Google Chrome updates are disabled by the administrator



8/13/2014 ATTENTION:

After plenty of tearing my hair out, I don't use the Google Chrome update function any more. Instead, when I know there's a Google Chrome update available (Secunia PSI alerts me), I just go to Google Chrome, do an online search for the latest download, download it and install it. It works.

Forget about what's written below.

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My security tool (Secunia PSI) reported that my Chrome needed updating, but when I tried to update, Chrome threw this message:

Google Chrome Updates Are Disabled By The Administrator  

I googled the problem, and just about everybody offered the same registry hack, but the hack didn't work for me. I found I had to enhance it to get it to work.

The original registry hack eveyrbody recommended was:

Go to : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\
Double-click at the UpdateDefault
And type 0 to 1
Exit Registry Editor, restart Chrome  

But I found that, in addition, I needed to make one more change in the same place. I had to change the setting for DisableAutoUpdateChecksCheckboxValue from 1 to 0.

Don't forget to restart Chrome when you're done




Chromecast, Slingbox, and Optimum App

The goal

I'm on a dual path of both reducing our cable boxes and reducing our dependence upon cable. We're not ready to give up cable yet, but we don't need five cable boxes any more. Maybe we never did, but that's water under the proverbial bridge.

We have five televisions in our home, yet we now only need two cable boxes. In the last half year, we've ceremoniously returned the other three, one at a time. This post explains some additions I've made to our home technology, toward meeting our goals mentioned above.

We do have some old Windows laptops lying around, which helps.

1. Chromecast -- Sends any supported chrome app or anything running in the Chrome browser to any television in your home that has a Chromecast device plugged into its HDMI port. Your computer does not have to be hooked up to your television, and can be in a different room from your television. Chromecast lets you watch all those streaming TV apps offered by Chromecast, without needing any cable at all. This is the device that could ultimately allow us to let go entirely of cable, except we still want sports. And now, we're even experimenting with doing without the sports channels -- we've just downgraded our cable service, just to see.

2. Slingbox -- Brings cable to any computer anywhere, and attached external displays are allowed. We use our two Slingboxes to sling cable to from our remaining two cable boxes to anywhere in the house where it is desired. That allows two different people to be watching two different programs at the same time.

3. Optimum App -- Brings cable to any computer anywhere within your network, but no external displays hooked up to your computer are allowed. Optimum App will work in your  home as long as you have at least one cable box, and it does not dominate any one cable box. In other words, it's as though you have an additional cable box.

A few more things to know:

Chromecast 

 1. Chrome apps supported by Chromecast can be resized with no effect on your computer. But if you're running something else in Chrome, resizing to full screen could prevent you from using your computer. Instead, I have a dedicated laptop hooked up to the television with a VGA cable. Broken laptops are great for this. The one I have has a broken display. You could also use a laptop that no longer holds a charge, and always stays plugged in.
2. I got my Chromecast for $35.
3. I have found Chromecast not to work for viewing movies on a hard drive, external drive, or NAS device. Part of the problem is I had mp4's that seemed not to play well with RealPlayer Cloud (required if you're casting from a laptop), and part is degraded quality. Instead, I use my busted laptop, hooked to my television with a VGA cable, to show movies on the big screen.

Slingbox 

1. Slingbox is hooked up to a cable box. A slight drawback of a Slingbox is that you have to regress from HDMI back to component cables plus audio cables. That's because HDMI connections enable copy protection, thus disallowing Slingbox. If Slingbox could use HDMI, then you'd use two cables -- one into the Slingbox, and one out. But because we're stuck with component plus audio, that's five cables in and five cables out. That's ten cables to collect dust. That's what led us to put the sling boxes in the basement.
2. I got a Slingbox for $40, through a promotional. It's refurbished, which amounts to the same thing as new, but with a shorter warranty. Look for promotionals or refurbished.
3. Some online discussions claim you can use your Slingbox without a cable box (by hooking it directly to the coax running from the wall) but that would only be true of a service which does not scramble the signal. That wouldn't work for us.
4. For each Slingbox we own, we can sling the signal to one device. 

Optimum App

1. Optimum App is free, requires no additional hardware, and works for anyone who has cable. It lets us extend the number of people in the house who can use cable at the same time. I use Optimum App on my Kindle Fire.
2. Optimum App disallows any external display, so you can't watch cable on your big TV hooked to your laptop. But it's nice for portability -- for myself, it means I can clean the house, room by room, and bring my Kindle Fire with me for continuous television viewing.

In another recent post, I described what happened when I tried to use Slingbox and Chromecast at the same time. It worked, but wasn't pretty.

LastPass for a last blast at passwords

I just installed LastPass last week.

LastPass has solved some problems. I use multiple computers and multiple browsers, yet I've been stuck on firefox bookmarks for years. I keep having to change my bookmarks and replicate them everywhere -- boo! And I was saving my password hints in those bookmarks. Not safe!

Not any more. LastPass encrypts my passwords.

And LastPass organizes my bookmarks into...well...bookmarks. But now I can access them from anywhere, and from any browser.

And LastPass lets me make my desktop less secure, while my laptop can be more secure. That's because LastPass has both cloud settings and computer-based settings. Even browser-based settings.
On my laptop, I use my LastPass vault instead of bookmarks.

And because it's cloud-based, there's a single place to make changes to bookmarks and passwords.

LastPass is intuitive, right down to changing my mind a million times about which links belong to which folder. If the folder doesn't exist, I can invent it on the fly.

LastPass accepts your invented passwords, or will make them up for you for each site. And for each site, you can tell it whether you'd like auto-login.

I will never again have to take a day off from work to update my hundreds of passwords. LastPass will even alert me if I've got any repeated passwords. Repeated passwords you say? That used to be the norm. Now it's an alert. Yay.

And there's so much more. But instead of taking my word for it, try LastPass. It's free. There's a paid version too, great for your small business.