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 CTO.org - News Archive - August 9, 2018
Android users will be able to get their Fortnite fix on Samsung devices first.

For years, swastikas and Nazi imagery were being removed from German versions of video games, but that might be about to change.

It's enough to make you want to hug every member of Porsche's GT group.

See how Samsung's newest flagship phone compares spec-by-spec with other Galaxy devices.

From the new Note 9 to a Fortnite exclusive to the Galaxy Home speaker, here's everything Samsung just announced in Brooklyn.

FAQ: The conspiracy theorist extraordinaire becomes the center of a debate about free speech and the internet. Here's what you need to know.

Commentary: I loved the first game, but I have my doubts that the sequel can recapture the magic.

A 37,000 acre crypto-mining plant may rise in the desert.

From the super-expensive to the just plain nuts, police around the world have some extreme modes of transportation.

More like point-of-fail systems.

Tesla's board has scheduled meetings with advisers to look into going private and has asked Musk to recuse himself from the process.

Trump's 2020 presidential campaign shared possible logos for the proposed new military branch, and Twitter users shot them down.

Commentary: Let'-™s crunch some Academy Awards numbers.

Special guests and Samsung experts Jessica Dolcourt and Shara Tibken break down Samsung's latest flagship phone.

Now OEMs and other developers have the tools to bring Alexa fully into your car.

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Microsoft should dial back its aggressive Windows 10 release schedule, IT administrators said, to a slower tempo of one feature upgrade annually - or even one every two years.

Approximately 78% of more than 1,100 business professionals charged with servicing Windows for their firms said that Windows 10's feature upgrades -- now released twice annually -- should be issued no more than once a year. The 78% was split almost evenly, with 39.2% arguing for one upgrade per year while 39.3% picked one every two years from a questionnaire on Windows patching, updating and upgrading.

Just 11% agreed that the current twice-a-year cadence is their preference, and an infinitesimal 1% wanted an even quicker tempo.

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).

Enterprise or consumer, one of the most effective ways to become more productive with what you are doing is to tag your files. Tags make it so very much easier to find what you need and combine different items into ongoing project files.

What are tags?

Tags are a useful way to categorize your files. They are color-coded and can be named and assigned to help identify files that belong to particular projects. What makes these useful is that you can assign multiple tags to items, which means a single file can be included within multiple projects when searched for using tags.

Tags are available on both Macs and iOS devices (the latter via the Files app). If you sync items using your Apple ID and iCloud, then you will find that tags given to items on a Mac are visible on your iOS device and vice versa.

If you've read this column for long, you know I tend to be the skeptical sort '-” especially when it comes to talk of fixes for Android's long-standing upgrade problem.

The reason is simple: I've tracked Android upgrades closely from the start, and I've seen numerous attempts to get device-makers to step up their game. There was the short-lived Android Update Alliance, announced to much fanfare at Google I/O 2011 and then never mentioned again. There was the launch of the Android preview program in 2014, which was hailed by many as being the long-awaited answer to slow and unreliable upgrades. And then there were the efforts to make the preview program more effective each subsequent year, with increasingly early previews and extended windows of time between the initial and final releases.

It's a scorching summer day at this manufacturing plant, and the heat on the shop floor is almost intolerable. "The air conditioning and fan system was working full blast, but still the temperature was high -- as were tempers," says a pilot fish on the scene.

"Suddenly, there was a network outage in the shipping area, which was traced to a router. I accompanied the IT guy to help him by holding tools or whatever he needed."

The IT guy is working to replace the router when one of the shipping managers shows up, red-faced and sweaty.

"Do you know what's going on?!?" he roars at the IT guy.

IT guy calmly replies, "I believe so. I should have it up soon."

If you'-™re troubled by Microsoft'-™s patching policies, you aren'-™t alone. If you'-™re confused about Microsoft'-™s patching policies, hey, join the club. Here's my guide to what's really happening in Update Utopia.

Last week, in an attempt to address the confusion, Microsoft designer and lecturer John Wilcox posted a detailed look at the company's '-'update servicing cadence'-" on the Windows IT Pro blog. In it, Wilcox set out the official patching principles:

Amazon Web Services is one of today's top cloud computing platforms, so certified cloud professionals will likely run into AWS at some point in their careers. It'-™s never too late to be prepared and learn the fundamentals of AWS cloud computing; this AWS Solution Architect Certification Training Bundle will show you how for $49.

Like clockwork, every time I get ready for a business trip, I have a panic attack. Have I packed what I'-™m going to need? Is the gear I'-™m bringing too much, too little or just right? The dread always eases when I remember that I don'-™t have to take it all with me, and in that fact I shouldn'-™t.(Insider Story)

Mozilla has launched a test of a new Firefox add-on that recommends sites based on the user's current and past browsing.

The add-on, dubbed "Advance," was the latest in the Test Pilot project that Mozilla has run, under that name and others, since 2015. "Test Pilot is a way for you to try out experimental features and let us know what you think," said Nick Nguyen, vice president of Firefox, in a May 2016 blog post.

A current list of Test Pilot experiments can be found on this Mozilla site.

Advance adds a sidebar on the left of the Firefox window with a two-part recommendation: "Read Next" and "For You." The former highlights websites the technology thinks complement the content of the current tab, while the latter recommends sites/pages based on a user's longer-tail browser history.

The Fourth of July has just passed when this IT pilot fish is called to a meeting about a piece of software that has persistent problems.

"I and a programmer were to go to a customer and solve the issues," fish says. "We were told, 'We'll be sure you get to come home for Christmas.'

"At the customer site, as the hardware member of the team, my job was mostly to get the programmer up and fed in the morning, ask questions and observe."

But progress is slow. The troubled system is live, which means fish and his co-worker have to keep it up and running as they hunt for the problem. Worse still, symptoms are intermittent.

Then one day as July is turning into August, the customer's IT head walks into the workspace and asks fish's co-worker, "Did you know they just eliminated your division?"

Microsoft's patching, updating and upgrading of Windows - in particular Windows 10 - is a mess that the company needs to clean up, according to responses to a questionnaire circulated among business IT administrators.

But Microsoft doesn't get that there's a problem. Or if it does, it's not willing to say so. Instead, it touted a set of "guiding principles" for servicing Windows that it has not followed, argued the patch expert who distributed the questionnaire and urged Microsoft's top executives to heed the feedback.

"If Microsoft cannot see that [those who are] in charge of patching [are] now waiting and not immediately sending out updates [to workers], then Microsoft isn't listening to [its] customer base," said Susan Bradley in an email reply to questions. "If Microsoft is not realizing that [its] enterprise customers are having issues with the timing of the feature updates, then Microsoft is not listening to their enterprise customers."

What a long, strange trip it's been.

From its inaugural release to today, Android has transformed visually, conceptually and functionally '-” time and time again. Google's mobile operating system may have started out scrappy, but holy moly, has it ever evolved.

Here's a fast-paced tour of Android version highlights from the platform's birth to present.

Android versions 1.0 to 1.1: The early days

Android made its official public debut in 2008 with Android 1.0 '-” a release so ancient it didn't even have a cute codename.

Things were pretty basic back then, but the software did include a suite of early Google apps like Gmail, Maps, Calendar and YouTube, all of which were integrated into the operating system '-” a stark contrast to the more easily updatable standalone-app model employed today.

Apple appears to be taking a small step to make it easier for enterprises to upgrade their clapped-out old legacy Windows systems in favour of new Macs.

Easing the Windows pain

The snag for Windows users upgrading to Macs has always been the challenge of bringing all the data across to the new system.

Apple already offers its Windows Migration Assistant to make it easier to migrate, and now it seems it is about to improve this solution when it ships macOS 10.14 Mojave.

The rate at which telecom networks are growing and changing is nothing short of fantastic. It'-™s always risky to embrace a new paradigm, but for network carriers and customers, the risks of waiting could be greater.

Network function virtualization (NFV) and software defined networks (SDN) represent a radical departure from the traditional way of building, managing and evolving telecom networks. It'-™s often described as a switch from proprietary boxes to commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware. While there is a potentially significant cost-savings in making such a switch, cost-savings is not the main driving force. The ability to quickly implement new business models, to deliver applications on demand, and to automatically provision and tear down resources are what make NFV and SDN so potentially disruptive.

Hey! Can you believe it?! After months of awkward puns about the pending "Android P release" (and let's not even get into the "leaks"), we finally have an official name and number for Google's next great Android offering: Android 9, Pie.

Yep '-” just Pie. It's short, it's sweet, and it's a heck of a lot faster to type than certain past Android version names (here's lookin' at you, Ice Cream Sandwich). And it's not just a name and a number, either: Android 9 is fully cooked, out of the oven, and on its way into the world as of this week.

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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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