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ComputerWorld
Jul 18, 2019

Microsoft tells enterprises to be on Edge
Microsoft on Wednesday kicked off an Edge-is-for-enterprise effort, detailing the corporate features that have been baked into the under-construction browser so far and urging business users to give Edge a go.

"The Dev Channel now has enterprise features enabled by default and is ready for evaluation and supported by detailed deployment and configuration documentation," said the browser's makers in a post to a Microsoft blog. "We are also offering full support for deployment in pilot and production environments through our commercial support channels."

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 18, 2019

How gaming can save high-end smartphones
Smartphone makers have looked to the emerging markets, particularly China, for growth over the past couple of years — especially in the all important high-end market where margins are made. But the Chinese market for high-performance smartphones is becoming saturated, as is much of the rest of the developed world. Many people now balk at spending $1,000-plus each year for a new device that has only relatively modest improvements in features/functions. Indeed, this is a similar problem that the PC space has had for several years

What's needed is a new growth path for high-end devices. And much like the PC space, phone makers appear to have found one - in gaming. Phone makers are looking to relatively gaming-friendly markets like China and the Far East as the first area to concentrate on but with a bigger vision for other mature markets like North America and Europe.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 18, 2019

How and why Apple users should switch to DuckDuckGo for search
Like liberty for all, privacy demands vigilance, and that's why Apple users who care about either are moving to DuckDuckGo for search.

Why use DuckDuckGo? Privacy is under attack.

It doesn't take much effort to prove this truth. At time of writing, recent news is full of creeping privacy erosion:

We've seen video conferencing solutions that surreptitiously install software on your Macs; A face changing photography app perhaps implicated in the assembly of a vast database of faces; Ahousehold name in smart speakers sharing your private conversations with people you don't know, including chatter you didn't know was recorded in the first place. And then there's Duck Duck Go.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 18, 2019

Apple, Google, and the copycat conundrum
Let's just get this out of the way right off the bat: Yes, Google copied Apple when it comes to its new Android Q gestures.

There's no way around it, really: The idea of having a thin bar at the bottom of a phone's screen that you swipe up on to go home or swipe up and hold to look through your recently used apps is a pretty distinctive element of Apple's current iOS interface.

Now let's get something else out of the way: This bit of "great idea stealing," to, ahem, borrow a certain phrase from a certain someone, shouldn't be a major cause for concern among us mere mortals who use these mobile tech products. And, critically, it shouldn't be viewed as a unique or uncommon phenomenon — or anything that even comes close to being a one-directional behavior.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 18, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Doesn't ‘new' mean ‘perfect'?
Server goes bad in this data center, and pilot fish draws the job of overseeing its replacement.

Once plans for the new hardware's installation are in place, fish notifies his boss of the schedule — and gets a reply:

"Noted and thanks. So I will assume this is the only system that is down and that the planned migration scheduled for this Friday will prevent this in the future?"

Fish's response: "The outage is a result of a hardware failure. The migration to new hardware will not prevent us from experiencing hardware failures on the new hardware."

You can help prevent future Shark Tank outages by sending me your true tales of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 17, 2019

The evolution of the MacBook
The MacBook (and MacBook Air) after 25 years The Evolution of the MacBook [cover]" data-license="IDG"/Image by IDG / Ash Edmonds

A major tool for college students and creative professionals alike, Apple's laptops have dominated the way users approach productivity on the go.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 17, 2019

Microsoft cheat sheets: Dive into Windows and Office apps
Need to get up to speed on the latest features in Excel 2016? Wrestling with an old version of Word? Looking to get more out of Windows 10? Computerworld's cheat sheets are easy-to-use guides to help you navigate Microsoft's core productivity apps.

Here's a one-stop resource where you can find in-depth stories on several generations of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook for Windows, focusing on what's new in each major release. We've also got guides for SharePoint, OneNote, Microsoft Teams and Windows itself.

Microsoft's subscription-based office suite, Office 365, is continually updated with new features, and the company recently released Office 2019, its latest non-subscription office suite. We'll be publishing new cheat sheets to cover those products, but we're willing to bet that many companies and individuals will stay on older versions of the standalone software for some time to come. We've got you covered here.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 17, 2019

Alexa wins the Apple App Store as voice control takes over
We are all spending more time talking to our computers. This is a changing interaction with machines. Amazon's meteoric climb up the Apple App Store charts should be all the proof you need that the age of voice is here.

Hey Siri, speak to Alexa While most of the tech press involved itself in writing endless Amazon Prime day buying lists, Brian Roemmele was watching what was happening in tech.

He realised that lots of the systems sold on Amazon over the last few days were spoken word systems that work with Amazon's Alexa app.

To get a sense of how many sold, he watched as App Store downloads of the Alexa app climbed the charts.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 17, 2019

Microsoft starts Windows 10's 1803-to-1903 forced upgrade
Microsoft on Tuesday began upgrading Windows 10 PCs running the 14-month old 1803 with the latest refresh, the May 2019 Update, aka 1903.

"We are initiating the Windows 10 May 2019 Update for customers with devices that are at or nearing end of service and have not yet updated their device," Microsoft said on its Windows release health dashboard. "Keeping these devices both supported and receiving monthly updates is critical to device security and ecosystem health."

[ Related: Windows 10 May 2019 Update: Key enterprise features ] Windows 10 1803, which was released April 30, 2018, will drop off Microsoft's support list on Nov. 12.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 17, 2019

Microsoft OneNote cheat sheet
For putting together ideas or proposals in your work, a note-taking app can be helpful. It's especially useful if you need to present your ideas to co-workers or collaborate with them on notes. In Microsoft Office, OneNote is the app for this job.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jul 17, 2019

It's all been documented
Pilot fish is document control analyst for a massive update and redesign of several dozen systems. Early in the multi-year process he is sent guidelines for naming the documents so that they can be easily identified within a matrix of system development steps. But it's months later when the documents start arriving. Some have been given names that are pretty close to the guidelines, but others seem to follow no logic at all.

Fish emails his boss about the discrepancies. No response. As the weeks and months go by, the names of the documents are even further afield. From time to time, fish asks for clarification. Still no response.

In the end, the whole project gets canceled and the documents are to be archived. Then, just as fish is about to retire, he is asked if he would like to keep working. The project? Giving correct names to those 5,000 archived documents.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 16, 2019

Upcoming Windows 10 1909: Update or upgrade? Microsoft clarifies
Microsoft this week clarified how the unprecedented Windows 10 refresh expected to ship in September will behave when users decide to skip installing it or want to postpone its appearance on their PCs.

"Customers can control 19H2 like other Feature Updates," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an email. "For [Windows 10] Home and [Windows 10] Pro users, control will also remain unchanged and largely up to the user when to initiate when the update occurs."

[ Related: Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration guide ] Microsoft has code-named the fall release as 19H2 for now - the label identifying the upgrade as the second of the year - but it will likely be later named 1909 in the company's four-digit yymm format.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 16, 2019

Facebook plans Workplace price hike, adds new Enterprise option
Facebook today unveiled pricing changes for its Workplace enterprise social network, adding a new  tier aimed at larger organizations as well as "add-on" options to encourage deployments to frontline workers. 

Workplace, launched at the end of 2016, now has more than 2 million individual paid users,  including 150 larger customers who have deployed the app to more than 100,000 workers. Among those customers are the Royal Bank of Scotland, Walmart and Nestle. 

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 16, 2019

10 useful Google apps you probably aren't using
Google's got a lot of apps. Maybe even too many, in certain (ahem) cases.

Amidst all the obvious titles and oddly overlapping offerings, though, Google's wing of the Play Store holds some genuinely useful treasures — clever creations by the creator of Android that are just waiting to be discovered.

Here are 10 off-the-beaten-path Google apps that'll help you do all sorts of interesting stuff with your Android device. Sure, any one of 'em could disappear any day with little to no warning — this is Google we're talking about, after all — but for the moment, at least, they're out there and ready for the taking. And yes, they're all free.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 16, 2019

Hello? Hello?
It's pilot fish's turn to do after-hours support, and as usual, nothing happens. He gets no calls all night.

But the next day a co-worker messages him to find out why he hadn't answered the phone when he called the night before. Fish checks his phone for notifications of missed calls; nothing. They wrangle over this for a bit. Did you call or text? "I called," says co-worker, "and I got your voicemail — although it was a woman's voice on the greeting. But, you know, the default greeting is quite often with a woman's voice, and it was 3 a.m., so I might not have been as clear-headed as normal."

OK, but I don't use the default greeting on my phone, says fish. Are you sure you called my number? And fish recites his digits.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 15, 2019

Microsoft previews 'chromified' Edge's group policies to win enterprise approval
Microsoft has unveiled a preliminary catalog of group policies for managing the still-under-development "full-Chromium" Edge, giving IT admins a glimpse at what they will be working with if they adopt the browser.

"We're still working on the list, but I'd like to share an early preview of the management policies we are working on for the new version of Microsoft Edge," Sean Lyndersay, a group program manager on the Edge team, wrote in a June 14 post to the Insider online forum.

[ Further reading: Google's Chromium browser explained ] An attached file in .zip format contained ADMX and ADML files - the two required to implement group policies on a Windows device - and an HTML document that lists and describes the policies on Windows and macOS machines.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 15, 2019

How Teams is helping frontline workers at Ferguson
Frontline workers tend to be overlooked when it comes to technology. But the growing awareness that they, too, need access to the latest digital tools is pushing companies to change how they do business.

For Massachusetts-based Ferguson, which says it's the largest distributor of plumbing supplies in the U.S., that realization meant the deployment of Microsoft's Teams platform and a shift to channel-based communications. The company says the move has already helped improve customer service with faster, more effective information sharing.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 15, 2019

How to take control of Face ID (with tools you may not know exist)
If you travel frequently and use an iPhone or iPad then you simply must familiarize yourself with these two tips - they'll make it much easier to secure your device and its contents when you are on the move.

In praise of Face ID I've become very used to using Face ID. It's seamless.

On the iPhone, I like that I can pay for groceries with a look and find it much easier to use in the dark than the Home button.

My iPad experience is similar, but I do get annoyed sometimes that I must raise the tablet slightly to get the face angle right - this isn't always as intuitive as I would like.

All the same, given Apple's claim that there is a 1 in 50,000 chance that someone else's fingerprint will unlock your iPhone and a 1 in 1,000,000 chance that it will be unlocked by another person's face, I'll always opt for the highly secure choice.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 15, 2019

Memory-Lane Monday: Even worse than you thought
This government agency has cashiers' stations for handling transactions with the public, and the treasurer's office decides it needs new software to run those stations, according to a pilot fish in IT.

And there's going to be one sign-on and password for all the stations, brag the higher-ups.

Bad idea, protest all the IT programmers and system administrators. For one thing, having a single user sign-on to the system will prevent tracking who is completing each transaction. They cite security, accountability and separation of duties, but their protests fall on deaf ears.

The vendor rep shows up one day, and he and the treasurer do a presentation for an audience that includes IT managers. The two sound excited, and a touch proud, when they tell everyone that the cashiers will sign on with the user ID "Cash." They don't share the top-secret password, though; that's just for the cashiers to know.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 15, 2019

Trump's hostile view of Bitcoin and crypto could chill industry
President Donald Trump has weighed in on the cryptocurrency debate, saying in a series of tweets Friday that he's not a fan of Bitcoin or blockchain-based digital money in general because it's highly volatile and "based on thin air."

"Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity," Trump tweeted.

[ More info: Download: Beginner's guide to blockchain ] The President's tweets on fly in the face of comments made just one day earlier by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who acknowledged that while Bitcoin may be far from mass adoption it is "a speculative store of value, like gold."

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 13, 2019

How hearables will drive the attention economy
In an age of mass production, the global internet and digital everything, the most valuable commodities have become time and attention. And everybody wants yours.

Your work demands them. Advertisers need them. Broadcast media crave them. Social networks want them. Marketers, charity panhandlers, evangelists, celebrities, smartphone apps, political campaigns and others are all clamoring for you to focus on them and ignore the rest.

[ Related: Android apps: Best of the best ] Finally there's help, in the form of an emerging revolution in audio. Low-power components, better batteries, smaller AI processors, rapidly advancing digital signal processors (DSP), advanced microphone arrays, improving Bluetooth specs and other technologies are converging to enable a new world of smart earbuds, headphones and hearing aids.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 12, 2019

Apple's AR glasses may be coming sooner than we think
There's a claim Apple has canned development of AR glasses. This makes no sense to me - I think it means they are coming sooner than we thought.

Through an (augmented) glass darkly "Apple has suspended the development of head-mounted display (HMD) AR/VR headsets, and already disbanded its team for the development of AR/VR HMDs," Digitimes claims in a report almost nobody believes.

The publication also said development had been ceased temporarily, with people involved in the project diverted elsewhere.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 12, 2019

Tech event calendar 2019: Upcoming shows, conferences and IT expos


Tech Events Event Description Starts Ends Location Microsoft Inspire Microsoft's partner-centric tech conference. 2019-07-14 2019-07-18 Las Vegas, NV FutureIT FutureIT is a one-day regional event series that delivers an in-depth look at the evolving digital enterprise, with a focus on topics such as IoT, AI, Edge computing, analytics and digital transformation. 2019-07-18 2019-07-18 Dallas, TX Voice Summit 2019 This event bills itself as "the world's largest voice-tech conference, attracting 5,000 developers, conversational designers, startups, brands, agencies and executives at the forefront of the voice-first era. 2019-07-22 2019-07-25 Newark, NJ Black Hat USA Four days of hands-on security training followed by the two-day main conference covering the information security research, development and trends. 2019-08-03 2019-08-08 Las Vegas, NV CIO 100 This event (and awards cere

ComputerWorld
Jul 12, 2019

IDG Contributor Network: Microsoft Inspire: A picture into the future of Microsoft
 [Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author.]

Partner conferences are an element of large tech companies that smaller firms don't have the resources to maintain. The interesting things about them include insight into how seriously the vendor takes its partner ecosystem, the balance between direct sales and partner efforts.

Partner conferences also are where the partners go to get a heads-up on where the firm's priorities will be in the future. Done right, these are like sales events with lots of energy and programs focused on driving sales, partner and customer engagement, and lots of recognition for those that generate the most revenue and can showcase unusually high customer loyalty.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 12, 2019

Microsoft: Teams now has 13M daily active users, outpacing rival Slack
Microsoft's Teams collaboration app is now used by 13 million individuals on a daily basis, according to data released by the company Thursday, surpassing rival Slack for the first time.

Microsoft introduced Teams in 2017 as a competitor to Slack, which had attracted significant interest as an alternative to email for internal communications following its launch in 2014.

Unlike Slack, which is a standalone application, Microsoft Teams is available at no additional cost for Office 365 customers, of which there are 180 million monthly active users globally.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 12, 2019

Thumper
It's the late '70s and pilot fish is a student operator in a small college's computer room, where there's a midrange system that's a bit balky and temperamental. The vendor is called in from time to time, but of course, the machine works flawlessly anytime vendor support shows up.

Between those visits, the machine continues to go down, but fish and his colleagues discover that they can anticipate a looming shutdown by watching the lights on the machine, and a good thump applied in the right place at the right time would keep the thing running.

This goes on for years. In fact, it is only when the system is being removed that it's discovered that it has a loose screw, and those therapeutic thumps somehow managed to put it back where it needed to be.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 11, 2019

Which iPhones, iPads support Apple's iOS 13 and iPadOS?
When it unveiled iOS 13 and iPadOS last month, Apple had bad news for those relying on iPhones that debuted in 2013 and 2014 and brushed off customers with an iPad Mini from the same years or a 2013 original iPad Air.

According to Apple, iOS 13 - likely shot out of Cupertino in September - will be supported on these devices:

iPhone XS, XS Max, XR (2018) iPhone X, 8 and 8 Plus (2017) iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (2016) iPhone 6S and 6S Plus (2015) iPhone SE (2016) iPod Touch, 7th generation (2019) [iOS 13 will also be pre-installed on the new iPhone(s) Apple introduces this fall.]

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 11, 2019

Zoom fixes webcam flaw for Macs, but security concerns linger
Zoom released a patch this week to fix a security flaw in the Mac version of its desktop video chat app that could allow hackers to take control of a user's webcam. 

The vulnerability was discovered by security researcher Jonathan Leitschuh, who published information about it in a blog post Monday. The flaw potentially affected 750,000 companies and approximately 4 million individuals using Zoom, Leitschuh said.

[ Related: 6 tips for scaling up team collaboration tools ] Zoom said it's seen "no indication" any users were affected. But concerns about the flaw and how it works raised questions about whether other similar apps could be equally vulnerable.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 11, 2019

BrandPost: Working smarter with Microsoft 365
Everyday office applications are supposed to raise the productivity bar, help workers perform mundane tasks faster, and streamline collaboration. But in reality, software complexity often causes employees to spend too much time working out the kinks or reverting to manual processes to get their job done.

Enter Microsoft 365, which includes familiar productivity apps with built-in intelligence capabilities that bolster productivity and help the workforce get to better results quicker - without the usual hand-holding. AI-driven capabilities in Microsoft 365 help reduce complexity while creating shortcuts that promote productivity and creativity.

"We all have to-do lists that never have a bottom," says Brad Anderson, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Enterprise Experiences and Management. "We're able to leverage what we've learned in the cloud on a global scale to help users get their work done faster."

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 11, 2019

BrandPost: How technology is shaping the future of work
Technology has always been about increasing productivity and efficiency, but its impact in the enterprise now transcends productivity in a few very important ways.

One is that it plays a central role in organizations' business agility initiatives. Second is its impact on employee recruitment, productivity, and loyalty. In fact, the quality of employee experience today is often a reflection of the quality and adroitness of a company's digital prowess, and shapes perceptions about what makes an organization a top destination for talent.

A truly digital experience refers not only to the ability to access information remotely, but also to seamlessly collaborate and innovate with colleagues. Employers that embrace these agile ways of working, and meet employee expectations of consumer-like digital experiences, are more likely to win the ongoing war for talent.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 11, 2019

BrandPost: Making the business case for Microsoft 365: A TCO story
Business is evolving at a dizzying pace. People are on the move, working across systems and devices, and they expect a seamless, fast, invisibly secure experience. That experience is a driver of culture, retention, and, ultimately, a source of employee delight (or not). 

To keep up, you may find yourself in the unenviable position of having to make the business case for a technology refresh—an often fraught and inconclusive exercise. But getting buy-in for Microsoft 365? That's a straightforward total cost of ownership (TCO) discussion. Your selling points: IT is able to more easily protect assets and employees, free up time for IT staff, and provide systems and tools people actually like using.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 11, 2019

BrandPost: How to head off Microsoft 365 application compatibility issues
Recognizing that application compatibility is one of the most important considerations for shifting to a new operating environment, Microsoft has pulled out all of the stops to assuage companies' concerns for shifting to Microsoft 365

Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President, Enterprise Experiences and Management at Microsoft, acknowledges the importance of addressing compatibility concerns and says Microsoft has done a "massive amount of work" to ensure that Windows 10 is the most compatible upgrade in the company's history. "The No. 1 cost and concern users have when deploying a new version of Windows is that some number of apps will be incompatible with the new version," he says.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 11, 2019

The smarter way to capture screenshots in Chrome
For all of its features and web-spelunking utensils, Google's Chrome browser is curiously missing one core function: the ability to capture a screenshot of a website you're visiting.

Or so it would seem.

Here's a little-known secret: Chrome actually has a supremely useful built-in command for capturing screenshots — no extensions required. It's flexible, effective, and easy as can be to use. And it works on Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, or any desktop platform where Chrome is available.

The only problem? It's hidden away in a place where no normal mortal would ever possibly find it.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 11, 2019

IDG Contributor Network: A challenging Patch Tuesday for legacy Windows platforms
With 77 unique CVE's addressed, two zero-days and six publicly disclosed vulnerabilities, some time and attention is definitely required for this Patch Tuesday update cycle. Older platforms will require immediate attention, while Remote Desktop Services (RDS) will need some testing and the latest features (sandbox) on Windows 10 1903 may require some additional unit testing.

That said, there is room for pure joy this month: no updates to Adobe Flash or Shockwave. Amazing, simply amazing. We have provided a graphical summary of this month's Patch Tuesday release cycle here.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 11, 2019

New Windows 7 'security-only' update installs telemetry/snooping, uh, feature
Back in October 2016, Microsoft divided the Win7 and 8.1 patching worlds into two parts.

Those who got their patches through Windows Update received so-called Monthly Rollups, which included security patches, bug fixes - and we frankly don't know what else - rolled out in a cumulative stream.

The folks who were willing to download and manually install patches were also given the option of installing "security-only" patches, not cumulative; these were meant to address just the security holes.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 11, 2019

Windows 10 cheat sheet
Windows 10 is the best operating system that's come along from Microsoft in a long time. It's a shape-shifter that changes its interface depending upon whether you're using a traditional computer or a touch-based one. It undoes the damage wrought by Windows 8, including eliminating the awkward Charms bar and bringing back the long-mourned Start menu. A lot more has changed as well, with a default browser called Edge, the integration of the Cortana digital assistant, links to Microsoft's cloud-based OneDrive cloud storage service and plenty more.

Share this story: IT pros, we hope you'll pass this guide on to your users to show them the Windows 10 ropes. Also see our printable PDF of Windows 10 gestures and shortcuts.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 11, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Hardly worth mentioning
This pilot fish does some freelance IT work, and one of his regular clients comes to him with a strange problem.

"A Linux server at his customer's remote location had a Samba mount of a Windows server's share," says fish. "Every day at around 9:30 a.m., like clockwork, the Linux server would stop responding to any requests on this mounted directory.

"I couldn't figure it out; nothing was being output on the debug logs. I was about ready to build a new Linux kernel to see if that would fix the problem."

Before fish can do that, though, he gets a call from the client, who just got off the phone with someone at the remote location. "After a year of dealing with this problem and asking her if there's anything she does about the time that the server hangs, she finally says, ‘Oh yeah — I reboot the Windows server every day at 9:30 a.m.!'"

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 10, 2019

What's in the latest Firefox update? Mozilla pitches add-ons, new enterprise group policies
Mozilla on Tuesday released Firefox 68 for Windows, macOS and Linux, packing more insights into the browser's add-ons and adding a slew of new group policies that enterprise IT administrators can use to better manage the browser.

Mozilla's security engineers also patched 21 vulnerabilities, two labeled "Critical" and four marked "High," the organization's top two threat ratings. "We presume that with enough effort that some of these could be exploited to run arbitrary code," Mozilla reported in one advisory.

Firefox 68 can be downloaded from Mozilla's site. Because it updates in the background, most users need only relaunch the browser to get the latest version. To manually update, pull up the menu under the three horizontal bars at the upper right, then click the help icon (the question mark within a circle). Choose "About Firefox." The resulting page shows that the browser is either up to date or explains the refresh process.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 10, 2019

One day you'll wear your Mac like sunglasses
What happens if your AirPods become your primary connection with all your computing devices, accessed in the cloud?

What if you could interact with remote systems using Voice Control? That's a nice dream, I guess, but the big challenge to developing voice-based user interfaces is authorization. How does a computer know who you are?

Nuance just might have found the missing link.

A flash of Nuance Lightning Nuance's newly-introduced Lightning Engine isn't aimed at Apple, though the company says it has made its new tech available to a number of strategic customers.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 10, 2019

Not even remotely right
With just minutes to go before a big meeting in a remote office, the attendees are frantically looking for the long HDMI cable that's supposed to be connected to the big flat-screen TV in the conference room. They need it so they can hook up a laptop to show a presentation, they tell pilot fish, who's on the phone back at the main office. Fish knows the remote location well enough to be able to guide the users to various IT stashes, where they might find a replacement. When that doesn't pan out, fish gets them to cannibalize another setup for its HDMI cable. It's shorter, but they can make it work by having the presenter stand next to the TV with the laptop.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 10, 2019

Microsoft's Windows Update system is broken. Will it ever be fixed?
For many years, Microsoft has struggled to get the way it updates Windows right — and mostly got it wrong. But a month ago, I wrote about how Microsoft finally got a piece of it right, by giving people control over whether to install the twice-annual feature updates, such as the recent Windows 10 May 2019 Update.

Boy, was I ever off-target. Over the past few weeks, Microsoft has done little more than sow confusion about how and when Windows will be updated. It did this by issuing Orwellian statements and putting out a preview release schedule whose logic is undiscernible.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 10, 2019

Download: Beginner's guide to blockchain
It's been called a technology so unique that it could disrupt our digital lives in ways not seen since the arrival of the internet. Supply chains. Banking. Contracts. Real estate investments. Food supplies. Even personal identities.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jul 09, 2019

Microsoft delivers Defender ATP security service to Macs
Microsoft on Monday made good on a March pledge by announcing that its most sophisticated endpoint security service is now available for Macs.

Microsoft Defender ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) for Mac shifted to what the company calls "general availability" on June 28, wrote Helen Allas, a principal program manager on the enterprise security team, in a July 8 post to a company blog. Core components of Defender ATP, including the latest - "Threat & Vulnerability Management," which made it to general availability a week ago - now serve Macs.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 09, 2019

4 big, fat, pesky problems with Android Q gestures
Once upon a time, getting around Android was a pretty simple process.

You wanted to go to your home screen? You'd tap the Home button. Needed to move back a step? You'd hit the Back button. Felt like hopping directly between some recently used apps? Yeah — you'd smash that Overview button in the same bottom-bar area of your screen. The only real variable was whether you used a phone made by a (cough, cough) certain company that stubbornly insisted on putting those buttons in the wrong order for no apparent reason.

Nowadays, it's a different story. Some Android phones still use that standard three-button setup. Others use 2018's Android Pie gesture system, with its single centered "pill" that puts the Home button and Overview button into the same centered spot. Not all phones with Pie have that gesture system activated, though. Some Android device-makers have added their own custom gesture setups into the mix, while others are opting to shield their loyal device-owners from any gesture-induced confusion for the moment.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 09, 2019

How Apple is improving iCloud this year
Apple quite evidently plans many interesting improvements in its iCloud service this year. So, what's going on?

What we know so far Apple at WWDC made several announcements that will be reliant on iCloud - these include obvious things like new services and support for new functions, and less evident topics around sync, data and AI.

Most recently, the company began beta-testing Touch ID and Face ID access to iCloud.com online, meaning that if you happen to be using an Apple device (Mac, iPad, iPhone) you can access your online iCloud services with the touch of a finger or a quick eye scan.

This may also be Apple's way of testing the privacy-protecting Sign-in with Apple service it intends launching later this year.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 09, 2019

Microsoft pares Windows 10 feature upgrades to 1 a year
Microsoft has again given its Windows 10 update model a furious shake, voiding one of the foundational concepts of the "Windows as a service" (WaaS) strategy.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jul 09, 2019

Time-Machine Tuesday: That's cool
This pilot fish lives in the desert southwestern U.S., where summer temperatures can run above 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

"A user told me she left her laptop in her car for an hour this afternoon," fish says. "She turned it on but it's giving her a green screen.

"I asked how long she left it to cool and she seemed confused.

"I told her to turn it off and put it in a cool place overnight for it to cool down, and then try it again.

"She replied, ‘Can't I just put it in the fridge?'"

Sharky never loses his cool, but I still can run short of true tales of IT life. Send me yours at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 08, 2019

How to use your iPad as a second Mac display with Sidecar
We've already looked at many of the multitasking features you'll find in iPadOS, but one of the most useful may be the Mac compatible Sidecar mode, which lets you use your Apple tablet as a secondary display.

What is Sidecar? Available to Mac users with iPads running the most current edition of the OS, Sidecar enables users to extend their Mac desktop by using their iPad as a second display or as a high-precision input device across creative Mac apps.

This works in both wired and wireless mode and is controlled via the Display menu.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 08, 2019

IDG Contributor Network: Anticipating a Microsoft Surface laptop designed by Jony Ive
 [Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author.]

Last week, Jony Ive left Apple under a cloud which in and of itself is fascinating. The leaks out of Apple suggest that Tim Cook no longer cares about design and Ive's talents were being wasted, so he is moving on.

Cook is disputing this vigorously using a Trump-like "Fake News" argument…even though we're all hard-pressed to point to many innovative designs since Steve Jobs' death. Granted there was the Apple Watch, but even though it is arguably best in class, it doesn't even really look like a watch. It's more like a small iPod you can wear on your wrist.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 08, 2019

With Patch Tuesday arriving tomorrow, make sure you temporarily block Windows Update
It's patch protection time again.

Sometimes when Windows patches arrive, they need to be installed immediately. We saw that happen in May with the BlueKeep patches. But in most cases, you stand a greater chance of getting hurt by a bad patch (which are legion) than by getting zapped by a just-patched security hole.

That's an unpopular opinion, but one that's served me well for more than a decade. There's a detailed manifesto in The case against knee-jerk installation of Windows patches. 

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 08, 2019

With Patch Tuesday here, make sure you temporarily block Windows Update
It's patch protection time again.

Sometimes when Windows patches arrive, they need to be installed immediately. We saw that happen in May with the BlueKeep patches. But in most cases, you stand a greater chance of getting hurt by a bad patch (which are legion) than by getting zapped by a just-patched security hole.

That's an unpopular opinion, but one that's served me well for more than a decade. There's a detailed manifesto in The case against knee-jerk installation of Windows patches. 

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 08, 2019

WTF, Microsoft?
When things have gone wrong on standalone Windows machines — and they often have — one of my repair tricks of last resort has been to restore the Windows Registry to an earlier known good state. A lot of times, doing a restore was faster than a backup.

Good thing I haven't had to do that lately, though. Microsoft quietly removed this feature in October 2018's Windows 10 version 1803. But it didn't bother to tell users about it until late June 2019.

So my question for Microsoft, as a professional journalist, is: WTF?

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 08, 2019

The top 8 problems with blockchain
While blockchain holds tremendous potential for creating new financial, supply chain and digital identity systems, it's often erroneously seen as a panacea for business problems.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jul 08, 2019

Snip-snip
Consultant joins pilot fish's project, and he quickly becomes notorious for his nonstop talk about his vasectomy. Soon everyone on the team knows that he and his wife had one child, she announced that she didn't want any more, and he got snipped. But just telling them about this doesn't seem to be enough for him; he keeps harping on the subject, extolling the virtues of the procedure, and citing statistics about the medical risks of pregnancy and the costs of rearing children. Everyone gets the feeling that he won't shut up about it until they all bring in certificates proving that they got snipped.

Instead, he got snipped — from the project team.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 05, 2019

Flashback Friday: But was it vibrating?
Flashback to the early 1990s, when this pilot fish works at a regional campus of a big state university.

"One day, our IT staff and computer science faculty made a road trip to the main campus," says fish. "We were treated to a tour of the main campus' huge computer room.

"Our tour guide told us to look but not touch, and he meant it. I merely pointed to a washing-machine-sized disk drive and was sternly reminded by the very nervous guide that the slightest vibration can cause these finicky disks to crash.

"Perturbed by what I felt was an undeserved scolding, I pointed a second time — to a member of our computer science faculty who had planted his very ample behind on top of one of the disk drives."The look on our tour guide's face was priceless, but that brought the tour to an abrupt end.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 04, 2019

Chrome OS: Tips, tools, and other Chromebook intelligence
Google's Chrome OS platform sure has come a long way.

From the early days, when Chrome OS was little more than an experimental "browser in a box," to today — with the platform powering first-class hardware and supporting a diverse range of productivity applications — Google's once-crazy-seeming project has turned into one of the world's most intriguing and rapidly expanding technological forces.

I've been covering Chrome OS closely since the start. I lived with the first Chromebook prototype, the Cr-48, and have used Chromebooks as part of my own personal computing setup in varying capacities ever since. I write about the field not only as someone who's studied it professionally from day 1 but also as someone who has used it personally that entire time, up through today.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 04, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Spoilsport
This IT security pilot fish knows something about audits — and knows what he expects of auditors.

"I have more than 15 years of audit experience in IT," fish says. "I have written and implemented policy and procedure, and developed incident response plans. I spent the better part of last year making sure that the external auditors could not find any inconsistencies in our control standards."

Then the internal audit director decides to perform an audit of fish's group — and sends a young auditor who thinks he knows everything IT.

After three weeks of research and testing, young auditor presents his results in a meeting with his boss the audit director and fish.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 03, 2019

BrandPost: UK coffee roaster steps up to compete with larger players thanks to digital transformation

- Josh Clarke, Head of Coffee, Clifton Coffee Roasters

Britain is famous as a nation of tea drinkers, but in the last 10 years, it's fallen in love with coffee, too. Brits drink 95 million cups a day, up from 70 million just 10 years ago. Innovative, independent coffee businesses like Clifton Coffee Roasters contribute to this surge in popularity.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 03, 2019

It's time to install the June Windows and Office patches
May had a hair-raising threat from a worm that still hasn't emerged, but if you're using Windows 7, 8.1, XP, Vista, or one of the Server variants and skipped the May patches, you need to drop everything and get the May or June patches installed. BlueKeep is coming. Those of you who blocked a specific port to keep BlueKeep at bay may be in for a nasty surprise.

Special shout-out for iSCSI and Event Viewer custom views If you have problems connecting to your iSCSI array after installing this month's patches, you need to click "Check for Updates" and allow Microsoft to install the fix for iSCSI bugs they introduced in earlier patches.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 03, 2019

The big picture on Apple's vision for computer vision in iOS 13
Apple has been firmly focused on photography since the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007, and this devotion comes into its own with the on-device computer vision AI it brings in iOS 13

On-device image intelligence Apple has developed powerful image intelligence features in its devices, creating tools iOS users and developers can make use of to get things done.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 03, 2019

Unclear on the concept
Pilot fish works in an office where everyone uses thin clients — on a slow network — that take a long time to start up. No, not a "relatively" long time. We're talking 10-plus minutes. The situation is so frustrating that most of the staff leave their thin clients on all the time.

IT has told everyone that there isn't anything they can do, but those slow machines are perennially a hot topic of conversation around the coffee machine. One day, fish almost chokes on his coffee, though, when one worker asks him, "Could it be the monitor?"

Next coffee break, send Sharky your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 03, 2019

Voice assistant offers remedy for physician burnout
As the likes of Amazon Alexa and Apple's Siri have gained popularity in our personal lives, the healthcare industry has been at the forefront in adopting voice-driven AI assistants in the workplace. And for good reason: exponents of the technology claim it can boost productivity and help avoid physician burnout.

Speech-to-text applications are not new to medical staff, who have used transcription software to digitize voice notes recorded on a dictaphone for some time now. However, advances in AI have enabled the creation of virtual assistants that can understand context and intent better.

Voice assistants are now available that can input patient notes directly into electronic health record (EHR) systems automatically when dictated by a physician, potentially saving a significant amount of time and effort.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 02, 2019

Windows by the numbers: Upgraders press Pause
Apparently, just six months before Windows 7 hits retirement, users decided to take a break from migrating to the latest shiny, Windows 10.

According to web metrics company Net Applications, anyway.

The chances that everyone pressed Pause in June are about the same as pocketing a million from a scratch-it. In other words, highly unlikely. But that's what Net Applications claimed Monday.

Windows 7's share of all personal computers barely budged in June, remaining at 35.4%, and its portion of the PCs running Windows stayed put at 40.1%. (The second number was significantly larger than the first because Windows does not power every personal computer; in June, Windows ran 88.3% of the world's machines. All but a miniscule fraction of the rest ran macOS, Linux or Chrome OS.)

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 02, 2019

Windows 10 Redstone: A guide to the Insider Preview builds
Microsoft never sleeps. Even before the Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903) started to roll out, the company began working on upcoming feature updates to Windows 10. As it did with version 1903, 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 switched to a new format with the May 2019 Update. The new code names use a YYH1/YYH2 format, with the YY standing for the last two numbers of the year and H1 or H2 referring to the first or second half of the year. So Windows 10 version 1903, which was released in May 2019, was code-named "19H1" (for first half of 2019) rather than "Redstone 6." The next feature update, due in the fall of this year, is code-named "19H2," and the feature update that's coming in the spring of 2020 is code-named 20H1.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 02, 2019

The most important thing to check before buying a Chromebook
When it comes to upgrades, Chrome OS and Android couldn't be more different.

Since Chrome OS can't be customized by device-makers in the way that Android can, y'see, Google's able to control Chromebook updates completely on its own — and that means pipin' hot software can roll out to all current devices within days of its release, regardless of who made each laptop or where it was purchased. (And, uh, yeah: Suffice it to say, the same can't exactly be said for Android.)

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 02, 2019

How to replace Back to My Mac now Apple has killed it
Now that macOS Catalina public beta testing has begun, Apple today made good its promise to disable its Back to My Mac remote access feature for all versions of its Mac operating systems. What alternatives exist?

What has Apple done? Back to My Mac allowed users to connect directly to one or more Macs to get things done.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 02, 2019

How to replace Back to My Mac now that Apple has killed it
Now that macOS Catalina public beta testing has begun, Apple today made good its promise to disable its Back to My Mac remote access feature for all versions of its Mac operating systems. What alternatives exist?

What has Apple done? Back to My Mac allowed users to connect directly to one or more Macs to get things done.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 02, 2019

Win10 1909 will be a Service Pack: Good news, but many unanswered questions
Conventional wisdom for Windows upgraders has always been, "Wait for Service Pack 1." Microsoft generally screws up the first release of a new version of Windows (although I would argue it did a good job with the first release of Windows 7). We now have more-or-less official word that the latest version of Windows, version 1903, is going to get a Service Pack sometime later this year. And to that I say, "Hallelujah and amen, brother!"

Granted, Microsoft didn't use the term "Service Pack." That would be too old-fashioned. Instead we get New Age gobbledygook that goes something like this:

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 02, 2019

How to create a complete Microsoft experience on Android
Microsoft's Windows Phone platform may effectively be dead at this point, but don't despair: You can still get a fantastic Microsoft experience on your mobile device. You just have to look to an unlikely bedfellow.

With Windows Phone (a.k.a. Windows 10 Mobile) out of the picture, Microsoft is devoting an ever-increasing amount of energy to creating its own mini-platform within Google's Android ecosystem. And given Android's immense flexibility and customization potential, that opens the door to some pretty compelling possibilities.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 02, 2019

Ready when you are
Consultant pilot fish has a client who's interviewing prospective consultants for a big project, and the client keeps telling the consultants he wants them to start the next day, or Monday at the latest. Pilot fish takes the client aside and says, "Look, you're telling these consultants that they need to give you at least three weeks' notice if they plan to leave. It's not fair to expect them to drop what they're working on now to come work on your project. And if they aren't working on anything, chances are they aren't the best choices. The good consultants aren't sitting around waiting for a new project to appear."

Don't care, says client; I want what I want and I need what I need.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 01, 2019

Top web browsers 2019: Firefox flails as user share falls again
Mozilla's Firefox took a user share beating for the second straight month, slipping under 9% for the first time since November 2018.

According to web analytics vendor Net Applications, Firefox's June user share fell seven-tenths of a percentage point to 8.9%. The month's decline was the second-most since Net Applications reset shares — to purge bot traffic from its data — more than a year and a half ago. Firefox's largest one-month decline since then? May's slide of just over seven-tenths of a point.

As Computerworld pointed out a month ago, Firefox has had a very tough time generating share growth over the last two years. Every once in a while, the browser posts a positive number, but those gains are quickly erased. Over the last 14 months, for example, Firefox recorded a share of 10% or more just twice, most recently in April. But then May and June came along and washed Firefox back under the 9% bar.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 01, 2019

BrandPost: 4 essential security features built into Microsoft 365
The best way for enterprises to shore up their data defenses is to make security as easy and automatic as possible - in other words, deploying platforms and solutions with robust security and privacy technologies built right in. That's what enterprises get with Microsoft 365, which has a broad array of native security features that, with cloud-based delivery at the core, always stay current against ever-evolving threats.

Security leaders need to detect threats proactively, because being reactive means you've already encountered a problem. Integrated, automated security provides continuous visibility, monitoring, and protection of all endpoints on a network.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 01, 2019

BrandPost: How to drive Microsoft 365 adoption
Most employees, it turns out, don't want to use new technology rolled out by their organization. The reality is that successful adoption of any new technology—including Microsoft 365, which brings a new way of working with a shift from desktop to cloud-based productivity tools—requires behavioral change.

And change can be hard.

So what's the best way to drive Microsoft 365 adoption? Involve the people who are most directly affected - and who have the most to gain. McKinsey found that when people are truly invested in change, it's 30% more likely to work.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 01, 2019

BrandPost: City speeds police, fire, and other services and controls spending with a modern computing experience

- Chris McMasters, Chief Information Officer, City of Corona

Just 50 miles from Los Angeles, Corona offers its more than 160,000 residents sunny skies, warm hospitality, and a high quality of life. The city government's IT department powers the software solutions that provide critical services ranging from police and fire fighting to libraries and street sweeping. As part of a mission to upgrade and better manage its IT environment, the City of Corona recently began migrating to the Windows 10 operating system and cloud-based Microsoft tools. Innovation is at the heart of the city's initiative.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 01, 2019

BrandPost: Intro to UEM
As a technology leader in today's modern workplace, you need to give employees the tools to work when, where, and how they want. 

This means supporting a diverse ecosystem of devices, apps, services, and operating systems. 

But, as security breaches become more frequent and cyberattacks grow in sophistication, providing end-user flexibility and securing company data has become a delicate balancing act.  

Unified endpoint management, or UEM, is the practice of securing your company's assets, the simplification of IT operations, and the ability for IT to deliver choice and flexibility to end users. 

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 01, 2019

BrandPost: Leading Dutch construction group drives closer collaboration and mobile Firstline working with modern enterprise solutions

- Frank de Jong, IT Manager, VolkerWessels Construction & Real Estate Development 

The recession that followed the banking crisis of 2007 affected the whole Dutch economy. However, construction group VolkerWessels saw it as a springboard to move forward.

"The crisis gave us a choice—we could sit crying in the corner or use it as an opportunity to innovate," says Frank de Jong, IT Manager at VolkerWessels Construction & Real Estate Development. "We looked hard at how technology could help us move into the future."

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 01, 2019

Message to IT: Trusting Apple and Google for mobile app security is career suicide
Ready for the mobile security news that IT doesn't want to hear about but needs to? When security firm Positive Technologies started pen-testing various mobile apps, security holes were rampant.

We'll plunge into the details momentarily, but here's the upshot: "High-risk vulnerabilities were found in 38 percent of mobile applications for iOS and in 43 percent of Android applications" and "most cases are caused by weaknesses in security mechanisms — 74 percent and 57 percent for iOS and Android apps, respectively, and 42 percent for server-side components — because such vulnerabilities creep in during the design stage, fixing them requires significant changes to code."

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 01, 2019

The age of iApple is over
Once upon a time there was a company with a few weeks left to live in desperate search of leadership and a good idea. That's the Apple story that got us here:

Change is here The Apple that gave us the iMac reflected a time when liberal individualism was at its highest point.

In this context, it made sense that a firm led by what was promoted as a pair of tech industry Svengalis (Steve Jobs and Jony Ive) would somehow reflect the zeitgeist and introduce products that defined their age.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 01, 2019

Microsoft Patch Alert: The Windows patching heavens buzz with silver bullets
How many bugs could a WinPatcher patch, if a WinPatcher could patch bugs?

Ends up that June's one of the buggiest patching months in recent memory - lots of pesky little critters, and the ones acknowledged by Microsoft led to even more patches later in the month.

In June, we saw eight single-purpose Windows patches whose sole mission is to fix bugs introduced in earlier Windows patches. I call them silver bullets - all they do is fix earlier screw-ups. If you install security patches only, these eight have to be installed manually to fix the bugs introduced earlier. It's a congenital defect in the patching regimen - bugs introduced by security patches get fixed by non-security "optional" patches, while waiting for the next month's cumulative updates to roll around.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 01, 2019

Northern exposure
Picture this: early 1980s, Alaska. Consultant pilot fish is ahead of the curve when it comes to networking PCs, and he and his colleagues keeping pretty busy with that. But given the climate (very low humidity during very long winters), static electricity is a big problem. They spend a lot of time giving instructions on how to avoid problems with static electricity, and most clients get static mats to alleviate them. 

Still, a lot of calls are about this one issue, and fish and his colleagues have gotten quite good at tracking down the staticky culprit when a keyboard suddenly starts blanking screens, rebooting the computers, and causing other strange things to happen. With a static electricity meter, it's usually pretty easy to spot the chair, the wool sweater or even the hair that's causing the problem.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 01, 2019

Following Mozilla's lead, Microsoft pushes Edge onto anti-tracking bandwagon
Microsoft is the latest browser also-ran to tackle Google's leader, Chrome, by introducing anti-tracking expertise to Edge.

Calling the feature "tracking prevention," Microsoft described it in terms much like those used by rivals Mozilla and Apple, which have cookie blockers in place in their browsers, Firefox and Safari. "Tracking prevention is designed to protect you from being tracked by websites that you aren't accessing directly," wrote Brandon Maslen, senior software engineer, and Ryan Cropp, software engineer, in a June 27 post to a company blog.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 01, 2019

Goodbye, tablets
Remember when tablets were hotter than hot and were going to replace PCs? Er, yeah, about that: I don't think so.

Five years ago, Gartner bravely predicted that more than half of all users would use a tablet or smartphone first — instead of a laptop or desktop — for all online activities. Well, it was half right.

Smartphones, according to NetMarketShare, now make up 54% of the market. Desktops and laptops make up the bulk of the rest, with 41%. Tablets? A mere 4.61%, with their numbers ever declining.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jun 29, 2019

Google needs to pull itself together
Google. You either love it, hate it or, most likely, love to hate it.

It sounds strange to say this about a massively profitable and venerable Silicon Valley giant, but Google's really got a lot of potential.

Google has some of the most powerful cloud services, industry-leading artificial intelligence, incredible content and even brilliant hardware. But the greatness always seems just out of reach, because of a failure to do (frankly) what Apple does better — integrate what it's got into an elegant and usable whole.

Here are five combinations, convergences and integrations that Google could do to become the greatest company ever. 

1. Build Squoosh and Snapseed into Google Photos. There are two massive problems with the otherwise fantastic Google Photos service.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jun 28, 2019

Windows 10: A guide to the updates
The launch of a major Windows 10 update like the May 2019 Update isn't the end of a process — it's really just the beginning. As soon as a big feature 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 1903, known as the May 2019 Update — with the most recent updates on top. (Note that the May 2019 Update is on a phased rollout, so you may not have received it yet.) Below that are updates to version 1809, known as the October 2018 Update; version 1803, the April 2018 Update; version 1709, the Fall Creators Update; and finally updates to version 1703, the Creators Update. For each build, we've included the date of its initial release and a link to Microsoft's announcement about it.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jun 28, 2019

Tips for where to post news articles in SharePoint Online
The primary goal of a news article is to get read by the intended audience. One way to make sure your article is read is to write great content with a catchy title or headline - but it's also about making sure that you post the article to the right location (SharePoint site) and aim it at the right people.

How do readers see news articles? There are multiple ways your target reader can see the articles you post:

On your site. A reader can go to your site and see the latest articles in the News part on your home page. You want the News web part at the top of the page so articles get the best chance of being seen! On the SharePoint Start page. Everyone has a personal view of the sites they visit frequently and are following by going to the SharePoint Start page. You can get there by clicking SharePoint in the upper left of any SharePoint page - or by navigating to SharePoint from Office.com. News on the Start page is a combination of articles from sites that you are following and articles suggested for you. Learn more about finding and following sites and news. In the mobile application. The SharePoint mobile app has a News tab that rolls up the same news you see on the SharePoint Start page on your mobile device. On a hub associated with your site. If your site is part of a hub and the hub site owner has elected to source news posts from all of the hub members, your news post can also be seen in the news web part on the hub home page. However, following the hub does NOT mean you are following all of the sites that are part of the hub. Readers will see your post on the hub home page, but unless t

ComputerWorld
Jun 28, 2019

Designer, find thyself: Farewell to Jony Ive
Apple surprised everybody Thursday with news of the imminent departure of its Chief Design Officer, Sir Jony Ive. And while it is certainly the end of an era, the company will prevail.

Why is Ive leaving? There are hundreds of hot takes around, but it seems likely the simplest answer is the most accurate: He needed a chance to find his art again.

I think one of the best ways to understand his move is to read between the lines of an extremely intimate 2015 profile of Ive in the New Yorker. It described someone for  whom the trappings of power and responsibility had grown heavy. The award-winning designer described himself as "deeply, deeply tired" and "always anxious."

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jun 28, 2019

IDG Contributor Network: Beyond Limits: Rethinking the next generation of AI
I had an interesting talk with AJ Abdallat, CEO of a small firm called Beyond Limits doing interesting things with AI. Their differentiator is that their AI's decisions can be audited, and the AI itself can be edited at a granular level so corrections generally don't require retraining. As I was listening it struck me that if we could do this with people, particularly young teenagers, top executives, criminals and politicians we could almost instantly make the world a better safer place.

Granted this approach - particularly if it was being used for commercial aircraft or self-driving cars - should have a high requirement for substantial simulation before deployment. This could not only cut years off what would typically be needed for a complex AI development project, however, but would also allow for a level of customization at scale we don't currently seem to have in this space.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jun 28, 2019

Review: 18 Alexa skills for productivity, collaboration and more
Earlier this year, Amazon announced it had sold more than 100 million Alexa devices. Along with the consumer market, Amazon is also pushing Alexa into offices via Alexa for Business, which enables developers to create skills exclusively for internal users at their companies via APIs and other tools.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jun 28, 2019

Mozilla previews next-gen mobile Firefox for Android
Mozilla on Thursday released a preview of its next-generation browser for Android, prosaically naming it Firefox Preview.

The browser, which ultimately will replace the current Firefox for Android browser - nicknamed "Fennec" - is powered by a new mobile engine, labeled "GeckoView." Modular in nature, GeckoView is a combination of Mozilla-made Android components and the latest Gecko rendering engine cribbed from desktop's Firefox Quantum, all packaged as a reusable Android library that can be plugged into other apps.

[ Related: Android apps: Best of the best ] By detaching Gecko from Firefox, Mozilla will be able to almost totally secede from Google's control and influence on Android. Not only does Mozilla not rely on Blink - the Google-made engine that other Android browsers use - but it won't have to use WebView, the operating system's built-in, bare-bones web page renderer for other non-browser apps.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jun 28, 2019

Dust to dust
It's the late '80s and pilot fish is a systems manager responsible for two PDP-11/44s with several large disk drives the size of washing machines. Three large window air conditioners provide cooling, and naturally they periodically need to have their filters cleaned to keep them running smoothly.

The company that provided this service for years goes out of business, so the new facilities manager contracts with another. New facilities manager/new contractor is a bad combo, though, and the bad that happens is that the facilities manager gives the AC company access to the systems room while fish is at lunch. When fish returns, he can't log into the PDP, so he heads to the systems room to find out why.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jun 27, 2019

A first look Apple's iPad OS multi-tasking improvements
I've spent a little time working with the new multitasking features you'll find in the now available iPad OS beta, and thought some first impressions of these might be of some small interest to readers.

What did Apple do? Apple made a huge deal around the improved multitasking features within iPad OS.


To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jun 27, 2019

A simple way to supercharge Gmail snoozing
Being able to snooze messages in Gmail is fantastic. I love snoozing. It's one of my favorite methods of organizing my inbox. (It's also one of my favorite things to do at night — and occasionally also in the afternoon. Zzz.)

Much as I love the fact that Google added a native snoozing function into Gmail, though, I frequently find myself wishing that email-dozing option had a little more oomph to it. In addition to snoozing away incoming emails I'm not quite ready to answer, y'see, I'd like to be able to snooze message threads as I'm replying to 'em — without having to go back and remember to do it after I hit the "Send" button. And ideally, I'd love to be able to make a snooze hold true only if I haven't heard back from the other person — "remind me about this in [x] days only if I don't get a response," in other words.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jun 27, 2019

Mozilla takes swipe at Chrome with 'Track THIS' project
Mozilla this week touted Firefox's anti-ad tracking talents by urging users of other browsers to load 100 tabs to trick those trackers into offering goods and services suitable for someone in the 1%, an end-times devotee and other archetypes.

[ Related: Get serious about privacy with the Epic, Brave and Tor browsers ] Tagged as "Track THIS," the only-semi-tongue-in-cheek project lets users select from four personas - including "hypebeast," "filthy rich," "doomsday prepper," and "influencer" - for illustrative purposes. Track THIS then opens 100 tabs "to fool trackers into thinking you're someone else."

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ComputerWorld
Jun 27, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Some people aren't satisfied with eight nines
This company's pension distribution system is a heavily customized version of a well-known package. And it has worked fine for years, says a programmer pilot fish responsible for maintaining it.

But that can't last. And in fact, push comes to shove when the chief operating officer retires, he being the first employee to get over $1 million in his distribution.

The problem: The file used to send the transaction to the bank can only handle $999,999.99. "All of the reports were correct," says fish, "but the one file that needed to be correct was not.

"So instead of having $1.8 million deposited in his account, only $800,000 was.

"I had to manually correct the file and resend it to the bank.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 26, 2019

Office 365: A guide to the updates
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.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 26, 2019

Office 365 vs. G Suite: Which has better management tools?
When you choose a productivity platform like Microsoft's Office 365 or Google's G Suite, the main focus is on the platform's functionality: Does it do the job you need?To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jun 26, 2019

Microsoft beefs up OneDrive security
Microsoft today announced changes to its OneDrive storage service that will let consumers protect some or even all of their cloud-stored documents with an additional layer of security.

The new feature - dubbed OneDrive Personal Vault - was trumpeted as a special protected partition of OneDrive where users could lock their "most sensitive and important files." They would access that area only after a second step of identity verification, ranging from a fingerprint or face scan to a self-made PIN, a one-time code texted to the user's smartphone or the use of the Microsoft Authenticator mobile app. (The process is often labeled as two-factor security to differentiate it from the username/password that typically secures an account.)

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ComputerWorld
Jun 26, 2019

800,000 Shopify merchants now support Apple Business Chat
Giant e-commerce platform Shopify has introduced Apple Business Chat support for use across its worldwide network of 800,000 online merchants, meaning even small firms can now offer this kind of customer interaction. I contactedMichael Perry, Director of Product, Shopify to find out more.

How Shopify is deploying Apple Business Chat Shopify offers retailers its own app called Shopify Ping. Merchants use this to handle customer communications and to build automated marketing workflows.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jun 26, 2019

Wayback Wednesday: Ditch the glitch
At the company where this pilot fish works, the online telephone directory is rebuilt every night using data that comes from both the Human Resources database and Microsoft Active Directory.

And that works fine — mostly. "Several times each year, a few thousand employees would be missing from the directory the next morning," fish reports. "Then the programmer would run the batch jobs manually and, within an hour or so, the directory would be back to normal."

Each time that happens, fish asks for the root cause of the problem. And every time, he's told it's a fluke, or a glitch in Active Directory.

Fish isn't happy with that answer, and he keeps asking. And asking. For, literally, a couple of years.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jun 25, 2019

How to get Apple's iOS 13, iPadOS or macOS 'Catalina' betas
Apple earlier this month issued previews for this year's upgrades to iOS and macOS, its two most popular operating systems, at the firm's annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

It also debuted a new OS for the iPad - called, not surprisingly, iPadOS - and seeded a preview of that, too.

The betas of iOS 13, iPadOS and macOS 10.15 - the latter's nickname came from another California location, "Catalina" - were initially delivered only to registered developers. But anyone who wants to run the rougher code can do so now: Free public betas for iOS 13, iPadOS and Mojave were released Monday, a week before the start of July, the month Apple had initially pegged as the availability window.

To read this article in full, please click here



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