Month: December 2017

Tips & Tricks: Windows 10 Reduce Ads

Ad 1. Turn off ads on the Start menu. Microsoft calls them “suggestions,” not ads, and they appear sporadically at the top of the app list on the Start menu. To do so, click Start > Settings > Personalization, then on the left choose Start. Slide the entry “Occasionally show suggestions in Start” to Off.

Ad 2. Turn off ads in File Explorer. I haven’t seen any ads there lately, but the hooks are all in, and you’d be well advised to clobber them now. Microsoft calls them “sync provider notifications,” and supposedly they serve a legitimate purpose, notifying you of the status of your data sync with cloud providers. In practice, at least so far, it’s just an advertising hook. To turn off the ads, start File Explorer, click View, then Options, then on the View tab, uncheck the box marked “Show sync provider notifications.”

Ad 3. Turn off ads on the lock screen. Microsoft calls it “Windows Spotlight,” and it serves no known purpose other than to get you to click on some clickbait such as “Like what you see?” To throttle these ads, click Start > Settings > Personalization. On the left, choose “Lock screen.” In the Background box, choose anything other than Windows Spotlight.

There are other ads in the Notification (“Action”) center — Start > Settings > System. Choose “Notifications & actions” on the left, then pick and choose. And there are ads on the Windows Ink workspace, if you use it. Click Start > Settings > Devices, then on the left choose “Pen & Windows Ink” and slide Off “Show recommended app suggestions.” There are also ads in the Share dialog, but if you use the Share dialog you’re too far gone anyway.

And of course, the advertising icons on the Start screen drive many people nuts. Just right-click on anything you find offensive (Candy Crush Soda Saga, anybody?) and choose Uninstall.

Tech Terms: DoS Attack

Short for denial-of-service attack, a type of attack on a network that is designed to bring the network to its knees by flooding it with useless traffic. Many DoS attacks, such as the Ping of Death and Teardrop attacks, exploit limitations in the TCP/IP protocols. For all known DoS attacks, there are software fixes that system administrators can install to limit the damage caused by the attacks. But, like viruses, new DoS attacks are constantly being dreamed up by hackers.


Tech Terms: Private Cloud Project

Companies initiate private cloud projects to enable their IT infrastructure to become more capable of quickly adapting to continually evolving business needs and requirements. Private cloud projects can also be connected to public clouds to create hybrid clouds.

Unlike a public cloud, a private cloud project remains within the corporate firewall and under the control on the company’s IT department. As a result, a private cloud provides more control over the company’s data, and it ensures security — albeit with greater potential risk for data loss due to natural disaster.

Launching a private cloud project involves analyzing the need for a private cloud, formulating a plan for how to create a private cloud, developing cloud policies for access and security, deploying and testing the private cloud infrastructure, and training employees and partners on the cloud computing project.

Private Cloud Project Strategy
To create a private cloud project strategy, a company will first need to identify which of its business practices can be made more efficient than before, as well as which repetitive manual tasks can be automated via the successful launch of a cloud computing project.

By creating a private cloud strategy, the resulting cloud will be able to deliver automatic, scalable server virtualization, providing the benefits of automated provision of resources and the optimal use of hardware within the IT infrastructure.

Building a Private Cloud
With the idea of building a private cloud a daunting proposition for many companies, the best advice for how to build a private cloud is to start small and then continue to grow the cloud computing project over time.

In terms of specifics for how to set up a private cloud, a company needs to:
Research the need and benefits for building a private cloud, particularly in respect to selecting a public or hybrid cloud instead of a private cloud

Analyze and ensure the proper processes and policies are in place to successfully build a secure private cloud
Research and acquire the private cloud infrastructure and cloud-enabling software that will be used, such as OpenStack,

CloudStack, Eucalyptus, etc.
Ensure the hypervisor(s) that will manage the virtual machines and virtualized storage are available or can be purchased and installed

Develop and test the private cloud project in a non mission-critical environment
Train IT staff on how to manage the private cloud and employees and partners on how to access and use the cloud


Tips & Tricks: File Manager Default

If you would rather have File Manager open to This PC — the way it used to, instead of Quick Access

Select File > Options > General tab, change the value for “Open File Explorer” from “Quick Access” to “This PC.”

Tech Terms: Private Cloud Storage

A form of cloud storage where the enterprise data and cloud storage resources both reside within the enterprise’s data center and behind the firewall. Also known as internal storage clouds, private cloud storage services are managed inside the data center and as a result almost always carry higher capital and maintenance costs than public cloud storage services due to the enterprise needing to provide the data center space, network connectivity, power and cooling.

Private cloud storage does help resolve the potential for security and performance concerns while still offering many of the benefits of cloud storage such as scalability, reliability, rapid deployment and the option of management by a specialized cloud storage provider.


Tips & Trick: Windows 10 Active Hours

To set your Active hours, click Start > Settings > Update & security. Click the link on the right that says “Change active hours.” Windows will begin its reboots after the End time and before the Start time. At least in theory.

Tips & Tricks: Check Privacy Settings

When you initially installed Windows 10 Creators Update, you had an opportunity to make wholesale changes to your privacy settings. If you are concerned that you might have made some bad choices, not to worry. You can review all of those choices — in a far more granular way — by going into the Privacy applet in Settings and tweaking to your heart’s content. Just click Start > Settings > Privacy.

Tech Terms: Private Cloud

Private cloud is the phrase used to describe a cloud computing platform that is implemented within the corporate firewall, under the control of the IT department.
A private cloud is designed to offer the same features and benefits of public cloud systems, but removes a number of objections to the cloud computing model including control over enterprise and customer data, worries about security, and issues connected to regulatory compliance.

Private Cloud Security
A private cloud implementation aims to avoid many of the objections regarding cloud computing security. Because a private cloud setup is implemented safely within the corporate firewall, a private cloud provides more control over the company’s data, and it ensures security, albeit with greater potential risk for data loss due to natural disaster.


Tips & Tricks: Windows Save Maps Offline

Microsoft has its own local Maps program in Windows 10, but it’s dependent on internet connectivity for basic usage. However, there is a way round that, in that you can save big chunks of the world offline for access at any time and any place.

Just hit Settings and go to Apps – “Offline maps” is an option listed there. You’ll be able to pick the regions you want saved locally, choose where to save them on your PC, and decide what type of connection to let them download over.

Tech Terms: Hybrid Cloud Storage

A combination of public cloud storage and private cloud storage where some critical data resides in the enterprise’s private cloud while other data is stored and accessible from a public cloud storage provider. With hybrid cloud storage, enterprises are able to mix and match cloud storage resources between local data center infrastructure and scalable, on-demand infrastructure, with the cloud storage provider typically fully managing the cloud storage.

Hybrid cloud storage combines the advantages of scalability, reliability, rapid deployment and potential cost savings of public cloud storage with the security and full control of private cloud storage.