No doubt you recall patching guru Susan Bradley'-s open letter to Microsoft brass, summarizing the results of her Windows update survey. The results were quite damning in many ways, with complaints about the quality and frequency of patches topping the list.
Microsoft has responded to the open letter in a rather roundabout way. Two days after Computerworld posted the open letter, Bradley received an email that says:
It'-s Friday. You're a few hours away from your weekend and you probably have a lot to get through, so here'-s a small collection of tips that should help you get things done a little faster.
I repeat this in every collection because it'-s so useful: Tap Command-Space" whenever you want to find something on your Mac. Tap Command-Space" whenever you want to get a currency conversion or a quick sum. Tap Command-Space" to open an application. Tap it, and then start typing the item, currency, sum or application name. You should see it appear in the Spotlight search window you just opened. Select it" (if it isn'-t already selected) and hit Return" (or take a note of the answer to your question which you should see in the bar). Simple. Fast. Effective.
This data center is run by a tech who thinks very highly of himself -- and isn't afraid to make sure everyone else knows about the wonder that he is, reports a pilot fish on the receiving end.
"He made it clear at every opportunity how he did things better than everyone else, including his vendors like me and my organization," fish says.
"I happened to be in the neighborhood one day when the call came in that this customer had a problem, and we better respond -- or else."
When fish arrives, it quickly becomes evident that the crisis is due to an operator error: setting the wrong system date after some routine maintenance.
That's not good, since it's a time-critical business. But fish knows it shouldn't be a big deal to fix -- just restore some data from a backup, right?
Microsoft's and Mozilla's browsers fell to new lows in July as users continued to switch to Google's behemoth, Chrome, which again looks unstoppable.
According to California-based analytics vendor Net Applications, Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) and Edge dropped to a combined user share of 15.4% last month, down a whopping 3.8 percentage points from June. Meanwhile, Mozilla's Firefox cast off a much smaller two-tenths of a percentage point, recording a user share of 9.7%. Microsoft's July number was a record low in Computerworld's tracking of browser data, which began in 2005. Firefox's figure was its smallest user share since February 2006, when it was fighting for the scraps left by the then-dominant IE.
One of my favorite Android shortcuts is the Nougat-introduced ability to snap between apps. Much like Alt-Tab for Windows, you simply double-tap your device's Overview key, and bam: You're zapped back and forth between your two most recently used processes in the blink of an eye.
It's one of Android's most useful hidden features '- but with the soon-to-be-released Android P update, it's a whole new ballgame. Thanks to P's new gesture navigation system, the Overview key is no more. So instead of having the handy ol' double-tap-to-snap shortcut, you get a new flick-the-Home-button-to-the-right equivalent.
'-'In the railway industry, businesses around the world are using iPhone and iPad to support operations, training, passenger engagement, and maintenance activities,'-" said Apple's chief financial officer (CFO), Luca Maestri, during the company's Q318 financial call. I thought I'-d find out more.
iOS on the rails
Where are these railways?
In the U.S., U.K., Japan, Hong Kong and beyond, railway operators are using iOS.
Railways aren'-t unique, of course. Apple has become an HR issue for enterprise employers, 81 percent of which who plan to purchase a smartphone in the next few months will buy iPhones, according to 451 Research.
Your smartphone is a powerful computer in your pocket '- and with Android, part of that PC-like muscle means being able to plug your phone into any Windows or Mac system and drag and drop files either way.
Unlike iPhones, Android devices allow you to access their file systems directly from a desktop, without the need for any cumbersome interfaces or complicated procedures. In fact, transferring files to or from an Android device is basically no different than plugging an external hard drive into your computer and moving data to or from it.
All you need is your phone, your computer and a cable to connect 'em '- with micro-USB or USB-C on the phone side and USB-A or USB-C on the computer side, depending on the specifics of your devices. (Most newer high-end Android phones use USB-C, whereas most pre-2016 devices and many current budget-level phones have the older micro-USB standard. USB-A, meanwhile, is the traditional connector port you're used to seeing on computers, while some newer models like Apple's latest MacBooks have USB-C.) There's a decent chance that the same cable that connects your phone to its wall charger will work.
Windows 10 posted its third strong month of growth in a row in July, putting it on track to overtake the veteran Windows 7 by November.
According to California-based analytics vendor Net Applications, Windows 10 added nine-tenths of a percentage point in July, posting a user share of 36.6% of all personal computers and 41.4% of those running Windows. (The second number is always larger than the first because Windows never powers 100% of all PCs; in July, it ran 88.4% of the world's systems.)
July's increase was the third consecutive month that Windows 10 added close to a percentage point of user share. Over the May-July stretch, Windows 10 gained 2.8 points. That was the largest three-month increase since the November 2017-January 2018 period, when the OS grew by 5 points.
This support pilot fish divides users into two groups. "There are those who can help me diagnose a problem, and those who lead me down a rat hole if I believe anything they say," says fish.
"I frequently ask test questions to gauge the type of user they are."
Case in point: a newly hired marketing writer who calls fish to ask about her home PC. She's not supposed to do that, but fish figures he'll try to help with a little triage anyway.
User: "I got a wireless mouse, and now the monitor won't work when I start up my computer."
Fish: "Are the cables plugged firmly into the computer and monitor?"
Fish: "Are the power cords plugged into a multiple outlet strip?"
As the purveyors of streaming video, online games, and social media networks, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) must deliver massive volumes of data to consumers. Typically, data is stored as close to the end user as possible, reducing traffic over ISP backbones and improving the user'-s experience.
Yet for CDNs to meet today'-s ever-increasing demand for high-definition content, they require high-speed, reliable, and affordable data storage. That'-s not always easy.
By leveraging solid-state drive (SSD) performance, CDNs can improve throughput and response times, reduce power consumption, and deliver better reliability than hard drive-based systems. But SSD can be cost-prohibitive for CDNs with hundreds '-" or even thousands '-" of cache servers deployed all over the world.
Frustrated with slow processing rates, many organizations are looking to switch from hard disk drive (HDD) storage devices to solid-state drive (SSD) technology. But questions of SSD capacity and cost have hampered widespread adoption.
That'-s changing as new SSD solutions deliver superior performance and greater total cost of ownership. Long gone are the days when organizations measured affordability in dollars per gigabyte. New metrics, from cooling costs to energy consumption, are highlighting SDD'-s status as the better bet over the service life of a hard drive.
Here'-s a breakdown of how SSD can provide a superior TOC over a five-year lifespan:
Microsoft last week reshaped its portfolio of Windows 10 subscriptions for enterprises, but deferred discussing what, if any, price increases it will levy before October 1.
Along with announcements that it will raise prices on perpetual licenses of Office 2019 and Windows Server 2019, and the associated CALs (client access licenses), Microsoft also revamped its Windows 10 Enterprise subscription offerings.
Changes to Windows 10 Enterprise were spelled out in some detail, even though new pricing was not disclosed. "For Windows, we're taking steps to recalibrate the price and rename the per device/per user offers, optimizing on our strategy of Microsoft 365," Microsoft wrote in an FAQ.
Whether you'-re a veteran Cloud professional with numerous IT certifications, or you'-ve just started your career after earning an A+, it'-s always in your best interest to stay up-to-date with the fundamentals. The Complete 2018 CompTIA Certification Training Bundle includes 12 courses covering several CompTIA exams, so you can stay sharp and potentially add another notch to your belt of IT certifications. It's available on sale today for $59.
Microsoft never sleeps. Even before the Windows 10 April 2018 Update (version 1803) started to roll out, the company began work on the next major update to Windows 10, code-named Redstone 5 and due to be released this autumn. As it did with the April 2018 Update, Microsoft has been releasing a series of public preview builds to members of Microsoft's Insider Program.
What follows is a list of every preview build of Redstone 5, starting with the most recent. For each build, we've included the date of its release, a summary of what'-s in the build and a link to Microsoft's announcement about it. After that you'-ll find summaries of all the preview builds that led up to the Windows 10 April 2018 Update (Redstone 4), the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (Redstone 3) and the Windows 10 Creators Update (Redstone 2).
Last week I was hanging out with a bunch of engineers and it was a fun trip that I can'-t yet talk about. However, one discussion jumped out at me because it was so orthogonal to how we think of two of the component vendors in the workstation space. We typically think of AMD and NVIDIA (disclosure: both AMD and NVIDIA are clients of the author) and that they are likely pounding on and bad mouthing each other every chance they get."
Apparently, that isn'-t the always the case, when it comes to cooperation on a workstation solution they both seem to agree that a blended AMD/NVIDIA solution is best and the engineers at the event seemed to agree that the hottest workstation you can buy right now has a Threadripper processor and an NVIDIA graphics card. This is anything but a cheap date but given the shortage of engineers and that performance allows fewer engineers to do more work, this configuration is very at the moment. But the two leading workstation vendors, Dell and HP (disclosure: both Dell and HP are clients of the author) don'-t make one of these providing a huge opportunity for the second tier to move up, or for one of these two to steal a march on the other. It also suggests that the most powerful workstation (depending on load) in Dell likely comes from Alienware.