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Why Windows 7 updates are getting bigger

Windows 7's security rollups, the most comprehensive of the fixes it pushes out each Patch Tuesday, have almost doubled in size since Microsoft revamped the veteran operating system's update regimen last year.

According to Microsoft's own data, what it calls the "Security Quality Monthly Rollup" (rollup from here on) grew by more than 70% within the first dozen issued updates. From its October 2016 inception, the x86 version of the update increased from 72MB to 124.4MB, a 73% jump. Meanwhile, the always-larger 64-bit version went from an initial 119.4MB to 203.2MB 12 updates later, representing a 70% increase.

The swelling security updates were not, in themselves, a surprise. Last year, when Microsoft announced huge changes to how it serviced Windows 7, it admitted that rollups would put on pounds as the months pass. "The Rollups will start out small, but we expect that these will grow over time,' Nathan Mercer, a Microsoft product marketing manager, said at the time. Mercer's explanation: "A Monthly Rollup in October will include all updates for October, while November will include October and November updates, and so on."

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Mingis on Tech: Blockchain explained

It's the most disruptive technology since the arrival of the Internet.

Or maybe it's the next Linux, an open-source technology that offers great promise, but somehow never seems to make it to the mainstream world.

"It," in this case, is blockchain – the buzz-worthy distributed ledger technology that first came into widespread use with Bitcoin represents a new paradigm for the way information is shared. FinTech firms are embracing it and a variety of companies are already rushing to figure out how they can use it to save time and admin costs, according to Computerworld Senior Reporter Lucas Mearian.

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How Apple’s Safari browser can save your Christmas

While I see online ads as a necessary evil if you want to keep websites in business, I’m so annoyed at the way the latest ads services seem so focused on ruining everybody’s Christmas surprise.

The ads Grinch stole Christmas

This is what happens: Ads sites track where you go online; retailers track you too and all this information is shared. Look at an item online, see an ad for it on the next page you go to. Not only is this behavioural retargeting vastly creepy, but when it comes to Christmas these things make it impossible to keep secrets, particularly on a shared Mac. Been looking at [insert name of hot new obsessive teenage-focused product here] with a view to buying one to gift your child? Don’t be too upset if said child gets onto your computer to check their Bitcoin investment only to find themselves staring at ads for the object of their desire. Kids aren’t stupid – they know how ads work online (even if we don’t). What’s happened? Your Christmas surprise is spoiled and your teenager won’t believe in Santa Claus any more, even if they are looking for a flat Earth shadow during the next eclipse.

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5 more Windows admin tasks made easy with PowerShell

I’ve written a lot about Microsoft PowerShell on this site, but my favorite thing to do is show how to apply the scripting language to various tasks you already have to do as part of your regular role and responsibilities. In a previous article, I demonstrated how to accomplish five common administrative tasks using PowerShell.

In this piece I’ll take five more IT administrative tasks (this time mostly security-related) that with a GUI would be slow and boring and show you how to script them using PowerShell. 

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What is the cyber kill chain?
Concerned about your network defense? Watch this short video to learn the 7 stages of the cyber kill chain, a framework created by Lockheed Martin to outline the phases of a targeted cyberattack.
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