Archive for June 12, 2020

Windows 10 Version 2004 – Here’s What You Need To Know

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 12, 2020 by itnerd

Rolling out to a PC near you is the latest Windows 10 Feature Update. Version 2004 which is also known as the May 2020 update brings a bunch of new features, and some new problems. Let’s start with the new features:

  • Cortana has changed substantially. And you will either love it or hate it.
  • Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 is now shipping as part of this version of Windows 10.
  • Notepad is enhanced.
  • Search has been improved.
  • Windows Sandbox is improved.
  • Virtual desktop support has improved.
  • Task Manager is improved
  • Accessibility features are improved
  • Various settings functionality including BlueTooth and recovery have been improved.

You can get the full details here. That’s the good news.

The bad news that there are lots of problems. Microsoft published a long list of known issues that have not been resolved yet on the official Windows 10 release information page. A total of ten issues are listed on the page currently, and the key thing here is those issues will block the new feature update from being offered to your computer. On top of that, various Lenovo devices have issues with this feature update.

My advice is that if this update is not offered to your computer, do not install it. While there are ways to get the update if it is not offered to you on your Windows 10 computer, it is in your best interests to take advantage of them. I would also recommend updating your drivers for things like video cards and the like as at least one of the bugs that Microsoft has noted relates to out of date Nvidia video drivers. That way you stand a better chance of having a successful update. Also, make a backup so that you can roll back to a working state if things go south. But if I were you, I’d wait until Microsoft sort out their issues with this update.

Zoom Suspended The Accounts Of Hong Kong Activists At The Request Of China… Now Congress Wants To Know More

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 12, 2020 by itnerd

It seems that Zoom cannot stay out of the news for all the wrong reasons. This time Zoom is in hot water because Zoom issued a statement on Thursday acknowledging that the Chinese government requested that it suspend the accounts of several U.S.- and Hong Kong-based Chinese activists for holding events commemorating the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre:

Recent articles in the media about adverse actions we took toward Lee Cheuk-yan, Wang Dan, and Zhou Fengsuo have some calling into question our commitment to being a platform for an open exchange of ideas and conversations. To be clear, their accounts have been reinstated, and going forward, we will have a new process for handling similar situations. 

We will do better as we strive to make Zoom the most secure and trusted way to bring people together. 

Now if you read the rest of the blog post, Zoom acknowledges that they screwed up here. And that they are going to take corrective actions:

  • Going forward Zoom will not allow requests from the Chinese government to impact anyone outside of mainland China.
  • Zoom is developing technology over the next several days that will enable us to remove or block at the participant level based on geography. This will enable us to comply with requests from local authorities when they determine activity on our platform is illegal within their borders; however, we will also be able to protect these conversations for participants outside of those borders where the activity is allowed.
  • We are improving our global policy to respond to these types of requests. We will outline this policy as part of our transparency report, to be published by June 30, 2020.

Now that isn’t good enough for some. Three U.S. lawmakers asked Zoom to clarify its data-collection practices and relationship with the Chinese government:

Representatives Greg Walden, the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the ranking member of a consumer subcommittee, sent a letter to Zoom CEO Eric Yuan on Thursday asking him to clarify the company’s data practices, whether any was shared with Beijing and whether it encrypted users’ communications. 

Republican Senator Josh Hawley also wrote to Yuan asking him to “pick a side” between the United States and China. 

The three politicians have previously expressed concerns about TikTok’s owner, Chinese firm ByteDance, which is being scrutinized by U.S. regulators over the personal data the short video app handles.

Seeing as this is an election year, I would not be at all surprised if Congressional Hearings were called and Zoom CEO Eric Yuan was called onto the carpet. Because if Yuan thought his blog post would put out the fire related to this latest scandal, he’d be wrong.