FPCUG Logo

Fredericksburg
Personal Computer
Users Group

Bulletins
announcements-r (2K)  ... Items of Special Interest! ...

For Today's Technology News, click here!


For an archive of older Items, click here!

Please be aware that some older links have expired and are no longer available!


Tech Headlines
selected from Daily Rotation


Friday, January 19, 2018

Some Basic Rules for Securing Your IoT Stuff

Are Online Colleges Fully Accredited?

Meltdown and Spectre FAQ: How the critical CPU flaws affect PCs and Macs It varies widely depending on your hardware, operating system, and workload.

Next iOS Update Can Disable iPhone Slowdown Feature Tim Cook confirmed that the ability to disable the slowdown will arrive in February as part of an iPhone battery health feature being added to iOS.

HDMI 2.1: What You Need to Know A new HDMI standard is out, and that means faster ports and cables for your home entertainment devices. Here are the details.

The Best Laptops of 2018 Whether you want a simple budget laptop, a productivity workhorse, or a screaming machine for gaming, there's something here for you, along with all the shopping advice you need.

Intel: Spectre Patch Reboot Issue Affects Newer Chips, Too In addition to Broadwell- and Haswell-based platforms, the reboot problem is affecting some firmware updated systems running Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake, and Kaby Lake chips.

PALE YELLOW DOT This Mind-Blowing Visualization Shows How Tiny Our Sun Is Compared To The Universe's Biggest Stars   Our Sun. It's really big. Vastly, stupefyingly huge. Just kidding, it's actually pretty small by the universe's standards.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Windows tip of the week
By Ed Bott

Quick access to special characters and emoji

Modern communications require much more than simple letters and numbers. If you regularly correspond with friends and co-workers who speak a foreign language, you need quick access to characters that aren't part of the standard US English alphabet, including variations with accents and tildes and other diacritical marks.

In Windows 10, you can find most special characters, including those that contain accents or diacritical marks, by using the Charmap utility (Charmap.exe). But there's a faster way: Open the touch keyboard using its shortcut in the navigation area and then press or click and hold any letter to see alternatives. For example, press and hold n to see ñ, or do the same with a vowel like a or e to see its many accented alternatives.

And of course, you need emoji. Because who can resist adding the perfect graphical gesture at the end of a pithy remark? Beginning in 2017, you can open a searchable, multi-tabbed emoji panel by using the keyboard shortcut Windows key + . (period) or Windows key + ; (semicolon).

Charging Your Phone Overnight: Battery Myths Debunked Is it bad-or even dangerous-to leave a smartphone plugged in as you sleep? The answer is complicated, as are many things regarding batteries.

James Webb Space Telescope Completes Deep-Freeze Testing

Geekly Update - 17 January 2018

Watch the amazing moment a 'rare' meteor burst across the night sky over Michigan


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Will Apple finally pay a price for keeping secrets? Apple's battery slowdown shenanigans are beginning to catch up with it.

Microsoft is shutting down its free upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 January 16 Microsoft's Windows 8.1 has moved out of mainstream support, meaning that users are essentially running a dead OS. But there's still one more way to upgrade to Windows 10 for free.

[GADGETS] Best of CES 2018


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

NASA Finds Vast Deposits of Ice Just Under Martian Surface

30 free macOS apps every Mac user should have From useful utilities to handy archivers and transcoders, here are 30 free yet powerful macOS apps you can download today.

[HOWTO] Change Your Email Address (or not)

WPA3 Promises Better Wi-Fi Security with Less Effort


Monday, January 15, 2018

Here's how, and why, the Spectre and Meltdown patches will hurt performance Now that microcode and patches are starting to ship, a clearer picture is emerging.

The Week's Coolest Space Images


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Facebook Messenger for Kids?

Fun With Google Chrome: Tips and Tricks

CES 2018: Top Tech Trends It's easy to get lost in the slew of product announcements at CES on a micro level, but if you step back and look at the big picture, you can see some trends emerge.

CES 2018 Photo Gallery The PCMag staff is making the rounds in Las Vegas and snapping shots of the coolest gadgets and other photo-worthy highlights.

Hitting the Las Vegas Strip in Lyft's Self-Driving Car After 20 minutes of being shuttled around the Las Vegas Strip, I found myself almost disappointed by the simplicity of the demo-it just worked.

The Most Eye-Catching TVs at CES 2018 It's still a race to have the biggest, baddest TV at CES. These are the most interesting ones we saw in Las Vegas.

11 Jaw-Dropping Prototypes at CES 2018 Innovation is alive and well at CES. These are the concepts that caught our eye.

How to Upgrade Your Car's Dashboard Smarts CES 2018 offers several ways you can take your current ride and upgrade its smarts into connected car territory.

The Snazziest Cars of CES 2018 CES 2018 firmly cemented this event as a premiere showcase for automotive tech. Here are the cars that caught our eye during the show.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Windows tip of the week
By Ed Bott

Change audio devices on the fly

Unbeknownst to you, your desktop PC might have multiple audio devices available for playback. That can happen, for example, if your monitor has built-in speakers but you have also connected external speakers from an onboard sound card.

Things get even more complicated when you connect a webcam, a microphone, or a headset.

In these configurations, Windows makes its best guess as to which devices you want to use for playback and input. If you can't hear audio, or if your microphone doesn't seem to be working, you might need to manually change the default device.

>To switch to a different playback device, right-click the Speaker icon in the notification area and then click Playback Devices. The green checkmark indicates the current default device. Select a different device from the list and click Set Default to change devices. To specify a headset for use only with communication apps, choose Default Communication Device from the Set Default dropdown menu. To assign a microphone, use the Set Default button on the Recording tab.

Windows Meltdown patch: No more security updates for your PC if your AV isn't compatible Microsoft has updated its support notice to say that Windows computers will not receive any security updates at all until their AV software is certified compatible with the Spectre and Meltdown patches.

WPA3 is coming to Wi-Fi routers in 2018, with better encryption and login management The Wi-Fi Alliance also announces improvements to WPA2, as a stopgap while the new routers roll out.

Geekly Update - 10 January 2018

For Truly Connected Cars, We Need to Wait for 5G The connected car technologies at CES are amazing. But before we see most of them deployed in the real world, we'll need to see a breathing 5G network, too.

10 Ways to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal Check out these quick tips to get the strongest signal from your wireless router, extend and optimize your Wi-Fi coverage, and speed up your surfing.

Mysterious radio signals may come from a zombie star lurking near a supermassive black hole It's still not aliens

Microsoft's Jan. 2018 Patch Tuesday Lowdown

Your iPhone tracks every place you visit. Here's how to see the map

NVIDIA updates video drivers to help address CPU memory security (updated) It's not directly affected by Meltdown or Spectre, however


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Windows emergency Meltdown patch: Microsoft stops update for AMD PCs after crash reports Following claims the patches trapped some AMD PCs in an endless loop, Microsoft today announced the Windows updates would not be rolled out to affected machines.

Scary Chip Flaws Raise Spectre of Meltdown

Hold on to your aaSes: Yup, Windows 10 'as a service' is incoming

[SCAM ALERT] Is TotalAV a Total SCAM?


Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The FCC Thinks American Broadband Standards Are Way Too Fast

[README] Before You Buy A Hard Drive

How to Upgrade to a Larger SSD

Samsung Reveals 'The Wall,' a Massive 146-Inch Video Wall Pricing and availability won't be released until March, but Samsung says The Wall is a consumer product, not a prototype or proof-of-concept model.

Border Agents Searched 11,000 More Devices in 2017 U.S. Customs and Border Protection also announced updated guidelines for what agents can look at when searching travelers' electronic devices.

Emergency Windows Meltdown patch locks some AMD PCs into endless loop After installing the update users say their PCs are unable to boot and eventually get stuck in an endless loop, as they try to roll back to an earlier version of the OS.


Monday, January 08, 2018

In the Middle of Nowhere, Panasonic Builds a Smart City In a remote area near the Denver Airport, Panasonic is installing LED street lighting and community-wide Wi-Fi, and prepping for autonomous cars. PCMag stopped by for a visit.


Saturday, January 06, 2018

Apple: All Mac & iOS devices affected by Spectre & Meltdown flaws, but there are 'no known exploits'

Apple Confirms 'Meltdown' and 'Spectre' Vulnerabilities Impact All Macs and iOS Devices, Some Fixes Already Released

Spectre and Meltdown: Details you need on those big chip flaws Design flaws in processors from leading chipmakers could let attackers access sensitive information. How did this happen, and what's the fix?

The Greatest Leap, Part 1: How the Apollo fire propelled NASA to the Moon "The conquest of space is worth the risk of life," said Gus Grissom.

Apollo 8 and the 50/50 bet that won the Space Race for America The Greatest Leap, Part 2: If Apollo 8 failed, NASA's Moon dreams would crumble.

The Greatest Leap, Part 3: The triumph and near-tragedy of the first Moon landing Across the cislunar blackness, we set sail for a landing that almost didn't happen.

Microsoft speeds up latest Windows 10 upgrade delivery 2017's final Windows 10 feature upgrade is being pushed out to customers faster than Microsoft released the year's first revision.

[UPDATE] Is Windows Defender Enough Security?

How to Protect Your Devices Against Meltdown, Spectre Bugs It's not just Intel machines. Here's everything you need to know about how to protect your PC, Mac, and mobile device against the chip-level security flaws that were disclosed this week.


Friday, January 05, 2018

Security flaws put virtually all phones, computers at risk

Tech Winners and Losers 2017

SpaceX Posts Drone Flyby Video of Falcon Heavy Rocket

Microsoft is already fixing the big chip bug - here are the Windows PCs that will be most affected

MELTDOWN AND SPECTRE Two Major Security Flaws Found In Almost Every Processor - Here's What's Going On


Thursday, January 04, 2018

Windows tip of the week
By Ed Bott

Cut down on repetitive typing in Command Prompt windows

Windows experts know that using the command line is often the fastest way to get things done. The more you use a Command Prompt window (Cmd.exe), in fact, the more likely you are to reuse commands or to copy complex command syntax (complete with switches) to avoid tedious retyping.

The easiest way to reuse a command is with the help of the command buffer, which stores all the commands you've entered in the current session. Press the Up and Down arrow keys to scroll through the buffer. When you find a previous command, edit it as needed and then press Enter.

If you've found a useful command in a support article and want to avoid retyping it, copy it to the Clipboard. When you switch to the Command Prompt window, you can, of course use the familiar Ctrl + V keyboard shortcut to paste it, but there's no need to take your hand off the mouse. Just right-click in the Command Prompt window to paste that command. Edit it as needed and then press Enter to execute it.

Eye tracking within Windows 10's Fall Creators Update is an assistive technology with potential Microsoft's Eye Control is a niche technology that may evolve into a mainstream feature.

[UNCLAIMED] Is This Your Money?

IIHS: Headlights on new cars perform poorly even with new lighting tech Headlight design on new cars continues to improve, but actual lighting performance lags behind

NASA: Gravity Waves Are Responsible for Jupiter's Jet Stream Flip-Flops

Supermassive Black Holes May Eventually Sterilize Galaxies

Amazon Wants to Virtually Dress You in a Blended Reality Mirror A new patent describes the future of trying on and buying clothes from Amazon

Massive Intel CPU Bug Leaves Kernel Vulnerable, Slows Performance: Report

Fix for Intel Chip Design Flaw Means Slower PCs Patches for Linux, Windows, and macOS are required, with the side effect potentially being a major system performance hit.

Security Researcher Finds 15-Year-Old MacOS Bug The flaw affects all macOS versions. Fortunately, it can't be remotely exploited.

Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign Performance hits loom, other OSes need fixes

As some businesses go credit-only, cash loses its currency


Tuesday, January 02, 2018

17 technologies that died in 2017 RIP AOL Instant Messenger and Microsoft Kinect. And good riddance to Juicero.

15 top science & tech leaders offer surprising predictions for 2018


Monday, January 01, 2018

Construction workers just accidentally discovered 30 perfectly preserved dinosaur eggs

How Hotmail changed Microsoft (and email) forever Acquired December 1997, Hotmail was the gift that kept on giving-for good or ill.


LeftMenu