ZDNet: Microsoft delivers free Meltdown-Spectre assessment tool for IT pros. “Protecting an organization from attacks based on two widespread and potentially deadly security vulnerabilities requires monitoring software, firmware, and antivirus updates. New capabilities in Microsoft’s Windows Analytics service display that status on a single dashboard.”
Krebs on Security: Microsoft Patch Tuesday, February 2018 Edition. “Microsoft today released a bevy of security updates to tackle more than 50 serious weaknesses in Windows, Internet Explorer/Edge, Microsoft Office and Adobe Flash Player, among other products. A good number of the patches issued today ship with Microsoft’s ‘critical’ rating, meaning the problems they fix could be exploited remotely by miscreants or malware to seize complete control over vulnerable systems — with little or no help from users.”
BetaNews: Top 5 free data recovery tools for Windows. “In a sense it can be hard to judge the quality of a data recovery app. To a large degree success rates are determined by the quality of the data that you’re trying to recover. If you’re relying on software to get your data back, you will have to accept that there are some situations that apps simply cannot cope with — such as when data has been overwritten numerous times, or in the case of severe physical damage. You may still be able to get your data back by calling in the experts, but this can be an expensive option. It makes perfect sense to try going down the free route first of all, so here — in no particular order, as different situations require different apps — are five free data recovery tools that might just do the trick…”
MakeUseOf: The 7 Best RSS Readers in the Windows Store. “RSS feeds remain one of the best ways to receive news headlines and exciting articles from your favorite sites. It’s especially true when you’re working on a desktop computer. Yes, you will find plenty of RSS readers for Android and iOS, but the 20-year-old technology really comes into its own when you’re using a full-screen app on a large monitor.”
BetaNews: Microsoft issues emergency Windows update to disable Intel’s shoddy Spectre variant 2 mitigation . “The computer industry is in utter chaos right now. Despite a slight increase in PC sales for Q4 2018, the market is still extremely unhealthy. Not to mention, pretty much all existing hardware is fundamentally flawed thanks to both Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. At least major companies such as Intel, AMD, and Microsoft are working together to mitigate these risks, right? Wrong. These patches have proven to be problematic — for instance, some AMD computers were rendered unbootable. Ugh, what a failure.”
How-to Geek: All the Ways You Can Still Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free. “Windows 10’s free upgrade offer is officially over. But, unofficially, free copies of Windows 10 are still available. There are a few ways you can still get Windows 10 for free, without using a pirated license: you can install Windows 10 with a 7 or 8 key, or install Windows without a key—it will work just fine, save for a small watermark reminding you to purchase a license.” This is an article from September 2016 but it’s been checked and updated.
BetaNews: Wine 3.0 is here to run Windows software on your Linux box. “When people make the switch from Windows to Linux, they often experiment with Wine. If you aren’t familiar, it is a compatibility layer that can sometimes get Windows software to run on Linux and BSD. I say ‘sometimes’ because it isn’t a flawless experience. In fact, it can be quite frustrating to use. I suggest using native Linux software as an alternative, but understandably, that isn’t always possible. If you depend on Wine, or want to start trying it out, I am happy to say that version 3.0 is finally available. It is quite the significant update too, as it features over 6,000 changes!”