Interestingly, heise reported at the end of last week that some navigation system makers are having problems as well.
The communications modules in their systems are from Huawei, which in turn have Qualcomm chips in them. With the current problems with the US Government, this means that they can no longer get supplies of the communications boards / the long term supply is in question as Huawei won't be able to provide the boards one the ban comes into effect.
What is Microsoft doing with the new Office icons? Are they released or aren't they? Which machines get them, which don't?
- Home PC, Office 365 Home - new icons
- Home laptop Office 365 Home - old icons
- Wife's laptop Office 365 Home (sub account) - new icons
- Android work - new icons
- Android private - new icons
- Work laptop, Office 365 E5 - old icons
- Work VM, Office 365 E5 - new icons
- Work Terminal Server, Office 365 E5 (installed today) - old icons
That is 2 separate accounts, my Office 365 Home on 4 devices and my work Office 365 E5 account on 4 devices. It is the same throughout our organisation, some users have the new icons some the old, where they use multiple devices, one device will have the old icons, others the new icons. It makes it very confusing for some users, that they have different icons for the same applications on different devices.
Why don't they roll it out per account or per tenant, instead of rolling a random number to decide if the current install gets the new or the old icons. And it isn't even the age of the installation, as noted above, the Terminal Server was set up yesterday and I installed Office 365 on it this morning.
Interesting, c't magazine in Germany has an article on the current state of the mobile market and the most searched for phones on online shops.
The P30 and the P30 Pro have risen quickly up the search rankings, the conclusion drawn is that many are speculating on massive price drops on Huawei kit because of the current crisis.
The full top 10 list of the "most wanted":
- Huawei P30 Pro (760€)
- Samsung Galaxy S10 Duos (dual SIM version, 659€)
- Google Pixel 3a (399€)
- Samsung Galaxy S10e Duos (538€)
- Samsung Galaxy A50 Duos (273€)
- Huawei P30 Dual-SIM (540€)
- Samsung Galaxy A40 Duos (203€)
- Apple iPhone 8 64GB (583€)
- Samsing Galaxy S9 Duos (466€)
- Xiaomi Mi 9 (465€)
Amazon Germany is offering the XBox Games Pass Ultimate at 16.99€ for 3 months, instead of 38.99€ as an introductory offer today.
I don't know if Amazon in other countries is also offering it. Now, if only I played games...
The German BSI (Federal Office for Security in IT) has put out a warning for 4 Chinese made Android devices, the Doogee BL7000, the M Horse Pure 1, the Keecoo P11 and the VKworld Mix Plus.
BSI had carried out a test, buying cheap Chinese smartphones from online shops and checking them for malware. The 4 models listed were found to be infected with Andr/Xgen2-CY. The malware transfers information from the device to a C&C server and also has the ability to download additional modules, such as banking trojans.
BSI reported that the malware is too deeply anchored in the device to be effectively removed by the user.
The BSI recommends users not use the Doogee BL700 or M Horse Pure 1 devices and seek to get a refund or a non-infected device through the retailer.
The Keecoo P11 has a clean update available, V3.04 (V362HH.SHWY.HB.HJ.P3.0315.V3.04), users of these phones should perform an over the air update and get the clean version. Because the trustworthiness of future updates can't be guaranteed, it is also recommended to look for an alternative device.
On the VKWorld Mix Plus, the malware was not activated.
The platforms that were selling the devices have temporarily removed them from their shops, after the results were communicated to them by the BSI.
Just a quick note, I got the June patches for my Mate 10 Pro through yesterday, so it seems the updates are still flowing, at least at the moment.
Upgrades are another matter, of course.
On my phones, the Mate 10 Pro came with the "traditional" Google three button layout (back, home and task list).
The P20 came with the traditional button layout or the long "pill" shaped single button, which I used for a while.
Then, when Pie came out, they both got the gestures navigation (swipe up from the bottom edge for home, swipe from left or right for back and swipe up and hold for task list).
I've now switched both over to the gesture based navigation, which means the space "wasted" on the buttons at the bottom of the screen can be reclaimed by the app or the home screen. I'm liking it so far.
So the question is, which navigation method do you use, and why?
Some of the new icons turned up this morning on Office 365 Home in Germany.
Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote for Windows 10 have the new icons, Access, Publisher, OneNote and Skype are still missing.
I just got a notification from the Windows Store, that the Realtek Audio Control app had been installed, do I want to try it...
The problem? I haven't even opened the Windows Store app in the last 2 months!
In Germany, Facebook lost a case against a hairdresser who didn't have a Facebook account.
The hairdresser found out through customers that, although he didn't have a Facebook account and nobody in his family (who worked in the salon) had an account, there was a Facebook page for the salon!
He wrote to Facebook in Hamburg asking them to delete the page. Their reply was that he should log onto Facebook and claim the page for himself. He repeated that he didn't have an account and didn't want to create an account, he just wanted the page deleted, end of story. Facebook turned a deaf ear and repeated that the page was his for the taking, he just needed to sign up to Facebook.
Getting nowhere, he filed a case in the court in Hannover. Facebook were informed, but didn't react. The allotted day came and went and Facebook didn't turn up. They case was decided without their input and a judgement was made against them, they were ordered to delete the page. The order was duly processed and sent to Facebook.
Facebook then had 2 weeks to file for lodge an appeal. They didn't. They also didn't delete the page that they were ordered to.
Around 6 months later, the hairdresser went back to court, Facebook didn't turn up and Facebook were charged with contempt, ordered to pay 50,000€ plus court costs for both sides.
It was only after the demand for payment arrived at Facebook's European HQ that movement came into the case. Facebook suddenly came to life, appealed the payment and tried to lodge an appeal for the original case. They tried to get the fine recinded in Hannover, but that was refused. They also tried to appeal to a higher instance in Celle, but they were told that they had waited too long and that there was nothing procedurally wrong with the original judgement.
There are a few more details, but I don't have online access to the story at the moment and the print version is at home, I'll try and update with more info later. But I found it funny, in a David and Golliath way.
Just an FYI, I got the new Outlook icon on my phone today. Both the work phone and the private phone.
Still got the old ones on Windows.
The look a little funny in the rounded Android style, with the square corners cut off.
I have the 19h1 preview running on a VM and noticed that, although I had disabled transparency effects in Windows 10, the logon screen would still get a transparent overlay (E.g. the background image became horribly blurred) when the logon name and password field appear.
I then double checked the transparency setting under colours and it was disabled.
I enabled it and disabled it again and now it seems to work. It looks like a minor bug - probably because it is a new setting, it gets defaulted to on and doesn't follow the control panel setting.
A little annoying, but an easy fix.
https://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Gericht-stoppt-bundesweit-erstes-Streckenradar-4333809.html (German language)
I haven't found an English report so far.
The German courts have decided that the first average speed camera system that went online 2 months ago is actually illegal under data protection rules (GDPR).
The problem is, a normal speed camera takes a picture of somebody breaking the speed limit and this is allowed.
The average speed cameras photograph every car / its numberplate as it enters and leaves the section under observation. The problem is, it takes images of cars/drivers that have not committed a crime and stores said image. In order to do that, the camera operator has to get the assent of every driver not breaking the speed limit to be photographed, before the image is taken. It is also illegal to store the information once the driver has left the control area, unless they are guilty of excessive speed.
The police got their knuckles rapped last month for using the cameras to trace/catch criminals of other crimes who happened to pass in front of these cameras. Now the State of Lower Saxony has to immediately disable the camera system, while they wait for their appeal to be heard.
... we just forgot to mention that the Nest Guard has a microphone.
After releasing information about the Nest Guard now being voice activated, without a hardware upgrade, many users were surprised. How can a software update suddenly make a device without a microphone voice activated?
Erm, yes, well, about that, we just forgot to inform the press or users that the device had a microphone when it was launched, you know, for extending future capabilities of the device. Totally not for spying, no, no siree, no way.
I received the Hauwei Watch GT-843 on Saturday. Very nice.
I had been using a FitBit Charge 2, but its lack of waterproofing, the small display and the fact you can cheat by just rubbing your stomach had me looking for a replacement.
The small display is also difficult to read without my glasses.
I looked at The Garmin Vívosmart and Fenix watches, Polar and a few Android and Tizen watches. I really like the Fenxi 5, but it is just too expensive - 400€ - 700€ depending on which one you choose. The problem with the "smart" watches is the lack of battery life. About the one thing FitBit did get right. I did look at the FitBit smart watches, but they were expensive and I didn't feel comfortable with them, having looked at a couple in an electronics shop.
The Watch GT is a fitness watch first and foremost. It comes in a typical round smart-watch housing, is marginally wider than my Casio G-Shock, but much thinner. It is light and sits comfortably on my wrist.
The big display is bright and the selection of watch faces are interesting, although the "classic" watch faces fine, but can appear a bit busy. There are also "modern", digital displays which provide easier access to the tracking information.
One big advantage over the Charge 2 is that it can display messages from the phone, calendar and nearly any messaging app - it allowed me to set up email from Outlook, calendar from Outlook, Telegram, Threema and Signal; and all at the same time, with the FitBit, I could only choose 1 source of messages. Having a "proper" display, it also displays more of each message and you can scroll through the message history; the Charge 2 only displayed the first message, and if you got more messages, just the total number of messages. Being a tracker, you can't respond to the messages, but that is to be expected.
So far I am very pleased with it, with one little exception.
In watch mode, it should last 2 weeks, with messaging turned on, I'm guessing 8 - 10 days (it is currently draining about 10% per day, with everything turned on).
On the plus side, it seems less susceptible to "cheating" or random arm movements being registered as steps. Annoying, because I actually have to walk further than with the FitBit to reach the daily target, but good, because I know I'm much closer to my target - with the FitBit, I could rub my stomach for a few hundred extra steps, preparing a salad was good for anywhere between 1,000 and 1,500 "steps".
The Hauwei Fit hat is good and nearly on a par with FitBit. The plus is that the data can be passed along to Google Fit, for example, if you are in the Google world.
The heart rate seems to be pretty close to the FitBit, which was generally accurate when I was measured at the doctors, the FitBit was always +/- 2-3 heart beats.
A big plus, the Watch GT is water resistant to 5 atmospheres, so I can use it when I go swimming.
The one thing I could criticize is the calorie meter. The FitBit calculated your base calorie usage, plus the additional calories burnt through excercise. The Watch GT seems to only register calories burnt through excercise - for example, I walked 7,500 steps yesterday, no training and my total burnt calories for the day were 181 kcal. Realistically, that would be around 2,800.
All in all, it seems to be a very well thought out tracker, with teh exception of the calories and for 169€, it compares well to the "professional" trackers, at least on paper, from Garmin, Polar and TomTom - they might offer GPS and other accessories, like HR chest-belts for the more serious fitness enthusiast. But for the price, I think it offers a genuine advantage over the Charge, whilst the professional trackers offer more high end training-route features, but start at about twice the price.
For me, it offers what I was looking for at a reasonable price.
I have this problem with all PCs. If you start the modern control panel app and go into apps and tell it to delete a Win32 app, it says that the user does not have the privileges to deinstall the app.
Open the old style "Add/Remove Programs" in the old control panel and it is quickly removed from the PC.
What is wrong with the configuration or why does it show applications in the modern view that it cannot deinstall?
I had an interesting experience this morning.
A user of a Windows 7 PC wanted a browser other than IE, because it was dog slow on the websites they need (E.g. weather.com - he works in a chemical park and some storage products are temperature sensitive and have to be held within a certain range, so can't be stored outside or transported if it is too hot or too cold).
He wanted Chrome, so I downloaded it from Google, but it failed to isntall - bother with his user account UACed to administrator for the install and as administrator on the PC. It failed each time after downloading and going through 60% of the install with a "couldn't extract file" error.
I put Firefox on the PC, that installed without any problems.
Has anyone else had problems installing Chrome?
I was setting up a new machine on Friday and I started Edge to download some applications that were needed.
It showed the MSN start page, as usual. I accidentally clicked on one of the stories on the MSN page (remote control with Teamviewer lagged) and it opened up the story, which was dominated with an "ad" showing a Windows 10 dialogbox style image, saying that Windows 10 was damaged and needed resetting and an OK button.
I quickly pressed Ctrl+W until all browser windows were closed and the AV scan afterwards showed now infection.
But WTF? Why is Microsoft's default homepage pushing malware at its users?
Holder - the full text was blocked, I'm trying to post this a bit at a time to find the culprit...
Disable Windows 10 Telemetary
The German BSI (Federal Department for Information and IT Security) made a study of the telemetry data system for Windows 10.
https://www.bsi.bund.de/DE/Themen/Cyber-Sicherheit/Empfehlungen/SiSyPHuS_Win10/SiSyPHuS_node.html (German language)
The project (SiSyPHuS Win10), named after the King of Ephyra (or Corinth)*, set about to investigate what telemetry data was being sent back to Microsoft by Windows 10 and how you can disable it, as required by law (in fact, in Germany it must be opt-in). The information must also be transparent (i.e. the user must be able to see what is being sent and, if it isn’t in plain language, it must be fully documented.
The aim of the study was to see if Windows 10 habit of blabbering back to HQ could be silenced, and to find out exactly what information was being sent.