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January 2018



7-Zip 18.01

30 January 2018


A new Version 18.01 of the free 7-Zip archival utility has been released. This update adds a range of improvements including performance optimizations, reduced file fragmentation, support for new formats, as well as bug fixes.



Nvidia GeForce 390.77 WHQL

30 January 2018


Nvidia has released the 390.77 WHQL certified graphics driver. This driver is for GeForce 400 and higher graphics cards under Windows 7, 8 and 10. It provides the optimal experience for Kingdom Come: Deliverance, War Thunder, Black Desert Online, and Metal Gear Survive. The driver also contains PhysX version 9.17.0524 and updates GeForce Experience to version 3.12.0.



Firefox 58.0.1

30 January 2018


Mozilla has released Version 58.0.1 of the Firefox browser. This version provides a security fix.



Meltdown & Spectre Update

30 January 2018


As the Meltdown and Spectre debacle worsens, Microsoft has now released an Update which you can manually download from the MS Update Catalog and install to undo some of the performance and stability impacts of the previous patches. The security risk of undoing the Spectre and Meltdown mitigations is still low, so if your system stability is affected you can install this update.



CPU-Z 1.83

27 January 2018


A new Version 1.83 of the CPU-Z information utility has been released. This version adds support for new chipsets.



Chrome 64.0

25 January 2018


Google has released Version 64.0.3282.119 of the Chrome browser. This major update contains improvements, as well as security and bug fixes.



iTunes 12.7.3

24 January 2018


Apple has released a new Version 12.7.3 of the iTunes software. This update adds support for the HomePod smart speaker.



Firefox 58.0

24 January 2018


Mozilla has released Version 58.0 of the Firefox browser. Changes in this version include improved performance, improved screenshot feature, support for credit card auto-fill, and security fixes.



GPU-Z 2.7.0

24 January 2018


GPU-Z, a free graphics card information utility, has reached Version 2.7.0. This version updates NVFlash and provides bug fixes.



Intel Firmware Issues

23 January 2018


Intel has announced that it has now identified the root cause of sudden reboots on Broadwell and Haswell systems running the recent Meltdown & Spectre mitigation firmware updates. Beta versions of the revised firmware are being deployed for testing, and more details about the final release versions will be available shortly.



Opera 50.0

23 January 2018


The Opera browser has been updated to Version 50.0.2762.67. This version provides security fixes, including a Spectre fix.



AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.1.1

19 January 2018


AMD has released the WHQL (non-Alpha) Adrenalin Edition 18.1.1 driver for the HD 7700, HD 8500 series and above on Windows 7 and 10. This version fixes older DX9 games not working with previous Adrenalin drivers, as well as providing other bug fixes.



Intel Firmware Issues

19 January 2018


Intel has acknowledged that the firmware updates it has recently released to address the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities can cause sudden reboots on a range of CPUs. These include: Haswell, Broadwell, Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake, and Kaby Lake-based systems. Intel is identifying the cause and will release updates shortly.



Windows Updates

18 January 2018


Microsoft has released Windows 10 Cumulative Updates, including an Update which addresses earlier issues on AMD devices.



Java Runtime Environment 8.161

18 January 2018


Oracle has released an Update 161 to the Java Runtime Environment 8.



GPU-Z 2.6.0

17 January 2018


GPU-Z, a free graphics card information utility, has reached Version 2.6.0. This version adds support for Radeon Adrenalin Edition, adds support for new chipsets, and provides bug fixes.



CCleaner 5.39

17 January 2018


A new Version 5.39.6399 of the free CCleaner system cleaning utility has been released. This version provides minor interface improvements and bug fixes.



AMD Spectre Update

12 January 2018


An AMD Blog Post provides more details on its progress in addressing the Spectre vulnerability - the Meltdown vulnerability doesn't affect AMD CPUs, and neither vulnerability affects AMD GPUs. AMD explains that it believes the Windows patches being released should be sufficient for the most part, and is working with Microsoft to reissue problem-free Windows security updates for AMD systems by next week. AMD has also started releasing microcode updates for Ryzen and EPYC processors this week, and will do so for previous generations over the coming weeks.



Opera 50.0

12 January 2018


The Opera browser has been updated to Version 50.0.2762.58. Changes in this version include a Chromium update, as well as bug fixes.



Meltdown & Spectre Checkers

12 January 2018


As the Meltdown and Spectre hype continues to spread, Ashampoo has released a small free standalone Meltdown Spectre CPU Checker utility, which shows whether your system is currently vulnerable to one or both of these exploits. Tencent's Xuanwu Lab has also released an online Spectre Browser Test to determine whether your web browser is vulnerable to Spectre.



Meltdown & Spectre Patch Performance Impacts

10 January 2018


A Microsoft Blog Post goes into more detail regarding the performance impact of the fixes aimed at addressing the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. It notes Microsoft's findings that while systems running newer CPUs will see negligible slowdowns, systems with older (pre-2016) CPUs will notice a decrease in system performance, especially on Windows 8 and 7.



Microsoft Security Updates

10 January 2018


Microsoft has released its monthly set of Windows security updates which you can view here and obtain via Windows Update.



Flash Player 28.0

10 January 2018


Adobe has released Version 28.0.0.137 of the Flash Player plugin for browsers. To download the full offline installer, use these links depending upon your browser: Internet Explorer or Firefox or Opera. Use Windows Update to update the built-in Flash Player in IE11 under Windows 8 and 10, and Edge under Windows 10. Update to the latest version of Chrome to update its built-in Flash Player.



Nvidia GeForce 390.65 WHQL

9 January 2018


Nvidia has released the 390.65 WHQL certified graphics driver. This driver is for GeForce 400 and higher graphics cards under Windows 7, 8 and 10. It provides the optimal experience for Fortnite, adds the Nvidia Freestyle feature for applying post-process filters to games, and provides security fixes for Meltdown and Spectre. The driver also contains PhysX version 9.17.0524 and GeForce Experience version 3.11.0.



Microsoft Security Updates

9 January 2018


Microsoft has pulled the recent Windows 7 Rollup after numerous reports of bootup issues on systems with AMD CPUs.


Update: This bug affects Windows 10 as well, despite MS pulling only the Windows 7 Rollup. The quickest fix is to boot into Safe Mode and use the latest Restore Point to roll back your system to its state prior to the patch, then avoid installing the patch (Pause Updates if using Windows 10) until MS issues a fix.


Update 2: Microsoft has now Officially Blocked the Meltdown and Spectre patches from installing on AMD devices as it works with AMD to resolve the issue.



Microsoft Security Updates

6 January 2018


Microsoft has released its monthly set of Windows security updates early this month, with Windows 7 Rollup and Windows 8.1 Rollup updates now available via Windows Update. These updates are primarily for addressing Meltdown and Spectre.



Meltdown & Spectre Update

5 January 2018


This is rumor control, here are the facts regarding the recently-discovered Meltdown and Spectre CPU-based security vulnerabilities. Firstly, the vast majority of modern computing devices are affected by the flaw, including mobile devices. However, to actually exploit the vulnerability, malicious code needs to first be loaded onto your system/device, just like most any other malware. Therefore, as long as you practice sensible computing (e.g. don't click on suspicious links, don't install unfamiliar software, don't install apps from outside the app store, etc.) you should be safe. Furthermore, these exploits are yet to be found in the wild in significant numbers. But don't be complacent, as the exploits are very serious; patch your system as updates become available, backing up first before applying major patches in case something goes wrong.


Here's the state of play for updates from the major manufacturers:


  • Microsoft has already released Updates for Windows 10, 8 and 7, and its Internet Explorer and Edge browsers. Run Windows Update to obtain them, but note that as explained in this Microsoft Article if your anti-virus is detected as being potentially incompatible with the updates, you may not see them.
  • Intel has announced that it is working with both AMD and ARM to address this issue, and is releasing both software and firmware updates accordingly. Intel promises fixes for 90% of computers released in the last 5 years by the end of the week.
  • AMD notes that its processors are at much less risk because they operate differently from Intel CPUs, and thus don't have some of the security flaws - but AMD CPUs are still at risk. AMD is working with Intel to issue a fix.
  • Apple has announced that the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Mac are affected, but iOS 11.2, tvOS 11.2 and macOS 10.13.2 already contain security updates to address Meltdown, and an update will shortly be available to address Spectre.
  • Google has announced that Android devices are affected, but a security fix is already being rolled out for Google-supported and partner devices, with more updates to follow.
  • The major web browsers are also being updated to protect against Spectre.

  • Lastly, there were some initial statements that processing performance would suffer by up to 30% due to these fixes. Fortunately, in real-world scenarios and benchmarking (e.g. here and here), the performance impact appears negligible. So after making sure your backups are up-to-date, go ahead and patch your system/device.



    AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.1.1 Alpha

    5 January 2018


    AMD has released the Adrenalin Edition 18.1.1 Alpha driver for the HD 7700, HD 8500 series and above on Windows 7 and 10. This update provides an Alpha (early access) driver to address issues resulting in older DX9 games not working with previous Adrenalin drivers.



    Firefox 57.0.4

    5 January 2018


    Mozilla has released Version 57.0.4 of the Firefox browser. This version provides security fixes to address Meltdown and Spectre attacks.



    Chrome 63.0

    5 January 2018


    Google has released Version 63.0.3239.132 of the Chrome browser. This version provides security and bug fixes.



    Opera 50.0

    5 January 2018


    The Opera browser has been updated to Version 50.0.2762.45. Changes in this version include anti-Bitcoin mining functionality, VR improvements, Chromecast, performance improvements, as well as bug fixes.



    Major CPU Security Flaw

    4 January 2018


    Major design flaws in modern CPUs have been discovered, creating serious security vulnerabilities. The exploits which take advantage of these flaws have been dubbed Meltdown and Spectre, and virtually every system is at risk - though at the moment the risk is quite low. Microsoft has released a critical Security Update for all versions of Windows 10, as well as a Security Update for Windows 8 and a Security Update for Windows 7. Run Windows Update as soon as possible to secure your system.



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