HP Elite x3 grabs 5th firmware update to improve low-light photos, performance and more

HP is continuing to improve the Elite x3 running Windows 10 Mobile. A new firmware (it’s fifth) is now available 0002.0000.0026.0118 and there is even a changelog to go with it. That’s a jump from the current 0113 version that came out just a few weeks ago.

Here is what’s new.


How to stop people from changing your Windows 10 desktop wallpaper

Does someone keep changing your desktop background on Windows 10? Here’s how to stop them and lock down some specific wallpaper.

There could be many good reasons you may want to prevent users from changing the desktop background on Windows 10. Perhaps you work for a company that wants devices (or guest computers) only to display a custom wallpaper with a company logo. Or at home, if you share your computer with other people, you may want to see a particular desktop background, but someone keeps changing it.

Windows 10 offers a few ways to keep users from changing the desktop background on a computer, including using Group Policy and modifying the Registry.

In this Windows 10 guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to restrict users from changing the current desktop background using the Local Group Policy Editor and Registry.

How to prevent users from changing wallpaper using Group Policy
How to prevent users from changing wallpaper using Registry

How to prevent users from changing wallpaper using Group Policy

You can keep users from changing the current desktop background in multiple ways, but the quickest method is to use the Local Group Policy Editor, as long as you’re running Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education.


Redesigning network topology for modern app architecture (Technical Case Study)

For Microsoft IT, the transition to the cloud requires fundamental changes to legacy network design. Modern, cloud-based apps and services need reliable Internet connectivity to provide top-notch user experiences and high levels of productivity. We evaluated our network’s needs and set about to re-architect the infrastructure to support the cloud-first, mobile-first culture at Microsoft—creating a proactive network model that takes advantage of consistent taxonomy, standard configuration, and automation.


Personas drive usage and accessibility in the Microsoft Lobby Experience (Article)

When universal design principles challenged our thinking, Microsoft IT took accessibility to a new level with the design of our updated lobby experience. Not only did we incorporate accessible features into the multitouch technologies throughout our new lobbies, we leveraged personas to build inclusive improvements into our designs from the start. The holistic approach goes beyond typical accessibility scenarios—it provides an improved experience across a broad audience by addressing more subtle, situational impairments.


(Part 2) Windows Server 2016 – Shielded Virtual Machines – Demo

In this demo we will show how Windows Server 2016 Shielded Virtual Machines work through the role of a tenant administrator that needs to host a sensitive workload. We will look at all the steps required to make a Shielded Virtual Machine and then we will examine the virtual machine to understand how guarded it is. Through this demo you can explore the methods for making and managing more secure virtual machines for various scenarios through Windows Server 2016 Shielded Virtual Machines.[1:26] DEMO: How to Set up a Shielded Virtual Machine


SC 2016 DPM UR2: Protect Microsoft 2016 workloads to Cloud using Azure Backup

System Center Data Protection Manager (SC DPM) is an Enterprise backup solution, providing App Consistent backups to workloads as SQL, SharePoint, Exchange and File Servers, running in Physical or Virtualized Environments. In addition, you can also backup your Hyper-V and VMWare VMs (with SC 2012 R2 DPM UR11). These backups can be stored on disks for short term, and on Azure for long term retention and offsite copy compliance needs. To backup to Azure, all you need to do is to register on Azure Portal, and download the MARS agent and the vault credential file. You can set it up on DPM in five minutes.
Further, SC 2016 DPM, with Modern Backup Storage, gives you the freedom to store your high churn workload backups on faster storage as SAN, and low churn workloads on slower storage as JBODS. This considerably reduces your backup TCO with the 50% storage savings, and faster backups. These savings get compounded with the backups to Azure being compressed, achieving savings of about 30% on an average.
Key Features
Here are some key features in SC 2016 DPM UR2:

Protect your 2016 Server Workloads: The much awaited features are now here. You can begin protecting your SQL 2016, SharePoint 2016, and Exchange 2016 workloads with SC 2016 DPM. Further, you can also have your SC 2016 DPM DB stored on SQL 2016. All you need to upgrade the SQL version of DPM DB is to follow the simple steps here, and you are good to go.
Auto protection to cloud: If auto protection is enabled for a SQL instance, SC 2016 DPM UR2, and SC 2012 R2 DPM UR12 now auto-protect your SQL databases to Azure. This means that DPM detects and creates an offsite copy for any new SQL DBs on your protected server to meet the offsite copy and compliance needs .
Security Features for your Backups: SC 2016 DPM UR2, and SC 2012 R2 DPM UR 12 announce enhanced security for your cloud backups. These features provide an additional layer of protection, and the ability to recover in case of attacks. These are built on three pillars of Security: Prevention, Alerting, and Recovery.

With this, SC DPM asks for a Security PIN whenever critical changes, as modification of the Passphrase is triggered. This prevents hackers to re-encrypt the data and backups. Only users with valid credentials can perform this operation, safeguarding your backups, and more importantly, your access to them. You are alerted when the operation is complete. In case your cloud backups are deleted, they are retained for a longer period and can be restored. Further, strict enforcement of a minimum retention range helps you in ensuring that you can always restore your data from multiple recovery points.
Related links and additional content
Get SC 2016 DPM up and running in 10 minutes using the Evaluation VHD and begin backing up to Azure using Free Azure Trial Subscription.

Download SC 2016 DPM UR2and SC 2012 R2 DPM UR12
Learn more about Azure Backup Security Features
Browse documentation or reach out to SCDPM forum for support
Follow us on Twitter @AzureBackup for latest news and updates


How to find out which app is using your webcam on Windows

My webcam is on, but nobody’s home — how do I identify the app that’s using it?

If you’ve already experienced the unease of seeing your webcam light come on when you aren’t using it, you might be one of the countless people who covers the little camera with a piece of a sticky note or sticky tack. Some malicious programs that hijack your webcam can disable the LED that lets you know when it’s turned on.

This affordable accessory protects your webcam from prying eyes
Less fear mongering and more solutions, you say? OK. First, if you see your webcam light is on and you don’t know why, cover it up. Now that it’s covered, let’s take a look at how to find out which app is controlling your webcam and how to regain your privacy.

How to download Process Explorer
How to find your webcam’s name
How to see which app is using your webcam
How to run a malware scan with Windows Defender

How to download Process Explorer

Microsoft has a neat little tool that is sort of like a task manager working on a deeper level. It allows you to search by device, to see which process is using it. Microsoft explains it well:

Process Explorer shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded.


Xbox Game Pass complete list of available games

Check out a complete list of all the games currently offered by Xbox Game Pass.

Xbox Game Pass is still in its very early days, but there are already some great titles to play inside the program.

How Xbox Game Pass works on Xbox One

If you’re looking to see exactly what’s available right now, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s a full A-to-Z list, along with details on Xbox-360 and Xbox-One backwards compatibility.