Make a Bootable Ubuntu USB Stick on Windows

I decided to try “Ubuntu on a Stick” – it is not  an odd restaurant menu item, but rather a way to either boot into and test drive the latest Ubuntu version [in this case, 17.10] or to straight out install onto a PC partition via the ‘stick’ [or flash drive]. I ended up doing the latter within 24 hours, replacing a Windows 10 OS.

Ubuntu has an awesome tutorial, so I will not reinvent the wheel. I followed their perfect instructions and all went well. I was ready, willing and able to install Ubuntu on a 2-3 year old HP Pavilion 360 touch screen, after learning that touch does work efficiently now on recent Ubuntu Linux . I upgraded my laptop with a new, beefier model for my Windows 10 needs, but I believed the HP Pavilion [touch ready] 360 is perfect for Linux – it is.

Although I did test drive Ubuntu for 1 night, working right off the USB flash drive, which is always pretty darn cool, I did have to remember a few details once I decided to move forward with installation.

Number 1, if installing Ubuntu on the entire PC or laptop hard drive, you may lose data, so use extra, extra, extra caution! In my case, I had removed or backed up to another USB a few files that were needed but actually most files were in my “OneDrive” Cloud storage, so it was an easy decision – I had no data to lose, because it was stored elsewhere. So, time to erase the drive completely with my Ubuntu USB stick. But …

Number 2, it is tricky to boot from a USB stick if you do not understand Windows 10 shutdown. The Shutdown on Windows 10 is not really a complete shutdown. In Window 10: on the new “Fast Startup” Windows 10 shutdown / start up mechanism, the kernel does not actually close. It hibernates. For a complete shutdown, try this in Powershell: shutdown /s /f . Or … the SHIFT key can be held down as you exit the Windows 10 in order to shut down 100% and get up the BIOS screen. This is needed in order to fully shut down, start up and to tap “ESC” [for this HP] in order to have access to BIOS and boot menu options. That is needed for Ubuntu to be installed on the laptop via the USB.

Here is the USB flash folder layout – an entire Ubuntu Linux world on a stick, as seen from my new Windows 10 laptop. This is an ISO image, which enables booting from the USB drive [referenced above]

The [updated] tutorial is located here!

Equifax Breach or Hack

This is the only link [the first one, below] or site that matters when it comes to the Equifax hack. There are many phishing websites disguising themselves, and reports are coming in that hoax or fake emails are popping into Inboxes. Use caution. ONLY go through Equifax, seeming as though they are the ones who caused the mess. As they likely already have your identity, and then lost it via a hack, you may as well follow the steps off the link below to get yourself courtesy identity theft protection for a few years [that is their penance].

I would even emphasize that you should not take my [or anyone’s] word for it, and double check on Equifax’s website yourself.

Cross reference with the FTC:

Samsung Galaxy Line

I agree with this guy – the Samsung line of Galaxy phones are the main game in town. I use a Galaxy S8+and it is a fantastic smart phone.

Samsung is playing on a different level, and now the iPhone is the only competition

“Samsung has a great way of keeping itself in the technology conversation by having dueling flagship phone releases: a Galaxy S around March, and a Galaxy Note around August. It has also had a knack for releasing really great phones over the past three years in particular. From the Galaxy S8 to the larger Galaxy S8+ and now Galaxy Note 8, Samsung has a product set at a range from roughly $650 to $950 in sizes that can appeal to a wide range of buyers.”

Microsoft: Top 8 Features of SQL Server 2016

Fascinating technical materials from Microsoft on the latest SQL Server.

“SQL Server 2016 will deliver breakthrough, mission-critical capabilities with improved performance, security, scale, and operational analytics. The new and improved features in SQL Server 2016 will enable Microsoft IT and the ESBI team to create BI solutions that support advanced analytics directly within databases and help users gain deeper insights into their data. “


  • In-Memory OLTP helps ESBI meet their users’ business requirements for increased agility.
  • Columnstore Indexes reduce the amount of time it takes to run and render SRSS reporting data.
  • Temporal data reduces the amount of support tickets received from the field due to inaccurate data.
  • Row-Level Security provides a more reliable and standardized method to easily control which users can access data.
  • Dynamic Data Masking helps limit exposure of sensitive data, preventing users who should not have access to the data from viewing it.
  • Query Store provides better insight into the performance differences caused by changes in query plans.
  • Active Query Statistics allows a view of active query execution plans and helps identify and fix blocking issues while queries are running.
  • SQL Stretch Database helps improve performance to frequently used data while preserving access to archived data.

Read The Full Article


This is a wonderful overview of the “Darknet” and the Thor browser.

Darknet 101: Your guide to the badlands of the internet

“Hacked login details. Cybersecurity exploits for hire. Drugs, guns and ammo. If there’s something shady going on online, chances are it’s happening on the darknet.”

Read it Here

New Thinking On Password Changes

I really like this way of thinking outside the box! Some of the old, and current, concepts on password complexity, length, history etc. are being revised. There is some new thinking on the matter, based mainly on trends and analytics Microsoft has done via millions of hack attempts on Azure based resources.

New Microsoft recommendations:

  • “Maintain an 8-character minimum length requirement (and longer is not necessarily better).
  • Eliminate character-composition requirements.
  • Eliminate mandatory periodic password resets for user accounts.
  • Ban common passwords, to keep the most vulnerable passwords out of your system.
  • Educate your users not to re-use their password for non-work-related purposes.
  • Enforce registration for multi-factor authentication.
  • Enable risk based multi-factor authentication challenges.”

Read it here 

Thousands of Hacked Home Routers are Attacking WordPress Sites

Thousands of Hacked Home Routers are Attacking WordPress Sites

Fascinating blog from WordFence, one of the best WordPress firewall out there. They uncovered attacks coming from various countries and regions. The target is home networks. There is a router vulnerability called “Misfortune Cookie” [really] that is being exploited. It appears many home routers are hacked with this vulnerability and they in turn launch attacks. The tricky part here is that the launched attacks are actually small per home router, so detection is difficult.

The really weird thing is that the IPS are coming from all over the place, but attacks from Algeria [!] are increasing dramatically.

Read the WordFence Blog here

LinkedIn Integration with Office Applications

Now that the Microsoft ‘LinkedIn’ purchase is completed, Microsoft is aggressively pursuing more relevant and very forward-thinking usage of all its applications in the SaaS [Office 365] world.

Nutshell: lots of resume / job searching /social profile types of integration between ‘LinkedIn’ and Office applications.

“With its $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn getting the thumbs up from EU regulators, Microsoft is wasting no time in integrating the social platform with its productivity software.

The goal — as described by the tech giant’s CEO Satya Nadella — is to utilize LinkedIn’s networking and learning resources to help people “develop new skills online, find new jobs, and easily connect and collaborate.” “

Read it here

Microsoft Wants Us to Move Away from VMware

Yeah, I see no reason for people to stay with VMware. You get free virtualization with the latest Windows Server 2012 and [soon to be released] 2016, especially if you purchase the Datacenter version.

‘Microsoft offers free Windows Server 2016 licenses to VMware switchers’

Read it here