WServerNews: Privacy, security and legislation

In this issue:

Mailbag: IT pros and back pain. Ask Our Readers (new question): Windows 10 video blanks out occasionally. USA: Is your tax information safe? EU: Does FOSS have a future? Concerns over Broadcom deal for VMware. Happy first birthday WSL! OOB fix for Kerberos issues. Need a fully customizable Linux laptop? What’s new with Azure. Some upcoming FOSS conferences. Is that website/web app down for everyone or only for you? A bunch of Linux tips, especially for Ubuntu. Want to become a PowerShell expert? Can you trust Wikipedia? This is why we have dogs. True identity of cats revealed—they’re from outer space! Plus lots more — read it all, read it here on WServerNews!

Who are all these people who sit there and why do they spend so much time crafting new rules and regulations? Photo by Aditya Joshi on Unsplash


Last week in Editor’s Corner there was a link to a UK newspaper article describing how there’s been a significant rise in back pain linked to working from home as a result of the pandemic. This prompted reader Howard Rubin to send us an email with a recommendation our readers may want to follow:

Please add a note to all readers to get a second or third opinion. First thing, see your medical professional, a doctor with college degrees. Long ago I worked in a warehouse/stockroom environment and lifted some heavy objects while sitting on the floor – ouch! After lots of pain, seeing all sorts of highly recommended people – Chinese medicine / accupresure / accuwhatever…, chiropractors, massage therapists and well-meaning people (who loved to take your money), it took me moving to Brazil and seeing a actual medical doctor who took x-rays of my lower back. To everyone’s surprise, he showed a misalignment and said I only need to start and continue walking to strengthen the muscles in my lower back! Every day and the first thing I do when I enter the gym is to step up onto the walking machine! 24 years now, pain free.

Thanks for the advice!

Got comments about anything in this issue?

Email us! We love hearing from our readers!

Ask Our Readers (new question): Windows 10 video blanks out occasionally

Your Editor is going to toss out a question to our newsletter readers. One of my personal computers at home is a refurbished Dell Optiplex 5050 running Windows 10 Professional. Ever since I upgraded Windows 10 to version 21H2 on this machine, the video blanks out for about a second or two, maybe once or twice a day. I checked the Intel video and display drivers and they show as up to date, and I’ve tried other fixes like changing one of the power settings as described in some YouTube videos you find when you google “Windows 10 video blanks out occasionally” but nothing seems to work. Do any of our readers have any ideas what might be causing this problem and how I can fix it? Email me if you have any suggestions.

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Editor’s Corner

Security and privacy are a major concern for many of us in today’s tech-driven online world. And while government legislation might help, sometimes it seems to have the opposite effect. This was brought home to me this week by several news items I stumbled across.

An article titled Tax Filing Websites Have Been Sending Users’ Financial Information to Facebook on The Markup describes how popular tax filing services in the U.S. including H&R Block, TaxAct, and TaxSlayer have been sending sensitive financial information to Facebook whenever Americans file their taxes online using these services. The article is disturbing, not only for the details of the investigation it performed and its description of how Meta’s pixel code enables website creators to track their visitors across the web, but also for how it exposes how commercial tax filing companies have the U.S. federal government to thank for their $11 billion industry as middlemen between taxpayers and the government. Thank goodness I live in Canada (I think) and not the U.S. where everything, ultimately, gets monetized.

On the other side of the Atlantic comes disturbing news about a legislative proposal by the European Commission called the Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) that may have a serious impact on the hardware and software markets in Europe by making the cybersecurity situation worse instead of better. NLnet Labs has a blog post titled Open-source software vs. the proposed Cyber Resilience Act which explains the problem and how independent open-source developers and FOSS small businesses in particular may be adversely impacted.

So in one case past legislation by the U.S. government jeopardizes the privacy of its citizens, while in the other case pending legislation by the EU threatens to knock many smaller FOSS companies out of business. Learning how to protect your privacy when you browse the web is critical nowadays; this article on ZDNET can help. And speaking up is important when you hear about pending legislation can impact your business, so if you live in the EU and are part of the FOSS community, I urge you to read the post by NLnet Labs and take the actions as they recommend.

We hope that you enjoy this week’s issue of WServerNews, feel free to email us your comments or questions about anything in this newsletter.

This Week in IT

A compendium of recent IT industry news compiled by Your Editors. Feel free to email us if you find a news item you think our newsletter readers might be interested in. And for more tech news coverage see the News section of our TechGenix website.

A few weeks ago here in this newsletter we mentioned that TechGenix informed us that the reason some German regions have recently banned Microsoft 365 is because the platform violates GDPR rules. And along similar lines The Hacker News also reported that French data protection regulators have declared that using Google Analytics violates GDPR. Well, now comes news from France that their Minister of National Education and Youth has announced that free versions of Office 365 and Google Workspace for Education should not be used in French schools because of data sovereignty issues i.e. due to personal data of French citizens being stored in an American cloud service. The Register has more on this matter. The data privacy wars escalate!

Enterprises that use VMware products and services may want to think twice before planning any new deployments. That’s because Broadcom is seeking EU approval for a $61 billion dollar deal to take over VMware. DataCenter Knowledge has more on the latest moves by Broadcom. And for some possible implications of the takeover for VMware customers, see this article on TechTarget from a few months back.

And finally for those of you who use HP printers you might want to avoid applying their latest firmware update as Günter Born reports the update has been bricking certain models of HP printers.

Windows news

BetaNews reports that Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) for running GNU/Linux environments on Windows 10 and Windows 11 has finally hit version 1.0.0—hooray! Now I can…hmm, wait a minute. Why would I want to run Linux on my Windows machine anyways? Any ideas?

Windows Server news

Günter Born has news about an important out-of-band update for some older versions of Windows Server to fix Kerberos authentication issues on DCs that were caused by November updates from Microsoft. And BetaNews informs us that an upcoming additional feature for Windows 11 is a notification icon that will be displayed in the taskbar whenever your PC has an active VPN connection.

Linux news

Linux Magazine reports that a new local privilege escalation vulnerability has been discovered in the Linux kernel. Users are encouraged to upgrade/patch immediately! And for those of you who need a Linux-loving laptop comes news from the same source that a new and completely customizable Linux laptop called the StarFighter (lol) is now available for preordering from Star Labs.

Cloud news

Two new announcements that may be important for organizations using Azure:

Azure AD authentication for Windows Admin Center in Azure is now generally available (Microsoft Entra (Azure AD) Blog)

Announcing general availability of FSLogix profiles for Azure AD-joined VMs in Azure Virtual Desktop (Azure Virtual Desktop Blog)

Upcoming webcasts, workshops and conferences

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

Some upcoming international FOSS conferences:

Dec 5-6 in Yokohama, Japan – Open Source Summit Japan – IRL and virtual

Feb 4-5 in Brussels, Belgium – FOSDEM 2023 ­– Find out more

Feb 15-17 and Feb 21-23 in San Francisco, California – DeveloperWeek – IRL and virtual

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, guides and useful stuff

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 Down for Everyone or Just Me a website monitoring tool that helps you find out if the website you’re trying to view is down for everyone or just for you.

Interested in trying out Windows Delivery Optimization? It’s a cloud-managed solution that allows clients to download Windows updates, upgrades, and applications from alternate sources (such as other peers on the network) in addition to the traditional Internet-based servers. Learn how to set up a Windows Delivery Optimization test environment in this article on Microsoft Learn.

Keeping track of the status of all the devices and hardware connected to your local area network has become a large, never-ending task. Thus, LAN monitoring is the best way to manage and monitor all the devices connected to your network. Learn what a LAN monitoring tool is, the best features it should include, and the top 5 picks in this article on TechGenix.

VIDEO: Take this deep dive into how routing protocols work courtesy of (free subscription required).

Tips and Tutorials

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

We’re starting to work more with Linux (we’re leaning towards deploying Ubuntu LTS) so we thought we’d share a bunch of tips in this area for readers who are also thinking of migrating their environments into the FOSS world:

First some Ubuntu tips:

How to Install Ubuntu 22.04 Desktop [Step by Step Picture Guide] (Ubuntu Handbook)

How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Using ‘do-release-upgrade’ Command (

How to enable SSH 2FA on Ubuntu Server 22.04 (TechRepublic)

Install Grub Customizer to Configure the Boot Menu in Ubuntu 22.04 (Ubuntu Handbook)

31 Linux Commands Every Ubuntu User Should Know (It’s FOSS)

And some general Linux tips:

Linux infrastructure servers for small and midsize businesses (ADMIN magazine)

Sizing Up Partitions (LINUX magazine)

How to schedule Linux upgrades with Webmin (TechRepublic)

How to Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for SSH on Linux? (Windows OS Hub)

How to grep Search for Filenames Instead of Content in Linux (How-to Geek)

How to Find Pattern Matches Across Multiple Lines With grep (How-to Geek)

Sharing a Linux Terminal Over the Web (ADMIN magazine)


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

Want to become a PowerShell expert? Get this Beginner’s Guide to Microsoft PowerShell courtesy of ITPro Today.

Factoid: Can you trust Wikipedia?

Our previous factoid was this:

Fact: Here’s someone who created a RAID 0 array using USB floppy drives (Hackaday)


Question: I know many of our readers probably have RAID on their servers, but do any of you use RAID on your workstations?

Larry Shirley the Chief Engineer at IDC New York responds with:

I’ve used the original MacPro “cheese graters” with internal soft RAIDs since they first came out. These machines shipped with four hard drive “sleds”, with only the first slot filled with the system drive and three empty sleds ready to accept SATA hard drives. At the time, 7200RPM 1TB drives were common and when formatted into a RAID 0 would create a relatively fast volume suitable for editing HD video with Final Cut Pro or Premiere. Those first-generation MacPros also had an upper dual-bay area that came with IDE connectors and an optical drive, but when the dual hexa-core Xeon MacPros came out they were changed over to dual SATA connections which would permit creation of a larger and faster four-drive RAID array. Of course RAID 0 is fast but without fault protection, so it was always considered temporary storage and all critical data would be backed up.

Interesting calling them MacPro cheese graters. Mac and cheese anyone?

And Eddie Schenk who provides IT support for a handful of SMEs says:

I use RAID 1 on on my workstations as a minimum along with a hot swap drive if the motherboard controller supports it. It is worth nothing that in over 22 years of doing this I have only (fingers crossed) had a drive fail on 2 occasions, both times the other disk kept the system running and the data intact.

Twenty-two years of uptime sounds pretty good! Is your workstation a Pentium? (lol)

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

Fact – A Bored Chinese Housewife Spent Years Falsifying Russian History on Wikipedia (Vice)

Source –

Question – What’s the *worst* Wikipedia topic you’ve ever read in terms of bias or accuracy?

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

Fun videos from Flixxy

We love dogs and we hope you do too!

This Is Why We Have Dogs ­– A delightfully edited compilation of kittens and cats doing silly things.

Jumpy The Dog – ‘Jumpy’ the Border Collie is very smart and can do a lot of amazing tricks. One can see that he is having fun showing off his skills to his master.

Dog Days of Summer – A group of dogs have a great time at the beach. A clip from a group of dog owners in Budapest, Hungary.

Dogs Decorating A Christmas Tree ­– The coolest video of dogs decorating a Christmas tree.

And Finally

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

Apple to Put USB-C Connectors in iPhones to Comply With EU Rules (The Guardian)

[Environmentally better? Why? Will having USB-C connectors make it less likely people will throw their old iPhones in the trash?]

Apple, Microsoft and Google making another attempt to kill the password (Ars Technica)

[The password is dead. Long live the password!]

Undetectable Very-Low Frequency Sound Increases Dancing at a Live Concert (McMaster University)

[OK start dancing, you robots!]

Polish Institute Classifies Cats as Alien Invasive Species (Associated Press)

[Aha, just as I thought! Cats come from another planet—they’re aliens!]

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!

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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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