Cloudeight InfoAve Weekly |
Volume 18 Number 37
July 16, 2021
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Doug says ZDNet recommends the Brave browser and wants our
thoughts on this
I just received a ZD net news email, and they are recommending a
new browser to replace Chrome called "Brave" @ brave.com. They say it is
really fast and secure. What are your thoughts on this?
Hi Doug. Any time a big company like ZDNet, or PC Magazine, or PC World
recommends something, my first thought it what's in it for them? Brave
is well-funded. I take things like this recommendation of Brave with a
grain of salt. Because any time a large "For Profit" company recommends
anything my feeling is somewhere along the line they're getting paid.
This not true with smaller sites though. Recommendations from smaller,
privately owned sites very seldom are big enough to get "pay offs".
Enough about all that.
Brave is based on Chromium as is Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and many
other so-called "privacy" browsers such as Iridium, Epic, and the others.
Whether Brave is really private or not, depends on how much you trust
them to do what they say they will do.
My thoughts are that there is no privacy on the web, and I have no
expectation of privacy when I'm on the web. Bitcoin was supposed to be
the "safe" "untraceable" way to pay, yet the FBI was able to trace the
ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline by following the money trail.
Brave's "advertising" is based on blockchain (crypto currency).
This comes from Brave Software...
"Brave Software’s fast, privacy-oriented browser, combined with its
blockchain-based digital advertising platform, is reinventing the Web
for users, publishers, and advertisers. Users get a private, speedier
web experience with much longer battery life, publishers increase their
revenue share, and advertisers achieve better conversion. Users can opt
into privacy-respecting ads that reward them with the Basic Attention
Token (BAT), a frequent flyer-like token they can redeem or use to tip
or contribute to publishers and other content creators. The Brave
solution is a win-win for everyone who has a stake in the open Web and
who is weary of giving up privacy and revenue to the ad-tech
intermediaries. Brave currently has over 25 million monthly active users
and over 1 million Verified Publishers. Brave Software was co-founded by
and Brian Bondy, formerly of Khan Academy and Mozilla..."
I've been testing Brave for quite a while with the thought that I'd make
it a freeware pick someday, but after about 8 months, I'm still not sure
if I'd recommend it as a "Privacy" browser. Things like this that show
up when you open Brave, concern me....
"Today's top stories in a completely private feed, just for you.
Brave News is ad-supported with completely private and anonymized ads
matched on your device. Your personal information always stays private,
If Brave is truly private, exactly how would they "match" their newsfeed
to me and my device? Matching my news to my device would certainly have
to include my location as well. I sure don't want news from Bulgaria or
Finally, there's absolutely nothing wrong with Brave as a browser. I
don't know if it's faster than Google Chrome. It's probably somewhat
more private, but as I said, they'd have to prove that, and proof
requires more than just their word. I personally don't think it's
"faster" than Chrome. Chrome runs well on my PC. Microsoft Edge is
Darcy's favorite, and Edge is based on Chromium - just like Google
Chrome. Darcy says Edge runs faster on her PC than Chrome.
But the browser you use is the one that works best for you. So, go ahead
and try Brave and see how you like it - but don't assume because ZD Net
says it's faster and more private than Chrome that it really is.
Brave, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, etc. will all run differently on different
systems. And we encourage everyone to install more than two or more
browsers. I have six browsers installed on my computer. When you have a
choice, eventually you'll stick with the one that works best for you.
For me, that's Chrome, for Darcy's that's Edge, and for you it might
well be Brave.
Go ahead and try Brave. It won't hurt anything, and you may like it.
You can download it free from here.
Greg doesn't get what Microsoft is trying to do with Windows 11
Hi TC and EB. I know there is lots about Win11, at the moment seems to
be more negative than good, but we will see. Microsoft is bound to
change requirements etc. before final release. I am not too worried about TPM or the rest of the other issues. The one
issue I do not like is no more local accounts.
From what have read so far is that Win11 Home will NOT be able to have a
local account but must use a outlook.com as login... (yes, I know
according to reports Win11 Pro will allow local accounts but only after
you have first signed in with a outlook.com account. I do not like this
and am sure lots of others will not like this either. It should be
people's choice to have a local or otherwise account. Microsoft is
dictating this and therefore monitoring what people are or are not doing....
It is a blatant means of tracking that Microsoft has employed. Yes, I
did upgrade to Win10 and to be honest I do not mind it some things are
quirky, but overall it is pretty good. But no local account.... not sure
for Win11 and from the screenshots have seen. I have to say it looks
like Mac layout.
What happens if the login server goes down for whatever reason or a
persons internet connection goes down or even have no internet? Does that
mean no one will be able to login on their PC's? Or will it then go
"local"? I just do not see the justification for making this a
requirement. And for me, at least, it is one that would stop me from
ever using Win11. Most of the other things I can handle and accept, but
that form of dictatorial control no.
What are your thoughts on this?. As most talk has been about the
requirements to run it but not about the Microsoft account issue. And yes
I know can keep
using Windows 10 until October 14, 2025 but what about after that?
Hi Greg. First, as you note, you do have 4 + years to continue to use
Windows 10 and in computer terms, that's a long time from now. And I
really don't see many amazing features coming in Windows 11 - at least
nothing that has been revealed so far - that would make me want to make
the jump to Windows 11. If I weren't in this business, I would not even
consider installing Windows 11 at this point.
Secondly, you don't need a connection to login with your Microsoft
Account. We both use Microsoft accounts on Windows 10, and we can access
our computers without a connection. So, it's not true that you'll get
locked out of your computer when you use a Microsoft account. You will
need a connection to set up the account. But in Windows 10 (not sure
about Windows 11) you don't even need an outlook.com, Hotmail.com,
msn.com, live.com, live.ca, email address to set up a Microsoft account.
You can use Gmail for instance. See this article to learn more about
And finally, Windows 11 won't be released for at least three or four
more months. Microsoft is already starting to back off on some of the
stringent hardware requirements like only supporting 8th generation
processors. Now, the word is, Windows 11 will support 7th generation
processors. This is a big change and not even a month has passed since
Microsoft announced Windows 11. With 3 or 4 more months before Windows
11 is launched, who knows what will happen?
Honestly, if it were not for my job, I would not even worry about
Windows 11 or what Microsoft is thinking. I'd just keep using Windows 10
until the end of service date of October 14, 2025, and whatever happens
then happens. One thing for sure... by then I'm certain Windows 11 will
be much different than it is now.
Windows 10 will be supported and updated for the next 4 years and 3
months. And as we've already said, in terms of computers, that's a
Sandra is ready to toss her computers
I have a six-year-old computer running Windows 10 will all the updates. I
have several issues since I have lost confidence in my computer skills
after two bad incidents. I have been looking at your services and do not
know which one is really right for me. I know I need help as I am ready
to toss all my computers out. I am so frustrated. I have been getting
your newsletters for years and have learned lots. But not enough to get
myself out of a "pickle".
Hi Sandra. Thanks for your nice comments and for subscribing to our
With our Cloudeight Direct
Computer Care service we connect to your computer remotely, clean it
up, optimize it, scan for problems, bad extensions, malware, etc., and
repair any problems we find.
We offer a single repair key for $50 or an annual repair key for $129 -
or if you are over 60 - we offer annual repair key for $99. Our annual
repair plans offer unlimited repair sessions for one full year from the
date of first use. Please see
this page for more details.
If you need more information or have more questions, please let us know.
David thinks his video problems might be BIOS-related
I think something is changing my Bios settings. The computer screen is
black but the HDMA to the TV works and I can see the program on the TV.
It also has some other things that need tweaking.
Hi David. I'm not aware of any BIOS settings being a major cause of
black screens. If it were the BIOS, you'd not be able to see anything on
a TV screen using the HDMI port. The BIOS loads before Windows starts.
The BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is a ROM (Read Only Memory) chip
found on motherboards that allows you to access and set up your computer
system at the most basic level. The BIOS includes instructions on how to
load basic computer hardware. It also includes a test referred to as a
POST (Power-On Self-Test) that helps verify the computer meets the
requirements to boot up properly. If the computer does not pass the
POST, you hear a combination of beeps indicating what is malfunctioning
in the computer.
Since you don't mention hearing any beeps indicating that the BIOS is
detecting something wrong, I think it's your computer's screen
(hardware) and not the BIOS.
Finally, we cannot fix hardware remotely or replace a computer screen or
any other hardware device. The BIOS can only be accessed outside of
Windows (before Windows boots) and requires a physical presence. We
cannot work on the BIOS remotely; we can only connect to computers where
Windows is loaded, and the computer is online.
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John's wife's laptop won't update the Windows 10 version
Hi. I'm another one of your long-time followers. My wife's laptop had
Windows 10, version 1909. She got a message saying that version 1909 had
reached its end (as you mentioned in your newsletter). The messaged
indicated that a Windows feature update was ready (Windows 10, version
The update gets to 61% and stops, I looked in update history and it
shows four failed attempts for version 20H2 - Oxct1900104
It also showed six failed attempts for version 2004 dated from October
2021 to April 4, 2021. I look forward to your reply. John
Hi John. Thanks so much. Some older computers have BIOS or hardware
issues that prevent Windows from being updated. Windows 10 version 1909
was released in November 2019, so it's going on 2 years old.
Here are two things we suggest you try.
#1. Unplug all external drives and unplug any USB flash drives, camera
cards, anything attached to the PC other than the keyboard and mouse.
Then go to this page
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 and click on
the button labeled "Download tool now" and download the Media Creation
Tool. One you download it, start it, and choose "Update this PC now".
#2. If that option fails, get a new 16 GB USB flash drive, and use the
Media Creation Tool to create a USB installation drive. Then, remove any
devices connected to the computer other than the keyboard and mouse.
Insert the Installation USB into the computer, browse to it with File
Explorer, and click on "setup.exe". When the Windows installation
starts, be sure you choose the upgrade option.
If those two suggestions don't work, then it has to be a hardware or
We hope this helps you - if not, please let us know.
Linda's getting a new computer and wants help setting it up
I am getting a new computer today... I would like you to log in and take
everything off of the computer that I don't need and download and
install Emsisoft for me.
Also I would like for you to install OE Classic Email and whatever else
you think I should have. Just let me know if I need to buy a SeniorPass
or do you charge individually. Please let me know what I need to do in
order for you to connect to my computer and help me make the
Thanks again to you both for all you do for us, I don't know what we
would do without you!
Hi Linda. Thanks for your nice comments.
We can optimize and set up a new computer for best performance and
appearance. We can help you transfer files from an external drive to
your new computer. That would require a Cloudeight Direct Computer Care
Key or a SeniorPass - both
are available from this page. A SeniorPass is the best deal since it
includes one full year of repair services for just $99. A Cloudeight
single repair key is $50.
OE Classic installation and setup is not included in our SeniorPass
program and is not covered by a Cloudeight Direct Computer Care Key. You
can see the details on this page.
You'll note that you have to purchase the OE Classic email program
separately from our setup service. The details are available on that
If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
Carol can't get rid of Qwant in Firefox
I went into Firefox apps and extensions to remove items I do not use in
hopes Fire Fox would work better. I removed the extension named Qwant.
Now Qwant keeps showing up as the search engine. Can this be removed? I
have tried uninstalling and reinstalling Firefox and the search engine
Qwant keeps coming back. I cannot find Qwant anywhere on my computer to
uninstall it. Can you please help?
Hi Carol. Search engine settings in Firefox are usually controlled by
add-ons or extensions. Search engine hijackers would take over search
engine settings though. The quickest and easiest way to get rid of
intrusive extensions or hijackers is to return Firefox to its default
state. The easiest way to do that is to reset (refresh) it.
see our tutorial here to learn how to refresh Firefox and return it
to its default state without losing your bookmarks or saved passwords. I
just updated the instructions on that page, so all the information is
current as of today.
We hope this helps you, Carol.
William says his wife's laptop is in trouble
My wife has a Lenovo Laptop running Windows 10 version 20H2. The
will now no longer open Google Chrome. It comes up with the error
'Status Checkpoint". At the same time, Emsisoft has an error saying
'Emsisoft browser security has crashed. Click this balloon to reload the
extension'. If you click the extension, it returns with the same message
a few seconds later! If I click Shift+ Ctrl+N, you get a sort of Chrome
screen, then if you try to load a webpage, you get the same error and
message that it can't load the page! It suggests restarting the
computer or restarting Chrome. I have checked that there are no updates to
do. I have switched off the computer and waited for 15 minutes, all to
no avail! Another thing: Microsoft Edge won't start at all! Any
suggestions would be most helpful.
Hi William. It sounds to me like you need to reset that computer. There
are a lot of issues there that would be instantly fixed by doing a
reset. A reset removes all the programs installed, removes the Windows
installation, saves all your personal files and folders, and then
A "cloud" reset takes an hour or two (depending on your connection), but
when you're done, you'd have a brand-new installation of Windows and then
you could reinstall the programs you wanted - like Chrome, Emsisoft and
the others. When you do a reset, Windows leaves a list of programs that
were installed on the desktop. You don't have to re-install them all,
just the ones you really need is our advice.
Since your computer seems to have corrupted files or some Windows
corruption, we suggest you do a cloud reset.
We have a step-by-step tutorial for doing a cloud reset - you can read
We're fairly sure once you complete the reset, all will be as it should
be. But if you need any more help, let us know.
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Get or Give Help Using Windows 10
Windows 10 (all supported versions)
While Windows 10 Quick Assist is a feature of Windows 10 and a quick
way to help a friend or get help from a friend. All you need is Windows
10, Quick Assist, and a Microsoft account. Whether you want to give or
get help, the first thing you’ll need to do is open Quick Assist. It’s
buried in the start menu under Windows Accessories. The fastest way to
open Quick Assist is to type QUICK in taskbar search and press Enter
when you see Quick Assist appear in the search results.
When Quick Assist opens, you’ll be able to choose “Get assistance” or
In this demo, we’re going to show you how to assist someone. First,
you’ll need to sign in with a Microsoft account.
Once you’ve signed in, you’ll see a security code. You can call your
friend with this security code or send the security code by email.
The person you’re helping will need to open Quick Assist and enter
the six-digit security code.
Once the person you’re helping enters security code they’ll have to
allow you to take control of their computer. The person you’re helping
will see a small window asking if they want to allow you to control
their computer. If they want your help, they’ll need to click “Allow”.
Once the person you’re helping clicks “Allow” you’ll be able to see
their desktop on your screen and you’ll be able to control their
Above you can see the Quick Assist window with the remote computer in
full view. You can then control the remote computer as you would you own
and do whatever you need to do to help a friend in need.
So, now if a friend calls you and asks for help with his or her
computer, you can tell them about Quick Assist. You’ll be able to help
them just like you were sitting at their computer.
Quick Assist – another useful but hidden feature of Windows 10.
How to Use the Windows Taskkill
Windows 8.1 and Window 10 (all supported versions)
Taskkill is a Windows command that has been around since Windows 95.
You’ll find it works just fine in Windows 10 too. Taskkill is a command
you can use when you want to terminate one or more running processes.
And the Taskkill command is especially useful if you find you cannot
terminate processes using End Task in Task Manager.
Some processes that are running as an Administrator (Elevated),
sometimes cannot be killed by using “End Task” in Task Manager. To
kill them, you can use the Taskkill command from an elevated
(administrator) command prompt to kill them.
Also, you can use Taskkill to kill any process should you find that
process not responding to an “End task” commend in Task Manager.
Here’s how to use Taskkill.
Type CMD in the taskbar search and click “Run as administrator” when
it opens in the search results.
To see a list of running processes, type Tasklist in the command
prompt window. A list of running processes and their PID numbers will
The list of running processes may be quite impressive. you can use
the following command to create a scrollable list.
tasklist | more
You can scroll down the list by pressing the Enter key.
You can kill a process using its PID number or its name.
To kill a task by its PID number type:
taskkill /F /PID PID number
In the image above you can see the Notepad’s PID
number is 13144. To kill that process using Taskkill, type the command
taskkill /f / pid 13144 and then press “Enter”.
Note: PID numbers are not static, they change by instance. In other
words, every time you open Notepad it will have a different PID number.
Also, each instance of Notepad will have a different PID number.
To kill a process by name, type the command
taskkill /IM “process name” /F
Let’s use Notepad as an example again. To end all Notepad processes,
you’d enter the following command and press Enter.
taskkill /IM “notepad.exe” /F
Keep in mind that closing processes by name will close all running
instances of that program. If you have four Notepad windows open,
running the Taskkill command will end all Notepad processes.
The Windows Taskkill command has many other useful options that you
can use to terminate processes. You can learn all of those options by
opening a Command Prompt and typing
Did you know that by using Taskkill you can close all non-responsive
processes/apps at once in Windows 10?
IMPORTANT NOTE: The term “Processes” is a general term that
refers to apps, programs, tasks, and Windows processes.
All commands must be typed exactly as shown. Spacing is important.
Lower & uppercase does not matter.
If you use the taskkill command on a program (process) you’re working
with and you haven’t yet saved your work, you’re going to lose it. So be
sure to save your work before trying this tip.
Two Useful Google Chrome
Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 (all supported versions) +
Google Chrome installed
1. Group Tabs
Many times, while using your browser, you’ll have several
tabs open that are related to each other. Let’s say, for
example, you’re searching for high-quality Vitamin D capsules.
Google allows you to group related tabs. Keeping related tabs
together makes it easier to find the tab you’re looking for. Try
Right-click on any tab and you should see “Add tab to group”.
When you click on the “Add tab to group, you can name it and
choose a color for that group.
Here’s an example. We’re going to group all
1.) Right-click on a tab and choose “Add tab to new group”.
2.) Give the group a name and assign a color to the group.
3.) Now that you’ve created and named a group and assigned
its color, right-click on the next related tab, click “Add tab
to group” and select the group you want to add it to.
4.) Create as many groups as you want. Grouping related tabs
together and assigning them colors, lets you find related tabs
at a glance. Below you’ll see I’ve created two groups – one
called “Cloudeight”, and one called “MISC.” The colors make it
easy to see which tabs are grouped.
You can even choose to have groups open in a new window. And
if you no longer want the group you created, you can remove the
group at any time. Also, you can remove any tab from any group
by right-clicking on the tab and selecting “Remove from group”
from the drop-down menu.
2. Chrome’s Reading List
Did you know that Chrome has a reading list that lets you add
pages to a reading list so you can read them (or finish reading
them) later? The next time you find an interesting website, web
page, or article that you want to read or reference later, just
right-click on its tab and select “Add to reading list”.
You can access your reading list by clicking on the Reading
List button on Chrome’s secondary toolbar.
In the example below, I found a CISA article about Ransomware
I want to read. If don’t have time to read it right now, I can
right-click on its tab and select “Add tab to reading list” from
the drop-down menu.
I can access my Reading list any time by clicking the
“Reading list” button at the right edge of Chrome’s Bookmarks
After I’ve read the article or page in my Reading list, I can
mark it as “read” or remove it from the list.
So, the next time you find an article you’d like to read, but
don’t have time to read or would just rather read it later, just
right-click on its tab and add it to your Chrome Reading list.
Want more tips, tricks, and information?
We have thousands of Windows tips, tricks, and more on our InfoAve web site.
Subscribe to our free InfoAve Daily newsletter.
Now available: Reg Organizer 8.70
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- A Swiss Army Knife of Windows Tools - Works Great on Windows 10!
Five Excellent Sites to Check Your Internet Speed
If you’ve ever wondered how fast your Internet connection or
whether you’re getting the speeds you’re paying for, you need a
reliable way to check your Internet connection speed. There are
dozens of sites that provide speed tests – but these are five
we’ve tested and found to be reliable.
Netflix’s Fast.com is our go-to internet speed checker. It’s
quick and clean and gives your download speed quickly. There are
no ads, no gimmicks, no flashing lights, just your speed… and if
you need it, some detailed info about your upload speed,
latency, and more. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to
check your internet connection speed, Fast.com is it.
You can use it from anywhere in the world. And while it’s not
designed to test your ISP’s connection speed, the test results
we get are comparable to other speed tests without the ads and
bells & whistles.
Try it right now.
My speed according to Fast.com:
Comcast’s Xfinity xFi speed test
Do you think Comcast would make your speed look slower if you
were connecting to it using a competitor’s service? That’s what
some think. While it may be designed to save Comcast from
getting support calls from customers about their internet speed,
we didn’t find any bias in the test results.
The results we got from Comcast’s speed
test were consistent with other speed tests we’ve tried.
Comcast’s speed test is designed for American users only. If
you’re in the USA,
try it and see what you think.
My speed according to Comcast/Xfinity:
Bandwidth Place provides you with a clean, uncluttered speed
nice looking and it’s quite simple to use. It may have ads, but
I didn’t see any.
Bandwidth Place can be used by everyone, no matter where they
Try it for yourself ….
My speed results from Bandwidth Place…
SpeedOf.me claims to be the most accurate online bandwidth
test. I don’t know about that, but it’s fun to watch the graphs
move as it shows real-time connection speeds.
SpeedOf.me works no matter where you live. But it does have
an ad or two, which I didn’t notice until the speed test was
My test results from SpeedOf.me:
Ookla’s speed test is the most popular
speed testing site. More people use it than any other. And, a
while back, we became disillusioned with it because it had so
many ads and distractions. But things have changed and now the
ads are subdued. Ookla’s speed test is still the most
recommended. You can use it from anywhere in the world.
You can try it here.
My test results from Ookla’s Speedtest.net.
You can see that all my test results were similar. In five
different speed tests from five different speed testing sites,
my results varied only by about 6 Mbps… from 72 to 78.45.
Now you know five places to go when you want to know your
So Long, Gizmo
We started out on the web with a Christmas graphics site. We were so
proud of it. I cannot even count the number of hours Darcy and I put
into that site. But I can remember when we got all excited one day when
we had twenty visitors. It’s still there and the copyright notice at the
bottom of the page says 1998 – 2000.
Back in those days, the web was rather arcane. Those of us who used it
and spent hours browsing it fell in love with it. The rest of the world
didn’t know what they were missing. In fact, one of my best friends
called me, sarcastically, “Captain Internet” because I used to rush home
from work to get on my computer and browse the internet. I can remember
getting up at three in the morning because I couldn’t sleep – I couldn’t
wait to see what was new on the web.
When Darcy and I started Cloudeight Stationery back in 2000, we did it
because we loved doing it. Just about everything was free on the
internet back then. I get tears in my eyes now – just thinking about
Our site grew up with a lot of other small mom-and-pop sites. In fact,
that’s just about all the World Wide Web was in those days…
Please read the rest of this essay here.
What is extortionware?
Today, we defer to our friends at Emsisoft for the answer to this
back-to-basics question. This is from the
"Extortionware is a form of cyberattack in which threat actors threaten
to harm a target in some way if their demands are not met. Extortionware
attacks tend to be highly targeted and typically impact industries that
deal with sensitive or high-value data, including the medical, financial
and educational sectors.
Thanks to our friends at Emsisoft for allowing us to share this with you.
"There are a few different types of extortionware, including:
"Release of compromised data: Threat actors gain unauthorized access
to a target system, exfiltrate sensitive information and threaten to
release or sell the stolen data unless the victim complies with demand.
High-value stolen data may include financial records, intellectual
property and personally identifiable information of the victim company’s
customers, employees or suppliers. This type of extortionware may also
be referred to as “doxware” and is comparable in many ways to
"Threat of DDoS: Threat actors disrupt a target’s website or online
service by launching a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack,
whereby a massive network of compromised systems is used to overwhelm a
target web server. The attack, which blocks legitimate traffic and often
completely disables an organization’s normal online operations, is
continued until the target pays up. DDoS attacks have been around for
more than 20 years and can now be readily purchased on the dark web..."
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Darcy and TC
Cloudeight InfoAve Weekly - Issue #927
Volume 18 Number
July 16, 2021
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