2019 Newsletter: 25/32 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour
WEEKLY NEWSLETTER 20 - 25 MAY 2019

Hello and Welcome,

“Can't upload files to Host, Webcity”:

My web hosting is paid up to 2021 and the Business pack includes "unlimited" file storage.

But this is what I get when trying to upload this Newsletter (about 36 KB):

Status: Resolving address of factors-online.com
Status: Connecting to 116.0.23.225:21...
Status: Connection established, waiting for welcome message...
Status: Logged in
Status: Retrieving directory listing of "/public_html/news"...
Status: Directory listing of "/public_html/news" successful
Status: Resolving address of factors-online.com
Status: Connecting to 116.0.23.225:21...
Status: Connection established, waiting for welcome message...
Status: Logged in
Status: Starting upload of D:\homepage\factors-online\news\index.htm
Command:  CWD /public_html/news
Response: 250 OK. Current directory is /public_html/news
Command: TYPE A
Response: 200 TYPE is now ASCII
Command: PASV
Response: 227 Entering Passive Mode (116,0,23,225,192,144)
Command: STOR index.htm
Response: 552 Disk full - please upload later
Error: Critical file transfer error

Well, it worked yesterday (since Feb 2019 when this exact same thing happened. Once more in 2014 as well as in 2016).

In each previous case, Webcity resolved the problem within a day or two, but gave out no details.

Ed.

Meetings This Week:

Tuesday Forum - Tuesday May 21st - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - 12 noon

The usual Q&A and other discussions after last week's "Patch Tuesday" for Windows.

Digital Photography - Friday May 24th - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - 12 noon

Hear about all the newest digital photography topics.

And, of course, there will be the usual Q&A and other discussions.

Meeting Next Week:

Main Meeting - Tuesday May 28th - 5:30 pm (6:00 pm meeting start) - 8:00 pm

Meetings This Month:

31 2019/05/04 - 14:00-17:00 - 04 May, Saturday - Penrith Group
32 2019/05/10 - 09:30-12:30 - 10 May, Friday - Friday Forum
33 2019/05/10 - 12:30-15:30 - 10 May, Friday - Communications
34 2019/05/14 - 17:30-20:30 - 14 May, Tuesday - Programming
35 2019/05/18 - 13:30-16:30 - 18 May, Saturday - Web Design
36 2019/05/21 - 09:30-12:30 - 21 May, Tuesday - Tuesday Forum
37 2019/05/24 - 09:30-12:30 - 24 May, Friday - Digital Photography
38 2019/05/28 - 17:30-20:30 - 28 May, Tuesday - Main Meeting

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ASCCA News:

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Tech News:

“Samsung reportedly revised Galaxy Fold hardware w/ non-removable
display protector, reduced gap”:

See the 9to5google article by Ben Schoon - May. 15th 2019 1:38 pm PT | @NexusBen.

Following issues with early units ahead of the retail launch, Samsung recently delayed its Galaxy Fold with no clear path forward. Today, some details have leaked out regarding what Samsung has changed on the Galaxy Fold to improve the hardware's durability.

When display issues with the Galaxy Fold first came out, it was clear based on the company's statement that a serious hardware revision would be required. Thanks to a report from Yonhap News (via SamMobile), we've got some details on what the revision will include.

Obviously, these improvements are all focused on the display. Firstly, Samsung has apparently made the troublesome display protector non-removable. Some of the issues from reviewers stemmed from removing the plastic covering over the Fold's display, specifically because it looks easily removable.

It's unclear exactly how Samsung plans on making this covering non-removable, but we can only hope that it works out and also prevents Samsung from needing to include a warning regarding the covering.

Read more

“MICROSOFT'S FIRST WINDOWS XP PATCH IN YEARS IS A VERY BAD SIGN”:

See the WIRED article by BRIAN BARRETT | SECURITY | 05.15.1912:28 PM.

Showing Microsoft XP with crossed band-aids
Microsoft XP with bandaids.

This week, Microsoft issued patches for 79 flaws across its platforms and products. One of them merits particular attention: a bug so bad that Microsoft released a fix for it on Windows XP, an operating system it officially abandoned five years ago.

There's maybe no better sign of a vulnerability's severity; the last time Microsoft bothered to make a Windows XP fix publicly available was a little over two years ago, in the months before the WannaCry ransomware attack swept the globe. This week's vulnerability has similarly devastating implications. In fact, Microsoft itself has drawn a direct parallel.

"Any future malware that exploits this vulnerability could propagate from vulnerable computer to vulnerable computer in a similar way as the WannaCry malware spread across the globe in 2017," Simon Pope, director of incident response for the Microsoft Security Response Center, wrote in a statement announcing the patch Tuesday. "It is highly likely that malicious actors will write an exploit for this vulnerability and incorporate it into their malware."

Read more

“Microsoft Confirms Intent To Replace Windows 10 Passwords For 800 Million Users”:

See the Forbes article by Davey Winder | Contributor | Cybersecurity | I report and analyse breaking cybersecurity and privacy stories.

Microsoft has very quietly confirmed the death of Windows 10 passwords this week. Microsoft's crypto, identity and authentication team group manager, Yogesh Mehta, has made an announcement that he says puts "the 800 million people who use Windows 10 one step closer to a world without passwords." Whether you love Microsoft or are a Windows 10 hater, I think most people will agree that passwords have long since reached their expiry date. By which I don't just mean in the sense of security policy baseline recommendations either, although Microsoft did also recently announce a change to Windows 10 passwords in that regard as well. Rather I am referring to the whole concept of the password as a secure authentication method.

Mehta confirmed that with the release of the forthcoming Windows 10 May update, Windows Hello becomes a fully FIDO2 certified authenticator. What does that mean, do I hear you ask? The FIDO Alliance, which stands for Fast Identity Online, is an industry body on a mission to solve the problem of passwords through the use of open standards to drive technologies that can securely replace them. FIDO2 is a set of such standards that enable logins backed by strong cryptographic security, and the certification in question applies to the use of Windows Hello for Windows 10 users.

Read more

“Windows' amazing Command line”:

Here's an obscure use of the for statement that runs on the command line or in batch mode and uses the backtick character (`). We thought Windows didn't use that, but we discovered a very good use for it.

In particular, we will use the parameter "usebackq delims=X", where "X" is any delimiter (one or more characters, including the = sign) in the output string and "usebackq" presumably means "use the back quote character".

On the command line, try this:

for /f "usebackq tokens=1,2 delims==" %a in (`set pro`) do @echo %a ==^> %b

The output is:

PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE ==> x86
PROCESSOR_LEVEL ==> 15
PROCESSOR_REVISION ==> 4303
ProgramData ==> C:\ProgramData
ProgramFiles ==> C:\Program Files
PROMPT ==> $D $t$h$h$h $P$_$g

To explain:

Between the backticks there is the command: set pro which outputs environment variables starting with "pro" and passes each line to the @echo command. Using the delimiter "=", the first string is %a and after the "=" is the string %b. This explains the "tokens=1,2" to split the lines into only two parts. If there were more than one = sign, use %c %d etc. and say "tokens=1-3" for example. The final @echo command therefore prints the first name followed by ==> and then the value of the variable.

Note1: When using > or | on command lines, use ^> and ^| unless they really are for redirection of the output.

Note2: In batch files, use %% instead of %.

For the full story, enter "for /?" to see several (paused) pages of information.

Ed.

“Windows Subsystem for Linux Installation Guide for Windows 10”:

See the Microsoft writeup describing the installation etc.

We've mentioned this Windows Subsystem for Linux some time ago and now we can show some actual use for it. Last month in the Programming SIG, we showed how easy it was to factorize a 101-digit number into 28-digit, 33-digit and 41-digit primes using a modest C program all within about twenty minutes on a laptop.

In Windows 10 itself, the Scientific Calculator can go to 32-digits, but, instead, we can try verifying the product using the Windows Subsystem for Linux (Ubuntu). This can calculate arbitrary length numbers using the "dc" (or Desk Calculator) program.

Here is the code:

#!/bin/bash
echo
echo The product of these three Prime numbers:
echo
echo "4,531,530,181,816,613,234, 555,190,841 (28 - digits)"
echo "129,063,282,232,848,961,951, 985,354,966,759 (33 - digits)"
echo "18,998,088,572,819,375,252, 842,078,421,374,368,604,969 (41 - digits)"
echo
echo " is:"
echo
echo `echo 4,531,530,181,816,613,234, 555,190,841 | sed s/,//g` \
`echo 129,­063,282,232,848,961,951,­985,354,966,759 | sed s/,//g` \
`echo 18,­998,088,572,819,375,252,­842,78,421,374,368,604,969 | sed s/,//g` \
\* \* 1000o p q | dc
echo
echo " or: (10 ^ 101 - 1) / 9"
echo
echo " R. Backstrom"
echo

And this is the result:

The product of these three Prime numbers:

4,531,530,181,816,613,234,555,­190,841 (28 - digits)
129,063,282,232,848,961,951,985,­354,966,759 (33 - digits)
18,998,088,572,819,375,252,842,­078,421,374,368,604,969 (41 - digits)

is:

011 111 111 111 111 111 111 111­ 111 111 111 111 111 111 111 111 111 \
111 111 111 111 111 111 111 111­ 111 111 111 111 111 111 111 111 111

or: (10 ^ 101 - 1) / 9

R. Backstrom

The "dc" calculation above uses "Reverse Polish notation"; changing (123 + 456) into RPN might say "123 456 +", with the numbers first, followed by the operation. This way any arithmetical expression, no matter how complicated, can be expressed efficiently without brackets. See a worked example for more details.

Ed.

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Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

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