Windows 11 – 23H2 features preview release

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While the true release of 23H2 is scheduled for release in the 4th quarter, the preview release is usually close to the finished product & is being released for beta testing & QA purposes.

Microsoft Releases Windows 11 23H2 Preview —

Windows 11 23H2 is coming with new features including

  • Windows Copilot looks to be one of the more substantial, with additions that go beyond the addition of Microsoft’s newest AI-powered assistant feature.
  • A new app called Windows Backup, which will ease the backup process of restoring content on a device. For Edge users, the feature will also allow the syncing of user browser history, bookmarks and saved passwords, to allow access on any device.
  • Windows Passkey, powered by Windows Hello, allows for passwordless login to Windows devices through fingerprint, face or pin. It will also allow access to supported Web sites and services through the new authentication method.
  • Adaptive Dimming brings power-saving tech to your PC by automatically detecting if you are no longer looking at your screen, and adjusting the brightness to reduce energy use.  Windows will also log in through facial recognition and log out when it detects you have left your PC.
  • Config Refresh will allow IT to control when settings in the PolicyCSP will be reset. Microsoft said this feature will help to reconfigure a PC during troubleshooting.

FTC – Protecting children from stealth advertising and privacy attacks

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The FTC shares excellent advice on protecting children from stealth advertising and privacy attacks.  Some attacks may blend into gaming or other activities surreptitiously.  Parents, teachers, and other leaders should guide & educate promoting best safety practices accordingly

Blurred ads and kids and teens: What to know | Consumer Advice (

FTC Staff Paper Details Potential Harms to Kids from Blurred Advertising, Recommends Marketers Steer Clear | Federal Trade Commission

In the document, FTC staff detailed some of the main takeaways from an October 2022 workshop, Protecting Kids from Stealth Advertising in Digital Media, the agency held that examined how blurred advertising online and in digital spaces makes it difficult for children to distinguish between advertising and other content.   “We now live in a world where kids spend many hours a day online, often in immersive environments where advertising and content are deliberately difficult to distinguish,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The serious concerns highlighted through our workshop make clear that the best way to protect children from the harms of blurred advertising is to not blur advertising.”

Windows 11 – free upgrade from WIN7 and WIN8 discontinued

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Microsoft is implementing new restrictions on the capability for Windows 7/8 users to update to Windows 11.  And most users using outdated WIN7 or WIN8 systems are on devices to old to support WIN10 or WIN11 effectively.

Microsoft Kills Free Windows 7 to Windows 11 Upgrade Option | PCMag

Windows Ends Installation Path for Free Windows 7/8 Upgrade (

The option to upgrade to the latest version of Windows 11 for free using a Windows 7 or Windows 8 key is no longer available.  The free upgrade path from Windows 7 to Windows 11 was more of a loophole. When Windows 10 launched, Microsoft allowed Windows 7/8 users to upgrade for free. That option was meant to end in 2016, but continued to work indefinitely without explanation. When Windows 11 launched, the same free upgrade path remained available.  However, as Neowin reports, Microsoft posted a message on its Device Partner Center website earlier this month stating, “The installation path to obtain the Windows 7 / 8 free upgrade is now removed as well.”  If you’re running Windows 10, then the upgrade to Windows 11 remains free as long as your hardware meets the minimum system requirements. And it seems a Windows 7/8 key still works as long as the Windows 11 version being upgraded to is 22H2 or older. Attempting to use one of those keys with the newer 24H2 build or subsequent builds in future won’t work.

Mozilla Firefox – v118 security and features release

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The latest Firefox v118 should update automatically & transparently for most users.  Key new features & security improvements can be found in latest release.

Firefox 118.0, See All New Features, Updates and Fixes (

Security Vulnerabilities fixed in Firefox 118 — Mozilla

Mozilla has released security updates to address vulnerabilities for Thunderbird 115.3, Firefox ESR 115.3, and Firefox 118. A cyber threat actor could exploit these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system. CISA encourages users and administrators to review Mozilla security advisories for Thunderbird 115.3Firefox ESR 115.3 and Firefox 118 for more information and apply the necessary updates.

DSL Modem – 2023 product evaluation by PC World

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DSL modems are older technology based on copper wiring that are gradually being phased out in favor of fiber.  However, in rural areas there are least expensive & often only option for many.  PC World & other evaluations below list leading models that support these older technological standards in 2023

Your modem is the bridge between your device and the wonderful world of the Internet, which is why the best DSL modems are worth getting. Wthout one, there’s simply no way to get online, so say goodbye to your Insta feed, get your Twitter account in order, shut down that FB page…you’re off the grid.  In the U.S. the other major type of internet connection is cable, browse our guide if you are in the market for the best cable modems.  The annoying thing is that when you’re ready to get back into cyberspace, no two DSL modems are the same. Some are amazing, while some are, well…not so amazing, and if your major was anything other than computer science, differentiating between the good, the bad, and the downright ugly, can seem like an impossible task.



Apple iPhone 15 – in-depth review by PC Magazine

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The new iPhone 15 is featured in an in-depth review by PC Magazine

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max Review | PCMag

iPhones are never cheap and the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the costliest of the bunch. At $1,199 for the base 256GB model, it’s $200 more than the base iPhone 15 Pro. That price difference get you double the storage, a larger screen, notably better battery life, and a significantly more powerful 5x zoom lens on the telephoto camera. Otherwise, the two phones share the new titanium frame, customizable Action button, USB-C port with speedy data transfers and reverse charging, A17 Pro processor, and helpful always-on display. The iPhone 15 Plus ($899) costs even less but loses the speedy processor, telephoto camera, always-on display, and more. If you prefer Android, the Galaxy S23 Ultra ($1,199) and Google Pixel 7 Pro ($899) are the best alternatives. The S23 Ultra has better optical zoom and the S Pen stylus, while the Pixel 7 Pro has truly helpful AI-based photo editing tools on board. But if you’re looking for the best iPhone for creating content of any kind, the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max is well worth the price of admission, earning it our Editors’ Choice award. Add in superior battery life, a longer camera zoom range, and higher base storage than the smaller iPhone 15 Pro, and it’s clear the 15 Pro Max is the best iPhone for serious creators and power users, as well as our Editors’ Choice winner.

Internet Service Providers 2023 survey by PC Magazine

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PC Magazine shares their annual survey of Internet Service Providers for 2023 survey

Best Internet Service Providers for 2023 | PCMag

Yep, ISPs Are Charging More for the Same Service | PCMag

The first thing to notice about the list of all the ISPs in the US is that the top winner (Starlink) is the same as in the previous list. In fact, most of the top 10 all-around ISPS are the same as the top 10 major ISPs. (The top ten are shown here, but the full list of 84 ISPs that qualified by getting at least 100 tests in our PCMag Speed Test can be found at the end of this story.) For example, the top ten list for the Best ISPs, whether the majors or all ISPs, includes Fios, Spectrum, Xfinity, Astound Broadband (2 flavors), and WOW!

Back in 2016 and 2017, Google Fiber was new and attractive, with the speeds to prove it. Google Fiber earns the top spot as the fiber-to-the-home broadband service of choice, the best in the nation. While the service is fast, it also has the best price per Mbps of any ISP in our results.  Verizon Fios has been strong in the northeast section of the country in most of our previous fastest ISPs stories. Even splitting the region into the New England and Middle Atlantic doesn’t change that. Fios is not only the best ISP for the New England states, but it also earns the highest PCMag Cumulative Broadband ISP Index we see among all the divisions: 30.2. (

Windows 11 Copilot – New Artificial Intelligence platform CEO keynote and videos

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Recently, Microsoft formally released a highly improved version of Windows 11 Copilot .  Microsoft CEO keynote and other u-tube videos share highlights for this new product.


Windows 11 Copilot – New Artificial Intelligence platform integration release

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Windows Copilot is a new Artificial Intelligence facility that collects & “learns” from history to help in further automating activities & simplifying common technical/detailed tasks.  This latest release can now capture & integrate data/procedures from multiple devices.

Microsoft Reveals Unified AI Platform Copilot Availability —

Test Driving Windows 11 Copilot, Part 1: Getting Started —

Microsoft announced a unification of its AI-powered Copilot into one platform.  During an event on Thursday focusing on generative AI and Surface devices, Microsoft demonstrated how its Copilot assistant will work seamlessly across the company’s ecosystem — from Windows, to Edge to mobile.    “We believe Copilot will fundamentally transform the relationship with technology and usher in a new era of personal computing: the age of copilots,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella during Thursday’s hour-long event.

According to the company, it will help make the PC experience more intuitive by learning from your day-to-day data, browsing history and work activity.  “With the convergence of chat interfaces and large-language models, you can now ask for what you want in natural language, and the technology is smart enough to answer, create it or take action,” said Mehdi. “At Microsoft, we think about this as having a copilot to help navigate any task.”

Copilot for Windows will bring “over 150 new features” to the operating system starting next week, including access to the AI assistance through the taskbar or with the Win+C keyboard shortcut. Once open, Copilot will reside in a side panel. The company said that Copilot can be called to assist across a myriad of Microsoft apps, including Word, Edge and PowerPoint.

Microsoft – renames Azure Active Directory to Entra ID

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Microsoft is in process of renaming Azure Active Directory to Entra ID that better differentiates cloud v. client/server security controls.  This will be completed in 2024

Microsoft Updates Entra ID Name Change Timeline —

Azure AD Rename Rollout and Resources – Microsoft Community Hub

Microsoft provided an update on its rename transition for Azure Active Directory, which is now mostly getting called “Entra ID,” in a Tuesday announcement.  Organizations can expect to see product name changes to “Microsoft Entra ID Free, Microsoft Entra ID P1, and Microsoft Entra ID P2 on October 1, 2023.” The name switch to Entra ID is expected to be mostly completed “by mid-November of this year.” However, it’ll be completed for on-premises software “in 2024,” the announcement indicated.  Nothing changes but the name, Microsoft emphasized. There are “no changes to capabilities, licensing, terms of service, or support.”



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