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 CTO.org - News Archive - June 12, 2018
We've seen Cyberpunk 2077's second trailer, and now we have more gameplay details straight from E3 2018.

No messing about. Just the trailers for every video game you need to know about from E3 2018. Enjoy.

NASA's Opportunity rover is stuck in a huge storm that has literally turned day to night, forcing the solar-powered robot to nap for now.

8Bitdo's new wireless controllers are stylish, small and work on almost everything you play games on.

Commentary: Fortnite works fine on the Nintendo Switch, but it also fails to take advantage of the system's unique aspects... so far.

Vernon wanted his home theater to look like a real movie theater. Check out how he achieved that on a modest budget in this installment of CNET's Show Us Yours.

Limited to just 210 copies, the Rapide AMR draws inspiration from the Vantage AMR Pro.

Get your controllers ready because it's the biggest video game show of the year.

Could a 25 percent tariff cause the collapse of the American car market?

The girls are heading to E3 for their winning game proposals.

Lots of new games are being rolled out at E3 this year. Here's a look at the biggies.

So many ways to pay, so little time. Here'-™s the breakdown.

The five new fitness features coming to the Apple Watch in WatchOS 5.

Now you can download language packages that provide high-quality translations even if you don't have an internet connection.

Yes, modern cars are safer, but not in every way.

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Using an iPad or iPhone to mine bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies would be hard to do, as the CPU power available to complete the task would be a drop in the bucket compared to what's needed.

But using a portion of the CPU power from thousands of iPads or iPhones to mine cryptocurrency makes more sense '-" and that's exactly what some malware has been doing.

Apple is now moving to stop the practice.

[ Further reading: The way blockchain-based cryptocurrencies are governed could soon change ]

The launch of a big Microsoft Windows 10 update like the April 2018 Update isn'-™t the end of a process '-” it'-™s really just the beginning. As soon as a major update is released, Microsoft quickly gets to work on improving it by fixing bugs, releasing security patches, and occasionally adding new features.

Here we'-™ve summarized what you need to know about every Windows 10 update being released to the public. First come updates to the currently shipping version of Windows 10 '-” version 1803, known as the April 2018 Update '-” with the most recent updates on top. (Note that the April 2018 Update is on a phased rollout, so you may not have received it yet.) Below that are updates to version 1709, known as the Fall Creators Update, and below that updates to version 1703, known as the Creators Update. For each build, we'-™ve included the date of its initial release and a link to Microsoft'-™s announcement about it.

It's easy to forget sometimes, but these powerful little computers we carry in our pockets are also phones '-” you know, devices with numbers that can make and receive those crazy old things called voice calls.

Go ahead and take a minute to absord the shock of this revelation. Gasp, guffaw, get a comically exaggerated expression of surprise on that stunning face of yours '-” whatever does the trick. I'll wait.

Back? Okay, good. Listen, I know: Nine times out of 10, when we talk about Android tips, we talk about ways to be more efficient and productive with tapping around on our screens and getting things done. But today, I want to share a handy little enhancement I've encountered for making the phone portion of your smartphone more useful and easier to manage.

Blockchain distributed ledgers work by linking together a chain of electronic records, each inextricably tied to the one before it; each new set of entries or "blocks" is completed and time-stamped with a hashtag only after passing through a consensus process.

The two most popular mechanisms or protocols for authenticating new entries on a blockchain and governing changes to the networks are Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS).

As the name suggests, PoS consensus models enable those with the most digital coins (the greatest stake) to govern a cryptocurrency or business blockchain ledger. To date, however, the most popular blockchain-based cryptocurrencies '-" Bitcoin, Ethereum (Ether) and Litecoin '-" have used PoW as their consensus mechanism.

Apple made a range of announcements at WWDC 2018 that put accessibility at the core of the company's mission. So, developers no longer have any excuse to avoid using the accessibility tools the company provides.

Empowerment matters

The focus is highly visible in the latest Mac and iOS releases (available this fall), which bring a range of smaller accessibility improvements.

What'-™s important about that is that in doing so, Apple is solving problems other platforms have not yet begun to address at a core platform level.

Microsoft has quietly told customers that it will stop participating in the online support forums devoted to consumer questions about Windows 7 and a host of other products.

The announcement, which Microsoft posted over the weekend to several of the affected support forums, said the change would take place next month.

"Effective July 2018, the Microsoft Community forums listed below will shift support scope and Microsoft staff will no longer provide technical support there," the identical messages stated. "There will be no proactive reviews, monitoring, answering or answer marking of questions."

IT pilot fish is part of a team working under a contract where there's a very specific stipulation: These contractors can't write code -- that's the job of a different contractor.

"But we were allowed to do prototyping," says fish.

"So we developed a prototype for functionality the customer needed, using SQL Anywhere as a front end to an Oracle database.

"The customer used our prototype for about four years while their developer contractor worked on the 'real system.'"

Sharky really needs your real, true tales of IT life. Send me your stories at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt every time I use one. Comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google+ community, and read thousands of great old tales in the Sharkives.

Did you notice what was missing at Apple'-™s 2018 WWDC? There wasn'-™t a single new Mac model to be seen. Not a one.

True, Craig Federighi, Apple'-™s senior vice president of software engineering," tried to lay to rest rumors that Apple would merge the iOS and macOS operating systems, saying, '-'We love the Mac and macOS because it'-™s explicitly created for Mac hardware like the trackpad.'-"

But the Mac lineup hasn'-™t been associated with true innovation for years, even before Tim Cook took over as CEO. Not having a new Mac model to show off to its assembled developers doesn'-™t seem like a fluke.

In May, we saw a host of bugs introduced by the Patch Tuesday '-'security'-" patches. By the end of the month, patches for those patches killed almost all of the bugs '-" even the inability of Win10 version 1803 to run on certain kinds of solid-state drives, including the one in some Surface Pros.

We also saw Microsoft push Win10 version 1803 onto machines that were specifically set to avoid it. I haven'-™t seen any official response to Microsoft'-™s inquiry into the reports, but we now have a sighting of a Win7 machine being pushed onto Win10, in spite of its settings.

Apple'-™s watchOS 5 plays to the strengths of Apple Watch and opens up some new and interesting ways to develop for and make use of the device. " 

The enterprise case for Apple Watch

Apple always says its goal with the Apple Watch is to deliver brief and meaningful interactions at exactly the right time.

This dedication to context and convenience means that when the company ships the next iteration of the OS, it will make its solution much more essential to anyone who needs to stay up to date while remaining focused on the matter at hand, or who needs to stay in touch while leaving the phone behind.

Over the last decade, Verizon Wireless has been a rapid growth engine. The iPhone and Android revolution gave them the chance to strengthen their competitive position and they saw success and growth. However, over the last several years as growth in this smartphone segment started to slow. Going forward, what path should Verizon take?

Watching the company over the last several years this question was real and growing. Verizon growth has not been as strong as it should have been. So, how could they continue to show growth? That'-™s what investors, workers and customers are looking for. They need to create the next growth wave to ride over the next decade.

are the newest intranet building block in Office 365. They are now available to all Office 365 customers, including enterprise, education, and government.

In the new flat world of modern SharePoint, each unit of work gets a separate site collection. Hub sites allow us to eliminate the inflexibility and governance limitations of '-'dreaded'-" subsites, while providing a way to replicate one of the key benefits of subsites '-” a way to create a shared experience among related sites. Hub sites can help kill subsites, but not without a little planning.

Microsoft'-™s in-unit PR staff continues to show its moxie, this time burying news about the demise of free tech support for a wide variety of products '-" covering half of all Windows customers, for starters '-" in a series of blog posts unveiled on Saturday morning.

Olga_Gh, a highly respected (if anonymous) Microsoft Agent posted the following message in six different Microsoft Answer forums:

This hospital's IT department lets employees spend time with people in other groups to get a better idea of how the rest of the department operates, according to a desktop support pilot fish there.

"The idea was that people who were curious about what we did were allowed to shadow us for a day," says fish.

"My boss selected me to be the shadowee for some reason. I decided that I'd make sure all of IT knew how Desktop Support ran everywhere.

"For the days when I was being shadowed, I picked out a lot of support tickets that required site visits but would be easy to explain and quick to do.

"I closed something like 15 tickets on those days. And the people shadowing me were all, 'Wow, you guys work hard...'"

All good things must come to an end, and the reign of Windows 7 as an actively supported, good-enough operating system is no exception. While it may feel like you just finished the heavy lifting of migrating your Windows XP machines to Windows 7, it turns out that Windows 7 is now almost nine years old, at least two and a half versions behind Windows 10 (depending on whether you consider Windows 8.1 to be a version of Windows all its own), and approaching end of Microsoft support in 2020.

Creating and managing deployment groups

(Insider Story)

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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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