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AWS, MongoDB database collision stirs open source tensions

AWS’ introduction of the DocumentDB managed database service sparks competition with the backers of the popular MongoDB database, as well as debate over the nature of open source licensing.

DocumentDB is a fully managed document database service that is compatible with MongoDB workloads. Rather than build on MongoDB’s core code base, it implements an API that supports workloads from MongoDB 3.6 and earlier. This effectively emulates the responses that a MongoDB client expects from a MongoDB server, and customers can use their existing MongoDB drivers and tools, AWS said.

MongoDB is the fifth most popular database today, according to ranking site DB-Engines. Its parent company provides commercial support for the service, which went public in October 2017 and is now valued at more than $4 billion.

DocumentDB’s storage system is distributed, fault-tolerant and self-healing, and it can scale up to 64 TB of data, according to AWS. It also only writes database changes to storage, which cuts down on I/O overhead. At launch, DocumentDB supports the most commonly used features in the MongoDB 3.6 API. Over time, AWS plans to evaluate the addition of more capabilities, such as geospatial indexes and capped collections, according the company.

Not surprisingly, both AWS and MongoDB are quick to point out how their offering is superior to the other.

MongoDB’s API is useful to build applications quickly, but the creation and management of large-scale clusters is difficult, as are data replication and recovery, AWS said.

Eliot Horowitz, CTO and co-founder, MongoDBEliot Horowitz

For its part, MongoDB sees AWS’ move as validation of the document-model approach to data management, said CTO and co-founder Eliot Horowitz. He also pointed out that MongoDB 3.6 was released back in October 2017, while the current version, 4.0.5, was released in December 2018.

Amazon DocumentDB pricing is based on instance class, storage consumption for current documents and snapshots, I/O operations, and data transfer. It’s available now in two U.S. East regions (North Virginia and Ohio), U.S. West (Oregon) and Europe (Ireland).

MongoDB’s gravity pulls in celestial competition

While AWS’ DocumentDB presents a challenge to MongoDB’s database position, it also could further validate MongoDB’s approach to information management. But there’s more at stake with what AWS has done with DocumentDB.

“DocumentDB is not the same database as MongoDB, so compatibility is a one-way street to what is, essentially, a proprietary DBaaS with initially open-source-compatible coding,” said Doug Henschen, an analyst with Constellation Research in Cupertino, Calif.

To that end, DocumentDB is similar to AWS Aurora, which offers compatibility with MySQL and PostgreSQL.

“Good luck moving an Aurora instance or a new DocumentDB instance back off of AWS and running anything like that mutated instance back on the original source database management system,” Henschen said.

To counter AWS, MongoDB and other third-party vendors offer support for hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. Microsoft Azure added MongoDB support for its Cosmos DB service in early 2018, for example. MongoDB offers an on-premises version of the database, as well as Atlas, which is available on AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform. That means MongoDB is also an AWS customer and partner.

“It’s not quite as simple as develop once and deploy anywhere, as there are small deployment differences. But it comes close,” Henschen said.

MongoDB compatibility has been around a long time, and the company encourages that alignment as a way to push its representation of JSON data, said Curt Monash of Monash Research in Acton, Mass.

“Amazon has correctly judged that much of the value in MongoDB lies in its programming interfaces, and so offering full compatibility is a good promise to make,” he said.

However, database portability and transparency aren’t a guarantee, and users should expect some legwork to move applications from MongoDB to Amazon DocumentDB.

“It may not be as difficult as moving a decades-old application from one SQL RDBMS to another, but there surely will be glitches and gotchas somewhere,” Monash said.

The real question is how Amazon’s MongoDB-compatible database management system will compete with the more mature MongoDB. AWS’ marketing claims in this instance are more aggressive than the ones it made for earlier database-related products like Redshift and Amazon MapReduce, Monash said.

Licensing move heightens cloud database tensions

AWS DocumentDB is the result of more than two years of development, according to AWS. There were rumors that AWS would introduce a MongoDB-related service at the recent re:Invent conference, and that a change to MongoDB’s license structure in October may have stymied AWS’ plans temporarily.

DocumentDB’s API is based on MongoDB-supported drivers licensed under Apache 2.0, according to AWS. Apache 2.0 is a popular, permissive license that allows companies to reuse, modify and distribute source code royalty-free.

DocumentDB is not the same database as MongoDB, so compatibility is a one-way street to what is, essentially, a proprietary DBaaS with initially open-source-compatible coding.
Doug Henschenanalyst, Constellation Research

MongoDB used the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL) v3 for the core database. But in October 2018, it said it would place all future versions and new patches for older ones under the Server Side Public License (SSPL) — a device of its own creation. SSPL is not recognized formally by the Open Source Initiative standards and advocacy group, although MongoDB said it is in active discussions with OSI.

SSPL falls under the rubric of copyleft licenses. If an entity makes MongoDB or a modified version of it available as a service to third parties, it must make the added code available as open source over the internet to anyone at no cost, according to the company. The SSPL has no effect on MongoDB customers who have purchased commercial licenses.

MongoDB claims the licensing change was necessary to counteract moves by organizations, particularly “international cloud vendors,” to “test the boundaries of the AGPL license.” It did not name AWS directly, but it seems likely that AWS is among the targets, given its reputation — deserved or not — as a heavy user of, but not major contributor to, open source projects.

AWS claimed it did not use any code licensed under SSPL to implement DocumentDB, but the specter of litigation may be on the horizon.

“It is incorrect to say [AWS’] API is licensed under Apache 2.0,” MongoDB said in a statement, but declined to comment further.

In any case, it’s unlikely that AWS will ever fork over any significant revenue to MongoDB, said Stephen O’Grady, an analyst with RedMonk in Portland, Maine.

“From a strategic standpoint, if you’re offering something at the scale of an [AWS], it’s pretty rare they’ll enter into a commercial relationship dependent on a third party,” O’Grady said.

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Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18317 | Windows Experience Blog

Hello Windows Insiders, today we are releasing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18317 (19H1) to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring.
REMINDER: As is normal with builds early in the development cycle, builds may contain bugs that might be painful for some. If this makes you uncomfortable, you may want to consider switching to the Slow ring. Slow ring builds will continue to be higher quality.
If you are looking for a complete look at what build is in which Insider ring – head on over to Flight Hub. You can also check out the rest of our documentation here including a complete list of new features and updates that have gone out as part of Insider flights for the current development cycle (which currently is 19H1).

Separating Search and Cortana
Going forward, we’ll be decoupling Search and Cortana in the taskbar. This will enable each experience to innovate independently to best serve their target audiences and use cases. Some Insiders have had this update for a few weeks now, and we appreciate all the feedback we’ve received about it so far! For those new to this update, when it rolls out to you, you’ll find clicking the search box in the taskbar now launches our experience focused on giving you the best in house search experience and clicking the Cortana icon will launch you straight into our voice-first digital assistant experience.

Other available Search and Cortana settings have also now been split between the two, along with the familiar group policies.
This change is one of several we’ve made throughout this release to improve your experience in this space, including updating the search landing page design, enhancing your search results, and integrating Microsoft To-Do with Cortana. If you have any further feedback, please don’t hesitate to share it with us here.
Note: Cortana is currently only available in supported markets.
The next step in improving Start reliability
As some of you may already know, up until now Start in Windows 10 has been hosted by something called ShellExperienceHost.exe. In order to provide you the best possible Start experience, we’re separating it into its own process, called StartMenuExperienceHost.exe. This has a number of benefits, including simplifying debugging and insulating Start from potential issues impacting other surfaces. This has been running as an experiment for a few weeks now and we’ve seen measurable improvements in the reliability amongst those that have the change, so we’re rolling it out to everyone.
We’re also making a change so that Start no longer suspends, which improves launch time.
A Better Font management experience in Settings
Insiders today can now drag and drop font files from File Explorer into the modern Settings > Fonts page to install them. After installation, click on the font in the Font page, to view the different font faces associated with the font and all the details of the font. You can also uninstall the font from this font details page. Drag and drop font installation by default is installed as a per-user font which does not require elevation, hence it will not be available for other users. To install the font for all users in the device, use the “Install for all Users” option by right clicking the font on file explorer.

A simpler Windows Insider Program Settings page
We are introducing a simplified Windows Insider Program Settings page via Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program with Build 18317. The goal is to make the end-to-end experience of signing up for the Windows Insider Program and setting up your PC to take new builds much easier by simplifying the experience and removing some of the clutter. You’ll find that all the same functionality is still there.

Under “Pick your Insider settings” is where you can change your Insider ring on your PC.
Windows Console Updates
We’ve made several fixes & improvements in Windows Console in and leading up to build 18317, including:

Fixed spurious text artifacts being displayed when running cscope in a Linux VM via ssh
Fixed GitHub issue 296 where the incorrect mouse button ID was being reported when a mouse button was released, resulting in an “unexpected mouse-drag behavior” regression
Fixed GitHub Issue 313, enabling colors above index #15 to be set via VT OSC 4

Colors 99 fixed in up-coming build

Corrected sizing issues for Linux alt-buffer apps (e.g. vim, emacs, etc.) resulting in more reliable resizing
Fixed some issues with Consoles growing in height if scroll-forward is disabled
Fixed ConPTY, enabling underline VT sequences to now pass correctly, allowing ConPTY-enabled apps (e.g. VSCode’s integrated terminal) to correctly receive and display underlined text
Made ConPTY flush its output buffer before terminating ensuring apps receive all input and display correct output
When running Tmux, correctly restore state after Win + D, resulting in Tmux’s last line of text rendering correctly
Fixed Console to preserve a Console window’s currently colored text when executing Cmd.exe
If using raster fonts, Console now correctly preserves the user’s font after running .NET Core code (which defaults to UTF-8 codepage 65001)
Correct how Console scrolls text region, fixing how text is rendered in Linux’ `screen`
Significantly improved performance of ConPTY – perf now very close to “raw pipe”

We fixed an issue resulting in File Explorer unexpectedly having a lock on USBs when trying to safely eject them.
We fixed an issue resulting in frequent bugchecks (GSODs) in the last two flights, citing an error with bindflt.sys.
We fixed an issue resulting in frequent bugchecks (GSODs) in the last flight, citing error KERNEL_LOCK_ENTRY_LEAKED_ON_THREAD_TERMINATION.
We fixed an issue resulting in not being able to connect to VMs using Hyper-V console after upgrading to recent flights. This issue also impeded the ability to connect to VMs with Enhanced Sessions enabled.
We fixed an issue resulting in some full screen games showing a black screen in recent flights even though they worked in windowed mode.
We fixed an issue resulting in CDP User Service periodically unexpectedly using a high amount of CPU in recent flights.
We fixed an issue causing text in the Windows Security app to be incorrect or potentially missing altogether.
We fixed an issue from recent flights where clicking the network button on the sign-in screen didn’t work.
We fixed an issue resulting in certain devices not being able to wake from hibernation recently. There were two possible symptoms on wake if you were impacted – one was a black screen, one was a screen that continued to say “hibernating…”.
We fixed an issue resulting in Display Settings crashing in recent builds. If you were impacted, this would have also had the symptom that clicking System or Ease of Access from the main Settings page may crash Settings.
We fixed an issue with certain touch keyboard languages where pressing AltGr + [any key] on the full layout would dismiss the touch keyboard.
We fixed an issue where Windows Sandbox wouldn’t launch on PCs with multiple GPUs.
When Scan Mode is on and Narrator is on a slider, the left and right arrows will decrease and increase the slider. Up and down arrows will continue to navigate to the previous or next paragraph or item. Home and End will move the slider to the beginning or the end.
The Narrator list of headings command now works as expected in Chrome.
We improved Narrator support for Microsoft Teams.
For cursor and pointer, fixed returning to the right mouse pointers when changing back to the original size and colors.
We fixed an issue where some devices would fail to install an update with error code If you are updating from 18309 or newer this issue will be fixed for this update, if you are updating from a build prior to 18309 it will be fixed for the next update.

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) will likely cause a bugcheck (GSOD) when using certain Linux binaries such as VI and tar. If you require WSL to work, please pause taking flights until the issue is fixed. [UPDATE 1/17] WSL should work correctly on this build – our apologies for the mix up. 
The Windows Security app may show an unknown status for the Virus & threat protection area, or not refresh properly. This may occur after upgrade, restart, or settings changes.
Launching games that use anti-cheat software may trigger a bugcheck (GSOD).
Clicking your account in Cortana Permissions doesn’t bringing up the UI to sign out from Cortana (if you were already signed in) for some users in this build.
Creative X-Fi sound cards are not functioning properly. We are partnering with Creative to resolve this issue.
When attempting to update this build some S Mode devices will download and restart but fail the update.
Night light functionality is impacted by a bug in this build. We’re working on a fix, and it will be included in an upcoming build.
When you open Action Center the quick actions section may be missing.
Windows feature update may fail but show up as a successful update in Windows Update history page. If this happens you will see more than one successful install for the same update in the history page.
When performing Reset this PC and selecting Keep my files on a device that has Reserved Storage enabled the user will need to initiate an extra reboot to ensure Reserved Storage is working again properly.
There is an issue impacting a small number of users enrolled in Microsoft Intune where they may not receive policies. Those policies are not applied and left in a “pending“ state on the server. The workaround is to go to Settings/Accounts/Access work or school and “Disconnect” your Azure AD account and then re-enroll.
Some Realtek SD card readers are not functioning properly. We are investigating the issue.
Update Orchestrator Service stops working periodically. A fix will be included in an upcoming build. As a result of this issue, you may see an error on Windows Update Settings saying that the update failed to restart. If you see this, restarting using the power menu in Start (“Update and restart”) should work, although there’s a chance that it won’t.
Closing the lid to a laptop and re-opening can cause icons in the task bar to appear blank. To fix this open task manager and restart explorer.exe or reboot.
If you download a theme from Microsoft Store, it won’t appear in Themes Settings.

If you install any of the recent builds from the Fast ring and switch to the Slow ring – optional content such as enabling developer mode will fail. You will have to remain in the Fast ring to add/install/enable optional content. This is because optional content will only install on builds approved for specific rings.

We have locked down the inbox apps in 19H1. These “lite” versions of the inbox apps are what will ship with 19H1 when it is released. As a result, Insiders may have noticed that some features have disappeared from these apps. This was probably most noticeable with the Photos app. Insiders can get these features back by going into the settings of an inbox app like Photos and clicking the “Join preview” button.

The 19H1 Bug Bash in Feedback Hub will span from January 23th, 2019 to February 3rd, 2019 – we look forward to seeing your feedback! There will be a special bug bash edition webcast on Tuesday, January 29th at 10am PST.

Searching on Bing can be music to your ears! Keep up to date with Billboard’s Top 100. Discover trending music and explore music videos and lyrics to your favorite songs.  If you want to be among the first to learn about these Bing features, join our Bing Insider Program.
No downtime for Hustle-As-A-Service,Dona

For Sale – Evga Hadron Air Mini ITX PC.

Discussion in ‘Desktop Computer Classifieds‘ started by H8U2, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. H8U2

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    Hi,
    I’m selling my itx pc, as it’s not getting used much.
    Components:
    Evga Hadron Air
    Asus P8Z77-i Deluxe
    Intel i5 3570k
    Evga GTX 970 FTW
    HyperX Beast 8gb 2400mhz 4g x2
    Crucial M500 240gb SSD
    Windows 10 Home

    Evga Hadron 1.jpg Evga Hadron 2.jpg Evga Hadron 3.JPG Evga Hadron 4.JPG

    Thanks.

    Price and currency: £400
    Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
    Payment method: Cash
    Location: London
    Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
    Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

    ______________________________________________________
    This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
    By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
    Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

    • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
    • Name and address including postcode
    • Valid e-mail address

    DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019

  2. psf150

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    Interested in this. Am looking for a pc to play newish games on. Stuff like Rainbow Six, or Forza 4, or latest tomb raider. Will this cover it? Doesn’t have to be be at highest resolution.

    Are there any elements I would need to upgrade? Cheers

  3. H8U2

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    Hi,
    The pc can play all recent games at 1080p with GeForce experience optimised settings.
    There’s nothing that I think needs upgrading, it’s a great little pc.
    Hope this helps

  4. psf150

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    Thanks fella. More interested now! Where in London are you?

    Off to bed now so will come back to you in the morning.

  5. H8U2

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    I’m in Kingston SW London.

  6. psf150

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    Sorry for delay. Had a big presentation to do at work today. Plus still working on another one for tomorrow.

    I’m going to leave it for the moment as not had chance to think about it. Glws

  7. H8U2

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    No problem,
    Thank you for your interest.

  8. H8U2

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    Bump!
    Price reduced.

  10. H8U2

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    Received today in conversations.
    ——————————————————————————————————–

    Tomnook8
    Hi mate
    Interested in this as a small emulation/basic gaming unit. Could you tell me the size of this please and noise levels? Also wondered what part of London you are in
    Cheers
    ——————————————————————————————————–
    Hi,

    The dimensions.
    Width: 6.6in – 169mm
    Height: 12in – 305mm
    Depth: 12.1in – 308mm
    The Noise level of the PC has never been a problem, as it’s been used for media/gaming on a TV in the living room, I’m in Kingston SW London.

    Thanks

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Application compatibility in the Windows ecosystem | Windows Experience Blog

Our application ecosystem is incredibly diverse, encompassing tens of millions of applications (apps) with numerous versions, languages, architectures, services and configuration options. While our ecosystem is complex, our vision is simple. All apps on Windows devices should just work! Customers should update with confidence, never worrying about compatibility across Windows versions. Achieving this goal requires innovative approaches to predict and prevent issues and traditional approaches like testing. In this installment of our quality blog series, Mete Goktepe from our Windows Application Compatibility team describes the various programs and technologies we use to improve app compatibility.
We work very closely with partners to measure, validate and improve application compatibility for every supported version of Windows. Testing is a critical step, but we also know that testing is not enough to fully understand our dynamic ecosystem, so we invest in new methods and product improvements. Once we discover that an OS change has impact to an application or a class of applications, we partner with internal and external developers to implement mitigations in the OS or the application. Because these fixes can take time and our goal is to limit the impact of any issues to our customers, we take specific steps to prevent customers from having a bad experience while fixes are developed, flighted and deployed.
We work across several areas to ensure compatibility:  proactive prevention, issue discovery and investigation, internal and external partner engagements, and compatibility mitigations.

Proactive prevention
Our Windows Application Compatibility team focuses on preventing app issues by partnering with Windows feature development teams to make Windows more compatible and resilient. As teams work on new features for each new release, they bring code changes to the Windows code base. We use static and runtime analysis tools to help us detect changes in APIs to determine if there are any potential compatibility breaks caused by these code changes. We especially monitor changes that may impact 3rd party, independent software vendor (ISV) apps such as antimalware and antivirus (AV) solutions and then closely collaborate with them to address changes needed before new releases.  Additionally, using machine learning models, we are developing new capabilities to understand how our code changes during active development cycles and build a risk-based recommendation model that prescribes apps we should test. As these models mature, we expect to continuously improve our time to issue detection metrics by tailoring our testing coverage to catch compatibility issues faster.
Issue discovery and investigation
Every time we change our code, there is potential to impact an app. We must balance enabling innovation and raising the security bar in the OS with continuously monitoring and assessing any impact on apps. To maintain compatibility in Windows 10, the team validates thousands of apps internally each week. These apps serve as our issue detection canaries and are chosen based on telemetry (popularity) from the ecosystem or based on risk level and partner feedback. We also employ app selection criteria based on an app’s API usage and its unique way of exercising underlying OS platform capabilities. As the partial list below suggests, we consider many device/form factors and application categories in a complex matrix.
Partial view of categories covered by our internal test matrices

Device/Form Factors
Application Categories

·       Desktops & PCs
·       First-party devices
·       Third-party devices
·       ARM64 devices
·       Tablet PCs
·       Gaming consoles
·       Mixed reality devices
·       Virtual reality devices

·       Accessibility
·       Security & antimalware
·       Business, finance & home office
·       Communication & social
·       Utilities & developer tools
·       Enterprise, cloud & server
·       Entertainment
·       Graphics & gaming
·       Music & MP3, photo & video
·       Personalization (photo & video)
·       Peer to peer

We verify app compatibility continuously; it starts seconds after a new build completes and continues with each flight, quality and feature update. Our multi-layered approach includes the following types of testing:

Automated application compatibility integration tests – Large and complex projects like Windows require participation and collaboration from thousands of engineers, working on different branches of the source code every day. Before a branch can be integrated into the main Windows development branch, it is subjected to automated tests, referred to internally as “gates.” Our app compatibility gates test the primary functionality of first- and third-party apps. For desktop versions alone, we test hundreds of different apps for every completed build of Windows, across all branches. This type of testing adds up; we run more than 280,000 individual app compatibility tests each day. Results are reported within two hours of build completion, helping ensure that any failures are understood and addressed, and that Windows remains stable.
Daily automated application compatibility tests – As code changes reach the main Windows development branch, we also run a broader set of automated tests covering around 2,500 apps to detect any new compatibility-related breaks. The results of these daily scheduled test are analyzed on the same day, allowing engineering teams to detect and fix issues that are not caught during prior branch-level integration testing.
Manual application test passes – We leverage automation heavily today and will continue to invest in additional automation. But we also rely on manual verification to ensure there are no end-user experience regressions. The automated solutions often find functional regressions. But, to validate the experience we often need to experience the application as our end users would. Here are few examples of end user scenarios that we validate manually:

Automation can display a menu and make selections from that menu. However, it can’t easily verify that each menu item is visible and usable by the end user.
Automation cannot evaluate app behaviors that change when a specific peripheral type(s) is connected/attached to the device.

Data and analytics-based issue detection:  Our teams also make use of telemetry signals to detect and predict potential regressions impacting the app ecosystem with new OS releases or OS flights to Windows Insiders. Through telemetry, we monitor app crash signals closely to determine if there are any increases. Similarly, our automated user feedback monitoring systems sort through thousands of feedback items daily to help us detect potential compatibility issues impacting Windows customers; we make these a priority to resolve.
With this level of ongoing app compatibility testing and monitoring, our goal is to maintain high compatibility pass rates with every release of Windows 10. We execute these tests against both Windows 10 feature updates and then monthly quality updates to help keep our compatibility at the highest levels possible.
Internal and external partner engagements
Finding a compatibility issue through testing or telemetry is just the first step. We also work with partners to resolve compatibility issues and update either the app or the OS. To do this, we partner closely with many internal and external teams to drive resolution for newly discovered compatibility issues during the development cycle. External partners include external ISVs and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Below are two examples of external engagements:
Desktop App Assure Program: We are confident in the app compatibility promise we make. That’s why at Ignite in September 2018, we announced the Desktop App Assure Program, which provides app remediation services to our commercial customers as they deploy Windows 10, Office 365 ProPlus and subsequent feature updates. Desktop App Assure service is available to address valid application compatibility issues at no additional cost. The program is designed to:

assist customers in remediating custom-developed line-of-business apps
engage 3rd-party independent software vendors to help remediate their Windows 10 apps and issue support statements for Windows-as-a-Service
address issues found in Microsoft first-party products (including Office macros and add-ins)

AV vendor engagement: Many Windows 10 devices use 3rd-party antimalware and antivirus (AV) solutions; these apps sometimes have compatibility issues. Approximately 80 independent software vendors (ISVs), covering +95 percent of the ecosystem, (e.g., Avast, Kaspersky, McAfee, Qihoo, Sophos, Symantec, Tencent, Trend Micro, etc.) participate in our MVI (Microsoft Virus Initiative) program.  We maintain a close relationship with these vendors to provide a “better together” integration experience that protects our shared customers from malicious software. Many AV vendors also participate in our Security Update Validation Program (SUVP) program to validate security updates (discussed in a December 2018 blog). Similarly, we run hundreds of AV products in our compatibility labs to report results on Windows 10 feature and quality updates. We are very committed to continue expanding on collaboration opportunities with AV vendors to maintain highly compatible and secure experiences for our customers.
Compatibility mitigations
Depending on the issue, timeline and the ability of internal or external partners to resolve issues, the Windows application compatibility team evaluates a range of mitigations to prevent customers from experiencing a compatibility issue. These fall into two basic types — shims and blocks. A shim is a method to help an app or feature to function as expected, even if OS functionality may not fully support it or has changed. Blocks are simpler and preclude a user from installing a Windows 10 update that would create a compatibility issue. When we place a block due to a compatibility issue with an app, we will not install the update on devices that have the affected app installed until that issue is resolved. When the issue has been fixed, re-tested and fully deployed, we then remove the block.  We have recently begun providing greater transparency about these blocks on the Windows 10 Update history page. While we have rich capabilities to mitigate issues through blocks or shims, we consider this only for temporary cases and prioritize fixing the issue and updating the OS for a complete resolution.
We are committed to providing fully compatible app experiences on Windows devices. Today we do this through proactive prevention, a multi-level validation approach, engagement with a vibrant and diverse ecosystem and compatibility mitigations. We will continue to innovate in the methods we use, and our goal is nothing short of full compatibility with each update experience.
Updated January 15, 2019 10:53 am

Microsoft MVP Dave Kawula on Storage Spaces Direct [Video Interview]

Storage Spaces Direct has become a very large competitor in the industry when it comes to HCI (Hyper-Converged Infrastructure), and the amount of businesses moving from traditional storage to HCI seems to be accelerating. While traditional storage is certainly still out there, HCI has become mature enough that more people are starting to trust it, and thus adopt it in their environments, that’s why it was very exciting to talk with Microsoft MVP and Community All-Star Dave Kawula about his specialty, Storage Spaces Direct (S2D).

If you’re a frequent reader of our blog, you’ll likely know that we’ve produced some content on this series (linked below), but certainly not as much as we’d like. I know you’ve been asking for more content in this area, so with that said, in addition to this video, be on the look out for future videos with Dave and I where we talk about all facets of S2D, including installation, configuration, best practices….etc…etc.

As for this video, Dave provides a VERY crisp definition answering the basic question: “what is Storage Spaces Direct?”, and also talks about how S2D allows you to be successful from a budgetary standpoint! Let’s face it, without buy-in from the bean counters and management, you’ll not get far with a new solution, and Dave makes the argument very simple and very easy to understand.

With that, let’s get to the video!

What is Storage Spaces Direct? Plus more from MVP Dave Kawula

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Additional Resources

What is S2D?

What Components Makes Up S2D?

Storage Spaces Direct on Microsoft Docs

Dave’s Blog – CheckYourLogs.net

Dave’s eBook on LeanPub

Wrap-Up

That wraps things up for us today! With that said, what parts of S2D would you like to learn about? Dave and I are open to suggestions and we want to make sure we get your questions and needs answered! Let us know in the comments section below!

Thanks for watching!

Andy Syrewicze

I currently have the distinct pleasure of acting as a Technical Evangelist for Altaro Software, makers of Altaro VM Backup. I’m heavily involved in IT community, on Altaro’s behalf, in a number of different ways, including, podcasts, webinars, blogging and public speaking. Prior to that, I spent the last 12+ years providing technology solutions across several industry verticals working for MSPs and Internal IT Departments. My areas of focus include, Virtualization, Cloud Services, VMware and the Microsoft Server Stack, with an emphasis on Hyper-V and Clustering. Outside of my day job, I spend a great deal of time working with the IT community, I’m a published author, and I’ve had the great honor of being named a Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP by Microsoft. I have a passion for technology and always enjoy talking about tech with peers, customers and IT pros over a cup of coffee or a cold beer.

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Author: Andy Syrewicze

Top Stories from the Microsoft DevOps Community – 2019.01.11

Welcome back Microsoft developers and DevOps practitioners; I hope you had a great new year! Me? I took some time off to recharge the batteries and I’m glad I did because — wow — even though it’s just the beginning of 2019, there’s already some incredible news coming out of the DevOps community.

Alexa, open Azure DevOps
This. Is. Incredible. Mike Kaufmann demonstrates the MVP of integration between Alexa and Azure DevOps. Do you want to assign a work item to him? Just ask. You’ve got to watch this video – once I did, I realized that I wanted an Alexa.

TFS 2019, Change Work Item Type and Move Between Team Project
We recently brought the ability to change work item types and to move work items between projects to the on-premises version of Azure DevOps Server. But there’s a caveat – you can’t have Reporting Services enabled. Ricci Gian Maria walks through this limitation and the solution.

Deploying to Kubernetes with Azure DevOps: A first pass
Kubernetes is incredibly popular, as it’s the next generation deployment platform for containerized application. But how do you build out a deployment pipeline around it? Jason Farrell creates his first pipeline to build a container and deploy it into AKS (Azure Kubernetes Service).

Creating a git repo with Azure Repos and trying out Git LFS
If you’re thinking about using Git in a project with large binary assets – like images, videos or audio files – you might find yourself disappointed, as Git struggles with large binaries. Andrew Lock explains why, and how you can use Git LFS (Large File Storage) to manage your project.

How the Azure DevOps teams plan with Aaron Bjork
Donovan Brown interviews Aaron Bjork about the way the Azure DevOps team has historically planned our agile processes and how we’ve adapted and changed our high-level planning and adopting Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).

As always, if you’ve written an article about Azure DevOps or find some great content about DevOps on Azure then let me know! I’m @ethomson on Twitter.

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Author: Steve Clarke

UnCAPTCHA attack updated to bypass spoken phrases

Google updated its reCAPTCHA systems to make it more difficult to bypass, but researchers have updated a proof-of-concept attack to solve the new challenges.

The reCAPTCHA system developed by Google asks users to solve challenges — identifying words, the contents of images or audio clips — to determine if a human or a bot is attempting to use a website. The unCAPTCHA attack is an automated system developed by researchers at the University of Maryland that uses speech-to-text services from Google, Microsoft and IBM to correctly solve audio reCAPTCHA challenges. The original version of unCAPTCHA, created in April 2017, could solve audio challenges with an 85% accuracy rate.

At the time, audio reCAPTCHA used strings of numbers as the challenge, but in 2018 Google changed the system to use spoken phrases rather than digits. The research team developed the new version of unCAPTCHA, dubbed unCAPTCHA2, which boasts a 90% success rate. The team disclosed the new version to Google in June but were told it was “out of scope for the bug bounty program.”

“We contacted the reCAPTCHA team in June 2018 to alert them that the updates to the reCAPTCHA system made it less secure, and a formal issue was opened on June 27th, 2018. We demonstrated a fully functional version of this attack soon thereafter,” the researchers wrote in the unCAPTCHA GitHub readme. “We chose to wait 6 months after the initial disclosure to give the reCAPTCHA team time to address the underlying architectural issues in the reCAPTCHA system. The reCAPTCHA team is aware of this attack vector, and have confirmed they are okay with us releasing this code, despite its current success rate.”

Jeremiah Grossman, founder of WhiteHat Security, said that if unCAPTCHA can solve a challenge with such a high success rate, “it’s either a vulnerability or a fundamental flaw in the entire product.”

“Talk about irony! Leveraging Google’s audio transcription to bypass their audio CAPTCHA. That said, there’s been several tools and services available to solve Google’s CAPTCHA for quite a number of years,” Grossman said. “All the while adversaries have consistently demonstrated their ability to do so easily and cheaply. With this context, this latest ‘security’ issue is more humorous than it is surprising. It’s happened before, it’s happening now, and highly likely to happen again.”

Ryan Wilk, vice president of customer success at NuData Security, said reCAPTCHA “is only one piece of the authentication puzzle.”

“If CAPTCHA is the only security layer, once the puzzle is broken, then the bad actor has won,” Wilk said. “To effectively solve the issue of automation attacks without creating a challenging customer experience, companies will need to implement a passive layered security solution, using behavioral analytics and passive biometrics, to accurately identify if the user is a human or a machine.” 

Google did not respond to requests for comment at the time of this post, but in October the company announced plans for reCAPTCHA v3, which would do away with challenge questions and instead use a trust score to determine the difference between humans and bots.

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For Sale – M-ITX Desktop Computer – Intel Atom – 2GB DDR3 Ram – 500GB Hard Drive – Windows 7 Pro

I have a Mini-ITX build for sale.

The motherboard and case are new, never used before and the ram was taken from another machine, the hard drive has been used before but is in full working order.

Running Windows 7 Professional already activated with a key.

It does have a slot for a slimline DVD drive.

Specs

Mini-ITX case
Jetway Mini-ITX NC9KDL-2550 Motherboard
2GB DDR3 Ram
Seagate 500GB Hard Drive
Intel Atom 1.86Ghz CPU
PS/2 Mouse
PS/2 Keyboard
HDMI
VGA
USB 2.0
2 X Ethernet
SPDIF

Power cable included.

Price and currency: 50
Delivery: Delivery cost is included
Payment method: BT
Location: Leeds
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

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Transforming Classroom Time in January’s #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet |

Educators around the world are fully aware that empowering students to prepare for their future also means embracing change in their classrooms and in their approaches to teaching. The big question is: How do you best go about transforming your classroom? What does it mean, how do you start, and where do you go for inspiration?

You don’t have to wonder aloud into the void, thankfully – that’s what the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet is for! In January’s event, we’ll bring together educators and experts to discuss Transforming Classroom Time. The act can mean different things to different people, even more if you consider that classroom circumstances can vary significantly from one place to another. Key recurring elements in the conversation are to look for small, affordable steps of change that save teachers precious time and that help their students take ownership of their own learning.

Join the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet on Tuesday, January 15, at 10:00 a.m. PST (check your time zone here) to find out more. (Sounds great, but what’s a TweetMeet?)

We offer 11 simultaneous language tracks this month and we’re super happy to have a host from Turkey this time again. Here’s an overview of all language tracks and their hashtags for the January TweetMeet:

For each language track, we have one or more hosts to post the translated questions and respond to educators. As always, we’re super grateful to all current and former hosts who are collaborating closely to provide this service.

The #TweetMeetXX hashtags for non-English languages are to be used together with #MSFTEduChat so that everyone can find the conversations back in their own language. For example: Portuguese-speaking people use the combination #TweetMeetPT #MSFTEduChat. English-speaking educators may all use #MSFTEduChat on its own.

Find out how teachers all over are transforming classroom time with a new #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet! Join us on Tuesday, Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PST. #MSFTEduChat #ChangeMakers Click To Tweet

TweetMeet fan? Show it off on your Twitter profile

Every month more and more people discover the unique flow and characteristics of the TweetMeet events and become passionate about them. Show your passion for the TweetMeets right from your own Twitter page by uploading this month’s #MSFTEduChat Twitter Header Photo to the top of your own Twitter profile. Besides English, this same Twitter Header Photo is also available in each of this month’s 10 additional language tracks.

Looking back on the December ‘Best of 2018’ TweetMeet

The December edition of the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet was special in many ways. In a very lively conversation discussing ‘Best of 2018’, as many as 140 former TweetMeet hosts engaged with educators around the world in 17 different languages. Look at some of the highlights from that Twitter conversation collected in this Twitter Moment.

Why join the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?

TweetMeets are monthly recurring Twitter conversations about themes relevant to educators, facilitated by Microsoft Education. The purpose of these events is to help professionals in education to learn from each other and inspire their students while they are preparing for their future. The TweetMeets also nurture personal learning networks among educators from across the globe.

We’re grateful to have a support group made up exclusively of former TweetMeet hosts, who volunteer to translate communication and check the quality of our questions and promotional materials. They also help identify the best candidates for future events, provide relevant resources, promote the events among their networks, and, in general, cheer everybody on.

Our hosts are thrilled about this upcoming TweetMeet:

When and how can I join?

Join us Tuesday, January 15 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PDT on Twitter using the hashtags #MSFTEduChat, #ChangeMakers and #MicrosoftEDU (which you can always use to stay in touch with us). To find the event time for your specific location, use this time zone announcer.

From our monthly surveys we know that you may be in class at event time, busy doing other things or maybe even asleep – well, no problem! All educators are most welcome to join after the event. Simply take a look at the questions below and respond to these at a day and time that suit you best. You can also schedule your tweets in advance. In that case, be sure to quote the entire question and mention the hashtag #MSFTEduChat, so that everyone knows the right question and conversation to which you are responding. Mark the exact timings – they are different this month.

How can I best prepare?

To prepare for the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet, have a look at the questions we crafted this time. You might also find something useful in one of these resources:

TweetMeet questions

Hosts

Please meet the 19 hosts for this month’s TweetMeet. They are all passionate about classroom transformation and very eager to engage with you. Several of this month’s hosts have already blogged about the positive impact of being a #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet host and why you should join. You can check these posts out in this brand-new Sway:

We also made a Twitter List so that you can easily follow all the hosts and see what they are tweeting about.

  • Abeer Almihdar @AbeerMehdar (Microsoft Learning Consultant – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
  • Arnaud Markert @ArnaudMarkert (Religious culture teacher and digital referent teacher – Strasbourg, France)
  • Cornelia Melcu @CorneliaMelcu (Primary school teacher, teacher trainer, mentor and eTwinning and Scientix ambassador- Școala Gimnazială Nr. 9, Nicolae Orghidan, Brașov, Romania)
  • Eileen Heller @EileenHeller (Instructional Technology Trainer for Omaha Public Schools – Omaha, Nebraska, USA)
  • Felix Malombe @Felmalo (ICT Curriculum Leader and Maker Lab (STEAM) teacher for Crawford International School – Nairobi, Kenya)
  • Flavia Giannoli @flagia3 (Math & Physics teacher at High School/ teachers Mentor and Trainer / Innovative Design Thinking and e-learning expert/ MCE & MIE Expert – Milan, Italy)
  • Gülşen Korucu @gulsen_korucu (English teacher at Saimbey Secondary School – Osmaniye, Turkey)
  • Ian Phillips @ianhabs (I am Assistant Head and Director Computing & ICT at HabsBoys and independent school near London in the UK. I am an Intel Visionary and Chair of the ISC Digital strategy group)
  • Joël McLean @jprofnb (Elementary school principal and leadership coach – Callander, Ontario Canada)
  • Josh Arnold @GuyCivics  (Middle School Teacher/Educational blogger – Wesley Chapel, Florida, USA)
  • Lynne Oakvik @LynneOakvik (Instructional Technology/School Library Consultant, Lilead Fellow – Boone, North Carolina, USA)
  • Małgorzata Kulesza @Malgosia38 (Secondary school teacher of chemistry and science, coordinator of international projects, nominated as an European Hero by Scientix, MIE Expert, passionate global educator- Krakow, Poland)
  • Marina St Mircic @s13_marina (Italian and Civics Teacher in secondary school, MIE Fellow, Skype Master Teacher, MIE Expert, passionate blogger and translator  – Zajecar, Serbia)
  • Nicole Caldwell @n_caldwellEDU (1:1 Technology Resource 3rd – 5th Grades/NCCE Professional Learning Specialist – Tampa, Florida, USA)
  • Paula Barnard-Ashton @PaulaBarAsh (21st century learning design lecturer & trainer @ Wits University, School of Therapeutic Sciences – Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • Sascha Sohn @SohnSascha (Mathematics and Physics Teacher at Gymnasium Johanneum Loburg – Ostbevern, Germany)
  • Shannon Davenport @sdavenport931 (Director of Professional Learning for NCCE, The Northwest Council of Computer Education – Clarksville, Tennessee, USA)
  • Stu Ayres @StuAyres (Senior Deputy Head and computer science teacher, Raspberry Pi certified educator, teacher trainer, 21st-Century learning design practitioner – Denbigh, Wales, United Kingdom)
  • Víctor Rodríguez @VRS_ae (HP/lntel Teacher Ambassador, teacher trainer at Grupo Advanced Education, MIE Expert – Spain)

What are #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?

Every month Microsoft Education organizes social events on Twitter targeted at educators globally. The hashtag we use is #MSFTEduChat. A team of topic specialists and international MIE Expert teachers prepare and host these TweetMeets together. Our team of educator hosts first crafts several questions around a certain topic. Then, before the event, they share these questions on social media. Combined with a range of resources, a blog post and background information about the events, this allows all participants to prepare themselves to the full. Afterwards we make an archive available of the most notable tweets and resources shared during the event.

Please connect with TweetMeet organizer Marjolein Hoekstra @OneNoteC on Twitter if you have any questions about TweetMeets or helping out as a host.

Join for next month’s topic: Literacy

Click here for free STEM resources

Click here for free STEM resources

Click here for free STEM resources

Click here for free STEM resources

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Author: Steve Clarke

McAfee casts doubt on Ryuk ransomware connection to North Korea

McAfee’s Advanced Threat Research team argued cybercriminals — not North Korean hackers — were behind the recent Ryuk ransomware attack on Tribune Publishing Co.

Some media reports implicated North Korea in that attack because previously published research from Check Point Software Technologies noted strong similarities between Ryuk and another type of ransomware, called Hermes, which has been tied to North Korean state-sponsored hackers known as the Lazarus Group. McAfee researchers, however, cast doubt on the cyber attribution case against North Korea in a report published on Wednesday.

The cyberattack on Tribune Publishing occurred late last month and affected the company’s production platform, disrupting and delaying the production of several newspapers. The Los Angeles Times reported the malware that infected Tribune Publishing’s systems was Ryuk ransomware, which was first detected last August by Check Point.

While Check Point researchers didn’t directly attribute Ryuk ransomware to the Lazarus Group, some media reports implicated North Korea in the Tribune Publishing cyberattack. The issue was further complicated when another company, cloud service provider Data Resolution, blamed a reported cyberattack on Ryuk and North Korea. 

In a report titled “Ryuk Ransomware Attack: Rush to Attribution Misses the Point,” John Fokker, head of cyber investigations for McAfee’s Advanced Threat Research team, and Christiaan Beek, lead scientist and senior principal engineer at McAfee, argued the evidence points to cybercriminals, rather than North Korea.

“Based on the technical indicators, known cybercriminal characteristics, and evidence discovered on the dark web, our hypothesis is that the Ryuk attacks may not necessarily be backed by a nation-state, but rather share the hallmarks of a cybercrime operation,” they wrote.

According to the report, the indicators and evidence include activity on an underground hacker forum in 2017, where a Russian-speaking member offered a malware kit for “Hermes 2.1” ransomware, and another post on the same forum cited Ryuk in October. McAfee’s Advanced Threat Research team agreed “the actors behind Ryuk have access to the Hermes source code,” and the functionality between the two ransomware variants is “generally equal.”

But researchers also said the Ryuk ransomware code evolved from the Hermes kit in recent months, and Ryuk is an altered version of Hermes 2.1.

“The most likely hypothesis in the Ryuk case is that of a cybercrime operation developed from a tool kit offered by a Russian-speaking actor,” the report stated. “From the evidence, we see sample similarities over the past several months that indicate a tool kit is being used.”

Fokker and Beek were more blunt about their assessment on Twitter. Fokker tweeted that North Korea “is definitely not our suspect” in the Ryuk attacks, while Beek tweeted that attributing Ryuk to North Korea “is a mistake.”

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