How to Determine if Windows License Type is OEM, Retail, or Volume

When it comes to purchasing licenses for Windows there are a number of different channels that you can purchase through. The most common license types are Retail (FPP (Full Packaged Product)), OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), and Volume Licensing. Each Windows license type confers rights and imposes restrictions based on the Microsoft Software License Terms.

License Type

Description

Retail

This when you buy a Full Packaged Product (FPP), commonly known as a “boxed copy”, of Windows from a retail merchant or purchases Windows online from the Microsoft Store. Product keys can be transferred to another PC.

OEM

Product keys are issued by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and are not-for-resale and may not be transferred to another computer. They may, however, be transferred with the computer if the computer is transferred to new ownership. If the OEM PC came preinstalled with Windows 8 or Windows 10, then the product key will be embedded in the UEFI firmware chip.

Volume

KMS Client and Volume MAK product keys, are volume license keys that are not-for-resale. They are issued by organizations for use on client computers associated in some way with the organization. Volume license keys may not be transferred with the computer if the computer changes ownership. This form of licensing typically applies for business, government and educational institutions, with prices for volume licensing varying depending on the type, quantity and applicable subscription-term. A volume license key (VLK) denotes the product key used when installing software licensed in bulk, which allows a single product key to be used for multiple installations. For example, the Windows Enterprise edition is activated with a volume license key.

This tutorial will show you how to determine if your Windows is activated with a Retail, OEM, or Volume channel license type.

Here’s How:

1. Open a command prompt.

2. Type the command below into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

–> slmgr –dli

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3. After a short moment, a Windows Script Host dialog will open to show you what license type your Windows is using. (see screenshots below)

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That’s it,

Enjoy.!

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Googles Auto Draw Tool

AutoDraw is a new kind of drawing tool. It pairs machine learning with drawings from talented artists to help everyone create anything visual, fast. There’s nothing to download. Nothing to pay for. And it works anywhere: smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc. 

AutoDraw’s suggestion tool uses the same technology used in QuickDraw, to guess what you’re trying to draw. Right now, it can guess hundreds of drawings and we look forward to adding more over time. If you are interested in creating drawings for others to use with AutoDraw.

We hope AutoDraw will help make drawing and creating a little more accessible and fun for everyone. 

Googles Auto Draw Tool www.autodraw.com

Try @ http://www.autodraw.com

Enjoy!

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How to Make Windows 10 Accept File Paths Over 260 Characters

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With the Anniversary Update of Windows 10, you can finally abandon the 260 character maximum path limit in Windows. You just need to make a minor edit to the Windows Registry or Group Policy. Here’s how to make it happen.

Before Windows 95, Windows only allowed file names that were eight characters long, with a three character file extension–commonly known as an 8.3 filename. Windows 95 abandoned that to allow long file names, but still limited the maximum path length (which includes the full folder path and the file name) to 260 characters. That limit has been in place ever since. If you’ve ever run into this limit, most likely it was when you were trying to copy deep folder structures into other folders, such as when copying the contents of a hard drive to a folder on another drive. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update finally adds the option to abandon that maximum path length.

There is one caveat. This new setting won’t necessarily work with every application out there, but it will work with most. Specifically, any modern applications should be fine, as should all 64-bit applications. Older 32-bit applications need to be manifested in order to work, which really just means that the developer has indicated in the application’s manifest file that the application supports longer paths. Most popular 32-bit apps should experience no problem. Still, you don’t risk anything by trying the setting out. If an application doesn’t work, the only thing that will happen is that it won’t be able to open or save files that are saved in places where the full path exceeds 260 characters.

Home Users: Remove the 260 Character Path Limit by Editing the Registry

If you have a Windows Home edition, you will have to edit the Windows Registry to make these changes. You can also do it this way if you have Windows Pro or Enterprise, but feel more comfortable working in the Registry than Group Policy Editor. (If you have Pro or Enterprise, though, we recommend using the easier Group Policy Editor, as described in the next section.)

Standard warning: Registry Editor is a powerful tool and misusing it can render your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a pretty simple hack and as long as you stick to the instructions, you shouldn’t have any problems. That said, if you’ve never worked with it before, consider reading about how to use the Registry Editor before you get started. And definitely back up the Registry (and your computer!) before making changes.

To get started, open the Registry Editor by hitting Start and typing “regedit.” Press Enter to open Registry Editor and give it permission to make changes to your PC.

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In the Registry Editor, use the left sidebar to navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem

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On the right, find a value named LongPathsEnabled and double-click it. If you don’t see the value listed, you’ll need to create it by right-clicking the FileSystem key, choosing New > DWORD (32-bit) Value, and then naming the new value LongPathsEnabled .

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In the value’s properties window, change the value from 0 to 1 in the “Value data” box and then click OK.

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You can now close Registry Editor and restart your computer (or sign out of your account and sign back on). If you ever want to reverse the changes, just head back to the LongPathsEnabled value and set it from 1 back to 0.

Download Our One-Click Registry Hack

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If you don’t feel like diving into the Registry yourself, we’ve created two downloadable registry hacks you can use. One hack removes the 260 character path limit and the other hack restores the default limit. Both are included in the following ZIP file. Double-click the one you want to use, click through the prompts, and then restart your computer.

Thank you howtogeek.

Long Path Names Hacks.

Pro and Enterprise Users: Remove the 260 Character Path Limit with the Local Group Policy Editor.

If you’re using Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, the easiest way to disable the new app install notifications is by using the Local Group Policy Editor. It’s a pretty powerful tool, so if you’ve never used it before, it’s worth taking some time to learn what it can do. Also, if you’re on a company network, do everyone a favor and check with your admin first. If your work computer is part of a domain, it’s also likely that it’s part of a domain group policy that will supersede the local group policy, anyway.

In Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, hit Start, type gpedit.msc, and press Enter.

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In the Local Group Policy Editor, in the left-hand pane, drill down to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Filesystem. On the right, find the “Enable win32 long paths” item and double-click it.

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In the properties window that opens, select the “Enabled” option and then click “OK.”

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You can now exit the Local Group Policy Editor and restart your computer (or sign out and back in) to allow the changes to finish. If at any time you want to reverse the changes, just follow the same procedure and set that option back to “Disabled” or “Not Configured.”

The maximum path limit may not be something you’ve ever run into, but for some people it can certainly be the occasional frustration. Windows 10 has finally added the ability to remove that limit. You just have to make a quick change to the Registry or Group Policy to make it happen.

You can try Corz Long Path Fixer tool too & it’s Free.!

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http://corz.org/windows/software/accessories/Long-Path-Fixer-for-Windows.php

Enjoy!.

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McGill university researchers develop self charging batteries powered by ambient light

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Scientists are developing new self-charging batteries that harvest energy from light and could put an end to our smartphone recharging woes. Lithium-ion batteries have allowed the rapid proliferation of mobile devices such as phones, tablets and computers. These tools however require frequent re-charging because of the limited energy density of their batteries.

“With smartphones now, you can basically carry your whole office in that device, they are loaded with all sorts of applications so you need a lot of power to use it everyday and sometimes, you don’t have access to a plug to recharge,” said Professor George P Demopoulos of the McGill University in Canada. This has led to the development of portable solar chargers but these hybrid devices are difficult to miniaturise due to their complex circuitry and packaging issues.

To solve this problem, researchers are working on a single device capable of harvesting and storing energy using light. The study shows that a standard cathode from a lithium- ion battery can be “sensitised” to light by incorporating photo-harvesting dye molecules. “In other words, our research team was able to simulate a charging process using light as a source of energy,” said Andrea Paolella, researcher at Hydro-Quebec in Canada.

Scientists will now have to build an anode, the storage component, which will close the device’s circuit, allowing energy produced by the cathode to be transferred and stored.
If they succeed, they will have built the world’s first 100 per cent self-charging lithium-ion battery.

May the Battery Power stay with you!

Have Fun, Enjoy!

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Microsoft commits to a permanent schedule for new Windows 10, Office updates.

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Feature updates to hit in March and September, in perpetuity.

Microsoft said Thursday it will commit to a strict schedule for Windows and Office feature updates: every September and March. It’s a concession to IT administrators that will ripple down to all users.

The company said it would hew to a “predictable” twice-per-year schedule for both platforms, though there’s still a little wiggle room: Microsoft didn’t specify exact dates within those months. As per the new schedule, the next Windows update, code-named Redstone 3, will be released in September.

Technically, Windows 10, Office 365 ProPlus, and Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager are all being aligned on the same schedule. That actually means fewer releases for the basic enterprise version of Office and Office 365 ProPlus, which typically get new feature updates three times per year. Microsoft said it would extend ProPlus support, though, from 12 to 18 months. (The ProPlus subscription includes the standard Office apps like Word and PowerPoint, but excludes some Office services like SharePoint, Yammer, Skype, and Teams.) Consumers who subscribe to Office 365, however, will continue to receive updates more frequently.

“We’ve… heard our customers want more predictability and simplicity from this update servicing model to help make deployments and updates of Microsoft products easier,” Bernando Caldas, the general manager of Windows Commercial Marketing, wrote in a blog post

Microsoft said each Windows 10 feature update will be officially supported for only 18 months, unchanged from its current timetable. Over 400 million devices uses Windows 10 on a monthly basis, Microsoft said. 

The effect on you at home: Probably not that much. The semiannual feature updates will likely just mark iterative improvements to the operating system, with a few notable new features that help distinguish it from other releases. For Microsoft, though, this could mean less auspicious feature bundles, a la the Creators Update, which didn’t quite pan out as promised. If you’re already looking ahead past the Creators Update, you now know about when Redstone 3 is scheduled to drop.

Now, we know when it’s coming…!

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Facebook launches new tool to tackle ‘revenge porn’: Here’s what can be done

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Facebook on Wednesday announced that is launching tools to prevent the upload and reupload of ‘revenge porn’. This refers to the upload of any private or intimate photographs, or even fake images, of a person without their consent. This is usually used as a means of revenge by former partners, jilted lovers, and the like. Facebook has now provided the ability to specifically report such images, and uses tools similar to PhotoDNA to prevent the reupload or sharing of such images.

While this is a welcome move towards tackling revenge porn, more needs to be done. Changes are needed in not only encouraging victims to take action, but also speeding up judicial processes in cases of online publication. Additionally, imposing more responsibility on social media companies should be considered.

Get a court order for removal of the image within 36 hours
The first step is to have the images removed from Facebook. Normally, under Indian laws, to have an intermediary like Facebook remove such illegal content, the request must be accompanied by a court order or an official government request (As per Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Shreya Singhal judgment of 2015).

While Facebook has not committed to a time frame for the removal of the image in its blogpost, it can be assumed that action will be taken quickly even without a court order. Despite this, if a victim wants the image removed within the statutory time frame of 36 hours, it is best to get the court order. This draws attention to the need for speeding up judicial processes, particularly where online crimes are concerned.

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Suing the perpetrator
Usually, the emotional distress, combined with societal censure, of the victim is so great, that most don’t take action. Taking action is crucial not only to punish the perpetrators but also to deter future incidents of revenge porn.

Revenge porn in multiple forms is covered by Indian laws:

  • Images taken with victim’s consent: It makes no difference if the image was captured with the victim’s consent. If the publication was without consent, it is punishable. Uploads, reuploads and sharing are punishable under Section 66E of the IT Act, 2000 and Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. First time offenders are punishable with 3 years imprisonment and 2 lakhs fine.
  • Images without consent: For images captured without consent, the mere capture is punishable. Both capture and publication are punishable under Section 66E of the IT Act and Section 354 of the IPC with 3 years and a fine.
  • Sexually explicit images: If the image is sexually explicit, it attracts a bigger punishment of 5 years and Rs 10 lakhs under Section 67A of the IT Act.
  • Children’s images: Publication of sexually explicit images of children, i.e., anyone under the age of 18, is punishable under Section 67B of the IT Act with 5 years and Rs 10 lakhs. This is also punishable under Section 11 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, which applies to an image of even a part of the child’s body.
  • Fake/ photo shopped images: Fake or photo shopped images, such as images where a real person’s face is superimposed over another picture, are also punishable under these sections.

Action may also lie for defamation under Section 500 of the IPC, and for criminal intimidation under Section 503 of the IPC, such as when the images are published to tarnish the reputation of the victim, or where the victim is threatened by the perpetrator.

Blocking revenge porn websites
Today, any image uploaded online can be reshared and republished in multiple sites within minutes. Dedicated revenge porn websites can also be found. While more progress in technology is needed to effectively tackle this, action can be taken against websites where such images are found.

Google gives people the ability to prevent the revenge porn images for turning up on a Google search of their name. This is relevant particularly when the revenge porn is accompanied with the victim’s name. This alone is not enough, since the website itself remains. The website can be blocked under Section 69A of the IT Act, where any person can approach a Nodal Officer for this purpose.

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Do lawsuits trigger action by social media companies?
Another issue with tackling revenge porn is whether more responsibility can be imposed on intermediaries like Facebook and YouTube. Such a case is pending against YouTube before the Supreme Court of India.

The question arises whether lawsuits trigger quicker action by social media companies. For example, a few months ago, as per a report in The Guardian, Facebook was sued in the UK by a minor for failing to prevent the reupload of revenge porn under UK’s Data Protection Act, 1998. Facebook reportedly attempted to have the case dismissed, but the judge refused. This refusal led to fears that this case would open up floodgates of litigation against Facebook from other revenge porn victims.

This perhaps has served as the trigger for Facebook’s move to tackle revenge porn using technology. A similar situation was seen before YouTube’s Content ID system was launched, where a 1 billion dollar copyright infringement suit against YouTube (which YouTube won) triggered fears of further suits.

Imposing greater responsibility on intermediaries?
It is true that requiring social media companies to police content not only imposes a huge burden on them, but can also result in unwarranted internet censorship. At the same time, the fact that these companies are making hundreds of million in revenues from the people using their sites, they should have greater responsibility towards the content hosted on their site. This is more so when these sites are becoming a hub for illegal activity.

While absolutely liability at this stage may be unfair, certainly a duty of care and liability for negligence should be imposed. Technological innovations like PhotoDNA and YouTube ID show that greater responsibility on the part of the social media companies is certainly possible.

Source : http://tech.firstpost.com

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Wikileaks Vault 7: How CIA allegedly used hacking tools to infest your smartphones, smart TVs and more

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Wikileaks released a data dump of what it is calling as the alleged Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) tools used for hacking into smart devices. The leak is code-named Vault 7 and comprises around 8761 documents, which have been sourced from an isolated high-security network inside CIA’s Centre for Cyber Intelligence.

These documents that have been released primarily deal with techniques that are allegedly used by CIA for hacking and surveillance. These tools are used to break into smartphones, messaging apps as well as other electronic devices such as smart TVs.

What is Vault 7?

Vault 7 is the code-name for the collection of documents that were leaked by Wikileaks, documents that have been sourced from CIA’s Centre for Cyber Intelligence. According to Wikileaks, CIA had recently lost a lot of its hacking tools including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponised ‘zero day’ exploits along with their associated documentations. This comprised over a 100mn lines of code as well. This basically has given the original hacker access to CIA’s tools and software, which is being circulated in an unauthorised manner among former US govt hackers as well as contractors. One such independent entity has provided Wikileaks with part of the entire archive.

What is at stake?

The ‘zero day’ exploits in the data dump include programs to target US and European products. This includes Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android smartphones and tablets, Microsoft Windows OS along with messaging apps. It even had tools to convert Samsung Smart TVs into covert microphones!

CIA has an Engineering Development Group (EDG) within its software development group called Centre for Cyber Intelligence (CCI). The CCI is part of the Directorate of Digital Innovation (DDI) group, which is one of the give major directorates of the CIA.

A tool called ‘Weeping Angel’ which has been developed by CIA’s Embedded Branch Division (EDB) has been used to infiltrate smart TVs and has converted them into covert, always-on microphones. The Samsung Smart TV attacks mentioned in one of the documents talks about how the Weeping Angel program would trigger a ‘Fake-Off’ mode on the smart TVs. This would make the users think that their TV was off, when in fact it wasn’t and was slyly recording audio conversations. CIA also had plans to infest vehicle control systems that are used by modern cars and trucks.

According to Wikileaks, CIA’s Mobile Devices Branch (MDB) has been instrumental in infecting smartphones via remote hacking and control techniques. The infected phones can send CIA information pertaining to geolocation, audio and text communication and also covertly activate the users’ phone camera and microphone. Apple iPhones and iPads have also been under attack via these malwares. Android smartphones from players such as Sony, HTC and Samsung were also targetted. According to the leak, CIA had around 24 weaponised Android ‘zero days’ attacks ready, which were developed inhouse as well as got from GCHQ, NSA and other cyber arm contractors. According to Wikileaks, some of the programs even let CIA bypass the encryptions on services such as WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and so on by hacking audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.

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The CIA also has tools to infect Microsoft Windows users by releasing zero-day exploits, air gap jumping viruses which infects software distributed on CD/DVDs, systems to hide data in images and so on. There are tools to infect and control other operating systems such Mac OS X, Solaris, Linux and more.

Some revelations from the leak

  • CIA has been getting higher budgets and more political prominence over the National Security Agency (NSA) since 2001.
  • CIA has been building not only its own drone-fleet, but is has also heavily invested in its own team of black-hat hackers. Also the CIA hackers are not obliged to disclose their controversial operations to the NSA. By end of 2016, this hacking division had around 5000 registered users who produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses and other weaponised malware.
  • These CIA hackers have allegedly written and utilised more code than all that is required to run Facebook.
  • The time period covered is from 2013 to 2016.
  • CIA is not anwerable to NSA or anyone else over how it is spending its massive budgets.
  • Wikileaks has redacted and anonymised a lot of data from the leak which pertains to thousands of CIA targets and attack machines through Latin America, Europe and the US.
  • This leak, which is being called part 1 of the ‘Vault 7’ claims to have more data than the NSA leaks that were released by Edward Snowden in 2013.
  • CIA’s Engineering Development Group (EDG) management systems have around 500 different project each with their own set of hacker tools and malware. This is allegedly used for purposes such as ‘penetration, infestation (implanting), control and exfiltration.’

Redactions

Wikileaks claims to have done around 70,875 redactions in total. The redactions include names, email addresses and external IP addresses. Wikileaks, which has in the past released war logs without much redactions had come in for a lot of flak. But with this data dump Wikileaks has taken special precautions and its own time to redact information which could prove detrimental to the objective of the leak.

Additional redactions include: Authors of some of the documentation; redacted names are replaced with user IDs so readers have a track; archive attachments have been replaced with a PDF listing all the file names in the archive; attachments with binary content has been replaced by a hex dump to prevent accidental invocation of binaries; routable IP addresse references; and more.

The motive behind the leak

The leaker that Wikileaks spoke to has questioned whether CIA’s hacking capabilities have gone way beyond the power mandated to it. The source has also made clear that he/she wants to start a public discussion on the ‘security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyber weapons.’

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Julian Assange’s statement on the matter

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor said, “There is an extreme proliferation risk in the development of cyber ‘weapons’. Comparisons can be drawn between the uncontrolled proliferation of such ‘weapons’, which results from the inability to contain them combined with their high market value, and the global arms trade. But the significance of “Year Zero” goes well beyond the choice between cyberwar and cyberpeace. The disclosure is also exceptional from a political, legal and forensic perspective.”

The reason behind the timing

According to Wikileaks, the data leak has been published now because it has been completely verified, analysed and all the redactions have been made.

“In Febuary the Trump administration has issued an Executive Order calling for a “Cyberwar” review to be prepared within 30 days. While the review increases the timeliness and relevance of the publication it did not play a role in setting the publication date,” says Wikileaks.

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