Are Microsoft using your computer as a Windows Update distribution point?

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Since the upgrade to Windows 10, you may not be aware but your computer may be being used by Microsoft to help distribute Windows Updates.

There is a setting within Windows 10 which allows your machine to send updates to other Windows 10 computers on your local network and even on the Internet!

What? How do I stop it?!

Well, this setting seems to be switched on by default so the chances are that you are already allowing Microsoft to do this to your machine. So, to turn it off, you should carry out the following steps:

Click on the Windows 10 Start button and then click on the Settings cog icon:

Are Microsoft using your computer as a Windows Update distribution point? 1

Then click on the Update & Security button:

Are Microsoft using your computer as a Windows Update distribution point? 2

This will take you into the Windows Update section. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Advanced Options:

Are Microsoft using your computer as a Windows Update distribution point? 3

Then scroll down to the bottom again and click on the Choose how updates are delivered link:

Are Microsoft using your computer as a Windows Update distribution point? 4

On this page, you may see that you have the default settings which are to use your computer to distribute updates to other machines:

Are Microsoft using your computer as a Windows Update distribution point? 5

So, to stop this from happening, click the slider button and flick it to the Off position:

Are Microsoft using your computer as a Windows Update distribution point? 6

Then reboot your machine and you will have put a stop to Microsoft’s evil plan!

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Windows 10 Group Policy ADMX Templates

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Overview Administrative Templates files are divided into .admx files and language-specific .adml files for use by Group Policy administrators. The changes that are implemented in these files let administrators configure the same set of policies by using two languages. Administrators can configure policies by using the language-specific .adml files and the language-neutral .admx files. Administrative … Read more

Announcement – HTTPS Upgrade

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We are delighted to announce that we have now upgraded our website and added a SSL certificate allowing us to now use encrypted traffic using the HTTPS protocol.

You will now notice that we have a nice secure site with the green bar and padlock:

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This is something that we have wanted to enable for some time now and we have finally found the time to get around to it. You should find that all the pages on this site are now using the HTTPS protocol as we have setup HTTP -> HTTPS redirection, but if you notice any problems, please could you leave us a message below in the comments section so that we can fix them.

Thank you for your continued support.

Windows Service Tweaker to speed up Windows 10

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The current version of Windows 10 is pretty good and users will find that using the operating system is pretty straight forward and much improved on the first versions and previous operating systems like Windows Vista.

However, on some older computers and even on some newer computers with low end processors like Celeron or AMD’s E1, the speed can be an issue. This is because Windows 10 is quite intensive out of the box and may be running a number of programs and services in the background without you even knowing.

So what can you do?

Well, the first thing you should do is to check what is running in your Startup as this will dramatically affect the start up time of your computer.

To do this, simply right click on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen and select the Task Manager:

Windows 10 Task Manager from Taskbar

This will bring up the Task Manager utility, you should then go ahead and click on the Startup tab:

Task Manager Startup Tab

This will then display all the programs that are loading upon your computers startup. You can go ahead and highlight any problem you think you do not require, then right click and select Disable:

Windows Service Tweaker to speed up Windows 10 8

Once you have disabled items in your Startup, reboot your computer and see if it is any quicker.

If you are still having issues with speed, then you can now try stopping some computer services that you may not require all of the time that may be running in the background. You can then set this services to manual instead of automatic which means that they will not just start when you boot up your machine, but will start when they are needed. This should speed up your machine.

You can go through your own services to select which ones to stop and change to manual but please be very clear – be very careful what you are stopping as you can screw up your computer if you are not sure and stop a service that is important to the running of the machine.

To get you started, we recommend stopping these services and changing the startup mode to manual from automatic:

  • Connected User Experiences and Telemetry
  • Diagnostic Policy Service
  • Diagnostic Tracking Service
  • Distributed Link Tracking Client
  • dmwappushsvc
  • Downloaded Maps Manager
  • IP Helper
  • Program Compatibility Assistant Service
  • Print Spooler
  • Remote Registry
  • Secondary Logon
  • Security Center
  • superfetch
  • TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
  • Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service
  • Windows Defender Service
  • Windows Error Reporting Service
  • Windows Image Acquisition
  • Windows Search

If you are not sure what to do with stopping the services and changing the startup mode, then you can download our batch file utility, Windows Service Tweaker, by clicking the button below which will carry out the work on the above services for you.

Download Windows Service Tweaker

Note that you will have to run the batch file as an administrator (elevated, not just a local administrator) for this to work.

Screenshot

Windows Service Tweaker to speed up Windows 10 9

Once you have done this, restart your machine and see how much quicker your computer is then.

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How to Uninstall Windows 10 Built In Apps

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Windows 10 comes with a large amount of built in apps, most of which are useful, but some are not and you may want to uninstall them, however you might find that when you right click on an app you want to uninstall, the uninstall option is not there:

How to Uninstall Windows 10 Built In Apps 10

However with any 3rd party apps the uninstall option is there:

How to Uninstall Windows 10 Built In Apps 11

So what do you do if you don’t want all the Microsoft junk apps and you want to make the decision on whether you can uninstall them?

Well, you can use CCleaner to carry this out quickly and easily and below we will show you how to do this.

First of all, you need to download CCleaner which you can get from the link below:

Download CCleaner

You can go ahead and use their free version to carry out this process.

Once you have downloaded CCleaner, you should then go ahead and install it on your computer and open the program.

You will now be taken into the CCleaner program and it will default to the Cleaner tab and then also give you a list of cleanups it can carry out in Windows. However, we want to move to the Tools tab and then the Uninstall tab:

How to Uninstall Windows 10 Built In Apps 12

On the middle panel, you will now see a long list of all applications on your computer, including all the built in Windows 10 apps. For the purposes of this guide, we are going to select the Feedback Hub app to uninstall as I have no interest with providing feedback to Microsoft.  

So, we scroll down to the Feedback Hub app, highlight it and on the right side panel, click the Uninstall button:

How to Uninstall Windows 10 Built In Apps 13

You will then get a popup asking if you are sure you want to carry this out:

How to Uninstall Windows 10 Built In Apps 14

Click the OK button and then app will be uninstalled almost immediately.

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Windows Store – Web Security Whitelist

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We recently had a request for help regarding Windows 10 computers not being able to download apps from the Windows Store when sat behind a web security platform.

The problem was that end users could load up the Windows Store and browse for what they wanted to install but when clicking on the install button, they were getting the following error notifications:

Windows Store - Web Security Whitelist 15

Windows Store - Web Security Whitelist 16

So, this pointed to an issue with the web security blocking not the store itself but the actual download of the app to the end users computer.

To get around this, we needed to add the following Microsoft URLs to the web security platforms whitelist:

download.windowsupdate.com
.windowsupdate.microsoft.com
.update.microsoft.com
.download.windowsupdate.com
update.microsoft.com
.windowsupdate.com
download.microsoft.com
windowsupdate.microsoft.com
ntservicepack.microsoft.com
wustat.windows.com
c.microsoft.com
watson.microsoft.com
download.windowsupdate.com
.windowsupdate.microsoft.com
.update.microsoft.com
.download.windowsupdate.com
update.microsoft.com
.windowsupdate.com
download.microsoft.com
windowsupdate.microsoft.com
ntservicepack.microsoft.com
wustat.windows.com
c.microsoft.com
watson.microsoft.com
login.live.com
login.windows.net
account.live.com
clientconfig.passport.net
windowsphone.com
*.wns.windows.com
*.microsoft.com
www.msftncsi.com
www.msftconnecttest.com/connecttest.txt

Once these were added, we rebooted the end users machines and then this allowed for the app to be fully installed.

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Technological Inventions In The Gaming Field

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The field of gaming is not left out as the world embraces technology as its way of life. We can say that virtually every aspect of the human race has witnessed some breathtaking technological inventions in the past, and these are geared towards making our lives better. In the gaming field, there have been a lot of inventions in the bid to make the gaming experience better and more enjoyable. Some of them are explained below.

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  • The Video Game Console

It was Ralph Baer that came up with the video games for the first time. Many people believed he did not publicize the invention well at the moment. But he has gone ahead to win a lot of medals for not only inventing the video games, but for also foreseeing majority of the technological inventions of today.  He was the person who made it possible that people at that time could purchase these games and enjoy them in their homes.

  • The Pong Games

The arrival of the pong machines as designed by Nolan Bushnell was another invention that rocked the world of gaming. This was the first of its kind in the world, and it brought together thousands of people who were struggling to get a feel of the action at the Andy Capps Bar at the San Francisco Bar area. Of course, the report is that this broke down because of that number, but the Atari’s fixed it.

  • The MUD Games

The next invention was the MD games, which means the multi-users and dungeons. This came to the world in 1978 and it was invented by Roy Trubshaw of England. This came on a very huge mainframe computer as was obtainable then. It was the first time more than one person played on the machines at the same time.

  • Portable Gaming

This came after the MUDs, as a precursor to the mobile gaming, and you can try mobile casino here. Nintendo was the first to come out with the small Gameboy Walkman with amazing music and games. That was the first time people were able to move about with their games in their pocket and could possibly play it anywhere.  It gave gamers the chance to change cartridges from Zelda to Mario.

  • Online Gaming

This was the next in the line of inventions. Though portable gaming was here, but there weren’t anyway of connecting these to the internet. The internet gaming system arrived with the advent of the World Wide Web, and was first played on the PCs and later on the laptops. It shifted from games that were originally stored on these devices and other devices connected to them to a possibility of getting and playing games online. Casinos that bought into this idea came up with top online casino games.

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  • Mobile Gaming

This came in after the internet gaming. Of course, the arrival of the smartphones later shifted the gaming from the huge computers and laptops to our phones. This was the first time games were played on mobile phones. But portable gaming with the Walkman has been ongoing.

  • Voice and Facial Recognition

The concept of the systems creating the owners likeness made it possible for a look-alike avatar. Through this, the person’s voice, face, and expressions are transferred to the digital creations, and could be recognized by the games. With this, given commands and instructions are obeyed by the games.

Wearable gaming, virtual reality, augmented reality and cloud gaming are the inventions being perfected at the moment.

Dropbox Phishing Email

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You may have received an email recently that looks like it has been sent to you from Dropbox about a PDF file that “your contact” has shared with you. The body of the email will look something like this:

Dropbox Phishing Email 19

This is a phishing email and the real sending is trying to get your Dropbox login details from you.

If you have received an email like this, you should delete it immediately and do not click on any of the links contained within.

Google Chrome version 61.0.3163.100 Released and MSI Installer

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Google have now released a new version of their Chrome browser, version 61.0.3163.100.

If you are looking at deploying Google Chrome using systems like Configuration Manager, WDS, SCUP or Group Policy, you will want to use their Google Chrome MSI installer to make it much easier.

You can now download the Google Chrome MSI installer direct from Google using the link below.

Download Google Chrome MSI

Download Google Chrome MSI

Google Chrome MSI Instructions

If you are pushing this out, you will want to use the Silent Installer switches, so this is the command line that you should use for this:

msiexec.exe /i “GoogleChromeStandaloneEnterprise.msi” /q /norestart

This means it will install quietly (using the /q switch) and will not reboot automatically (using the /norestart) switch.

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Water Saving & Pressure Increase using Rusee Filtration Shower Head

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A little off topic this one but we thought we would share this with our visitors anyway as it is a little bit like a technical innovation!

We purchased this shower head a few weeks ago as the water pressure in our bathroom is appalling. We thought for a few quid that it was worth trying it – and it was…

Basically it has a filtration system built into it (which you can see in the below images) and it is supposed to improve water pressure through it by 200% and also provide 30% water saving, so it’s a win all round.

Images

Water Saving & Pressure Increase using Rusee Filtration Shower Head 20

Water Saving & Pressure Increase using Rusee Filtration Shower Head 21

I must admit that I was very sceptical about this to begin with, but it has certainly improved the water pressure and it is a very smooth water output making for a much nicer shower.

So, for the small amount it cost it has made a big difference and well worth a try – click below to go over to Amazon to take a look for yourself.

4 Features of Retail Analytics That Help You Upscale Your Revenue

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Retailers in today’s era have a lot to know about their customers – know their likes, dislikes, what they are likely to buy, what they might avoid, what mode of payment do they prefer, what is their perception about the brand, etc. It’s not as overwhelming as it seems because now is the time for retail analytics to take over. A plethora of information awaits on the other side of this digital world, and there’s plenty of data to work on.

As told by Gartner, retailers cannot compete in digitalized marketplace without involving advanced analytics capabilities. By leveraging this data, retailers can improve their sales as well as customer service considerably. Below are a few features of retail analytics that can help you upscale your business revenue.

  1. Deal with accurate results

Analytics will always provide you with results that are accurate at all times. This will always let you make the correct decisions and help you create campaigns according to the statistics that you derive. You can get into customers’ minds and influence them for purchasing your products in a right mindset. Analytical data will also help you evaluate your sales profoundly and lets you see a detailed progress report whenever required.

  1. Assists in supply chain management

Analytics help you verify the demand for certain products during that time. This help in your supply chain management by carefully managing the flow of goods within your organization, as and when required. It always manages the flow of goods in terms of raw materials, inventory, and finished goods, everything from the point of conversion to the point of consumption. Synchronizing industry supply with your consumer demands and measuring performance also becomes considerably easy.

  1. Manage real-time performance

In-store analytics will provide you the tools for real time business development and helps you take action based on insights you get from your analytics. As your in-store sales get measurable, it becomes easier to engage consumers and make more conversions happen – offline as well as online. Also, making a note of what is in demand based on location, it gets easier to manage distribution with the help of a distribution management system. This system lets you segregate products the right way to all of your retail stores, letting you manage the sales as per demand.

  1. Manage your staff and avoid understaffing

Analytics let you determine when the demands will rise and drop. This will result in you not being surprised by a crowd with minimal staff to attend to them. This also puts strain on the staff and will result in less job satisfaction for them. The ultimate goal is not just to boost sales but also to look after the staff and consider their opinions as well. Managing an overflow of consumers will ensure that your staff has a backup when they require. Also, it affects brand reputation when customers do not get the assistance they need on time. Thus, analytics will help you foresee such occurrences and you will be at ease.

Adobe Flash Player MSI Installers v27.0.0.130

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Adobe have released another update to their Adobe Flash Player software, this time taking it up to version 27.0.0.130.

As always, you can download the executable file but if you want the MSI files so that you can load it into your Configuration Manager Software Catalog, you can get that here.

The update is also now available to import through System Center Update Publisher (SCUP) so you can inject it into your WSUS or Configuration Manager systems.

You can the download the MSI installers for Adobe Flash (ActiveX, Plugin, PPAPI) by clicking the download link below:

Download

Download Flash Player MSI Package

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