The gift that keeps on giving: Win7 Monthly Rollup KB 4093118 installs over and over

Last week, Microsoft quietly re-released its buggy April Win7 Monthly Rollup patch, KB 4093118. You may recall the patch as a reaction to the Carnak the Magnificent situation we had with the original version of KB 4093118.

With the re-release earlier this week of the original Carnak patch, KB 4099950, it?s not clear to me what the recommended installation sequence might be. But this much I know for sure. People all over the internet are complaining that this new version of KB 4093118 installs itself over and over again.

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Office 365: A guide to the updates

Office 365 subscribers always have the latest version of Microsoft Office ? currently Office 2016. They also get more frequent software updates than those who have purchased Office 2016 without a subscription, which means subscribers have access to the latest features, security patches and bug fixes. But it can be hard to keep track of the changes in each update and know when they?re available. We?re doing for you, so you don?t have to.

Following are key updates to Office 365 for Windows since Office 2016 was released in September 2015 ? all the 2017 updates and the most important ones from 2016 and late 2015, with the latest releases shown first. We?ll add info about new updates as they?re rolled out.

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The global tech cycle depends on iPhones, IMF claims

Apple?s iPhone has become a key factor for global economic growth, claims the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ? but the boom times may be over, it warns.

'An iPod, a phone, Internet Communicator and economic saviour'

Noting that in 2017, global smartphone sales reached 1.5 billion units (one smartphone for every five people on the planet), the IMF World Economic Outlook April edition makes lots of observations around Apple, the iPhone, technology, and the post-smartphone era.

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Throwback Thursday: Just a basic project

Consultant pilot fish gets the order to build an online store for one of the company's major clients. "I'm told to use an off-the-shelf e-commerce system to save time," he says. "When I ask for the specifications, I'm told it's a basic shopping cart, nothing special.

"This worries me, but foolishly I move forward."

After scoping out the project, fish reports to his manager that he can get the off-the-shelf system ready for customer review by a particular date.

Shortly after that, fish learns that the sales rep has promised the entire site by that date, including migrating all data.

And fish still has no specifications or feature list, nor has he been told what data he needs to migrate.

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10 Chrome extensions to juice up Gmail

There are tons of Chrome extensions that enhance and add features to the Gmail interface. The extensions in this article are the ones we?ve come to like the best. They do everything from making handy little interface tweaks to adding sophisticated functions to Gmail. Some have been around for several years, while some were released a few months ago ? but all can be useful additions to your Gmail experience.

To be clear: We don?t recommend installing these extensions all at once ? too many extensions installed on any browser can slow its performance. Instead, consider our list and choose the ones that give you the features you want most in Gmail.

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Windows 10: A guide to the updates

The launch of a big Microsoft Windows 10 update like the Fall Creators Update isn?t the end of a process ? it?s really just the beginning. As soon as a major update is released, Microsoft quickly gets to work on improving it by fixing bugs, releasing security patches, and occasionally adding new features.

Here we?ve summarized what you need to know about every Windows 10 update being released to the public. First come updates to the currently shipping version of Windows 10 ? version 1709, known as the Fall Creators Update ? with the most recent updates on top. (Note that the Fall Creators Update is on a phased rollout, so you may not have received it yet.) Below that are updates to version 1703, known as the Creators Update. For each build, we?ve included the date of its initial release and a link to Microsoft?s announcement about it.

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Microsoft holds up Windows 10 feature upgrade after finding BSOD bug

Microsoft has postponed the release of the next Windows 10 feature upgrade for an unspecified period, saying that, among other things, the code harbored a bug that crippled some personal computers.

"In certain cases, these reliability issues [we discovered] could have led to a higher percentage of (BSOD) on PCs," wrote Dona Sarkar, the head of Microsoft's Windows Insider preview program, in a Monday post to a company blog. She was using the acronym for "Blue Screen of Death," the crash error screen made infamous by Windows.

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How to use a strong passcode to better secure your iPhone

With police departments and federal agencies lining up to buy technology from two companies whose products can bypass iPhone security mechanisms, experts said users concerned about privacy should use a strong passcode to help prevent unwanted access to data.

That's also true for enterprise users with iPhones that access potentially sensitive coporate data.

Simply put, complex passcodes are always better for security, according to Phil Hochmuth, IDC's program director for enterprise mobility. Common best practices for creating a hard-to-crack passcode includes using both upper- and lower-case characters, numbers and uncommon words.

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How to get a cutting-edge web browser

Installing a pre-release version of your web browser promises at least two distinct thrills. The first one: You get to test new features sometimes months before mainstream users see them. How cool is that?

The second thrill comes from taking a risk. Installing pre-release software can cause data loss (perhaps even hair loss), excess battery drain on portables and other aggravations. As Google puts it on its Chrome Canary download page, it?s ?not for the faint of heart.?

But let?s assume you?re up for the challenge and eager to see what?s next for your browser. Here?s what you need to know about pre-release versions of Chrome, Safari Technical Preview, Firefox and Edge.

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What is Windows Hello? Microsoft?s biometrics security system explained

Windows Hello is a biometrics-based technology that enables Windows 10 users to authenticate secure access to their devices, apps, online services and networks with just a fingerprint, iris scan or facial recognition. The sign-in mechanism is essentially an alternative to passwords and is widely considered to be a more user friendly, secure and reliable method to access critical devices, services and data than traditional logins using passwords.

?Windows Hello solves a few problems: security and inconvenience,? said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. ?Traditional passwords are unsafe as they are hard to remember, and therefore people either choose easy-to-guess passwords or write down their passwords.?

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Patches for Win10 1703 and 1607, and a brain-twisting update to the Win7 IP bug fix

Yesterday, the third Tuesday of the month, Microsoft dumped another big bucket of patches:

  • KB 4093117 brings Win10 1703 up to build 15063.1058, many miscellaneous fixes, no known issues.
  • KB 4093120 brings Win10 1607 to build 14393.2214, a similarly large bunch of fixes, no known issues.
  • KB 4093113 is the regular Monthly Rollup Preview for Win7.
  • KB 4093121 is the similar Monthly Rollup Preview for Win 8.1.
  • The Update Catalog says there?s a new version of KB 4099950, the abandoned patch for fixing the NIC/static IP bug in Win7.

There are lots of oddities in this motley collection.

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Is Apple about to kill the SuperDrive on Macs?

Wireless charging over distance just got a boost

Wireless charging at distance company Ossia has partnered with electronics manufacturer Molex to boost development of its first products, which it said should be available this year.

Unlike today's most popular wireless chargers, which require devices to rest on a charging pad, Ossia is among several companies developing trickle charging capability at distances of many feet. Some of these technologies, also known as "uncoupled wireless charging" can even charge through walls, or simply top off a device as you enter a room.

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Guess who didn't take care of it?

This software team built and supports a large, complex financial application for Microsoft and Oracle databases -- and one pilot fish is pretty much the only developer supporting it on the Oracle side.

"They wrote and tested everything against Microsoft SQL Server first, then ported it to Oracle," says fish. "Oracle was always an afterthought.

"The product had an interface layer for each database that made it a lot easier to support both platforms. But SQL Server and Oracle have significant differences, and we wrote a lot of database stored routines -- written for SQL Server, then ported to Oracle. That's usually where I came in."

One well-liked programmer (and long-time employee) named Fred is tasked with changing a particular module. He modifies a stored procedure for SQL Server, but doesn't make any changes to the corresponding Oracle stored function. Result: QA reports the Oracle interface as "broken."

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From the 1800s to now: The world?s oldest tech companies

When did the age of computing start? While the code-breaking Colossus was built in the 1940s, you could actually go back even further, to the mid-1800s and Charles Babbage?s Difference Engine. While it might not have been built in his lifetime, the Babbage Difference Engine was the first example of a computer.

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(Insider Story)