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 CTO.org - News Archive - February 12, 2018
When an "immersive" Star Wars-themed park opens in Florida, the Force will be with travelers who want to get spaced out.

"Time well spent" is Facebook's North star in deciding what you see, but the company is "trying to figure out" how to understand it, News Feed's head says.

Commentary: Perhaps it was bound to happen. But one intrepid gadgeteer has ventured into the Boring Company flames.

Citing "clear signs of a pricing bubble" and other problems, regulators in Europe warn about investing in bitcoin and other virtual currencies.

There's nowhere to run anymore. The Boston Dynamics SpotMini robo-dog got an upgrade that lets it operate a door handle. Are we in a "Black Mirror" episode?

More than 33,000 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-series pickups are affected by this latest expansion of the Takata airbag recall.

That sound you just heard was car enthusiasts around the world losing their collective mind.

The company adds 82 markets to the plan, which allows college students to get the music service at a 50 percent discount.

Even the shipping box is easy to open, because, Apple

The long-awaited Marvel film also tops Fandango's presale ticket list, and reveals new aww-some emojis.

Lawmakers and broadband providers from rural areas were hoping for dollars aimed specifically at solving the digital divide. They instead got money states can use how ever they want on infrastructure.

Facebook is losing younger users at a faster pace than previously expected, says research firm eMarketer. Also, could Snapchat overtake Instagram this year?

Samsung's website hosts a manual for a new charging pad.

No longer willing to suffer from the snickers issued by nearly every other luxury SUV maker, BMW is going big with a fancy full-size.

The wireless carrier has been selling phones unlocked, allowing you to swap SIM cards and use other carriers. Soon, it'll lock phones for a certain period.

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Windows 10 is the best operating system that's come along from Microsoft in a long time. It's a shape-shifter that changes its interface depending upon whether you're using a traditional computer or a touch-based one. It undoes the damage wrought by Windows 8, including eliminating the awkward Charms bar and bringing back the long-mourned Start menu. A lot more has changed as well, with a new default browser called Edge, the integration of the Cortana digital assistant, links to Microsoft'-™s cloud-based OneDrive cloud storage service and plenty more.

Share this story: IT pros, we hope you'-™ll pass this guide on to your users to show them the Windows 10 ropes. Also see our printable PDF of Windows 10 gestures and shortcuts.


The vendor data looks impressive. Last October, Microsoft announced commercial users of Office 365 had reached 120 million. Midway through last year, SaaS pioneer Salesforce said it had hit an annual run-rate of more than $10 billion USD. Analysts also confirm this big picture. Market intelligence firm IDC, for instance, expects SaaS to capture nearly two-thirds of the forecast $160 billion USD global public cloud services and infrastructure spend in 2018.

SaaS has transformed the way that businesses use software. It used to be corporate licenses and on-premises installations. Now a single business unit '-" or even end user '-" can get up and running with just a credit card and a browser. In our work with businesses looking to modernize, we find them almost uninterested in purchasing infrastructure or entering long-term contracts. Instead, if SaaS is an option, they'-™ll frequently take it as the preferred course. And if it doesn'-™t measure up, they'-™ll just change. For many enterprises, it can truly be that simple.


It's pretty much a given every year that" new smartphones will be unveiled at Mobile World Congress. This year's event, which starts Feb. 26 in Barcelona, is expected to be where Samsung shows off its shiny new Galaxy S9.

But that's not likely to be the big story from the 2018 show, according to mobile expert and Computerworld freelancer Dan Rosenbaum.

What's likely to dominate MWC 2018 is the continued rollout of 5G networking. Rosenbaum, who's going to the event, offered a preview of sorts to Computerworld Executive Editor Ken Mingis.


How do smaller wireless carriers compete and win against the powerhouses of the industry like AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint. Smaller competitors like US Cellular, Xfinity Mobile, C Spire Wireless and many others face the same challenges, plus one more. Not only must they compete in a rapidly changing industry against the big four, but they are smaller and must also offer the user a compelling reason to choose them.

The CCA is the association that tries to help them do just that. At this year'-™s annual convention in Las Vegas at the end of March, the Mobile Carriers Show is getting ready to help the small and mid-size wireless marketplace. That means networks, carriers, MVNO, handset makers, apps and more. Many of the same players are at this smaller carrier show that are at the larger shows like CTIA and Mobile World Congress.


Microsoft really has gotten its act together in some areas. Take its cloud platform, Microsoft Azure. It'-™s a great cloud. But then there'-™s Windows. As Computerworld'-™s Woody Leonhart reported, '-'we had patches released, yanked, re-released and/or re-re-released on 15 different days in January.'-" Then, there was Windows 10 S.


January 2018 will go down in history as one of the worst patching months in Microsoft'-™s very checkered history. That isn'-™t an isolated muck-up. It'-™s a harbinger. We had a couple of really bad months in 2017 '-”" February and November come immediately to mind '-” but an unconscionable number of patches left bricked machines and busted programs in their wake.


If the sheer quantity of engineering intelligence iFixit has identified in HomePod is eventually matched in Siri support for multiple users and more search domains, then Apple just nailed the smart speaker market.

'We're pretty impressed'

On the same weekend as Loup Ventures found that if you only ask HomePod the questions it is designed to answer, Siri is more effective than Alexa or Cortana, iFixit took a HomePod apart to see what's inside.


The need to manage applications on unmanaged devices owned by employees or contractors is driving adoption of stand-alone mobile app management (MAM) software and services, according to a new Gartner report.

By 2021, 60% of mobile apps being used in the enterprise will rely on at least one app-level management control, whether on managed or unmanaged devices, Gartner's Market Guide for Mobile Application Management said.

Unlike MAM tools that are part of a larger enterprise mobility management (EMM) suite, the use of stand-alone MAM licensing offers lower per-user cost and can be attractive for companies only requiring app management, Gartner said. For other firms, EMM provides the advantage of a single console and policy set.


IT pilot fish at a large organization is supporting a server-based application -- one that keeps falling over.

"We started experiencing issues with communication between devices and server," says fish. "The application would just stop. The fix was to restart a stopped service on the server.

"The issue was soon occurring daily, and the vendor was contacted. Vendor support could find no issues and had no other customers experiencing the issue, but they kept looking.

"Finally our management strongly suggested that the vendor's senior management fly onsite to discuss the issue, the intent being to let them know we were not happy and expected them to do everything in their power to expedite and resolve it -- or else.


Over the past several years, wireless technology has improved so much that slowly, trip by trip, I'-™ve come to rely on it more and more to get my job done on the road. It'-™s convenient, and it lets me leave behind the jumble of cables I used to need.(Insider Story)


Microsoft last year announced that there will be a successor to Office 2016, the non-subscription version of the application suite, and that the upgrade would ship in about a year.

The bundle, named "Office 2019," will be geared to customers, primarily corporate customers, "who aren't yet ready for the cloud," according to Microsoft.

But other than that description, Microsoft has been vague about the prospect of Office 2019 with a "perpetual" license, one that lets the customer run the suite as long as desired without further payments. So, we collected some of the pressing questions business may have about the suite.

What is a 'perpetual' Office?

Microsoft categorizes software by how it is paid for, discriminating between a license that was bought outright from one that is essentially "rented" because it's paid for over time, like a subscription.


Test Your Knowledge
slide 1 browser collage

Image by Google / Christina Tynan Wood

Pity the poor web browser. Once the undisputed heavyweight champion of Internet applications, it's been largely supplanted now by monolithic social media platforms, mobile technologies, and smartphone apps.


Technology changes fast.

With each new change, employees are forced to adapt. That process of adapting is painful '-” physically and psychologically.

That'-™s why we seem to get a new health problem related to technology every few years.

I want to tell you about the Mother of All technology-related health problems: technostress. But first, a history lesson.

When computers broke our bodies

Business PCs went mainstream in the 1990s. At the beginning of the decade, most people didn'-™t use PCs in offices. By 2000, pretty much all office work involved PCs.

The use of mice and keyboards and the necessity of sitting and using a PC all day caused a pandemic of repetitive stress injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome. It seems as if everybody got injured by their PCs at some point.


Office 365 subscribers always have the latest version of Microsoft Office '-” currently Office 2016. They also get more frequent software updates than those who have purchased Office 2016 without a subscription, which means subscribers have access to the latest features, security patches and bug fixes. But it can be hard to keep track of the changes in each update and know when they'-™re available. We'-™re doing for you, so you don'-™t have to.

Following are key updates to Office 365 for Windows since Office 2016 was released in September 2015 '-” all the 2017 updates and the most important ones from 2016 and late 2015, with the latest releases shown first. We'-™ll add info about new updates as they'-™re rolled out.


Apple'-™s HomePod ships today. If you have one, I believe you will be thrilled at the presence and sound stage delivered by the diminutive device. But the product also has some potential as an enterprise product, as business tech migrates to iOS.

Collaboration is complicated

Collaboration is a big word. It spans everything from email to presencing systems, conferencing and document sharing, team management, scheduling, secure messaging and more.


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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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