This article came up in my feed recently:

Microsoft Exchange admin portal blocked by expired SSL certificate (archive.is)

This noted that the Microsoft Exchange admin portal was down after Microsoft forgot to renew the SSL certificate for the website.

That sounded familiar to me so I went back and searched my blog.

Bingo!

In that case Microsoft tweeted:

It’s déjà vu all over again.

Apparently Microsoft didn’t take my advice:

Maybe they should have put a reminder on their Outlook calendar.

Originally published at https://blog.benmoore.info.


I know I’m not your normal user. I try things so you don’t have to.

Recently I forced the installation of Windows 10 21H1 on my ThinkPad. To do this, I downloaded the Windows Update Assistant and ran it.

Don’t try this at home.

Unlike the upgrade from the Windows Update app, this process does a FULL Windows 10 update.

But it all went well. It took a long time unlike using the Windows Update app but worked fine.

Then a week later, I was poking around in my C: drive. (You do this, don’t you?)

I found several folders…


In several of Microsoft’s recent updates, e.g. Windows 10 21H1 update, when the system reboots the user is presented with aggressive fullscreen dialogs.

Here is what I saw on one of my systems and how I recommend that you respond.

“Your device needs to connect to a few more Microsoft services …”

No, it doesn’t “need” to connect. Ignore everything and click on “Continue”.


I follow cloud vendors’ outages. Broadly, I believe that cloud vendors can deliver higher availability than most SMBs can do themselves. Enterprises are a different discussion.

Recently Salesforce had a DNS outage. Like other vendors, e.g. Microsoft, the Salesforce outage even took down their status page!

And look at the spin they tried to put on it.

“We’re not blaming one employee,” said Chief Availability Officer Darryn Dieken.

And then they threw him under the bus.

“For whatever reason that we don’t understand, the employee decided to do a global deployment,” Dieken went on.

But wait, there’s more…

“In this…


Sorry, but this is just a rant. I’m an Amazon Prime user. I have several Amazon Echos. On the Echos, I have the display set to play a slideshow of photos from Amazon Photos.

That has been working fine until 05/11/21. The Echo Show 5 started only displaying the weather, no photos. I poked around in the settings and confirmed that I had the display set to show my photos, the weather, and upcoming calendar events.

Amazon has a tacky habit of silently turning on other features but this time that hadn’t happened. …


Now, Dell is not my favorite PC vendor. It probably has something to do with the smoke that came out of my coworker’s office as her new Dell laptop burned up.

But I’m not going to jump on Dell in this post. You can do whatever you want.

This post is about what you should do as soon as you buy a new PC.

But first, I will mention what cranked me up on this.

Since 2009, Dell has been distributing “nice” utilities on all of its PCs that updated their firmware. …


Now that I’ve got your attention, iOS 14.5 really isn’t “Fake News.” It’s just that the news around it was so over-hyped.

Here are a few headlines from early April:

iOS 14.5 is making the biggest change to apps in years — here’s how
Apple Now Rejecting App Updates That Defy iOS 14.5 App Tracking Transparency Rules
Apple reminds developers to prepare for App Tracking Transparency ahead of iOS 14.5 release

Then iOS 14.5 was released on 04/26/21.

I approached it cautiously. First on my iPhone, then my iPad, then my iPad Mini, …

But I haven’t seen any of…


Have you ever built a data center?

In my 40+ year career, I’ve probably been involved in building around 10 data centers.

Then this article was mentioned in Windows Weekly episode 721.

Microsoft: We’re on pace to build 50 to 100 new datacenters each year

Microsoft currently operates more than 200 data centers. Think of the logistics of building 50–100 data centers each year! I’d guess there would have to be 10–20 people dedicated to each project not to mention the expenditures.

After each data center is up and running, then you’ve to facilitate the network connectivity, the power, the…


In Part I, I discussed Network Address Translation (NAT).

That seems like a good idea and it is.

But…

What if the response doesn’t come back on the same PORT as it originated on? Then NAT Port Address Translation (PAT) won’t let it through.

How does NAT PAT know what to do?

That’s when Application Layer Gateways (ALGs) come into play.

[ALG] allows customized NAT traversal filters to be plugged into the gateway to support address and port translation for certain application layer … protocols …

In Security Now Episode 792, Steve Gibson explains:

The problem is that Application Layer…


This is the first in a series of posts about Application Layer Gateways. But first you have to understand Network Address Translation (NAT).

NAT is what makes your router such a good firewall.

Basically it makes all of your Internet requests look as if they originated from the router, hiding your various devices. But more than that, it only allows incoming packets that are responsive to outgoing packets.

Here’s how wikipedia explains it:

[T]he port numbers are changed so that the combination of IP address (within the IP header) and port number (within the Transport Layer header) on the returned…

Ben Moore

IT professional, Formula 1 fan

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