‘Recommended’ Windows 7 Update Is Breaking PCs With ASUS Motherboards

Microsoft has made a bizarre tweak to an update for Windows 7 that can prevent some systems from booting. The Windows 7 update KB3133977 was switched from ‘Optional’ to ‘Recommended’ and Microsoft knew ahead of time the update would cause problems for some users but decided to do nothing about it. The update fixes a problem that stops BitLocker encrypting drives because of service crashes in svhost.exe. The update only causes a problem with ASUS motherboards. Microsoft says, “After you install update 3133977 on a Windows 7 x64-based system that includes an ASUS-based main board, the system does not start, and it generates a Secure Boot error on the ASUS BIOS screen. This problem occurs because ASUS allowed the main board to enable the Secure Boot process even though Windows 7 does not support this feature.” The update wasn’t causing many issues while it was optional. But now that it’s recommended, more users have downloaded the update, and more users have experienced problems with the update. ASUS has provided a solution to the problem. Microsoft has also provided a solution, but you might not like it. Their solution in a nutshell: update to Windows 10.

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Go upgrade Xcode. Fix your Git security hole

Remember my
from a couple of weeks ago, where I warned OS X users that they
probably had a vulnerable git version installed by default?

Apple delivered.
has git 2.7.4, which shouldn’t have that problem any more.

For posterity, here’s the operative part of their release notes:

git updated to 2.7.4

Did my post have anything to do with it?

Does it matter? It’s fixed now. That’s what matters.

Get on those updates. Stay safe.

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Huge Number Of Sites Imperiled By Critical Image-Processing Vulnerability

Dan Goodin, reporting for Ars Technica: A large number of websites are vulnerable to a simple attack that allows hackers to execute malicious code hidden inside booby-trapped images. The vulnerability resides in ImageMagick, a widely used image-processing library that’s supported by PHP, Ruby, NodeJS, Python, and about a dozen other languages. Many social media and blogging sites, as well as a large number of content management systems, directly or indirectly rely on ImageMagick-based processing so they can resize images uploaded by end users. According to developer and security researcher Ryan Huber, ImageMagick suffers from a vulnerability that allows malformed images to force a Web server to execute code of an attacker’s choosing. Websites that use ImageMagick and allow users to upload images are at risk of attacks that could completely compromise their security. “The exploit is trivial, so we expect it to be available within hours of this post,” Huber wrote in a blog post. He went on to say: “We have collectively determined that these vulnerabilities are available to individuals other than the person(s) who discovered them. An unknowable number of people having access to these vulnerabilities makes this a critical issue for everyone using this software.”

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Google connects BigQuery to Google Drive and Sheets

google data center Google today announced that it is bringing some of its Google Cloud Platform and Google Apps tools a little bit closer together. BigQuery, Google’s serverless analytics data warehousing service, will now be able to read files from Google Drive and access spreadsheets from Google Sheets. There has long been something of a firewall between Google’s cloud computing services and its… Read More

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Take, annotate, process and share your screenshots with Photon

Photon is a free PC screen capture tool for Windows Vista and later. The program’s core capture engine is basic, but good sharing support and some unusual processing options make it worth a closer look. Install Photon, press PrtSc, and you’re prompted to draw a freehand rectangle. There’s no full screen capture type, no “active window”, no ellipses or anything advanced, unfortunately (like we said, it’s basic). Once you’ve selected an area, a couple of toolbars appear around it and the rest of the screen dims. You’re able to annotate the image with simple drawing tools: a pen, line, arrow,… [Continue Reading]

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GNU name system

The GNU Name System (GNS) is secure and decentralized naming system.
It allows its users to resolve and register names within the .gnu top-level domain (TLD).

GNS is designed to provide:

  • Censorship resistance
  • Query privacy
  • Secure name resolution
  • Compatibility with DNS

For the initial configuration and population of your GNS installation, please follow the GNS setup instructions. The remainder of this chapter will provide some background on GNS and then describe how to use GNS in more detail.

Unlike DNS, GNS does not rely on central root zones or authorities. Instead any user administers his own root and can can create arbitrary name value mappings. Furthermore users can delegate resolution to other users’ zones just like DNS NS records do. Zones are uniquely identified via public keys and resource records are signed using the corresponding public key. Delegation to another user’s zone is done using special PKEY records and petnames. A petname is a name that can be freely chosen by the user. This results in non-unique name-value mappings as www.bob.gnu to one user might be www.friend.gnu for someone else.

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