he spoke, were evidence of the preparations he had made to give over control of his businesses to his sons. He pointed at those documents and claimed they were just part of the various papers required to separate Trump from his business and each pointed at the pile repeatedly as proof that the preparations were being made. Problem is that the sheets were the wrong size [not legal] and blank! See here.

A bunch of people [off camera] at the news conference clapped at the end. Supposedly they all worked for Trump. Probably told them to clap or “You’re fired!”

President-elect Donald Trump harshly responded to civil rights icon [he walked with Martin Luther King Jr. and was at Selma] and Georgia Rep. John Lewis, calling him “all talk” and “no action” after Lewis said Trump was not a “legitimate” president. “Congressman  John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested).” Not surprising, outrage from the civil rights movement. I gather Trump doesn’t know his background.

Trump says he’ll be President for 8 years – heaven forbid!

He also says there is no US laws that say he can’t run the country and his company. Maybe not, but there are ethics laws.

Trump expects “massive” crowds for his inauguration. I suspect when the rough estimates of the crowd comes in from the authorities, Trump will say they are very wrong and will use some way inflated number saying he’s an expert in estimating crowd sizes [like he said he was an expert in hacking].

Trump still is having a hard time finding performers for his inauguration. Supposedly, the biggest name is Las Vegas veteran Wayne Newton – although Canadian Paul Anka may have accepted. While performers have been almost exclusively from the US, Trump has tried to bring in foreign talent [including Celine Dion] and all have so far declined with British singer Charlotte Church calling him a “tyrant” after declining. Why is it that Trump has to bring in non-Americans? President Obama’s first inauguration had maybe a couple of dozen American performers and U2.

Classical teenage singer Jackie Evancho had album sales “skykrocketed” [according to Trump] after her December 14 announcement that she’ll sing the national anthem. But some could attribute that to her Christmas albums sell well during the holidays and Evancho appeared on an NBC holiday special December 19. Even then, it wasn’t sales that “skykrocketed”. Another Trump exaggeration.

Broadway star Jennifer Holliday decided not to attend the inauguration after the inauguration committee pre-emptively announced her appearance before she decided to perform and because of the outcry from the LGBTQ community.

Charles Brotman, the 89-year-old who once the voice of the Washington Senators baseball team, has announced every inauguration parade since Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957. But not anymore. He was sent his “pink slip” by Email from trump’s transition team. In his place, the Trump team has tapped Steve Ray, a “youngster” as a 58-year-old Washington-based freelance announcer who has worked with the MLB’s Washington Nationals and for local radio stations. Brotman will be honored as “announcer chairman emeritus” – which means nothing. Brotman he thinks it smacks of political payback.

From the story mentioned in the previous blog entry, publisher HarperCollins said that it will stop selling a book by Monica Crowley that a CNN investigation found to have more than 50 instances of plagiarism.

Trump will transfer his business holdings to a trust, but he won’t sell them — stopping short of what ethics lawyers say is the only sure-fire way to avoid conflicts of interest. All of Trump’s business and financial assets will be placed into the trust before he is inaugurated January 20, according to a lawyer involved in the arrangement. It was not immediately clear who will control the trust. Trump will resign his role at the Trump Organization, his worldwide empire, and transfer control to his two adult sons and an in-house executive, the lawyer said. In the weeks since his election, the Trump Organization terminated all unfinished deals, and Ivanka Trump, who is expected to move to Washington and play a role in his presidency, will relinquish her roles at the Trump Organization, the lawyer said.

Updated features in the Windows 10 Creator Update

The list below is based on the latest Windows Insider build that beta testers are using [and may change] when Windows 10 v1703 is released in the spring. It is being dubbed the Creator Update by Microsoft. It is not the complete list but highlights some of the updates.

  • You can now to organize and personal your tiles in Start menu into folders.
  • OneNote 2016’s popular screen capture feature is built into Windows 10. Use Win+Shift+S to capture a region of your screen and copy it to anywhere. It is expected to be removed as a feature of OneNote 2016. [Note: If using OneNote but not using windows 10, there is a registry fix to bring it back].
  • PC’s health section includes more options for Device performance and extra health scans for an in-depth report.
  • When running Windows for the first time [after an upgrade or a new computer], a female voice will guide you and exclaim some options. The voice can be disabled.
  • Added is an option that will enable you to pause updates on your computer for up to 35 days and allow you to decide whether or not to include driver updates. This capability will not be available on the Home edition.
  • Also added is logic to better detect if the PC’s display is actively being used for something, such as projecting, and avoid attempting to restart.
  • Home edition of Windows will now have Active hours increased to up to 18-hour maximum.
  • You will now be able to change resolution straight from the main Display Settings page.
  • An improved performance and smoothness when resizing GDI-based Desktop applications [such as File Explorer, Notepad, Task Manager, ….] and UWP apps [such as Outlook Mail, Photo]. When resizing UWP apps, the window frame background will be transparent as the app adjusts.
  • The new device settings combine the Bluetooth and Connected devices pages to offer a single place to manage all of your devices/peripherals. They can all now be discovered and managed from the same place using the same UI. You can also disconnect and reconnect your Bluetooth audio devices directly from the settings page.
  • High DPI support will be enabled for GDI-based applications.
  • Settings pages now contain additional information on the right or bottom [depending on the window size} that will provide feedback, support links, etc.
  • App related settings have moved out of System into a new category called Apps.
  • The header on the landing page for each Settings category will now stay in place as you pan the page.
  • You can easily pick between the colors you’ve decided on in the past on some screens.
  • The Settings app now contains the theme management [formerly in the Control Panel.

 

1469 days until the next Presidential inauguration!

A bit of trivia: Name the action movie in the mid-1990s mentions both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the movie? Scroll to the bottom…]

“I know a lot about hacking.” Boy now Trump is a computer specialist! Trump claimed to have inside information on the matter, which he said he would reveal within the week of saying so – and didn’t. Judging from the history of Trump, it won’t be during that week, the next or the week after. Or maybe ever.

All sixteen federal intelligence agencies in the US plus two private independent security firms all concluded that Russia was involved in the hacking.

“What I can say is that we don’t believe that intelligence efforts should interfere into politics, certainly,” Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to President-elect Donald Trump said. So this is the equivalent of saying the intelligence agencies should not say that their government was hacked into.

“This report that everyone keeps talking about is not final,” the President-elect’s incoming press secretary, Sean Spicer said. So why was the report released? Did the report say it wasn’t final?

“As President-elect he is privy to information most people aren’t,” Spicer said. Ok, so why mention anything until you can release it.

“And if you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster, and they were wrong.” True but who knows. With the time wasted going in, the WMDs could have been moved or buried.

Trump’s people can’t get things right. Reince Priebus stated that Trump finally acknowledged that the US was hacked and Trump has promised to retaliate but Trump advisor [and all around odd-ball – for the lack of kind words] Kellyanne Conway keeps on using “alleged” hack because the Russians [she claims] were unsuccessful.

Trump is blaming the DNC for the lack of security to their network but Trump fails to blame the RNC [they were hacked but supposedly (or on purposely)] no leaked data or various government agencies.

Trump having his children or son-in-law as advisors could go against a law created in the mid-1960s which stipulates that family members cannot be advisors or paid. They may be one some committees but unpaid and clear of advising the President. But remember – this is Donald Trump. What’s another potentially broken law?

A full repeal of Obamacare by Trump would cost $350 billion over the next decade, according to a new analysis from the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. This makes its wholesale dismantling much more complicated. Trump himself said [depending on the weather it seems] will either pull all of Obamacare or take the “best” pieces.

The GOP and Trump claim removing Obamacare would be their first item of business. But they have not said what they would replace it with. There is talk that even giving children of illegal immigrants health care as part of Obamacare would be pulled as well as the guarantee of health care even with pre-existing conditions. An estimate 20 million Americans who didn’t have health care prior to Obamacare could potentially lose their health care.

Trump went to Twitter [as usual] to lash out at Meryl Streep after she made comments about him at the Golden Globe Awards. He responded in his usual fashion calling her “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood” and denying he “groveled” at someone during the campaign. If The Pope was to make comments about him I wonder how he’d respond? “Over-rate Pope”? “Pope who has done nothing?” He is a humorless and easily offended public persona.

Trump to criticize Saturday Night Live as “biased” and “unwatchable” on Twitter during the campaign after Alec Baldwin made fun of his looks and manner. But the show just recorded its best ratings in 24 years, thanks to a toxic and highly divisive U.S. presidential election.

Actor Alex Baldwin making fun at Trump with a knock off of “Make America Great Again” in Russian….

Arnold Schwarzenegger took over as “host” on Celebrity Apprentice [which Trump still has a production credit but doesn’t do anything]. Trump went after “Arnie” after the ratings have dropped but also poked fun at him because he supported (John) Kasich and Hillary (Clinton). Arnie did respond in Twitter with “I wish you the best of luck and I hope you’ll work for ALL of the American people as aggressively as you worked for your ratings.”

Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton have decided to attend the inauguration to do so out of a sense of duty and respect for the American democratic process. So has George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter [who previous agreed to attend].

In another about face [well partially] Trump has said he will push to build the “Great Wall” between the US and Mexico now and send Mexico the invoice later. He doesn’t want to wait on the wall. There are currently 700 miles of fence along that track, with another approximately 1,200 miles either open, nearly impossible to actually build on or impassable.

Melania Trump, taking lessons from her husband, has warned that she will sue anyone who calls her an “ex-hooker”. If you recall, a story stated that she came to the US with a non-work visa and yet she was supposedly a model at Trump’s modeling agency. The story said she pulled in $20,000 within months. I would guess not all was modeling – especially since the agency couldn’t put her on their payroll legally. Get the drift?

Conservative author and television personality Monica Crowley, whom Donald Trump has tapped for a top national security communications role, plagiarized large sections of her 2012 book, a CNN review has found. The review of Crowley’s June 2012 book, “What The (Bleep) Just Happened,” found upwards of 50 examples of plagiarism from numerous sources, including the copying with minor changes of news articles, other columnists, think tanks, and Wikipedia.

Trump wants to create a “team” within 90 days of his inauguration on how to tackle hacking. First, you know Trump. It will be long after 90 days – if ever. Second, doesn’t the US already have an intelligence division to handle this? Oh ya. Trump doesn’t trust them.

Trump’s tweeting could cause problems. As of now they have been minor but if he tweets a bad comment, it could cause ripples.

In an example of bad tweeting Trump said “General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax!” In fact most Cruzes are made in Ohio for the US market. The Cruze hatchback is made in Mexico for the international market although maybe 4500 care shipped to the US. After the tweet, GM’s stock market price briefly went down.

During the election campaign, Trump repeatedly pledged to force Canada and Mexico to renegotiate or scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement as a means of protecting and creating U.S. jobs. But while NAFTA is still valid, dishing out a “border tax” isn’t allowed.

Then Trump whined again on Twitter about Toyota opening a plant in Mexico and again with the “border tax” except he was technically defending Canada because the “lost” jobs would actually be Canadian jobs. Oh. He got the location in Mexico wrong.

It’s been a policy that when a new president comes in, all the appointments from the previous administration are recalled. Generally they leave by inauguration day. But with the Trump administration, they want everyone out by inauguration day. No exceptions or extensions. That means pulling kids out of school in the middle of the school year, canceling charity galas and supposedly in one case cancer treatment.

Oh. What ever happened to Trump releasing his tax returns. Maybe it includes the fact that it will show Trump’s connections to Russian businesses.

Trivia answer: Die Hard With A Vengeance [the third Die Hard movie with Bruce Willis]. At one point in conversations between the characters of Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, both names came up. Interesting to note that Clinton’s name came up related to the presidency.

Smart TV can be hit with randomware

This is getting ridiculous.

A guy posted online on Christmas day that a relative’s smart TV appears to be infected with a version of the Cyber.Police ransomware, also known as FLocker, Frantic Locker, or Dogspectus.

The infected TV is one of the last generations of LG smart TVs that ran Google TV, a smart TV platform developed by Google together with Intel, Sony, and Logitech. Google TV launched in 2010, but Google discontinued the project in June 2014.

The guy tried to reset the TV to factory settings, but the reset procedure available online didn’t work. When the software engineer contacted LG, the company told him to visit one of their service centers, where one of its employees could reset his TV and charge supposedly $340.

The relatives said they downloaded an app to watch a movie. Halfway through the movie, TV froze and booted to this screen below. Unknown where the app came from.

Symantec and Trend Micro [in separate reports] concluded that removing ransomware from smart TV’s won’t be easy for most to remove.

Google has started working on Android TV, an Android-based smart TV platform, similar to Google TV, meaning that Android malware remains a valid threat for a large chunk of the smart TV market.
Here’s a link created by the guy on how to reset a LG smart TV
[jump to about 4:50 to find out how to reset, if you are bored]. The guy yacks a bit too much. Could of done this in just a couple of minutes at the most.

There was a comment elsewhere that it could be a hoax, but the screen in the video looks legitimate.

lg_tv