For all Windows users . . . in addition to the official MS patches, there are a second set of required actions to fix the Meltdown & Spectre security flaws.
Be careful as these updates are needed for the UEFI & BIOS firmware update & can brick your PC if done incorrectly!
See the link referenced below to pull up the HTC blog article and the video link from ZDnet.
Link to HTC Blog Article . .
This is the most “widespread” security issue affecting virtually all PC’s for past 10-15 years. To date, no known infections – – but the potential is there.
ALL# cpu architectures have a degree of vulnerability (even phones).
# But it’s been reported that Raspberry Pi PC’s are immune from these flaws!
Initial patch target date is: Tuesday January 9, 2018 (for all major OS’s).
Link to Meltdown/Spectre Security Article
Info on Ubuntu based Patches
More detailed explanation about the issue – what it is and why Intel is most affected (different design, faster processing of page calls).
Link to HTG article (very good synopsis)
Another good article link below:
CSO Article Link on Meltdown & Spectre . .
Here’s a more complete (technical) explanation:
Spectre & Meltdown explained . .
Thanks to Leo Martinez for sending a heads up email about the new version of SoftMaker Office Suite!! . . . a very capable and well supported alternative to MS-Office. It comes with both paid and free (beta) versions. The link below the graphic explains more.
Versions available for Mac, Windows, Linux/BSD and Android!
Softmaker article link (by Jack Germain)
Thunderbird Blog Link
Am getting bummed out by gmail quirks (it’s a klunker web app) – – will be migrating back to T-Bird next month. Much faster and easier than web apps.
This excellent program continues to improve features and stability. And it’s 100% free (no EULA’s or hacking licenses required!)
Softpedia Link re LibreOffice Upgrade
Yes . . . amongst the many versions of Windows 10 that are available (home, pro, etc.), there is the little advertised clean (aka de-crapifiied) version of Windows which is available for a nominal fee (extra $$ needed to off-set adverts loss $$).
Win Signature Version – – What the hey is it???
With this version, your requirement for 3rd party extra software is reduced, so you may actually save some money . . . . in the LONG run.
This is great news and kudos are due these 3 companies:
System76 . .
In case some club members are not aware, there are hidden PC’s within PC’s on Intel (and probably other CPU manufacturer’s also, that exclude users from fully controlling their own hardware). This is a security risk because this is no fix for it . . . until now.
Link to article re 3 laptop makers and intel ME
IF , , , there are any remaining club members looking for new hardware (probably not as about a half-dozen of us have upgraded this year or the last couple years) but if still looking . . . savings of $155 (Meerkat) to $910 (Silverback) are pretty awesome!
Plus TCO (total cost of ownership) is generally less for Linux based systems – – especially for setup and update support.