Windows 11 Continuous innovation (frequent updates) explained.
Windows 11 22H2 had a bug that caused a speed drop when copying large files. We have seen this affect video quality in online meetings. There is a fix in a recent update. If we provide maintenance for your computer, it has automatically been patched.
Windows 11 USB4 troubleshooting.
After March 2023, “there are no more optional, non-security preview releases for the supported editions of Windows 10” – no new features are planned for Windows 10.
Windows 12 rumors from Techspot, Borncity, and NeoWin. Possibly to be released in 2024.
Microsoft is tightening security on how domain computers connect to the network (Kerberos protocol). It may affect some older programs. Let us know if you see odd behavior with older software.
Microsoft expands Multi-Factor Authentication methods to companion Apps such as Outlook Mobile.
Send to Kindle from MS Word.
A new version of Teams will be more responsive and use less memory. It will also support logging in to multiple Teams accounts. Deployment details here.
What’s New in WordPress 6.2.
Productivity tips for working remotely.
Amazon buys One Medical for $3.9 billion. What they plan.
CHATBOTS and AI
POE is a front end to multiple chatbot engines.
Microsoft Launches Microsoft 365 Copilot – Using AI for multiple products.
“The new AI feature helps create and manage documents, presentations, and spreadsheets, as well as triage and reply to emails. Copilot is coming to all Microsoft 365 apps, from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams to Microsoft Viva and Power Platform.”
It uses the GPT-4 large multimodal model like the new Bing Chat and works like a chatbot, enabling users to generate content based on prompts exchanged via a chatbot interface.
- Reinventing Productivity (introduction video, animated visuals, and additional videos)
- Introducing Microsoft 365 Copilot – your copilot for work (official Microsoft blog)
- Introducing Microsoft 365 Copilot – a whole new way to work (Microsoft 365 blog)
Microsoft AI chat-powered Bing and Edge browser.
Microsoft slips ads into AI-powered Bing Chat.
DuckDuckGo launches AI-powered search query answering tool.
More companies that are adding AI to their products.
How AI could influence and write our laws.
Researchers use AI to recreate images from brain activity.
French plans for AI surveillance during the Olympics.
“[will]…permit mass video surveillance powered by artificial intelligence (AI) systems.”
AI develops liver cancer treatment within 30 days.
Dangers of giant AI experiments: An Open Letter:
“Advanced AI could represent a profound change in the history of life on earth and should be planned for and managed with commensurate care and resources. Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable. The most important concern comes from what seems to be an unfettered race among the tech companies, who are already saying that they will not stop developing more and more powerful systems, regardless of the risk.”
Microsoft just laid off one of its responsible AI teams.
As Microsoft accelerates its push into AI products, the ethics and society team is gone.
In 2020, Google fired ethical AI researcher Timnit Gebru after she published a paper critical of the large language models.
Europol is concerned about the criminal use of ChatGPT.
Consider the following malicious applications of ChatGPT:
- Virus coder. ChatGPT and other chatbots have surprisingly good coding skills in Python and other popular computer disciplines. Malware authors immediately started using chatbots to write polymorphic malware. This is a class of software that mutates to avoid detection.
- Phishing developer. Hackers have already created simplified phishing services: e.g., sending messages that persuade victims to reveal passwords or send money. A big advantage of chatbots is that they emit perfectly grammatical English — no need for a Russian hacker to learn the language! In one case, a Telegram bot uses text-davinci-003, a large language model, to provide phishing services for only 5.5 US cents per query. (Check Point Software)
- Catfish dating profile scammer. Malware authors create as many fake online personas as possible to attract lonely individuals on dating sites. Chatbots allow these phony suitors to maintain a larger number of catfishing accounts than possible if each profile had been manually updated. (McAfee)
- Fake chatbot app promoter. The official, free ChatGPT service is often busy (unless you purchase a premium ChatGPT Plus account for $20/month). So hackers created some bait called ChatGPT App for Windows. Thousands of users have downloaded the software. In reality, it does nothing but silently install malware. (Kaspersky Lab)
Ray Dalio has an excellent video explaining economic cycles.
I am a big fan of his book: Principles. He has an associated video summarizing principles for success.
Small Business Index Q1 2023
Information Technology spending trends“Delaying or canceling new projects is now No. 1, and cutting staff, reducing hardware spend and spending less on consultants now comprise the top four techniques to save money, eclipsing consolidating redundant vendors and optimizing cloud spend.”
The housing market in tech hubs is cooling faster than in other parts of the US.
On a national level, the median US home-sale price fell 1.8% year over year.
Google warns of remotely exploitable flaws in popular Android phones. The only information required for the attacks to be pulled off is the victim’s phone number.
The list of affected devices includes (but is not limited to):
- Samsung mobile devices, including the S22, M33, M13, M12, A71, A53, A33, A21s, A13, A12 and A04 series;
- Vivo mobile devices, including those in the S16, S15, S6, X70, X60 and X30 series;
- Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 series;
- Connected vehicles that use the Exynos Auto T5123 chipset.
Until patches are available, users can protect their phone by disabling Wi-Fi calling and Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE).
How to turn off Wi-Fi calling on a Samsung phone
- Open the phone on your Samsung phone
- Tap the three-dot menu in the top-right corner
- Select Settings
- Find the Wi-Fi Calling option about halfway down and toggle it off
How to Disable VoLTE on any Samsung Galaxy Phone
- Go to the Settings page on your galaxy device.
- Go to the Connections section.
- Scroll to the Mobile network section.
- Within that, you should see the VoLTE Calls option. Just disable the toggle.
Hackers are actively exploiting a high-severity vulnerability in the popular Elementor Pro WordPress plugin used by over eleven million websites. If your site uses Elementor Pro, it is imperative to upgrade to version 3.11.7 or later (the latest available is 3.12.0) as soon as possible
Dozens of universities were affected by a campus ticketing software cyberattack.
Users “have reported fraudulent charges on their credit cards after purchasing tickets from AudienceView Campus.”
GoAnywhere file transfer software hacked, affecting over 130 large companies.
The incident occurred at Fortra, previously known as HelpSystems, which develops the GoAnywhere file transfer tool.
Community Health Systems – at least 1 million patients had their health information stolen from its affected GoAnywhere system.
Procter & Gamble confirms data theft via GoAnywhere.
Hitachi Energy confirms data breach
Rubrik confirms data theft in GoAnywhere breach.
Shell, Qualys, Kroger, and universities worldwide (including Stanford University School of Medicine, University of Colorado, and the University of California).
Business e-mail compromise attacks can take just hours.
BEC attacks are a type of cyberattack where the attacker gains access to an e-mail account of the target organization through phishing, social engineering, or buying account credentials on the dark web. The attacker then impersonates a trusted individual, such as a senior executive or a supplier, to trick an employee working in the financial department into approving a fraudulent wire transfer request.
Nasty conversations with Bing chat
Starting on April 1, 2023, we are raising our hourly rate to $150/Hour (7% increase) to keep up with costs. Travel time is $80/Hour.