Return of revenge of KB2952664

So, it seems that Microsoft KB2952664 may actually be more invasive than (I) previously thought. This is the Microsoft snooping / reporting configuration patch that calls home allegedly to facilitate win10 upgrades.

https://www.computerworld.com/article/3168397/microsoft-windows/microsoft-re-releases-snooping-patches-kb-2952664-kb-2976978.html (Yes that is from 2017 but it is for background.)

While investigating this, I found that someone noted it could be installed MULTIPLE times and you might need to remove it multiple times. Sure enough all 3 of my win7 machines at home had it installed multiple times. One machine had it more than 5 times.

The solution to this seems to be to execute the following command repeatedly until it says it is no longer installed and then reboot:

wusa /uninstall /kb:2952664 /norestart

P.S. KB2976978 is the win8 version of this snooping patch. If you are on win8 and happy with it, you probably want to do the equivalent removal on win8, but most people find win10 better than win8. YMMV.

And the spam / scams continue

Be careful out there!

I received the following email which almost caught me:

From: John Worley <john@johnathanworley.com>
Date: Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 2:54 PM
Subject: Quick Boston question
To: <me>

Hi Richard, 
My name's John Worley and I'm reaching out because I noticed you're in the Boston area on your LinkedIn. 

I recently completed my Masters at Stanford and have started a new service in Boston where we send housecleaners to houses/apartments to do basic cleaning (bathrooms, take out the trash and cleaning sheets) for $20.  

Would you be willing to answer a few quick questions about it? Here's the questions (it will take under a minute): goo.gl/forms/<redacted>

Thanks so much! 

Now the $20 fee seemed low and was a little curious.

Of course hovering over the goo.gl/form/<redacted> and seeing it was really going to a different URL was a total tip-off.  

I wonder where www.johnathanworley.com would take me?

One of these days I'm going to put a sandbox up so I can research these things in more detail.

This entry was originally posted at http://paradoox.dreamwidth.org/11768.html. Please comment there using OpenID. (Or comment here if you want.)

Another Microsoft Windows Telemetry "Fix"

In the process of putting together some "new" Windows 7 machines, I managed to install some of the Microsoft "Fixes" that activated the Telemetry "Stuff" that would eat a CPU or so sending data back to Microsoft. (If you start Task Manager and see compattelrunner.exe eating CPU or running at all, you have this problem.) After investigating solutions, I came up with the following:

  cd \windows

  cd system32
  takeown /f compattelrunner.exe
  icacls compattelrunner.exe /grant %username%:f
  rename compattelrunner.exe compattelrunner.bad

  cd compattel

  takeown /f diagtrackrunner.exe
  icacls diagtrackrunner.exe /grant %username%:f
  rename diagtrackrunner.exe comppattelrunner.bad

You would need to cut-n-paste this into a .bat file and run it as an Administrator or just cut-n-paste it into a Command Prompt window running as an Admistrator.

Intel i5 Strangeness

I've been trying to figure out why one of the Dell E6410s that I provided to Arisia was much slower than the others. The two in question are both being reported by the Dell BIOS and Win7 and i5-M520s running at 2.40GHz. One is coming up with Novabench numbers of in the mid 400s and one is coming up with Novabench numbers in the mid 500s. The second is what I would expect given two other Dell E6410s (an i7-M620 running at 2.67GHz and an i5-M560 running at 2.67GHz) are coming up with Novabench numbers in the mid 500s. The two in question are both running with the same amount of DDR3-1067 memory (2 2GB DIMMs) and the similar 500 GB 7200 RPM hard drives and using the default Intel GMA HD graphics and the latest E6410 A16 BIOS and the same version of Win7 Ultimate 64bit with the exact same software installed. The hard drive cache size etc. really shouldn't matter since the difference is in the Novabench CPU sub score.

Careful inspection of what the BIOS is reporting shows that one has a CPU Processor ID of 20652 and one has a CPU Processor ID of 20655. Googling that shows that while they are both Arrandale / Capella / Westmere chips, but the "faster" CPU Processor ID of 20655 is actually an i5-460m which other benchmarks show as performing better than the i5-520m!

Now, the bottom line question is why are both the Dell BIOS and Win7 reporting both incorrectly as i5-520m rather than one as an i5-460m? I wonder if this is really just a BIOS bug that then gets passed up to Windows.

Microsoft Warning

KB3035583 is back as an "Important Update" even if is isn't selected by default. This is one of the ones to "Update installs Get Windows 10 app in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1". I recommend everyone be careful not to install it.

A Glut Of Office Supplies

I've been going through the excess office supplies from this year's World Science Fiction Convention (aka Worldcon), Sasquan, in preparation for making a list of them and repackaging them to send on to next year's Worldcon, Midamericon II, in KC. It appears we have done our fannish duty to increase entropy by adding to the number of paper clips, push pins (seriously they ordered like 1700 and used less than 500 most of which were returned), pencils (144, of which I'm pretty sure 96 were left over from the last Worldcon), staplers and staple removers (8 each), and of course staples. Actually I'm really not sure what I was thinking when I ordered a box of 5000 staples to go with each stapler since only about 50 staples was actually used in each stapler. (Yes, I did most of the office supply ordering.) Also I ordered 500 sheets of cover stock for one area (2 packages of 250 sheets per package). It appears we wound up with about 2000 sheets of cover stock (at least 8 packages) and 4 of those packages had about 5 sheets each taken out and the other 4 packages were unopened.

My hope is by making a list of what we are shipping the 2016 Worldcon in KC there will be less excess ordering. Yeah. Right. (And yes, when you are dealing a million dollar budget, this is all in the noise. But I still find in humorous, especially in that "I've been up for too long" sort of way.)

Green Line D trains on the C branch ...

So, on Sunday the MBTA was reporting hosed service on the D Branch of the Green Line due to a disabled train at Longwood. Their twitter feed talks about various options like busing, taking the C branch, or using commuter rail to Yawkey. However, I have at least one eyewitness report (L's BF) of a train that stopped at Kenmore, announced that everyone going between Fenway and Beaconsfield should get off for busing, then proceeded down the C branch to Clevland Circle where it took track at the end onto Chestnut Hill Ave, back onto the stub tracks between the Clevland Circle and Reservoir stations, back onto the D branch, where it reversed into Reservoir Station and stopped. From there it continued down the "Highland Branch" to Riverside as normal. All with passengers on it. I'm wondering how often the MBTA actually does this?