What is the 700MB+ KB3000850? Pretty amazing, that’s what!



Update: Microsoft has finally brought the KB article online to verify that this “November Update” does bring some new features, but some of the biggest advancements are described here in our post from yesterday. Original post follows…


Windows Server 2012r2 machines recently saw a Windows Update made available, but when clicking to the Knowledge Base Article for more information, the article (KB3000850) was missing. So I did some digging and found this PowerPoint presentation which specifically mentions a “November Update” on slide 7, and confirms the KB number (KB3000850) on slide 20. The slideshow was part of a Microsoft TechEd Europe presentation, and discusses a brilliant new technology being added to Hyper-V for Windows server to deduplicate data within VDI files.


Before we go any further, the large update is also a rollup of all prior updates released for the Operating System, and includes new features. Consider it similar to a “Service Pack” in the old days – you don’t need to install the August Update, then this November update on a brand new machine, but this update should be considered a shortcut when deploying updates to a new computer. If you already have a computer or server running, the update is still considered optional, but will obviously include some new features. Once the Microsoft KB article goes live, you will be able to retrieve more details there.


Let me do my best to break this down in the simplest terms. A hypervisor server might have thousands of VDI (Virtual Disk Image) files. Virtual hard drives. Those drives can have lots of duplicated data, taking up space. Imagine ten hard drives with the same version of Windows. Why have ten identical copies of Windows when you could have one that all ten virtual machines access? This is, of course, an extreme oversimplification of an hour long presentation, but imagine if they finger print the files, verify that different files that need to be made available are available but 100% identical files are de-duplicated, thus saving TONS of space.


I don’t even run multiple virtual machines, and I certainly don’t host a Hyper-V server like some major “cloud-based” companies out there… but this is astounding technology and I can’t believe that they are releasing it to the public rather than hoarding it for their own Azure cloud. I have no use for this update, personally, but I’m excited by it nonetheless, it’s very impressive

Understanding “net neutrality” and Title II vs. Section 706

Listen to / watch the next 3 minutes (or more) of this, continue reading my post if you’re still interested:




In the video, Tom admits that Section 706 sounds like the right choice. And if it were properly amended, it could be.


Understanding WHY geeks want Title II reclassification vs. Section 706 for “net neutrality.” The biggest thing is that Title II might force cable companies to allow other companies to come in and use their lines. Thus forcing MORE competition and a more “free-market-like” environment.


Section 706, by definition, is basically “net neutrality” (no throttling, etc…), and says that the FCC is allowed to remove barriers and “promote competition” in the market, BUT has not been used in the past the same way Title II has (where other companies get to come in and “lease” lines from somebody like Verizon in order to compete with Verizon). So how it will promote competition is unclear.


Internet providers WANT Sec. 706 reclassification because they suggest Title II would “reduce competition.” How many choices for internet providers or cable TV providers do you have right now? How can competition be much more reduced than it already is?


Title II, although from the 1930’s, increases competition. Pure and simple. The parts that do not apply you can easily forbear (like cable companies being forced to assume the cost of putting up telephone poles, etc…), there is more than enough legal precedent to make that simple, it is a common practice. The law from 1996 means the providers the keep the network resources they are already hoarding and not using (spectrum purchased at FCC auctions then left untapped – I can expand on this if requested), which gives Internet Providers more leeway to “experiment” with data shaping – and they assure us that although it might technically violate what we know as the definition of net neutrality, it wouldn’t violate the “spirit” of net neutrality. Because they’ve proven to be so trustworthy thus far.


I would rather see their excess capacity sold and leased to other, smaller, local internet providers and a new era of competition begin – lower prices, faster services, no monthly limitations. Title II is the best thing for the internet right now, lets hope it happens.

The Microsoft Subscription finally arrives



This is almost what I have been looking for since March. Microsoft today announced the Work and Play subscription bundle. For $199 a year, here’s what you get:

  • Office 365 – That means full access to Office online, at least 1TB of OneDrive storage (should be “unlimited” now, due to recent changes in Office 365), and 5 installs of the latest version of Microsoft office on 5 of your family PC’s / Mac’s. A $70 value.
  • Xbox Live Gold – Although we discussed benefits of Gold in the past, it’s not as valuable as it once was, but with promotions like Games With Gold, it’s still an absolutely worthwhile investment.A $60 value.
  • Xbox Music Pass – Unlimited streaming and some “synchronized” management of your music library across multiple devices. A $99 value.
  • Skype Unlimited World + WiFi – Microsoft describes this as: “Unlimited minutes to call friends and family around the globe from your laptop, tablet, phone, or TV.” Also, “WiFi access at over 2 million hotspots worldwide – connect to the internet from virtually any device.” Paul Thurrott does the math to estimate the value at about $165 a year.

  • The only thing I wish it included was an Office 365-like subscription to Windows. Give me 2 licenses for 8.1, and allow me to upgrade to Windows 10 when it releases. That would be nice. But outside of that, this is almost exactly what I had been asking for!

Download Windows 10 Preview!

Yes, yesterday Microsoft announced that Windows 10 was the name of the next version of Windows, skipping the name Windows 9. Microsoft claims that this is such an advanced release of Windows that it’s more than just one version different! These are claims that sound hard to believe, so Microsoft wants to challenge you to believe see for yourself! Today marks the release of the first public preview for Windows 10! preview.Windows.com has all of the information you need to know! The product key is listed on the top of the download page, so just visit Microsoft and download the latest version of the Windows 10 preview. There is a “preview upgrade” version available, however it embeds itself with your computer. I strongly recommend downloading the ISO version and installing it on a spare computer, separate partition, or a Virtual Machine.

It is extremely important to note that this is a technical preview. It could have some bugs and other issues, and may also be substantially different from the final version of Windows 10. Remember, the earliest Windows 8 technical previews still had a Start Menu. 2015 will likely see a consumer preview and a developer’s preview prior to the typical RTM (Release to Manufacturing) release before it gets released at retail. Stay tuned for the future!

Windows Phone introduces MyFamily parental controls

Microsoft has developed the MyFamily platform, allowing you to customize your child’s experience on Windows Phone. You can not only limit whether or not they are allowed to buy things from the store (i.e. spend your money), but you can also specify the age-ratings of the games they are allowed to play, and affords you additional auditing and safety features.

From the Windows Phone team: “My Family works with Microsoft Family Safety, a service designed to help you keep tabs on kids’ computer and online activities. If your child uses a PC or Xbox, you may already have set up a family in order to use parental controls.”

Some excellent instructions for setting up My Family can be found on WindowsPhone.com, so have that open or printed off, and then get started on WindowsPhone.com/Family.

Answering your questions: is cloud backup safe? Can I host my own cloud?

These are some common questions to a pretty abstract concept. Whenever you “back up to the cloud” there will be a server out there somewhere with your information. Whether you use Apple’s iCloud, Google’s Google Drive, Microsoft’s OneDrive, or even the well known independents DropBox and SpiderOak, or even paid “backup” solutions which offer syncing, like Mozy and Carbonite. Continue reading

3 easy steps to disable Facebook Auto-Play videos

Facebook’s new auto-playing video strategy is causing headaches. I disabled it when it was first introduced I’m shocked that, even a year later, not everybody else did. Maybe they just didn’t know how? This can make your facebook faster, keep your internet running speedier for other things, and alleviate the pressure on your bandwidth cap.

Luckily, it’s an easy fix!

  1. In the upper right hand corner, near the notifications, click the downward facing arrow, then click Settings.
  2. On the left, at the bottom, click Videos.
  3. Using the bottom drop down, change “auto-play videos” to “Off.”

Facebook Messenger isn't QUITE as bad as everyone is making it out to be

The Facebook Messenger App for Android has gotten a LOT of bad press, lately, so I wanted to clear up a few misconceptions.

Before I discuss the app itself, first, let me say I’m not on Facebook’s side of much of anything. I detest the service, I lie to it whenever possible, and I really wish the world would move on to a new platform. But as much as I dislike Facebook as a service, the Messenger app itself is getting raked over the coals for taking less information than Candy Crush! As people go around Facebook clicking “Share” and “Like” on every little thing they see, they don’t realize they are giving the people who created those Facebook pages just as many permissions as this app they are complaining about. The ACLU created the Hi, Nice to Meet You application to show just what you reveal when you click “LIKE.”

So, having said that, let’s actually look at why the app isn’t as bad as people are saying. Continue reading

How to repair Super Game Boy games missing sound

A few years ago, I bought a Super Game Boy on eBay. Certain sounds appeared to work, like hitting the L+R Buttons to bring up the menu, worked with no problem. But the games I played had no music or sounds!

Luckily, I found a forum that proposed an answer. I don’t have the electronics expertise to verify this myself (I only recently found someone who may attempt the fix for me), but several of the comments confirmed this to be a known issue and this was the correct solution! After a recent attempt to revisit the old forum, it turns out the domain has expired. I have posted the text of the solution in other places, but I wanted to archive the text as well as the image that was originally provided in the forum. See below for the fix!


click to enlarge

The author’s instructions indicate you should replace the two caps near each other with “4.7 25V” caps – and if you have a graphic glitching issues, you can replace the 3rd capacitor (just above pin 58) with a “22 6.3V” capacitor.

Video game fun with Wolfram|Alpha

Ready to get your geek ALL THE WAY on for this holiday weekend (in the States)? Go to Wolfram|Alpha and type any of the following:

graph Mario curve
graph Donkey Kong curve
graph Wario curve
graph Waluigi curve
graph Koopa curve
graph Goomba curve
graph Bowser curve
graph Sonic curve
graph Eggman curve (OR graph Robotnik curve).

Leave a comment if you find more characters to draw!