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 CTO.org - News Archive - May 15, 2018
Some users report seeing copyright infringement messages.

Now, the phrase "Google Drive" will only mean one thing.

The patent infringement damages trial also gives a look into how Apple designs its products.

It put its autoplay video fix on hold.

Superpowered DC Comics outcasts Robotman, Negative Man, Elasti-Girl, Crazy Jane and the Chief will get their own streaming live-action show.

The bureau is looking into the now-defunct firm's business practices, The New York Times reports.

If Marvel's Tony Stark had his own show about robots, this would be it. Robert Downey Jr. creates a new webseries all about artificial intelligence.

Los Angeles is one of four US cities expected to have Verizon's 5G service by the end of the year.

All the deets you need to follow along.

Seems like bad timing?

Homeland Security worries drones could be used for terrorist activities in the US.

The US government says the investigation is ongoing, and it hasn't filed any charges relating to the leak yet.

But will teens read them?

A mini-satellite nicknamed Wall-E catches sight of home from far, far away.

The livery's a bit eye-searing, but its prices can get crazy low.

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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.

All right, gang: The honeymoon's officially over. We've oohed. We've ahhed. We've talked about Android P's most noteworthy productivity features. Now it's time to step back, get real, and talk about some of the software's less impressive elements '-” because the truth is, for all of its positives, Android P has an awful lot of, well, awful stuff.

Now, let's be clear: Perspective here is critical. This is only the first public beta of the Android P release, so these sorts of rough edges are absolutely to be expected. We'll hold onto hope that Google will iron out the kinks and get all these details fixed up and figured out by the time the final Android P software rolls around later this summer. Otherwise, we might find ourselves feeling a bit of Lollipop d'©j'  vu.

. While the satellite-based routing capability needed to help us get directions will remain an important capability for the foreseeable future, location-based services is morphing into something that is well beyond what the original creators envisioned.

Indeed, as we progress to a more autonomous world, the future will be driven by a required knowledge of location, both internally and externally to our immediate environment. This includes in-building and other enclosed spaces, something GPS is not capable of providing. Further, location will be used as a filter for providing many forms of additional related data. Knowing what'-™s around us is the only way we can operate autonomous '-'things'-" as well as mobile devices doing real work. Finally, the notion of what is a map is changing dramatically as high-resolution images, environmental factors, and augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) capability make their way into location-enabled apps.

Apple is putting its weight behind Global Accessibility Awareness Day, taking the opportunity to point to its decades-long record in developing software solutions that make its hardware usable by everybody.

Tim Cook'-™s commitment to making products accessible to everyone

Earlier this year, Apple said:

'-'One in seven people around the world has some form of disability, whether that be a physical disability involving vision, hearing, or loss of physical motor skills, or a more hidden, invisible disability.'-"

Installing and repairing Windows operating systems requires access to known, good, working and virus-free installation and supporting files. Typically, these collections can run into the tens or even hundreds of thousands of items, and are organized within a complex hierarchy of file directories (folders, in Windows-speak).(Insider Story)

Systems analyst pilot fish and his longtime programming partner are joined by a new hire, and it's soon clear that she has little grasp of systems -- but she does know how to throw lots of jargon around at managers.

"That insured that she was included in many meetings, which kept her too busy to program," sighs fish. "Because of this she soon became our manager.

"One day she called for a meeting, and my co-worker and I knew something was up due to her deer-in-the-headlights look. It turned out she had committed to design a system in six months that would track a product from when it was made to delivery to a customer.

"After she described it, my co-worker and I explained there was no way that could be done in so short a time. She frantically said we needed to put something together to demonstrate next week. Couldn't we just throw a web page together and hook up a database or something?!?

The wireless industry has grown and changed so much over the last few decades. In the last few years, major wireless brands AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile and Sprint have introduced or acquired several other brands like Cricket, MetroPCS, Boost, Virgin Mobile and more. They have focused on winning and growing in different slices of the wireless pie, and it'-™s working.

Verizon and Verizon Wireless has been quiet in this space. They tend to take a different route. They are the highest priced wireless service and it looked like things would remain that way. However, now they are doing a deal with Visible that changes all that.

I tend to worry about companies when they let the change wave go on without them. I don'-™t want the growth wave to pass them by and leave them behind like it did with companies like Blackberry, Nokia and Motorola. Leaders who missed the next change wave and now are struggling.

Apple'-™s Terminal application is supremely powerful on your Mac, and while you should be wary when using it, you can benefit from some super-useful Mac tricks if you do.

What is Terminal?

The Terminal application can be understood as a text-based user interface with which to control your Mac using command line tools. These are very powerful, and they enable you to change lots of the ways your Mac usually behaves.

Be warned

Terminal is unforgiving. You don'-™t need to fear it, but you should be very, very careful to use precisely the right code when entering instructions for your Mac '-” particularly if using any command including the word "sudo".

It now appears as if Microsoft didn'-™t test the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, version 1803," with its own Surface Pro (2017) laptops, with any machines that use Intel SSD 600p or SSD Pro 6000p drives, or with any machines that contain Toshiba XG4, XG5, or BG3 series solid state drives (SSDs).

You can draw your own conclusions about the advisability of installing Windows 10 1803.

Late last week, '-'Microsoft Agent'-" Lonnie_L posted on the" Microsoft Answers Forum:

More than four years ago, Overstock.com became the first major retailer to accept bitcoin as a form of payment for its goods. Today, it accepts more than 40 versions of the digital currency for online purchases.

While bitcoin may have first caught the online retailer's eye, it's the technology behind the digital tokens '-" blockchain '-" that has really captured Overstock.com's investment wallet.

About the same time Overstock.com was embracing bitcoin for payments, it put a venture capital stake in blockchain distributed ledger technology (DLT) through Medici Ventures, its Salt Lake City-based subsidiary created for just that purpose.

It's 1999, and in this IT department the big crisis isn't Y2k, says a pilot fish there -- it's the Melissa virus.

"We were infected, and we were all called into the Emergency Operations Center to devise a strategy to determine the extent of infection and how to mitigate the effects," fish says.

"The server admins were coming up with methods to clean up any servers that were affected. The desktop group was trying to figure out how many desktops were infected. We in the network group were trying to come up with a way to block traffic from the virus, both inbound and outbound, at the firewalls.

"Everything was moving as well as could be expected, but we had to give an update to senior leadership on progress.

Most email can either be secure or easy to use. You can have one but not both.

That'-™s why people are so excited about a new feature in Google'-™s Gmail. It'-™s called Confidential Mode, and it'-™s an easy way to make email more private.

Confidential Mode lets you add an '-'expiration date'-" to emails. Once that date arrives, the email is no longer viewable by the recipient.

Messages marked as Confidential can'-™t be copied, forwarded, printed or downloaded.

And you can revoke access at any time.

Sounds great, right? Well, not so fast. There are a lot of '-'gotchas'-" in the new Confidential Mode that you need to know about.

Microsoft's new move to put PR groups inside its operating divisions is paying off. We're now seeing the worst news shuffled out the door on Friday nights. This week's instance addresses a years-long fight by afflicted Surface Pro 4 users to get Microsoft to admit it has a problem, and to provide redress.

Flickergate, you may recall, involves the propensity of some Surface Pro 4 machines to flicker violently. You can see the shake '-” dating to March 6, 2016, mind you '-” in a YouTube video posted by Dmitriy1986.

I've written about the flicker, and Microsoft's abhorrent treatment of its customers, on April 4, 2017, Aug. 1, 2017, Nov. 13, 2017, Feb. 7, 2018, and Mar. 21, 2018.

Travel light(ly)
competition business speed laptop sprint determin leader

Image by Thinkstock

Wouldn'-™t it be nice to work '-" while traveling z- without carrying so much stuff? I dream about darting through security in my socks, wheeling one spinner case right onto the plane with just a smartphone in my pocket. I also worry that I will I fail at my job when I arrive.

Once upon a time '-" dating back to the first '-'Concept'-" macro virus in Word '-" the Office folks were wary of new features that had possible security implications. But in the past few weeks, we'-™ve been introduced to two new features that have '-'Kick Me'-" written all over them.

First, JavaScript in Excel. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Last December, Microsoft published a Dev Center article that talked about using the new Excel JavaScript API to create add-ins for Excel 2016.

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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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