* Posts by BPontius

131 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Jul 2020


Microsoft might have just pulled support for very old PCs in Windows 11 24H2


A CPU register instruction that has lurked in CPUs for 15 years is suddenly required for Windows 11, which conveniently disables unsupported hardware. Seems like Microsoft went hunting for a requirement specifically to eliminate unsupported hardware. Is it actually used in Windows 11 24H2 and what function does it serve in this update that it must be present? It is as arbitrary a requirement as all of the others Microsoft has demanded for Windows 11.

All that being said, I also believe that hardware should be upgraded after 8 - 10 years. Expecting support for 15+ year old hardware is frankly ridiculous, backwards compatibility for 8 - 10 years is plenty of time for people and companies to upgrade and migrate to newer platforms. While I agree with the argument that old does not mean useless and there are other functions and purposes these older systems can be used for and the world needs to develop infrastructure to reclaim and recycle this e-waste. If we truly are wanting to be "green" and protect the environment and not just shipping e-waste off to a third-world country to dump it. The only reason reclamation and recycling are not booming industries in this era of "being green" is that there are very little profits to be made. That is the only "green" behind this movement to save the planet.

Even switching to Linux is a stop gap and even Linux will inevitably drop older hardware compatibility. SMBv1 is 40 years old and still lurking in Windows 11 because people won't move away from it.

Microsoft embraces its inner penguin as sudo sneaks into Windows 11


Re: Just sudo?

Why does Windows need to be like Linux? Use the Linux WSL in Windows, dual boot Linux and Windows or move to Linux and bash away!

FBI: Give us warrantless Section 702 snooping powers – or China wins


Can't be trusted!

The FBI has repeatedly shown it can not be trusted to behave without court oversight (excluding FISA court), they have spent years repeatedly abusing the FISA database for unauthorized and illegal searches on Americans. The NSA is hardly much better. China was hacking the U.S before 9/11 and the FBI wasn't crying foul over warrants, new laws have removed the blocks that were preventing interagency and intra agency sharing of intel. Showing probable cause they can get a warrant signed digitally nowadays from a any judge to search anywhere, thanks to new laws not related to Section 702 spying. They won't produce evidence of how Section 702 has prevented terrorists attacks, certainly didn't prevent Boston marathon bombers, shoe bomber, any of the school shooting suspects (domestic terrorists) with many of these people on watch and wanted lists. Let Section 702 die a horrible twitching death!!

250 million-plus reserved IPv4 addresses could be released – but the internet isn’t built to use them


Upgrade to IPv6

Wasting so much energy on keeping IPv4 alive, when IPv6 offers 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 of IP addresses. Upgrading to IPv6 offers fewer roadblocks to implementation, in contrast to reversing 41 years of reserved IPv4 addresses. There is no doubt we have to move to IPv6, the millions spent on buying more IPv4 addresses could be spent on infrastructure to move to IPv6.

Sign the DNR on IPv4 and let it die!

DEF CON is canceled! No, really this time – but the show will go on


Took Caesars Entertainment 10 years to realize the people attending DEF CON are savvy to the tricks and schemes Las Vegas is famous for, while puzzling why they can't profit off them with the same schemes. Trying to con a con!

Windows 3.11 trundles on as job site pleads for 'driver updates' on German trains


I remember when 800 and 1200 baud (dial-up) were thought to be fast connection speeds, before the Internet. Remember playing with the program Gopher to browse the early days of the Net (all text). Compared to the complexity of Windows 10/11 memory management, makes the early days of HIMEM, upper memory and such seem trivial. Anybody else remember the bulletin boards you could dial into back in the day?

There are several elements from DOS, Windows 3.11 and the early days of networking that linger on in Windows 10 & 11, SMBv1 (originally developed by IBM or filesharing with DOS), NetBIOS and WINS. Legacy, unneeded and insecure but continue to linger on 40 years later. Only 5 years ago the missile silos for nuclear missiles\ICBMs stopped running from 8 inch floppy disks. It takes three people turning and holding three keys simultaneously (on three separate and separated consoles) to launch after receiving the launch codes. There is no remoting into these silo systems either (still old school)!

Microsoft Edge ignores user wishes, slurps tabs from Chrome without permission


I avoid Edge just as I did with IE like the plague! Do not like Chrome browser. Opting out and disabling to avoid data collecting is very similar to the buttons at intersections for the crosswalk signal. Few of them are even connected and if they are do nothing to alter the traffic lights sequence or frequency. "...the illusion of choice" - George Carlin

'I’m sorry for everything...' Facebook's Zuck apologizes to families at Senate hearing


False sincerity

Lost count, this is like the umpteenth time Zuckerberg has apologized or given some sob story of how little knowledge he has about the internal workings of his company. False sincerity pours out like an oil slick every time they trot out this farse of fumbling Corporate Execs and Congressmen with their phony outrage and insincere pulpit pounding about privacy, security and values. Their only sincerity is in wealth and power!

Wait, security courses aren't a requirement to graduate with a computer science degree?


Companies don't prioritize security! Computer and Network security is only a catch phrase, a jingle used to shine on consumers with the illusion of care on the part of the company. When it comes right down to it companies have proven over and over that they'd rather pay ransoms and lawsuit settlements than apply any real concern for security. Much cheaper and less impact of profits to settle, allowing avoidance of responsibility and admitting blame. The only true focus on security these companies have is to their stock prices and share holders. Consumers are no more than dollar signs, cash cows to be harvested for every penny then discarded like as a used Kleenex.

Why we update... Data-thief malware exploits SmartScreen on unpatched Windows PCs


Geolocation in Windows 10/11 can be disabled through Services (or a registry hack) and blocked in most browsers. The location information online is from your IP address and shows the location of your ISP's point-of-presence (local access for your service) in the area you live, not your actual location\home. Your PC, laptop, tablet and cell phone can be identified from the MAC address (hardware identifier). On cell phones your location is isolated from the cell phone towers your phone is in contact with, the IP address of your mobile ISP\phone company helping to narrow it down, along with GPS. Chrome browser shares browsing history with Firefox, can be disabled but if it actually stops the data collection, well consider all the other opt-out or ins they continue to ignore.

Your pacemaker should be running open source software


Re: The CEOs ....

Like the Founder\CEO of Lifelock that had his identity stolen several times from his own systems. I thought that was poetic justice!


Looking at the wrong issue

The issue isn't closed or open source code, the issue is implementing security to prevent hacking of these devices. These devices are too open to outside access. We need to end the remote access mentality for everything; medical devices, cars, utilities, industry...etc, some systems need to be in-person hands-on with no exceptions. I am at a loss as to why cars need remote access to internal systems, any command, diagnostics or troubleshooting should be done on-site not remotely. As long as security is an after thought, these problems will only get worse no matter the access to source code.

Microsoft suggests command line fiddling to get faulty Windows 10 update installed


Re: When did Windows turn into Linux?

Windows 3.1 was not retired until December 2001, the Workstation version didn't end until 2008, Windows 95, 98 & 2000 were run on top of DOS which you had to install separately and most troubleshooting and repairs had to be done through the command line. Windows PowerShell 1.0 launched in 2006, Windows Terminal launched in 2019 two command line interfaces that have already replaced the command line (cmd.exe) in Windows 10/11. So over the past 22+ years Windows still hasn't moved past the command line either! People who live in glass houses...?

Irony alert: Lawsuit alleging Chrome’s Incognito Mode isn’t will settle on unknown terms


Both could have saved millions and years of pointless litigation buy accepting the fact there is no privacy online or offline, skipping the use of this useless feature and the futile quest for privacy.

VPN's are pushed as a privacy savior to hide your location and identity. Think it over, as with your ISP a VPN will also be paid for with a credit\debit card or bank transfer each month, along with the personal information you gave both companies. The IP address blocks of both your ISP and VPN are publicly searchable, each website will log your IP address (MAC address, browser, O/S fingerprinting, system info...etc) even if your VPN claims not to. Even a private investigator can find this information and trick the ISP and/or VPN into giving your information and location.

Microsoft prescribes command-line surgery for HP Smart app malady



OH Pl-lease! "command-line surgery", you are only running a small program. Get a grip people!! Even though I know my system is not affected (and I use an HP printer), I downloaded the troubleshooter and ran it to see what it would do. Gave a "troubleshooter not applicable to this machine, metadata package not found" message. It is a nonevent.

Windows 12: Savior of PC makers, or just an apology for Windows 11?


Several years ago I invested in an Enterprise version of Windows 10, allowing me to avoid the ads, the Microsoft account requirement and having more control over my PC. I am glad Microsoft is allowing more apps and features to be uninstalled or turned off, I have no need for the majority of the features they have added since introducing Windows 10 and the perpetual carrot to try and lure users over, especially now with Windows 11's low adoption rate. With AI being the focus of Windows 12 I wouldn't be surprised if the CPU compatibility shrinks dramatically. It is a safe to say some update of Windows 12 over it's fiver year life span or the next big Windows release will require CPUs with a dedicated AI processor. Consigning even Windows 11 compatible hardware to the e-waste heap, with Microsoft and the hardware vendors in bed together trying to boost PC sales despite the ecological impact of more toxic e-waste and microplastics. I would think a $2 trillion dollar company could afford to allow Windows 10 to live on. Or does that cut into the thin $211 billion dollar profit margins of 2023 or force Microsoft to dip into the meager $143 billion cash reserve? Oh the hardships!

Recently tried to install a Linux distro to experiment with, even installing it has become a bigger pain than Windows ever was. It is said in all the comments I read "Linux just works". Then why all the fiddling needed in getting it to install and run on my barely two year old hardware? Hard pass!! I don't use the integrated Linux subsystem in Windows 11 because it effectively doubles to the attack surface of my system.

Bank boss hated IT, loved the beach, was clueless about ports and politeness


Don't miss it!

Had a brief time (one and a half years) doing phone support for two companies, one was through a Microsoft contractor for the Windows Me launch and the other sold several brands of PCs is out of business. But as much as I like working with computers, I am glad the IT career I wanted never panned out (lack of degree). Specifically because of having to deal with people who feel it is acceptable to treat you like crap when they have called you for help. Spent nearly an hour with a customer trying to troubleshoot her lack sound, multiple times I asked her if the speakers were plugged in correctly and each time she insisted they were. Only to have her tell me, Oh I have it plugged in wrong. Having people buy the cheapest speakers available for their system, then calling in because they don't get theatre quality sound. A customer who insisted of having many years working with computers but had no idea what I was referring to when I asked her to insert the floppy disk in (1990s).

Good riddance to that!!

Tesla says California's Autopilot action violates its free speech rights


Trump's playbook

This sounds like Musk is taking legal advice from Trump and his legal team. Don't think Musk has any better grip on the Constitution than Trump or reality for that matter. EV and hybrid sales are flat anyways. Despite President Biden's push.

Two years on, 1 in 4 apps still vulnerable to Log4Shell


Tip of the iceberg

Lots of "talk" about securing America's infrastructure and businesses, yet little else is actually being done as evidenced by the hacks and infections in the news. Until IT security stops being done on a shoe string and is more than just a catch phrase, it will only get worse from here. Six years on WannaCry still infects unpatched systems as 40 year old SMBv1 lingers on in use. SMBv1 a relic from the DOS era, along with the counterpart API NetBIOS that Microsoft clings to despite knowing how insecure they are over 20 years ago. The Apache Strut vulnerability that allowed the Equifax 2017 hack had a patch released two months prior. The Government recently had breaches on their servers due to unpatched software.

Dump C++ and in Rust you should trust, Five Eyes agencies urge


Consider the source

Security advice from a Government agency charged with systems and network security, that can not keep their own systems patched and updated. I refer to the hacks into Government servers through an unpatched Adobe Cold Fusion exploit, that has had a series of patches for this zero-day on the five year old version of this software. Yeah, top notch IT systems security. if the IT departments are run by Mr. Magoo!

Messed up metadata could be to blame for Microsoft's Windows printer woes


Stop collecting

Stop collecting data Microsoft!! Problem solved. Maybe try reading and implementing from your Feedback Hub, that would give you clues as to customers needs. If you even care.

Copilot coming to Windows 10 to help navigate the OS's twilight years


Lots of fear that AI is the doom of humanity, yet we rush to put into everything, trust it to run our lives, seek advice from it...insanity! Try using the atrophying three pound organ inside your skulls to think, learn, remember and organize with! Already have phones people can't pry their heads out of to hold even a trivial conversation. In several countries they have had to put signals for crosswalks, commuter trains and buses on the ground, because people won't, can't or don't look up and were getting hit walking out into the tracks and streets. Social Darwinism at it's best!!

Cisco has a new problem: You take too long to implement its products and stop buying more kit


Translation, hurry up and build your networks so we can make billions more off you from the technology treadmill of planned obsolescence.

Lots of saving the planet rhetoric, but just ignore the e-waste in the landfills and the tons more dumped in third world countries. BUY, BUY, BUY!!!

Another month, another bunch of fixes for Microsoft security bugs exploited in the wild


Legacy security mentality

Microsoft has left SMBv1 to be hacked for years, now nearly 6 years after WannaCry it continues to be used for hacks and infections. More than a decade past when it should have been consigned to the technology rubbish heap and ripped out of Windows. There are plenty of legacy elements sitting in the current build of Windows 11, IIS, Simple TCP/IP services, Telnet, Microsoft still depends on NetBIOS for MS Networking/Peering. Microsoft should implement some security around Alternate Data Streams in NTFS and used within Windows 11 itself. Aside from legacy, there is IPv6 tunnelling that is active on the install of Windows 11. Few businesses have routers that can detect or prevent tunnelling commonly used with VPNs and a common way for hackers to gain access to systems and networks. The security and protocols for IPv6 is still in transition and development, this shouldn't be active by default in a Windows 11 install for several years yet. Microsoft has set an arbitrarily high bar for Windows 11 hardware requirements under the veil of security, but clings to decades old legacy in the name of backward compatibility with hardware it "can not run on".

FBI Director: FISA Section 702 warrant requirement a 'de facto ban'


Warrant phobia

Some severe fear of having to return to warrants, to proving probably cause and returning to the rule of law. FBI didn't take swift action because their abuses went on for two years AFTER they were first caught abusing the FISA database. Noticed they said abuses have dropped but have not been eliminated, Congress needs to let Section 702 die, end any Presidential Orders allowing this spying and end this 22 year farce of abuses and violations.

Downfall fallout: Intel knew AVX chips were insecure and did nothing, lawsuit claims



The mistaken belief that Corporate America has any concern for the consumer in the first place! Microsoft has known for decades that SMBv1 is insecure, yet it was still included until 2014 in Windows 10 and used by healthcare, Governments and International Corporations (though not installed by default until Windows 10 1709). The WannaCry virus still infects PCs to this day due to unpatched systems. Both Corporate and Government entities sit on stashes Zero Day exploits in Windows 10 & 11 and other software used in infrastructure, Corporations and Governments. Intelligence agencies and Law Enforcement hacked infrastructure and Corporate assets after 9/11. The pharmaceutical industry is replete with history of known dangers of drugs left of the market for years if not decades, even after defects and deaths are reported.

Remove the idea that these Corporate giants have any concern for your safety, security, health or welfare! They have little concern for their employees in bankruptcy, yet will fight in court to get bonuses for their executives that guided the company to ruin. Never understood that, can't pay creditors and many times employees. But have millions to pay the stuffed shirts their golden parachutes. Paint a clear enough picture of where you the consumer stand?!

Google dragged to UK watchdog over Chrome's upcoming IP address cloaking


Using a VPN hides your IP address and limits the tracking data to the VPN ISP, but you don't hear complaints about them. Reading Google's plan (and the protocols in RFCs) for the IP Geolocation for each proxy containing 1 million people, doesn't seem to hide you any more than the IP Geolocation given by your ISP POP (point of presence) locations shown when looking up your public IP address. The proxies will be set within a defined block of Google and/or other companies IP addresses just as with ISP's (publicly available info), in a defined geographic area that seems to increase the chances of being isolated. The Geolocation definitions are in XML files that also contain the GPS co-ordinates and radius of the defined proxy area, these XML files can be protected through various means, but with the history of servers being hacked I have little faith in these files remaining secure from hackers and being used against the users. If your ISP, Proxies or VPN are in the U.S or in the five or eight eyes countries (share intel with and from the U.S), count on your activities being logged no matter the marketing nonsense.

Equally foolish is the belief that the anonymizing of the data collected by Google or any other company can or will hide you. Multiple studies have shown that no matter the size of the data set and no matter the methods of trying to hide the users. All were able to be identified, by their activities and various metadata left behind. They use the data for and sell it to marketing, advertising and research so there is a limit to the anonymizing they can do to the data before it is useless to them. This whole online privacy notion is Unicorn hunting, the vain search for a creature that does not exist.

FBI boss: Taking away our Section 702 spying powers could be 'devastating'


Missing pieces

FISA has been used to abuse the spying powers they now claim they so desperately need, from both the NSA and the FBI. I would like to see some proof of the terrorist acts Section 702 has prevented, because the dragnet of information is contrary to the fundamental basis of investigational methodology. During an investigation you have a crime and evidence that you use to find a suspect(s), eliminating leads, clues and suspects as the investigation progresses. With Section 702 you collect petabytes of data and search for evidence a crime was committed without knowing the crime or what evidence you are searching for. Like readings the writings of Nostradamus you can only find the evidence after the event. This Section 702 farce has gone on 10 years too long. Section 702 needs to die once and for all on December 31, 2023.

British boffins say aircraft could fly on trash, cutting pollution debt by 80%


Burning fuels made from corn, trash or cooking oils you are still emitting CO2, an unavoidable result of combustion. Not seeing the benefit of carbon emissions from biomass, trash or whatever being more beneficial or less damaging than carbon from fossil fuels. A lot of pseudo-scientific and climate change nonsense!! IMO

Microsoft Cortana's farewell tour comes to the Windows Insider program


Good riddance to a waste of space!!

Microsoft takes concrete steps (literally) toward greener datacenter construction


Unicorn hunting

There is no way of escaping carbon, we live in a carbon based universe. CO2 is a natural and unavoidable component of chemistry in this reality and nothing will change or eliminate that. Carbon negative, carbon neutral....as real as unicorns. Build us some nice big Perpetual Motion Machine while your at it Microsoft!!

Microsoft CEO whinges about Google's default search deals


Let me be sure I understand this. Bing is a failure because Google sabotaged it not because Microsoft launched Bing 11 years later when Google was already established. It is Google's fault that Microsoft failed to innovate with their search engine with advertising and marketing for websites and businesses listed in the search engine as Google did. Instead Microsoft has long been a stale, uninventive corporation expecting every copy-cat venture to be a huge success like Windows, as though it is an entitlement of theirs.

"What, you're gonna cry now? Come on, crybaby! Cry for me, come on! CRY!" -Scut Farkus, A Christmas Story

How to ask Facebook's Meta to not train its AI models on some of your personal info


Dream on!

Yeah right! Facebook/Meta has repeatedly shown it has no ethical concerns with mining people's information. Getting caught will just have Zuckerberg testifying he wasn't aware this was happening. Then more empty promises of better security and stricter rules for data, then back to business as usual.

Microsoft makes some certification exams open book


What is Microsoft testing?

If Microsoft would end the word and mind games in their test questions and simply test you on the knowledge of the subjects, would make for more straight forward testing. Much like their treatment of customers, Microsoft loves ambiguity and confusion in their testing. Learn documentation is inaccurate, since Microsoft can't stop fiddling and changing Windows.

Russia's Cozy Bear is back and hitting Microsoft Teams to phish top targets


No skill needed

"...new level of skill.." hardly! Microsoft, Amazon, Gmail, banks, Social Media....my company IT tell you that they will never ask you for your login information. Yet people hand this information over willingly to someone claiming to be those very people. Falling for an unsolicited technical support email, pop up or chat is baffling to me. If a guy rang your door bell claiming to be a mechanic and said there was a problem with your car, asked for your keys and $250. You would promptly slam the door on him.

Soon the most popular 'real' desktop will be the Linux desktop


Old news

Where I work we do our work in the company cloud, yet we are still on PCs and laptops. If the network goes down or has problems you can't work, servers crashing, multiple incompatible platforms, networks, databases and programs. More problems and pain than benefit, no way I'm moving Windows, programs and data into the cloud. Especially since Microsoft and most cloud providers declare data stored in their cloud as fair game for mining. Microsoft is able to read zipped and password protected files stored on OneDrive, encrypted files can be read by Government (NSA). Since 9/11 they have cracked or backdoored most of the commonly used ciphers on the Internet. Since they share intel and data with other countries it is wide spread.

Want to live dangerously? Try running Windows XP in 2023


Tried it

Bought a copy of Windows 7 pro 64-bit off Ebay, got it installed in a VM but it is useless without compatible drivers for modern hardware. Windows XP is 22 years old, see no benefit or reason to go through the trouble.

Intel adds fresh x86 and vector instructions for future chips


Stripping out 32-Bit arch.

Thought Intel was going to strip out the 32 Bit architecture from future processors. Pentium 4 was the last Intel 32 bit processor, PCs nowadays are all 64 bit. Even software developers are dumping 32 bit software and drivers.

Microsoft whips up unrest after revealing Azure AD name change


Microsoft just enjoys stirring the pot. Can't leave well enough alone, have to make unnecessary changes and convoluted processes. Couldn't just add those functions into Azure as a cluster of functions like Office with Word, Excel, PowerPoint...etc, why change the name of an established product? Dumb!!

China's openKylin 1.0 arrives. Our verdict? Not a bad-looking, er, Ubuntu remix


And how many trojans, backdoors, keyloggers and viruses is this thing loaded with? Not going to happen!!!!

Microsofties still digesting pay freeze upset by Nadella's 'landmark year' memo



The CEO's pay could be knocked down $10 - 20 million if the company is hurting so bad. If Microsoft was in bankruptcy the CEO and Board Members would be demanding bonuses, while denying the employees severance pay.

If AI drives humans to extinction, it'll be our fault


Stop believing what you see in movies and television shows is real!

Malwarebytes may not be allowed to label rival's app as 'potentially unwanted'


In Living Off the Land attacks hackers use legitimate apps and tools to access, control and destroy your PC and it's data. Alternate data streams is a legitimate way for programs to load data into memory but hiding and not showing obvious evidence of this to the user. A valid program included in Windows 10/11 is BITSadmin, Microsoft's freely available System Internals Suite has a program called stream that offers the same functionality. Among many others easily downloaded through an alternate data stream, hiding the activity from the user.

Taskmgr, taskscd, BCDedit, format, msconfig, regedit, gpedit, rundll32, eventvwr...etc are all legitimate Windows 10/11 system tools and commands that can be used to subvert and damage your PC. Hackers are hiding malicious code in .ini files, storing scripts and programs as data to be translated and run in memory or through PowerShell. Javascript is standard and essential across the Internet and scripts can be hidden or encapsulated to run from seemingly innocuous sources. The NSA hacked most of the popular antivirus products to help spy on people after 9/11 (may still be doing so), so the very program(s) you depend on to protect you can be turned into a PUB and blocked or disabled. Windows 10/11 itself is full of PUBs. Where do you draw the line and who decides that line?

US mulls retaliation for China blacklisting Micron without evidence of security threat


Tit for Tat

Yeah, the better option is to tit for tat endlessly solving nothing. Childish mentality!! If the U.S is so big on justification, then publish details of Kaspersky's spying ban. If there is anything to it beyond cold war fearmongering.

Intel mulls cutting ties to 16 and 32-bit support


Re: Legacy

Windows 10 & 11 have already dropped native 16-bit support. Microsoft doesn't even make 32 bit Windows anymore, as even 32 bit software is fading fast.

AMD dropped 16 bit compatibility in it's processors several generations back.


All for it!

I am all for Intel cutting 16 and 32 compatibility. 16 bit compatibility needs to end and 32 bit is close behind.


Re: O for old timers

Leisure Suit Larry what a hoot! Haven't played in a loooong time.

Windows XP activation algorithm cracked, keygen now works on Linux


Re: Really?

There is no such thing as a truly secure O/S. You should consider any O/S insecure, even Linux.

While I agree with you that Microsoft's treadmill of updates and upgrades only introduces more vulnerabilities. I disagree that Windows 11 is any less secure than any other version of Windows, all Windows versions have had their share of vulnerabilities. Granted Microsoft is years late in starting to secure Windows and it is inherently insecure by it's design, hardening Windows is a must now days. If you think installing Linux and running it in it's out of the box configuration is secure, then consider that there are hacking groups that only target Linux machines. As users and admins commonly run Linux in it's out of the box configuration without hardening or adding security.

Elizabeth Holmes is going to prison – with a $500m bill


Cry me a river

Boo hoo little Liar!

Microsoft will upgrade Windows 10 21H2 users whether they like it or not


Windows 11 is still Windows 10 under the hood. Microsoft's Windows Internals books state that.