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 CTO.org - News Archive - September 11, 2018
Commentary: Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does what every other video game can.

In Sept. 2017, CNET made its first visit to Apple Park for the iPhone X announcement. Here's a glimpse from the inside.

This is Major Worm to Ground Control: I'm wriggling through the door, and I'm floating in the most peculiar way.

After a string of attacks by people marauding as drivers, the city's district attorney wants passengers to beware.

Analysis: Apple won't be making this mistake again.

The government agency says it needs more time to examine the deal.

Spoiler-free review: The beloved '80s action classic finally has a worthy sequel, filled with gore and laughs.

Facebook'-™s new video platform gets more serious with addition of Sorry For Your Loss.

Log on to Amazon Prime and yule get free shipping.

The repaired hole in the International Space Station is holding strong.

The hiatus comes after a backlash over a purported casting call that suggested the race of a white character would be changed.

Commentary: These Shadow of the Tomb Raider photos might be the best part of the game.

It sounds legit.

Arizona is looking into the company's practices, according to a report in The Washington Post.

This seems like the same issue that plagued some of Fiat Chrysler's braking systems last month, but the fix appears simple.

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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).

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.

Microsoft's shift to Windows-as-a-service (WaaS) for Windows 10 yielded a repetitive, predictable schedule of version release and support expiration dates for Windows 10.

Although consumers can essentially ignore any schedule '-” Microsoft decides when their devices are upgraded '-” business customers and their IT personnel should be marking the calendar with the important upcoming events.

Everyone knows the secret to success '-” personal and business alike '-” is good communication. But in what form? If you're trying to communicate with a group in real time, you're no doubt familiar with the old standby: conference calls. You know: those mind-numbing phone meetings in which talkers overlap, voice quality is terrible, half the people aren't paying attention and somebody's dog barks intermittently throughout the call.(Insider Story)

When we think about Android launchers, we tend to think about programs that add oodles of options into our home screen environments. But a new and still under-development Android launcher aims to do just the opposite '-” to strip your home screen down to its bare essentials and turn it into an ultra-efficient launching board for getting where you need to be.

It's called Niagara Launcher, and while it's still technically in beta and "unreleased," it's available to anyone to download and try out for free from the Play Store. I've been using it on my phone for a little while now, and I've gotta say: It absolutely is not your average Android launcher. And for plenty of people, that could be a good thing.

Apple really wants app developers to build their business around app subscriptions rather than a la carte app sales, and this reflects an overall shift within the company.

Apple as a service

Apple has invited" selected developers to meetings" at which it evangelized app subscription models.

Microsoft is giving Office 2016 a reprieve of sorts, saying that the one-time-purchase suite will be allowed to connect to Microsoft's online services for three more years than ruled earlier.

In April 2017, Microsoft proclaimed that applications provided by Office 2016 would be unable to connect to cloud-based Office 365 services after Oct. 13, 2020. The ban on accessing services like Microsoft-hosted Exchange inboxes, OneDrive storage space and Skype for Business' conferencing was part of sweeping changes to Office's support statutes - all part of a push to get more customers to adopt Office 365 subscriptions.

The October no-more-access date was derived from the end of Office 2016's mainstream support, the first five years of the usual decade. All future suites in perpetual license form - those for which customers paid a one-time, upfront fee and then were allowed to run the software as long as desired - would have the same limitation: If Office 2019 launched in early October of this year, say, it too would be blocked from connecting to services after its mainstream support expired in October 2023.

This IT shop hires interns over the summer, and one turns out to be particularly, um, memorable, says a pilot fish working there.

"He came from a decent university and interviewed well enough," fish says. "However, when we set him on a task to convert text output from a small issue-tracking system to a replacement with analogous capabilities, things went badly.

"It wasn't clear if he was incapable, or just of the opinion that an internship was about getting paid without doing any work.

"Whatever the reason, a co-worker and I took twice as long to do the conversion because we kept trying to get our young charge to do any part of it.

"He must have had a sense that things weren't going well because his dad called up the boss, and demanded in no uncertain terms that we stop abusing his son.

Mozilla last week shut down Firefox's support for Windows XP and Windows Vista, ending browser security updates for the outdated operating systems.

"It required effort, and it required devoting resources to supporting XP well after Microsoft stopped doing so," Chris Hutten-Czapski, a Firefox engineer, said in a Sept. 5 post to his personal blog. "It meant we couldn't do other things, since we were busy with XP."

Support for the two past-expiration-date OSes - Microsoft dropped Windows XP in April 2014, Vista in April 2017 - ended with Firefox ESR 52.9, which was released June 26. That version was supplanted by Firefox ESR 60.2 on Sept. 4.

As a wireless analyst and columnist, I'-™ve been commenting on the always growing and changing wireless industry for more than thirty years. I spend time following and commenting on the changing industry, new products and services and companies who compete in the mobile space. This week the Mobile World Congress in partnership with CTIA are holding their MWCA 2018 wireless trade show in Los Angeles. This year I think I may just be speechless at the innovation wave that is coming our way.

Sure, we expect to see leaders like AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint on the network side. And Google with Android, Apple with iPhone and Samsung with Galaxy on the handset side. Plus, hundreds if not thousands of app makers in their own corner of the show. But there is so much more. But there is also so much more.

August 2018 was a relatively innocuous patching month, although the final resolution to the August problems didn'-™t appear until late Friday night just as the month was coming to a close" '-” on a three-day weekend in the US.

We'-™ve seen the same pattern repeat itself almost every month since the beginning of the year: The first round of Microsoft security patches (notably including Win10 patches) introduce bugs, while subsequent rounds of patches each month squash most of them. If we'-™re lucky.

Reports claiming numerous apps distributed through Apple'-™s App Store are secretly exfiltrating user data should be an alarm call to enterprise CIOs. It signals a new battlefront in the eternal enterprise security wars.

The" enterprise risk of personal data

On the surface, the data being extracted is kind of '-¦ personal, such as location and browser histories. Information like that provides additional insight into what individual users are up to. Why should that concern an enterprise?

That'-™s a rhetorical question, of course. Most enterprise security professionals recognize that any form of data exfiltration poses an overall challenge.

Five years ago, in September 2013, Microsoft made one of the most ill-conceived acquisitions in tech history, purchasing Nokia for $7.9 billion. Having failed in all its earlier attempts to bolster its failing Windows Phone line, Microsoft decided it would buy its way into mobile success by acquiring what had once been the world'-™s dominant mobile phone maker.

Key words: '-'once been.'-" By the time of the acquisition, Nokia, like Microsoft itself, was being brutalized in the smartphone market by the iPhone and Android. Microsoft ended up writing off the Nokia deal in 2015, laying off thousands of people.

IT contractor has a project to upgrade some software for a client -- and the project is way behind schedule, says a pilot fish on the client side.

And why is that such a problem? "The existing product goes End-of-Life soon, at which time it will no longer be an approved product for us," fish explains.

"The contractor's people come in and pitch their schedule to upper management. In the briefing, they bring up the fact that the new product is not even approved to be on our highly secured network, and they have not even started on getting it approved.

"Essentially, if they have to get it approved, they can never get it deployed on time.

Microsoft bowed to the reality that enterprises won't purge Windows 7 by its January 2020 retirement, and has announced it will sell extended support for three years past that deadline.

Called "Windows 7 Extended Security Updates" (ESU), the after-drop-dead deal will add support through January 2023, according to Microsoft. The news was part of a larger announcement Thursday by Jared Spataro, the executive who leads marketing for Office and Windows. "While many of you are already well on your way in deploying Windows 10, we understand that everyone is at a different point in the upgrade process," Spataro said in explaining the offer.

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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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