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 CTO.org - News Archive - October 7, 2018
The reviews are almost unanimously positive: Jodie Whittaker absolutely nailed it as the first female Doctor Who.

Review: Doctor Who season 11 begins with The Woman Who Fell to Earth, a fresh yet familiar return for the beloved sci-fi show.

New showrunner Chris Chibnall and new Doctor Jodie Whittaker dropped a few hints about the new-look show.

There are two big players in music streaming, but there's only room for one in your life.

The tech giants dispute the suggestion of a mass surveillance campaign.

When personal messages from the president go over the top, bad cell service can be a plus.

The creepy Symbiote wraps itself around all the other films, though Lady Gaga's A Star is Born remake also does well.

Review: This cel-shaded animated series premiering Sunday is surprisingly calm.

Google'-™s fall hardware event promises to be one of its most jam-packed ever.

In an exclusive interview, OnePlus's CEO dishes on the 6T's fingerprint sensor, lack of a headphone jack and a possible higher price.

Is there a so-called "beauty mode" on the iPhone XS?

Looking for a new game to play on your phone or tablet? Here are our picks of the best mobile games.

Midrange phones get a bad rap, but could be your best friend.

The car was designed in honor of Holden's first win at Bathurst, 50 years ago.

The search giant wants to sell you new phones and smart speakers. But your personal info is what it's really after.

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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.

Starting late Friday night, Microsoft pulled the Windows 10 version 1809 upgrade package from various locations. The official Download Windows 10 page is on version 1803, ISOs have disappeared, and 1809 is no longer available via WSUS.

The KB 4464619 article now states:

On Thursday, Bloomberg Businessweek published an in-depth report alleging that Chinese suppliers for server hardware company Supermicro had placed microchips onto motherboards ordered by the San Jose-based company that were later sold to fill orders from as many as 30 customers.(Insider Story)

So far smart speakers and smart displays (such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home lines) have been aimed at consumers and homes.

Where'-™s the smart appliance for business?

As I wrote in this space previously, I believe in a coming convergence between smart speakers and business phone and conference systems. At the time, I believed that convergence would first show up in the form of a business- or enterprise-specific phone device based on the Alexa for Business platform.

NEW YORK CITY '-" Slack is building a new analytics tool to offer businesses greater insights into how their teams collaborate, part of the company'-™s plans to make better use of the data created within its popular chatapp.

'-'We are hoping to build a set of insights that help you understand not only how Slack is being used, but how your company is collaborating and functioning,'-" said Jamie DeLanghe, head of Slack's Search, Learning and Intelligence (SLI) team. He spoke to Computerworld" at the company's Frontiers event this week in New York.

Apple's iOS 12 has already surpassed iOS 11 after only two and a half weeks and is now installed on 47% of iDevices; iOS 11 is now running 45%, according to data from analytics company Mixpanel.

Prior to iOS 12's launch on Sept. 17, iOS 11 was running on 85% of iPhones and iPads, according to Apple's developer support page.

In comparison, it took iOS 11 nearly two months last year to reach a 50% adoption rate. This year's uptake rate is actually more similar to that of iOS 10, which was released in 2016 and had been installed on 48% of devices after only two weeks.

Apple and Amazon have strenuously denied" Bloomberg'-™s claims of a sophisticated hardware exploit against servers belonging to them and numerous other entities, including U.S. law enforcement " 

Chinese, Apple and chips

Put in very simple terms, the claim is that malicious chips were found inside servers used in data centers belonging to the tech firms.

These chips (it'-™s claimed) worked to exfiltrate data from those servers, which were themselves sourced from server manufacturer Super Micro. That company'-™s server products are/were also used by Amazon, the U.S. government, and 30 other organizations. The chips were allegedly put in place by employees bribed by Chinese government agents.

Microsoft's device-as-a-service (DaaS) subscription, dubbed MMD for Microsoft Managed Desktop, currently offers a choice of three Surface configurations.

Although Microsoft has said it plans to expand device selection of MMD to third-party hardware, it has not revealed a timetable for that or identified which OEMs' (original equipment manufacturers) PCs will be on the menu. For now, only Microsoft's own Surface gear will be "rented" to enterprise customers and managed - both through the devices' lifecycles and for regular upgrade and update servicing - by Microsoft.

The three configurations, one in each of the Surface lines, are:

IT security has laptops at this company really locked down, and that includes only limited admin rights, reports a road warrior pilot fish.

"On a recent trip, at my hotel I had to make an internet connection and open a web page to log into the hotel's internet service before I could get a connection to the real internet," fish says.

"Problem was, the work laptop was not going to let me use the browsers until I had established a VPN connection, which of course I could not do without the web page login.

"In a way, that was good -- I took some real vacation time.

"In another way, it was bad, I have big hands and fingers, so using an iPhone and those stupid virtual keyboards is a one-finger, error-prone task. An email that could take seconds to type on a full-size keyboard takes minutes on the phone.

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.

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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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