The EU Ushers in the Internet 2.0

It used to be the “world wide web”, free of censorship or geo-restrictions, providing anonymity unless you wished to reveal your identity. Remember 20yrs ago using Netscape, Usenet, and email signups that didn’t require anything besides a user name and password, and anonymous newsgroups/bulliten-boards? It has now been hijacked by well financed political-corporate entities and unelected EU officials who decide what is best for you, while forcing you to identify yourself and consent to having all your data and communications recorded and data mined so they can track and profit from all your on-line activity.

Many of you will have recently encountered blocked websites and videos or new “before you proceed” messages while you are websurfing. This is due to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws that just went into effect in the EU. Some US based websites are blocking EU residents from accessing content, often displaying a server error message. Social media sites are demanding you accept new, very intrusive user agreements before letting you in. Some radio streams and podcasts display a message saying the content is unavailable in your location. Google searches are being censored for EU residents, filtering out previously available content, with many news articles now blocked. Google searches have abandoned any fair-ranking in their search results, pushing up their paying clients to the top of results, when previously the search results were prioritized by popularity. It is well documented that Google searches are now heavily politically influenced, pushing or suppressing info to promote their agenda. Google is not the only company suppressing content on the internet. Reddit has frequently been accused of banning postings on specific topics, and a recent report suggests that Facebook has been deleting conservative news stories from its newsfeed, a practice that might have a significant effect on public opinion – even on voting. Some Spanish ISPs are censoring file sharing websites like The Pirate Bay. UK news sites have blacked out coverage of stories the gov’t has deemed too sensitive for readers, which is bad for all freedom lovers regardless of which side you support. Even DigameXtra has been forced to implement new rules to comply with GDPR. Google, though, is currently the biggest bully on the block.

Practical solutions to access blocked content? In some cases you will be able to use a VPN to “spoof” your location so sites think you are in a location where the content is available. Another trick to access blocked content is to open a ISP-changer website and enter the desired web address there to gain access. Try http://www.geekproxy.com/ or http://www.changetheip.com/
For uncensored search results try www.duckduckgo.com or http://www.gibiru.com/
To access Google Search without being tracked use www.startpage.com

There is a lot of info available on these subjects, easily found using uncensored search engines. These 2 articles are a good introduction to the topic. https://gizmodo.com/dozens-of-american-news-sites-blocked-in-europe-as-gdpr-1826319542
https://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2016-06-22/google-is-the-worlds-biggest-censor-and-its-power-must-be-regulated

I warned Digame-Torrox readers about this 6yrs ago and was called a tin-foil hat conspiracy theorist. Now it is here. I don’t have a crystal ball, I just read the university and corporate research white-papers where these topics are discussed well before implementation. You would be shocked at what is being researched and developed for the future, and how much of it is already done. Here is a good introduction to “the internet of things” (IoT), where everything is chipped and monitored and networked with data bases of every CCTV and satellite surveillance feed; not just your smartphone, but also your toothbrush, every appliance, power switches, your car, your dentist office, your daily schedule calendar, all will constantly track everything you do in real time. This way your car’s hands free phone can inform you that it automatically made you a dentist appointment because your toothbrush has determined you are due for a cleaning. Do you really want your dentist and insurance company to know how often you brush your teeth? Any of you who activated the Cortana voice controlled digital assistant feature in Windows 10 has already had a small taste of this technology.

Related info: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/internet-of-things-what-is-explained-iot

What is after that? In undergrad university computer science lectures on artificial intelligence (AI) it is commonly referred to as the “singularity”. They study it and develop the items it will require, assuming that is the future. In very simple terms it involves everyone constantly connected to the internet and Internet of Things while integrating Artificial Intelligence and block-chain technologies. All info about everything accessible 24hrs a day. Everything will be inter-connected and recorded…everything, with artificial intelligence constantly observing, learning and improving your limited human capacity. As a result, as futurist Ray Kurzweil put it, “by 2045 we will multiply our effective intelligence a billionfold by merging with the intelligence we have created.” Society will transform as it becomes impossible to lie, cheat, or hide anything. Everything will be public. Some say this is our path to the stars. As for me, I am reminded of that old song “In the Year 2525” by Zager & Evans, who it appears way overestimated how long the changes would take.

Related info: https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/what-is-the-singularity-ai/

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DoctorLaptop Windows 10 Update Problem Alert 30May18

Buggy Spring 2018 Update plaguing Windows 10 Users

I repair what others can only replace!

The Windows 10 V1803 update, released 30APR18, has caused 2 major problems for users. I have recovered a dozen of these victim computers for clients since this was released a month ago.
1. Some users, especially those that had updated from Win 7 or 8/8.1, are finding that after the update, they reboot to a blank Desktop with an error message that a user profile file cannot be accessed so Desktop is unavailable. No buttons or icons will work. Both System Restore and System Rollback/Refresh are unavailable, even from Safe Mode or a recovery drive. A repair is possible but beyond the ability of most casual users, many of whom have no install disc or recovery drive to provide the required tools. Warning, some users who attempted a self-repair by trying a System Rollback or Refresh discover the repair has not only failed, but when they bring it to me for repair, I remove the hard disk and check it in another computer only to find the attempted repair deleted much of their data! This is why everyone should be doing regular data backups! If it gets to this point the only solution is to do a data recovery if you neglected doing backups  (expensive), and then do a fresh reinstall of Windows. Users fed up with Win 10 are often choosing to go back to Win 7/8.1 at this stage.

2. After the update, some people will suddenly see a new OEM or recovery partition in their File Manager that has a logical drive letter assigned to them. No files appear in the partition despite it claiming to be full, and showing hidden files does not reveal the contents either. Options for deleting or renaming the new partition are not available. Then Windows 10 starts with constant notifications that the drive is full.

This is annoying, but does not prevent one from using the computer. The cause appears to be that the Win Update creates this new partition to store undo/recover info. The first idea many users have is to remove the drive letter from the disk management partition. If you try to use Disk Management to fix the issue and remove the drive letter from the partition, you will fail in most cases. The context menu does not support commands on this recovery partition. There is no real fix for this problem yet, but you may be able stop the annoying “disk full” messages by disabling the Windows Explorer notifications function. Other proposed solutions, removing the new partition’s mount point or deleting the partition with 3rd party tools, may work but can break BitLocker and block the recovery functions if you need them to fix an other, unrelated problem. Not advisable.

What to do, since there is no obvious way to block Win 10 from updating? First, make sure all your data is backed up on another device. Then, depending on what version of Win 10 you have, Home/S/Pro/Ultimate/Enterprise, you may be able to use a Settings trick to delay, or block updates. Look in Advanced Settings in the Update Settings for a delay update function. It may offer a setting to delay updates for 35 days. Not there? Then go to Network Settings and set your computer to “On a metered connection”. That should prevent updates, at least for a while. Hopefully long enough to allow Microsoft to correct and reissue this bad update.

Sources:
https://borncity.com/win/2018/05/02/windows-10-v1803-update-creates-a-new-oem-partition/
https://www.tenforums.com/drivers-hardware/109077-new-1803-version-created-new-disk-partition-can-i-reclaim.html#post1359096
https://www.disk-partition.com/windows-10/recovery-partition-after-upgrading-to-windows-10-4348.html

As always, I am available for consults and repairs should you experience either of these problems.

doctorlaptop@protonmail.com ; mobile 675 993 069 (no calls before 11am please)

DoctorLaptop’s Tips #68 and April 2018 Special

DoctorLaptop’s Tips #68 and April Special

Special: Slow tablet rescue. Full cleaning, tune-up, updating and optimization of slow but otherwise functional tablets, only €30 till 01May18.

Tips:
1. Windows 10 needs to be updated regularly. If you leave it inactive for more than 2 weeks, when you next use it leave it connected to the internet, running all night, then in the morning shut it off and restart it. If it has shut down automatically, start it, then once it’s done loading restart it. This should allow your computer to get current on updates.
2. Keeping your computer cool in the summer is important, for both the health of the unit and for best performance. Part of that is keeping all the air vents free of dust, lint and hair. I use a dry toothbrush for this task. Do not blow air into the vents, that pushes the dirt back into the fan. Another good idea is to place small lifters under the back side of a laptop to increase the air space under it. During peak heat days (30C+) I recommend blowing a desk fan directly on your computer. If your computer shuts down due to over-heating, leave it at least 30mins before attempting a restart. If that restart fails, do not keep trying, get it serviced to avoid damaging it further (or run chkdsk and scannow tools from a recovery DVD if you know how).
3. If you have a newer computer with a SSD (solid state hard disk) it is imperative you keep current backups of you data on an external memory device. Should your SSD fail there is no way to recover the data, short of sending it to a specialist SDD data recovery center in Sevilla or Madrid where recovery fees begin at €300 and often run into thousands!
4. Be aware that some new generation mobile device models of tablets and smartphones are not designed to be opened and serviced. Basically they are disposable once they have a hardware failure outside of the warranty period. If this concerns you, inquire at the time of purchase if battery replacement service for that model is available from the seller. Tablet batteries are designed to last 3yrs at 2hrs per day use, iPad batteries may last longer.

Contact: doctorlaptop@protonmail.com or call 675 993 069 (no calls b4 11am).
Computer repairs, lessons, websites/blogs/forums/SEO, Social Media promotion & marketing, business computer maintenance service.
Windows, Apple/Mac, Linux, Android.

DoctorLaptop’s Tips #67 and March Special

DoctorLaptop’s Tips #67 and March Special

Special: Slow Computer Rescue. My famous Clean & TuneUp Special is back, for Windows & Mac. Until Apr. 01 you can now get 20% off, only €40!
If you rely on your computer and want it running at peak performance, an annual professional servicing is necessary. You wouldn’t drive your car till it runs out of oil before servicing it, would you?
I do the most comprehensive cleaning and tune-up possible: verify all System files replacing any found to be corrupt, test all hardware and do hard disk sector repairs if needed, use 5 tool malware/adware/spyware removal protocol, update Windows+all drivers+programs, install free ransomware protection, and finally optimize your settings for fastest overall performance. Job usually completed overnight. Heavily infected comps or those showing error messages need a repair, not a maintenance service. Hard disks of 1000Gb or more add €10 and may require 2 days to complete.

Tips:
1. To find a word in a website you are looking at press ctrl + f keys simultaneously, a search box will appear. Enter the word and press Enter. All instances of the word will be instantly highlighted. This also works on document files you are viewing, just be sure to place the cursor at the beginning of the document before pressing crtl + f, the search won’t look at text before the cursor location. You can use that feature to search only the last half of a long document by placing the cursor mid document before searching.
2. If you want Google to find a specific phrase that has words in a specific order, then place the phrase in quotation marks when entering it into the search box.
3. Use addition and subtraction marks to make your search results more relevant. For example, you are searching for Tom Ford, but you get lots of results for Ford Motors and Tommy Ford. Try this – combine a couple of Web search basics here (quote marks and a minus in this case) resulting in the search term: “Tom Ford” -motors. Now your results will come back without all those pesky car and Tommy results. Or to get info on light bulbs, but only LED light bulbs, try entering: light bulbs + LED.
Learn more search tricks at
https://www.lifewire.com/web-search-tricks-to-know-4046148
https://www.lifewire.com/google-search-commands-3482058
4. Need more RAM to speed up your Windows computer but both RAM slots are already used? Or are you are limited to 4Gb RAM by a 32bit Windows system? Ready Boost mode may be a solution. It uses a memory card or USB flash drive to take some of the memory load off the hard disk. Instructions: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/using-windows-readyboost-to-increase-performance/

Contact: doctorlaptop@protonmail.com or call 675 993 069 (no calls b4 11am)
Computer repairs, lessons, websites/blogs/forums/SEO, Social Media promotion & marketing, business computer maintenance service.
Windows, Apple/Mac, Linux, Android.

Links to my blog, FB, and Twitter:
You can tip me for advice or services by topping up my mobile prepay credit, 675993069(Orange).
Earn free BitCoin here: https://freebitco.in/?r=1349144

DoctorLaptop’s Tips #66 – The Future of Windows – Facts and Speculation

DoctorLaptop’s Tips #66 – The Future of Windows – Facts and Speculation
Microsoft says Windows 10 is the last number-designated version of Windows, with only “Creator’s Updates” to follow. No Windows 11. Microsoft has already implemented the  move to their new “Windows as a service” biz model. MS will retire the old biz model where Windows came free with the computer. Did you know Win 10 mainstream support ends in Oct 2020!?!  Only 10 months after Win 7 becomes obsolete! Extended support for Win 10 ends Oct 2025. From then on you will have to rent a new version of Windows from Microsoft (and possibly rent a computer from them too!). The debut of the new rental Windows loaded computers is expected by 2021. This new rental version of Windows will not run on older computers; MS has already announced old processors will not be supported in the future. Here’s the proof, read ALL the small print for once!

win10 end of support

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet

https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2015/05/08/microsoft-windows-10-last-windows/#52c0af583328

Speculation: The new rental-version Windows may require you to sign-in to a verified account (as Win 10 tries to get you to do now with a MS/Outlook account) to access the internet, or possibly use the computer at all. New versions of your favorite apps will be rented not purchased, and will force you to store saved data on the cloud instead of your computer. As the Win 7 retirement date approaches (Jan 2020) Microsoft will begin “encouraging” Win 7 users to retire their old operating system by releasing buggy updates to break it, just as they did when Win XP and Vista neared the end of their life-cycles.

Happy computing…Naythan

Links to my blog, FB, and Twitter:
You can tip me for advice or services by topping up my mobile prepay credit, 675993069(Orange).
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DoctorLaptop Alert! New, Worldwide Computer/Tablet/Smartphone Threat

DoctorLaptop Alert! New, Worldwide Computer/Tablet/Smartphone Threat Exposed – What You Need To Know

Two recently uncovered huge processor vulnerabilities called Meltdown and Spectre have taken the whole world by storm. Vendors are rushing out to patch the vulnerabilities in its products. The issues apply to all modern processors and affect nearly all operating systems (Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, macOS, etc), smartphones and other computing devices made in the past 20 years. The flaws exist in processors, a building block of comps that acts as the brain, and could allow attackers to steal your passwords, encryption keys and other private information the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team says. Almost every computing system is affected by the Spectre bug. Meltdown appears to be specific to Intel chips. Google’s Cloud Platform has been updated to prevent the vulnerabilities, the company said. Apple revealed Thursday that all its Mac and iOS devices were affected by the flaws; Apple has already released some fixes for Meltdown, and will release others for Spectre in subsequent updates.
While patches for the Meltdown flaw in consumer units are available already from  Microsoft, Apple and Google, Spectre is not easy to patch and will haunt people for quite some time. Some researchers, including US-CERT, have suggested the only true patch for Spectre is for chips to be replaced, but this solution is impractical for the average user.
The best strategy for all users is to keep your devices fully updated, both the operating system and all installed software. Yes, this includes BIOS upgrades, something best left to properly trained engineers, as a BIOS upgrade error can render the device permanently unusable. Also, everyone needs to backup their valuable data NOW! Should your device be hit with one of these exploits I can retrieve the data from the hard drive, but it will need to be totally erased and have a new operating system installed before it can run an operating system again.

My famous Clean & Tuneup Maintenance Service (€50) can install all available patches and provide the best protection available.
Note to do-it-your-selfers: Antivirus programs can block the patches, fully uninstall your antivirus and disable Defender before installing the operating system patches and BIOS upgrades.

This is a new threat and warning info may not be 100% accurate as research continues, I will release more info as it becomes available. Read more here:

http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/03/technology/computer-chip-flaw-security/index.html
https://thehackernews.com/2018/01/meltdown-spectre-patches.html

Contact: doctorlaptop@protonmail.com or call 675 993 069 (after 11am)
You can tip me for advice or services by topping up my mobile prepay credit, 675993069(Orange).

DoctorLaptop’s Tips #65 and Holiday Special

DoctorLaptop’s Tips #65 and Holiday Special
 
Tip #1: The latest info on the Spanish Facebook security scandal and the €12M fine they received here, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/09/11/facebook-hit-12m-fine-spain-breaking-privacy-laws/
Want a free, secure alternative to FaceBook? Here is a safe Social Media site that takes your privacy seriously, an alternative to data collecting, overly intrusive FB. Many techs and citizen journalists are migrating to it. Join up and then invite all your contacts. https://mewe.com/
 
Tip #2: New Computer? Setting up a new Windows 10 computer can be tricky, tons of settings and options to choose, programs and drivers to install and your data needs to be imported from your old comp. Warning: do NOT inturrupt the initial setup process, if you start you must see it thru till the end or it will may cause severe problems. If you get stuck on a step, just accept the default setting and move on. It can be changed later if necessary. Inturrupting setup often causes a troublesome “hidden” super-admin account to be created which interferes with your normal admin account, and can only be removed by re-installing Windows.
 
Holiday Special: Setup new computer to your requirements, no data imported €40; with data import €55. Extra add-ons available like MS Office and IPTV for an additional fee. Ends 01Jan18.
Contact: doctorlaptop@protonmail.com or 675 993 069
Most jobs completed overnight.