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 CTO.org - News Archive - October 9, 2018
Request sidewalk cleanings in San Francisco in a snap.

A new version of the Razer Phone is imminent.

Netflix's content chief says the people making the shows probably don't know what Apple plans to do with them.

Move comes amid controversy over reportedly murdered journalist in Saudi consulate.

The electric scooter won't be cheap but it should be fun and efficient, perfect for city living.

After a swift backlash, Verizon has removed a video highlighting the "first responders who rely on us" from YouTube.

The StreetScooter Work XL has the body of a Ford Transit and the electric guts of a StreetScooter van.

You can only buy one.

Pieter Hanson doesn't agree with his mother's views of the #MeToo movement.

As far as NHTSA's own word goes, it's one through five stars and that's it.

Bloomberg reports manipulated hardware was uncovered in a corporate network server.

The director who was fired from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise could soon have a new group of super misfits.

The search giant is pushing back against an EU decision, which found the company had engaged in illegal practices to strengthen its dominance in search.

The company debuted its phones for 2018, a camera-free home control center and a new detachable Chrome OS tablet.

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is trying to get all his ducks in a row.

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One of the great things about R is the thousands of packages users have written to solve specific problems in various disciplines -- analyzing everything from weather or financial data to the human genome -- not to mention analyzing computer security-breach data.

Some tasks are common to almost all users, though, regardless of subject area: data import, data wrangling and data visualization. The table below show my favorite go-to packages for one of these three tasks (plus a few miscellaneous ones tossed in). The package names in the table are clickable if you want more information. To find out more about a package once you've installed it, type help(package = "packagename") in your R console (of course substituting the actual package name ).


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.


From wired to wireless charging
Apple wireless charging AirPower

Image by Apple

Apple's iPhone X (and XS) models offer a variety of cutting edge features, such as Face ID technology, and they supports native wireless charging '-" just like the iPhone 8 (and a variety of Android devices).


Microsoft today issued the final security updates for Windows 10 Home 1703 and Windows 10 Pro 1703, the feature upgrades that launched 18 months ago.

Microsoft labels its feature upgrades in a yymm format to identify their purported production dates, or when the code was finished. But contrary to the mm part of the ID, the upgrades typically begin rolling out in April and October of each year.

Windows 10 1703 debuted April 5, 2017.

Customers running Windows 10 Enterprise 1703 or Windows 10 Education 1703 will continue to receive operating system patches for another year, with the last update for them scheduled for Oct. 8, 2019. Support for the upper-end SKUs (stock-keeping units) was recently extended by 12 months, from the once-standard 18 months to 30. Starting with Windows 10 Enterprise 1809 - currently in limbo after Microsoft halted distribution because of a flaw that deleted user files - the 30-month support will be awarded only to the xx09 upgrades, or those launched in the fall. But the additional Enterprise/Education support was handed out to all already-released-and-still-supported versions, including 1617, 1703, 1709 and 1803, as a kind of grandfather clause.


Launched at the turn of the century, Rituals Cosmetics now has over 670 stores worldwide. And in 2016, it began its migration to Apple solutions all across its business.

An Apple enterprise

In a move that demonstrates just how rapidly the world of retail is switching to Apple, Rituals' Joost van der Zwaan," IT Infrastructure Architect, told me:


Microsoft has barred access to the latest Windows 10 feature upgrade, told those who did run it to keep their hands off their PCs, and warned people who had manually downloaded the build - but not yet installed it - to discard the disk image.

The primary problem, Microsoft conceded, was that the upgrade - designated 1809 in the firm's numeric format but also dubbed "October 2018 Update" - tended to erase all the files in the Documents, Pictures, Music and Videos folders.

"We have paused the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) for all users as we investigate isolated reports of users missing some files after updating," the company said in its usual understated fashion, in a support document. "If you have manually checked for updates and believe you have an issue with missing files after an update, please minimize your use of the affected device and contact us directly at +1-800-MICROSOFT."


It's almost Y2K, and this small recruiting firm is converting its key systems to client/server, according to a software developer pilot fish who's working on the project.

"We had been a Macintosh shop for email, word processing and the CRM application," fish says.

"We were purchased by a larger competitor in 1999. They used Windows and Microsoft products for all their applications, so we went through an integration with new hardware, software, etc.

"On the go-live day, I remember one user, Barney, who was completely baffled by the 'press control-alt-delete' instructions and icons that appeared on the monitor.

"I took Barney's support call but I couldn't log in remotely, so I went to his workstation. There I found Barney actually pressing on the monitor screen per the instructions.


Most people resist change. If your company recently switched to Google'-™s G Suite from Microsoft Office, you might feel confused by or less productive with the new platform '-” especially when it comes to email. Or you might like Gmail'-™s features and interface but wish it had some components similar to Outlook.(Insider Story)


5G wireless will be a revolution to so many industries in the next few years. One of those industries is the world of cable TV or pay TV as it is called today. 5G is coming on strong and fast. Let'-™s take a closer look at the impact it will have and how it will completely transform the entire industry.

If we pull the camera back, we see that 5G has the potential to change every industry. That means whether we are a consumer or business, the way we do everything will dramatically change in coming years.

Yesterday, we had separate sectors like wireless, cable TV, local telephone, long distance, Internet and more. Companies competed in one sector or another, but that was it. Over the last two decades things have been changing. Industry by industry, these separate segments have been blending.


Get more done. Get it done faster. These Mac tips should make your more efficient than before.

Use smart mailboxes

Apple'-™s Mail application hosts a feature called Smart Mailbox. It refers to Mail folders that you can automatically pre-populate according to certain criteria. One of the most useful ways to use this feature is to create a Smart Mailbox that gathers emails from named colleagues '-” but this works even more effectively if you first create a contact group in Contacts. Here'-™s how to match these two features up:

The Contacts bit

  • Open Contacts, File>New Group.
  • Name the new group '-" if you are gathering names of your colleagues, you might call it "Colleagues".
  • In the All Contacts view, search for each colleague you want to include in your new group and drag & drop their contact card into the relevant group. (Contacts can belong to multiple groups.)

The Mail bit

Now you can easily create a Smart Mailbox to gather all the emails you receive from your colleagues. (It doesn'-™t need to be colleagues; it can be friends, clients, whatever group(s) are appropriate to your needs.)


September patches looked good for a while, then we got hit with four big, buggy Win10 cumulative updates. August Windows and Office patches went pretty well in spite of a last-minute rush to fix bugs introduced in earlier patches. July patches, however, left almost every version of Windows looking like a zombie apocalypse.


IBM today announced the commercial availability of a blockchain-based electronic distributed ledger that can track and trace food supply chain data from farm to store self.

In development over the past 18 months, IBM's Food Trust ledger will allow food retailers, suppliers and growers to see supply chain data in near real time, enabling a more transparent and efficient method of determining the origin and safety of produce.

Along with announcing the availability of its Food Trust tracking network, IBM said several food retailers and suppliers have joined those piloting the blockchain technology, which is based on the Hyperledger Fabric open-standards protocol. Those retailers include Topco Associates LLC, representing 15,000 stores; retailer-owned cooperative Wakefern, representing 50 member companies and 344 stores; and other " suppliers including Beefchain, Dennick Fruit Source and Smithfield.


Pilot fish runs an IT support group that's announcing new PC power management settings, which are scheduled to be deployed on Friday.

"The new settings will turn off the PC's display after 10 minutes of inactivity," says fish.

"On Thursday, this email arrived:

I think this is a great idea, however my computer is now prompting me that my session is about to expire even though I am and have been using my computer. This is not a good thing.

"I responded:

Hi, Fred:

We have not enabled this display setting yet. Our announcement says "Friday", which is tomorrow.

What you describe sounds like the session timeout for a web application.


Microsoft has changed up Windows 10's support so many times that some IT professionals may need chiropractic care. Support was reduced, then extended, then reduced, then extended again.(Insider Story)


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:


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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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