KrISS feed 8.7 - A simple and smart (or stupid) feed reader. By Tontof
  • Tuesday 11 September 2018 - 11:26

    Microsoft published two security-related documents recently that describe how the company determines the severity level of vulnerabilities and how it decides when to release the updates.

    The first document, Microsoft Vulnerability Severity Classification for Windows, lists information that Microsoft's Security Response Center uses to classify the severity of security issues disclosed to the company or found by company employees.

    Microsoft distinguishes between server and client systems, and classifies vulnerabilities accordingly.

    Certain vulnerability or attack characteristics may lead to higher or lower severity ratings.

    Client versions of Windows

    • Critical -- Vulnerabilities that can be exploited without warnings or prompts. Examples include remote elevation of privileges exploits that allow attackers to write to the file system, or execute arbitrary code without user interaction.
    • Important -- The main distinguishing factor between critical and important severity ratings is that important vulnerabilities are exploited with warnings or prompts, or via extensive actions without prompt. Examples include local escalation of privilege exploits or the execution of arbitrary code that requires extensive user action.
    • Moderate -- Moderate vulnerabilities may allow an attacker to retrieve information from systems, e.g. through non-encrypted connections or spoofing. Also includes some denial of service attacks.
    • Low -- The lowest severity rating includes attacks that are temporary in nature, e.g. Denial of Service or modifying data that does not persist across sessions.

    Server versions of Windows

    • Critical -- Server vulnerabilities such as network worms that compromise the server. Exampls include unauthorized file access and SQL injection attacks.
    • Important -- Vulnerabilities such as denial of service attacks or elevation of privileges attacks that are non-default or for which mitigations exist that can prevent critical scenarios.
    • Moderate -- Vulnerabilities that usually require specific scenarios, specific locations, or other prerequisites.
    • Low -- Information disclosure and tampering that are specific or not targeted.

    Microsoft Security Servicing Criteria for Windows

    Microsoft revealed in a second document how it determines when to publish security updates for vulnerabilities.

    microsoft security updates servicing

    Windows users and administrators know that Microsoft releases security updates on the second Tuesday of every month and that is the most common time for the release. Some security updates need to be released immediately instead; that is the case for vulnerabilities that are exploited actively and on scale. Other security updates may not get released immediately or during Patch Tuesday as they are postponed to the next feature update for a particular version of Windows.

    Microsoft Security Servicing Criteria for Windows details the process of determining when to release patches. Two questions are very important when it comes to that:

    • Does the vulnerability violate the goal or intent of a security boundary or a security feature?
    • Does the severity of the vulnerability meet the bar for servicing?

    Microsoft creates security updates for vulnerabilities if the answer to both questions is yes. If at least one answer is no, Microsoft may postpone the update to the next version or release of Windows.

    The document provides information on security boundaries, features, and defense-in-depth security features as well.

    • Security Boundary -- A security boundary provides a logical separation between the code and data of security domains with different levels of trust
    • Security Features -- Security features build upon security boundaries to provide robust protection against specific threats.
    • Defense-in-depth security features -- In some cases, a security feature may provide protection against a threat without being able to provide a robust defense. These security features are typically referred to as defense-in-depth features or mitigations because they provide additional security but may have by design limitations that prevent them from fully mitigating a threat

    Closing Words

    The two published documents shed some light on the severity rating scheme that Microsoft uses to classify vulnerabilities and how the company determines when to produce security updates for issues and when to push security updates to newer versions of Windows. (via Günter Born)

    Ghacks needs you. You can find out how to support us here or support the site directly by becoming a Patreon. Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Microsoft reveals how it determines the severity of security bugs appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

  • Tuesday 11 September 2018 - 13:18

    Microsoft announced plans to release Windows Server 2019 Essentials alongside Windows Server 2019 today. Windows Server Essentials, the current retail version is Windows Server 2016 Essentials, is specifically designed to address the needs of small businesses.

    Small in this context refers to businesses with up to 25 users and up to 50 devices. Microsoft said there is a high probability that Windows Server 2019 Essentials will be the last edition of Windows Server Essentials. The company will support Server Essentials products based on the servicing timeline.

    The characteristics of Windows Server 2019 Essentials don't change according to Microsoft when you compare them to the 2016 versions: user and device limits are the same, price will remain "low" and businesses will have options to "run traditional applications and other features, such as file and print sharing".

    windows server essentials

    Windows Server 2019 Essentials will have the "same licensing and technical characteristics" as Windows Server 2016 Essentials.

    If configured as a Domain Controller, Windows Server 2019 Essentials must be the only Domain Controller, must run all Flexible Single Master Operations (FSMO) roles, and cannot have two-way trusts with other Active Directory domains.

    Microsoft notes furthermore that Windows Server 2019 Essentials will support new hardware and features such as Storage Migration Services or System Insights but that it won't include the Essentials Experience role.

    The removal leaves some system administrators and small businesses in a precarious situation as Windows Server 2019 Essentials won't support the following features anymore because of that:

    • Remote Web Access to the Server.
    • Centralized Client PC backups.
    • Office 365 integration.

    Microsoft states that it talked to the MVP Community and "other influences" to understand the needs of small businesses and that the decision to release a Windows Server 2019 Essentials edition was the results of the talks.

    At least one MVP that Microsoft consulted, Susan Bradley which you may know from the Ask Woody site, stated that Microsoft did indeed consult but that it appears that the company did not really react on the feedback provided.

    As one of those MVPs referred to in the post, I can honestly say that while we gave feedback, it was not acted upon. This server is more like Foundation server, not Essentials. It does not have client backup nor Remote web accesss, two key technologies that now have to be replaced for those small business users and consultants that relied on those pieces.

    Microsoft suggests that administrators and businesses use Windows Admin Center as a replacement for the lost functionality.

    Closing Words

    Microsoft's main motivation for crippling Windows Server Essentials is unknown but there is some evidence that it has something to do with getting as many businesses on Microsoft 365, especially Microsoft 365 Business.

    Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based service that includes Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility & Security.

    It seems very unlikely that Microsoft will release another Server Essentials edition after the 2019 version.

    Now You: What is your take on the announcement?

    Ghacks needs you. You can find out how to support us here or support the site directly by becoming a Patreon. Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Microsoft plans to release crippled Windows Server 2019 Essentials appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

  • Tuesday 11 September 2018 - 15:27

    ZenMate VPN is a VPN service based in Germany that is quite expensive usually. At €59.99 per year if billed annually, it is definitely one of the higher priced VPN services out there.

    Today's deal is for a lifetime subscription for just $49.99. That is right, less than a year's price. The service hit 45 million users recently and comes with support for Windows and Mac, Android and iOS, and as extensions for various web browsers.

    The company states that it has a clear no-logging policy, maintains servers in 30 different countries including Germany, the United States, France, the UK, or Canada.

    The deal includes updates. Please note that you need to renew the subscription every two years but that is easily done and does not cost anything.

    Click here to open the Zenmate deal on Ghacks Deals

    Not for you?

    If this particular offer is not for you, you may want to check out the Windscribe VPN lifetime deal, the NordVPN 3-year deal, or the Anonbox Pro Tor & VPN Router deal on Ghacks Deals.

    Fine print: make sure that you check out the specs and terms of the deal.

    Disclosure: The deal is provided by StackCommerce in partnership with Ghacks Technology News; you need a StackCommerce account to participate in giveaways or make purchases. Check out the privacy policy and Terms of Service here.

    Ghacks Technology News benefits from sales made on the Ghacks Deals website through a revenue share agreement. All revenue goes towards the running costs.

    Ghacks needs you. You can find out how to support us here or support the site directly by becoming a Patreon. Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Ghacks Deals: ZenMate Premium: Lifetime Subscription (94% off) appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

  • Tuesday 11 September 2018 - 19:38

    Today is the second Tuesday of the month and that means that Microsoft has just released security updates for all supported company products.

    The August 2018 Patch Day was rather uneventful, especially if you compare it to the July 2018 Patch Day which introduced quite a few serious issues.

    Microsoft released security updates for all versions of Windows the company supports officially, for Microsoft Office, and for other company products.

    The updates are already available on Windows Update, the Microsoft Download Center, and through other means.

    Our monthly series provides you with an overview of this month's security updates and non-security updates that Microsoft released. Links are provided to read up on particular patches on Microsoft's Support website and there is a handy resource listing at the end for deeper information.

    Note: We recommend that you wait with the installation of updates until the dust settles. Updates may fix issues but they may also introduce severe issues that may cause all kinds of issues. In any case, we recommend that you create a backup of the system before you install Windows updates.

    Microsoft Windows Security Updates September 2018

    You may download the following Excel file that lists all released security updates for all Microsoft products in September 2018. Click on the following link to download the file to your system: Security Updates Windows Microsoft September 2018

    Executive Summary

    • Microsoft released security updates for all supported client and server versions of Windows.
    • The following Microsoft products received security updates as well: Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, Adobe Flash Player, the Microsoft .NET Framework.
    • Microsoft revealed this week that Enterprise customers may extend the support period of Windows 7 by three years.
    • 127 individual patches according to Microsoft Update Catalog.

    Operating System Distribution

    • Windows 7: 18 vulnerabilities of which 3 are critical and 15 are important.
    • Windows 8.1: 22 vulnerabilities of which 4 are critical and 18 are important.
    • Windows 10 version 1703: 25 vulnerabilities of which 5 are critical and 18 are important. (extra critical is CVE-2018-0965)
    • Windows 10 version 1709: 24 vulnerabilities of which 4 are critical and 20 are important.
    • Windows 10 version 1803: 29 vulnerabilities of which 5 are critical and 24 are important. (extra critical is CVE-2018-0965)

    Windows Server products

    • Windows Server 2008 R2: 18 vulnerabilities of which 3 are critical and 15 are important.
    • Windows Server 2012 R2: 22 vulnerabilities of which 4 are critical and 18 are important.
    • Windows Server 2016: 25 vulnerabilities of which 5 are critical and 20 are important.

    Other Microsoft Products

    • Internet Explorer 11: 6 vulnerabilities, 3 critical, 3 important
    • Microsoft Edge: 13 vulnerabilities, 7 critical, 6 important

    Windows Security Updates

    Note: Some Windows 7 systems hit by error 0x8000FFFF when trying to install KB4457144. Best to avoid until resolved.

    KB4457144 -- Windows 7 SP1 Monthly Rollup

    KB4457145 -- Windows 7 SP1 Security-only Rollup

    • Security updates for various components such as Windows media, Windows Shell, Windows kernel, or Windows MSXML.

    KB4457129 -- Windows 8.1 Monthly Rollup

    KB4457143 -- Windows 8.1 Security-only Rollup

    • Same description as for Windows 7 SP1.

    KB4457138 -- Windows 10 version 1703 cumulative update

    • Security updates to Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft scripting engine, Microsoft Graphics Component, Windows media, Windows Shell, Device Guard, Windows datacenter networking, Windows kernel, Windows hyper-V, Windows virtualization and kernel, Microsoft JET Database Engine, Windows MSXM, and Windows Server.

    KB4457142 -- Windows 10 version 1709 cumulative update

    • Security updates to Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft scripting engine, Windows graphics, Windows media, Windows Shell, Windows cryptography, Windows virtualization and kernel, Windows datacenter networking, Windows hyper-V, Windows Linux, Windows kernel, Microsoft JET Database Engine, Windows MSXML, and Windows Server.

    KB4457128 -- Windows 10 version 1803 cumulative update

    • Protection against CVE-2017-5715, a Spectre 2 variant for ARM64 devices.
    • Fixed excessive processor usage by the Program Compatibility Assistant service.
    • Security updates to Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft scripting engine, Microsoft Graphics Component, Windows media, Windows Shell, Windows Hyper-V, Windows datacenter networking, Windows virtualization and kernel, Windows Linux, Windows kernel, Microsoft JET Database Engine, Windows MSXML, and Windows Server.

    KB4457131 -- Windows Server 2016 cumulative update -- Requires Servicing Stack Update KB4132216

    • Security updates to Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft scripting engine, Microsoft Graphics Component, Windows media, Windows Shell, Device Guard, Windows Hyper-V, Windows catacenter networking, Windows kernel, Windows virtualization and kernel, Microsoft JET Database Engine, Windows MSXML, and Windows Server.

    KB4457426 -- Internet Explorer 11 cumulative update

    KB4338381 -- Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 and Windows Embedded Standard

    KB4457046 -- Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 and Windows Embedded Standard

    • .Net Framework 4.0 Security-only update

    KB4457058 -- Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 and Windows Embedded Standard

    • .Net Framework 3.0 Security-only update

    KB4457140 -- Windows Embedded 8 Standard and Windows Server 2012

    • Security Only Quality Update

    KB4457146 -- Security Update for Adobe Flash Player

    KB4457163 -- Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 and Windows Embedded Standard

    • Elevation of privilege vulnerability. See CVE-2018-8468 for details.

    KB4457914 -- Security Only Update for .NET Framework 3.5.1 for Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2

    KB4457915 -- Security Only Update for .NET Framework 3.5, 4.5.2, 4.6, 4.6.1, 4.6.2, 4.7, 4.7.1, 4.7.2 for Windows Embedded 8 Standard and Windows Server 2012

    KB4457916 -- Security Only Update for .NET Framework 3.5, 4.5.2, 4.6, 4.6.1, 4.6.2, 4.7, 4.7.1, 4.7.2 for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2

    KB4457917 -- Security Only Update for .NET Framework 2.0 for Windows Server 2008

    KB4457918 -- Security and Quality Rollup for .NET Framework 3.5.1 on Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2

    KB4457919 -- Security and Quality Rollup for .NET Framework 3.5, 4.5.2, 4.6, 4.6.1, 4.6.2, 4.7, 4.7.1, 4.7.2 for Windows Embedded 8 Standard and Windows Server 2012

    KB4457920 -- Security and Quality Rollup for .NET Framework 3.5, 4.5.2, 4.6, 4.6.1, 4.6.2, 4.7, 4.7.1, 4.7.2 for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2

    KB4457921 -- Security and Quality Rollup for .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0, 4.5.2, 4.6 for Windows Server 2008

    KB4462774 -- Security Only Update for .NET Framework 4.0 on WES09 and POSReady 2009

    KB4457984 -- Security Only Quality Update for Windows Server 2008

    KB4458000 -- Security Update for WES09 and POSReady 2009

    KB4458001 -- Security Update for WES09 and POSReady 2009

    KB4458003 -- Security Update for WES09 and POSReady 2009

    KB4458006 -- Security Update for WES09 and POSReady 2009

    KB4458010 -- Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows Server 2008

    KB4458318 -- Security Update for WES09 and POSReady 2009

    Notes

    Known Issues

    -> Windows 7 SP1 and Server 2008 R2

    Network interface controller may stop working after the update is installed.

    Workaround:

    • Load devmgmt.msc the Device Manager and check under Other Devices.
    • Select Action > Scan for Hardware Changes.

    -> Windows 10 version 1803

    Listed as having issues in the release notes but no known issues listed on the KB support page.

    -> Exchange Server 2010 SP3

    A manual install of the security update in normal mode and double-clicking on the update file causes some files to be updated incorrectly.

    Security advisories and updates

    ADV180022 | Not yet published

    ADV180023 | September 2018 Adobe Flash Security Update

    Non-security related updates

    KB4023057 -- All Windows 10 editions -- Reliability update, check this article.

    KB4456655 -- Windows Server 1803 Servicing stack update

    KB890830 -- Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool - September 2018

    Microsoft Office Updates

    Microsoft released non-security patches for Microsoft Office last month. You can check out our coverage of the September 2018 Office non-security updates here.

    Office 2016

    KB4092460 -- Excel 2016 security update that protects against a remote code execution vulnerability. See CVE-2018-8429.

    Kb4092447 -- Word 2016 security update that protects against a remote code execution vulnerability. See CVE-2018-8430 for information.

    • Word 2016 specific: fixes issues that lead to the error messages "The export failed due to an unexpected error.", "Word couldn't send mail because of MAPI failure:"Attachment not found".", and "A table in this document has become corrupted.".

    Office 2013

    KB4032246 -- Word 2013 security update. Same as for Word 2016.

    KB4092479 -- Excel 2013 security update. Same as for Excel 2016.

    Office 2010

    KB4227175 -- Excel 2010 security update. Same as for Excel 2016.

    Other Office Products

    Kb4092466 -- Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack Service Pack 3

    KB4092467 -- Excel Viewer 2007

    KB4092459 -- SharePoint Enterprise Server 2016

    KB4092470 -- SharePoint Enterprise Server 2013

    KB4022207 -- SharePoint Server 2010

    How to download and install the September 2018 security updates

    windows security updates september 2018

    All security updates are released via Windows Update, the Microsoft Update Catalog, and various services that are available only to

    Updates scans are made regularly by the operating system but they don't happen in real-time. You can run a manual check for updates at any time in the following way on client versions of Windows:

    1. Tap on the Windows-key or activate the Start button with the mouse.
    2. Type Windows Update and select the program from the list of search results.
    3. Select check for updates to run the manual check.

    Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP

    • KB4457144 -- 2018-09 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows 7
    • KB4457145 — 2018-09 Security Only Quality Update for Windows 7

    Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2

    • KB4457129  — 2018-09 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows 8.1
    • KB4457143  — 2018-09 Security Only Quality Update for Windows 8.1

    Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 (version 1607)

    • KB4457131 — 2018-09 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1607

    Windows 10 (version 1703)

    •  KB4457138  — 2018-09 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1703

    Windows 10 (version 1709)

    • KB4457142  — 2018-09 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1709

    Windows 10 (version 1803)

    • KB4457128 — 2018-09 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1709

    Additional resources

     

    Ghacks needs you. You can find out how to support us here or support the site directly by becoming a Patreon. Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Microsoft Windows Security Updates September 2018 release overview appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

  • Wednesday 12 September 2018 - 07:10

    Download all Images is a powerful browser extension for the Google Chrome web browser to download multiple images at once from any webpage.

    You can download any single image you come across in Chrome or other browsers, usually with a right-click on the image and the selection of "save image as" or similar options.

    If webpages prevent the saving of images by using scripts, you could still use a screenshot tool or extension to capture it.

    But what if you want to download multiple images from a webpage? Maybe from a wallpaper gallery, vacation photos posted by someone else, or any other collection of images that you'd like to save to your system.

    Internet users have several options when it comes to downloading more than one image from a web page. Windows users can use the excellent Bulk Image Downloader for that, and there are plenty of browser extensions available as well. Download all Images is one of them.

    Download all Images

    download all images

    Download all Images for Chrome adds a button to the toolbar when you install the extension. A click on the button displays a configuration screen on top of the active page.

    You will notice that Download all Images starts a scan of the page right away. Statistics highlight the number of images that it has found on the page based on default search criteria.

    The options on the page allow you to filter images to include more or less images in the download. The following options are provided at the time of review:

    • Set a minimum or maximum file size, and decide whether to save files with an unknown size or skip them.
    • Set a minimum or maximum height or width, and decide what happens with images for which the extension cannot retrieve the information.
    • Switch from including all image formats to specific types such as jpg, png, or webp images.
    • Use regular expressions to filter by name.
    • Use a blacklist to skip matching images.
    • Change the name of the zip file and other save parameters.

    Download all Images saves the entire collection of images as a single zip file using the file name and directory specifications that you have set in the configuration dialog.

    The process is quick. Tests with a moderate number of images -- about 160 images -- showed that the processing was near instant and that all selected images were included in the downloaded zip archive.

    Download all Images' copy option saves all image links to the Clipboard instead which may be useful in some situations as well.

    The zip file name and use of a directory helps as it keeps everything organized by default.

    The extension supports a gallery mode which you may use to select images based on thumbnails displayed in that mode.

    download all images chrome thumbnails

    Use the checkboxes next to each image to select or deselect it for the download. Gallery mode has a handy rename feature that you may use to rename all images using what you enter and variables that you may use.

    Closing Words

    Download all Images is a powerful browser extension for Google Chrome to download images in bulk. You can start the downloading with just two clicks in best case but can use the extensive options to customize downloads based on your requirements.

    Now You: Do you use browser extensions to download images or other files?

    Ghacks needs you. You can find out how to support us here or support the site directly by becoming a Patreon. Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Download all Images extension for Chrome appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

  • Wednesday 12 September 2018 - 08:32

    Some manufacturers, for example Dell, throttle the CPU of a laptop automatically if the AC adapter used is not manufactured by Dell or can't be recognized.

    You may notice huge performance drops when that happens. One solution is to purchase an AC adapter that is manufactured by Dell as it will resolve the issue immediately, another that you use software to overcome the throttling.

    Please note that you need to make sure that the AC adapter is suitable and does not exceed its power capabilities when connected to a power outlet and the laptop. It is recommended that you create a backup of important data on the device before you use Throttlestop.

    Prevent laptop CPU Throttling

    throttlestop

    Throttlestop is a free program for Microsoft Windows devices -- all 32-bit and 64-bit version that Microsoft supports are compatible -- that you may use to bypass CPU throttling.

    The program has not been created specifically for dealing with Dell's throttling of the CPU but it can stop that type of throttling.

    Throttlestop is provided as a zip archive that you need to extract on the local system. The program does not need to be installed and can be run right from the folder you extracted it to.

    The program requires elevation and Windows will display an UAC prompt when you start it. Throttlestop may look intimidating on first start as there is quite a lot going on.

    Tip: Activate Stop Data to stop the program from updating data in the interface automatically. You can activate data collecting when you require it.

    Throttlestop's initial goal was to undo throttling schemes used by manufacturers such as Dell but functionality increased over time to include new features such as overclocking options.

    The application supports up to four profiles that you can switch between. The Settings area in the interface can be used to disable certain types of throttling.

    Clock Modulation and Chipset Modulation indicate whether the manufacturer is using these options to throttle the processor. If you see values below 100% you have evidence that throttling is going on.

    The developer suggests that you enable logging by checking the "log file" option. You can run a benchmark with a click on TS Bench then and analyze the log file to see if throttling is going on. Check the CKMOD and CHIPM columns to find out whether they drop below the 100% mark.

    The save location for the log file is listed in the options; you may want to check it before you activate the log file option as it was set to save the log to the administrator user account and not the user account the program was started on.

    throttlestop options

    Developers may use other throttling techniques. There is BD PROCHOT (bidirectional processor hot) which some manufacturers use to throttle CPU. Designed to prevent CPU overheating it is used on some laptops that use third-party power adapters or unrecognized power adapters to throttle CPU automatically.

    Throttlestop is a very powerful program that can do a lot more than just stop manufacturers from throttling the CPU automatically.

    Undervolting is an option and when you click on FIVR in the main menu a new window opens with tons of options to change all sorts of things.

    You may find this guide useful as it goes over most of the options and settings.

    Throttlestop makes the changes to the current session only. When you restart the PC you need to start Throttlestop again to apply its settings for the current session.

    You may add the program to the Task Scheduler so that it runs automatically on start of the operating system. Check out the following video on how that is done:

    Closing Words

    Throttlestop is a powerful program to stop manufacturers from throttling CPUs if non-OEM power adapters are used. While that is one of the main purposes, its current version supports options to undervolt or overclock CPUs extensively.

    Now You: Do you know if your CPU is throttled?

    Ghacks needs you. You can find out how to support us here or support the site directly by becoming a Patreon. Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post How to prevent laptop CPU Throttling appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

  • Wednesday 12 September 2018 - 09:41

    When you try to install the Firefox pr Chrome web browser on a recent Windows 10 version 1809 Insider build, you may notice that the installation gets interrupted by the operating system.

    The intermediary screen that interrupts the installation states that Edge is installed on the device and that it is safer and faster than the browser that the user was about to install on the device.

    Options provided are to open Microsoft Edge or install the other browser anyway. There is also an option to disable the warning type in the future but that leads to the Apps listing of the Settings application and no option to do anything about that.

    edge firefox chrome blocks installation

    While there is certainly a chance that Microsoft is just testing things in preview versions of Windows, it is equally possible that such a setting will land in the next feature update for Windows 10.

    Companies like Google or Microsoft have used their market position in the past to push their own products. Google pushes Chrome on all of its properties when users use different browsers to connect to them, and Microsoft too displayed notifications on the Windows 10 platform to users who used other browsers that Edge was more secure or power friendly.

    The intercepting of installers on Windows is a new low, however. A user who initiates the installation of a browser does so on purpose. The prompt that Microsoft displays claims that Edge is safer and faster, and it puts the Open Microsoft Edge button on focus and not the "install anyway" button.

    It seems likely that such a prompt would result in higher than usual exits from installation if the intercepting prompt lands in stable versions of Windows.

    There is also a chance that Microsoft would push its own products when users attempt to install other products: think a third-party media player, screenshot tool, image editor, or text editor.

    While it seems that Microsoft plans to integrate an option to disable these "warnings", it remains to be seen how that will look like. Judging from the current implementation it will be opt-out which means that the intercepting prompts are displayed to all users by default who attempt third-party software installations.

    I tried to install Chrome Stable and Firefox Stable, and both installations were intercepted by the prompt. Again, this happens only in Windows 10 version 1809 on the Insider channel. Whether the intercepting will land in the soon to be released stable version of Windows 10 version 1809, the October 2018 Update, remains to be seen.

    Microsoft Edge is not doing so well despite the fact that it is the default web browser on Windows 10. Microsoft stated in 2017 that Edge usage had doubled but third-party usage tracking service still see the browser lag behind Chrome, Firefox and even Internet Explorer in usage share.

    Microsoft has released Edge for Android and the browser has been well received by Android users.

    Now You: What is your take on the prompt?

    Ghacks needs you. You can find out how to support us here or support the site directly by becoming a Patreon. Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Microsoft intercepting Firefox and Chrome installation on Windows 10 appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

  • Wednesday 12 September 2018 - 16:49

    What happens when you close a tab in the Firefox web browser? If only one tab is open, Firefox will close. If multiple tabs are open, Firefox will open the last activate tab in the browser provided there was one.

    If there was none, Firefox will load the tab to the left of the closed tab or the tab to the right depending on the closed tabs position in the tab bar of the browser.

    While you can prevent Firefox from closing windows when the last tab is closed, by setting browser.tabs.closeWindowWithLastTab to false on about:config, it is not possible to change the order which Firefox consults to decide which tab to activate when a tab is closed.

    Tip: find out how to restore closed tabs faster in Firefox.

    Select After Closing Current

    configure firefox tab open after close

    Select After Closing Current is a Firefox extension that gives users full control of the order when a new tab needs to be activated because the current one is closed.

    The extension displays Firefox's default order in the interface after installation; means, nothing changes right after installation. You need to open the extension's settings, by loading about:addons and clicking on options next to Select After Closing Current, to change the order.

    You can add and remove entries from the list of actions. The extension checks each starting with the one at the top and selects the first that matches the situation.

    This looks like the following for the default configuration:

    1. If there is a last accessed tab, select it.
    2. If there is none, select the tab to the left of the closed one.
    3. If there is none, select the tab to the right of the closed one.

    The extension supports the following options:

    • Position: first, last, left, or right.
    • Relation: tab, last accessed tab, parent tab, sibling tab, child tab, unread tab, unread child tab.

    You combine position with relation to create new rules. Some examples:

    • open the first unread tab.
    • open the first unread sibling tab.
    • open the first unread tab to the right.
    • open the last child tab.

    Use the up and down arrow buttons to move a rule and change the order of all rules in the process.

    Select After Closing Current supports five keyboard shortcuts that you can configure. Select a key on the keyboard and modifiers, and assign each shortcut to a particular rule. Each shortcut closes the current tab and activates the assigned rule afterward.

    Closing Words and verdict

    Select After Closing Current is a useful extension for the Firefox web browser to change processing rules when a tab is closed in the Firefox web browser. The option to assign shortcuts to specific rules is handy as well as it ensures that the particular rule is executed provided that it is possible.

    Ghacks needs you. You can find out how to support us here or support the site directly by becoming a Patreon. Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Configure what Firefox does when you close a tab appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

  • Thursday 13 September 2018 - 07:22

    Google Gmail product manager Matthew Izatt revealed today on the official The Keyword blog of the company that Google Inbox is being retired in 2019.

    Google launched Inbox in 2014 as an alternative to the company's popular Gmail web service.  Back then, many assumed that Google would move all Gmail users to Google Inbox.

    Inbox was an experimental playground of sorts that Gmail users could switch to (and from) easily as it used the same account and data sources as Gmail.

    Google Inbox was launched as an invite-only service in 2014. One of the main ideas behind Inbox was that it was designed to make things easier for users by sorting emails into categories and user defined bundles (which work similarly to filters for the most part).

    When I reviewed Inbox back in 2014 I quickly realized that the service was not something that I wanted to use. It started with a single compose line for heaven's sake.

    Other points of criticism were that it was Google Chrome exclusive in the beginning, that it did not display a lot of emails at once on the screen even on the desktop, that it hid all labels by default, and that you could not disable notifications in the web interface.

    Firefox users and users of other browsers could change the user agent of the web browser to access Inbox.

    In 2015, Google introduced a new feature in Inbox that predicted replies by analyzing emails. Hailed as a way to speed up replies, it was merely suggesting short answers that anyone could type in a matter of seconds manually as well.

    For me, Inbox was an attempt to simplify email and while it certainly had some interesting features, Inbox was too simplified and not really usable because of that.

    Things went quiet afterward and Google neglected Inbox for the most part. The company launched a new interface for Gmail this year which introduced several Inbox features.

    Google revealed that it will terminate Google Inbox in March 2019. Users who have used Inbox are asked to switch back to Gmail. Google published a support page that it says should help users transition from Inbox to Gmail.

    The page suggests alternatives for the Inbox features pin, bundles and reminders. For pinning emails, Google suggests to either use stars or custom labels, and use the search tool to find starred or labeled messages.

    For bundles, Google suggests to use filters and labels, and for reminders Google Tasks or Google Keep.

    Closing Words

    I know quite a few Gmail users who switched to Inbox when it was released. These users will have to switch back; good news is that the data itself remains the same and that users don't have to do any importing or exporting.

    Bad news is that some features are not available on Gmail and that Inbox users may have to use suggested alternatives, e.g. labels or filters, or stop using certain features as they are not available.

    Now You: Are you affected by the termination of Google Inbox?

    Ghacks needs you. You can find out how to support us here or support the site directly by becoming a Patreon. Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Google terminates Google Inbox service appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

  • Thursday 13 September 2018 - 12:58

    The cross-platform program fmedia (fast media player) is an audio file player, recorder and converter. All modern computer operating systems come with at least one program or app to playback media files. The programs may not always be the most suitable programs as they are usually more bare-bones than third-party options.

    Windows users may use Windows Media Player, Groove or the built-in sound recorder on Windows 10, or third-party applications such as AIMP, or VLC Media Player.

    fmedia

    fmedia audio player converter

    Fmedia is a cross-platform audio player, converter and recorder that is available for Windows (starting with Windows XP), Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and FreeBSD. One focus of the application is playback on low performance devices and the developer promises smooth playback and recordings even "if devices are very slow".

    Start the graphical user interface version of the application after download and extraction of the archive on a supported computer system. The program is fully portable on Windows which means that you can place its files on a USB Flash Drive or media to load it on any compatible device. If you put audio files on the drive or media as well you got a fully functioning offline player.

    The interface is bare bones but that is not necessarily negative depending on how you look at it. While it may not look as pretty as some other players, keeping it minimal interface-wise ensures that the program stays below the 10 or so Megabytes mark on a 64-bit version of Windows.

    Drag and drop supported media files in the interface to play or process them. The application supports playlists which it displays in tabs in the interface. Use List > New Tab or the shortcut Ctrl-N to create a new playlist.

    Fmedia supports a wide range of formats including mp3, ogg, flac, mp4 or aac, and also video or container formats such as avi, mkv, or mka.

    Double-click on a file to play it or use the play and stop buttons to do so instead. The player part of the application supports a wide range of shortcuts such as S to stop playback, N to jump to the next file or UP to increase the volume.

    fmedia playback

    Playlists need to be saved so that they may be loaded again in the future.

    Fmedia supports two additional features of interest. You may use the program to convert media files and to record audio.

    Converting works pretty much as you'd expect it to. Add supported files to the program and select Convert > Convert afterward. You may also use Ctrl-T to run the convert command right away if you prefer to do so using the keyboard.

    All input media can be converted to the audio formats mp3, ogg, opus, m4a, flac, or wav. The application displays a new window when you select convert that looks complicated on first glance.

    convert audio

    The impression changes when you realize that you may only change the file path, file name, and file type at the top. It is necessary that you change the output format manually as there is no option to pick a supported format from a list.

    The recording interface looks similar to the one used to convert audio files. It displays the same information and limits user input to changing the path, file name and output format.

    Just hit start and stop to start or stop audio recordings; it cannot get simpler than that.

    record audio

    The graphical user interface offers no configuration options that you can set from within. You may open Help to open text configuration files and edit those but it requires deeper knowledge of that.

    While you may use the GUI for playback, you may start fmedia from the command prompt as well. Basic examples are fmedia https://stream:80/, fmedia ./mp3 or fmedia ./file.ogg /*.mp3.

    Additional commands to convert or record media are listed on the official homepage of the project.

    Closing Words and verdict

    Fmedia is a light media player that supports audio playing, recording, and converting. The program is not the prettiest of applications and somewhat difficult to customize but it performs well even with the default configuration and should run fine on many low performance devices.

    Now You: Which media player do you use?

    Ghacks needs you. You can find out how to support us here or support the site directly by becoming a Patreon. Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post fmedia is a lightweight audio player, recorder and converter appeared first on gHacks Technology News.