Microsoft issuing free Windows 7 fix after introducing bug in final updates – Blog – 10 minute

Facepalm: It’s been almost two weeks since Microsoft officially ended its extended support for Windows 7, but the Redmond firm is introducing another free update for the OS that fixes a bug it introduced in the final public updates.
As reported by The Verge, one of Microsoft’s final free Windows 7 updates—KB4534310—is causing wallpaper problems for some users. After installation, the image can display as black when set to Stretch. The issue only appears to affect stretched wallpapers, fit, fill, tile, or center options still work normally.
Microsoft had initially said that the fix would only be available to organizations who pay the expensive Extended Security Updates (ESUs), but it has now decided to offer it for free to everyone running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.

While the bug isn’t exactly a major one, the fact Microsoft introduced it just as the company stopped supporting non-paying Windows 7 users is a bad look. Pushing out the fix to everyone will help avoid some negative PR.
ESUs aren’t cheap. During the first year, those using Windows 7 Enterprise will pay $25 per machine. This doubles to $50 in the second year and goes up to $100 for the third year. It’s even more expensive for those using Windows 7 Pro. ESUs for this version start at $50 before going up to $100 in year two and $200 during year three.
Many businesses have been slow to migrate from Windows 7 to Windows 10, including the German government, which has to pay Microsoft around $886,000 for ESUs.
In other Windows 7 news, the Free Software Foundation is demanding that the OS be released as free software.

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Lenovo issues driver and firmware updates for ThinkPads with faulty USB-C ports – Blog – 10 minute

What just happened? Lenovo seems to be having a widespread issue with Thunderbolt Controllers on its Thinkpad line-up of laptops and has put up a support page containing fixes for its affected machines, including variants of the X1 Carbon, X1 Yoga, T-series, and the P-Series mobile workstations.
If you own a ThinkPad laptop that’s experiencing connectivity issues over its USB-C port, chances are that it suffers from a corrupted firmware issued by the company in August last year.
Initially reported by Notebookcheck, the problem seems exclusive to ThinkPads with Thunderbolt 3 support over USB-C and users might observe one or more of the following symptoms:

USB-C port not working
Intel Thunderbolt controller not visible in the OS/Device Manager
USB-C or Thunderbolt docking stations not visible or having connectivity problems
HDMI output not available
System battery not charging with a USB-C power adapter connected to the USB-C port
Intel Thunderbolt pop-up error message
Intel Thunderbolt safe mode error message
BIOS Thunderbolt communication error or hang during POST

The company notes that these symptoms may occur after 6 to 12 months of typical usage.

USB-C debuted on the ThinkPad series in 2017
In addition to these, Lenovo has posted the list of affected systems on its support page (38 variants in total) and tabulated the driver and firmware packages for users to download.
It also recommends that “the Driver Package (Intel Thunderbolt software) be installed first, followed by the Firmware Package (Intel Thunderbolt firmware) second,” while users who continue to see the aforementioned symptoms post-patch should contact the company’s Technical Support staff.

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Sonos kills software updates for legacy products and customers aren’t happy – Blog – 10 minute

What just happened? Sonos earlier this week set off a firestorm among its most loyal customers when it announced that some legacy products would no longer be receiving software updates. For transition products like those that came out before software updates were a common occurrence, it is proving to be an issue.
Affected products include the original Zone Players, Connect and Connect: Amp (launched in 2006 and sold through 2015), the Bridge (launched in 2007), the first-gen Play:5 (launched in 2009) and the CR200, also launched in 2009. Updates will stop coming down the pipe in May 2020, the company said.
Sonos said it is proud of the fact that the products they build last a long time, noting that 92 percent of the products they’ve ever shipped are still in use today. Over time, however, technology has advanced at an exponential rate and some of their oldest products have been stretched to their technical limits in terms of processing power and memory.
Without new updates, Sonos said, access to services and overall functionality will eventually be disrupted.
It’s a concern that earlier generations of people and products simply never had to contend with. Back in the day, a new product was expected to perform exactly the same on the day it gets retired as it did on the day it was new. Nowadays, you have to factor software lifespan into the equation as products can be put out to pasture even if their hardware is still perfectly capable.

To help with the transition, Sonos offers a 30 percent discount on the purchase of new equipment when trading in your old gear. Products submitted for trade in will be put into recycle mode which deletes all personally identifiable information and preps them for recycling. Essentially, this irreversible mode bricks the item so it can’t be resold.
If you’d prefer to hang on to your original purchase, that’s perfectly acceptable, too. Just know that, eventually, one day, it will lose functionality and stop working as intended.
Even with the trade in offer, many are miffed. Lots of users have taken to Twitter to voice their displeasure. One user said that nobody spends thousands of dollars on high-end speakers and expects them to be rendered obsolete.
Masthead credit: Sonos dog by Vantage_DS. Plants by Getty.

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Sonos to deny software updates to owners of older equipment | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

Speaker company Sonos will cut off its most loyal customers from future software updates entirely unless they replace their old equipment for newer models, it has announced.
The policy is unusual even within the novelty-obsessed technology industry, for the scope of the impact: customers who have a range of Sonos products, including the Connect, Bridge and first-generation Play:5 speakers, will not only never be able to update those devices but will also be blocked from updating any newer device that is connected to them.
“We’re extremely proud of the fact that we build products that last a long time, and that listeners continue to enjoy them,” the company said in a blogpost announcing the move. “In fact, 92% of the products we’ve ever shipped are still in use today. That is unheard of in the world of consumer electronics. However, we’ve now come to a point where some of the oldest products have been stretched to their technical limits in terms of memory and processing power.”
Sonos makes speakers and associated hardware that can be networked into a multi-room audio system. Known for being comparatively expensive, the company’s products nonetheless have a devoted following of customers.

A freeze on software updates will initially have little effect, but over time it will eventually prevent the speakers from working at all, “particularly as partners evolve their technology”, Sonos said. Unmentioned is the cybersecurity impact: without software updates, security vulnerabilities will remain unfixed, putting users’ networks at risk if they do not replace their devices.
The company has come under particular fire for the types of devices included in the block. Many are the sort that are physically built into the homes of users, as part of a wired-in multi-room audio arrangement. Others, including the Play:5, are high-quality speakers that continue to work for their intended purpose, playing audio.
And while Sonos emphasised the age of the technology in its initial release, noting that some of the hardware was launched almost 20 years ago, the company did not acknowledge that the devices were sold to new customers much more recently. In fact, the Sonos Connect remains on sale today, for £349 direct from the company itself. There is no note on the store page to warn would-be purchasers that the device will receive no further updates.
The company offered an alternative solution for users who want to continue to receive software updates: enable Recycle Mode on their older hardware, a setting that Sonos launched to some controversy in November. When Recycle Mode is enabled, Sonos credits the owner with a voucher worth 30% of the cost of the device – then sends a software update that renders the hardware unusable in the future.
“Anyone even remotely familiar with recycling can tell you the mantra ‘reduce, reuse, recycle,’” one user argued. “Recycling takes energy and, while it saves materials, reuse is always better. Sonos is throwing any claimed environmental friendliness in the trash in order to sell more speakers.”
At the time, Sonos said that Recycle Mode was optional, for customers who felt that “having modern Sonos devices capable of delivering these new experiences is important”. It added, in replies to concerned customers, that “we have no plans to suddenly make these devices obsolete”.
In recent months, Sonos has become more aggressive about trying to maintain profitability in the face of tough competition from rival technology platforms such as Apple, Google and Amazon. As well as the decision to end support for some devices, the company also launched a lawsuit against Google, claiming that it stole Sonos’s intellectual property and used to launch its own smart speaker, the Google Home. Sonos would have sued Amazon for the same infringement, its CEO said, but it felt that it only had the resources to fight one legal battle at a time.
Sonos did not reply to requests for comment from the Guardian.

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Sonos customers up in arms over move to stop updates for older speakers – Cloud – Hardware – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sonos Inc is facing a social media firestorm after the wireless speaker pioneer decided to stop software updates for some of its older products.
Hours after the company made the announcement on Tuesday, customers went on Twitter using the trending hashtag #SonosBoycott and tagging the company’s chief executive officer, Patrick Spence, with their questions.
“@Patrick_Spence would you like to buy my 3 yr old @Sonos equipment? I guess you know how to use it as a doorstop soon,” one Twitter user, @itnopred, asked the CEO.
Customers received an email from Sonos saying the company would no longer support some models launched between 2006 and 2009 after May.
Sonos gave customers the option to either continue using the products without any new updates and features in the future or buy a new Sonos product with a 30% credit for each product replaced.
“Is this some kind of sick joke? … How to kill a brand 101. Your discount is a joke,” @Ben_Willee tweeted.
Spence has not personally responded to Twitter users, but the Sonos support team has been replying to irate customers.
“As this is the first time we’ve had to end software updates for any music player, we recognize this is new for Sonos owners, just as it is for Sonos,” a Sonos spokesman said in a statement.
“We’ve now come to the point where our oldest products have been stretched to their technical limits in terms of memory and processing power.”
Sonos’ speakers and the company’s tie-ups with around 100 music streaming providers, including Apple Music and Spotify, have attracted audiophiles around the world. The company, founded in 2002, listed on the stock exchange in 2018.
But as Amazon Inc’s Echo, Google’s Home and Apple’s HomePod entered the market, the Santa Barbara, California-based company faced pressure over pricing and the variety of its products.
“This is nothing more than a big rip off by a company that just went public … I will never purchase their products again. I hope they go bankrupt,” Facebook user Stephen Salay posted in a private group for Sonos users.
Many customers also highlighted the environmental aspect of the move at a time when people are buying more and more devices and then abandoning them quickly, increasing landfill waste.
Shares of the company were down 1.2 percent at US$14.62 in early trading on Wednesday.
 

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Adobe Releases First 2020 Patch Tuesday Software Updates – Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Adobe today released software updates to patch a total of 9 new security vulnerabilities in two of its widely used applications, Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Illustrator.
It’s the first Patch Tuesday for the year 2020 and one of the lightest patch releases in a long time for Adobe users.
Moreover, none of the security vulnerabilities patched this month were either publicly disclosed or found being actively exploited in the wild.

5 of the 9 security vulnerabilities are ‘critical’ in severity, and all of them affect Adobe Illustrator CC versions 24.0 and earlier, which were reported to the company by Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs researcher Honggang Ren.
According to an advisory published by Adobe, all five critical issues in Adobe Illustrator software are memory corruption bugs that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code on targeted systems in the context of the current user.
The rest 4 security vulnerabilities affect Adobe Experience Manager—a comprehensive content management solution for building websites, mobile apps, and forms—none of which are critical in severity but should be patched at your earliest convenience.
That’s also because Adobe has marked security updates for Adobe Experience Manager with a priority rating of 2, which means similar flaws have previously been seen exploited in the wild, but for now, the company has found no evidence of any exploitation of these vulnerabilities in the wild.

These reported issues—which include: reflected cross-site scripting, user interface injection, and expression language injection—affect multiple versions of Adobe Experience Manager, all leading to sensitive information disclosure, where three of them are important in severity and one moderate.
Adobe today released Illustrator CC 2019 version 24.0.2 for Windows operating system and patches for Adobe Experience Manager versions 6.3, 6.4, and 6.5.
Adobe recommends end-users and administrators to install the latest security updates as soon as possible to protect their systems and businesses from potential cyber-attacks.

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Nikon updates its most popular full-frame DSLR, adds mirrorless tech – Blog – 10 minute

What just happened? Nikon at CES this week officially introduced the D780 DSLR, the successor to 2014’s D750 – the company’s most popular full-frame DSLR to date. The new D780 features a 24.5-megapixel backside-illuminated (BSI) FX-Format CMOS sensor mated to the familiar Expeed 6 image processor (the same chip used in the Nikon Z6 and Z7). ISO performance now scales up to 51,200 and is expandable to 204,800.
Curiously enough, the Nikon D780 offers two powerful AF shooting systems to match your style. When using the optical viewfinder, you’ll have access to Nikon’s 51-point AF system which uses a 180k pixel Advanced Scene Recognition System to help ensure balanced exposure and accurate color reproduction.

In Live View mode, the camera switches over to a mirrorless setup, utilizing the same 273-point focal plane Hybrid AF system from the Nikon Z 6. Here, you can take advantage of the camera’s electronic shutter to snap at up to 12 frames per second in virtual silence.
On the video side, the new D780 is capable of capturing full-frame 4K UHD video at 30 frames per second with full-pixel readout. This can be bumped down to Full HD / 120p for ultra smooth motion and slow-motion capture, we’re told.
Other noteworthy features including a tilting 3.2-inch touchscreen LCD, USB Type C connectivity, dual SD card slots and battery life of up to 2,260 shots on a single charge.

The Nikon D780 arrives in late January priced at $2,299.95 for the body only. A combo that includes the AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR lens will command $2,799.95.

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HP updates the Elite Dragonfly with optional 5G and Tile tracking, improves internals for the Spectre x360 15 – Blog – 10 minute

In a nutshell: HP announced plenty of new hardware at CES 2020, including monitors, PCs, and backpacks. Among these products are updated versions of its two premium notebooks: the new Elite Dragonfly G2 and the Spectre x360 15.
Potential buyers of high-end ultrabooks have two new options to choose from with HP’s refresh of the Elite Dragonfly and the Spectre x360.
Elite Dragonfly G2
Aimed at business users, the G2 is a rather quickly announced successor to the stylish Elite Dragonfly and boasts multiple security and privacy features, updated internals and a similar exterior. The new model comes with the world’s first in-built Tile tracking hardware for smart location tracking.
In case the owner misplaces/loses their laptop, Tile’s network of connected devices could be tapped into for making a successful recovery. HP tells Tom’s Hardware that it created a Windows app with the Tile team for the Bluetooth-based tracker, integrated for the first time in a Windows-powered device and said to be operational even if the G2 is dead and hasn’t been plugged in for weeks.

Another feature on the laptop is HP’s third-gen display technology called Sure View Reflect, which uses a copper-colored privacy screen to provide a clear view of the display head-on but turns it into a mirror at other angles for dealing with prying eyes.
In terms of wireless connectivity, optional 5G support will be arriving in the summer, powered by Snapdragon’s X55 LTE + 5G modem, with Sprint as the launch carrier. Coming in at 0.99kg, the 13.3-inch lightweight can be equipped with up to a six-core Intel Core i7 (with integrated graphics only) and is offered with two new storage options of 1TB and 2TB PCIe Gen3 NVMe SSD.

Other specs include a 65Wh battery, up to 16GB of soldered LPDDR3 RAM, a 1080p or 4K IPS touchscreen, 2 x USB Type-C with USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3 support, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 with charging support, 1 x HDMI 1.4 port, a 3.5 mm headphone/mic combo jack and an external nano sim slot.
The Elite Dragonfly G2 will reportedly arrive at the end of this month with a starting price tag of $1,599.
Spectre x360 15
HP’s refresh of the 15.6-inch Spectre x360 includes the same CPU upgrades underpinning the Elite Dragonfly G2, but with support for Nvidia graphics (reportedly a GTX 1650Ti for the top-spec model), in a chassis that’s 13 percent smaller compared to its predecessor.

HP’s newer and smaller Spectre x360 15 on the right (Windows Central)
The new model also boasts thinner bezels for a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio, an improved trackpad powered by Windows Precision drivers, and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity for faster transfer speeds. There’s still only a 4K display on offer that’s available in IPS, OLED, and OLED anti-glare spec.
The laptop also uses the smaller IR webcam found in the 13-inch Spectre and features a kill switch, a mute microphone button and a fingerprint reader for privacy- and security-conscious users. HP is also claiming 17 hours of use from a single charge, though the battery capacity is yet unknown.
The remaining options carry on from its predecessor, including 2 x USB Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 3, 1 x USB Type-A port, 1 x HDMI, a microSD slot and a 3.5 mm audio jack. Availability is expected in March with a starting price of $1,599.

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Updates From The Digital Marketing Universe Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Twitter has announced a new GIF creation functionality. It allows users to convert their iOS Live Photos into looping GIFs – and all directly from the compose window. 
When a user uploads a photo from their iOS device, which they’ve taken with Live Photo enabled, they will have the opportunity to convert that photo into a GIF in one simple step – tapping the GIF icon on the preview.  A workaround of converting Live Photos to GIFs has existed for some time now. However, building this functionality directly into the upload process could make it a much more appealing and utilised option among Twitter users. The functionality is available in the latest version of the app and anywhere you can upload an image to Twitter – tweets, retweets with comments, replies, DMs.
Instagram
After initially being spotted in testing back in August, Instagram has officially launched its new Layout mode for Stories. 

The new layout option, which will be among your Stories camera modes, provides a range of presentation styles – six different grids, to be exact – to choose from. You can simply scroll through them and then take shots accordingly.
We aren’t really surprised by the official launch of the tool. Especially considering it’s been in testing since August and has been spotted, more recently, in the live app by researcher Satyam Sinha. So, are you going to take advantage of it and let your creative juices flowing? With the holidays just around the corner, it would be an awesome opportunity to spread some ‘cheer’ and get a bit more traffic.
Search Engine and SEO News
Google Search Console (GSC)
Google posted both on Twitter and its data anomalies page that the coverage report within the GSC has been updated. As a result, users might see more non-indexed pages being reported as of December 15, 2019. Basically, some pages that were “crawled – currently not indexed” are now known to be indexed.
So, the index coverage report has been wrong for quite some time. Should we assume that with this update the report is now correct? Or is it simply just less wrong?
Google Search App
The latest beta version (10.89.9) of the Google app seems like a pretty routine update. However, a user on Reddit, spotted a bug when searching message-related queries that cause the Search app to crash.
Judging by the number of users reporting the same problem, it seems the pattern of devices that were affected is inconsistent. If you type “what are my messages” or simply “my messages” the app simply crashes.
Currently, there’s no known workaround for the crash, so we hope a patch is sent out soon. For now, you can still use the Assistant to achieve the same goal by asking, “what are my messages?”.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
It’s that time of year where we should take a look at what lies ahead for SEO in 2020. What strategies and tactics will work? What will help businesses dominate the SERPs and earn more revenue? 
Our friends at SEJ asked 58 of today’s top SEO professionals and here are the top 10 trends you need to know in 2020:

BERT and user-focused optimisation
Hight-quality optimised content
E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) and your unfair advantage
UX (user experience) and technical SEO
Mobile SEO
Structured data
Entity and knowledge graph optimisation
Link building and brand building
Focus on visibility, not just blue links
Programming

These only scratch the surface. For more SEO trends and insights for 2020, download SEJ’s SEO Trends 2020 free e-book.
PPC and Ads News
The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has raised concerns about the market power of digital ad platform giants Google and Facebook in an interim report, opening up a discussion on a range of potential inventions – from breaking up platform giants to limiting their ability to set self-serving defaults and enforcing data sharing and/or feature interoperability to help rivals compete.
According to the report, “Google and Facebook are the largest such platforms by far, with over a third of UK internet users’ time online spent on their sites. Google enjoys a more than 90% share of the £6 billion search advertising market in the UK, while Facebook has a share of almost 50% of the £5 billion display advertising market. Both companies have been highly profitable for many years.”
The CMA said that in order to solve competition problems, there is a “strong argument” to create a regulator that would monitor online platforms funded by digital advertising.
For Google, this could mean tackling the source of its market power in search by including third-party access to click-and-query data, as well as intervening in how phone manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung decide which default search engines appear on internet browsers. 
For Facebook, the CMA is considering tackling the source of its power by increasing its interoperability with other platforms.
You can read CMA’s full “Online Platforms and Digital Advertising” interim report – all 283 pages of it – here.
Digital Marketing News
MarTech company Vivial released its 2020 Digital Marketing Trends report which is a look into the next chapter of online, mobile and social marketing.
MarTech company Vivial released its 2020 Digital Marketing Trends report which is a look into the next chapter of online, mobile and social marketing.
In a survey of more than 500 SMBs, Vivial found that while 41% say they are doing enough marketing to get by, more than a quarter state that their lack of knowledge about marketing is hindering their current marketing efforts.
Here are some highlights from the report:

Content marketing. The survey found that nearly a quarter of small business owners struggle with generating engaging content on a consistent basis. Yet in 2020 and beyond, content marketing will continue to play a fundamental role in digital marketing. Thus, SMBs will need to up their content game.
Social media. While 62% of the surveys SMBs state social media has the highest ROI for their business, only 40% are running any paid ads on social media. Using a mix of organic and paid content is key to building a follower base on social platforms. 
Search engine marketing (SEM). Multi-platform advertising will be a must in 2020, including variety in both the platforms for advertising (Google, social media, etc.) as well as the type of ads (video, carousel, etc.).
Search engine optimisation (SEO). As voice-based search is quickly becoming “the next big thing”, it’s crucial for businesses to have accurate listings, content keywords and search rankings to be found with voice queries.
Mobile marketing (SMS). 75% of people prefer offers via SMS than adverts in mobile apps. In order to capitalise on this platform, it will be key for businesses to keep messages simple and personal and find ways to differentiate not only products but customer service.
Omni-channel approach. Customers expect a seamless experience and businesses have seconds to keep their attention. Therefore, whether they arrive on a landing page or step through the front door to redeem an SMS coupon, the messaging must be consistent and the process fluid.

You can get the full 2020 Digital Marketing Trends report here. It’s free.
Final Thoughts
Do you have any suggestions or ideas what digital marketing news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.
In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, social media news, search engine news as well as PPC & Ads news.

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Eero updates subscription plans – gpgmail


Router maker Eero is expanding its focus on subscriptions with a new two-tier system. Eero already had a $10 per month subscription called Eero Plus. It is now called Eero Secure+. The company is adding a cheaper plan with less features for $3 per month.

It seems a bit counterintuitive that Eero is selling software subscriptions. The company is mostly known for its tiny mesh routers that you can put in every room of your house.

Eero originally introduced a subscription back in 2017. It was designed as a sort of Amazon Prime of internet services focused on security. It included family plans to password manager 1Password, VPN service Encrypt.me and antivirus MalwareBytes.

Eero Secure+ is more or less a new name for Eero Plus. It costs $9.99 per month or $99 per year and includes the same services, as well as a few software additions, such as parental controls, filtering of dangerous websites at the network level as well as ad blocking.

Essentially, Eero intercepts DNS queries and blocks the ones to suspicious content — it could be a phishing site, an adult site or an ad network. The company replaces your default DNS with ZScaler’s DNS for that feature.

If you don’t want 1Password, Encrypt.me or MalwareBytes, you can now subscripte to Eero Secure to get those DNS-powered features. It costs $2.99 per month of $29.99 per year.

As a reminder, Amazon acquired Eero in February 2019. Eero promised that its privacy policy wouldn’t change after the acquisition.

Still, paying a subscription for DNS filtering is a bit odd. Some public DNS services, such as Quad9, block access to malicious websites.

And if you’re looking for a fun weekend project, you can buy a cheap Raspberry Pi and play with Pi-Hole, an open source project that basically does everything Eero Secure does. You can also build your own VPN service as you should never trust VPN services. They don’t make you more secure and they can basically see all your network traffic.


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