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   NEWS: ENTERPRISE APPLICATION NEWS
Enterprise Application News
Jan 17, 2020

3 reasons you can't fight facial recognition
The biometric backlash is but a brief blip. Resistance is futile. You WILL be identified. But is that good or bad?

Enterprise Application News
Jan 17, 2020

Worried about an NSA ChainOfFools/CurveBall attack? There are lots of moving parts. Test your system.
If you want to install the January Patch Tuesday patches, by all means, go right ahead. That said, I continue to recommend that you hold off installing the January Microsoft patches until we get a clearer reading on potential bugs.

The pro-patch-now argument generally goes something like this: Everybody is recommending that you install the patches to protect against the Crypto bug — almost all of the major security folks, the researchers, the big online sites, your local news station, your congresscritter, your neighbor's nine-year-old, even the bleeping NSA. It's a little patch. Why not just install it and be done with it?

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Enterprise Application News
Jan 17, 2020

How the Xnor.ai purchase opens Apple's AI future
Apple's $200 million acquisition of Xnor.ai provides tools for evolution in imaging, edge-based AI, HomeKit and more.

What does Xnor.ai do? Xnor.ai was spun out of the Allen Institute for AI by Professor Ali Farhadi and Dr. Mohammed Rastegari in 2017. These men were also responsible for YOLO, YOLO9000, Label Refinery and other machine intelligence achievements.

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Enterprise Application News
Jan 17, 2020

It's the manglement
The software development group at this large manufacturing firm is infamous for never delivering software on time or within budget. So of course someone in management suggests offshoring some of the software development work to save money.

And the offshored project comes in early and under budget, with quality at least up to the level of internally developed software. Naturally, offshoring is touted as the way the corporation should go.

Many people in the centralized IT department, including pilot fish, aren't thrilled with this idea, and they have serious questions about the orange-vs.-apple qualities of what is being compared. They do an analysis of the processes followed for offshore success versus an internal failure. Lo and behold, with the internally developed project, the local VP kept changing his mind even after having signed off on the various project documents. He even made light of his ability to intervene at any moment; he didn't seem to care what those changes did to the cost, deadlines or quality.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 17, 2020

FAQ: Microsoft's new Edge explained
More than a year after Microsoft waved the white flag, saying it would scrap Edge's rendering engine and replace it with Blink, the engine that powers Google's Chrome, the company has now delivered its reborn browser to the public.

Kudos, then.

But the result? That's still up for grabs. Although there was little downside to the radical shift to Chromium - Internet Explorer had long been on legacy life support and Edge was at a near-death 4% user share - it's vastly unclear whether the switch to Chromium will save Microsoft's browser bacon.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 16, 2020

Feds may already have found a way to hack into Apple iPhones
After Apple turned down a request by U.S. Attorney General William Barr this week to unlock two iPhones used by a terrorist suspect in a recent deadly shooting, the FBI appears to already have the tools needed to access the smartphones.

Apple turned down a request from U.S. Attorney General William Barr saying it would  not help unlock two iPhones used by the shooter, 21-year-old Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani. He is believed to have acted alone when he shot and killed three service members and wounded several others at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla. last month.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 16, 2020

Kadena launches Chainweb, a hybrid platform to connect public, private blockchains
Brooklyn-based startup Kadena has launched a hybrid blockchain that can scale horizontally, enabling multiple electronic ledgers to talk to each other via smart contracts - and letting users transfer cryptocurrency between the chains.

Hybrid blockchains combine permissioned chains for businesses to transact in the background while connecting to a public blockchain (via an API) for consumers and others to make money transfers or access information about products moving across supply chains.

"Their hybrid blockchain model looks interesting, mainly because it enables interoperability via smart contracts that run on public chains and talk to/with private chains," said Avivah Litan, a vice president of research at Gartner. "That way, enterprises can keep their private data and transactions limited to the private chain but benefit from the liquidity and cross-chain access available by leveraging smart contracts running on the public chain."

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 16, 2020

The secret to smarter package tracking on Android
With as much online ordering as most of us tend to do these days, tracking packages is practically a full-time job — especially if you're mildly insane like I am and just have to know exactly when every delivery's arriving.

Well, my fellow nutjobs, I'm happy to tell you there's an incredibly effective way to become master of your package-tracking domain. After endless searching and experimentation (hey, sounds like my 20s!), I've finally found a fantastic system for tracking packages on Android — one that's vastly superior to the limited and generally lackluster setup provided by Google Assistant.

Like most worthwhile efficiency hacks, this system has the potential to be completely automated — so once you set it up, everything will Just Work™, with little to no ongoing effort on your part. All you'll have to do is sit back, relax, and bask in the joy of always knowing exactly what packages are heading your way at any given moment and exactly when they're slated to reach your smiling mouth (insert your own innuendo here).

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 16, 2020

How iPhones can help manage 'always-on' work-related stress
The great thing about smartphones is they help you work from anywhere, but the bad thing is that this makes it quite difficult to make the separation between professional and personal life.

This is a real problem that's creating a health emergency. Here are several suggestions of how your iPhone can help relieve this stress.

What's the big picture? They call it hyperconnectivity.

It means that we are connected all the time.

Work-related email, messaging and other communications happen 24-hours a day, and most everyone is anxious not to miss anything.

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Enterprise Application News
Jan 16, 2020

The case for (and against) maintaining multiple collaboration tools
An age-old debate in IT — whether to opt for "best-of-breed" software or settle on a universal platform — is surfacing in the world of collaboration technology.

IT professionals are predominantly inclined to favor consolidating around a single app or suite over supporting multiple tools because it's easier to deploy, manage and ensure a secure work environment, says Raúl Castañón-Martínez, senior analyst at 451 Research. But there's a strong case to be made for letting workers use the best tool for the job — and that may mean something different for a marketing team than for a group of developers.

"We have seen a noticeable shift in the last few years in terms of ownership, meaning employees are feeling more empowered and are more vocal and proactive regarding the tools they use for work," Castañón-Martínez says. That dynamic leads some organizations to support multiple apps for the same purpose, such as allowing both Slack and Microsoft Teams for group chat. This creates overlap and extra challenges for IT.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Jan 16, 2020

Throwback Thursday: Sounds like managerial experience to us
At this pilot fish's workplace, management has implemented a new idea: Highly paid, highly skilled regular IT employees are going to keep an eye on teams of low-end contractors.

"Ostensibly, it's to open doors so they can have access to rooms," fish grumbles. But the contract requires all the contractors to have valid security clearances, agree to the company's rules of behavior and take its computer security and privacy training.

"After all this, they're not allowed to do their work unless one of our IT people is ‘escorting' them," sighs fish.

"I believe in trust-but-verify, but isn't this carrying it a little too far? How can we afford to pay people for not doing their jobs, but can't afford to hire anyone to fill empty positions?"

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 15, 2020

Windows 7 end of support: Separating the bull from the horns
No, Windows 7 isn't dead.

No, you don't need to buy a Win10 computer. 

No, you don't need to upgrade.

No, you don't need to install the latest Win7 patches right away.

No, Microsoft isn't withdrawing its unofficial nod-and-a-wink free upgrade from Win7 to Win10. At least, not right away.

No, the old Win7 patches aren't disappearing.

No, your Internet Service Provider won't kick you off your network for using Win7.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 15, 2020

Patch Tuesday aftermath: The NSA Crypt32 threat is real, but not yet imminent
Get ready for your local news station's weather reporter to start lecturing on the importance of installing Windows patches.

Yesterday we were treated to a remarkable Patch Tuesday. "Remarkable" specifically in the sense that the U.S. National Security Agency was moved to put out a press release (PDF):


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Enterprise Application News
Jan 15, 2020

EEA opens sandbox for blockchain development and collaboration
The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) today launched a development sandbox that enables member companies to test and certify their blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) projects.

The standards organization that oversees the Ethereum blockchain platform partnered with enterprise testing and development service provider Whiteblock to create the sandbox for the EEA members.

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Enterprise Application News
Jan 15, 2020

Breaking iPhone encryption won't make anyone safer
Imagine all your tax documentation could be examined by officials from any government merely on suspicion. That's the future some governments are pushing for when they demand Apple puts security backdoors into its products.

Making no one safe Think about the nature of security backdoors:

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Enterprise Application News
Jan 15, 2020

Finally! The paperless office!
Service desk gets a call that a printer isn't working, reports a pilot fish who recently was in charge of updating all the company's multifunction printers. User says she sent a document to print, walked over to the printer and scanned her card, and the doc showed up as available on the printer. But when she selected the document and hit the print button, it disappeared from the queue and nothing came out.

A tech heads over and finds — an empty paper tray. And once he refills it with paper, a bunch of documents come rushing out.

You don't even need to check the paper tray to send Sharky your true tales of IT life. I'm at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

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Enterprise Application News
Jan 15, 2020

Microsoft's new Edge browser: Third time's the charm?
Microsoft's revamped Edge browser, due to be released today, is the company's third attempt at building a better browser. The first try, Internet Explorer, was initially released in 1995 and eventually became the world's most popular browser, peaking at 95% market share in 2003. But Microsoft's actions in making it difficult for users to use other browsers in Windows put it in the federal government's crosshairs and led to a successful antitrust suit against the company. After that, Microsoft did little to improve the browser, and Internet Explorer became old, buggy and insecure, allowing nimbler browsers like Firefox and Google Chrome to gain in popularity.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 14, 2020

Microsoft to Windows 7: Beat it, you bum
Microsoft today figuratively told Window 7 - which ended support with a final security update - not to let the door hit it on the way out.

"Ten-year-old tech just can't keep up," Jared Spataro, an executive on the Microsoft 365 team, wrote in a post to a company blog. "As we end support for Windows 7, I encourage you to transition to these newer options right away."

Not surprisingly, Spataro named those newer options as Windows 10 to replace Windows 7, and Office 365 to fill in for the retiring-in-October Office 2010. Combined, they make up the bulk of Microsoft 365, the business subscription plan Microsoft wants all customers to adopt.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 14, 2020

Apple refuses latest government iPhone-unlock request
Apple turned down a request from U.S. Attorney General William Barr this week,  saying it will not help unlock two iPhones used by a terrorist suspect last month in the deadly shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla.

Barr said the shooter, 21-year-old Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, acted alone when he shot and killed three service members and wounded several others, including two sheriff's deputies responding to the attack. Alshamrani, a member of the Saudi Air Force and an aviation student at the base, was shot dead on the scene by police.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 14, 2020

CES, 5G and the shift to the cloud desktop
(Editor's note: Most of the companies mentioned in this post are clients of the author.)

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is arguably the most powerful tech event in North America. Increasingly, it has less to do with consumer electronics - having morphed into areas like healthcare and automobiles.  At the show, you not only get a sense of where technology advancement is now, but where it is going, both by listening to the announcements and by viewing the prototypes of products that may be months or years away - if they ever show up at all. 

At this year's CES, it was clear that much of what we saw needed cloud service to make it fully functional.  From ever smarter personal robots to health monitoring hardware to entertainment devices that connect to streaming services, the cloud enabled their hybrid use.  Even automobiles were showcased as not only needing to talk to each other and pedestrians (because too many of us walk with our heads in our smartphones), but to the cloud to manage updates, patches, and better security.  Blackberry (yes, they're still around) led with this security-focused automotive effort. 

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 14, 2020

Windows 10 Redstone: A guide to the Insider Preview builds
Microsoft never sleeps. Even before the Windows 10 November 2019 Update (version 1909) started to roll out, the company began working on upcoming feature updates to Windows 10. As it did with version 1909, 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 for upcoming releases, Microsoft switched to a new format with version 1903, released in May 2019. The code names now 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 1909, which was released in November 2019, was code-named "19H2" (for second half of 2019). The next feature update, due in the spring of 2020, is code-named 20H1.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 14, 2020

Windows 10: A guide to the updates
The launch of a major Windows 10 update isn't the end of a process — it's really just the beginning. As soon as one of Microsoft's twice-yearly feature updates is released, the company 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 1909, known as the November 2019 Update — with the most recent updates on top.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 14, 2020

Get this essential cloud security certification training bundle for only $49
Most businesses operate via the cloud. That means now is an ideal time to consider a career keeping them secure. But that doesn't necessarily mean that you'd have to go back to school for professional training. Instead, you can easily learn from home — and prep to earn valuable credentials that'll help you land a job — with The Essential Cloud Security Certification Bundle, now just $49.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 14, 2020

Google's greatest worry in 2020 isn't what you'd expect
Goodness gracious, Google sure is going through an awful lot of grumbling these days. From internal unrest to external detest, the start of 2020 is anything but calm for the company behind our favorite mobile operating system.

But hefty as those most frequently highlighted hurdles may be, there's another looming threat that's even grander for Google to get over — one that represents a serious challenge to its core business and the primary principles that allow it to thrive.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 14, 2020

Today's Patch Tuesday brings fireworks and — a magic bullet?
Over the past few years we've seen a few security holes that have drawn Chicken Little warnings and vast amounts of unthinking press reports. When you turn on a local news program and hear from the hometown weather reporter that you really need to get Windows patched, a bit of skepticism might be in order.

Today's Patch Tuesday appears to be headed down the same well-worn chute.

Brian Krebs, the security guru with impeccable credentials, fired an opening salvo in his blog post yesterday:

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 14, 2020

Seven high points of Windows 7
Today Microsoft issues its final free security update for Windows 7, putting an end to that operating system's decade.

To remember that service - a retirement party but without the cloyingly-sweet cake and cheap gold watch - Computerworld selected seven highlights of Windows 7. While the seven do not pretend to trace Windows 7's history, they illustrate the influence and impact of the OS.

Here's to Windows 7. Raise a glass, for cryin' out loud.

It salvaged Microsoft's reputation after the Vista debacle The numbers say it all.

Windows Vista, the 2006 replacement for Windows XP, topped out at 20% of all Windows versions in October 2009. Even though the OS it followed was long in the tooth - XP was nearly twice the age of a typical version when it was supplanted - Vista struggled to put a dent in its forerunner's share.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 14, 2020

Apple's ‘Pro Mode' is made for Mac professionals
Apple's focus on the needs of professional computer users for its Macs and iPads ‘for the rest of us' continues on news the company is developing a new ‘Pro Mode' that pushes more performance for some apps.

The PC market will become a high-end market Apple is focused on pro users because it recognizes that this section of the PC market will be the bulwark against wholesale replacement of computers with mobile devices.

Year by year, mobile systems are becoming increasingly viable alternatives for a growing quantity of the tasks PCs and Macs have traditionally handled.

An iPhone or iPad is all the computer required by many users, as the billion or so iOS devices currently in use prove.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 14, 2020

Saying goodbye to Windows 7 isn't easy, but you must
Listen, I get it. Windows 7 has worked really well. After the Vista fiasco, you were so happy to get a decent version of Windows. You dodged the Windows 8.x sinkhole, and, boy, were you glad! Then, you thought about Windows 10, but 7 just did the job so you stuck with it, and then you felt vindicated because of Windows 10's dodgy upgrades and patches. Now, today, Jan. 14, 2020, Windows 7 has reached its end of life, and either you've upgraded to Windows 10 or you're working on another Windows 7 alternative like Chrome OS, macOS or Linux, right?

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 14, 2020

The third degree
Pilot fish is interviewing for a contract position in a research group at a government hospital, and the interviewer is an MD at both this hospital and the one at the local university. But the doc's perfunctory questions and his body language convince fish he is totally uninterested in him and his résumé.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 13, 2020

Microsoft targets frontline workers with Teams walkie-talkie feature
Microsoft has added new features aimed at frontline workers that use its Teams workstream collaboration app, including a new "walkie-talkie" feature. 

With 200 million monthly active users on Office 365, Microsoft has been expanding its focus on  workers in the hospitality, manufacturing and retail industries. Many such employees have been underserved by IT in the past, the company argued, even though they're the first point of contact with customers or products. 

Microsoft and others such as Google and Facebook, with its Workplace enterprise social network, see a lucrative - and relatively untapped market - in frontline workers. Microsoft notes there are some two billion people worldwide now in service- or task-oriented roles.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 13, 2020

Google promises to support Chrome on Windows 7 until July 2021
Google is promising to support Chrome on Windows 7 for at least the next 18 months.

"We will continue to fully support Chrome on Windows 7 for a minimum of 18 months from Microsoft's End of Life date, until at least July 15, 2021," Max Christoff, Chrome's engineering director, wrote last week in a post to a company blog.

Christoff touted the post-retirement support as a win for enterprises, which over the last several years have designated Chrome as their workers' primary browser. He highlighted the management tools Google offered as well as Chrome's sync skills. "If you haven't started your move to Windows 10 yet, or even if your organization is mid-way through migration, you can still benefit from the enterprise capabilities of Chrome," Christoff contended.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 13, 2020

With Patch Tuesday arriving tomorrow, get Windows Automatic Update under control
December was a remarkable patching month. For those of you who use Windows Update, there were few surprises. (Manual updaters had it rough, though.) If you've been following along, you've already installed the December updates. Great. It's time to get ready for January by temporarily turning off Windows Automatic Update.

If you're a member of the "Get patched as soon as they roll out" team (a shrinking cohort, from my observation, anyway), my hat's off to you. We need all the cannon fodder we can get. Be sure to keep us updated on AskWoody.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 13, 2020

Apple's App Store generates $1B a week
On average, Apple generated more than $1 billion a week from the half-billion-plus people visiting its App Store every week in 2019, new data shows.

That's $54.2 billion in the year.

Chasing the (long) tail There's lots of reasons for this, principally a successful push toward subscription-based business models and rapidly growing consumer acceptance that there actually is a value in digital products.

This renaissance in digital engagement is also generating new opportunity for enterprises who seek to meet customers where they are with digital-first experiences.

Subscription revenues increased in 2019, with more developers offering to let users try their apps before paying for the full feature set, according to SensorTower data. Growing subscription revenues prove shoppers will pay monthly fees for apps.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 13, 2020

Apple's App Store generates a billion dollars a week
On average, Apple generated over a billion dollars a week from the half billion plus people visiting its App Store every week in 2019, the latest data shows.

That's $54.2 billion in the year.

Chasing the (long) tail There's lots of reasons for this, principally a successful push toward subscription-based business models and rapidly growing consumer acceptance that there actually is a value in digital products.

This renaissance in digital engagement is also generating new opportunity for enterprises who seek to meet customers where they are with digital-first experiences.

Subscription revenues increased in 2019, with more developers offering to let users try their apps before paying out for the full feature set, according to SensorTower data. Growing subs revenues prove shoppers will pay monthly fees for apps.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 13, 2020

Making the connection: The role of collaboration apps in digital transformation
Whether it's retailers plying wares online instead of in brick-and-mortar stores, media companies swapping print for pixels or companies looking to empower frontline workers, one theme is increasingly common in business: digital platforms are now fundamental to success — and that success depends on employees who can collaborate in real time, at any time and from anywhere.

With widely distributed employees and and a more mobile workforce, many companies have had to shift gears quickly in recent years to stay competitive. Critical to that effort is the ability to share information and ideas effectively using the latest communication and collaboration tools. The rise of real-time messaging apps like Slack, videoconferencing apps like Skype for Business and online file-sharing apps like Dropbox has given companies a host of tools they can use to underpin corporate growth and connectivity.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 13, 2020

Memory-Lane Monday: I guess it's not stealing when you're paying for your own
It's back in the day when Wi-Fi was relatively new, and pilot fish is visiting relatives over the holidays when his brother-in-law begins grousing about lousy internet performance.

"A friend had set up a wireless access point for him," says fish. "But he neglected to provide important information like the administrator password so a poor slob like me who came later might be able to take a look and diagnose anything.

"After a reset of the access point and a reconfiguration of the laptop, we came to find that my brother-in-law had never actually connected to the access point in his own house. He had instead been connecting to an unsecured network that one of the neighbors had been broadcasting.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 10, 2020

Is AI judging your personality?
Forget ‘surveillance capitalism.' AI-based social media monitoring could cost you a job, college admission, rental property and more - and you'll never know how it happened.

Enterprise Application News
Jan 10, 2020

The December 2019 Microsoft patches get the all-clear
With most of Microsoft out on vacation, the December 2019 crop of Windows, Office, .NET and other patches left us blissfully unscathed, unless you're installing Win7/Server 2008 patches (or .NET patches) manually. In that case, a poorly documented, odd installation sequence for Servicing Stack Update KB 4531786 has led many a manual patcher (and admin) to drink.

One big change this month: If you're running Windows 10, I figure it's a good idea to move to Win10 version 1903. The last time 1903 had a major meltdown was three months ago, and things have stabilized since then.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 10, 2020

6 iPhone hacks to make you more productive
There are so many productivity tips for iPhone users. Here's a brand new collection of them.

Save (almost) anything as a PDF The easiest way to save anything you can print from your iPhone or iPad as a PDF isn't particularly clear, but this is a great way to gather copies of almost anything and is as simple as:

Open the item you want to save. Tap Share and select Print. When the print dialog appears you'll see a preview of the item you wish to print. Tap this with two fingers and spread them out. The preview should grow to fill the page. Congratulations - you just made a PDF. Tap the Share icon and you can now save this item to Files. Create meeting transcripts the easy way Are you responsible for writing the minutes of meetings? Perhaps you're a student wanting accurate lecture notes, or a researcher trying to transcribe lengthy discussions?

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 10, 2020

Not a vote of confidence
This pilot fish fresh out of college, Class of '80-something, gets a job in county government as a developer. At the end of each week, the computer operators pass around a large pile of accordion-fold, tractor-feed computer paper with the names of files created that week, and each one circles the files that can be deleted.

Naturally, the file names can be quite similar, and one time fish the newbie circles the wrong one. Which goes unnoticed until someone discovers that the voter registration database has been deleted. Panic ensues, but there's a tape backup, and the restoration is soon done and verified, so no harm done.

Fish notes, in his defense: "The recovery process had never been tested until I forced the issue."

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 10, 2020

The race to integrate crypto into global banking is real
Central banks in Asia and Europe are in the final stages of launching digital currencies for future payment systems and cross-border transactions, according to a new report from accounting firm KPMG.

And governments around the world see the launch of these blockchain-based central bank digital currencies (CBDC) as something that could one day give them a competitive advantage in global trade.

"In 2020, we at KPMG expect to assist regional and central banks in the development of well-defined technology frameworks that can anchor private-sector initiatives," Arun Ghosh, U.S. Blockchain Leader at KPMG, said in a blog post.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 09, 2020

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.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 09, 2020

Why — and how — I'm moving Win10 production machines to version 1903
Movin' on up.

Back in the not-so-good old days, Microsoft gave us some sort of broad hint when new versions of Win10 had finally been thoroughly tested: "Current Branch for Business" and "Semi-Annual Channel" were nonsense code words signaling that paying customers could finally rely on some stability with the latest version. 

Notably, Microsoft declared version 1809 "Semi-Annual Channel," and thus worthy of broad deployment, in March 2019. Odd, considering that Microsoft stated unequivocally in February that it wouldn't be using the term "Semi-Annual Channel" anymore.

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Enterprise Application News
Jan 09, 2020

Mozilla patches Firefox zero-day as attackers exploit flaw
Just one day after releasing Firefox 72, Mozilla updated the browser with a fix to shut down active attacks, the company acknowledged.

On Wednesday, Mozilla issued Firefox 72.0.1, which included one change: A patch for the vulnerability identified as CVE-2019-17026. "We are aware of targeted attacks in the wild abusing this flaw," Mozilla said in the short description of the flaw, signaling that criminals were already leveraging the zero-day vulnerability, the term applied because there no time elapses between patching and exploitation.

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Enterprise Application News
Jan 09, 2020

Your Windows PC may become collateral damage in any conflict with Iran
When Iran launches cyberattacks in revenge for the killing of Major Gen. Qasem Soleimani — which it almost certainly will do — the attack vector, as always, will be Windows. And when that happens, your PC and your business's PCs will be right in the crosshairs. Here's why — and how you can protect your machines and your business.

A long history of U.S.-Iranian cyberwarfare To understand the coming cyberattacks, it's useful to look back. For more than a decade, the U.S. and Iran have engaged in low-level cyberwarfare, with occasional bursts of higher-level attacks. The most destructive of them was Stuxnet, launched in 2009 by the U.S. and Israel against Iran's nuclear program. It exploited four zero-day flaws in Windows machines, which controlled the centrifuges Iran used to create nuclear material that can be used in nuclear weapons.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 09, 2020

The glaring gap in Google's Assistant advancements
Goodness gracious, Google Assistant sure is growing fast.

Google kicked off the new year (and the ever-musty CES industry shout-fest) with a slew of new Assistant announcements, including an option to schedule specific actions to occur at certain times along with a new digital sticky note feature for Smart Displays and a useful-sounding system for making your Android phone read any article out loud simply by uttering a voice command. (In typical Google fashion, all of these features are vaguely set to roll out "soon.")

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 09, 2020

Apple's chance to grow as half a billion Windows 7 PCs hit EOL
As Microsoft pulls support for near half a billion Windows 7 PCs, it's make or break for Windows-based IT and Apple has a chance to reap good harvest here.

The great migration Apple's solutions are now in use across the entire Fortune 500.

The company's enterprise credentials continue to extend. At a recent Apple-focused enterprise IT event, we encountered opinion and statistics to reinforce this point.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 09, 2020

Coffee industry looks to blockchain to brew a better supply chain
IBM is the latest vendor to provide a blockchain platform for coffee bean growers looking to track their product on its journey to market - and let consumers trace their java back to the farm to discover where and how it was grown.

The "Thank My Farmer" app is slated to roll out in March and lets users scan a QR code on packages of coffee to trace its journey and send a contribution to support sustainable farming projects in agricultural communities on five continents.

The app represents only the initial use of IBM's distributed ledger technology (DLT) for an entire coffee ecosystem that includes farmers, traders, roasters, manufacturers and  distributors who want to revamp a paper-based supply chain system and create digital payment rails for participants.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 09, 2020

Throwback Thursday: Well, he DID figure it out by himself
At the small college where this pilot fish works, a big power failure puts the lights out for everyone in the whole area.

"We didn't have a generator, so the data center and all our servers were dark," says fish.

"The campus maintenance supervisor called me on my cellphone and asked me to send an email message to all users, letting them know that the power failure would probably last several hours.

"After a few minutes he called back and sheepishly said, ‘Never mind.'"

Brighten Sharky's life by sending me your true tales of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 08, 2020

Chrome to follow Firefox, stifle site notification appeals in version 80
Google yesterday said that in four weeks Chrome would follow Firefox's lead and tamp down on intrusive requests by websites to dun users with notifications.

"To protect notifications as a useful service ... Chrome 80 will show, under certain conditions, a new, quieter notification permission UI [user interface] that reduces the interruptiveness [sic] of notification permission requests," wrote PJ McLachlan, a Google product manager, in a Jan. 7 post to a company blog.

Chrome 80 is scheduled to release Feb. 4.

What Firefox is doing Mozilla, the maker of Firefox, just rolled out version 72 this week. High on the list of new features for the browser: An end to intrusive, page-obscuring pop-ups from sites asking to send the user future notifications.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 08, 2020

Apple's wants privacy laws to protect its users
Your iPhone (like most smartphones) knows when it is picked up, what you do with it, who you call, where you go, who you know - and a bunch more personal information, too.

Information is power The snag with your device knowing all this information is that once the data is understood than that information can be shared or even used against you.

Jane Horvath, Apple's senior director for global privacy, appeared at CES 2012 to discuss the company's approach to smartphone security.

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Enterprise Application News
Jan 08, 2020

Apple wants privacy laws to protect its users
Your iPhone (like most smartphones) knows when it is picked up, what you do with it, who you call, where you go, who you know - and a bunch more personal information, too.

The snag with your device knowing all this information is that once the data is understood, that information can be shared or even used against you.

Information is power Jane Horvath, Apple's senior director for global privacy, appeared at CES 2020 this week to discuss the company's approach to smartphone security. She stressed the company's opposition to the creation of software backdoors into devices, and also said:

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 08, 2020

OneNote vs. Evernote: A personal take on two great note-taking apps
What's the king of the note-taking apps?

There are two leading contenders for the crown: Microsoft's OneNote and the independent Evernote. Launched in 2003, OneNote was added to Microsoft Office in 2007 and is now bundled with Windows 10 and also offered for free as a standalone product. Evernote launched in 2008 and has enjoyed steadily increasing user numbers since then; the company now says it has 225 million users worldwide. (Microsoft hasn't released user numbers for OneNote, but between Office and Windows 10, more than a billion users likely have a version of it installed on their machines.)

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 08, 2020

That's a turn-on
This pilot fish pretty much singlehandedly keeps the technology infrastructure humming at this small firm located in a creaky old building, which apparently is still settling after nearly 100 years.

One recent day he gets a heads up that there's trouble with one of the two monitors in the training room, where a customer meeting is in progress. It keeps going black and then coming back on.

As unobtrusively as possible, fish infiltrates the meeting to have a look-see. And just as he enters the big monitor on the left blinks off. Fish's first step is to check the HDMI connections on the monitors, but they're fine. Just then fish hears a click, and the monitor comes back up.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 07, 2020

What's in the latest Firefox update? Firefox 72 nixes fingerprinting, obnoxious notification appeals
Mozilla on Tuesday launched Firefox 72, which expanded picture-in-picture video mode to macOS and by default blocked "fingerprinting," an advanced tracking method practiced by some sites and advertisers.

The open-source developers also patched 11 vulnerabilities, five labeled "High," Mozilla's second-most-serious threat rating. As usual, some of the flaws might be used by criminals. "We presume that with enough effort ... it could be exploited to run arbitrary code," the firm wrote of the CVE-2019-17017 vulnerability.

Firefox 72 can be downloaded for Windows, macOS and Linux from Mozilla's site. Because Firefox updates in the background, most users need only relaunch the browser to get the latest version. To manually update on Windows, 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." (On macOS, "About Firefox" can be found under the "Firefox" menu.) The resulting page shows that the browser is either up to date or describes the refresh process.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 07, 2020

7 Android trends to watch in 2020
Ah, a new year. What better time to step back, fire up our rusty ol' noggins, and think about what exciting and/or exhausting mobile-tech movements await us in the months ahead?

It's a level of contemplation that can be challenging to focus on — especially in this rowdy Android-centric domain, where Incredibly Important Information is constantly spewing forth and splashing into our moist, open eyeballs. (That's at least part of why I wear industrial strength swimming goggles whenever I'm consuming mobile tech news.) Sometimes, it's all you can do to stay afloat and avoid drowning in the fast-moving stream of "revolutionary" developments from companies you've never heard of.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 07, 2020

iPhone apps, blockchain and the future of food
If you could verify how your food was grown, treated and distributed using an iPhone app, blockchain and a packaging code, would you? IBM thinks you might.

From the cradle to the plate Everyone knows that food standards aren't equal.

Nowhere is this clearer than in the treatment of chickens destined for your plate. Some are reared in conditions considered cruel by many consumers, who will vote with their wallets for better treatment if they are informed.

It's not too different when it comes to vegetables, some of which travel enormous distances before reaching your local store.

Modern consumers are more concerned with the environmental impact of these journeys than ever before and want to be able to check for this almost as much as they want to verify the safety of pesticides used during the growth cycle.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 07, 2020

FAQ: Last-minute answers about Windows 7's post-retirement patches
A week from now, Microsoft will serve customers with the last for-free Windows 7 security update, in effect retiring the 2009 operating system.

However, hundreds of millions of personal computers will still power up thanks to Windows 7 on Jan. 14, and for an indeterminate timespan after that date. Windows 7 may be retiring, but it's not disappearing.

Microsoft admitted as much more than a year ago when it announced Extended Security Updates (ESU), a program for commercial customers who needed more time to ditch Windows 7. ESU would provide patches for some security vulnerabilities for as long as three years. For a fee.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Jan 07, 2020

Time-Machine Tuesday: Does Safari ring a bell?
This pilot fish works on the website for a TV station. "We just updated the CSS on our website," fish says. "After completing the upgrade, I sent out an email to a number of station employees, including my boss.

"I told them the upgrade was complete and we had tested it with a number of browsers including IE 7, IE 8, Firefox, Chrome and Opera, and found no issues with any of them.

"A few hours later I received a short email from my boss: ‘What are IE 7, IE 8 and Firefox?' For some reason he didn't ask what Chrome and Opera were.

"This is the guy who determines my income and if I keep my job or not!"

Sharky is the guy who determines which true tales of IT life make it into the Shark Tank. 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



Enterprise Application News
Jan 06, 2020

Microsoft Patch Alert: December patches hang Win7 Pro endpoints and force Server 2012 reboots
It was the kind of month admins dread: Mysterious problems on hundreds of machines, with no apparent cause or cure. Toss in the holidays, and we had a whole lot of Mr. and Ms. Grinches in the industry.

Fortunately, it looks like the problems have been sorted out at this point. Individual users had many fewer problems. Microsoft's left and right hands still aren't talking on the 1909 team, but what else is new…

Win7 hang on 'Preparing to configure Windows' Microsoft dropped a new Servicing Stack Update for Windows 7 on Dec. 10, and it gummed up the works for many. Here's a good summary on Reddit from poster Djaesthetic:

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 06, 2020

Top 3 enterprise tech trends to watch in 2020
If blockchain felt more like hype than reality in 2019, prepare for that to change. Industry watchers expect 2020 to be the year the distributed ledger technology matures and we see use cases that go beyond cryptocurrency.

Areas where experts envision growth include data security, the supply chain and electronic health records.

"Someone's gonna hit me, but I think blockchain as it relates to data security (think access management) is going to have some landmark use cases in 2020," Siobhan Climer, science and technology writer at Mindsight, said during a recent IDG TECH(talk) Twitter chat.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 06, 2020

CES 2020: Lessons for the Apple enterprise
Apple officially returns to CES for the first time in 28 years in 2020.

The last time the company appeared at the show it introduced its ahead-of-its time Newton device. This time the company is talking security and the Internet of connected things.

Lessons for the enterprise The Newton was intended as Apple's then CEO, John Sculley's big idea.

The world's first example of an information appliance for communication, entertainment and productivity.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 06, 2020

Amid privacy and security failures, digital IDs advance
Frustration over a growing number of privacy and security failuresin recent years is driving the creation of digital identities controlled only by those whose information they contain.

Known as "self-sovereign identities," the digital IDs will be used by consumers, businesses, their workers and governments over the next few years to verify everything from credit worthiness and college diplomas to licenses and business-to-business credentials.

"We are slowly graduating from crawling to walking. It takes one to two years 'til we have reliable capabilities to spark meaningful decentralized identity adoption," said Homan Farahmand, a senior research director at Gartner. "A major non-technical hurdle is for organizations to learn the concept and take the necessary steps to appropriately adapt their business processes to decentralized identity ecosystems."

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 06, 2020

Sufferin' succotash!
Back in the days of the 5.25-in. floppy disk, this pilot fish's friend has the task of transmitting some data via satellite twice a day. She compiles the appropriate information, copies it into a floppy disk and runs a script in a specially equipped PC to read the pertinent files and send the data. Easy-peasy.

And there's never a glitch, until one day when she receives a phone call just as she finishes preparing the disk. With the transmission deadline about 15 minutes away, she slips the disk into the drive as she talks. Phone call over and with time to spare, she tries to verify the contents of the disk, but she gets a "no disk" message. It's not in the drive, but she's sure she put it in the right slot. A frantic search doesn't turn up the disk, so she asks fish and another co-worker to search some more while she makes another disk just in case.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 04, 2020

Windows by the numbers: Windows 10 resumes march towards endless dominance
Microsoft's users last month resumed purging their PCs of Windows 7, but as the operating system's retirement countdown neared single-digit days, it still powered hundreds of millions of machines worldwide.

According to data published Wednesday by web analytics company Net Applications, Windows 7's December share of all personal computers slipped by two-tenths of a percentage point - a small difference from a flat November - to end the year at 26.6%. Windows 7's portion of the user share of just Windows PCs fell four-tenths of a point, to 30.8%.

(The percentage of Windows PCs is larger than the percentage of all personal computers because Windows does not run every desktop and laptop. In December, Windows powered 86.8% of the world's personal computers (an increase of seven-tenths of a percentage point). Of the remainder, all but a tiny fraction ran macOS, Linux or Chrome OS, in that order of decreasing popularity.)

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 03, 2020

Will spam die in 2020?
The problem with spam isn't that it's a time-wasting annoyance, but that it drives us away from phone calls and emails to bad media.

Enterprise Application News
Jan 03, 2020

Top web browsers 2020: Microsoft's IE and Edge move up
Microsoft's browsers last month surged to close the year with the highest user share since August 2018, giving its maker a morale boost just weeks before it is to deliver a totally revamped Edge.

According to data published Wednesday by metrics vendor Net Applications, Microsoft's December browser share -- a combination of Internet Explorer (IE) and Edge -- climbed 1.4 percentage points to 14.2%, the highest mark in all of 2019. The year's total user share increase of 1.8 points marked the first time since 2014 that Microsoft's browsers put in a positive January-to-December.

Over half of December's gain came from Edge, which added eight-tenths of a percentage point, reaching 6.8%, a record for a browser Microsoft will relaunch in two weeks. IE also climbed last month, adding six-tenths of a percentage point and rising to 7.4%, the most for that browser since August.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 03, 2020

What we think we know about iPhone 2020
As a new decade dawns, speculation season begins with the annual raft of rumor that always precedes launch of a new iPhone. Here are the highlights at this time:

More models than ever? Can anyone recall a time when there was only one iPhone model?

That changed several years ago.

Today you can purchase four different kinds of Apple mobile from the company store - with some carriers offering even more choice. Now it appears the company intends further diversification of its line-up.

Digitimes claims Apple plans to introduce two iPhone SE type devices which a second report from analyst Ming Chi Kuo suggests it may call the iPhone 9. These devices would join the iPhone 12 range.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 03, 2020

Windows vulnerability
Pilot fish is working at a bank, but it's the 1970s, and ATMs are far from common. What this bank has is an after-hours teller window, available from 3 to 7 p.m. It's located in a small enclosure accessible from the street, and its operation involves a human teller working behind a reinforced-concrete wall.

When the bank develops an online customer system, the night teller is chosen as the testing ground, because the new system will allow for instant posting of deposits instead of waiting for the next day. And fish, a computer science major, will serve as teller/guinea pig.

But first, a new window has to be constructed, right next to the two-story glass façade of the bank. The work includes putting the cabling inside heavy steel pipes to ensure that no one can tap into them.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 03, 2020

8 ways to turn Android into a productivity powerhouse
From hardware diversity to customization potential, Android offers no shortage of enticing benefits for business users. Out of the box, though, a typical Android phone is anything but optimized for productivity.

Power up most popular phones, and you'll find ineffective home screens, mediocre keyboards, and all sorts of untapped potential. But all it takes is a little tweaking to go from unrefined gizmo to finely tuned work companion.

Follow these eight steps, and your Android phone will be primed for productivity and ready for business.

1. Optimize your home screen One of the simplest and most impactful ways to improve your phone's effectiveness is to focus on its foundation: the home screen. Your home screen is the first thing you see when you unlock your device, and it's the launching point for practically everything you do. Yet for most people, it's a cluttered and inefficient mess — and that, suffice it to say, is counterproductive.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 02, 2020

Tech event calendar 2020: Upcoming shows, conferences and IT expos


Tech Events Event Description Starts Ends Location Project Voice At Project Voice, tech execs, developers, designers, strategists/consultants, media, VCs, and analysts involved in conversational AI and interfaces gather to learn how to best execute with this emerging technology. 2020-01-13 2020-01-17 Chattanooga, TN CPX 360 2020 (Asia) Check Points CPX 360 conference provides insights and information about how to prevent the latest cyber threats and offers a variety of keynotes, conference sessions, and hands-on labs. 2020-01-14 2020-01-16 Bangkok, Thailand European Blockchain Convention European Blockchain Convention Barcelona brings together 600 tech leaders, regulators, investors, corporations, developers and entrepreneurs from the industry with a focus on real-world use of blockchain and DLT in industries such as energy, finance, supply chain, government, insurance, healthcare, retail and mobility. 2020-01-20 2020-01-21 Barcelona, Spain

Enterprise Application News
Jan 02, 2020

A glimpse at Apple's 2020 vision
Apple patents granted in the final moments of 2019 shine a little light into its plans for the next decade.

What the patents say Apple won 31 patents on Dec. 31, 2019. Three are of particular interest:

A passenger safety system for vehicles. A smart headphone system that optimizes the audio for how they are worn. (Might this actually be a highly efficient spatial sound system for immersive environments?) An Eye ID system for a head-mounted display. In some ways, these patents don't mean too much. Apple files many hundreds of patents every year and the existence of them doesn't always mean the company will ship products based on them.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 02, 2020

8 capabilities that should be among your 2020 SharePoint intranet resolutions
2019 was a great year for SharePoint intranets, and the first quarter of 2020 will bring even more capabilities. Here are a few simple, but important, features and capabilities  we should all resolve to implement:

Create an Organization Assets site Use Headings on all long pages Make sure that the Site Pages library on every site shows Version and Promoted State Implement a home site (when it is available for your tenant) Be inspired by the SharePoint look book Personalize and target content Make your pages accessible to all audiences Continue to learn in 2020 Resolve to create an Organization Assets site The Organization Assets feature lets you register one or more document libraries via PowerShell as a special source for images such as photos and logos across all sites. Organization Assets libraries are available when you add images to page headers, galleries, or other web parts. (Figure 1.) You can have up to 30 libraries in a single organization and all the libraries need to be in the same site collection.

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Enterprise Application News
Jan 02, 2020

2020: The year the office finds its voice?
While voice-based digital assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Assistant are becoming increasingly common at home - and smartphones and wearables can be used  handsfree via speech - the use of voice in the workplace is just getting started.

That's likely to change in 2020 and beyond.

The promise of voice in the workplace? More efficient employees, "smarter" voice-based assistants, easier ways of completing routine tasks and a digital experience in the office that matches what's used at home.

[ Related: AR and VR bring a new twist to collaboration ] A survey by 451 Research in 2019 indicated that voice UIs and digital assistants are among the most disruptive technologies for enterprises (IoT and AI are the top two), with four in 10 respondents planning to adopt voice technology within 24 months.

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Enterprise Application News
Jan 02, 2020

Throwback Thursday: Apparently it's just not in their job description
This company upgrades all its printers to lasers, and they're pretty slick, says a net admin pilot fish on the scene.

"They report to the manufacturer, automatically ordering supplies when they run low," fish says. "I also receive emails when the devices report a toner cartridge running low, and I take a replacement to the printer and leave it for the users to replace.

"This way, if I'm unable to be there when the toner runs out, users can change it out themselves. This works well for all of the printers, even in the administrative area where users are not very technical.

"But one area seems to have a problem: our engineering department."

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Enterprise Application News
Jan 01, 2020

Android 2020 primer: 12 bits of telling analysis to mull
When it comes to mobile technology, trends mean so much more than any single event.

That's a notion we see reinforced time and time again here in the land o' Android — and that's why so much of our focus in this little corner of the internub is on the bigger-picture view of what's going on with Google. By looking at those broader trends, we can get a sense of how the company's strategies are shifting and what those changes suggest about the future of Android and other mobile tech efforts.

We had no shortage of such matters to consider in 2019 — and some of the trends we've observed over these past 12 months will almost certainly inform the patterns we'll see over the course of the coming year.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 01, 2020

Wayback Wednesday: New year, same old users
User at this remote site has the task of helping with the backup-tape rotation on the local server, reports a pilot fish in the main office.

"After working the user on a tape-drive cleaning issue, we suggested that she get a can of compressed air and blow out the drive," fish says.

"User called back in tears. She said she sprayed the inside of the unit with WD-40 instead of air.

"Pretty much in total disbelief, we were hoping that maybe she just shot one small burst. When questioned about how much she sprayed, her response was, ‘I'm not sure. While I was spraying I realized the can didn't get cold, so I looked to see what was wrong.'

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Dec 31, 2019

Ultra Wideband (UWB) explained (and why it's in the iPhone 11)
One of the new chips in this year's crop of iPhones is the U1; it provides Ultra Wideband (UWB) connectivity that, in conjunction with Internet of Things (IoT) technology, could offer a myriad of new services for enterprises and consumers.

As Apple puts it, UWB technology offers "spatial awareness" - the ability for your phone to recognize its surroundings and the objects in it. Essentially, one iPhone 11 user can point his or her phone at another and transfer a file or photo.

While the technology isn't new, Apple's implementation marks the first time UWB has been used in a modern smartphone.

What is Ultra Wideband? UWB is a short-range, wireless communication protocol that - like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi - uses radio waves. But it differs substantially in that IT operates at a very high frequency. As its name denotes, it also uses a wide spectrum of several GHz. One way to think of it is as a radar that can continuously scan an entire room and precisely lock onto an object like a laser beam to discover its location and communicate data.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Dec 31, 2019

Grounded
It's the mid-'90s, and this pilot fish is the sole IT employee for a barebones operation. It's a small agricultural nonprofit, and his job includes networking, user support, IT purchasing and application development — the kind of job where you learn a ton but work your butt off.

There's a remote rural location, and fish manages an upgrade of sorts of its hand-me-down hardware: two refurbished desktops, one for a small quality lab and another for the receptionist/bookkeeper, and a server running Netware 3.12 that's no longer needed in the main office. Fish tells the remote users to be sure to store all the accounting files, documents and quality records on the server and not their workstations. He also installs an external tape backup unit on the laboratory computer so it can do double duty at night as the server backup workstation. And there's an ancient 80286 laptop sitting in a spare room running a dialup email gateway to the organization's ISP.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Dec 30, 2019

Most popular tech stories of 2019
Insider Pro subscribers pick the Top 10 articles published in our debut year.

Enterprise Application News
Dec 30, 2019

22 Siri commands (almost) every AirPod user needs
Want to get the best out of the Apple AirPods you received over the holiday season? Here are 22 Siri commands you need.

Call (person name) Siri on your AirPods will let you dial a call to anyone who is in your Contacts book.

"Where am I?" Lost, trying to navigate a new city, or just to tell another where they will be able to find you, ask Siri "Where am I?" and your AirPods will let you know.

"What's the weather" Siri will tell you what today's weather will be where you are. Or ask it for the weather conditions or somewhere else, as in "What's the weather in (place name)?"

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Dec 30, 2019

Deep background
It's a long time ago, and this pilot fish's job is to develop all the software to run a shareware business using Foxpro 2.6 for Windows. (We said it was a long time ago.) The software takes care of inventory and stocking of stores, printing labels for the disks and doing all other necessary tasks.

The owner of the business (we'll call him Fred) is a reasonably astute businessman, but his acumen doesn't extend to using computers — he once tried to sell fish's software to another business without telling fish, but he ran afoul of fish's built-in copy protection.

One day Fred calls fish and says that all the data is gone. Fish heads to the boss's house wondering what on earth he could have done that would have deleted all the data. Once there, Fred claims he did nothing, but fish knows that data doesn't just disappear all by itself, so he sits down at the computer and brings up his software.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Dec 30, 2019

10 top distributed apps (dApps) for blockchain
Imagine an application that doesn't run on one server but harnesses the excess power of thousands of computers globally and that can be controlled by business automation software that ensures if a specific parameter is met, only then can a function be carried out.

That's a distributed application - or dApp, as it's sometimes abbreviated - and there are thousands available for download.

[ Read the Download: Beginner's guide to blockchain special report ] Running atop a blockchain, peer-to-peer (P2P) network that acts as a kind of operating system, dApps create an innovative open-source software ecosystem that is both secure and resilient. And it allows developers to create new online tools, many of which have piqued the interest of global business markets.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Dec 30, 2019

When does protecting privacy morph into invading privacy?
Recently, I tried to toy around with some of the better security apps for my iPhone and checked out a very impressive package called Lookout. One of its features seeks to make identity theft a little more difficult. So far, so good.

The service says that it searches the dark web and various databases looking for any leak, quite likely from a breach. That sounds worth doing.

So I start filling out the online forms, and before long my head was filled with the protesting voices of every chief privacy officer I have ever spoken with. Lookout starts by asking for all of your email addresses and phone numbers, before moving on to complete driver's license number, medical insurance card numbers and full passport number. It also seeks full banking account details (routing numbers, too), all credit and debit card numbers and Social Security number, and asks to connect to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Dec 27, 2019

Flashback Friday: User tweaks: The gift that keeps on giving
Pilot fish gets a call from a user who complains that his inbox is full of email, but he can't see any of it.

"Outlook shows he has a bunch of unread emails," reports fish. "I go out and look at his inbox. Sure enough, there are a bunch of unreads. But the list doesn't show anything like subject, title or sender.

"The user had removed all the fields from the viewing pane.

"I added back the ones he needed, and he was so happy.

"About a month later, same user, same problem ..."

Fill up Sharky's inbox with your true tales of IT life. Send them to me at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Dec 27, 2019

Tech luminaries we lost in 2019
A tribute to some of technology's leading lights In Memoriam 2019 Luminaries we lost this year" data-license="Getty Images"/Image by FreedomMaster / Getty Images

Every now and then, dreamers find themselves in the right point in time and space to spark a revolution. Whether it's the invention of a technology, the start of a company, or a gaze to the stars, these moments change the future and define their creators' legacies.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Dec 26, 2019

2019's most important Chrome OS advice and analysis
More than any other platform, Chrome OS is in a constant state of evolution — and if you blink for a minute, you're bound to miss some significant new improvement or addition.

I mean, heck, this past year alone, Chrome OS has gained a Virtual Desks system for advanced productivity, platform-wide support for a Chromebook-optimized version of the Google Assistant, and a host of smaller but no less significant Android-like additions. Google has also committed to stepping up its stance on software support for Chrome OS devices, and the makers of Chromebooks have started exploring some interesting new hardware options that could add an awful lot of appeal for business users. And, as usual, all of this fast-paced progress shows no sign of slowing down soon.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Dec 26, 2019

Throwback Thursday: It seemed as if you would be quicker
This IT pilot fish works the night shift at a manufacturing plant as the on-site plant floor support tech — which is definitely not user support. That's on-site during the day but off-site during the night shift.

One night, fish gets a call from a supervisor named Barney, who complains that his email isn't working. Fish says Barney needs to call the help desk and gives him the extension. To which Barney says that he needs his email to do his job.

All the more reason to call the help desk, says fish. They're very good at troubleshooting that email program, and I don't know anything about it.

But he does say that if the help desk can't help, Barney can call fish back.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Dec 25, 2019

No silent night
True tales of IT life are Sharky's stock in trade, but the real people in them don't normally get named. This tale, however, comes from a pilot fish who heard it as a lad from Bob Coveyou, a noted mathematician who worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) with fish's father, and he's worth mentioning because the tale involves what may well have been a computing first.

The tale is from the early 1950s, when Bob was one of several scientists who wrote programs for a unique computer at ORNL called ORACLE, or Oak Ridge Automatic Computer and Logical Engine. Like other

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Enterprise Application News
Dec 24, 2019

It's a small world after all
It's the mid-'90s and this pilot fish is the DBA for DB2 running on MVS. He's the software DBA and the application DBA, meaning he does it all: installing and tuning DB2 itself, backing up the catalog, changing the ZPARMS, designing the application tables with the programming staff, backing them up, tuning the buffers for each application, and more.

A new head of IS is installed who seems to just like to stir things up. Which may be the entire reason she decides they should use DB2/2 running on OS/2 for a new project.

Fish points out that no one on staff is familiar with either OS/2 or DB2/2, but the boss isn't concerned: "I've hired an expert on DB2/2 because you don't know anything about it."

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Enterprise Application News
Dec 24, 2019

Tips for new tech devices
Tech gear is a perennially popular holiday gift. If you're the proud owner of a new phone, tablet, computer or other device — or you provide tech support for family and friends with new devices — we're here to help.

Check out and share these stories, which can help you get the most out of a new Android or iOS device, Chromebook, Mac, or Windows PC.

[ Further reading: The wireless road warrior's essential guide ] Android devices Android apps: Best of the best Our Android expert highlights the standout apps in the categories that matter most to busy professionals: office apps, privacy and security apps, email and texting apps, note-taking apps, apps for team collaboration, apps for organizing your life, and more.

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Enterprise Application News
Dec 23, 2019

Deadline extended for 100 Best Places to Work in IT 2020
The deadline for nominating a company for Insider Pro's Best Places to Work awards program has been extended to January 17, 2020. The annual survey, which launched in 1994, identifies the 100 best places to work for IT pros.

Enterprise Application News
Dec 23, 2019

This $387 Azure certification prep bundle is currently on sale for $29
Modern tech companies require more computing power than ever before, so many of them are turning to cloud services like Microsoft Azure to meet their needs. As such, becoming cloud-certified is a necessity if you want to pursue today's highest-paying IT jobs. With this 4-course bundle, you can become an Azure master for just $29. 

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Enterprise Application News
Dec 23, 2019

21 time-saving tips for the Chrome Android browser
Mobile web browsing is all about finding what you need quickly and with as little hassle as possible — well, in theory, anyway. In the real world, the act of surfing sites from your smartphone is often anything but efficient.

From sites that have not-so-friendly mobile interfaces to browser commands that take far too many steps to execute, hopping around the World Wide Internuts from a handheld device can frequently leave something to be desired.

Fear not, though, my fellow finger-tappers: There are plenty of tricks you can learn to make your mobile web journey more pleasant and productive. Try these next-level tips for Google's Chrome Android browser and get ready for a much better mobile browsing experience.

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Enterprise Application News
Dec 23, 2019

That boss is all wet
This local business has its own print shop — and a big boss who's a world-class skinflint. The print shop is needed because the business does a lot of custom printing of promotional materials, the really big kind that you can hang at a festival and will be noticed above the sea of humanity. The skinflint buys a rather ramshackle warehouse, in which the print shop is also installed. Budget for building improvements: $0.

The print shop is like a data center in that it is crammed with electronics that need to be kept cool. Unlike a data center, it also has a huge laminator that throws off a lot of heat. Throw in a scorching climate, and even the tightfisted boss knows air conditioning is needed. But why pay for extra BTUs — or even an adequate number of BTUs? Naturally, the A/C is overstrained, to the point that even the big boss realizes something has to be done.

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Enterprise Application News
Dec 20, 2019

Why does everyone want to replace Android?
Several companies - including Google - are working hard to replace Android with other operating systems. Here's why and which OS is the likely victor.

Enterprise Application News
Dec 20, 2019

Ripple announces $200 million in funding to grow uptake of XRP cryptocurrency
Enterprise cryptocurrency company Ripple has announced $200 million in investment funding, which brings the total value of the blockchain technology company to $10 billion, according to reports.

The seven-year-old, San Francisco-based company created the XRP cryptocurrency, the Ripple payment protocol and the RippleNet exchange network in order to disintermediate cross-border financial transactions for financial services businesses.

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Enterprise Application News
Dec 20, 2019

10 macOS Catalina features you (probably) didn't know
Following its WWDC 2019 reveal, Apple shipped macOS Catalina in early Fall and most Mac users have already taken a look at its most discussed improvements, but had you come across these?

One everyone knew I guess most Mac users are aware of the tweaked windowing controls. Hover your cursor over the green button in the application window and you can open the app up in Full Screen, Tile Left and Tile Right views, or exit if you are already in those views.

If you are using an iPad with the same Apple ID on the same network, you can also enable Sidecar view here.

Light mode, Dark mode, Auto You have been able to choose between Dark and Light mode in System PreferencesGeneralAppearance ever since Mojave. Catalina adds one more thing - an Auto button that will adjust which mode you are in depending on the time of day.

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Enterprise Application News
Dec 20, 2019

IDG Contributor Network: Intel Optane: The missing link to a good virtual PC or gaming solution
[Disclosure: Intel is a client of the author.]

After a recent debrief on Intel's 3D XPoint memory effort (aka Optane), I was again struck with the fact that this technology is selling well below potential. That's sure to change as virtual providers of desktop and gaming platforms realize it'll be critical to their efforts to remove latency, mostly in storage but also when a cloud customer or on-premise user needs to do the massive in-memory analysis of large data sets.

What got me thinking about this was when Dell EMC launched its DC D4800X product earlier this year and I saw the early reviews of Google's new cloud gaming service Stadia, which has been getting bad reviews due to the unacceptable latency. This latency may be even more pronounced on competing services.

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Enterprise Application News
Dec 20, 2019

¿Qué pasó?
DBA pilot fish gets a message one Monday morning that the Puerto Rico database is ready to be set up. To which he responds, "Puerto Rico database?" Yes, he's told, we need a database in Puerto Rico to handle our Spanish-speaking customers. We put together the server on Friday and flew it down, and now you need to set it up. It's urgent, urgent, urgent!

So urgent that no one bothered to inform fish until now.

But he sets to work and quickly has everything configured. When he starts to build the materialized views, though, he's hit with communication errors, repeatedly. He contacts the network people: What's going on with the network? They reply: The network is fine. Fish provides documentation that the network is not fine. Networking continues to look for the problem.

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