Amazon says an “unlikely” string of events prompted its Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family’s private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle, the AP reports. The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an employee of her husband contacted them to…
Documents released related to the iPhone “touch disease” class-action lawsuit that’s making its way through the courts suggest that Apple knew the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were far more susceptible to damage from bending than earlier models.
The problem, which was dubbed “Bendgate,” where iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets would bend during normal day-to-day usage was widely reported, but which at the time Apple downplayed. However, recently released court documents show that Apple was well aware of the problem.
According to the court documents, as reported by Motherboard, “Apple’s internal testing ‘determined that the iPhone 6 was 3.3 times more likely to bend than the iPhone 5s (the model immediately prior to the subject iPhones) and that the iPhone 6 Plus was 7.2 times more likely to bend than the iPhone 5s.'”
“One of the major concerns Apple identified prior to launching the iPhones,” Judge Lucy Koh wrote, “was that they were ‘likely to bend more easily when compared to previous generations’ something that Apple described as ‘expected behavior.'”
Despite these internal tests, publicly Apple was bullish, refusing to acknowledge that a problem existed, and going as far as to release the following statement in September 2014:
“Our iPhones are designed, engineered and manufactured to be both beautiful and sturdy. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus feature a precision engineered unibody enclosure constructed from machining a custom grade of 6000 series anodized aluminum, which is tempered for extra strength. They also feature stainless steel and titanium inserts to reinforce high stress locations and use the strongest glass in the smartphone industry. We chose these high-quality materials and construction very carefully for their strength and durability. We also perform rigorous tests throughout the entire development cycle including 3-point bending, pressure point cycling, sit, torsion, and user studies. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus meet or exceed all of our high quality standards to endure everyday, real life use.
“With normal use a bend in iPhone is extremely rare and through our first six days of sale, a total of nine customers have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus. As with any Apple product, if you have questions please contact Apple.”
“Touch Disease” is related to “Bendgate” in that stresses on the chassis of the iPhone are transferred to the logic board inside, and this flexion, in turn, causes chips controlling the display’s touch input to lift off the board.
The court documents also show that in May of 2016 – more than six months after the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus – Apple began using epoxy to strengthen this part of the logic board:
“After internal investigation, Apple determined underfill was necessary to resolve the problems caused by the touchscreen defect. As Plaintiffs explain, ‘[u]nderfill is a bead of epoxy encapsulant that is placed on a circuit chip to reinforce its attachment to the board substrate and to stiffen the surrounding assembly…. Underfill is used to prevent the manifestation of chip defects induced by bending because it reinforces the connections and prevents them from bending away from the substrate.’ Apple had used underfill on the preceding iPhone generation but did not start using it on the Meson (U2402) chip in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus until May 2016.”
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
If this weren’t so infuriating it’d be heartbreaking. According to multiple reports, Microsoft is pushing Windows 10 version 1803 onto PCs that are specifically set to bypass the upgrade until it’s declared fit for business use. Susan Bradley has details.
We saw forced upgrades three times with Win10 version 1709.
- In mid-November 2017, Microsoft pushed many Win10 1703 customers with “Current Branch for Business” selected onto 1709.
- In mid-January 2018, the company pushed many Win10 1703 customers onto 1709, even though they had “feature update” deferrals set to 365 days.
- In early March 2018, Microsoft pushed Win10 1703 customers onto 1709, based on the company’s contention that it has a right to do so if telemetry is turned off (Diagnostic Data level set to zero).
In particular, the people
Users complaining of a forced 1803 upgrade have set the “Choose when updates are installed” advanced update option to “Semi-Annual Channel.”
In Microsoft’s mixed-up world of update terminology (which has changed at least three times in the past year), “Semi-Annual Channel” – formerly “Current Branch for Business” – is supposed to delay upgrades until Microsoft determines that the new version of Win10 is fit for human consumption, or, presumably, paying business customers.
This comes on the heels of the original rollout three weeks ago, when those with the temerity to “Check for updates” were deemed seekers and treated to an upgrade with no option to stop it. It seems “Check” has a different meaning in Win10 update terminology.
Those who don’t have branch readiness set to “Semi-Annual Channel” – including all Win10 Home customers, who can’t set branch readiness – are considered cannon fodder, ready for the unpaid beta testing phase whenever Microsoft sees fit.
In the past, Microsoft has said that it takes about four months to get their final, best version of Win10 debugged to corporate standards. Now, the length of delay – and the method for notifying folks that the new version has passed muster – is open to debate. The method and delay have changed with each of the Win10 versions (1507, 1511, 1607, 1703, 1709) that we’ve seen.
It isn’t clear at this point if those being upgraded to 1803 have set their Diagnostic Data level to zero. We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.
Microsoft, of course, isn’t saying a word.
Bradley recommends that you use wushowhide to search and destroy the upgrade before it gets installed. Of course, you have to remember to run wushowhide prior to clicking the “Check for updates” button. Every. Single. Time.
Scratch that upgrade itch on the AskWoody Lounge.
If you follow a lot of Android news, odds are, you’ve heard at least something about a mysterious Google project known as Fuchsia. And odds are, you’re at least somewhat confused about what it actually is and what it’s intended to do.
Let me assure you: You aren’t alone.
Fuchsia, for the uninitiated, is an “early-stage experimental project” within Google. It’s been under development since at least 2017 — and it’s open source, which means anyone can peek at the code and even install the software on certain devices. (Pro tip: You can actually check it out from your browser right now, too, thanks to an independently created Fuchsia web demo. Fair warning, though: There’s really not much to it.)
Fuchsia, in its current bare-bones form
Google describes Fuchsia as “a new operating system” designed for “modern phones and modern personal computers with fast processors, non-trivial amounts of RAM with arbitrary peripherals doing open-ended computation.” Right.
That oh-so-vivid depiction aside, there’s very little in the way of solid info about what this whole thing is all about or why it’s being developed. And in the absence of such firm information, what do we get? Guesses, theories, and other unsubstantiated assumptions that then get repeated to the point where people assume they’re facts.
The most common such conclusion is that Fuchsia is meant to become a unified replacement for both Android and Chrome OS — a single new Google operating system that’d stretch across laptops and phones and provide a consistent and more closely controlled framework for future devices. Unlike Android and Chrome OS, Fuchsia is based not on Linux but on Google’s own custom foundation — one that could, in theory, lead to simpler and more streamlined system upgrades (something we all know is a constant struggle with Android in particular).
So is that actually true? Well, maybe. Anything’s certainly possible; after all, this is Google. The company has pulled off its share of eyebrow-raising flip-flops and crazy-seeming moves before. And outside of Google itself, no one actually knows what the plan is for Fuchsia or what Google hopes it’ll achieve.
But particularly right now, following what we saw at Google I/O and in the weeks surrounding it, I think flat-out accepting the notion that Fuchsia is destined to replace Android and Chrome OS as a foregone conclusion — as so many people seem to be doing these days — is a mistake.
Allow me to elaborate on a few critical points — and stick with me, because each part of this is an important piece of a puzzle we’re assembling.
1. Android and Chrome OS are massive brands and ecosystems — with massive investments, adoption, and value
Plain and simple, brands like these don’t spring up overnight. Android has become a global phenomenon in the 10 years since its inception — and Chrome OS, while sometimes still ignorantly dismissed as irrelevant, is rapidly expanding to become an all-purpose platform with uniquely powerful possibilities. It’s also hugely significant in education, accounting for 60% of all education-based device shipments in the U.S. last year (compared to 22% for Windows and a combined 17% for MacOS and iOS together).
Numerous manufacturers around the world are heavily invested in both brands, meanwhile — and in an even bigger-picture and longer-term sense, Google has worked hard to plant metaphorical seeds and get countless students committed to Chromebooks early on with the goal of turning them into life-long users.
These aren’t disposable brands or ecosystems, in other words — far from it. The investments involved and familiarity achieved are immense and not easily replicable. Even as Google shifts its focus increasingly to the notion of “Google” serving as the unifying thread between its products, Android and Chrome OS are worth a lot — to Google and to other associated players. And while Google does have a history of making puzzling pivots, the idea of it doing something as drastic as dumping Android and Chrome OS altogether is a difficult move to imagine.
2. Google only seems to be ramping up its commitment to both platforms as of late
While the popular narrative of the moment suggests the first Fuchsia devices could show up as soon as this fall or early the following year, Google is continuing to push forward with Android and Chrome OS in ways that don’t seem to line up with such a rapidly approaching shift.
I’m not just talking about the typical OS version updates; I’m talking about broader moves like the ongoing alignment of Android and Chrome OS — something to which substantial resources are being devoted — and the accompanying push for developers to embrace that two-for-one model.
To wit: Google is in the midst of bringing full support for Linux apps to Chromebooks, in large part to allow developers to run cross-platform coding tools and encourage them to create Android apps optimized for Chromebooks as well as for regular Android devices. The company also just added a Chrome OS emulator to its Android Studio development tool to further that goal and encourage developers to work with Chromebooks in mind, even if they don’t have a Chrome OS device present for testing.
Think, too, about all the work going on right now to restructure Android in a way that makes it easier for device-makers to process OS updates. It may not be the magic answer some are hoping it’ll be, but it’s a huge investment in rejiggering the very core of the Android operating system — which seems like a strange thing to bother doing if Android is set to be abandoned in a year or so.
Then there’s the public presentation. At this year’s I/O event, the Android section of the keynote kicked off with an elaborate video that touted Android as being “the most popular mobile operating system in the world.” The introduction revolved around the theme of Android being open and ended with a quote that was presented on the screen and read aloud:
If you believe in openness, if you believe in choice, if you believe in innovation from everyone, then welcome to Android.
Shortly thereafter, Android Engineering VP Dave Burke took the stage and talked about Google’s original goal with Android: “to build a mobile platform that was free and open to everyone” — “and today,” he went on, “that idea is thriving.”
Again, it’s tough to reconcile the choice to make such a spirited and prominently placed presentation with the notion that this is a platform on the brink of being abandoned. Something about that just doesn’t add up.
3. Fuchsia in context: a more nuanced possibility
In thinking about Fuchsia and its possible implications, we have to consider the context of Google and its tendency to “explore” and “experiment.”
For years, we heard about the certainty that Google was “merging” Android and Chrome OS. The reality turned out to be the more nuanced alignment of the two platforms that we’re still seeing take shape today. More recently, the rumors revolved around something known as Andromeda — an internal Google project that would have brought Android and Chrome OS together into a single new platform designed to run across all forms of devices. At one point, we even had a specific date for its big reveal — one that, of course, never amounted to anything.
Crucially, the fact that none of that stuff came to fruition doesn’t mean there were no nuggets of reality involved. More likely, it means Google explored and experimented with some concepts internally but ultimately ended up abandoning them or pivoting in different directions.
Speaking of pivoting, when addressing a question about Fuchsia during a session at last year’s I/O event, Burke made an interesting remark: “Like lots of early stage projects, it’s gonna probably pivot and morph.”
So perhaps with Fuchsia, a more nuanced implementation could also end up surfacing — something in which the effort’s ideas and advances are utilized but done so in a way that doesn’t necessarily replace Android or Chrome OS, as the current narrative implies. Perhaps Fuchsia could instead end up becoming a new underlying structure for one or both platforms while still leaving the original outward-facing identities intact.
If we really want to read some tea leaves, in fact, there’s actually some evidence that suggests such an outcome might not be so far-fetched. Google’s open-source repository for Fushia includes a tantalizing bit of text that seems almost like a riddle: “Pink + Purple == Fuchsia (a new Operating System)”
On Twitter, Fuchsia Engineering Director Chris McKillop once casually noted that “pink” was a reference to the Taligent project — a failed 90s-era effort by Apple to replace MacOS with a newer alternative. Per Wikipedia (the emphasis here is mine):
Pink was to be a completely new object-oriented OS implemented in C++ on top of a new microkernel, running a new GUI [graphical user interface] that nevertheless looked and felt like the existing Mac. In addition to running programs written for Pink, the system was to be capable of running existing Mac OS programs.
As for “purple,” one needn’t stretch much to imagine it’s a reference to Project Purple, the codename for the original Apple iPhone. McKillop himself was a member of the team that worked on that device, and his aforementioned Twitter conversation was with an engineer who also worked at Apple during that same period. In the thread, that engineer asked McKillop if “the purple in ‘pink + purple'” was “the purple we know” — to which McKillop responded “yes.”
Now, again, we’re reading tea leaves here — but the fact that the slogan posted within Google’s Fuchsia code repository appears to reference the combination of a pivotal smartphone product and an effort to replace a long-existing OS with a more modern one that’d look and feel like the original and support the same set of applications sure seems somewhat significant.
Maybe, just maybe, Fuchsia could become a part of Android and/or Chrome OS without actually replacing them. Maybe it could be integrated into the operating systems in a manner that keeps their brands, ecosystems, and even appearances in place. Maybe Fuchsia could come into our lives without much of any disruption — and without the vast majority of users even realizing anything had changed.
I sure as hell can’t say for sure. What I can say, though, is that blindly accepting the notion that this mysterious experimental effort is going to replace Google’s two biggest platforms seems ill-advised. We simply don’t know the specifics — and as we’ve been reminded plenty of times before, things are rarely as black and white as they initially appear.
Even with a concept as bold as Fuchsia, the far less dramatic shades of gray may end up being the most important hues of all.
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Video: WWDC 2017 recap: Apple unveils iOS 11,iMac Pro, a new iPad Pro and HomePod
WWDC 2018 is around the corner, and like past years, you will be able to watch it online.
WWDC is Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. The 2018 conference will be held from June 4 to June 8 in San Jose, Calif. The multi-day event will consist of a live-streamed keynote, where CEO Tim Cook will take the stage, followed by several Apple executives, in order to introduce what the company has been working on lately.
Read also: Dear Apple: iOS is now a toxic hellstew
Immediately following the keynote on day one, the conference will host several sessions that developers can attend to meet with over 1,000 Apple engineers.
Some of these developer sessions will be streamed, too.
What time is the WWDC 2018 keynote?
Apple recently confirmed the date and time of its opening keynote at WWDC 2018. The company will officially kick things off June 4 at 10am PST (1pm EST/6pm GMT). Its keynote address and four-day conference will be held at the McEnery Convention Center.
How to watch the WWDC 2018 keynote online
Apple does not allow its live-streamed events to be embedded elsewhere online. However, you can use Apple’s own website and apps to tune in and watch in real time.
If you’re on a Mac user, you can watch the WWDC keynote on Apple’s Events page. You’ll need to use the Safari browser on a Mac running macOS Sierra 10.12 or later.
PC users can stream the keynote from Apple’s Events page, too. Apple recommends using the Microsoft Edge browser on a PC running Windows 10. Other platforms may also access the keynote’s live stream using the most recent versions of the Chrome and Firefox browsers.
iPhone or iPad
Using the same Apple events page, the WWDC keynote stream can be accessed on an iPhone and iPad running iOS 10 or later. The official WWDC app for iOS devices also includes the keynote’s live stream as well as live-streamed developer sessions.
Apple further offers an Apple Events app. The app doesn’t provide the full WWDC experience provided by the developer-focused WWDC app mentioned above, but it does provide access to every one of the company’s keynote speeches in recent years.
Apple TV users can watch the keynote in real time (if they own a second-generation or later model running the latest software or tvOS). From the set-top box’s menu screen, scroll until you should see a tab for the WWDC Keynote. From there, you can access the stream.
What to expect from the WWDC 2018 keynote
Between the opening keynote and developer sessions, Apple is expected to introduce several platform changes. The rumor mill has indicated we will see the latest versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS unveiled. Last year, Apple’s opening keynote also featured hardware announcements, including refreshes to the MacBook Pro and iMac lines.
Apple even previewed a new iMac Pro and the HomePod at WWDC 2017. This year, a 13-inch MacBook with a Retina display is rumored. There has also been talk about a cheaper, Beats-branded HomePod, possibly an iPhone X-style iPad Pro, and an updated iPhone SE.
For a round up of all the leaks and rumors so far, see our gallery below.
Video: Windows 10 April 2018 Update: Here’s what you can expect.
Microsoft has released its second new build of the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, bringing six fixes and a resolution for the boot problems affecting PCs with Intel and Toshiba SSDs.
The new update KB4100403 moves the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, or Windows 10 version 1803, to OS Build 17134.81. Users can check for updates in settings or get the package from Microsoft Update Catalog.
Microsoft notes that KB4100403 resolves the issue affecting certain Intel SSDs, which would get stuck on a UEFI screen or stop working when users attempted to upgrade to version 1803.
Microsoft is still recommending average users simply wait until it offers version 1803 for specific device models. However, advanced users can from May 25 manually grab version 1803 via settings, by which time it will include the fix for the Intel SSD glitch.
The Toshiba SSD problem is slightly different. The upgrade to version 1803 resulted in certain SSDs having a lower battery life.
Microsoft advises users with Toshiba XG4 Series, Toshiba XG5 Series, or Toshiba BG3 Series SSDs to wait until it offers the update after the upcoming June Patch Tuesday. Advanced users can manually get the update with the fix now from settings.
The upgrade to version 1803 brought plenty of new features and security hardening, but it hasn’t been smooth sailing for some early adopters.
This week users report they’ve been experiencing a “black screen” and vanishing icons issues when upgrading. Microsoft has also had to fix an issue that froze devices when using Chrome.
And Microsoft also started blocking some Dell Alienware devices from installing versions 1803 because of an incompatibility issue causing devices to display a black screen after resuming from battery-saver mode. The problem appeared to affect laptops with a discrete GPU (dGPU) connected to the display.
KB4100403 doesn’t address the Alienware dGPU issue but it does fix a problem that “may cause Windows Hello enrollment to fail on certain hardware that has dGPUs”.
It fixes a bug that caused Edge or other apps to stop responding when creating a new “audio endpoint”, such as speakers or headphones, while audio or video playback is starting.
There are also fixes for Internet Explorer, and a time-zone information fix.
Previous and related coverage
But the difference between Chrome and Edge has shrunk dramatically over the past two years.
Is third-party antivirus to blame for the latest Windows 10 update issues?
Microsoft has begun the long, slow roll-out of Windows 10 version 1803 via Windows Update. Here’s how you can take charge of the update process, avoid unpleasant surprises, and schedule the installation for a convenient time.
Want Windows 10 to run faster? We’ve got help. Take a few minutes to try out these tips, and your machine will be zippier and less prone to performance and system issues.
1. Change your power settings
If you’re using Windows 10’s Power saver plan, you’re slowing down your PC. That plan reduces your PC’s performance in order to save energy. (Even desktop PCs typically have a Power saver plan.) Changing your power plan from Power saver to High performance or Balanced will give you an instant performance boost.
To do it, launch Control Panel, then select Hardware and Sound > Power Options. You’ll typically see two options: Balanced (recommended) and Power saver. (Depending on your make and model, you might see other plans here as well, including some branded by the manufacturer.) To see the High performance setting, click the down arrow by Show additional plans.
To change your power setting, simply choose the one you want, then exit Control Panel. High performance gives you the most oomph, but uses the most power; Balanced finds a median between power use and better performance; and Power saver does everything it can to give you as much battery life as possible. Desktop users have no reason to choose Power saver, and even laptop users should consider the Balanced option when unplugged — and High performance when connected to a power source.Preston Gralla
Change your power settings in Control Panel to give your PC a performance boost.
2. Disable programs that run on startup
One reason your Windows 10 PC may feel sluggish is you’ve got too many programs running in the background — programs that you may never use, or only rarely use. Stop them from running, and your PC will run more smoothly.
Start by launching the Task Manager: Press Ctrl-Shift-Esc or right-click the lower-right corner of your screen and select Task Manager. If the Task Manager launches as a compact app with no tabs, click “More details” at the bottom of your screen. The Task Manager will then appear in all of its full-tabbed glory. There’s plenty you can do with it, but we’re going to focus only on killing unnecessary programs that run at startup.
Click the Startup tab. You’ll see a list of the programs and services that launch when you start Windows. Included on the list is each program’s name as well as its publisher, whether it’s enabled to run on startup, and its “Startup impact,” which is how much it slows down Windows 10 when the system starts up.
To stop a program or service from launching at startup, right-click it and select “Disable.” This doesn’t disable the program entirely; it only prevents it from launching at startup — you can always run the application after launch. Also, if you later decide you want it to launch at startup, you can just return to this area of the Task Manager, right-click the application and select “Enable.”Microsoft
You can use the Task Manager to help get information about programs that launch at startup and disable any you don’t need.
Many of the programs and services that run on startup may be familiar to you, like OneDrive or Evernote Clipper. But you may not recognize many of them. (Anyone who immediately knows what “bzbui.exe” is, please raise your hand. No fair Googling it first.)
The Task Manager helps you get information about unfamiliar programs. Right-click an item and select Properties for more information about it, including its location on your hard disk, whether it has a digital signature, and other information such as the version number, the file size and the last time it was modified.
You can also right-click the item and select “Open file location.” That opens File Explorer and takes it to the folder where the file is located, which may give you another clue about the program’s purpose.
Finally, and most helpfully, you can select “Search online” after you right-click. Bing will then launch with links to sites with information about the program or service.
If you’re really nervous about one of the listed applications, you can go to a site run by Reason Software called Should I Block It? and search for the file name. You’ll usually find very solid information about the program or service.
Now that you’ve selected all the programs that you want to disable at startup, the next time you restart your computer, the system will be a lot less concerned with unnecessary program.
3. Turn off search indexing
Windows 10 indexes your hard disk in the background, allowing you – in theory – to search your PC more quickly than if no indexing were being done. But slower PCs that use indexing can see a performance hit, and you can give them a speed boost by turning off indexing. Even if you have an SSD disk, turning off indexing can improve your speed as well, because the constant writing to disk that indexing does can eventually slow down SSDs.
To get the maximum benefit in Windows 10, you need to turn indexing off completely. To do so, first type services.msc in the Start Menu search box, and click the Services result that come up. The Services app then appears. Scroll down to either Indexing Service or Windows Search in the list of services. Double-click it, and from the screen that appears, click Stop. Then reboot. Your searches may be slightly slower, although you may not notice the difference. But you should get an overall performance boost.Microsoft
Here’s how to turn off Windows 10 indexing.
If you’d like, you can turn off indexing for only files in certain locations. To do this, first type index in the Start Menu search box, and click the Indexing Options result that appears. The Indexing Options page of Control Panel appears. Click the Modify button and you’ll see a list of locations that are being indexed, such as Microsoft Outlook, your personal files, and so on. Uncheck the boxes next to any location, and it will no longer be indexed.
4. Clean out your hard disk
If you’ve got a bloated hard disk filled with files you don’t need, you could be slowing down your PC. Cleaning it out can give you a speed boost. Windows 10 has a surprisingly useful built-in tool for doing this called Storage Sense. Go to Settings > System > Storage and at the top of the screen – in the Storage Sense section – move the toggle from Off to On. When you do this, Windows constantly monitors your PC, and deletes old junk files you no longer need; temporary files; files in the Downloads folder that haven’t been changed in a month; and old Recycle Bin files.
You can customize how Storage Sense works and also use it to free up even more space than it normally would. Underneath Storage Sense, click “Change how we free up space automatically.” From the screen that appears, you can change how often Storage Sense deletes files (every day, every week, every month or when Windows decides). You can also tell Storage Sense to delete files in your Download folder, depending on how long they’ve been there. And you can also set how long to wait to delete files in the Recycle Bin automatically.
Here’s how to customize the way Storage Sense works, and to tell it to delete old versions of Windows.
You can also delete old versions of Windows that might be hogging space. At the bottom of the screen, check the box next to “Delete previous versions of Windows.” Storage Sense will then delete old versions of Windows ten days after you’ve installed an upgrade. Note that if you do this, you won’t be able to revert to the older version of Windows.
5. Clean out your Registry
Under the Windows hood, the Registry tracks and controls just about everything about the way Windows works and looks. That includes information about where your programs are stored, which DLLs they use and share, what file types should be opened by which program or just about everything else.
But the Registry is a very messy thing. When you uninstall a program, for example, that program’s settings don’t always get cleaned up in the Registry. So over time, it can get filled with countless outdated settings of all types. And that can lead to system slowdowns.
Don’t even think of trying to clean any of this out yourself. It’s impossible. To do it, you need a Registry Cleaner. There are plenty available, some free and some paid. But there’s really no need to outright buy one, because the free Auslogics Registry Cleaner does a solid job.
The Registry tracks and controls just about everything about the way Windows works and looks.
Before using Auslogics or any other Registry Cleaner, you should back up your Registry so you can restore it if anything goes wrong. (Auslogics Registry Cleaner does this for you as well, but it can’t hurt to have it backed up twice.) To do your own Registry backup, type regedit.ext in the search box, then press Enter. That runs the Registry editor. From the File menu, select Export. From the screen that appears, make sure to choose the “All” option in the Export range section at the bottom of the screen. Then choose a file location and file name and click Save. To restore the Registry, open the Registry editor, select Import from the File menu, then open the file you saved.
Now download, install and run Auslogics Registry Cleaner. On the left-hand side of the screen you can select the kinds of Registry issues you want to clean up – for example, File Associations, Internet or Fonts. I generally select them all.
Next tell it to scan the Registry for problems. To do that, click “Scan Now” and from a drop-down menu that appears select Scan. That lets you first examine the Registry problems it finds. If you instead choose “Scan and Repair,” it makes the fixes without you checking them.
It now scans your Registry for errors, then shows you what it found. It ranks the errors according to their severity, to help you decide which to fix. Click Repair when you’ve made your decision, and make sure that “Back up Changes” is checked, so you can restore the Registry easily if something goes wrong.
6. Disable shadows, animations and visual effects
Windows 10 has some nice eye candy — shadows, animations and visual effects. On fast, newer PCs, these don’t usually affect system performance. But on slower and older PCs, they can exact a performance hit.
Having assisted hundreds of enterprises in developing a new visibility strategy as they move to Kubernetes, I’ve learned a few things about how organizations learn, evolve and adopt a new method of application observability. Open source is usually essential to developing this understanding.
In the cloud-native monitoring world, Prometheus is widely considered the place to start. Just like Kubernetes is the leading open source container orchestrator in the cloud-native world, Prometheus is the leading software choice for open source cloud-native monitoring. If you’re looking for more detail on what Prometheus is and how it works, read this nice Prometheus monitoring summary. While most organizations end up not using unsupported open source in production, many start here. Where you end up depends on your own business’s requirements. Let me briefly cover the three phases I typically see enterprises go through on their way to a production-ready strategy.
Much like the adoption of containers or Kubernetes doesn’t happen overnight, neither will an accompanying visibility strategy. The good news is that with Prometheus, your developers can explore without constraints of time or budget.
At this phase you’re looking for:
- What does it take to get basic instrumentation in place?
- Will it work for our own software?
- What kind of alerts can I create?
- How much detail does it provide for root cause analysis?
Prometheus might require some setup in terms of its instrumentation model or its query language, but that’s a low cost to pay for freedom of exploration. Alternatively, commercial products may offer free tiers or trials with more constraints on time or features, but no management overhead.
With some basic experimentation out of the way, it’s time to get more data into the system and understand what this looks like with a slightly broader deployment. To do that, consider two forms of instrumentation:
- Use exporters. The Prometheus community has dozens of exporters designed to simplify scraping metrics from common software components that already expose metrics through an endpoint. They can easily be deployed through Kubernetes in a systematic way. These exporters use a push model, which may be problematic security-wise depending on the complexity of your production environment.
- Use the Prometheus metrics format. Prometheus specifies a container and microservices friendly format that allows you to emit custom metrics directly from your applications. This is essentially to enable you to deeply observe your own code. Note that if your development team already uses a metrics format like StatsD or JMX, you may be able to use that already, but it will likely require greater operational effort and have reduced functionality. More on that in the next section.
OK, so now your team is gaining confidence and you’ve got the actual metrics you want, we’re done right? Not quite. Time to get into production.
This might come as a shocker, but your experiments will likely look nothing like your own real-world production environment 12 months down the road. Let me run through a few of the critical questions for you to consider before you operationalize your new monitoring strategy so you’re not blindsided later:
- Does the solution meet scaling requirements? How much data is coming in, and how long do you want to store it? Are you comfortable managing many databases or do you want it all centralized?
- How will you control access to the data? Will you limit data by asking development teams to meet security and compliance requirements?
- What happens with metrics that aren’t in Prometheus format? Will you find a way to support them, especially as legacy applications move to containers?
- Will the query language model work as you grow? PromQL is powerful and flexible, and it will be easily adopted among your developers with time. But do your platform operations and support teams have those skills? Will you make the effort to teach them what they need to know?
- And finally, how much resource are you willing to spend in ongoing maintenance? Every system requires some. You’ll need to decide if you want to pay that cost through human resources, through capital resources in the form of Prometheus support, or by licensing a commercial product.
Along the way, you invariably will have to answer the classic build-versus-buy question: Should you build something from open source and maintain it yourself, or buy something that will allow you to migrate your experiment easily and simplify your life going forward?
These questions will help define your monitoring strategy in a successful manner for your next generation container platform. With a carefully measured approach, you’ll be able to grow into a successful Prometheus deployment and also figure out the correct support model to build for your organization.
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