WServerNews: Privacy briefs

Editor’s Corner

In this week’s newsletter we take a look at what’s happening in an area of technology that worries many of us today both in and outside the IT profession. I’m talking about the technological use — and abuse — of our privacy.

Mitch Tulloch, Senior Editor

Microsoft Office 365: Banned in German schools over privacy fears (ZDNet)

Major breach found in biometrics system used by banks, UK police and defence firms (The Guardian)

Researchers Show How Europe’s Data Protection Laws Can Dox People (Vice)

A win for privacy: Tor Project releases Android browser full version (TechGenix)

Billions of Records Including Passwords Leaked by Smart Home Vendor (Bleeping Computer)

Google confirms it uses dummy phone numbers to record calls with local services (The Star)

Facebook Filed A Patent To Calculate Your Future Location (BuzzFeed)

Detecting Credit Card Skimmers (Schneier on Security)

Meet Bluetana, the Scourge of Pump Skimmers (Krebs on Security)

8 building blocks of a world-class, privacy-friendly website (TechGenix)

Privacy is not a science, it is a human right (Aral Balkan)

I Gave a Bounty Hunter $300. Then He Located Our Phone (Vice)


NOTE: We’re moving our newsletter!

Just a quick heads up to let you know that we are now archiving this newsletter on our TechGenix website, so going forward you will be able to find both the latest issue and back issues of WServerNews here:

Issues published prior to August 2019 and dating back to when this newsletter was first launched in 1997 can still be found in our old archive which is located here:

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Tip of the Week

>> Got any IT pro tips you’d like to share with other readers of our newsletter? Email us at [email protected]

How can I log users off after a period of inactivity, rather than merely locking the workstation? Is there a “logoff” screen saver? (The Old New Thing)

Raymond Chen shares this simple solution to a how-can-I-do-this question that sysadmins often ask:


Admin Toolbox

>> Got any admin tools or software you’d like to recommend to our readers? Email us at [email protected]

Trouble managing your emails? Try email archiving from MailStore: Increase your productivity, reduce IT costs and don’t lose important emails again.

Altaro VM Backup removes the complexities of backing up Hyper-V & VMware. Easy to use, sets up within just 15 mins & comes with the best deduplication in the industry. Download the free copy here

Unlocker can unlock files Windows won’t let you delete:

winreg-cli is a command line tool with a fluent API for modifying Windows

GlassWire lets you instantly see your current & past network activity, detect malware, & block badly behaving app:



In last week’s Factoid section reader Pete Calvert shared about some of the useful swag he’s snagged over the years by attending various IT conferences and events in Australia. When I replied and told him he was a “swagomanic” Peter countered with:

You don’t know the half of it! One conference in LA (in 2009) I had to buy another suitcase for the 41 t-shirts and 35 caps I picked up (and then get it back to Australia). Didn’t keep any myself, they were all giveaways for user group meetings, but took me about 18 months to get rid of them all.

Swag quantity has definitely gone down over the years and I am more selective now in what I pick up, but people back home are always appreciative when you gift them with swag.

This must be a record for swag-snagging — can any readers top Pete’s record? Email me at [email protected]

Another reader named Mark also shared last issue about some stuff he picked up at a Lotusphere conference some years ago. When I commented to Mark about my own experience with their software and asked him if they’re still around, he replied:

Lotusphere was renamed IBM ConnectED in the early 2010s to de-emphasize it being solely devoted to IBM Notes & Domino, and that conference was merged with IBM Interconnect in 2015, which became IBM Think in 2017. In its heyday, Lotusphere boasted 15K attendees in the middle of the 2000s. And now Notes & Domino ( and others ) have been sold to HCL.

Times change, don’t they?


Factoid – Cubicles are making a comeback!

Last week’s factoid and question was this:

Fact: Businesses often use generic templates to create their websites, then they customize their sites by adding their company information. Sometimes however they fail to remove all of the generic info from the template.

Source: While researching different brands and makes of SUVs on sites of car dealers in our locality, I decided to visit the financing site of one of them and found that part of their webpage was filled with placeholder (Lorem Ipsum) text.

Question: What’s the worst example of a template-generated business website you’ve ever stumbled across?

We usually don’t publish snarky replies from readers but we’ll make an exception with this one from Donny in South Africa:

Well Mitch, Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Enim tortor at auctor urna nunc. Condimentum lacinia quis vel eros. Ut faucibus pulvinar elementum integer enim neque volutpat. Sapien eget mi proin sed libero enim sed faucibus turpis. Phasellus egestas tellus rutrum tellus pellentesque. Quis imperdiet massa tincidunt nunc pulvinar sapien. Nisl nisi scelerisque eu ultrices vitae auctor eu. Dui nunc mattis enim ut tellus elementum sagittis vitae. Netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas integer. Ut pharetra sit amet aliquam id diam maecenas ultricies mi. A lacus vestibulum sed arcu non…Cheers 🙂

Well Donny, all I can say to that is, Posuere ac ut consequat semper viverra nam. Dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing. Faucibus nisl tincidunt eget nullam non nisi est. Ac odio tempor orci dapibus ultrices in iaculis. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur. At consectetur lorem donec massa sapien faucibus et molestie. Ut eu sem integer vitae justo eget magna fermentum iaculis. Nulla facilisi nullam…

Now let’s move on to this week’s factoid:

Fact: Cubicles are making a comeback as workers tire of the noise and distractions of the open floor plan office.


Question: OK so calling them “Office Pods” makes them sound cool and trendy, but aren’t they still really just cubicles? How do readers feel about working in today’s open floor plan offices, and would you rather work in a cubicle (or pod) if you could have one? Email your answer to [email protected]


Conference calendar

>> Got an IT conference or event happening that you’d like to promote in our newsletter? Email us at [email protected]

Microsoft Ignite 2019

Nov 4-8, 2019 in Orlando, Florida

Other Microsoft conferences

Microsoft Licensing Boot Camps

  • Sept 10-11 in Chicago, Illinois
  • Oct 15-16 in Dallas, Texas
  • Dec 9-10 in Seattle, Washington

Infosec conferences

Cyber Security Summit – Sept. 25 in Charlotte, North Carolina

Cyber Security Summit – Oct 3 in New York City

SecTor – Oct 9-10 in Ontario, Canada

Global Cyber Summit – Oct 13-16 in Miami Beach, Florida

Cyber Security Summit – Oct 17 in Scottsdale, Arizona

Cyber Security Summit – Nov 7 in Boston, Massachusetts

Cyber Security Summit – Nov 21 in Houston, Texas

Cyber Security Summit – Dec 5 in Los Angeles, California

Other conferences

CloudyCon – Sept 10-12 in Burlingame, California

Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit – Sept 23-25 in Las Vegas, Nevada

VMworld – Nov 4-7 in Barcelona, Spain

Midwest Management Summit – Nov 11-13 in New Orleans, Louisiana

European SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure Conference – Dec 2-5 in Prague, Czech Republic

SharePoint Fest – Dec 9-13 in Chicago, Illinois


Podcast Corner

API-first development with Postman’s Abhinav Astahna (The T-Suite)

Preparing For The End Of Skype For Business (Microsoft Cloud IT Pro Podcast)

Live From SharePoint Fest Seattle Azure DevOps (Microsoft Cloud Show)

Office 365 Governance with Martina Grom (RunAsRadio)

Vulnerabilities That Shouldn’t Have Happened (This Week in Enterprise Tech)

Windows Server 2019 gaming (Knee Deep in Tech)


New on

Ease the frustration of managing Office 365 in your enterprise

Office 365 has brought many efficiencies to businesses, but administering and managing it can often be frustrating. Fortunately, CoreView has a solution.

How to take Office 365 management to the next level

In the second part of our interview with CoreView CEO Michael Morrison, we learn more about his company’s suite of solutions for Office 365 deployments.

Specops Authentication for Office 365 Review

Specops Authentication for Office 365 offers a simple and automated approach to Office 365 user management and authentication.

Review: Software-defined storage platform DataCore

DataCore provides a flexible software-defined storage platform designed to help organizations to get a handle on their storage.

Specops uReset Review

Specops uReset is a self-service password reset solution that lets users reset passwords in the same secure way as login into Office 365.


Fun videos from Flixxy

Lukas & Falco – Amazing Dog Tricks

Lukas and his dog Falco perform some amazing dog tricks to the song ‘All The Small Things’ by Blink 182.

The Asteroid That’s Getting Close To Earth

In 2029 the Apophis asteroid, also nicknamed ‘The God of Chaos’ will pass between our weather satellites and the Earth:

Swedish Magician Tom Stone – ‘Whose Box Is This?’

Swedish magician Thomas Bengtsson, aka. Tom Stone, performs a magic trick that even expert magicians can’t figure out:

Mr Bean At The Graham Norton Show

Best known to the public as Mr. Bean, comedian Rowan Atkinson tells a funny story at the Graham Norton Show:


More articles of interest

Top 25 VMware ESXi commands

This VMware ESXi command line cheat sheet is a must-have resource for IT professionals who maintain and troubleshoot ESXi.

What’s the difference between a password and a PIN?

A question I’ve always had but was too afraid to ask when I first learned about passwordless experiences.

Choose the right on-premises-to-cloud migration method

One of the first steps in a cloud migration is to choose a data transfer model. There are two primary options to consider — online and offline — but be sure to carefully weigh the pros and cons.

What does IT need to know about VDI web browsers?

End users can easily access their virtual desktops and applications through any supported HTML5 web browser. Learn about the pros and cons of using VDI and web browsers together.


Send us your feedback!

Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at [email protected]

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