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 CTO.org - News Archive - March 12, 2018
It was one of mobile gaming's earliest runaway success stories but now Halfbrick, the creator of Fruit Ninja, is making half its existing staff redundant.

The move comes after a government panel called for an investigation over national security concerns.

In a surprise appearance, Hamill joins director Rian Johnson at SXSW in light of the new behind-the-scenes documentary "The Director and the Jedi."

That puts it up with the best in its segment.

Chadwick Boseman's arm-crossing gesture has taken on a meaning outside its use in the Marvel superhero movie.

It if boosts production, reservation holders should be excited about it.

Its latest iteration proves that Honda has clearly gone insane -- in a great way.

And not just because it stars every Marvel hero we can think of. Here's every official photo we have, complete with reckless speculating commentary.

Loren Bouchard's new show is already greenlit for two seasons.

Forget office betting pools. The big bucks come if you can train a computer brain to predict the annual college tournament's winners and losers.

Epic Games is letting people enter to potentially get an invite to play Fortnite on iOS devices.

At SXSW, Apple exec Eddy Cue says the world has 2 billion music subscribers up for grabs -- and Apple Music and Spotify account for only 100 million.

The two ride-hailing companies are in deep competition -- with Lyft's revenue growth expanding faster, but Uber still making more money.

Want your Challenger in "Garbage Can" or "Mustard Stain" colors? You totally can.

The Amazon CEO and Blue Origin founder spoke Saturday at the Explorers Club Annual Dinner, where he discussed space and tasted a roasted iguana, according to Bloomberg.

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Microsoft has given us two messed-up patching months back to back, with January leaving blue screens and pandemonium in its wake, and February hitting the latest version of Windows 10 particularly hard. For those of you with some experience in the patching game, it'-™s more of the same-old same-old.

Confused about how updates work in" Windows 10? Join the club. In this latest version of its operating system, Microsoft has transformed what was once a straightforward procedure into a seemingly complicated process that varies according to whether you have Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro. As a result, there have been lots of misperceptions about how Windows 10 Update works, and how to best use it.(Insider Story)

IT has enough to worry about with traditional data breach issues, but now researchers from Purdue University and the University of Iowa have found quite a few new security holes in the popular 4G mobile networks.

The potentially worst hole detailed in" the study is an authentication synchronization failure attack. The danger? It allows bad guys to read incoming and outgoing messages from an employee, permits "stealthy denial" of selected services and "location of history poisoning," which simply means it can manipulate location ready to give false information to systems using location for identity authentication.

Let'-™s face it: the changes you'-™re going to see in smartphones every year are pretty incremental. With some significant exceptions (I'-™m looking at you, user interface of the iPhone X), today'-™s phones aren'-™t all that much different than the phones of three years ago. Faster, yes, More memory, sure. Better cameras, absolutely. Smaller bezels, it'-™s true.

But different? Well, no. Not really.

The two most significant changes are the rise of '-'plus'-" or XL supersized models and watertightness. The latter is a terrific feature, and one that'-™s saved me thousands of dollars. But as much as I like a lot of screen real estate, I still have trouble wrapping my head (and hands) around today'-™s plus-sized phones.

Microsoft has set a kill-by date for a mobile email app that enterprises have long relied on, telling customers they must switch to another company app in two months.

The Outlook Web App (OWA) for iOS and Android will stop working May 15, Microsoft announced last week. "On May 15, 2018, the OWA mobile apps will stop working," Eugenie Burrage, of the firm's product marketing team, wrote in a March 6 post to a company blog. "Office 365 users who attempt to open them will be greeted with a message directing them to download Outlook for iOS or Android."

After decades of growth, consolidation and advancement, todays wireless carriers are bigger and stronger than ever. Even so, some will give you much better experience. Finding the best one for you is the challenge. So, the only question you should be concerned with is which is best for you. Let'-™s take a look at the state of the industry today, at each wireless carrier and the best way to choose the best one for you.

The big four wireless carriers, by customer count are Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile and Sprint. Verizon and AT&T are too close to matter. They are the carriers with the largest 4G footprint. The most innovative carrier is AT&T, being the first on many important trends like smartphones, iPhone and wireless TV.

When Microsoft released Win10 Pro Creators Update, version 1703, it included the ability to control updates. Some would argue (and I still do) that the ability to readily block updates is the most important feature of 1703 '-” and the single reason why individual Window 10 customers should spring for Win10 Pro, instead of Win10 Home.

Now, for the third time since its release in April 2017, Microsoft has simply ignored those blocks and moved machines on to the Fall Creators Update, version 1709, without warning or explanation.

Reputable anti-malware security vendor" Malwarebytes" is warning Mac users that malware attacks against the platform climbed 270 percent last year.

Be careful out there

The security experts also warn that four new malware exploits targeting Macs have been identified in the first two months of 2018, noting that many of these exploits were identified by users, rather than security firms.

In one instance, a Mac user discovered that their DNS settings had been changed and found themselves unable to change them back.

California may add its voice to a growing chorus of states seeking to enact "Right to Repair" laws that would let owners of mobile and other electronic devices get their hardware fixed by third parties without voiding manufacturer warranties.

California Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-District 13)" introduced a "Right to Repair" Act" that would require electronics makers to offer diagnostic and repair information, as well as equipment or service parts, to product owners and independent repair shops. Talamentes' bill joins efforts in 17 other states that have introduced similar Right-to-Repair legislation.

Healthcare IT vendor decides to improve its corporate IT help desk's productivity by rolling out a new approach to user support called Smart Help, reports a pilot fish on the receiving end.

"They called it 'a more flexible, efficient and innovative support experience' so users 'can do your job at your fullest potential,'" fish says.

"I'm a supervisor for a group of level 2 support engineers who work either from home or in an office with no onsite corporate IT help desk. Knowing that time is money, and time and money are lost when corporate laptops won't boot or updates pushed out by corporate IT prevent us from accessing the corporate network VPN, we've learned to pick up the phone and call the corporate IT help desk, as it's been the fastest way to get help under these circumstances.

New rules for '-'self-driving cars'-" in California highlight a glaring misconception about how A.I. works.

An educated public understands that autonomous vehicles are amazing but that they are so far unable to fully take control of a passenger vehicle with no human behind the wheel.

It'-™s only a matter of time before today'-™s '-'safety drivers'-" '-” the humans who sit idle behind the wheel in case the artificial intelligence fails '-” get out of the car and leave the driving to the machines, right?

Whoa, slow your roll there, self-driving car narrative.

California just approved licenses for self-driving cars to in fact have no human driver behind the wheel, or no human in the vehicle at all (after dropping off a passenger, or for deliveries) with one caveat: The self-driving car companies must monitor and be able to take over driving remotely.

While Apple may have a rep as the brand users would walk across broken glass for, Android users actually have a higher rate of loyalty, according to a new report.

The study from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) shows that 91% of Android owners remain loyal to that mobile OS, compared with 86% of iOS users.

The data was collected as part of quarterly surveys of 500 users that have been performed by CIRP from March 2013 through December 2017. For its latest results, CIRP measured the percentage of customers who remained with each operating system when activating a new phone over twelve months ending December 2017.

The business world is evolving at a rapid pace. As we move toward increasingly varied, sophisticated, and challenging collaboration scenarios, solution providers are having a hard time keeping up with the changing workforce'-™s needs. With this evolution, we are seeing three conflicting pressures in the market when it comes to conferencing: increasing numbers of collaboration scenarios to support, a need for simplification, and a demand for better audio and video quality.

In the past, solution providers focused mainly on supporting the increasing number of scenarios. Providers are quickly patching together video conferencing and screen-sharing technologies to try to keep up with these new scenarios. With this urgency to patch technology together, they often increase complexity while lowering experiential quality for the user. So while more scenarios are now being supported, users are forced to bridge the significant gap between what technology offers and what we actually need in the real world.

Microsoft will name the next feature upgrade for Windows 10 as "Spring Creators Update," according to a tipster who has a solid track record on the operating system.

The feature upgrade, which Microsoft continues to tweak, will likely be released in early April.

"1803 = Spring Creators Update," wrote "Walking Cat" on Twitter Thursday. Walking Cat, who also goes by "@h0x0d" on the micro-blogging service, has been the source of numerous tidbits of Windows 10 information. He or she had queried a Windows Insider participant who had the latest build and asked for a read-out of a PowerShell command. The result: a list of feature upgrade names.

When it comes to using the Android or iOS platform, everybody seems to have chosen sides '-” but living in a multi-platform world means we need to share files occasionally. Here are eight ways Android and iPhone/iOS users can share files with each other.

1. Use email

Sending files using email remains the easiest way to share items with others; however, this isn'-™t always the most effective choice if:

  • You don'-™t know a person'-™s email address
  • You can'-™t get online
  • You are sharing very large files
  • You are sharing sensitive data, such as client records.

Fortunately, there are lots of other ways to share data between the two platforms.

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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)?

Facebook has a "realistic opportunity" to enter China in 2018, Mizuho analyst James Lee wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday. Lee came to the conclusion after meeting "various industry contacts" in China during a recent trip. Facebook's recent appointment of an executive to manage relations with China will help the company "understand the regulatory requirement and negotiate Facebook's operating structure in China," said Lee in the note, a copy of which was obtained by Business Insider.

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

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