Windows 11 Themes and Backgrounds get a Refresh

Well, well, well. Hell HAS frozen over. Microsoft has finally moved away from the, umm, basic desktop default background offerings once and for all. Worker bees have been forced for years to upload nifty cat or dog images, or even pictures of their children, to serve as the default desktop background image. But now Microsoft has blessed their customers with a sleek array of 6 themes to choose from. I chose “Captured Motion” and I really dig it. You can still upload your lovely dog images and yes, slide shows are still there as well as lock screen options etc. Right-click on your desktop and personalize away!

Captured Motion background
Windows 11 personalize

Windows 11 Broke our Snipping Tool

Have you upgraded recently from Windows 10 to Windows 11? Did you notice that the new Snipping Tool gives an error when you first try to use it on your new Windows 11? I tried a bunch of hacks to fix it, but it turns out it was an acknowledged Microsoft bug and MS needed to provide a fix. This is the error:

Snipping Tool

The key/fix is to aggressively update your recently upgraded Windows 11 PC. No, really. Go to the search magnifying glass in Windows 11, type ‘update’, and proceed to run as many updates as possible. After restart, go back and try to update again until KB5008295 is installed or your snipping tool is fixed.

Windows 11 Update History

Here are the details to that bug fix / KB (Snipping Tools is mentioned right away in the highlights) … a few other minor bugs are fixed as well:

November 5, 2021—KB5008295 Out-of-band (microsoft.com)

All in all, nice job Microsoft.

Cloud Compliance and Security

This “Cloud One” product offering from Trend Micro looks very promising. In this day and age of explosive cloud service growth, monitoring of cloud services for infrastructure, security and compliance is essential.

What does it do? Cloud One does the following and more:

Run continuous scans against hundreds of industry best practice checks, including SOC2, ISO 27001, NIST, CIS, GDPR, PCI DSS, GDPR, HIPAA, AWS and Azure Well-Architected Frameworks, and CIS Microsoft Azure Foundations Security Benchmark.

Cloud One – Conformity | Trend Micro

Microsoft Azure Advisor

Microsoft Azure Advisor is a super useful tool to help administrators obtain pertinent recommendations for improvement of services. It is used in order to work towards obtaining best practices. Azure will occasionally prompt administrators upon log in, but to get to it manually, simply type in “advisor” on the home screen search.

The categories focus on cost, security, reliability (aka, high availability), operational excellence, and performance. In a perfect world, we would always see all these wonderful green check marks, as below. Admittedly my ever-changing Azure account is currently limited, so the green was easy in this case. It is normally not unusual to see low, medium and high level recommendations, with descriptions of their impact on services.

Surfing USA

I found this neat little game, called “Surf”, that can be played right within the Microsoft Edge web browser. It is very basic, but it is pretty darn fun. This takes web surfing to another level (cheesy, I know).

Within Edge browser, type this to turn it on:

Edge://Surf

Surf is a very basic arrow and spacebar driven game, with a timed surf race competition. That is all. Surf away!