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 CTO.org - News Archive - February 7, 2018
The Swedish car maker is working with The Petfinder Foundation to help save adoptable pets and raise awareness for in-car pet safety and we're real into it.

Han's famous ship was a lot cleaner and brighter in its younger days, as "The Star Wars Show" points out.

A cofounder of the EFF, Barlow wrote about the power of the internet and argued against government influence on it.

Jaguar is going to make 25 very rich people very, very happy with its continuation model Le-Mans winner.

Commentary: Gloria Copeland, a spiritual adviser to the president, says there's no need for inoculations during this most awful of flu seasons. "Jesus himself gave us the flu shot," she says.

The social network's executive chairman said he's stepping away from daily duties at Reddit, but said he believes Reddit is in good shape.

Garland has a knack for all the ways the future could go wrong. Watch as CNET News Editor-in-Chief Connie Guglielmo explores his obsession with sci-fi horror.

It's just the latest platform to boot faked pornographic material this week.

Kylie Jenner's newborn baby Stormi is now the reigning queen of Instagram, with the most popular image on the photo-sharing platform.

While the numbers weren't huge, the net result of Tesla's efforts in 2017 put the company in an excellent position to have a banner year in 2018.

A survey of around 3,000 people finds some were so desperate to buy cryptocurrencies, they bought on credit.

There's a pollywog on Mars. NASA has fun describing an oddball crater spotted by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Your mom and dad's dream SUV just got way more practical, and way nicer to spend time in thanks to optional luxury packages.

Ford has announced an overseas Raptor version of its new Ranger midsize pickup. How would it compare to its toughest competitors if it makes it to the US?

Cruise proves his daredevil determination in this stunt maneuver on a crashing helicopter from "Mission: Impossible - Fallout."

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Microsoft is ramping up efforts to win over customers from its cloud content storage rivals, offering free usage of OneDrive for Business platform in a new promotion.

Under the deal announced Tuesday, current customers of Box, Dropbox or Google can switch to OneDrive and use the service for free for the remainder of their existing contracts. The offer is valid until June 30 and is available for organizations that are not currently OneDrive for Business or Office365 customers. Those making the switch must also commit to moving a minimum of 500 users to the platform.

Many Surface Pro 4 customers are angry as hell. Not only are their screens getting the shakes; their batteries are dying prematurely and, in some cases, their TypeCovers turn into boat anchors.

Surface Pro 4 screen flicker problems persist. Per the Flickergate website:

We are customers of Microsoft who have invested $1500+ on new Surface Pro devices which have developed screen flickering, rendering the devices unusable. The flickering normally occurs 1 year after purchase when the warranty is already expired. This means that owners are forced to pay $800 for an out-of-warranty exchange from Microsoft. However, many users experience the same flickering on their refurbished Surface Pro replacements. " " 2000+ customers have complained on Microsoft'-™s support forums and this number is growing by the day. " However, Microsoft has not acknowledged the issue. " " We recommend potential buyers to AVOID surface pro devices until Microsoft has fixed this problem because there is a high chance that your device will become unusable within a year.

In response to public demand, iOS 11.3 introduces a new battery management system that puts users back in control of their iPhone.

Background noise

Apple faced fury (and multiple lawsuits) when it was revealed that the company has been throttling device performance on older devices.

Apple said this was to prevent unexpected shut downs as the batteries inside its products inevitably fade. However, many of even Apple'-™s most loyal users felt this built-in obsolescence was a step too far from the firm.

, Xbox, the Edge browser, Windows Mixed Reality headsets and third-party devices such as thermostats and smart speakers. According to Microsoft, Cortana is currently used by more than 148 million people.

It's the 1980s, and a regional building-supplies retailer is a big customer for this vendor that sells turnkey business systems, reports a programmer pilot fish at the vendor.

"They owned 11 locations across Georgia, and they asked for a major enhancement to our system," fish says. "They wanted it to allow their satellite suppliers to transfer via 9600-bits-per-second modem all of their Accounts Receivables data collected daily to their central system, where it could be aggregated.

"Our standard system was standalone -- it didn't normally communicate with multiple instances of similar systems."

Fish is supposed to be working on the distributed A/R system. But for months his boss, the programming department VP, keeps dropping top-priority tasks on fish's desk, so there's not much progress.

Microsoft's shift to Windows-as-a-service (WaaS) for Windows 10 crafted a repetitive, predictable schedule of version release and support expiration dates for Windows 10.

Although consumers can essentially ignore any schedule - Microsoft decides when their devices are upgraded - business customers and their IT personnel should be marking the calendar with the important upcoming events.

Amazon Go finally launched after a year of trial and error. If successful, this will help them first transform the grocery business and eventually all of retail. They are using wireless technology as the center of this new universe. Let'-™s take a look at how the world of retail has changed and will continue to change going forward thanks to Amazon and mobile technology.

What is Amazon Go? It lets you walk in, pick up what you want and walk out. No cashiers, no credit cards, no unloading your basket, packing bags and reloading it. As you walk out, sensors charge the app on your smartphone. It'-™s very similar to ordering online from Amazon, but it'-™s in a retail environment.

You know that feeling when a band you've followed for ages finally starts to get its due '-” when the right album at the right moment helps the skeptical masses see all that raw potential you've long been applauding?

That's precisely what's happening right now with Chrome OS. The platform's been picking up serious steam and winning mountains of overdue praise these past few months '-” and if Google has its way, that momentum won't be letting up anytime soon.

Up until now, the saga of Chrome OS's rise has been more slow march than dramatic leap. Those of us who watch the platform closely have seen the seeds of something significant for years and have observed as Google slowly but surely built up a garden to nurture them.

We are undergoing a lot of technology changes at the moment."  3D printers, autonomous cars, package- and even people-carrying drones, industrial and personal robots, and mixed reality which promises to blur the lines between what is real and what is digital are all coming at warp speeds.

One of the more interesting moves is being made by Microsoft [Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author], as they shift to a cloud model for both application and operating system delivery and access."  We knew this was coming when Satya Nadella took over for Steve Ballmer as CEO. As the champion for the cloud at Microsoft, he was all-in." 

The firm'-™s initial move last year was to step away from the traditional upgrade cycle and deliver product updates with new features several times a year, rather than semi-annually or later. This month they announced that, for enterprises, they would still provide extended support the old way for firms that couldn'-™t be on that aggressive cycle, and a blending of their Software-as-a-Service offerings, which now includes Office 365, Windows 10, Security and Enterprise Mobility." 

Microsoft'-™s group chat tool, Teams, may have garnered more attention when it launched last year, leaving Planner '-" aimed at helping teams coordinate projects, share files and work more effectively '-" largely in the shadows.

Billed as a lightweight, collaborative and highly visual task management tool, Planner is positioned as a rival to the popular Trello (just as Microsoft'-™s Teams is seen as its answer to Slack). But in a crowded collaboration field, Planner also matches up against tools like as Asana and Smartsheet, which offer alternatives to more complex project management applications.

Apple'-™s iPhone X has been a thousand-dollar gamble that has paid off for the company, but while we seem to know lots about what analysts and media pros think, we don'-™t appear to have too much feedback on what everybody else is thinking when it comes to the next-gen smartphone. I thought I'-™d find out.

The global conversation

Twitter is the global conversation center for just about every topic you can imagine. Sure, some people take it too far, but so long as you have a Block button you can filter the bots and fools right out. So, what has Twitter been saying about iPhone X?

Enterprises invest a lot of time, effort and money in keeping their systems secure. The most security-conscious might have a security operations center. They of course use firewalls and antivirus tools. They probably spend a lot of time monitoring their networks, looking for telltale anomalies that could indicate a breach. What with IDS, SIEM and NGFWs, they deploy a veritable alphabet of defenses.

But how many have given much thought to one of the cornerstones of their digital operations: the operating systems deployed on the workforce'-™s PCs? Was security even a factor when the desktop OS was selected?

This raises a question that every IT person should be able to answer: Which operating system is the most secure for general deployment?

The Highlighted Content web part is modern SharePoint'-™s answer to the classic Content Search and Content Query Web Parts. New features will be coming to this web part based on what we learned at Ignite 2017, but there are some great solutions you can build today.

Highlighted Content '-” a great tool for helpful solutions

Highlighted Content is available only on modern SharePoint pages. The basic configuration available with the web part allows you to roll up content in an individual site, a document library on a site, or across an entire tenant based primarily on the type of content: News, Documents, Pages, Video, Images, etc.

Pilot fish gets a trouble ticket to swap out a network switch at an office he's never been to. But he has the address and knows it's suite 211, so he's not worried about locating it.

"I arrive at the office complex, find the correct building and start trying doors," says fish.

"The first set is locked. I walk around the building to the next set. Two are locked and another one has a meeting in progress.

"About this time a woman walks toward the building, and I ask her where suite 211 is. She says, 'I don't know, but you can follow me through our office to the main hall if you want.'

"I follow her and get to the main hallway. As I start walking down it, I notice that the numbers are getting smaller.

Windows 10 added more user share in January than in any month since mid-2016, according to web analytics vendors Net Applications, the company said last week.

Data published Feb. 1 by the California-based Net Applications showed that Windows 10 had accumulated 1.4 percentage points of user share - the portion of all personal computer owners who ran the operating system - during January, ending the month powering 34.3% of the world's PCs and 39.1% of all those systems running a flavor of Microsoft's OS. (The second number is larger than the first because Windows accounted for 88.8% of all operating systems, not 100%.)

Windows 10's increase was its largest since August 2016, if the November 2017 drop of 2.7 points is ignored. The latter was part of an across-the-board revamp of Net Applications' data, designed to purge the numbers of bogus traffic originating from criminals' "bots," and thus was not proof of a sudden rush to Windows 10.

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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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Acer's Swift 7 is the thinnest laptop in the world.

HTC and Valve'-™s Vive was the first virtual reality headset that really made me jump on the VR hype train. Not only could you escape into virtual worlds, but thanks to its motion tracking sensors, your movement in the real world was translated into the digital. Like Facebook'-™s (FB) Oculus Rift, the Vive'-™s display resolution made individual pixels clearly visible in certain situations, killing any sense of true immersion.

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.

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