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 CTO.org - News Archive - April 11, 2018
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told lawmakers you control all the data you give the social network. But the company gets information about you from many sources.

Mark Zuckerberg may have been in Washington to talk about privacy, but several lawmakers asked to hear more about Facebook's initiatives to bring broadband to rural areas.

After some inane questions from the US Senate, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg fielded tougher ones from the House. Still, he may've squeaked by without many repercussions.

The company's computer operating system has been moving to more advanced technology, though MacOS High Sierra and at least the next version of Apple's software will still support older apps.

Congressional hearings with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg get lawmakers talking about regulations for internet companies collection and use consumer data.

But HP and Dell grew their PC businesses during the stagnant quarter, market researchers find.

In Norway, a 600-year-old wood die bearing unusual markings may have belonged to a gambling grifter.

An algorithm trained to mimic the Grimm style leads to a new story. "You might call it a form of literary cloning," says the co-founder of the app that commissioned it.

After Drake and Tyler "Ninja" Blevins' latest stream, we can't imagine how Epic could pass this up.

Not to drag Tesla, but I'll believe it when I see it.

The internet jokes about the Facebook CEO looking like Star Trek's Commander Data, his "booster seat," AI dreams and senators who don't understand tech.

With its first foray into fast food, the vegan-meat startup introduces the "Impossible Slider" to 140 White Castle locations.

More than one member of Congress quizzed CEO Mark Zuckerberg about why his social network had banned the conservative siblings.

Google quietly lets G Suite customers know that a makeover and several new features are coming to its email service.

The CEO sits through hours of questions as lawmakers slam him during two congressional appearances this week.

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T-Mobile USA and Sprint have been talking about merging several times over the last several years, but they never actually make it happen. Word is that they are at it once again. So, will they have any more luck this time pulling off a merger? If you were an odds-maker, what would you say the chances are of this merger happening?

Well, some things have changed, both in the wireless industry and with the two companies themselves. So, perhaps this time around they can come to terms. If they can, that'-™s great, but that'-™s only stage one. Stage two, they would still need to convince regulators to approve the merger. So, the T-Mobile, Sprint merger still has two big mountains to climb.

Most of us expected Microsoft to drop its latest and greatest version of the last version of Windows yesterday. The highly anticipated version 1803, Redstone 4 '-” which many of us have been testing for weeks '-” looked ready to go '-¦ until it wasn'-™t.

Rumors are flying but, as of this writing, the actual cause for the delay isn'-™t public.

Microsoft, of course, has never committed to a release date. Or a build number. Or even a hokey '-'Spring after Fall Creators Update'-" style name, for that matter. (I'-™m still plugging for '-'Terry Myerson Swansong version'-" but doubt it'-™ll gain traction.)

Relative to health-focused innovations across history, iOS, iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices are very recent additions to the medical care arsenal, but they seem to be good for you, fresh research claims.

Mobile" solutions boost patient satisfaction

Apple has been investing deeply in mobile healthcare. A global survey published today suggests that investment is not misplaced. It shows that hospitals that have put mobile device initiatives in place see an instant improvement in patient satisfaction.

Since becoming generally available in March, Apple's new Health Record mobile patient health record aggregator has generally won praise from two hospitals that beta tested the app.

After touting the" electronic medical record (EMR) feature in its iOS 11.3 release, Apple said that '-" as of last week '-"" 39 hospitals have signed up to test the software, which will allow patients and healthcare providers to interact on iPhones and iPads. Officials at two of those institutions, Johns Hopkins and Penn Medicine, see promise in how the field is evolving.

Pilot fish handles anything that has to do with computers for this family-run business, which provides business services for large public events -- one of which has a large problem.

"Days before a big ticketed event, I got a memo from a co-worker that the upcoming event was gone from the company's central database system," fish says. "Despite being out sick that day, I called in and conferenced the coworker and her supervisor, who's a member of the ruling family.

"While on the call, I saw that other events were missing from the system as well. I advised that the best procedure will be to restore from a recent hourly backup, which would require some minimal downtime to complete."

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.

Slack has unveiled a raft of new security and compliance features aimed at boosting the appeal of its Enterprise Grid product among IT leaders and admins.

While Slack has tended to be adopted on a team-by-team basis, Enterprise Grid offers centralized management of the team chat application on a company-wide basis and supports up to 500,000 users.

A year after its launch, Enterprise Grid has been deployed by 150 businesses globally. The largest deployment is IBM, which has more than 110,000 daily active users. There are several other Enterprise Grid customers with between"  50,000 and 100,000 daily users.

It was six months ago to this day that I declared it: The Chromebook is effectively the new Android tablet.

At the time, I realize, such a proclamation sounded slightly unhinged (so to speak). How could a Chromebook possibly take over the role of the Android tablet? It doesn't run Android, for one '-” and at that point, no models in existence were even true "tablets" in the traditional slate-and-nothing-more sense.

The secret some folks saw along with me, though, was that neither of those distinctions actually mattered. We're entering a post-OS era, and the practical difference between a Chrome OS device that runs Android apps and an Android device that runs Android apps is growing less significant by the week. And as for the physical form, anyone who had used a convertible Chromebook '-” a product like the Asus Chromebook Flip, whose hinge allows the screen to swivel back and form a flattened-out tablet '-” knew exactly what I was getting at.

Microsoft has published preliminary documentation that enterprise IT can use to customize reports generated by the free Windows Analytics service.

The documentation, emblazoned with "Draft," spelled out how internal staff - or Microsoft partners in the business of producing custom solutions - can craft specialized reports and build custom alerts from Windows Analytics' data, and integrate its data with other information for more in-depth analysis.

Windows Analytics is the umbrella label for three separate services - Upgrade Readiness, Update Compliance and Device Heath - which each pull from the telemetry Microsoft collects from Windows PCs. Windows Analytics is a benefit of Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education licensing, and so is available only to customers running those editions.

The Cambridge Analytica/Facebook story continues to evolve, and the general consensus seems to be that in order to tweak a close election a little targeted behavioral modification goes a long way. Were you or your friends impacted? Here'-™s how to find out.

What happened with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica?

Facebook is reportedly preparing to let 87 million users know their data may have been breached by Cambridge Analytica, and it is also letting the rest of us know if it wasn'-™t.

The company this pilot fish works for is acquired by a larger outfit, and everyone gets a new login based on just the employee's family name -- which in fish's case is Root.

"That should have been a non-issue with any other name," says fish. "But when the administrators created my account, they apparently didn't think about the fact that root is the superuser account in our Unix systems.

"Following the instructions provided in an email, I logged in and changed the password on my 'root' account. The next time I logged in, the password didn't work. I called the help desk for the new company and they reset my password -- and it worked until I logged off and tried to log back in.

Since its launch in 2014, Slack has become a popular tool for enterprise collaboration; it now has 6 million daily active users worldwide '-" around a third of whom are paying customers '-" and it continues to evolve to take on even more tasks.

With a valuation of $5.1 billion, Slack Technologies '-" the company behind the app '-" generated $250 million with its latest funding round and appears headed towards an IPO. Recently, it added former Goldman Sachs head of human capital management Edith Cooper to its board and appointed its first CFO, Allen Shim, who has been with the company for four years.

March Windows patches were a mess. With the revelation of Total Meltdown, we recently discovered that all of this year'-™s Win7 patches left gaping security holes. It'-™s fair to say that the initial Patch Tuesday patches for almost every version of Windows, for every month this year, have had confirmed bugs. Every one.

If you want to help test this month'-™s Windows and Office patches, hey, I salute you! Most folks, though, would be well advised to turn off Automatic Update and wait for the initial wave of devastation to pass.

I take it as an article of faith that you don'-™t want to install the spring update to Windows 10, version 1803, as soon as it'-™s available. As we'-™ve seen, repeatedly, upgrading to a new version of Windows 10 as soon as it'-™s out leads to madness. For almost everyone, the new features in version 1803 '-” Timeline, a few moved settings, more telemetry options but not the one ('-'OFF'-") that matters most, faster upgrades '-” just aren'-™t worth the bother of installing and setting up an entirely new copy of Windows. (Unless you really want Candy Crush Soda Saga installed for the umpteenth time.)

If you'-™re a Cortana or Edge fan, your opinion may vary, of course. And there are undeniable benefits under the covers. But for 90% of us, I would guess, 1803 isn'-™t high on the priority list. It certainly isn'-™t worth thrusting yourself into the unpaid beta tester pool at the earliest opportunity, while waiting for Microsoft to iron is problems out. Thus, for most Windows 10 users, it makes a whole lot of sense to wait and update to 1803 when you'-™re good and ready for it '-” not when MS decides to push it on you.

Apple offers valuable multi-tasking tools to help you get productive on your iPad. What are they, how do they work, and how do you use them?

The what and the why of iPad productivity tools

Slide over, split screen, picture in picture, improvements to the Dock, and a variety of gesture enhancements (along with support for drag & drop) make it possible to use an iPad much more effectively when working between apps.


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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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