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Leaving Windows 7

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Ubuntu
  • Warning: Windows 7 is losing support, but so is this popular version of Ubuntu Linux!

    Windows 7 is a great operating system -- there is a reason so many computer users have clung to it. Well, we can also thank the terrible Windows 8 for scaring people from upgrading, I suppose. Windows 8.1 was better, and Windows 10 is actually pretty good, but neither are loved like Windows 7 is.

    Sadly, Microsoft is killing Windows 7 for most users -- it reaches end of life status in just two days, on January 14th. After that date, Windows 7 will be unsupported (except for businesses that choose to pay for extended support) -- you'd have to be a fool to continue using that operating system. You should upgrade to Windows 10 ASAP or switch to a Linux-based OS.

  • Windows 7, the "fresh" install

    I have a confession. For a few years I've had a Windows 7 box sitting on the shelf. Literally: sitting on a shelf, unconnected to anything, unused. I had bought it as a refurbished unit from an on-line retailer, to be my wife's PC, but I had to return it so many times for hardware problems that I finally bought her a refurb from a local store. Eventually the on-line retailer managed to send me a functioning -- but now superfluous -- unit, so I put it in storage. Who knows, maybe I'll need a Win 7 PC some day.

    When I learned that Windows 7 support is ending on January 14, 2020, I thought that I'd better activate and update that computer. So off the shelf, onto the desk, connect to the Internet, power up and go. Windows Update reported that my bare Win 7 Pro SP1 needed some 170 updates, which I accepted. About 17 failed, which I attributed to download errors; repeating Windows Update fixed all but 4.

    Ah, those four.

    Windows Update reported error codes 80092004 and 8050800c. The former, it seems, is due to a change in the SHA-2 signing of updates. Update 4490628 fixes this, but for some inscrutable reason Windows Update didn't install this essential update! So I had to go to the Microsoft Update Catalog and download and install it manually. (The Microsoft support page does not describe the procedure for manual installation, but I guessed that once I had downloaded the file, opening the Windows Explorer and double-clicking on the downloaded file would install it...and I was right.)

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Audio/Video: LHS, Going Linux, and DistroTube

  • LHS Episode #388: The Weekender LXIV

    It's time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we're doing. We'd love to hear from you.

  • Going Linux · Shownotes

    We are pleased to say we are in an excellent place with music streaming on Linux. For the most part all of the services we reviewed worked really well.

  • "Hey, DT. Why LibreOffice Instead Of OpenOffice?" Plus Other Questions.

Security Leftovers

  • Oh, the Irony! Chrome is Blocking Security Tool Nmap Downloads Considering it a Security Threat

    Nmap is a popular open-source tool created by Gordon Lyon used by security experts and network admins to analyze the network, find exploits, and keep it secure. However, it seems that for a day at least, Google Chrome blocked all Nmap downloads using its Safe Browsing service by labelling it as a threat. Even though this has been fixed quickly. For many visitors trying to download the tool, this must have been confusing. A software that’s more than a decade old is now suddenly considered as a threat?

  • Logging as a service isn't SIEM -- so what is it?

    Log management software is often confused or conflated with security information event management (SIEM) software. Both monitor and analyze system and application data, so vendors often blur the lines between the two categories, with many SIEM products including a log management module. Conversely, some log management vendors also have SIEM offerings that work with or supplement their logging products. The primary distinction between log management and SIEM is focus. SIEM tools prioritize data and metrics relevant to security, not the totality of an environment's system, user and application log output. Log management software and services provide a scalable, holistic platform to collect, manage, archive and analyze all of an IT environment's log output -- on premises and in the cloud.

  • Laptops given to British schools came preloaded with malware and talked to Russia when booted [iophk: Windows TCO]

    These devices have shipped over the past three to four weeks, though it is unclear how many of them are infected. One source at a school told The Register that the machines in question seemed to have been manufactured in late 2019 and appeared to have had their DfE-specified software installed last year.

  • Democrats seek answers on impact of Russian cyberattack on Justice Department, Courts [iophk: Windows TCO]

    The senators’ concerns come weeks after both the Justice Department and the U.S. Courts reported that they had been among the federal agencies compromised by the Russian attack on SolarWinds, which was uncovered in December but had been ongoing for more than a year.

    In a statement earlier this month, a DOJ spokesperson said around 3 percent of the agency’s employee email accounts had been “potentially accessed” as part of the breach, but that there was “no indication that any classified systems were accessed.” DOJ has more than 100,000 employees.

    The federal judiciary confirmed it was breached the same week as DOJ, noting in a statement that the AO’s Case Management/Electronic Files system had suffered an “apparent compromise,” with new procedures immediately put in place to file sensitive court documents.

  • Biden inherited one of the worst [cracks] in history. How will his administration respond?

    But that's the easy part. The SolarWinds [attack] — named for the Texas software company that Russia [cracked] in order to gain access to tens of thousands of its customers, many of them American businesses and federal agencies — ran undetected for at least nine months, siphoning off private information before it was discovered in December.

    At least five federal agencies have admitted they were affected. Several others have so far refused to comment. Few private companies have admitted to being victims, but experts say the working assumption is the number is in the hundreds.

    That's left cybersecurity experts with the labor-intensive task of combing through sensitive networks.

Android Leftovers