This week @ TCG..

Production machine maintenance:

The X Port on the CM690 gave up on me, so now the best feature of the case, and the reason for buying the case, will cost more than $50 to fix. This is because the offending circuit board in the top of the case has given out and CoolerMaster only supply the entire top, not just the 20c board.

Overall, the case has been ok, BUT it has had three new tops already in a bid to cure bad grounding in the case’s electronics which used to cause sudden shutdowns on a regular basis. I thought that I had all of that behind me and that the case would be ok. I was wrong. My next case will not come from the CoolerMaster stable. Sorry guys.. Sad smile

While looking into the above issue, I gave it a thorough cleaning out and replaced an 80mm fan which had been supplying airflow to the fanless graphics card for a 140mm fan. Has it made a difference? Hardly, but it was a nice fan, removed from a broken power supply, and I felt that I needed to use it.. Smile 

MS Office 2016 Preview:

It looks a lot like Office 2013 which was a round edged version of Office 2010. Is there more to Office 2016 or am I missing something here?

The Netbook:

For a mediocre Netbook of it’s time, performance running Windows 10 is remarkable. it’s cute enough to be a poster child for Windows 10 free upgrades. I still have the Windows 7 drive intact and ready to be used for the final upgrade.. Smile

Removal instructions for UnfriendAlert

What is UnfriendAlert?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that UnfriendAlert is adware. These adware applications display advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing.

Copy files over PS remoting sessions

One neat feature of the April 2015 WMF 5.0 preview is that you can copy files over a remoting session.

First create a session to a remote machine

$cs = New-PSSession -ComputerName W12R2SUS


Define the source and destination for the copy.  Use –ToSession to determine the remoting session you will use to determine the remote machine

Copy-Item -Path C:Sourcetest.csv -Destination C:Sourcetest.csv -ToSession $cs


You use –FromSession to copy from a remote machine

Copy-Item -Path C:Sourcesrv.csv -Destination C:Sourcesrv.csv -FromSession $cs


What you can’t do is copy from one session to another

$cs2 = New-PSSession -ComputerName server02

£> Copy-Item -Path C:Source*.csv -Destination C:Source -FromSession $cs2 -ToSession $cs
Copy-Item : ‘-FromSession’ and ‘-ToSession’ are mutually exclusive and cannot be specified at the same time.

How to Synchronize Clock with an Internet Time Server in Windows 10

Your PC’s clock is used to record the time whenever you create or modify files on your PC. You can change the clock’s time and time zone.

You can synchronize your PC’s clock with an Internet time server. This means that the clock on your PC is updated to match the clock on the time server, which can help ensure that the clock’s time on your PC is accurate. Your clock is typically automatically updated once a week and needs to be connected to the Internet for the synchronization to occur.

This tutorial will show you how to synchronize your PC’s clock with an Internet time server for all users in Windows 10.

Read more…

How to Change the Time in Windows 10

Your PC’s clock is used to record the time whenever you create or modify files on your PC. You can change the clock’s time and time zone.

Time is a measure in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future, and also the measure of durations of events and the intervals between them.

This tutorial will show you different ways on how to change the time on the system clock for all users in Windows 10.

Read more…

How to Change the Date in Windows 10

A calendar date is a reference to a particular day represented within a calendar system. The calendar date allows the specific day to be identified.

This tutorial will show you how to change the date on the PC for all users in Windows 10.

Read more…

How to Change the Time Zone in Windows 10

Your PC’s clock is used to record the time whenever you create or modify files on your PC. You can change the clock’s time and time zone.

A time zone is a region that observes a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes. Time zones tend to follow the boundaries of countries and their subdivisions because it is convenient for areas in close commercial or other communication to keep the same time.

This tutorial will show you how to change the time zone on the PC for all users in Windows 10.

Read more…

Removal instructions for HD-Quality-3.1

What is HD-Quality-3.1?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that HD-Quality-3.1 is a browser hijacker. These so-called “hijackers” manipulate your browser(s), for example to change your startpage or searchscopes, so that the affected browser visits their site or one of their choice. This one also displays advertisements.

PowerShell Summit Europe 2015 – – sold out

The PowerShell Summit Europe 2015 is sold out.  Please be aware that we don’t maintain a waiting list as the Summit is a benefit of  PowerShell Association membership

How to Change Visual Effects Settings in Windows 10

Visual effects are the visual bells and whistles for the appearance of Windows for your account. These visual bells and whistles can affect the performance of Windows on the PC though.

If Windows is running slowly, you can speed it up by disabling some of its visual effects. It comes down to appearance versus performance. Would you rather have Windows run faster or look prettier? If your PC is fast enough, you don’t have to make this tradeoff, but if your PC is just barely powerful enough for Windows 10, it can be useful to scale back on the visual bells and whistles.

There are 17 visual effects in Windows 10. You can choose which visual effects to turn off, one by one, or you can let Windows choose for you.

This tutorial will show you how to change the visual effects settings you want to use for the appearance and performance of Windows 10 on the PC for your account.

Read more…

Ransomware – Locker Sleeper variant activated on May 25 2015

A new variant of Ransomeware lies dormant until triggered by an activation date as described below

Dubbed Locker, this ‘sleeper’ ransomware had laid dormant on infected devices until those behind the scam activated it earlier this week. A new strain of ransomware that had laid dormant on infected devices suddenly “woke up” at midnight on Monday, May 25, security firm KnowBe4 said in an alert issued today.

Ransomware encrypts all the files on the devices it infects and demands a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key to give the content back to the original owner.  This new strain of malware, dubbed Locker, is “very similar to CryptoLocker,” the first successful modern form of ransomware that was released in late 2013 and was thwarted last year. Locker is a “sleeper” strain of malware, meaning that victims may have unintentionally downloaded it earlier, but that their devices were not encrypted until the ransomware was activated earlier this week.

PC help site Bleeping Computer has seen hundreds of reported Locker victims worldwide already, and believes it has a large installed base, KnowBe4 said in its alert. Sjouwerman says some reports indicate that the ransomware could have originated in a “compromised MineCraft installer.” Once Locker encrypts an infected device’s files, it issues a warning against users and IT professionals who might try to find another way around paying the ransom:

KnowBe4 said Locker demands a relatively small ransom payment, 0.1 bitcoin, which currently costs $23.75 (bitcoin’s value fluctuates constantly, but it was at about $237.47 for one bitcoin at the time this was written). Most ransomware attacks demand about $500 payment from all victims, suggesting that Locker is designed to make it easier for more victims to pay.

The notice that Locker issues promises that it will decrypt files in exchange for payment. “If the payment is confirmed the decryption key will be send [sic] to your computer and the Locker software will automatically start the decrypting process,” the notice reads. “We have absolutely no interest in keeping your files encrypted forever.”   Most ransomware campaigns stick to this promise to ensure that victims will pay the fee. Ransomware perpetrators know that if people don’t receive their files in exchange for the payments, word will get out to the public and no victims of ransomware will pay in the future.

Smartphone Privacy – Lookout security 2015 research report

Lookout security performed an excellent study on privacy in mobile computing recently.  Also seven best practices for improved protection are shared below

Lookout’s Mobile Privacy IQ study, a survey of smartphone owners in the United States, examines data-based trends about our privacy mindsets and how they inform our perceptions, behaviors, and feelings toward privacy when using mobile devices.  What we found is that despite being increasingly tuned in to the importance of protecting the data on their mobile devices, a clear disconnect exists between people’s understanding of what it means to be privacy conscious and the actions they take in the real world..

The results of Lookout’s Mobile Privacy IQ study highlight a gap that exists between awareness of privacy issues and the actions people are taking with their mobile devices to protect their privacy. While people claim to understand how to protect their privacy, they are still unknowingly partaking in behaviors that could put themselves and their employers at risk. Furthermore, they are still willing to trade privacy for convenience.

Mobile devices have become the predominant computing platform for both work and pleasure, and thus house and have access to valuable personal and corporate data, making them rich targets for cybercriminals. As we lay the foundation for a connected world, the need to protect privacy, across all devices, will only continue to become increasingly important.

Tips for Consumers – So how can you be proactive and ensure you’re taking the necessary steps to protect your privacy on mobile? It’s simple really – there are a number of steps people can take to prevent their personal information from falling into the wrong hands.

1. Set a pin or passcode. Don’t jump on the “no passcode” bandwagon like nearly 35% of people who say they excel in mobile privacy. Set a passcode on your phone. It’s your first line of defense against prying eyes and thieves.

2. On public Wi-Fi, limit email, social networking and only window shop. Public Wi-Fi networks are everywhere, but security for these networks is scarce, making it relatively simple for hackers to snoop on your Internet activity. Take a note from the 25% of smartphone owners who never connect to open Wi-Fi.

3. The final “s” is key. 1 in 5 smartphone users never bother to check whether a URL leads with “https” before visiting a website on mobile. When browsing the web on mobile, take the extra step once the page has fully loaded to make sure the URL you’re visiting leads with “https.” This ensures that your connection is secure.

4. Clear your browsing history regularly. We found that 17% of people have never cleared their browsing and search history on their smartphone. Go above and beyond to protect your privacy if an unauthorized third-party ever gets ahold of your device.

5. Use discretion when downloading apps and pay attention to the apps ratings and reviews. Ultimately, don’t be afraid to just say ‘no.’ If you’re uncomfortable with the info an app is accessing, don’t hesitate to stop installation or delete it. In fact, 56% of smartphone owners have decided against installing an app after reading the privacy or permissions statement.

6. If you’re not comfortable with broadcasting your location, turn Location Services off. Both Android and iOS phones have functionality that allows your location to be broadcast to a number of services.

7. And last but not least, download a mobile security app, like Lookout, that checks for malware and spyware, fights against phone loss and theft, and notifies you of the information apps on your phone are accessing.

Survey Methodology – This study was conducted via an online survey from January 29 to February 5, 2015, among 1,012 United States respondents 18+ who currently own a smartphone. Respondents were recruited from the Univox Community online survey panel. The margin of error for this survey is 3.1%.

Facebook – Profile photo best practices to safeguard privacy

Facebook recently changed privacy policies to allow more detail to be shown than just the 180×180 sized user profile photo. CNET offers an overview of recent changes, plus best practices to safeguard privacy.

No matter how securely you’ve locked down your Facebook account, you can’t make your profile pic and cover photo private. Whatever Facebook’s reasons for the policy — maybe it’s just so you could verify an acquaintance’s identity before adding them as a friend — it’s long been a part of the social network. But as a privacy consolation, you used to be able to make your profile pic “unclickable,” so that nobody, not even your friends, could click on the picture and see the full-size version.

Facebook recently changed this privacy setting (without telling anyone, of course), and now your main profile picture is always clickable by anyone, even if they’re not a friend. While strangers previously saw only a 160-by-160-pixel version of your profile pic — large enough for them to determine if they knew you, but small enough to keep them from doing anything sketchy with it — now they can see the whole thing.

I don’t like this change, even though Facebook has added some privacy precautions (for example, if you set your picture to “Only Me,” strangers won’t be able to see likes, comments or photo data associated with the photo — just the photo itself). So, if you want to keep your profile pics as private as they can be, here’s what you need to do.

BEST PRACTICES – Facebook Profile photo safeguards

Step 1: Change your profile picture — One privacy precaution Facebook added is an updated cropping tool. Up until recently, the site’s cropping tool didn’t actually crop your profile picture, it just cropped your picture for the small version and displayed the full photo when you clicked on the thumbnail.

Step 2: Use a small photo — If you don’t want your high-res photo splashed all over the Internet, crop and resize it prior to uploading it. Using an imaging tool such as Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Paint, crop your photo into a square and then resize it to 180 by 180 pixels.

Step 3: Change the individual privacy settings of your current and past profile pics — By default, all of your profile pictures are public. In other words, not only can strangers view the full-size version of your current picture, they also can flip and previous profile photos that you haven’t deleted in their full-size glory. If you change it to Only Me, they will see just the photo and nothing else.

Windows 10 – Security updates move to daily basis rather than once per month

Windows 10 will feature DAILY security patches anytime during the month, rather than the traditional Patch Tuesday update process.

Ignite 2015 Microsoft has shown off some of the new security mechanisms embedded in Windows 10, and revealed a change to its software updates. Windows supremo Terry Myerson reckons the revised security patch rollout – effectively ditching the monthly Patch Tuesday.  Myerson promised that with the new version of Windows, Microsoft will release security updates to PCs, tablets and phones 24/7, as well as pushing other software “innovations,” effectively putting an end to the need for a Patch Tuesday once a month.

Windows 10 enterprise customers will stay on the monthly update cycle, which will be reworked as Windows Update for Business: this will allow IT managers to pick and choose updates to deploy, and set when they will be automatically installed.  He also said that the patching system had been updated to allow much tighter control over branch offices and remote users, who may not have decent bandwidth. Patches can be distributed peer-to-peer, and the timing of the installations can be set to ensure update downloads do not interfere with day-to-day operations.

Two Factor Authentication – Challenges and new approaches for 2015

The challenges of security authentication controls are discussed in informative article.  A new approach ties in smartphone ownership with a tap to “okay” access rather than to key a 2nd one-time password to make approach easier for end user,2817,2484693,00.asp

One problem with passwords for security is that the bad guys can guess simple passwords, yet the good guys can’t remember strong passwords. You can solve that one by installing and using a password manager. The other problem is worse, in a way. Anybody who knows your password, no matter who or where they are, can use it to unlock your account. Two-factor authentication is the vaunted solution to the second problem…but there’s a new problem.

Two Factor is Too Hard — The important thing about two-factor authentication is that it buttresses the password (something you know) with biometric technology (something you are) or some kind of device-based solution (something you have). So far, though, many two-factor solutions are just enough trouble users reject them.

Biometric implementations typically take the form of fingerprint authentication. First, that means they’re only good for devices that include a fingerprint reader. Second, you typically need to enroll multiple fingers on each device where you’ll be authenticating. Don’t get me wrong, biometrics can be great. Touch ID is one of the best things about my iPhone 6, but it doesn’t help me on other devices.

Google Authenticator, Twilio Authy, and various SMS-based solutions make your smartphone part of the login experience. After entering your password, you receive a notification containing a one-time code to complete the authentication process. Right. So, enter the password, dredge your phone out of pocket or purse, peer at it while entering the code (hurry; those codes are only good for a short while). That’s not a smooth experience.

A New Simplicity – Couldn’t it be easier than that? Couldn’t your possession of the smartphone be considered enough? The folks behind the Keeper Password Manager think so. Just released, the new Keeper DNA authentication system requires just a tap. You’ll still have to whip out your smartphone, but you no longer need to poke at the keys to enter a code. And those using the Apple Watch can authenticate with a twist of the wrist and a tap.

Removal instructions for Gardening Enthusiast

What is Gardening Enthusiast?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Gardening Enthusiast is a browser hijacker. These so-called “hijackers” manipulate your browser(s), for example to change your startpage or searchscopes, so that the affected browser visits their site or one of their choice. This one also displays advertisements.
Gardening Enthusiast is a Mindspark/Ask toolbar.

Spybot Search & Destroy Weekly Update – May 27, 2015


++ Ad.TowerTilt + Ad.WebGet + Firseria + Pricepeep
+ AdParatus + PU.FreeGames ++ PU.SpeedMaxPc
+ AdRotator
+ Win32.Bancos + Win32.Downloader.HicrazykA
Total: 2607024 fingerprints in 817892 rules for 7458 products.

» ··· updates/

Facebook – WhatsAPP may allow business messaging directly to users

Facebook recently purchased the popular smart phone messaging company WhatsAPP.  It may allow business to directly send special messages and discounts to Facebook customers

Last year, Facebook purchased the massively popular messenger application WhatsApp for $21.8 billion. Under the site’s ownership, the app’s user base has continued to grow at a rapid rate, going from 600 million users last August to 800 million now. However, the app isn’t cheap to run; while it made $14 million in the first half of 2014, it lost a staggering $232 million through stock-related expenses during that same time period. What does that mean for users? They’ll likely soon experience Facebook’s efforts to monetize the app—and those efforts might feel invasive.

“We think that enabling that B2C [business-to-consumer] messaging has good business potential for us,” Facebook Chief Financial Officer David Wehner said at a tech conference this week. “As we learn those things, I think there’s going to be opportunities to bring some of those things to WhatsApp, but that’s more longer term.”

In other words, businesses could directly communicate with you on WhatsApp, the same space where you host private conversations with friends. These companies won’t directly interact with your friends in any way or intrude on your conversations, but the fact that they’re entering that space is sure to freak out some privacy-concerned users. As Facebook gathers more and more information about its users, the more advertising is likely to reach you—on both public and private platforms.

Leadership – Success achieved through Lessons Learned approach

John Maxwell’s leadership blog features key tactics to learn from our mistakes and improve during future endeavors

If you’re going to lose—and you are because everyone does—then why not turn it into a gain? How do you do that? By learning from it. A loss isn’t totally a loss if you learn something as a result of it. Your losses can come to define you if you let them. If you stay where a loss leaves you, then eventually you can get stuck there. But you can choose to change, grow, and learn from your losses.   A loss doesn’t turn into a lesson unless we work hard to make it so. Losing gives us an opportunity to learn, but many people do not seize it. And when they don’t, losing really hurts.

Learning is not easy during down times, because it requires us to do things that are not natural. It is hard to smile when we are not happy. It is difficult to respond positively when numb with defeat. It takes discipline to do the right thing when everything is going wrong.   If that is your desire—to become a learner from losses—you need to change the way you look at losses, cultivate qualities that help you respond to them, and develop the ability to learn from them. I believe you can do that using this road map:

1. Cultivate Humility: The Spirit of Learning
2. Face Reality: The Foundation of Learning
3. Accept Responsibility: The First Step of Learning
4. Seek Improvement: The Focus of Learning
5. Nurture Hope: The Motivation of Learning
6. Develop Teachability: The Pathway of Learning
7. Overcome Adversity: The Catalyst for Learning
8. Expect Problems: Opportunities for Learning
9. Understand Bad Experiences: The Perspective for Learning
10. Embrace Change: The Price of Learning
11. Benefit from Maturity: The Value of Learning

AntiVirus Pro 2017 Removal Guide

AntiVirus Pro 2017 is a computer infection from the Rogue.WinPCDefender family of rogue anti-spyware programs. This program is classified as a rogue because it deliberately displays false scan results, fake security alerts, and prevents you from running any programs on your computer. This program is promoted through fake online antimalware scanners and as a program required to view online videos. Once installed, AntiVirus Pro 2017 will automatically scan your computer and then state that there are numerous infections on your computer. If you attempt to remove any of these so-called infections it will state that you first need to purchase the program in order to remove anything. As many of the detected files are actually legitimate, please do not manually delete anything that this rogue detects as it may affect the proper operating of Windows and your installed programs. Instead ignore the scan results and proceed with the rest of the removal guide.

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