Testing software

I test software all the time as I need to be familiar with any products my customers may use or try.  Today’s test was for Easeus partition master 12. A consumer level drive partition and maintenance utility.

While I would give the program itself a 3 out of 10 for usability, as most of the real functions you would need already exist in other free utilities and the price they want for their version is hundreds of dollars over what their competitors ask for.  The real disappointment was with their business practice of including crap ware with their product, and the fact the program changes your default search and home pages.

Now  I know if you look carefully and unchecked the right box on the right EULA page you don’t have to install this junk. But for their target end user who would be using this utility because they are not very computer savvy, it can easily be missed and that consumer would then have five extra programs and new search and home pages they never asked for.

Also as a bonus lesson on how not to do a uninstall program. I would suggest they dump the pop up webpage asking yet again to change your search pages when you try and uninstall the program. After all if your uninstalling, you are saying in general you did not like the program and want to go back to the way things were before installing said software. Right?

Windows 10 creative edition

The new service pack or update for Windows 10 comes out next Tuesday and seems to have a few new useful features. Such as better privacy controls. A Bluetooth enable smart lock that uses your phone’s proximity as a “key” to unlock your system.  And a “smart” menu that adds folders back to the “start” or Windows flag main menu. Which should make some people that have switched to “classic menu” and other software add-ins think twice about adopting the new defaults.

I have already installed a “Early” adopter version of the update and over all it seems ok except it is missing some items on the right click “context” menu, Control panel seems to be one of these missing items. Time will tell if this was just a oversight of the early edition or dovetails into MS plans to put the guts of a windows machine deeper and deeper in the system to avoid regular user from messing with settings.

As always, I anticipate a number of service related issues requiring service calls over the next few months as the kinks are worked out of this new update.

 

LastPass warns users while it fixes a ‘MAJOR’ vulnerability.

While I am all for any attempt by end users to secure their passwords, I have always been a bit leery of using services such as Lastpass. As they are a high value target. Hackers know if they can get into a service like this they will have access to millions of accounts. I prefer my passwords in a spread sheet encrypted with a strong password. Seems old school to some. But I don’t have to change all my passwords every time Lastpass is in the news. And this is not the first security threat they have had to warn users about.

So….

If your using LastPass, time to do the password dance again…

ie: change your passwords now.

Two US firms lost 100 million to email scam

The BBC is reporting today the two firms in the United States fell victim to an email phishing scam where a man posing as an Asian manufacturer,  tricked employees into transferring money into bank accounts under his control.

While many think that just Grandma falls for these scams, it’s important to note that they can happen to anybody not practicing good computer security habits.

Via: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-39351215

Microsoft seems not to care how much their updates will cost you.

If your on a high speed, unlimited connection, Microsoft updates should be installed as they come out to insure you have a more stable and in most cases secure computer.

But many people (AT&T I am talking about you) have low bandwidth, low data cap plans that price gouge you and / or throttle your speed after you hit their cap (22 gigs if your on a AT&T “Unlimited” plan).

So if your a Netflix / Youtube junkie with 5 other people on your “Unlimited” plan most of your data is maxed out by the end of the month.  But Microsoft makes no real effort to help you by letting you choose what to install (or not install). So your Internet data costs are now determined by Microsoft and not by you.

Via: Engadget

https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/19/windows-10-to-push-key-updates-on-limited-data-plans/

Turn off ads in Windows 10 Explorer View

A few years back when Microsoft started pushing Windows 10 I had a bunch of clients asking me why they were going to give it away for free. My answer at the times was 1. It would not be free forever and would be sold as (Windows as a service) aka, be turned into a subscription service (See the new versions of Office ).

Or 2. Microsoft would turn Windows into a AD platform. Pushing ads to end users while they work on “their” computers.

Lately it seems that my 2nd prediction is coming true as Microsoft is now pushing ads not only in the main menu and start screens but also in File explorer.

Needless to say this is pretty annoying as most don’t want to see them when their looking for a report or Grandma’s pictures.

After playing around a bit I have come across a way to get rid of the ads in file explorer and this should work for a time until Microsoft forces a update to “fix” this fix.

Here is how to turn off ads in Windows 10 File explorer…

 

  1. Start File explorer and then click View > Options > Change folder and search options.
  2. In the Folder options pop up, select the View tab.
  3. Next,  in the Advanced Settings box, scroll down and un-check the option “Show sync provider notifications.”
  4. Click, OK.