I recently had a problem where my Arch Linux Fn sound volume keys quit working. I looked high and low and could not find a solution.

head space and timing

This is a military term related to ensuring the bolt and head space for the M2 .50 caliber machine gun are in alignment. This must be done correctly, or the weapon can explode during operation. It also means a person who’s screwed something up because they failed to check what they were doing before they did it.

~ head space and timing, Urban Dictionary

Continue reading “Fn Sound Volume Keys Quit Working on Dell Inspiron Running Arch Linux”

A new, very real and very widespread security vulnerability in all wifi 802.11 devices has been found. It is a notable issue because it is not a manufacturer flaw but a design flaw caused by the wifi spec (802.11) itself.

Called KRACK (Key Reinstallation AttaCKs), the problem might take time to patch because of the fracturing of various types of wifi devices. For instance, Android phones are at the mercy of the phone manufacturers and/or carriers as to when updates occur. Older routers might not even have a user-friendly update mechanism, but I’ve noticed some newer ones will actually automatically check but not necessarily automatically install. The good news, though, is that the security vulnerability in all wifi devices can be patched via software. No hardware changes are required.

Today is being called “Black Monday” in many information security circles. We have had a major Wi-Fi vulnerability announced that affects absolutely every device that supports Wi-Fi. The vulnerability allows attackers to decrypt WPA2 connections. A second vulnerability also emerged today, and we will cover that at the end of this post.

~ PSA: Severe Vulnerability in All Wi-Fi Devices

We had a recent spate of Internet Explorer opening multiple tabs to the point of exhausting computer memory, and it seemed exclusively Windows 10 boxes. Turns out that a new “feature” that you didn’t ask for is the cause.

I got a weird call from another tech saying that a user’s Internet Explorer was opening multiple tabs, over and over again, until the system came to a crawl because it was running out of memory. Killing IE, if possible, else a hard reboot seemed the only options.

This was puzzling. It was really weird because it was a new system, so it must’ve been a new record if they downloaded something to cause the behavior. Normally, I would immediately suspect adware, spyware or a rogue toolbar. Turns out that the latter wasn’t so far from the truth. The problem is that a new “feature” of Windows 10 was to add an “Edge” tab to Internet Explorer. Microsoft really wants you to use Edge, and apparently haven’t learned from turning so many people off on trying to force Windows 10 upon them.

I keep wondering what it will take for the corporate world to wake up and move to open source software, where you can, if willing, customize the software all day long and not be held hostage by closed systems like MS Windows.

At any rate, 9/10ths of the time, you can fix the issue by going into Internet options and cleaning up the cache files, resetting Advanced settings and resetting IE completely, in that order. In the remaining cases, removing all temp files for all users with a utility like TFC did the trick.

And, yes, on new machines even.

I generally love my Huawei, but I kept getting frustrated because I could not figure out how to screen case from my Honor 6. I kept running into flip comments online such as “Simply turn on MirrorShare”, but I could not for the life of me find that setting.

This: Honor 8 screen cast | Honor 8

In short, all I had to do was:

How do you get the mirror get in the short cut menu. Currently, my phone do not show this as an option.

Scroll down in notification and it shows edit to switch icons

Problem solved! Turn on MirrorShare, and it will now show the devices capable of receiving the cast (don’t forget to turn it on in your Roku settings).

Sometimes, life happens, and you wind up with a forgotten password in Windows and have to break into the system. The below article was written for Windows l0, but the creation of an administrator account by copying some critical files about 1/3rd of the way down the page works in Windows 7 as well. All you need is a boot USB to enter Windows PE mode (or you can boot into Linux and do the same thing).

Thankfully, the process of recovering your password in Windows 10 is much the same as it has been in Windows 8 and above, albeit with a few slight tweaks. Here’s how you can recover both your Microsoft Live 10 login, as well as the credentials for any other users registered with the local machine.

~ How to Reset Your Forgotten Password in Windows 10

The short of it:

  1. Boot into Windows PE (or Linux).
  2. Navigate to the OS drive (mount it if in Linux and cd to where you mounted it).
  3. Change into the Windows\System32 directory.
  4. Rename Utilman.exe to Utileman.exe.bak.
  5. Copy cmd.exe to Utilman.exe.
  6. Reboot into Windows.
  7. When it comes to the login screen, click on the Accessibility button. This will open a command prompt.
  8. Create a new user. For example: net user John /add
  9. Add new user to local administrator group. For example: net localgroup Administrators John /add
  10. Reboot.
  11. Login as the new user. You now have free reign to enable the built-in Administrator account, or change passwords on local accounts.
  12. Don’t forget to copy the Utilman.exe.bak back to Utilman.exe and cleanup the temporary account.

It seems that most banks are stupid. However, you usually at least have to look for the stupidity. The “Bank of the West Online and Mobile Service Agreement” is stupid and out in the open for all to see.

Some things still flabbergast me. Tonight, I wanted to deposit a check into my Bank of the West account, and the mobile app forced me to accept some updated agreements. No problem, I thought, I’ll just skim through them and be done lickety-split. The first one was tedious enough, but then I got to the “Bank of the West Online and Mobile Banking Agreement”, I was presented with a book that only a lawyer could love. I mean, it went through definitions, acceptable use, disputes and more. I downloaded the PDF, and it literally is 59 pages!

But that’s not all.
Continue reading ““Bank of the West Online and Mobile Service Agreement” Is Stupid”

Some people like to have voicemail forwarded to email, but when they try to listen, the attachment won’t open. That’s because Outlook SecureTempFolder is full. Here’s how to automatically empty it upon closing Outlook.

In Outlook SecureTemp Files Folder and Red X’s in Email Messages I explain what the SecureTemp folder is and issues that result from a “full” SecureTemp folder. I also tell you how to find the folder and empty it manually.

While you can delete the contents of the SecureTempFolder manually, you may want to delete the folder each time you close Outlook.

Source: Clear SecureTempFolder automatically using VBA

TLDR: Here is the script that you add to ThisOutlookSession using the VBA script editor ([Alt]-[F11]):

Option Explicit

'If you prefer to run this manually whenever you feel like it, change Private Sub Application_Quit() to Public Sub EmptySecureTemp() and run it as needed.
Private Sub Application_Quit()
' Deletes the files of the SecureTempFolder (OLK) when closing Outlook
' (c) Peter Marchert - //www.outlook-stuff.com
' 2008-11-06 Version 1.0.0
Dim objFSO As Object
Dim objWsh As Object
Dim objFolder As Object
Dim strRegKey As String
Dim strOLK As String

On Error Resume Next
' To read data from the registry

Set objWsh = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

' Set the registry key to read

strRegKey = "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\%.0\Outlook\Security\OutlookSecureTempFolder"

' Read SecureTempFolder from the registry

Select Case Left(Outlook.Version, 2)
Case "9.": strOLK = objWsh.RegRead(Replace(strRegKey, "%", "9"))
Case "10": strOLK = objWsh.RegRead(Replace(strRegKey, "%", "10"))
Case "11": strOLK = objWsh.RegRead(Replace(strRegKey, "%", "11"))
Case "12": strOLK = objWsh.RegRead(Replace(strRegKey, "%", "12"))
Case "14": strOLK = objWsh.RegRead(Replace(strRegKey, "%", "14"))
Case Else
MsgBox "Cannot determine your Outlook version.", vbCritical + _
vbOKOnly, "Delete OLK"
Exit Sub

End Select

' VBA does not provide comfortable functions to delete files, so we use
' VB-Script.

Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

' Delete all files in the SecureTempFolder (True = force deleting)

Call objFSO.DeleteFile(strOLK & "*.*", True)

' Reference the SecureTempFolder

Set objFolder = objFSO.GetFolder(strOLK)

' Open the folder if it is not empty

If objFolder.Files.Count Then Call Shell("explorer.exe " & strOLK)

' Clean Up

Set objFolder = Nothing
Set objFSO = Nothing
Set objWsh = Nothing
End Sub

Turns out, the remote desktop slow problem is a very old problem, and here is a 2007 article explaining its fix.

Remote Desktop slow problem solved Remote Desktop 6.0, the latest version of Microsoft Remote Desktop client, which comes pre-installed microsoft, RDP, Receive Window Auto-Tuning, remote access, Remote Desktop 6.0, Vista, Windows

Source: Remote Desktop slow problem solved

What’s old is new again. I was amazed to get a support ticket the other day where a user with a brand new setup was complaining that remoting into her desktop was slow. I had just finished setting it up from scratch a couple of days before another tech deployed it on her desk. Something told me the answer must be on the machine she was using locally, but I couldn’t figure out how that could be until I read the above article.

TLDR: Use the command: netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=highlyrestricted

Equifax has lost the keys to the kingdom in the latest security breach.

Today, it came out that “Equifax Says Cyberattack May Have Affected 143 Million Customers” in the latest Equifax security breach. While the number alone falls well short of some other recent hacks, the potential for damage makes it even more serious than both Yahoo! breaches combined. The Yahoo! breaches were serious enough because password resets usually take place via email, but at least that requires the data thieves to work harder to get more information. Since Equifax has all credit data, including Social Security numbers, it is a one-stop shop for hackers. It is sufficient information for identity thieves to present to creditors, lenders and other service providers, to include information that identifies a person as the legitimate account holder.

“This is about as bad as it gets,” said Pamela Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, a nonprofit research group. “If you have a credit report, chances are you may be in this breach. The chances are much better than 50 percent.”

While there is no evidence that “core … reporting databases” were breached, the potential exists, and, as a result, Equifax has set up a website Cybersecurity Incident & Important Consumer Information where you can put in your last name and last six of your SSN to check whether or not you qualify for free credit monitoring.

Sadly, that falls far flat from a real solution, because once the information is out there, it is out there, and it can impact someone years from now. It really is time that companies that are negligent with personal identifying data be legally liable for their lack of safeguards.


“Can you hear me now?” used to be at worst an annoying commercial. Now it could be a scam.

Everyone hates robocalls. However, they usually only take a bit of your time, not drain your wallet. However, there is now a scam going around that can co$t you big time! You answer the phone, and the “person” on the other end asks, “Can you hear me?” When you say, “Yes”, your voice is recorded and then used for all sorts of transactions you yourself never approved!

It’s a bad idea to ever use the word “yes” when talking to any telemarketer, but with the latest version of an old scam, saying “yes” can quite literally come…

~If A Telemarketer Or Robocall Asks “Can You Hear Me?” Just Hang Up; It’s A Scam – Consumerist