Google+ January 2018 ~ High Tech House Calls

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Microsoft says older Windows versions will face greatest performance hits after Meltdown, Spectre patches By Zack Whittaker for Zero Day

Microsoft has confirmed that users of older versions of Windows should expect to "notice a decrease in system performance" after they apply system patches to protect against the Meltdown and Spectre processor bugs.

The bugs, which affect mostly Intel processors but also some ARM and AMD chips, expose the majority of the world's computers and phones to speculative execution side-channel attacks.
A successful attack could read portions of protected, sensitive memory, such as passwords and other secrets.

Microsoft released security updates on January 3 to fix the issue at the operating system level. Intel also issued updates for its microcode.

In changing the way that Windows accesses the computer's memory, Microsoft has conceded that users may experience performance hits -- depending on the age of their computer's processor and version of Windows.

Microsoft's Terry Myerson said in a blog post that Windows 7 and Windows 8 users running older processors, like 2015-era Haswell or older chips, will be most affected by performance issues.

20 amazing things you didn't know Google photos could do By Amanda Kooser,

You take a lot of pictures and they all have to go somewhere, so you store them in Google Photos. You use it as an archive to back your snaps up to the cloud. Maybe you search it from time to time or use it to share a photo with friends. If that’s all you’re doing with Google Photos, then you’re missing some of the service’s coolest features.

Get ready to become a next-level Google Photos user when you discover all the amazing things it can do.

Handy tips and unexpected features

1. Download all of your photosDo you have a desire to archive your photos outside of Google’s cloud storage? You can do it using Google Takeout. Takeout lets you download all or just some of your Google data. You can select just Photos and even choose exactly which albums to include in the download. Keep in mind this could be a very large download if you have a lot of photos stored.

2. Get the Google Photos iOS appGoogle Photos isn’t just for Android. Download the app for your iOS devices and you can enjoy the same backup, archiving, search, and storage features on your iPad or iPhone.

3. See the original photo while editingHere’s a nifty, under-the-radar feature of the Google Photos app: When you’re editing a photo and playing with a filter, just touch and hold down (or click in a browser) on the image to see the original and quickly compare your edits with how the picture first looked. Lift off to see the changed version again.

4. Automate backup on your Mac or PCYou probably don’t even think twice about Google Photos handling images on your smartphone, but what about your Windows or Mac computer? Download Google’s Backup and Sync app for Mac or PC and you can automatically back up images from your desktop or laptop.

5. Watch for Google Assistant notificationsIf you like surprises, then keep an eye out for alerts from the Google Photos assistant feature. It will automatically create stylized photos, collages, and photo albums you might find fun. You can choose to save these automatic creations, ignore them, or delete them. You may also receive “Rediscover this day” alerts showing images from a point in the past. It can be a delightful reminder of good times from years ago.

6. Scan your old photos with PhotoScanOne of the easiest ways to add real photographs to your Google Photos library is to use Google’s PhotoScan app for Android and iOS. Follow the on-screen instructions to capture your pictures and then organize and access them with Photos. It’s an easy way to bring vintage photographs into the modern age.

7. Move photos to archiveClear out the clutter by moving unneeded photos to your archive. Just select the three dots to access the photo-options menu and choose “Archive.” Occasionally, Google will automatically suggest photos to move, which you can review and archive as you like.

8. Un-delete photosIf you trashed a photo and now want it back, just open up the main Google Photos menu, select trash, and then choose the image or images you want to restore. Photos remain in the trash for 60 days before being permanently deleted.

Discover seven useful Google features you’re not using.

Sharing is caring

9. Chromecast your photos to a TVIf you have a Chromecast hooked up to your TV, then you can open up your Google Photos app on your phone, click on the “cast” icon in the corner, and share your favorite snaps on the big screen for everyone to enjoy.

10. Link up with Google DriveSync your Google Drive with Google Photos by heading to your settings and turning on the Google Drive option. Now you can see and edit photos and videos from Drive right in Photos. Next, head to Google Drive, open the settings and check the option to “Create a Google Photos folder” to easily access your images on My Drive.

11. Add a photo to a Gmail emailThere’s a super-simple way to add a pic from Google Photos into an email when you’re using Gmail from a web browser. Look for the “Insert Photo” icon at the bottom of the compose window. It looks like a little landscape picture. Click on this to access your Photos archive and choose which snaps to include.

12. Hide your location from shared photosGoogle collects location information for photos, which can be very helpful for organizing and searching your archive, but it might not be something you want to reveal when you share images with others. Head to Settings, open your Sharing preferences and select “Remove geolocation in items shared by link” to hide that information for any images or videos you share via a link.
Learn five Google photo tricks only the pros know.

Creation tools

13. Build a photo bookAs much fun as it is to look at photos on a screen, sometimes you just want to hold a real book in your hand. Use the “Photo books” feature to build and order physical books stocked with your lovely images.

14. Make an animationReady to get moving? Select “Assistant” in Photos, choose “Animation,” and then select anywhere from two to 50 photos and let Google create a fun animation from the images. This is especially entertaining if you have a sequence of action shots that go together.

15. Create a slideshow movieLook under the “Assistant” feature in your Google Photos app for the “Movie” option. This lets you select up to 50 photos or videos to put into a slideshow video. You can customize your creation by choosing different filters and selecting a soundtrack. Google offers a selection of fun tracks ranging from dogs barking “Blue Danube” to upbeat jazzy tunes. You can share your movie creation with friends or publish it to social media or YouTube.

The power of search

16. Search for places and objectsGoogle applies its high-level search expertise to sorting your photos, so you can search by location or look for particular objects. For example, “camping” or “tent” should pull up images of your outdoor adventures while “Hawaii” should bring up your fabulous vacation shots.

17. Locate photos using datesIf you use Photos in a web browser, then look for the subtle timeline of dates along the side. You can use this to quickly navigate to a specific time period. You can also type a month or year or even a specific date into the search box to find photos.

18. Find your adorable pet picturesGoogle uses machine learning to visually sort out different pets. So go ahead and search your photos by “cat,” “dog,” or even “tabby” or “golden retriever.” The system isn’t perfect, but it works surprisingly well.

Learn how to organize your photos so they’re not a big mess anymore.
19. Label people by nameClick on the search bar and look for the row of faces that appear in little round circles. Click on a face and you now have an option to add a name by typing it in or choosing it from your contacts. Pro tip: you can also name your pets this same way.

20. Search by emojiPop open your Google Photos app, go to the search bar, and, instead of typing in text, choose an emoji for your search term. A cat emoji will return feline photos, a happy-face emoji will get pictures of smiling people, and a birthday cake will give you birthday-related images. This might not be the most practical way to search your photos, but it sure is fun.

Grab these new Apple updates now to protect you from the Spectre chip flaw! By Francis Navarro,

By now, you've probably heard about the two critical flaws that are affecting virtually every processing chip made in the last two decades.

The flaws, dubbed Meltdown and Spectre, are in all computer processors including home computers, mobile devices, and servers. This includes Linux, Windows, and macOS machines.

With Apple confirming that its products are also affected by these flaws, you'll need to grab these new updates to protect your gadgets.

New updates for macOS and iOS

Apple has just released important security updates for both iOS and macOS, specifically addressing the Spectre chip vulnerability.

Make sure you update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 11.2.2 and your Macs to macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 to protect yourself from any Spectre exploits that may surface.

If you can recall, Apple also stated that it has already released mitigations and fixes for the other flaw, Meltdown, in earlier updatesNote: The Apple Watch is not affected by Meltdown nor Spectre.
Having the latest patches will then protect your iOS and macOS gadget from both Meltdown and Spectre.

According to the company's analysis, although Spectre is difficult to exploit on a Mac or iOS device, it can potentially be initiated via JavaScript running on a web browser so these updates include Safari fixes. According to Apple's test, these fixes don't have a significant impact on Safari's performance.
Apple will also continue developing and testing further protections against these critical chip flaws and release them in future updates for iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS so keep an eye on those and update as soon as they roll out.

For now, Apple said that although Macs and iOS devices can be affected by the flaws, "there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time."

Since exploiting these chip flaws require malicious code running on your Mac or iOS gadget, Apple recommends downloading software and apps only from trusted sources like the App Store.

How to Update:

Here's how you update your Apple gadgets:


Go to your "Settings" app and select "General." From there, select "Software Update" and your device will begin to check for updates. Then select "Download and Install" to get the latest version.
To get the update from iTunes, connect your device to a computer, open iTunes, and select your device from the menu in your iTunes Library. Select "Summary" and then click on "Check for Update." Finally, select "Download and Update" and wait for the update to sync to your device.


To get macOS updatesclick the Apple icon on the taskbar (top-left corner of your screen), then click "About This Mac" then click "Software Update" on the window that appears. Alternatively, you can use the Updates pane of the Mac App Store to check for the latest Mac software updates.

Apple TV

For the fourth-gen Apple TV, go to Settings >> System>> Software Updates >> Update Software.

Apple Watch

For watchOS, you will need to connect your Apple Watch to your iPhone. Once connected, open the Watch app on your iPhone, select General and Software Update to access the update. Make sure your Apple Watch is in range of your Wi-Fi connected iPhone and it is charged to at least 50 percent.