October 2019

Windows 10 Version 1903 gets official “ready” status from Microsoft.

We recommend installing version 1903, even after the release of the next (1909) Windows 10 version this month. This will keep you current so security updates will work. It also avoids having Microsoft force the update on you at an inconvenient time. Older versions are being upgraded automatically by Microsoft – even when they are set not to – as a security precaution.

The Windows 10 1909 Feature Update is expected to be released the second week of October. Windows 10 1909 is more like a larger-than-normal cumulative update or service pack.

New features: Microsoft will allow third-party digital assistants like Alexa to voice activate above the lock screen. File Explorer has been updated with Windows Search integration and traditional indexed results will now also include your OneDrive content. Users will have more control of notifications. There are some improvements to power management.  More Details

As always, we recommend holding off till the bugs are worked out before installing the latest version.

Microsoft changed Windows Update behavior for the better in Windows 10 1903

Preview releases of cumulative updates and new feature updates are not getting installed automatically anymore when you hit the check for updates button. If you are on Maintenance, updates are installed, but may not show in “check for updates” in the Windows settings/updates. We have had some clients wonder why they show as not “updated”. If you click the check for updates button, the updates will then be detected as installed, and will not reinstall. This is now safe to do (but not needed), as it will not install feature updates.

We are (still) strongly recommending setting up 2-factor authentication for your email and any sensitive websites.

iOS 13.1.1 now available with fixes for battery drain, third-party keyboard bug, and more.

Fighting Robocalls.

Robocalls are permitted for political candidates, otherwise the call is illegal. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), companies are using auto-dialers to send out thousands of phone calls every minute. These are generally scams, so they ignore the Do Not Call Registry,” The FCC estimates that there are more than 2.4 billion robocalls made every month, or roughly seven calls per person per month.

FTC advisory

AT&T offers wireless customers its free Call Protect app, which screens incoming calls and flags those that are likely spam calls. See the FCC’s robocall resource page for links to resources for your mobile provider.

In addition, there are a number of third-party mobile apps designed to block spammy calls, such as Nomorobo and TrueCaller.

Voice Phishing Scams Are Getting More Clever.
Just as you would never give out personal information if asked to do so via email, never give out any information about yourself in response to an unsolicited phone call.

Microsoft Surface Duo, Surface Neo and Windows 10X: Microsoft’s 2019 Surface event.

USB4 devices will start showing up next year.

Spotify is finally getting Siri support with iOS 13

7 Apps You Should Delete from Your Phone

Bill Gates recommended reading list

Sam Harris discusses the future of Artificial Intelligence (Ted Talk, 15 Minutes) – recommended.

Computers and computer software will keep getting better. Software exists that can write better versions of itself. Research is ongoing to make the software learning process more generalized. They will inevitably become more able to do just about everything than people. Even if they are seeking positive outcomes, the means may not be aligned with the best interests of humanity. This could happen in this century.

Forbes on the dangers of AI.

The future of life institute on AI.

How Machines Learn (Video, 9 Min)

How AI will eliminate many jobs (Video 15 Min.)



Eight cities have been hit by a data breach targeting payment cards.

The hack targets a flaw in Click2Gov software. Bakersfield is one of the affected cities.

A huge database of Facebook users’ phone numbers found online

“This data set is old and appears to have information obtained before we made changes last year to remove people’s ability to find others using their phone numbers,”

218M Words with Friends Players Compromised in Data Breach

Names, email addresses, login IDs, hashed and salted passwords, requested password reset tokens, provided phone numbers, Facebook ID if the user had connected, and Zynga account ID, the report states.

A political campaign group working to elect Democratic senators left a spreadsheet containing the email addresses of 6.2 million Americans on an exposed server.

Hackers find voting machines used throughout the US are vulnerable to attack

Each of the more than 100 machines the researchers looked at were vulnerable to at least some kind of attack. This may be a lower risk than the problem of foreign countries using Social Media.

DoorDash announces data breach affecting 4.9 million people.

Movie ticket subscription service MoviePass has exposed tens of thousands of customer card numbers and personal credit cards.


By Tim Torian

Torian, Group, Inc.


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