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 CTO.org - News Archive - October 4, 2018
You'll see elements of Boba Fett mixed with those of Wild West gunfighters in the image.

In his tweet, the Tesla CEO dubbed the agency "the Shortseller Enrichment Commission."

Electronics giant expects to record an operating profit of $15.8 billion, a 20 percent increase year over year.

Will this change in regulation spur development or put more humans at risk?

The social network's CEO is speaking after reported debate within the company over the employee's seemingly public support of the Supreme Court nominee.

Alexa's skills just learned how to use... Alexa's skills.

The skeleton crew of 25 left after hundreds were laid off last month is now gone, according to a tweet from a former Telltale employee.

The app administers four tests: Walking, voice, tapping and memory.

No matter which service you have, there's something scary for you to watch. Time to stream and scream!

This could be the best all-around affordable fitness tracker. Here are my initial thoughts after a couple of days.

The sweat-resistant wireless earbuds come with a charging case and can last up to four hours on a single charge.

In a letter, the congressman urges the tech giants to "protect our nation from foreign agents sowing discord."

The alien antihero hits theaters this week! How excited are you to watch him on the big screen?

More hardware makers now have to fight against Amazon on its home turf.

A new season's here soon with a new Doctor played by Jodie Whittaker. Here's what to expect -- and a review of the first episode.

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Microsoft never sleeps. Even before the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) started to roll out, the company began work on the next major update to Windows 10, due to be released next spring. As it did with the October 2018 Update, Microsoft has been releasing a series of public preview builds to members of Microsoft's Windows Insider Program.

After years of using "Redstone" in its code names, Microsoft is changing it up with the next release, which is code-named "19H1" (for 2019, first half) rather than "Redstone 6." What follows is a list of every preview build of Windows 10 19H1, 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.


(Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author.)

One of the things that has changed post-Steve Ballmer is passion. It is kind of funny and sad at the same time because I can recall the video of Steve passionately jumping around on stage saying, '-'developers, developers, developers,'-" talking about the importance of developers to the platform. The folks started referring to him as '-'Monkey Boy,'-" and he turned into the Stepford CEO (no passion; just occasional anger). I wrote him at the time saying that I thought passion was important in a CEO and praising him for it, but unfortunately (since he hadn'-™t seen the video at the time) my impact was the opposite of what I'-™d intended.


Quick: In a couple of words, what is Android? How would you characterize it?

If you said an "operating system," you're technically right, of course. Android is indeed the Google-made software that powers countless phones and mobile devices.

But increasingly, that's just one small part of what Android represents. At its core, Android is an ecosystem '-” one that's already an integral element of two major operating systems and is about to dip its toes into a third.

Android apps are immensely important to Android-running phones, of course '-” the Galaxy this-and-thats, Pixel here-and-theres, and so on. And over the past couple years, they've grown ever more important to devices running Chrome OS '-” a platform that itself is feeling more like an extension of Android with every passing week.


Like all of its predecessors, the first version of this new version of Windows 10 is fraught with problems. Win10 version 1809, released yesterday, has triggered tales of locusts, frogs, lice, hail, boils and the death of every firstborn son. We'-™re keeping a buglog on AskWoody, but one problem stands head and shoulders above the rest.

that the upgrade from Win10 version 1803 to version 1809 removes all of the files in their \Documents, \Pictures, \Music, and \Videos folders. The folders are still there, but nothing'-™s in them.


You remember Chromebooks, don'-™t you? They'-™re the small, inexpensive notebooks that were supposed to seriously eat into Microsoft'-™s market share by showing the world that you don'-™t need a big operating system to get big work done '-” just a lightweight one to get you internet access. Devices you could buy for less than the price of a piece of software. Hardware that would finally prove to the world that there'-™s no need for Microsoft Office and other big, client-based software '-” a free copy of Google Docs would do.

Things didn'-™t quite turn out that way. Windows laptops are thriving, and Chromebooks are rarely used in enterprises. Microsoft Office still rules the office suite world. Microsoft has no need to worry '-” right?


The secondary server in this computer room is having problems with its disk drives, reports a pilot fish on the scene.

Fortunately, there's a simple short-term fix. "When the drives were reseated, then they would be OK," fish says. "They would last awhile and then fail again.

"It was always an emergency that took a tech several hours to diagnose, decide and reseat, then be declared a hero."

Early on, fish points out that reseating isn't really fixing the problem. If the drives are actually going bad, they need to be replaced.

But his recommendation falls on deaf ears. And over a period of two years, the number of failing drives climbs to almost a dozen.


Companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Oracle will reap a financial windfall by offering blockchain as a service (BaaS), a market that'-™s quickly growing as companies look for ways to use the distributed ledger technology without spending a lot of money.

If just 2% of servers act as blockchain nodes some day, the BaaS market would reach $7 billion, according to Bank of America research analyst Kash Rangan.

In a note to investors" yesterday, Rangan named nine companies best positioned to take advantage of the BaaS movement. Along with BaaS providers Amazon, Microsoft and Oracle, Rangan named IBM, Salesforce.com, and VMware as leaders in the space. He also said real-estate/mortgage companies with blockchain-based online services, such as like Redfin, Zillow, and LendingTree, will also benefit. Those services digitize the transfer of property.


Microsoft yesterday released Windows 10 October 2018 Update, the year's second - and final - feature upgrade but will not begin pushing it onto PCs until next week.

Consumers will see the upgrade offered starting Oct. 9, the first day of automatic availability.

"If you already have a Windows 10 PC and have automatic updates enabled, the update will be delivered to you when it's ready for your machine," cautioned Jennifer Chen, a company communications manager, in a post to a company blog Tuesday.


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 this 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.


The launch of a big Windows 10 update like the October 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 1809, known as the October 2018 Update '-” with the most recent updates on top. (Note that the October 2018 Update is on a phased rollout, so you may not have received it yet.) Below that are updates to version 1803, known as the April 2018 Update; 1709, known as the Fall Creators Update; and finally 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.


Slack might be pinning its hopes on channels becoming the most common method of business communication, but its latest acquisition shows the continued importance of email for getting work done.

Last week, Slack touted its acquisition of Astro as a move designed to help it build out its own email management capabilities. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The purchase came just ahead of the company'-™s Frontiers user conference in New York City, which begins today.


I take it as an article of faith that you don'-™t want to install the latest version of Windows 10 right away. As we'-™ve seen, repeatedly, upgrading to a new version of Windows 10 as soon as it'-™s out leads to madness.

For almost everyone, the new features in Windows 10 version 1809, a.k.a. the October 2018 Update '-” new emojis, long overdue clipboard improvements," more convenient updates '-” just aren'-™t worth the bother of installing and setting up an entirely new copy of Windows. (Unless you really want Candy Crush Soda Saga installed for the umpteenth time.)


With Apple now seen as the future of enterprise mobility, I'-™ve put together a short collection of Siri Shortcuts that may make you more productive. As you can see, I'-™ve included the workflow used in some (though not all) of these to demonstrate how to build these things.

Remind me at work

Had a great idea? Ever experience one of those "Eureka" moments when the best strategic approach to a complex problem hits you as you climb aboard a train? Need to remember to order a birthday present for the kids? Never fear '-” as long as you'-™ve defined an address inside this little shortcut (and give Shortcuts access to your reminders) this will keep things moving forward right. Get this one here.


Back in May, when Microsoft rolled out Win10 version 1803, we saw a behavior never seen before: Some people, when clicking on '-'Check for updates'-" in Win10 1703 or 1709, were pushed into the Win10 1803 upgrade sequence.

I'-™m sure there'-™s a parallel universe somewhere in which '-'check for updates'-" is the same as '-'upgrade my machine.'-" Sure glad I don'-™t live there. (To block this update, see this article.)


Microsoft will handle Windows 10 upkeep as part of the device-as-a-service (DaaS) Microsoft Managed Desktop (MMD) subscription, the company said at its Ignite conference.

"We will manage all the updates that happen on this device," Nathan Mercer, a senior product marketing manager, said in a 15-minute session on MMD at last week's Ignite. "We'll manage all the Windows 10 feature updates. You'll be getting Semi-annual Channel updates for this device. We'll also be managing the Office updates and the monthly quality updates that come from Windows as well."

Those twice-annual feature upgrades and monthly security updates - as well as a host of other bug fixes for Windows that shoot out the refresh pipeline - will be delivered through Windows Update for Business (WUfB), a spin-off of the better-known Windows Update service.


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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.



The daughter's name is Nicarri.



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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