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 CTO.org - News Archive - May 9, 2018
I'm not quite sure why this wasn't a feature from the get-go, but you can now launch movies from your Google Play collection with Google Home.

Messages sent on the popular chat app are supposed to disappear, but default app settings may void that.

This comes amid a report that AT&T paid as much as $600,000 to President Donald Trump's personal lawyer.

It's the fourth state to make the move.

The speaker reportedly had atrocious latency of over half a second -- meaning your audio and video would be out of sync.

The FAA is greasing the skids for pilot projects that could mean a defibrillator drops from the sky just when you need it.

This Bavarian four-door brings 617 horsepower to the fight against Mercedes-AMG and Audi.

You could already ask Alexa to lock the door -- now, after you say a spoken PIN code, she'll unlock it for you, too.

New Qualcomm processors, better fitness, a better Google Assistant. Here's what to expect.

Commentary: People can no longer tell when they're chatting with a robot. Google, what have you done?

Apple's $29 iPhone battery replacement has reportedly been subjected to delays.

Gamers, not just crypto miners, can buy GPUs now.

Fiddy says he's leaving the image-sharing site and heading back to Twitter.

It's hard to get things done when the government stops you from getting parts from US companies for seven years.

The feature is coming this year, says a report.

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Law enforcement interest in iPhone encryption-cracking hardware from two new companies is a strong indication that Apple no longer claims the mobile security high ground.

"What this means, if it's true, is that people who thought all of their communications were totally secure shouldn't feel so confident going forward," said Jack Gold, principal analyst with J. Gold Associates. "But, then security has always been a tug of war between the ones implementing it and the ones trying to break it."

In February, reports surfaced" that an Israel-based technology vendor, Cellebrite, had discovered a way to unlock encrypted iPhones running iOS 11 and were marketing the product to law enforcement and private forensics firms around the world. According to a police warrant obtained by Forbes," the U.S. Department of Homeland Security had been testing the technology.

Android P's first official beta is overflowing with features and flourishes, but the software's most transformative change is something more foundational than flashy. I'm talking, of course, about Android P's new gesture navigation system '-” a totally revamped interface for getting around your phone.

I've been getting to know Android P's new gesture navigation system since the beta went live Tuesday morning '-” and let me tell you: This thing really does shake up the way you think about Android. Few things are as pivotal to the user experience as how you open and move between apps and processes, and this change has more of an effect on the "feel" of the operating system than any other in recent memory.

Slack continues to grow at a fast clip despite strong competition from Microsoft and other large vendors.

Slack effectively created the market for team-based chat tools when it debuted four years ago, and has since seen a slew of competitors launch rival products. According to the latest user adoption stats released by the company, Slack now counts 8 million daily active users across more than 500,000 organizations. That'-™s up from 6 million last September, when the company touted $200 million in annual recurring revenues.

Virtually every organization has some form of IT infrastructure and software licensing."  For many, the cost to license software is in the tens of millions of dollars, and it'-™s obviously a vital part of running a business."  With so much money on the line, and the potential impact of not having the necessary software, it'-™s easy to see why an increasing number of organizations are finally being proactive with software asset management (SAM).

The nature of software is that it is easy to install and run, or to access tools and data on or from multiple devices and doing so may go unnoticed by IT administrators."  Accessing email or data on a corporate server from an employee'-™s smartphone, for example, typically requires some form of software license."  Employees do this every day, and it'-™s often in the best interest of the organization to let them, but if the organization doesn'-™t manage it properly, the consequences can be severe.

Microsoft on Tuesday said that some 200 million enterprise workers now run Windows 10, a sign that corporations and other businesses are close to schedule to scrub Windows 7 from their machines before that older OS retires in about 20 months, an analyst argued.

"The 200 million resonates with me, based on what I'm hearing from clients," said Stephen Kleynhans of Gartner Research. Migrations to Windows 10, he added, are progressing "pretty aggressively."

Joe Belfiore, a corporate vice president who leads the Windows 10 team, revealed the number at Microsoft's Build developers conference Tuesday. "Right now, there are over 200 million people in corporate accounts using Windows 10," Belfiore said as he claimed deployment is "really ramping up" in the enterprise. "We've seen that [Windows 10] adoption rate increase now at 79% year-over-year growth."

This year's RSA Conference" in San Francisco had a lot of ground to cover. Cybersecurity, of course. Fending off ransomware attacks. Building security best practices into employee training.

But, according to CSO's Steve Ragan, the hottest topics at the 2018 conference were this month's looming GDPR deadline and blockchain, blockchain, blockchain. (In fact, the two are often part of the same conversation.)

Ragan, who attended RSA, spoke with" Computerworld" Executive Editor Ken Mingis about what he learned, with a special focus on the May 25 GDPR deadline and what companies are scrambling to do to protect their data.

Recently I asked: "What use is Apple'-™s Mac mini, anyway," an article that questions Apple'-™s commitment to the product and its relevance in a market increasingly served by mobile devices. Readers responded to the question:

I asked, you answered

Apple'-™s challenge as it seeks out an answer to the question around its commitment to the lowest-cost, entry-level Mac is that a significant chunk of its users want to keep the Mac mini around.

There's a significant data-loss incident at this small company, with important chunks of information going missing, and the lone IT pilot fish there has to scramble to restore the systems and get everything working again.

But fish knows his job isn't done. "Curious about how this happened to one of my systems, which I take pride in and have high standards for, I commenced a full analysis of our system logs," fish says.

"I discovered that the missing information sets were each explicitly deleted in our software, and the logs revealed that each deletion operation was performed from an internal IP address."

So fish cross-checks against the company's Active Directory in order to match the time stamps and find the user. Turns out the culprit who deleted the information from the core system is a recently hired assistant to one of the managers -- who also happens to be a longtime friend of that manager.

This year, blockchain testing programs will evolve from pilot tests to real-world platforms, and supply chain management is among the industries the distributed ledger technology is set to disrupt.

In January, Maersk and IBM announced a joint venture to" deploy a blockchain-based electronic shipping system that will digitize supply chains and track international cargo in real time.

The new platform could save the global shipping industry billions of dollars a year by replacing the current EDI- and paper-based system, which can leave containers in receiving yards for weeks.

Gmail users, listen up: A small but significant surprise is waiting for you inside your inbox.

As we gear up for the start of Google's annual I/O developers' shindig this morning, the powers-that-be have snuck an incredibly useful feature into the new Gmail interface. It's the app's recently revealed native offline mode '-” something that was announced as part of the new Gmail rollout but hadn't actually been available until now.

In the space of less than a week in late April, two events made one thing very clear about Microsoft: The company is now pursuing a cloud-first strategy, with Windows taking a back seat. And that will continue as far into the future as the eye can see.

The first event was the April 26 release of Microsoft'-™s earnings report for its third fiscal quarter, which ended March 31. A close look shows that cloud revenue has become the company'-™s driving force, outpacing money the company gets from its onetime cash cow, Windows.

A Mac for under $500 is still a really attractive choice for many in the market for a new computer, and Apple certainly sells lots of these to people who don'-™t want the best Mac but still want a Mac.

But they'-™re doing it wrong

The Mac mini isn'-™t really so cheap. You need a keyboard. You need a display. You need a mouse. And while you may have all these things somewhere in your home, the cold reality is that the existing model is completely outclassed by the entry-level iPad in performance terms.

The second most valuable cryptocurrency behind bitcoin, Ethereum, is under regulatory scrutiny by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is considering whether it should be classified as a commodity or a security.

An SEC decision to classify Ethereum's Ether cryptocurrency as a security could have far-reaching consequences for other digital monies originally crowdfunded through initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Bitcoin, Ether and other cryptocurrencies have come under increased regulatory scrutiny by states and the U.S. government seeking to protect investors purchasing the digital currencies on open exchanges.

IT consultant pilot fish works mostly with small and medium-size businesses, and some of them have tight budgets and very specific requirements.

"We had a client who had to be able to write all our services off as expenses," fish says. "They had a pretty decent budget for hardware and software repair, but they weren't allowed to purchase any equipment.

"One day they brought us a laptop to repair, and after we took a look at it, we could see it really was beyond fixing.

"So I went to my used hardware guy, and we found a very similar laptop.

"Cleaned it up, set it up for them exactly like the dead one and delivered it -- and just charged them for the 'repair.'"

What Redmond giveth, Redmond taketh away.

Microsoft ended a six-month support extension for enterprise users of Windows 10 with the feature upgrade released last week.

All editions of Windows 10 1803, aka the "April 2018 Update," will be provided security patches and other bug fixes until November 2019, or for the standard 18 months. That will be in contrast to the four previous feature upgrades, designated as 1511, 1607, 1703 and 1709 in Microsoft's yymm format. Customers who licensed Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education received 24 months of support for those versions.

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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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