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 CTO.org - Technology News Archive
Selected news feeds from CNET News.com, Computerworld, TechWeb, and Yahoo! News


Wed, April 18, 2018
Tue, April 17, 2018
Mon, April 16, 2018
Sun, April 15, 2018
Sat, April 14, 2018
Fri, April 13, 2018
Thu, April 12, 2018

 Latest Technology News
Carphone Warehouse, a UK-based phone retailer, puts the phones up on its page hours before they are expected to launch in Brazil, although the pages were quickly taken down.

At the annual RSA Conference, Lewinsky asks cybersecurity professionals to help vulnerable people stay safe online and spoke out against cyberbullying.

Chip giant is closing down its new devices group, maker of fitness trackers and smart glasses, according to The Information.

If you're going to be hit with a hammer under anesthesia, might as well be hit by the best hammer of all.

In 2016, rising water temperatures caused a mass bleaching event on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Now, researchers know just how bad the damage was.

The 3.0-liter turbo diesel from Ford is the most fuel-efficient full-size pickup truck on the market... for now.

The world's biggest social network is at the center of an international scandal involving voter data, the 2016 US presidential election and Brexit.

The social network may join other tech giants that're reducing dependence on chipmakers, Bloomberg reports. Its processors could help with AI and Oculus VR headsets.

Chipmaker in January promised to cut expenses to curry investor support against Broadcom's hostile takeover bid.

Elon Musk's rocket company launches a satellite designed to search for other Earths.

The BMW M2's new Competition package adds more power and poise to one of our favorite sport coupes.

Whether you have a day, a weekend or a whole week to prepare, we've outlined which MCU films you *must* watch and how long it'll take you.

This beautiful and strange new movie recalls Studio Ghibli with its dreamlike fantasy.

Amazon's CEO reveals the number in his latest shareholder letter. Until now, that specific number had been kept a secret.

It's a small country after all. Iceland issues international arrest warrant for the suspected mastermind of the "Big Bitcoin Heist."

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There are tons of Chrome extensions that enhance and add features to the Gmail interface. The extensions in this article are the ones we'-™ve come to like the best. They do everything from making handy little interface tweaks to adding sophisticated functions to Gmail. Some have been around for several years, while some were released a few months ago '-” but all can be useful additions to your Gmail experience.

To be clear: We don'-™t recommend installing these extensions all at once '-” too many extensions installed on any browser can slow its performance. Instead, consider our list and choose the ones that give you the features you want most in Gmail.

The launch of a big Microsoft Windows 10 update like the Fall Creators Update isn'-™t the end of a process '-” it'-™s really just the beginning. As soon as a major update is released, Microsoft quickly gets to work on improving it by fixing bugs, releasing security patches, and occasionally adding new features.

Here we'-™ve summarized what you need to know about every Windows 10 update being released to the public. First come updates to the currently shipping version of Windows 10 '-” version 1709, known as the Fall Creators Update '-” with the most recent updates on top. (Note that the Fall Creators Update is on a phased rollout, so you may not have received it yet.) Below that are updates to version 1703, known as the Creators Update. For each build, we'-™ve included the date of its initial release and a link to Microsoft'-™s announcement about it.

Microsoft has postponed the release of the next Windows 10 feature upgrade for an unspecified period, saying that, among other things, the code harbored a bug that crippled some personal computers.

"In certain cases, these reliability issues [we discovered] could have led to a higher percentage of (BSOD) on PCs," wrote Dona Sarkar, the head of Microsoft's Windows Insider preview program, in a Monday post to a company blog. She was using the acronym for "Blue Screen of Death," the crash error screen made infamous by Windows.

With police departments and federal agencies lining up to buy technology from two companies whose products can bypass iPhone security mechanisms, experts said users concerned about privacy should use a strong passcode to help prevent unwanted access to data.

That's also true for enterprise users with iPhones that access potentially sensitive coporate data.

Simply put, complex passcodes are always better for security, according to Phil Hochmuth, IDC's program director for enterprise mobility. Common best practices for creating a hard-to-crack passcode includes using both upper- and lower-case characters, numbers and uncommon words.

Installing a pre-release version of your web browser promises at least two distinct thrills. The first one: You get to test new features sometimes months before mainstream users see them. How cool is that?

The second thrill comes from taking a risk. Installing pre-release software can cause data loss (perhaps even hair loss), excess battery drain on portables and other aggravations. As Google puts it on its Chrome Canary download page, it'-™s '-'not for the faint of heart.'-"

But let'-™s assume you'-™re up for the challenge and eager to see what'-™s next for your browser. Here'-™s what you need to know about pre-release versions of Chrome, Safari Technical Preview, Firefox and Edge.

Windows Hello is a biometrics-based technology that enables Windows 10 users to authenticate secure access to their devices, apps, online services and networks with just a fingerprint, iris scan or facial recognition. The sign-in mechanism is essentially an alternative to passwords and is widely considered to be a more user friendly, secure and reliable method to access critical devices, services and data than traditional logins using passwords.

'-'Windows Hello solves a few problems: security and inconvenience,'-" said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. '-'Traditional passwords are unsafe as they are hard to remember, and therefore people either choose easy-to-guess passwords or write down their passwords.'-"

Yesterday, the third Tuesday of the month, Microsoft dumped another big bucket of patches:

  • KB 4093117 brings Win10 1703 up to build 15063.1058, many miscellaneous fixes, no known issues.
  • KB 4093120 brings Win10 1607 to build 14393.2214, a similarly large bunch of fixes, no known issues.
  • KB 4093113 is the regular Monthly Rollup Preview for Win7.
  • KB 4093121 is the similar Monthly Rollup Preview for Win 8.1.
  • The Update Catalog says there'-™s a new version of KB 4099950, the abandoned patch for fixing the NIC/static IP bug in Win7.

There are lots of oddities in this motley collection.

Apple has decreed death to 32-bit apps on Macs, but" DVD Player" is now the only remaining 32-bit application included within macOS High Sierra'-™s already 64-bit default software stack.

What is Apple planning?

You can check which of your apps run in 32-bit in About This" Mac>System Report>Applications where you'-™ll find a column called 64-bit. Click this, and you'-™ll see which apps don'-™t yet run that way.

Wireless charging at distance company Ossia has partnered with electronics manufacturer Molex to boost development of its first products, which it said should be available this year.

Unlike today's most popular wireless chargers, which require devices to rest on a charging pad, Ossia is among several companies developing trickle charging capability at distances of many feet. Some of these technologies, also known as "uncoupled wireless charging" can even charge through walls, or simply top off a device as you enter a room.

This software team built and supports a large, complex financial application for Microsoft and Oracle databases -- and one pilot fish is pretty much the only developer supporting it on the Oracle side.

"They wrote and tested everything against Microsoft SQL Server first, then ported it to Oracle," says fish. "Oracle was always an afterthought.

"The product had an interface layer for each database that made it a lot easier to support both platforms. But SQL Server and Oracle have significant differences, and we wrote a lot of database stored routines -- written for SQL Server, then ported to Oracle. That's usually where I came in."

One well-liked programmer (and long-time employee) named Fred is tasked with changing a particular module. He modifies a stored procedure for SQL Server, but doesn't make any changes to the corresponding Oracle stored function. Result: QA reports the Oracle interface as "broken."

When did the age of computing start? While the code-breaking Colossus" was built in the 1940s, you could actually go back even further, to the mid-1800s and Charles Babbage'-™s Difference Engine. While it might not have been built in his lifetime, the Babbage Difference Engine was the first example of a computer.(Insider Story)

Android security sure can seem like a scary subject.

And it's no wonder: Every few weeks, we see some new hair-raising headline about how our phones are almost certain to be possessed by demons that'll steal our data, eat our ice cream, and pinch our tenders when we least expect it.

This week, it's a series of Android malware monsters known as "ViperRat" and "Desert Scorpion" that has phone-holders everywhere trembling in their bootsies. (Kudos to whoever came up with those spooky-sounding names, by the way. It's an art!) Last week, it was word that Android device-makers might be skipping security updates that had our hands a-shakin'.

With the release of macOS 10.13.4, Apple has begun warning Mac owners when they run 32-bit applications, a step toward the eventual banishment of such software.

Among the most visible enterprise programs spawning such warnings? The no-longer-supported Office for Mac 2011.

"To ensure that the apps you purchase are as advanced as the Mac you run them on, all future Mac software will eventually be required to be 64-bit," Apple wrote in a support document published last week. The warnings were the first messaging about future 64-bit exclusivity aimed at end users.

Microsoft never sleeps. Even before the" Windows 10 Fall Creators Update" was rolled out, the company began work on the next major update to Windows 10, code-named Redstone 4. As it did with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft has been releasing a series of public preview builds to" members of Microsoft's Insider Program.

Short, sweet and useful '-” here are 10 helpful Mac Finder tips you can use to get the most from your Mac.

Open in work mode

Do you keep all your work in a specific folder? If so, do you get a little frustrated when Finder opens in default view? Change this in Finder>Preferences" in the General" pane, where you should set New Finder windows show" to the folder you need to explore most often.

Add extra Finder tools

I think most Mac users know this, but in case you didn'-™t: Control-Click" the Finder Title bar and select Customize Toolbar" in the contextual menu that appears. Now you can add (and remove) a bunch of options from the Finder toolbar."  (I like to add a Path button to help me manage my way through my forests of files.)

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BYTE is starting a new series, to bring back the issues you loved in print from 1975 to 1998. Initially we have the first two issues and four others from 1984, 1985 and 1986.

Security experts urge companies to implement two-factor authentication, VPNs, and graduated permission levels to better protect customer data from hackers.

Microsoft admits that it doesn't encrypt all server-to-server communications, opening the way for the NSA and others to access the data flow.

Affordable Care Act site has faced a relatively low volume of attacks, compared with other federal websites.

Google's Gmail app for iPad and iPhone gets new features and iOS 7's design language.

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels announces PostgreSQL database service, new instance types, use of solid state disk to speed I/Os.

As software eclipses hardware, it's dawning on enterprises that they need API programs. Here's where to begin.

Authors Guild's claim of copyright infringement gets shot down in a surprise ruling.

The goal is allow home monitoring devices and mobile health apps communicate more easily healthcare providers.

Google's personal assistant software gets upgraded to better manage owners' lives and understand natural language requests.

Android smartphones owners can now pay for goods and services by tapping their device to Isis terminals at 1.3 million locations nationwide.

LinkedIn pushes customized content with the integration of news curation app Pulse for desktop and mobile versions.

Hacker grabbed 860,000 passwords for fun, but promises not to leak or use them to harm people.

VMware wants to move into cloud computing? Guess what, Amazon's moving into desktop virtualization.

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CES 2018 had more than its fair share of wacky items and compelling gadgets, but one of the biggest trends to emerge, once again, from the popular tech expo was voice-enabled devices. And, of course, it was all about Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Here are seven items at CES 2018, some of which address legitimate use cases and some of which may be closer to mad-scientist territory.

At CES 2018, Sennheiser announced two new products that focus on recording or playing back 3-D audio.

Honda wants to change your perception of robots. And it's hoping to do so with four new concept robots.

At CES 2018, Ford announced it is working with a city in which it will operate its self-driving cars. The automaker wouldn't identify the city but did say how autonomous vehicles can change the way people live.

Intel is betting that Volocopter 2X will be one of the first passenger-carrying drones to operate in the U.S. A prototype of the pilotless two-seat helicopter-like drone was shown off at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.

AMD CEO Lisa Su told Yahoo Finance that the Austin, Texas-based computer and graphics chip company is quickly working to resolve and address a recently-discovered security flaw that affects AMD computer chips.

Nvidia rolled out a slew of updates for its GeForce line of gaming products at CES 2018 including massive computer screens and cloud game streaming.

It's hard to figure out which of the connected household devices on display at CES 2018 is worth buying, but it's even more difficult to know if they are secure from hackers. A security expert visits exhibits and tries to help.

Nicomi Stewart, a mother in Rochester, New York, is '-'disgusted'-" after an automated call sent to her phone from the city'-™s school district mispronounced her daughter'-™s name as a racial slur.

You may soon get to say a lot more on Twitter. The social media giant announced it is testing a longer character limit. The change will extend the current 140 characters to 280 for all languages except Japanese, Chinese and Korean. Users won'-™t see this change right away, though. Only a small percentage will be testing it at first, and according to the company, it is just a test and there is no guarantee this change will be available to everyone. Via Business Insider:" http://www.businessinsider. ...

Mac OS High Sierra (macOS 10.13)." As the new name suggests, it'-™s just a refinement of last year'-™s Mac OS Sierra. In fact," you" could sum up what's new in an article about as short as" this one.

Want to add some cool sound effects or music to your YouTube video (or any video)?

Apple is expected to include wireless charging as a core feature in the iPhones it launches on...

Apple's 10th anniversary iPhone is nearly upon us. Here's everything we expect from what could be Apple's most important product in years.

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