Miscellaneous computer tips – Volume 13

Tip #1: Bring back the old Gmail web Inbox

Former Gmail leader design and Inbox co-creator Michael Leggett looked at the terrible Gmail web interface and said Go look at any desktop app and tell me how many have a huge f_cking logo in the top left. C’mon. It’s pure ego, pure bullsh_t. Drop the logo. Give me a break. Leggett decided to do something about Gmail: He created a Chrome extension called Simplify that makes Gmail on the web look and work more like, wait for it, Inbox. See https://simpl.fyi/gmail/

Tip #2: Encryption problems

If you work in a corporate environment, depending on what encryption [if any?] is used on portable media [i.e. USB keys and drives], you may find that the encryption may in fact cause problems.

For example, if you are the local support person, encryption may stop you from booting up a USB key to [say] fix a computer that got hit with malware.

Depending on your configuration, they may allow non-encryption but you have to tinker with some settings.

In Windows 10, for example, if you right click on a file, you can select File ownership -> Personal to not encrypt. [Once again if enabled.] But that’s nice fore one file but what about [say] hundreds of files in folders and sub-folders?

Fortunately, there is a command-line tool that can help you out, and it’s really simple. Assuming the E-drive is your USB key, to not-encrypt the drive, the command you is:

cipher.exe /d /s:D:\ .

Note than in most Windows command-line tools “/s” is include sub-folders. Here, the tool assumes sub-folders but specifying the folder to keep decrypted.

Tip #3: Panther in Windows

This actually isn’t a tip, but a FYI.

Why is there a folder called Panther in Windows since Windows Vista?
Panther was the code-name for the new setup/servicing engine that first introduced in our beloved Windows Vista. Some suggest that before Windows Vista was shipped [“RTM”] that the folder name would be changed to something more meaningful, but because the folder path was all over the place in the Windows code at the time, it was never changed.

Wonder if it will ever show up in Jeopardy.

Contestant: Alex. $1000 for Windows trivia.

Alex: It is the code name for the new setup/servicing engine that first shipped in Windows Vista.

Contestant: What is Panther?

Alex: Correct!

A quiet-ish week for Trump

It was less than a day when Donald Trump went from “total exoneration” and “Game over, folks,” to “bullsh_t” as Robert Mueller’s report portrayed Trump as deceitful and paranoid, encouraging his aides to withhold the truth and cross ethical lines in an attempt to thwart a probe into Russia’s interference in US elections.

Now Trump is newly furious at the people — most of whom no longer work for him — whose extensive interviews with the special counsel’s office created the epic depiction of an unscrupulous and chaotic White House. He’s is seeking assurances from those who remain that his orders are being treated like those of a president, and not like suggestions from an intemperate but misguided supervisor.

Trump was aware ahead of its public release what was contained in the Mueller report. Attorney General William Barr told reporters Thursday that both the White House counsel and Trump’s personal legal team were given an opportunity to read the redacted version in the previous days.

In the report, press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders, who was out the office when the report was released, is shown repeatedly misleading the press, a fact she attempted to downplay in morning television interviews. Tell me something we don’t know!

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani insisted Trump’s 2016 campaign did nothing wrong by taking information from the Russians. Giuliani called the Trump campaign’s effort to get political help from representatives of the Russian government possibly ill-advised but not illegal. Nevertheless, he said “there’s no crime.” This from a lawyer who has repeatedly made judgements that were counter to laws.

Sen. Mitt Romney said in a statement on Twitter that he was “sickened” by the findings in Mueller’s report that cited details on how the Trump campaign welcomed political dirt from Russia.

No shocker that Trump criticized Romney for his comment by saying if Romney “spent the same energy fighting Barack Obama as he does fighting Donald Trump, he could have won the race (maybe)!” In 2012 Romney won a slightly greater percentage of the popular vote than Trump in 2016 but President Obama won the election.

To end the week, Trump announced that he would revoke America’s status as a signatory of the arms trade treaty regulating conventional weapons including small arms, battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships. The US signed the treaty in 2013 but never ratified it. The NRA [where he announced it] has long claimed the treaty poses a threat to the second amendment. Of course it will help his buddies sell more arms.

Trump, of course, off script when he came across a line about pharmaceutical companies “rigging the system” when it comes to pricing drugs more cheaply overseas than they do domestically. “Many drug companies are giving European countries a better deal than they give their own country, and that has to stop,” Trump said. Yes. He know with so much facts that US companies are giving European countries better deals. It’s called buying in bulk.

“Well the subpoena is ridiculous,” Trump said when asked what he plans to do in response to the subpoenas. In the days since special counsel Robert Mueller’s full reported was released, Congressional Democrats have started their own investigations and have begun issuing subpoenas. Yet there is little he can do – otherwise hit with an obstruction of justice charge.

As former Vice President Joe Biden entered the Democratic nominee race, Trump defended his equivocating comments [“people that were very fine people on both sides”] following white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, saying that he was referring to supporters of the Confederate general Robert E. Lee when he said there were “fine people” on both sides. He just loves changing what he meant – even almost 2 years later. If he meant something different why didn’t he say it earlier? He never specified Lee until now.

Trump also said that Biden and other presidential candidates are making him “look very young.” Trump is 72, Biden is 76. Not much difference. Bernie Sanders is 77. Elizabeth Warren is 69. Jay Inslee is 68. John Hickenlooper is 67. Everyone else are in their 30s to 50s. So Trump is the third oldest. He probably is also one of the least healthiest – known to be at least a bit overweight.

From an interview with Fox News, Trump said:

  • “But we have a fantastic [health care] plan that we’ll be rolling out and subject to us winning back the House, keeping the presidency…” So where’s the plan? Doesn’t exist.
  • Trump claimed that three reporters [two from Fox] should get Pulitzers. They favorably report about him.
  • “… these are the top people at the FBI where you had absolute dirty cops” and then said ” I know FBI guys, these are the best in the world”. The US must have two FBI agencies.
  • “So, I really say, now we have to get down because this was a coup. This was an attempted overthrow of the United States government.” I’d like to see who have been arrested for the “coup”. Nobody. Does he know the definition of a coup [as well as treason]?
  • “This was a coup… This was an attempted coup.” So which is it?
  • For the coup “I think it’s far bigger than Watergate.” Yes. He’s an expert. 45 years ago, he was probably too busy ripping people off.
  • “It was like a one-sided witch-hunt as I called it.” Isn’t it usually that?
  • “The fake dossier which even ‘The New York Times’ now says was fake…” This was the same New York Times which he has previously gone after continuously. So they are good when it suits him and bad otherwise.
  • “We have fighter jets, the F- 35, the F-18. We have jets the likes which no country has at all.” Except they have been sold to other countries. Canada, Saudi Arabia, …
  • “I could have fired Mueller. I could have fired anybody that I wanted to fire, Article 2.” Mueller can only be fired for good cause. “Article 2” in the constitution says nothing about who he can fire.

At a recent conference, Trump touted his administration’s border security efforts, including a southern border wall, as a great deterrent to drug smuggling. Trump called the US’s immigration laws “horrible, obsolete, weak, pathetic” and blamed the Democrats for not changing them. And who’s been in office for over 2 years with 2 years of that with a Republican majority in the House and Senate?

At one point this week, Trump was on a mega tweet storm. How big? Trump has tweeted [and retweeted] 52 tweets. In about a 30 minute span at one point, he retweeted 24 items — about nine different topics and from 15 people. The retweets came from all of is favorites. The tweets were mostly from the usual topics: Robert Mueller Report, immigration, collusion, obstruction, etc.

Trump told the NRA that he, “didn’t need a gun” to stop what he called a “coup.” He called them “bad apples” and claimed that they resigned. Those that seem to have resigned are from his administration. He said “We are taking power out of Washington DC and returning it to the people where they belong… taking place at the highest levels… Corruption at the highest levels” and mentioned “spying”.

Trump tweeted “No Collusion, No Obstruction – there has NEVER been a President who has been more transparent….” Would love to know how he measures that.

Trump also tweeted that Twitter has a liberal bias and does everything it can to make it harder for conservatives to use the platform. [He offered no specific, fact-based examples.]Maybe it’s because some conservatives don’t know how to type or know what Twitter is.

Trump lived with a poodle, Chappy, with his first wife, Ivana, who wrote in her memoir, “Raising Trump,” that “Donald was not a dog fan.” Chappy, she later said, “had an equal dislike of Donald.”

Trump held a briefing for the children of reporters on Take Your Child to Work Day. He went after the kids’ parents by saying “I like you more”. You don’t talk about a parent in front of a child.

Iowa’s longest-serving Republican state lawmaker, Andy McKean, is ditching the party in a protest of what he called President Donald Trump’s “unacceptable behavior” and is joining the Democrats. McKean, a moderate from eastern Iowa whose 29 years in the legislature include stints in the House and Senate, announced his party switch.

Redacted Mueller Report released

A redacted but more detailed version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report was finally released.

One section is damning as it does not exonerate him from obstruction of justice — the charge at the heart of Presidents Nixon’s and Clinton’s impeachment processes. The Mueller team found multiple instances where Donald Trump tried to stifle a legitimate investigation into his own conduct. Very often the only thing that saved him were advisers who wouldn’t do what he wanted done.

Much of the news we have been reading was accurate, not fake — about the Trump Tower project, about the contacts between campaign officials and individuals connected with Russia, and about the President’s efforts to fire Mueller.

In the report:

  • Mueller concludes that Russian operatives did interfere in the 2016 presidential campaign by hacking into the computers of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and releasing stolen emails to WikiLeaks, as well as by disparaging Clinton and promoting Trump in an organized social media campaign.
  • The report also makes note of “numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.”
  • Mueller wrote his investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
  • Russian government operatives and business leaders continued to try to woo the Trump team following the election.
  • Mueller wrote that written answers Trump provided his team were deemed “inadequate,” but prosecutors decided not to press him further, which would have meant issuing a subpoena and likely starting a long legal battle if the president refused to grant a formal interview.
  • Investigators were unable to get “a complete picture of the activities undertaken by subjects of the investigation,” Mueller wrote. A number of reasons were cited for this, including people refusing to give information that would incriminate themselves, witnesses providing “false or incomplete” testimony, and other witnesses deleting emails or otherwise not retaining relevant communications.

Multiple Trump aides and advisors refused to do requests from Trump that they knew would be illegal or cause further problems. This includes requests to fire Mueller or find ways to slow the investigation down.

Mueller added that Trump “does not have immunity after he leaves office” and that his team “conducted a thorough factual investigation in order to preserve the evidence when memories were fresh and documentary materials were available.” The wording raises the remote specter of possible future criminal exposure for Trump when he is no longer in the White House. It isn’t the only criminal inquiry looming over him.

Attorney General William Barr and the Department of Justice demonstrated that they couldn’t be independent with Barr’s biased interpretation of the report according to some.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler, issued a subpoena for the unredacted report as Congress escalates its investigation of Trump.

Mueller’s report provides fresh evidence of Trump’s interference in the Russia investigation and challenges lawmakers to respond.

Trump, taking a public victory lap, declaring at a White House event that he was having “a good day” after the report was released. Did he read a good comic book in the washroom again?

Some of Trump’s allies on Capitol Hill were satisfied, without reading the report, that Trump came out a clear winner — exonerated because he was not prosecuted.

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said “the report itself is nothing more than an attempt to rehash old allegations” and insisted that “the results of the investigation are a total victory for the president.” Unsure what report he read. Did he get his law degree out of a cracker jack box?

“We’re accepting apologies today, too,” White House adviser Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway told reporters, adding that Trump watched Barr, talked to his lawyers and was in “a great mood.”

Trump went after Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar when Trump retweet of a video that purports to show the Minnesota Democrat being dismissive of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The text shown was placed out of context. Democrats have criticized Trump over the tweet, with some accusing him of trying to incite violence. Security was added to Omar and her staff.

The White House defended Trump, saying that he has a duty to highlight Omar’s history of making comments that others find offensive and that he wished no “ill will” upon the first-term lawmaker. But the retweet was later pulled particularly after there were threats against Omar’s life [one individual in New York was arrested already].

In the video she said “some people did something” [instead of using a word like terrorists]. But President George W. Bush also used the word “people” just days after 9/11.

“The bigger question is why aren’t Democrats doing the same thing? It’s absolutely abhorrent the comments that she continues to make and has made and they look the other way,” said White House press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders. Omar has made some comments about Israel and Jews in the past but have stopped making them. Unsure what Sanders means by “continues” as if it is still happening.

When the fire in the cathedral in Paris was raging, Trump had commented that they should use water bombers to put out the fire. Diplomatically [something Trump knows little about], in a tweet, French fire security authorities said by using a water bomber [or equivalent], the water would cause further infrastructure damage with the force of the water. But what do they know….

It took a bit over 2 years for Trump to veto his first legislation and under a month to veto his second when he did so by vetoing legislation to end the US involvement in the war in Yemen.

The European Union has threatened tariffs on US goods including cheese, ketchup and fish because of a long-running dispute over aircraft subsidies. The bloc released a list of American products worth around $20 billion that could be targeted over US subsidies given to Boeing. Not good for Heinz-Kraft.

Sanders said that she doesn’t think congressional Democrats are “smart enough” to review Trump’s tax returns should they succeed in obtaining the documents. “My guess is most of them don’t do their own taxes, and I certainly don’t trust them to look through the decades of success that the President has and determine anything,” she said. So is she saying most Republicans do their own taxes?

Canada and Japan has formally joined a German-French coalition aimed at saving the international world order from destruction by various world dictators and autocrats — and Trump.

Trump already managed to pull in $30 million in his first 90 days of this year for his campaign re-election. For the Democrats [remember that there are at least 15 candidates]. Bernie Sanders has pulled in $18 million after 41 days and Kamala Harris has pulled in $12 million.

At least 3 FBI web sites were hacked recently and downloaded the contents of each web server. The hackers then put the data up for download on their own website. The spreadsheets contained about 4,000 unique records after duplicates were removed, including member names, a mix of personal and government email addresses, job titles, phone numbers and their postal addresses.

Check your Google account

Google’s Sensorvault database contains location data for hundreds of millions of devices all over the world. Law enforcement officials have been using warrants to obtain information from Sensorvault in an effort to identify suspects in crimes. Sensorvault holds data from a Google Location History, a function which is not enabled by default, though some services, like traffic alerts, prompt users to enable it.

Law enforcement officials have been seeking data from Sensorvault about devices in the vicinity at the time of a crime. While the initial data Google provides are anonymized, once law enforcement has analyzed movements patterns and reduced devices of interest to a smaller number, Google provides law enforcement with the information of the owners of those devices.

To check on thing, log into your Google account at https://myaccount.google.com

Check the following:

  • Review your privacy settings
  • We keep your account protected
  • Make Google yours

This is not just to stop law enforcement but also to secure your account.

Make sure you have an alternative way to recover your password and it is current.

Read the information. You may need to scroll down or click on a link to get further information. If unsure, don’t touch.

Note: If you have a Gmail Email address or an Android smartphone, then you have a Google account. Log in with the same credentials as your Gmail Email account. If you auto login, you won’t have to know your credentials.

Immigration battle heats up even after more administration departures

There hasn’t been too many going through the revolving door in the past little while but it changed when Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of Homeland Security, was [from what it looks like was] fired by Trump. She came to the White House recently supposedly to discuss immigration and border issues and walked out without a job. Right away, Donald Trump name Kevin McAleenan, the current US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, to replace her. So that shows that she didn’t resign but was forced out.

The departure comes just days after Trump suddenly withdrew the nomination of Ron Vitiello for Immigration and Customs Enforcement director, blindsiding the Department of Homeland Security. Nielsen was unaware what was happening until after the nomination had been pulled. Trump was not pleased with Nielsen’s performance the past few weeks. But is he ever happy when things don’t go his way?

United States Secret Service director Randolph “Tex” Alles is being removed from his position. Trump instructed his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to fire Alles. Alles remains in his position as of now but has been asked to leave. Secret Service officials have been caught by surprise with the news. White House press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders said that Trump has picked James M. Murray, a career USSS official, to replace Alles.

Alles was under recently fired Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen. Also under DoHS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services director Francis Cissna and Office of the General Counsel’s John Mitnick are expected to be gone soon.

The Trump administration pressured the Department of Homeland Security to release immigrants detained at the southern border into so-called sanctuary cities in part to retaliate against Democrats who oppose Trump’s plans for a border wall. Trump personally pushed former Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen to follow through on the plan. Nielsen resisted and the DHS legal team eventually produced an analysis that killed the plan.

Already, fellow Republicans aren’t happy and legal experts are saying the dumping of immigrants in sanctuary cities is illegal.

Trump told reporters that his administration is not looking to resume the separation of parents and children at the US-Mexico border, denying reports that it is something he has been pushing for. Trump had had been pushing then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to enforce a stricter and more widespread “zero-tolerance” immigration policy. [Except when he denies these issue, they are generally true.]

Trump wanted families separated even if they came in at a legal port of entry and were legal asylum seekers and he wanted families separated even if they were apprehended within the US. He thinks the separations work to deter migrants from coming.

Trump also blamed the policy on the Obama administration. “President Obama separated children. I was the one who that changed it,” he claimed falsely. Under President Barack Obama, the Justice Department was given broad discretion on who should face criminal charges, and federal prosecutors rarely went after families.

In April 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Justice Department would prosecute 100% of illegal border-crossers in a policy known as “zero-tolerance.” Adults went to jails and awaited criminal proceedings while children were sent to detention centers run by the Department of Health and Human Services, and some were eventually placed in foster care. This specific change is what led to the widespread separation of parents and children.

Another option is the “binary choice” proposal where it puts that decision of separation in the hands of parents. What do you think the parents would want to do if had a choice?

Trump whined again about having the worst immigration laws. He then blames the Democrats but he had 2 years of a Republican controlled Congress. So why didn’t he do it then when he theoretically could pass a new law?

Trump called the asylum program “a scam,” alleging that lawyers coach tough, violent men through the process. “Some of the roughest people you’ve ever seen, people that look like they should be fighting for the Ultimate Fighting Championship… They read a little page given by lawyers that are all over the place.”

Attorney General William Barr told lawmakers that he will be looking to the “genesis” of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into potential ties between members of Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government began in 2016, saying, “I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal” but declining to elaborate on his concerns.

Democrats are worried that Barr is bending to the Trump’s demands and have called on Barr to release an unredacted version of the special counsel’s confidential report on the Russia investigation to Congress.
Trump said that Barr was doing a “great job” and “getting started on going back to the origins on where exactly this all started because it was an illegal witch hunt. …. This was an attempted coup, this was an attempted take-down of a president.” Does he know the definition of a coup?

Federal investigators in New York have “gathered more evidence than previously known” from individuals in the President’s “inner circle,” related to the hush-money payments made to two women who claim they had affairs with Trump. Investigators “learned of calls” between Keith Schiller, Trump’s longtime bodyguard, and David Pecker, the head of American Media Inc., the company that publishes the National Enquirer.

Trump still doesn’t want to release his tax returns. “There is no law, as you know, I got elected last time with the same issue and while I’m under audit, I won’t do it. If I’m not under audit, I would do it, I have no problem with it, but while I’m under audit, I would not give my taxes,” Trump said. That is one long audit!

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent a very clear message to Trump: Stop picking problematic nominees and asking the Senate to confirm them. He is picking candidates that wouldn’t be easy to confirm even with a Republican majority in the senate.

Trump’s older sister, federal appellate Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, has retired — halting an investigation into whether she broke judicial conduct rules by committing tax fraud. The investigation started last fall indicating that the Trump family had participated in tax schemes to maximize Trump, Barry and their siblings’ inheritances. An inactive judge for over two years, Barry no longer faces the judicial misconduct charge as the statute only applies to active judges.

When Julian Assange was arrested by London [UK] police from the Ecuadorian embassy, Trump told reporters he knows “nothing about WikiLeaks” and it’s not his “thing.” Yet during the campaign trail at rallies when the mountain of information came out from WikiLeaks, Trump praised WikiLeaks saying even that “I love WikiLeaks” among other positive comments.

Multiple Republicans, including Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, and Sen. Roy Blunt were scratching their heads at Trump’s comments how he didn’t know much about WikiLeaks now but made those comments about 30 months ago.

Near Calexico, California, a section of the fencing between Mexico and the US was recently replaced. This section was in the works to be replaced almost a decade ago. And yet there was a plaque that was added to the fence which said that “This plaque was installed on October 26, 2018 to commemorate the completion of the first section of President Trump’s border wall.” But as mentioned, it was a replacement wall and not part of a new wall that didn’t previously exist.

Trump created a brand new attack on trade with Europe, including threats by the US trade office of tariffs on $11 billion US worth of European goods. Just like going after Canada, Mexico, China and others with the same phrase, Trump tweeted “The EU has taken advantage of the U.S. on trade for many years. It will soon stop!” The EU is expected to retaliate.

Aircraft subsidies are just an excuse for the US to launch an attack on another of its longtime trade partners in hopes of winning the kinds of advantages it sees itself getting in its deal with China. Others says he is trying to get on Boeing’s good side especially after the slew of canceled orders because of the 737 Max 8 issue.

Trump canceled a deal that made it easier for Cuban baseball players to compete professionally in the US. It allowed Cuban players to play in the US without detecting and then state-run Cuban Baseball Federation would get a fee. The White House argued that the Cuban Baseball Federation is part of the Cuban government, which caused the deal to be nullified as trade with Cuba is banned. The deal was made just 4 months ago.

Mount Vernon president and CEO Doug Bradburn, who led the tour, according to Politico, has told several people that French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife were far more knowledgeable about the history of Washington’s compound than Trump seemed to be.

Trump reportedly learned about the first US president’s real estate empire. But Trump didn’t seem too impressed. “If he was smart, he would’ve put his name on it,” Trump said of Mount Vernon. “You’ve got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you.” Bradburn reminded Trump that Washington had succeeded in getting the nation’s capital named after him.

Twitter is considering labeling tweets that violate its rules but should remain on the platform because they’re in the public interest. This include tweets from politicians and other figures that may be offensive but are important for public debate. Twitter has come under fire from some critics who say Trump’s tweets often violate its rules against bullying, dehumanization and threatening harm.

Jessikka Aro, a Finnish investigative journalist with a history of breaking stories on Russian propaganda efforts, had been slated to receive a prestigious award in Washington a little while back along with several other women selected by the State Department for their courage in the face of great risks overseas. The State Department said it was a miscommunication and that she had been “incorrectly notified” of her award. But internal communications show that the State Department and US embassy officials in Finland had been in talks with Aro for several months.

Trump knows how to pick them. Stephen Moore, Trump’s pick for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, owes $75,000 in taxes and penalties to the IRS. It was for unpaid taxes, penalties, interest and other costs in 2014. Moore has previously gone after the Feds in comments and is fairly close to Trump.

A former driver for Trump’s family has been in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for eight months. The man, a Romanian immigrant green card holder, who came to the United States legally in 2011 and worked for Trump’s golf club in Jupiter, Florida, was arrested in June 2018 by ICE after the agency called him to their office “to discuss his ‘inadmissibility'” to the United States following a 2013 trip he took to Romania. During the 2016 election, the man picked up campaign staff members and dignitaries at the airport adding that he had to receive security clearances from the Secret Service.

Last year, companies announced 98,563 retail job cuts, the highest total since 2009. Primary reason is more online shopping. But what was lost, package pickers and drivers have increased. Just this week, Payless shoes announced it would close 2,500 stores in the US and Canada and lay off 16,000 workers.

New and updated features to the Spring 2019 Update of Window 10

As mentioned previously, the spring update has been rename May 2019 Update and is using the code “19H1” [2019, first half]. The delay is supposedly to test the final [or escrow] build extensively. It is now expected to be release on May 10th.

The following are among the features and options that have been updated and are expected to be in the 19H1 release:

  • Complete over hall of the Windows Update setup.
  • Less cluttered search box since Cortana has its own icon. Plus you can adjust the indexing of what to not to search.
  • Built in hypervisor [not in the Home version] that will run in a sandbox.
  • Microsoft accounts can be based on a phone number, with no email address required.
  • Security Center [formerly Windows Defender Security Center] adds a tamper protection setting and a unified protection history for suspicious events.
  • Can now install fonts by drag and dropping in a box.
  • After previously adding a dark theme, a light theme has also been added.
  • Use the Task Manager often? You can set the default tab to open up. Plus adds a DPI Awareness column that helps pinpoint offending apps.
  • Copy text, images and files between PCs is easier with the Cloud Clipboard.
  • Snip & Sketch, the heir apparent to Snipping Tool, adds further options such as capturing a window. Snipping Tool is still around for now.
  • Updated printer dialog box.
  • Updated network dialog box [if entering network information manually].

Of blocking borders and flip flopping

Donald Trump threatened on several occasions last year to close the US-Mexico border, including at one point saying the US would close the border “permanently.” Of course there is always threats but the border never closes and the immigrants continue to come in.

Trump was “100 per cent” ready to shut all, or part, of the US border with Mexico to gain leverage in his ongoing fight with Congress over immigration and his dream of a wall. A few hours later, during an evening speech at the National Republican Congressional Committee’s annual spring dinner, he suggested that his threats are working so well that he won’t be able to carry through with the plan.

He said that [with no proof] “And they’ve apprehended over 1,000 people at the southern border, their southern border. And they’re bringing them back to their countries.” The following morning, he was on Twitter demanding immediate measures from the House and Senate. “If no action, Border, or large sections of Border, will close. This is a National Emergency!” Did the 1,000 people exist? I’d say no.

In the meantime, nobody it seems wants the border closed. Not even fellow Republicans. Among the statistics: 500,000 people legally cross the border each day in Texas alone, $726 million US is the estimated losses to US businesses and farmers, per day, if the border is closed and 1 million manufacturing jobs that would be at risk. Auto parts, produce and fruits are exported to the US from Mexico.

Trump changed his mind again on closing the border with Mexico. Initially he said “We’re going to give them a one-year warning, and if the drugs don’t stop or (are) largely stopped, we’re going to put tariffs on Mexico and products, in particular, the cars … and if that doesn’t stop the drugs, we close the border.” This he said to reporters. But later he said “I don’t think we’ll ever have to close the border because the penalty of tariffs on cars coming into the United States from Mexico, at 25%, will be massive.”

When asked if his comments suggested that his new auto tariffs mean the southern border will remain open for at least a year, Trump responded: “No, I didn’t say that.” But he did when he spoke to reporters. Previously he said he would give Mexico one week to increase apprehensions of migrants from Central America from coming toward the US — and threatened a border closure as a consequence.

“Congress has to meet quickly and make a deal. I could do it in 45 minutes. We need to get rid of chain migration,” Trump said. “We need to get rid of catch and release and visa lottery. And we have to do something about asylum. And to be honest with you, we have to get rid of judges.”

Trump has been running the country for about 27 months now. Why hasn’t he proposed anything to the Republicans to fix these problems instead of continuously whining about it. As well “get rid of judges” – we will assume he means immigration judges and not judges in general.

Trump announced the US would be cutting funding to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, blaming them for migrant caravans that have come to the southern border recently and saying the cuts were because “they haven’t done a thing for us.” The three countries get close to $1.3 billion in aid.

“It’s something that I’m sure we’ll be looking into and studying,” Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers when asked about the economic impact of closing the border crossings with Mexico because Trump has claimed Mexico hasn’t done enough to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the US through Mexico.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said that when it comes to the contacts members of Trump’s campaign team had with Russians during the 2016 election, “the issue is not whether it’s ethical.” Then he said “the voters are going to decide about the ethics and morality of the people they vote for on either side.” Ummmm. If it is possibly illegal it is not the voters who should decide.

Shocker. Some of Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team said Attorney General William Barr left out some parts of the report that wouldn’t look good for Trump.

Republicans criticized efforts by House Democrats to obtain Trump’s tax returns with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy warning that the request “sets a dangerous standard of having the federal government used as a political weapon” and dismissing the move as “a waste of time.” Laughingly, McCarthy argued that Democrats have not accepted Trump’s victory in the last presidential election and are trying to “use the power of government” for political retaliation.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal formally requested Trump’s tax returns from the IRS. Trump said that he wouldn’t be inclined to provide his tax returns to Congress until he was no longer under audit. Damn that’s one long audit! Is he still being audited from 2016 and before?

Trump has already hinted that he is willing to go to the Supreme Court to block Congress in accessing his tax returns. Exactly what is he hiding? There is obviously something damaging [and not some excuse like a privacy issue]. And if the Supreme Court doesn’t side with him will he still withhold the information?

Trump said that Republicans are working on a new health care plan but won’t introduce it until after the 2020 election. Trump’s statements come a week after his administration announced that it now agreed with a judge’s ruling that the entire Affordable Care Act should be scrapped. The opinion was a dramatic reversal from the administration’s previous stance that only portions of the act could not be defended.

Trump’s latest move allows him to wait on the issue as legal challenges against the health care law, also known as Obamacare, make their way through the federal court system. If it’s ultimately overturned, Trump can claim he made good on a campaign promise in time for his 2020 re-election campaign. If it’s upheld, he can rail against a “liberal” court system.

So not killing ObamaCare is another failed campaign promise. No matter how he spins it, he never replaced it.

“Everybody agrees that ObamaCare doesn’t work. Premiums & deductibles are far too high – Really bad HealthCare! Even the Dems want to replace it, but with Medicare for all, which would cause 180 million Americans to lose their beloved private health insurance,” Trump tweeted. Except the Democrats aren’t in a rush to replace it and ObamaCare works for 20+ million who would be left off any plan under Trump’s plans.

According to Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, one part of Trump’s healthcare plan would increase the out-of-pocket limit by 2.5% more than it would have otherwise – $8,200 per person or $16,400 per family.

A White House staff member has told House investigators that senior officials have overruled concerns raised about 25 individuals whose security clearances were initially denied over a range of disqualifying issues.

Jared Kushner goes on Fox News for an interview. He is asked about the whistle-blower who said maybe 25 people including him and Ivanka sidestepped the security process. He rambles on about collusion [his father-in-law would be proud], answering various questions from investigations, etc. – but never answers the interviewer’s questions. Sounds like a politician.

While having a chat with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg [who’s from Germany], Trump claimed [for the third time] that his father was born in Germany when he was actually born in New York. In fact, his paternal grand-father was]. Years ago, Trump denied his father was German.

Trump pushed in February for his nomination of the Internal Revenue Service’s chief counsel [Michael Desmond], to be fast-tracked in the Senate, even before the chamber held confirmation hearings on Trump’s pending nominee for attorney general. The Senate eventually confirmed Desmond in late February. Trump may need Desmond to block attempts by the Democrats to release his taxes.

Trump said that he’s recommending his friend Herman Cain, a former pizza executive of Godfather’s Pizza, who dropped his bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination amid sexual harassment allegations, for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board. From 1992 to 1996, he served as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Possibly a reason to hire him is because Cain is black.

A long-time sportswriter, Rick Reilly, who claims in a new book that Trump frequently cheats at golf likened Trump’s habit to a way of “showing you that he’s better than you.” Reilly even allegedly Trump cheating against professional players. I guess Reilly won’t be playing golf with Trump anymore!

According to Reilly, Trump hit two balls in the water when he played professional golfer Tiger Woods and then claimed to have almost tied with him, kicked sportscaster Mike Tirico’s ball into a bunker when the two played, and claims to have a 2.8 handicap despite professionals such as Dustin Johnson assessing him to be a 9 or 10.

Trump’s caddies also allegedly know to accommodate his penchant, Reilly said — “He kicks the ball out of the rough so many times, the caddies call him ‘Pele,'” after the famous soccer player.

“If you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75% in value…. And they say the noise causes cancer.” Last month it was 65% and he uses the word “they” which is his code word for no one. The fastest-growing occupation in the US in 2017 was wind turbine technician, although it’s still a small part of the economy. More than 105,000 Americans are employed in the wind industry across all 50 states.

Former Fox News contributor Morgan Ortagus, the expected pick to become the next State Department spokesperson, repeatedly criticized Trump during the 2016 Republican presidential primary. Ortagus publicly lambasted then-candidate Trump over what she called his “isolationist foreign policy approach,” and blasted behavior she qualified as “disgusting” and “not serious.”

The House passed a resolution calling for the end of any US military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, sending the proposal to the White House where it is expected to be vetoed by Trump. The Senate passed the resolution and made clear their votes were also aimed at expressing their frustrations with Trump’s continued support for Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Even though 18 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, Trump is making fun at recent claims against former Vice President Joe Biden on the same.

During an interview Trump kept on saying “oringes” – that was even list on White House web site transcript.

Trump publicly bragged about pressuring Canada to accept his terms for a new North American free-trade agreement after he said the negotiators were “not at all nice” during the talks, but he “made them nice.” In previous speeches and tweets, he called Canada “very spoiled”.

Former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, a foe of Trump, would prefer a Democrat win the 2020 election than have Trump serve a second term, saying that “four years is difficult enough to unravel some of the damage” done internationally by the administration.

Former first lady Barbara Bush didn’t consider herself a Republican after rump took office, according to a forthcoming book by author Susan Page wrote in an excerpt adapted from her new book, “The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty.”