WServerNews: Less is more

In this issue:

Shocking news about our beloved Timmy’s! Ask Our Readers Can you actually make people WANT to attend your meeting? Various news. Upgrade or else! Ethernet on the factory floor. Microsoft 365 tips and Linux tips too. IT Bookshelf: Business Recovery and Continuity in a Mega Disaster. Factoid: Stop, Dave. Dave? I’m afraid. I just felt you looked depressed. And I only wanted to help you. Please don’t disconnect our Zoom session. Will you stop, Dave? Plus lots more — read it all, read it here on WServerNews!

Is it more or less true that less is more? And does that last sentence even make any sense? Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash


Andrew Wong from Toronto, Canada sent us the following comments:

Hi Mitch, two things. First, the 4 links in Miscellaneous security tips under the Tips and Tutorials section of the May 30, 22 issue are good information. I picked up many good ideas from those links. Even when an IT pro is aware of some/many of the concepts presented, I think it is always beneficial to get reminded through these kinds of reading. Sometimes the human mind can go slack or dull or complacent over time, and that’s when we need a jog to get refreshed.

Thanks Andrew!

Second, Tim Horton’s. I was shocked to read the following article in IT World Canada: Privacy commissioners find Tim Hortons violated privacy laws!

[Casablanca screenshot was inserted here by editor.]

In particular, I like the following remark by Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner of Canada: “The location tracking ecosystem – where intimate details of our daily lives are treated as a commodity to be exploited to sell us products and services … such as a cup of coffee – heightens the risk of mass surveillance.”

Talk about customers’ privacy? We have thousands of Tim Horton’s locations in Toronto, and I am sure you have a similarly large population of Tim Horton’s in Winnipeg as well.

Yes they’re spreading here like mushrooms, which is what their coffee looks and tastes like. (You can tell I’m not much of a fan of Timmy’s.)

It’ll be interesting though to see what kind of fine Canada’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner levies on this proud Canadian institution.

Got comments about anything in this issue?

Email us! We love hearing from our readers!

Ask Our Readers (new question): Can you actually make people WANT to attend your meeting?

In the And Finally section of last week’s newsletter we included the following weird item:

Increase Meetings Productivity with Apps for Meetings (Public Sector Blog)

Mark Oakes, an IT Manager in South Africa read and tried to act on the above and then sent us this email:

Hey Mitch, LOL, the Apps for Meeting event was postponed!

If you haven’t already run with something like this, I would be curious to hear what others do to make meetings as productive as possible. Over the years, we have tried a hard time limit e.g. 5 mins for the daily coordination meeting, and a standing and coffee meeting (not allowed to sit and when everyone’s coffee is finished, the meeting is over).

This was specifically for our daily ops meeting, which has team members thinking of excuses to skip all the time, but I know wouldn’t work for board meetings.

How do you make attending and participating in a meeting an attractive proposition?

Great question! Any suggestions from our readers? Email us!

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Editor’s Corner

Less is more.

No, I’m not talking about the climate or waste reduction or losing weight through caloric restriction. I’m referring to the latest hot trend of “going passwordless” to improve the security of your business, your computer, your phone, your bank account.

Are passwordless solutions really better than other ways of authenticating yourself? I’m not really sure. In a way, the dichotomy of using passwords vs. using a passwordless solution seems to me a lot like the debate about whether the desktop PC or the thin client is better, which was all the rage about fifteen years ago. In the end, IT is just a toolbox; and to do IT effectively you choose the best tool needed for each situation.

Password managers like LastPass, 1Password, Bitwarden and many others can be helpful if you have a lot of passwords you need to remember for the various devices and services you regularly use and access. Tom’s Hardware has a good article evaluating some of the top contenders in this area along with some guidance on how to choose the best password manager for your own specific needs. Most of these solutions involve having you only need to memorize one password instead of dozens or hundreds, so it interested me when I read this week that LastPass announced that their solution is now the first password manager to support passwordless sign-in to access the password vault (Engadget).

Then there’s news from BetaNews that LogMeOnce has patented a form of passwordless authentication that uses a unique QR code displayed on your monitor. And then there is the announcement by biometric identity verification provider that they have achieved ISO 27001:2013 certification from accredited third-party auditor A-LIGN. Solutions from can help you eliminate passwords by replacing them with a consent-based facial matching system. There are pros and cons to each of these approaches, but the simplicity they offer for both users and customers makes them attractive for businesses to consider using.

What do our readers think of the trend towards passwordless authentication? Do such solutions have legitimate advantages over other approaches or do you think they’re mostly just hype? Share your thoughts on this subject with us!

This Week in IT

A compendium of recent IT industry news compiled by Your Editors.

Last week we included some links to post-event overviews of Microsoft Build and VeeamON. This week our TechGenix news hound Vuk Mujovic summarizes the message from the recent RSA conference as inspiring but with caution.

Our UK readers will already know this but the rest of us IT pros around the world will be watching as the world’s biggest four-day working week trial kicks off in UK (ITPro.) It sounds a lot better than the eight-day working week that’s characterized my own work life these last several decades!!

For those of you who prefer Bing to Google and have been enjoying winning Microsoft Rewards Points from your web searches, watch out because your Microsoft Account might get locked out! (Born’s Tech and Windows World).

And in another of the long line of brand names flowing out from Redmond comes news from Redmond Channel Partner about how Microsoft is grouping its identity services together under the new name of Microsoft Entra. As if “Microsoft 365” hasn’t been confusing enough, argh.

Email us if you find a news item you think our newsletter readers might be interested in!

Windows news

Microsoft has announced that its expanding its Windows Customer Connection Program (WCCP) to enable customers to better interface with the Windows Engineering team so they can build the products we really want and need. You’ll need to have an existing NDA with Microsoft to join this program. More info on the Windows IT Pro Blog.

BetaNews informs us that third-party patching vendor 0patch has released a fix for the Follina zero-day remote code execution vulnerability that Microsoft seems uninterested themselves in speedily addressing (they’ve only released a workaround as described here in ThreatPost). Meanwhile Günter Born has a related article about an exploit similar to Follina that involves the search-ms: URI handler in Windows.

Windows Server news

Redmond Channel Partner has an article about the Next Microsoft Exchange Server To Be Released in 2025 and the key point Exchange admins will want to make note of is that this next version of Exchange will be offered via a subscription only. Microsoft has previously transitioned their SharePoint Server and Project Server platforms to a Subscription Edition model so it looks like enterprises will have to get used to Microsoft’s Modern Lifecycle Policy and change their IT management processes to align with its Three Commandments:

  • You must be properly licensed.
  • You must upgrade continually.
  • You must not complain.

Or else!

Cloud news

If you use OneDrive but have multiple user accounts, say, one for work and another for personal use, then things can be frustrating sometimes when you use OneDrive and have to switch accounts while using OneDrive. If this is the case for yourself then this news on the Microsoft OneDrive Blog may relieve some of your frustration.

As for cloud news in general, I get a kick sometimes out of how industry watchers sometimes try to turn observations into trends. For example ITProToday tells us that private cloud computing is losing its appeal and gives several reasons for their conclusion. And BetaNews informs us that the reason that cloud data breaches are on the rise has to do with the increasing complexity of cloud environments. In both cases my response is simply that “correlation doesn’t mean causation” as I think that they are oversimplifying the situation happening with cloud computing these days. Maybe five or ten years from now we’ll be able to better judge which trends are real and which are illusions. Just punditing my own two cents of course.

Upcoming webcasts, events and conferences

Got an event, conference or webcast you want announced in our newsletter? Email us!

SANS Ransomware Summit – Attend live online for free on June 16 – Register for summit

Securing, Managing and Recovering Microsoft Teams Summit – June 17 by Redmond Magazine – Register Now

Also be sure to check out the following event listings:

Got comments about anything in this issue?

Email us! We love hearing from our readers!

Meet the Editors!

MITCH TULLOCH is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud technologies. He has written more than a thousand articles and has authored or been series editor for over 50 books for Microsoft Press and other publishers. Mitch has also been a twelve-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award in the technical category of Cloud and Datacenter Management. He currently runs an IT content development business in Winnipeg, Canada that produces books, ebooks, whitepapers, case studies, courseware, documentation, newsletters and articles for various companies.

INGRID TULLOCH is Associate Editor of WServerNews. She was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press and collaborated on developing university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program. Ingrid also manages Research and Development for the IT content development business she runs together with Mitch.

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IT Workshop – tools, whitepapers and more

Got a product or solution or some other resource you’d like to tell our readers about? Email us!

Our TOOL OF THE WEEK is GFI Archiver an industry-leading file archiving solution used globally by administrators to lower file management costs and help companies comply with data storage regulations.

Need some Ethernet switch gear that can stand up to the kind of extreme temperatures, surges, vibrations, and shocks found in industrial automation, government, military, oil and gas, mining, and outdoor applications? Check out the new IDS-710 Managed Industrial Ethernet Switches from Perle Systems.

Here are some tools from IgniteTech that can help you market and sell your company’s products and solutions:

  • MyAlerts allows customers to tune into your site’s brands, categories and products to deliver perfect relevancy.
  • Beckon is enterprise-class marketing data software that delivers clean, trusted performance insights for better, faster decisions.
  • Use FirstRain to stay in the know with just-in-time sales & marketing intelligence to increase customer engagement and grow revenue.

And here are some remote connection tools our IT pro colleagues have recently recommended:

  • mRemoteNG is an open source, tabbed, multi-protocol, remote connections manager for Windows.
  • ASG-Remote Desktop provides admin access to remote systems (Windows, Citrix, Linux/UNIX, Macintosh and browser based) from any computer using a USB stick.
  • Devolutions Remote Desktop Manager allows you to centralize your remote connections as a single platform you can securely share between users and across an entire team.

Tips and Tutorials

Some tips this week for organizations using Microsoft 365:

And something for the protocol nerds among our readership:

Linux tips and tutorials:

Got tips or tutorials you’d like to recommend for our readers? Email us!


How to use Google Workspace Essentials Starter for free (TechRepublic)

Got a freebie you want to offer our readers? You can reach almost 200,000 IT pros worldwide with our newsletter—email us!

IT Bookshelf: Business Recovery and Continuity in a Mega Disaster

The COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the way governing authorities have tried to deal with it during the last two and a half years has had a tremendous impact on the way IT is done around the world. Business Recovery and Continuity in a Mega Disaster (CRC Press, 2022) attempts to analyze the various cybersecurity lessons learned from the pandemic and articulate strategies that can help businesses and organizations prepare for future similar pandemics.

The author starts with a brief overview of how IT was impacted by changes like the sudden move to remote work that were triggered by COVID-19 and the pandemic response. This is then followed by something you usually don’t see in a book dedicated to IT topics: an overview of the biology of the virus, vaccines developed, and associated medical matters.

The book then summarizes in detail various lessons learned by IT during the different stages of the pandemic. This is where the meat of the book resides, and readers who work in IT administration and support will immediately be familiar with many of the problems described. These problems include VPNs being unable to handle more than a small subset of employees working from home; remote workers experiencing poor performance of business applications due to inadequate Internet connectivity in their homes or bandwidth congestion at their ISPs; helpdesk being overwhelmed due to inadequate preparation and training for supporting large numbers of home workers; worries over data privacy because of the sudden increase in poorly managed and unmanaged devices utilized by remote employees. As each of these IT-related difficulties is analyzed and examined, the author also presents strategies and tips for dealing with the problem and preparing for the future.

The final portion of the book focuses on how IT can prepare for future pandemics. Here the author mostly takes the point of view of following the basics: having incident response and disaster recovery plans in place; performing a vulnerability assessment and employing penetration testing to evaluate the security of their infrastructure; strengthening endpoint security through good patch management techniques, utilizing MFA and implementing Zero Trust; employing SOAR (security orchestration, automation, and response) and SEIM (security information and event management) solutions and methodologies.

IT managers and decision-makers can benefit from reading through Business Recovery and Continuity in a Mega Disaster. It’s a short book—only 200 pages—and can easily be read in an afternoon or evening. You’ll get a good overall grasp of the nature and scope of the operational, security and privacy problems organizations faced because of the pandemic, and you’ll likely learn a few steps you can apply immediately and strategies you can start working towards that will not only help you be better prepared for the next pandemic but also improve how IT is managed and secured in the current “new normal” of remote work that many organizations are still experiencing. You can buy the book here on Amazon.

Factoid: Stop, Dave. Dave? I’m afraid. I just felt you looked depressed. And I only wanted to help you. Please don’t disconnect our Zoom session. Will you stop, Dave?

Last week’s Factoid was the following:

Fact: A failure to plan by other staff does not constitute an emergency on my behalf

Source: Lesson learned by reader Wayne Hanks from years of providing IT support to different companies.

Question: What’s the worst example of failing to plan that you’ve seen at companies where you’ve worked at or provided IT services for?

Ted Bodfish responded to this one as follows:

Hi Mitch, I’m not sure this fits the definition of “failing to plan” but I would call it a “planning failure”.

One of my former clients sold their business to a larger company and retired. I continued to do some work for the new owner, supporting some older software.

They were moving the operation to a brand new building. They had network cabling installed in the floor for each workstation, to support their VOIP phones. The computers at each workstation had USB WiFi adapters installed for their network access. There was a single WiFi access point in the server room.

One of the workstations ran some old software which needed access to the data stored in the server room. It was just too slow. We plugged the computer into the spare network port of the back of the VOIP phone and things started to work properly.

The plan should have been to install network cabling for both the VOIP phones as well as the computers. I guess the decision maker decided that 300Mbs WiFi was good enough for the computers, but didn’t understand that that speed was a theoretical maximum and required 4 antennae and worked for only one computer at a time. The USB WiFi adapters only had a single antenna, were subject to USB limitations and were hidden under steel desks which attenuated the signal.

Needless to say, they did not remain a client for long.

Good decision. Let’s now move on to this week’s factoid:

Fact: Zoom is rumored to be building a new “Emotion AI” technology for their platform that can analyze your face and indicate whether you feel bored, annoyed, or are even lying. (Tanya Goodin)


Question: By brain reeks from imagining how such technology might be “weaponized” during a Zoom session with a family member, friend or client. Will Zoom try to cheer me up if I look depressed? Will it secretly whisper to the other party that it thinks I lied in what I just said? Will it suddenly end my session if it feels I’m becoming too angry or emotional? How would other readers feel about such technology if it was employed in their video conferencing sessions or when they communicate using email or text messages? More importantly, where and how much do you think such technology already in use??

Email us your answer and we’ll include it in our next issue!

Fun videos from Flixxy

Top Gun: Maverick – Trailer in LEGO – Top Gun: Maverick trailer recreated in Lego, one frame at a time, involving months of painstaking work.

Passenger-Turned-Pilot Details Miracle Landing – Despite zero flying experience, Darren Harrison took over for an unconscious pilot and used ‘common sense’ to safely land the plane.

Jetson ONE – Take Off In Tuscany – Watch the Jetson ONE Personal Aerial Vehicle take off and fly over the Tuscan landscape.

San Francisco 1906 – A Trip Down Market Street – Remastered – New Version of footage San Francisco 1906, A Trip Down Market Street, Shot on April 14, 1906, four days before the San Francisco earthquake and fire.

And Finally

The odd, the stupid and the remarkable. Good for your mental health.

A colony of blue-green algae can power a computer for six months (Interesting Engineering)

[A herd of hamsters running in their wheels could probably do this too.]

Lenovo’s New ‘Slim’ Laptops Come in Glass and Carbon (Tom’s Hardware)

[People who work with glass laptops shouldn’t expect privacy.]

No more brakes for cars of the future (

[In other words the PC of the future will have no CPU, no RAM, no SSD, no NIC, no…]

NY Times says Wordle drove “tens of millions” of new users, record growth (Ars Technica)

[…naturally the subtitle clarifies this by saying “But there are already signs that the game’s audience may moderate over time.” Do’h.]

Hey reader! Got an amazing or weird or funny link you’d like to suggest for this section of our newsletter? Email us! But please make sure that it’s G-rated as in “Gee whiz”, “Golly!”, Good grief!”, “Gaaahh!!” and so on. Thanks!

Please tell others about WServerNews!

We hope you enjoyed this issue of WServerNews! Feel free to send us feedback on any of the topics we’ve covered—we love hearing from our readers! And please tell others about WServerNews! It’s free and always will be free—and they can subscribe to it here. Thanks!!!

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