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Enterprise Application News
Nov 16, 2018

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 new 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



Enterprise Application News
Nov 16, 2018

Firefox adds in-browser notification of breached sites
Mozilla has added a data breach notification to Firefox that warns the browser's users when their email address and credentials may have been obtained by hackers.

Dubbed Firefox Monitor, the free breach notification service debuted in September after some testing during the summer. Anyone -- not only Firefox users -- can steer to the service website, enter an email address and be told if that address was among those involved in successful, publicly-known breach attacks. Next steps were up to the user, including the obvious of changing the password(s) connected to that email address and/or website(s).

[ Related: Get serious about privacy with the Epic, Brave and Tor browsers ] Notifications of the latest breaches were sent by Firefox Monitor to the user-submitted address. "Your email address will be scanned against those data breaches, and we'll let you know through a private email if you were involved," wrote Nick Nguyen, Mozilla's vice president of product strategy, in a Sept. 25 post to a company blog.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 16, 2018

Kudos to Microsoft: Resurrecting the Release Preview ring for Win10 1809 brings 17763.165 to heel
I'm starting to think that the people now in charge of Win10 version 1809 know what they're doing.

[ Related: Windows 10 October 2018 Update: Key enterprise features ] First, we saw a rudimentary list of known bugs in 1809, along with a point-by-point notice of what's being done, and what you can do to fix the bugs. At this moment, the list includes all of the major bugs that I've seen:

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 16, 2018

Amid calls for a Windows bug status dashboard, Microsoft belatedly agrees to build one
A Windows expert this week urged Microsoft to put its money where its mouth is and produce a status dashboard or website that reports and tracks problems with the operating system.

Coincidentally or not, on Wednesday Microsoft said it would launch a "Windows update status dashboard," but did not name a timetable except for a broad "in the coming year."

[ Related: The best places to find Windows 10 ISOs ] "I can go to this page and see if something happening with Office 365 is just a me thing or if everyone else is seeing the same," said Susan Bradley in a Nov. 13 email reply to questions, referring to the Office 365 Admin Center. (Note: Only those with administrative credentials have access; it's not meant to provide information to end users.) "(But) if I want to find out if something is a known issue with Windows 10, I have to dig through - and monitor for changes - these pages," she continued, listing two separate support documents for one such known issue.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 15, 2018

Microsoft launches blockchain development kit
No stranger to blockchain projects, Microsoft today released a blockchain development kit on its Azure cloud platform designed to enable seamless integration of blockchain with Microsoft's and third-party SaaS offerings.

"This kit extends the capabilities of our blockchain developer templates and Azure Blockchain Workbench, which incorporates Azure services for key management, off-chain identity and data, monitoring, and messaging APIs into a reference architecture that can be used to rapidly build blockchain-based applications," Marc Mercuri, principal program managers for Microsoft's blockchain engineering team, said in a blog post.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 15, 2018

Hey, LG: How's that 'Software Upgrade Center' going?
Back in April, LG came out with an almost laughably bold declaration: The company infamous for treating Android software updates as an afterthought was breaking new ground by opening a "Software Upgrade Center" — and not just any "Software Upgrade Center," mind you, but the industry's "first such facility aimed at providing customers worldwide with faster, timelier smartphone operating system and software updates."

Um, right.

As I said at the time, LG's history with Android upgrades made me pretty darn skeptical that this was anything more than an inconsequential marketing stunt. LG, y'see, has not only been among the worst performers when it comes to post-sales software support — with a lovely zero percent "F" ranking on my most recent Android Upgrade Report Card — but it also has a funny habit of pairing its obvious indifference with a shocking level of bravado.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 15, 2018

How to upgrade to the version of Win10 Pro that YOU want
Those of you on Win10 Pro version 1703 — that's my version of choice — just ran out of time, at least to a first approximation. Microsoft won't be pushing any more security patches onto your machine. Yes, I know some of you figure that's a feature, but never mind. You're left with three options: Move to Win10 version 1709, version 1803, or (with fear and trepidation) version 1809.

If you're running Win10 version 1709, you have the option of staying with 1709, moving on to 1803 (and thus giving yourself seven additional months of support), or leaping on 1809. Be careful what you wish.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 15, 2018

How to use PowerShell to scan for Windows 10 updates
Here's how to tell what patches and security improvement are in Windows 10 updates before you install them.

Enterprise Application News
Nov 15, 2018

R tip: Keep passwords and tokens secure with the keyring package
Learn how to store credentials in an encrypted, secure keyring within R

Enterprise Application News
Nov 14, 2018

Windows 10 update (and retirement) calendar: Mark these dates
Microsoft's shift to Windows-as-a-service (WaaS) for Windows 10 yielded a repetitive, predictable schedule of version release and support expiration dates for Windows 10.

Although consumers can essentially ignore any schedule — Microsoft decides when their devices are upgraded — business customers and their IT personnel should be marking the calendar with the important upcoming events.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 14, 2018

With Windows 10 1809 re-release, Microsoft decides not to cheat on promised support
Microsoft yesterday re-released the Windows 10 October 2018 Update after a 38-day delay caused by multiple bugs, including two that deleted customer files.

As it re-issued the fall feature upgrade, Microsoft also reset its support, a move that Computerworld expected by the time the distribution stoppage had run through much of October. By ignoring the original launch date of Oct. 2 and pretending that the delay never happened, Microsoft ensured that users receive the promised amount of support, more or less.

[ Related: Windows 10 October 2018 Update: Key enterprise features ] According to the definitive "Windows lifecycle fact sheet," the original end of support for Windows 10 Home 1809 and Windows 10 Pro 1809 - the four-digit label is the upgrade's name in Microsoft's yymm format - was April 14, 2020. Support was to expire for Windows 10 Enterprise 1809 and Windows 10 Education 1809 on April 13, 2021.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 14, 2018

Cisco's Webex Teams gets BroadCloud Calling integration
Cisco has added cloud calling to its Webex Teams messaging app - something the company called a "significant step" in the integration of BroadSoft's technology stack  following the completion of this year's $1.9 billion acquisition.

The combination is designed to provide an "enterprise-grade" cloud-based PBX [private branch exchange] phone system in addition to existing message and document sharing features.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 14, 2018

Android security: Analysis, advice, and next-level knowledge
It's tough to talk about Android security without venturing into sensational terrain.

A large part of that is due to the simple fact that the forces driving most Android security coverage are companies that make their money by selling Android security software — and thus companies with strong interests in pushing the narrative that every Android phone is on the perpetual brink of grave, unfathomable danger. Plus, let's face it: A headline about 70 gazillion Android phones being vulnerable to the MegaMonsterSkullCrusher Virus is far more enticing than one explaining the nuanced realities of Android security.

In actuality, though, Android security is a complex beast — one with multiple layers in place to protect you and one that almost never warrants an alarmist attitude. I've been covering Android security closely since the platform's earliest days, and I've busted more myths and called out more shameless publicity stunts than I can even count at this point.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 14, 2018

Patch Tuesday problems include even more reported bugs with Win10 version 1809
Yesterday Microsoft released security patches for 63 separately identified vulnerabilities and three new Security Advisories. Microsoft rates 12 of the security holes as "critical," and 8 of those are for the Edge scripting engine. Only one has an actively known exploit, discovered by Kaspersky, on 32-bit Win7 and Server 2008 systems in the Middle East.

Martin Brinkmann has his monthly summary on ghacks.net for an overview of the numbers and links. Dustin Childs picks up all the nuances in his Zero Day Initiative post. Short version: As usual, if you avoid Internet Explorer and Edge, you should be fine for now. But, again as usual, you'll have to patch eventually.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 14, 2018

Did IBM overhype Watson Health's AI promise?
In recent weeks, IBM has changed leadership at its Watson Health division and  announced a new business strategy for deployment that relies on a hybrid cloud, not a  public- or private-cloud only model.

Over the past year, Watson Health - particularly Watson for Oncology - has come in for criticism that it has underperformed expectations. (Watson for Oncology is IBM's commercial cognitive computing cloud platform that analyzes large volumes of patient healthcare data and published medical studies to offer physicians cancer treatment options.)

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 13, 2018

Windows 10 October 2018 Update: Key enterprise features
The latest version of Windows 10 has many monikers. Its version number is 1809, its code name was Redstone 5, and its official name, announced by Microsoft at IFA Berlin, is the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

Windows 10 April 2018 UpdateWindows 10 Fall Creators Update (October 2018)To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Nov 13, 2018

Review: Windows 10 October 2018 Update delivers modest but useful tweaks
The big twice-a-year Windows 10 update is here ... except this time, it's not so big. The Windows 10 October 2018 Update, a.k.a. version 1809, is perhaps the least impressive of the major updates since Windows 10 was introduced. It sports no big, new capabilities like Timeline, the flagship feature of the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. Still, it's got some good sleeper features, a hidden gem or two, a few bombs, and a host of useful if not groundbreaking features.

The release will be rolled out to Windows 10 users in phases, so it might be some time before you see it arrive on your computer. In fact, the rollout was scheduled to begin on October 9, but after some users who upgraded to version 1809 reported problems including the loss of all files in their Documents, Pictures, Music, and Videos folders, Microsoft paused the rollout. After more than a month's delay, the company finally resumed pushing out the release on November 13. If you want to delay the update even longer and then install it on your own schedule, here's how to block it temporarily.



Enterprise Application News
Nov 13, 2018

Get Over 45 Hours Of Immersive Ethical Hacking Training For $25 (90% Off)
Your private data can reveal a lot about you, such as bank information, spending habits, and even the websites you frequent. This makes large companies like Facebook and Yahoo prime targets for data breaches because of their vast library of user data. Nowadays, it's more important than ever for companies to remain vigilant against hackers, lest their customers' privacy and trust be lost.

To defend against such threats, companies hire security professionals who know how to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in security systems. These "ethical hackers" employ the same methods malicious hackers do, but they also patch and report these vulnerabilities to their employers to prevent future intrusions. With data breaches on the rise, the demand for ethical hackers has increased, making this career path both stable and profitable. If you're interested in learning how to hack security systems (legally, of course) then this $39 Ethical Hacking A to Z Training Bundle is for you.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 13, 2018

Microsoft takes second swing at Windows 10 1809, re-issues troubled upgrade
After a 38-day delay, Microsoft today re-released its fall operating system feature upgrade, the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

The more-than-a-month delay had no precedent in Windows 10, something Microsoft acknowledged. And it lasted significantly longer than instances in earlier editions when updates, security fixes for the most part, had to be pulled and then later re-released.

[ Further reading: How to handle Windows 10 updates ] "Based on (telemetry) data, today we are beginning the re-release of the October Update by making it available via media and to advanced users who seek to manually check for updates," John Cable, director of program management in the Windows servicing and delivery team, wrote in a post to a company blog.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 13, 2018

Windows 10: A guide to the updates
The launch of a big Windows 10 update like the October 2018 Update isn't the end of a process — it's really just the beginning. As soon as a major update is released, Microsoft quickly gets to work on improving it by fixing bugs, releasing security patches, and occasionally adding new features.

Here we've summarized what you need to know about every Windows 10 update being released to the public. First come updates to the currently shipping version of Windows 10 — version 1809, known as the October 2018 Update — with the most recent updates on top. (Note that the October 2018 Update is on a phased rollout, so you may not have received it yet.) Below that are updates to version 1803, known as the April 2018 Update; 1709, known as the Fall Creators Update; and finally updates to version 1703, known as the Creators Update. For each build, we've included the date of its initial release and a link to Microsoft's announcement about it.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 13, 2018

Windows 10 version 1809 re-released. Pro tip: Wait.
It's been an interesting morning, in an ancient Chinese curse kind of way. First we saw an official announcement that Windows Server 2019 was released. (Server 2019 is based on the Win10 1809 platform.) Only one problem: The bits weren't available as advertised, and then the page was pulled.

[ Related: Windows 10 October 2018 Update: Key enterprise features ] Then came an announcement that Microsoft is re-releasing Win10 version 1809 today. The bits finally arrived, sooner or later, accompanied by a lengthy explanation from Microsoft Vice President Michael Fortin of the burdens Microsoft encounters servicing a $10-billion-plus user base:

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 13, 2018

Get 90% Off Your First Year of RemotePC, Up To 50 Computers for $6.95
iDrive has activated a significant discount on their Remote access software RemotePC in these days leading into Black Friday. RemotePC by iDrive is a full-featured remote access solution that lets you connect to your work, home or office computer securely from anywhere, and from any iOS or Android device. Right now, their 50 computer package is 90% off or just $6.95 for your 1st year. If you've been thinking about remote access solutions, now is a good time to consider RemotePC.

Enterprise Application News
Nov 13, 2018

Pixel 3 vs. Pixel 2: Why smaller bezels aren't that big a deal
When you hear people talk about Google's Pixel 3 and whether it's worth the upgrade over the previous-gen Pixel 2, one consistent theme always comes up: If there's any reason to make the upgrade, it's for the smaller bezels and bigger screen.

What folks are getting at, y'see, is the fact that the Pixel 3 packs more active display space into the same basic footprint as last year's model — which, on the surface, sure seems like a good thing. And it is a good thing! I mean, why wouldn't you want more screen space in the same sized phone, right?

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 13, 2018

The Linux desktop: With great success comes great failure
Stop me if you've heard this one before: will be the year of the Linux desktop. Even in Linux circles this is greeted with eye-rolling. Here's the funny thing, though: Linux long ago won the hearts and minds of end users, even while the Linux desktop continues to spin its wheels.

How can that be?

The paradox is easily explained. But as for Linux's failure to capture desktop hearts and minds, that's a complicated story. I'll lay it out for you.

First, the paradox: According to the latest Annenberg Surveying the Digital Future report, the average American now spends 24 hours a week online. Meanwhile, Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker's 2018 Internet Trends Report shows the average adult in 2017 spending 5.9 hours a day watching or listening to digital media.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 13, 2018

FAQ: Windows 10 LTSB explained
Windows 10 powered to its third anniversary this year, but one branch, identified by the initials L-T-S-B, remained an enigma to most corporate users.

LTSB, which stands for "Long-term Servicing Branch," was among the pillars of Windows 10 in the months leading up to, and for months after, the mid-2015 roll-out of the operating system. For a time, it seemed that it had a shot at becoming the Windows 10 for enterprise because it was seen as a calm port in a storm of radical change.

[ Related: Fix Windows 10 problems with these free Microsoft tools ] That hasn't happened, in part because Microsoft has steered customers away from LTSB.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 13, 2018

Blockchain 2019: How crypto will convert cash, property into digital assets
In 2019, the most innovative work involving distributed ledger technology (DLT) - blockchain - will focus on the tokenization of assets, or the ability to represent digital or physical assets and fiat currencies as tokens that can be sold or traded on a network.

DLT has the ability to take anything, from a piece of artwork to gems and real estate, and represent them as cryptographically hashed assets on a peer-to-peer, open electronic network that has no central authority, such as a bank, governing their trade or sale.

[ Related: The top 5 problems with blockchain ] Representing digital or physical assets as tokens on a DLT-based network enables  participants to reinvent processes and develop new business models - uncharted territory from both a business and technology perspective, according to a new report from Forrester Research.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 12, 2018

Windows 10 rollout snafu: Day 37
Thirty-seven days after Microsoft withdrew the Windows 10 October 2018 Update from all distribution, the Redmond, Wash. company has yet to restart delivery.

The delay has no precedent in Windows 10 and has gone on significantly longer than instances in prior editions when updates, most of them security fixes, had to be pulled and then later re-released.

[ Related: Windows 10 October 2018 Update: Key enterprise features ] Microsoft debuted the fall feature upgrade, also known as 1809 in the firm's yymm format, on Oct. 2. Four days later - Oct. 6 - it retracted the release by yanking it from the Windows Update service and manual download sites, and warning users who had grabbed it to toss the disk image in the trash. The reason: Some users - Microsoft said 1/100th of 1% - reported that the upgrade deleted all files in several folders, including the important Documents and Photos directories.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 12, 2018

HTC Vive unveils standalone VR headset, collaboration app for the enterprise
HTC Vive has launched a handful of enterprise-focused products, with a new standalone "mobile" VR headset, developer tools and a collaboration app that promises to connect remote employees.

The Taiwanese company last week announced that the Vive Focus head-mounted display will now ship in the U.S., following a launch in China earlier this year.

[ Related: 7 Trello alternatives for visual task management ] The Vive Focus is a standalone headset that functions without a PC connection, unlike the company's tethered Vive Pro device. It features similar specs to the "professional-grade" Vive Pro, with 2880-x-1600-pixel resolution. Unlike other mobile VR headsets, the Vive Focus does not require a smartphone be inserted; it relies on embedded hardware - powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 chip - supports a 110-degree field of view and lasts up to three hours on a single charge.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 12, 2018

Time to block Windows Automatic Update — with a new twist for Win10 Pro
Rumors swirling all over the blogosphere have Microsoft re-releasing the ill-fated Win10 version 1809 on Patch Tuesday this month. Personally, given the dearth of worthwhile features in 1809 and the painful first release last month, I'd rather that they just wait a week or a month or six, until it's fully baked, but that probably won't happen.

Better still, I wish they'd wait a year or two, roll in some new features worthy of a full reinstall, and then unleash something new and worthwhile. If wishes were horses ...

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 12, 2018

Microsoft's strategy: Force enterprises to buy every traditional Office upgrade
Microsoft has figured out how to stymie enterprises that cut costs by licensing Office the old-fashioned way, a pair of researchers said.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Nov 12, 2018

Maybe he started out in APL and just never got over it?
This pilot fish starts his mainframe programming career at a state agency, but soon moves on to a job at a company in the record industry -- which turns out to be much more, um, challenging.

"The environment is totally different," fish says. "I'm responsible for supporting several high-profile production and revenue applications.

"All is well until there's a coding update request, and my manager wants to review the code before it's even tested, much less implemented.

"I have the compiled output ready to review with my manager, but he takes it away to review alone so he's not interrupted.

"Other members of my group are laughing when I return to my desk, but they don't explain why.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 11, 2018

Windows 10 rollout snafu: Day 35
Thirty-five days after Microsoft withdrew the Windows 10 October 2018 Update from all distribution, the Redmond, Wash. company has yet to restart delivery.

The delay has no precedent in Windows 10 and has gone on significantly longer than instances in prior editions when updates, most of them security fixes, had to be pulled and then later re-released.

[ Related: Windows 10 October 2018 Update: Key enterprise features ] Microsoft debuted the fall feature upgrade, also known as 1809 in the firm's yymm format, on Oct. 2. Four days later - Oct. 6 - it retracted the release by yanking it from the Windows Update service and warning users who had downloaded it to trash the disk image. The reason: Some users - Microsoft said 1/100th of 1% - reported that the upgrade deleted all files in several folders, including the important Documents and Photos directories.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 09, 2018

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 09, 2018

How to use your iPad Pro to replace your laptop (Part 4)
I'm trying to show how Apple's iPad Pro sets new boundaries for mobile computing and offers a real alternative to a laptop for many of us.

Today we're taking a look at the Files app and how to use it effectively with an iPad.

Episode guide:

Part One: iPad Equipment Part Two: Keyboard, Typing, Shortcuts, and Dictation tips Part Three: How to multitask on iPad Pro Part Four(this episode): How to us Apple's Files app and tags What is Files? Files is a cloud-based data storage system that is compatible with Macs, iPhones and iPads and works to make sure all your information is accessible to you when you are logged-in with your Apple ID.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 09, 2018

Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant now available on Windows 10 PCs as a standalone app
Alexa debuted on select Windows 10 laptops earlier this year - built into a range of newly launched HP, Asus, Acer and Lenovo notebooks - and is now available for download on all compatible devices.

There are no PC-specific controls for Alexa at this point, but Amazon said it plans to add "PC-specific capabilities" early in 2019. 

Moving beyond managing entertainment and smart home apps, Alexa's presence on Windows 10 is aimed at work productivity and serves to highlight the AI assistant's rise in office environments - much as the iPhone in 2007 moved quickly from individual users to become a mainstay of the workforce.

There are now more that 25,000 Alexa skills available, including a growing list targeted specifically at business users.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 08, 2018

Windows 10 rollout snafu: Day 33
Thirty-three days after Microsoft withdrew the Windows 10 October 2018 Update from all distribution, the Redmond, Wash. company has yet to restart delivery.

The delay has no precedent in Windows 10 and has gone on significantly longer than instances in prior editions when updates, most of them security fixes, had to be pulled and then later re-released.

[ Related: Windows 10 October 2018 Update: Key enterprise features ] Microsoft debuted the fall feature upgrade, also known as 1809 in the firm's yymm format, on Oct. 2. Four days later - Oct. 6 - it retracted the release by yanking it from the Windows Update service and warning users who had downloaded it to trash the disk image. The reason: Some users - Microsoft said 1/100th of 1% - reported that the upgrade deleted all files in several folders, including the important Documents and Photos directories.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 08, 2018

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 has just 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



Enterprise Application News
Nov 08, 2018

9 handy hidden features for Google Maps on Android
Who doesn't love Google Maps? The native Android app helps those of us with oatmeal for brains find our way anywhere, without having to fire any neurons or exercise any synapses. It even helps us find places to pick up tasty cuisine — like, uh, oatmeal (yum!).

But there's much more to Google Maps than meets the eye — and odds are, you aren't taking advantage of at least a few handy hidden features lurking in the Android app. With word that Google is now apparently testing Waze-like crash and speed test reporting within Maps, I thought it'd be a fine time to think through some of the app's existing advanced options.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 08, 2018

Win10 activation server down; your Pro license is still good, despite the warnings
If you see a bogus report about an invalid Win10 Pro license, relax. It's just Microsoft's servers screwing up, again, and everything should be copacetic in a couple of days.

On Twitter, Windows leaker emeritus Faikee posted this screenshot:

Faikee/Twitter Günter Born quotes one of his readers as saying:

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 08, 2018

Making the business case for collaboration
Modern collaboration tools promise to connect employees more effectively, boost team productivity and potentially even help the corporate bottom line.

The potential cost savings include cutting travel costs (by substituting video conferencing for team meetings) and reducing a company's real estate footprint by enabling remote work.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 08, 2018

Seagate is testing a blockchain ledger to track hard drives
Seagate is building out a blockchain-based supply chain tracking system that will allow it, storage array maker IBM, its technology integrators and users to follow hard drives from assembly line and installation to end of life.

Seagate is working with IBM, which is supplying the Hyperledger blockchain platform via its cloud service; IBM will also benefit by becoming one of the permissioned blockchain users as it's one of the Seagate's drive customers.

[ Further reading: Coming soon: Public blockchains for private business data ] Once up and running, the blockchain will be able to track the provenance of tens of millions of hard drives shipped each year, according to Manuel Offenberg, managing technologist for Seagate's Data Security Research division.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 08, 2018

Throwback Thursday: And thanks for the hard work!
Freshly hired pilot fish at a Canadian office of this company gets his first assignment: Write an agent that will handle failover for a high-availability cluster controller. Got that?

"It's basically a script to automate failover of a disk array from one server to another," explains fish.

"I write the basic code in a day or two, only to find that although it works most of the time, as with all complex applications, the documentation doesn't quite match what actually happens."

That's no big deal when it's under human control, but it's a disaster for something that's supposed to be fully automated. So fish takes his quick-and-dirty code and sets to work making it bombproof.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 07, 2018

BitLocker on self-encrypted SSDs blown; Microsoft advises you switch to software protection
Yesterday, Microsoft released ADV180028, Guidance for configuring BitLocker to enforce software encryption, in response to a clever crack published on Monday by Carlo Meijer and Bernard van Gastel at Radboud University in the Netherlands (PDF).

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 06, 2018

Chrome to hit sites dealing 'abusive experiences' with total ad blockade
Google has warned site owners that its Chrome browser would drop the hammer by blocking all ads if the website harbored what the search giant called "abusive experiences."

"Starting in December 2018, Chrome 71 will remove all ads on the small number of sites with persistent abusive experiences (emphasis added)," wrote Vivek Sekhar, a product manager with Google, in a November 5 post to a company blog.

[ Further reading: Google's Chromium browser explained ] Sekhar's threat did not come out of the blue: Google gave Chrome leave to take on abusive experiences before. The browser, which has long blocked pop-up ads and more recently restricted video auto-play, this summer stopped unauthorized redirections - where clicking a link opens the destination in a new tab but nefariously opens an unwanted page in the former active tab - with July's Chrome 68. (It was unclear whether this has been enabled by default; to switch it on may still require a trip to chrome://flags and toggling the Framebusting requires same-origin or a user gesture option.)

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 06, 2018

8 noteworthy new features coming to Chromebooks this month
Sometimes, the most significant story is also the easiest to miss.

While everyone's focused on shiny new hardware and months-old ecosystem improvements, Google is quietly delivering what may be its most transformative Chrome OS update yet — and it's an update that'll reach most Chromebooks released over the past five years.

Chrome OS 70, in the midst of rolling out right now, dramatically changes the look and feel of the operating system and makes it more touch-friendly and Android-like than ever. Some of the interface enhancements will be apparent the second your Chromebook gets the software — like the revamped appearance of the shelf (the dock of icons at the bottom of the screen), the newly combined and Android-Pie-design-injected Quick Settings and notification panel, and the streamlined tablet home screen that gives you a permanent on-screen grid of icons (kind of like an always-open version of the traditional Chrome OS launcher).

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 06, 2018

Coming soon: Public blockchains for private business data
Accounting and consultancy firm Ernst & Young (EY) has developed a public blockchain network for private business transactions and plans to launch it next year.

Enterprise blockchains typically run on private or permissioned blockchains, which are centrally administered but invitation-only affairs for those using the peer-to-peer, decentralized transactional network.

EY's Ops Chain Public Edition (PE) purports to allow companies to securely transact on a public network based on the Ethereum, open-source blockchain platform. Currently, the public blockchain is only a prototype, EY said.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 05, 2018

Macs, iPads, price hikes and the enterprise alternative
Apple last week refreshed its MacBook Air and iPad Pro lines, adding a high-resolution display to the former for the first time and on the latter stretching the screen nearer the device's edges.

The Cupertino, Calif. company also raised prices, boosting the lowest-cost MacBook Air by 20% and the 11-in. iPad Pro by 23% over its 10.5-in. predecessor.

Michael Simon/IDG The new iPad Pro is basically all screen.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 05, 2018

The best email and texting apps for Android
We may not rely on our phones for actual calls as often we used to, but these fancy little rectangles of ours still handle more than their share of critical communication.

From emailing clients to texting with colleagues, our smartphones keep us connected to business wherever we may roam. But the apps that come installed on devices by default aren't always the best options; in fact, they can often be flat-out disadvantageous when it comes to professional productivity.

I've spent a fair amount of time testing the significant email and texting apps available on Android. These are the titles I'd recommend, broken down by category and purpose — and all free, unless otherwise noted.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 05, 2018

R tip: Sparklines in HTML tables
Learn how to add sparklines to HTML tables in R with the DT and sparkline packages

Enterprise Application News
Nov 02, 2018

Windows by the numbers: Windows 10 nears 'crossover' point with veteran Windows 7
After a September stumble, Windows 10 last month resumed its march toward replacing Windows 7 as the world's most popular operating system, an analytics vendor reported this week.

According to California-based Net Applications, Windows 10 added eight-tenths of a percentage point to its user share in October, reaching 38.3% of all PCs and 43.9% of those running Windows. (The second number is always larger than the first because Windows never powers all personal computers; in October, Windows ran 87.3% of the world's systems. The remainder ran macOS, Linux or Chrome OS.)

[ Related: Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration guide ] As expected, Windows 10's October increase more than made up for the prior month's downturn. It was slightly larger than the 12-month average for the three-year-old OS and likely puts Windows 10 back on track for a sustained climb.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 02, 2018

It's time to install the October Windows and Office patches — and maybe tweak your settings
October will certainly go down in the Annals of Windows Offal as one of the worst patching months ever. Click "Check for updates" and get your Documents and Photos wiped out. Try to install the Win7 Monthly Rollup — if you can find it — and trigger an Error 0x8000FFFF because the updater doesn't have the smarts to update itself. Play a little Driver Roulette and trigger a blue screen. Then there were moun

Enterprise Application News
Nov 01, 2018

Top web browsers 2018: It's 'Groundhog Day' for IE and Edge
Microsoft's browsers last month continued to slouch toward invisibility as the combined user share of Internet Explorer (IE) and Edge fell to yet another record low.

According to California-based analytics company Net Applications, IE's and Edge's share dropped by a quarter of a percentage point in October, ending at 13.8%, a record for the century and a number not seen by Microsoft since IE first took on Netscape Navigator in the 1990s.

[ Further reading: What's in the latest Chrome update? ] On its own IE - the 23-year-old browser last updated nearly three years ago - slipped nearly half a percentage point to just 9.5%. (Edge, the default browser for Windows 10, made up for some of IE's decline by climbing a quarter of a point.)

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 01, 2018

A time-saving typing tool that works anywhere in Chrome
If you're anything like me, you probably say a lot of the same stuff time and time again.

I'm not just talking about trendy exclamations like "Good golly, Gertrude!" and "Holy hamburgers, Henry!" Those are certainly fair game, of course, but I'm thinking more about the sorts of things you type repeatedly as part of your work day — addresses, phone numbers, the current date, or any other bits of text you send over and over to clients, colleagues, and/or lifelong foes.

We've talked before about text expanding tools for Android that can save such phrases and then make them easy to insert anywhere, with minimal effort, on your mobile device. When it comes to the desktop, though, those utilities tend to be limited to traditional operating systems like Windows and MacOS and not designed for contemporary, browser-centric use — which also means they aren't available on Chrome OS.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Nov 01, 2018

Why Apple's Siri is already an enterprise product
The usual suspects love to spend time claiming Siri lags other voice assistants in some ways, but they don't seem to understand that Apple's voice assistant is an enterprise product.

Why is Siri an enterprise product? This is what happens when you use a voice search tool: You activate the assistant, it listens to what you say, identifies that a request is being made and sends that request to the cloud to be resolved and responded to.

This all happens pretty quickly and after a short delay your response arrives, or an action takes place.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 31, 2018

16 wireless chargers for iPhones and Android devices
From wired to wireless chargingImage by Apple

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

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 31, 2018

IBM to move Watson Health to a hybrid cloud
After announcing plans to acquire open source software provider Red Hat this week, IBM now plans to move its Watson Health cognitive services to a hybrid cloud model.

Watson, the IBM supercomputer that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze natural language and perform data analytics, has been used to identify medical data sources, generate hypotheses, recommend patient treatments to physicians or match patients to clinical trials.

[ Further reading: A.I. and speech advances bring virtual assistants to work ] The Veterans Administration has also used Watson for genomics as part of its precision oncology program, which primarily looks for possible new treatments for stage 4 cancer patients who have exhausted other options.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 30, 2018

As Windows 10 delay continues, support shortfall grows
Microsoft is running out of calendar runway for Windows 10 October 2018 Update, the one it withdrew from distribution earlier this month.

With less than 48 hours left in the month, the company is in danger of rendering obsolete the name of the fall feature upgrade and perhaps disrupting the scheduled support.

[ Related: Windows 10 October 2018 Update: Key enterprise features ] Although Microsoft officially released the refresh on Oct. 2, four days later it barred access to the upgrade via Windows Update, told those who had installed it to stay off their PCs and warned users who had downloaded but not installed it to trash the disk image. The reason for the unprecedented moves: Some users - Microsoft said 1/100th of 1% - reported that the upgrade deleted all files in several folders, including the important Documents and Photos directories.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 30, 2018

What happened to KB 4462923, the October Win7 Monthly Rollup?
This month's Windows 7 Monthly Rollup, KB 4462923, has gone missing. I've seen complaints about the reticent Rollup — where, people wondered, did the October Monthly Rollup go?

I thought that folks who were having problems finding the update were doing something wrong — perhaps they ran afoul of the bizarre requirement that you update the Windows Update program separately before it will correctly install updates. But many of the people who couldn't find KB 4462923 confirm that, indeed, they had already installed the necessary precursor — the Servicing Stack Update, KB 3177467, either version 1 or version 2.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 30, 2018

Dropbox Paper adds timelines for team project planning
Dropbox has brought project planning capabilities to its collaborative word processing tool, Paper, with the addition of a new timeline feature.

Paper was unveiled in 2015 as Dropboxaimed to expand its cloud document storage business. The cloud tool - which competes with Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Quip, Box Notes and others - lets users work together on the creation of rich-text documents and embed content such as YouTube videos.

[ Further reading: 10 Smartsheet tips and tricks ] According to Dropbox, users find Paper useful for coordinating work, too. This is due, in part, to features such as embeddable to-do lists, @mentions and due dates for team members. 

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 30, 2018

Google Smart Lock on Chrome OS: 2 fast fixes and a power-user tip
Google's Smart Lock system for Chrome OS is one of those things that sounds spectacular on paper but then frequently falls flat in the real world.

You know about Smart Lock by now, right? It's something Google created to turn your Android phone into a contact-free key for your Chromebook: Anytime the phone is close to the computer, Chrome OS will automatically detect its presence — and as long as the phone is unlocked, the laptop will let you skip the usual password prompt and hop right in with just a quick click on the sign-on screen.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 29, 2018

Microsoft hikes Office 2019 retail prices by up to 10%
Microsoft raised prices for the retail versions of Office 2019 by as much as 10% when it began selling the application suite earlier this month.

The price increases were similar to those announced in July for commercial licenses sold in volume. Then, Microsoft said that such licenses would cost 10% more than the ones for Office 2016, with CALs (client access licenses) required for applications to connect to Windows Server, Exchange Server and the like, slated to climb as much as 30%.

[ Related: Mastering your Outlook inbox ] All these were perpetual licenses, ones paid for with a single, up-front fee, which in return gives the buyer the right to use the software in perpetuity. The licenses, in other words, have no expiration date and users may run the programs as long as they want.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 26, 2018

Windows revenue remains in a $4.6B rut
Windows remains in a revenue rut, with commercial sales up courtesy of Windows 10 but with consumer sales down as individuals continue to eschew PCs, Microsoft's latest earnings report revealed this week.

Specifically, Windows revenue was up 6% during the September quarter to approximately $4.6 billion, or about 42% of the total for the More Personal Computing group, the accounting line containing Windows.

[ Related: Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration guide ] Microsoft again attributed the growth to sales of commercial-grade licenses - Pro or Professional versions - to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), the computer makers that assemble and sell PCs, and to what it labels "Windows Commercial," which is largely composed of volume license sales of the operating system's Enterprise and Education SKUs (stock-keeping units).

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 26, 2018

Amazon opens up Alexa for Business to third-party devices
Alexa can now be integrated into office equipment such as audio calling headsets and video conferencing systems.

Amazon has created an Alexa for Business integration for third-party device makers, allowing its the popular voice assistant to be cembedded into a wider variety of office equipment.

[ Related: 15 Alexa skills for business success] Alexa for Business was launched last year to help companies deploy and centrally manage large numbers of Echo Devices on a network, offering support for most of Amazon's range of smart speakers, from the Dot to the touchscreen-enabled Show.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 26, 2018

It's time for Microsoft to fix the Surface Pro 4 mess by offering no-hassle refurb SP5s
Microsoft's exchange policy on bad Surface Pro 4s flops around from day to day, from location to location. From Flickergate to bad TypeCovers to battery drain to touch that doesn't, the SP4 is a disaster — and it's been that way for three years.

It's time that Microsoft faced up to the mess it created and offered to exchange a refurbished Surface Pro 5 (er, Surface Pro (2017)) to those with SP4 problems. No questions. No hassles. No bull. Replace one out-of-date machine with another.

If you own a Surface Pro 4, you have undoubtedly heard about the problems.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 26, 2018

No, Windows 10 Home isn't ‘good enough' for the Surface Pro 6
Sometimes I despair for the PC industry.

Microsoft has, somehow, convinced people - even arguably sane industry pundits - that Windows 10 Home is "good enough" for its latest PCs, which is to say the Surface Pro 6 and the Surface Laptop 2. As best I can tell, you can't even order a new Surface Pro 6 or Laptop 2 with Win10 Pro - you have to get Win10 Home, and then upgrade to Pro.

[ Further reading: How to handle Windows 10 updates ] (If you already have a license for an earlier "Pro" version of Windows, you may be able to upgrade using that license. See Ed Bott's primer on ZDNet.)

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 26, 2018

R tip: Quick Interactive Tables
See how to create an interactive HTML table with one line of code. Plus, plenty of customizations

Enterprise Application News
Oct 26, 2018

Excel: Your entry into the world of data analytics
For many office workers, Microsoft Excel is simply the go-to spreadsheet application. But since the late 1990s, Microsoft has been adding analytics functionality, and it's accelerating the process with its monthly updates to Office 365. Excel now has some fairly potent tools for doing much greater data analysis than calculating a few rows.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Oct 26, 2018

Well, do you trust 'em or don't you?
Flashback a few decades to the days when this pilot fish is a supervisor in the call center for a big mail-order PC company.

"Our agents were privy to a customer's credit card information right in the call tracking system," says fish. "We trusted 600 agents with nearly unlimited access to this customer information without ever a single theft from our people."

But the call center manager decides the operation needs a way to approve replacement parts to be shipped to customers.

That leads to a new process: When a call-center agent is sending a simple part -- say, a new mouse or inexpensive sound card -- the agent types in his badge number, then must turn his head to get his supervisor's attention.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 25, 2018

Apple appears to have blocked GrayKey iPhone hacking tool
Apple has apparently been able to permanently block de-encryption technology from a mysterious Atlanta-based company whose blackbox device was embraced by government agencies to bypass iPhone passcodes.

Atlanta-based Grayshift is one of two companies that claimed it could thwart Apple iPhone passcode security through brute-force attacks.

The blackbox technology purportedly worked, as Grayshift's technology was snapped up by regional law enforcement and won contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Secret Service.

Another vendor, Israel-based Cellebrite, also discovered a way to unlock encrypted iPhones running iOS 11 and marketed its product to law enforcement and private forensics firms around the world. According to a police warrant obtained by Forbes, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security tested the technology.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 25, 2018

8x8's team chat app connects users to Slack, Google Hangouts and others
San Jose-based 8x8 has added team chat capabilities to its unified communications platform, touting interoperability with 23 other collaboration as a differentiating factor in a competitive market. Among the chat apps supported are Slack, Google Hangouts Chat, Skype, Twitter, Cisco Webex Teams and Jabber.

The Team Messaging function, announced last week, is included in 8x8's existing X Series software, which combines video, voice and contact center applications.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 25, 2018

Google's app redesigns are really bumming me out
Google has an interesting history with design. For years, the company's approach to design was — well, mostly nothing.

To be fair, it was kind of that way by, ahem, design: In Google's early days, according to the picture painted by numerous accounts (and evidenced by the products of that era), the Google design strategy was quite literally "no design" — because speed was what mattered most at that time, and adding visual flourishes back then served mostly just to slow things down. It was a different era in computing, and the emphasis on user experience we know today hadn't yet come into focus.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 25, 2018

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

After years of using "Redstone" in its code names, Microsoft is changing it up with the next release, which is code-named "19H1" (for 2019, first half) rather than "Redstone 6." What follows is a list of every preview build of Windows 10 19H1, starting with the most recent. For each build, we've included the date of its release, a summary of what's in the build and a link to Microsoft's announcement about it.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 25, 2018

Win10 1803 big bug bash KB 4462933 joins earlier versions, a week late to the party
Back on Oct. 18, a "C Week" Thursday, Microsoft released hefty rounds of bug fixes for Win10 1607, 1703 and 1709. At the time, I wondered out loud why the latest (unyanked) version of Win10, version 1803, didn't get a similar dose. Now, on a "D Week" Wednesday, it looks like we've seen the deluge.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 24, 2018

Mozilla turns to new revenue streams from VPN, Amazon
Mozilla launched new money-making projects this month, new attempts to diversify revenue, which relies almost entirely on payments from search providers - notably, browser rival Google.

Starting today, some Firefox users will see in-browser advertisements for a VPN (virtual private network) service that encrypts all traffic and routes it through a secure server.

[ Further reading: 14 must-have Firefox add-ons ] "Across numerous studies we've consistently heard from our users that they want Firefox to protect their privacy on public networks like cafes and airports," contended Chris More, product lead of what Mozilla calls "Firefox Growth," in an October 22 post to a company blog.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 24, 2018

Top 35 free apps for Windows 10
Best free apps for Windows 10 Free Apps for Windows 10 #01 [cover]" data-license="Getty Images"/Image by ipopba / Getty Images

With Windows 10 adoption ramping up, many folks are looking for ways to further improve the Win10 experience. So why not make the most of your transition by reconsidering your old app habits and getting Win10 tools that will help you work smarter, faster, and more productively?

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 24, 2018

Oracle rolls out blockchain-based business apps
Oracle has announced a suite of SaaS applications based on its Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service for the purpose of tracing and tracking supply chains through a transparent distributed ledger.

The four new cloud-based apps, unveiled at Oracle's OpenWorld conference this week, are aimed at providing end-to-end traceability of transported goods, confirming the origins of the parts that make up those products and creating an auditable log for warranty and liability claims. One application, an intelligent "cold chain" service, tracks temperature-controlled products in a supply chain, such as pharmaceuticals and food, integrating with IoT devices embedded in those shipments.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 24, 2018

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



Enterprise Application News
Oct 24, 2018

Complete transcript, video of Apple CEO Tim Cook's EU privacy speech
Apple CEO, Tim Cook spoke up for privacy at a conference of European privacy commissioners in Brussels this morning. 

'AI must respect human values' The themes of this year's conference is "Debating Ethics: Dignity and Respect in Data Driven Life", Cook is the first tech CEO to serve as the keynote speaker for the conference and was invited to speak.

He talked about data, put in a bid for a bill of U.S. digital rights, slammed competitors for profiting while unleashing powerfully negative forces, and spoke up for a GDPR-style privacy protection in the U.S.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 24, 2018

7 Trello alternatives for visual task management
These days, it's hard enough to keep your own life scheduled. If you're working with a team on a project (or several), it's nearly impossible to make sure everybody's doing each task at the right time — unless you have the right tool.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Oct 24, 2018

Scope creep, redefined
Pilot fish is a couple months into his new job when he's given the task of "re-skinning" an existing e-commerce site for a client.

"I was given a mockup by the designer and that was about it," says fish. "No problem, I figured, I'll just contact the client, get their existing template and get to work.

"That's when I learned the client was expecting a complete replacement of their current e-commerce system, not just a re-skin. My boss confirmed that's what our company's owner promised."

That's not scope creep -- it's more like scope leap. And it's only the beginning, as the owner keeps making increasingly extravagant promises to the client.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 23, 2018

What's in the latest Firefox update? More anti-tracking and money-making (for Mozilla) searches
Mozilla released Firefox 63 for Windows, macOS and Linux, boosting its anti-ad tracking defense by offering an option that blocks cookies from third-party trackers.

Engineers also patched 14 vulnerabilities in Firefox. Just two of them were marked "Critical," Mozilla's highest threat ranking; three others were tagged "High," the next rank down.

Firefox 63, which can be downloaded here, updates in the background, so 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 details the updating process.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 23, 2018

Android apps: Best of the best
Trying to find the right app for any given area on Android is a lot like trying to order dinner at a restaurant with way too many options on the menu. How can you possibly find the right choice in such a crowded lineup? With the Google Play Store now boasting somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 gazillion titles (last I checked), it's no simple task to figure out which apps rise above the rest and provide the best possible experiences.

That's why I decided to step in and help. I've been covering Android from the start and have seen more than my fair share of incredible and not so incredible apps. From interface design to practical value, I know what to look for and how to separate the ordinary from the extraordinary. And taking the time to truly explore the full menu of options and find the cream of the crop is quite literally my job.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 23, 2018

Microsoft releases Exchange 2019 - but there's no way to deploy it
Microsoft on Monday released Exchange 2019, the newest version of its venerable email server. But with Windows Server 2019 still in software purgatory, customers were unable to deploy or even test the on-premises, perpetual-license software.

"We're pleased to announce the final build of Exchange Server 2019 is now available and can be downloaded from the Volume Licensing Service Center," Microsoft announced in a blog post.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 23, 2018

Google just quietly gave us a killer midrange Android option
We've talked about how Google is playing its own game with its software-centric approach to the Pixel program, but one factor that's all too easy to overlook is the way that same mindset is now spreading from the flagship level to other parts of the Android phone spectrum.

Allow me to set the stage: With its Pixel phones, as we've seen now with three different generations of the device, Google is embracing the reality everyone else is ignoring and focusing primarily on the importance of software in the phone-using experience. Sure, each new set of Pixel products has the usual set of hardware updates and internal improvements, but the true selling points are less about megapixels or bezels and more about how the phone's bits and bytes push the experience forward in genuinely useful ways.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 23, 2018

What's missing from this picture?
Sysadmin is tapped to take over the lead on patching this company's Linux systems, but something seems to be missing, reports a pilot fish on the scene.

"There was existing documentation for the patching process," fish says. "But according to the other sysadmin, that documentation never worked.

"And the web server that hosts the local Linux repository doesn't seem to work either. It responds to a ping, but when my colleague used a port scanner, he found that none of the needed ports -- for http, https and NFS -- were open.

"Then he discovered there was no directory for repository data where it should be, and the software to handle HTTP and NFS wasn't even installed.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 22, 2018

Windows Server 2019 remains in release limbo
Almost lost in the noise about Microsoft yanking Windows 10's latest upgrade from distribution was the Redmond, Wash. company's decision to do the same thing with the newest Windows Server editions.

Both Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server 1809 remained in limbo as of Monday.

[ Related: The best places to find Windows 10 ISOs] "We have temporarily removed all media for Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server, version 1809," the company said in an Oct. 12 update to a blog post. "If you have already downloaded media, please don't install it and wait until more information is available to proceed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 22, 2018

1,500 Windows 10 Insiders may have been bitten by file-deletion bug
Up to 1,500 beta testers may have had files deleted by a bug in Windows 10, all without triggering an examination by Microsoft, according to data from the company.

The bug, which erased user files in the Documents, Pictures, Music and Videos folders, forced Microsoft to take the unprecedented move of pulling the Windows 10 1809 feature upgrade from public distribution. Four days after announcing 1809's release, Microsoft barred access to the upgrade via Windows Update, told those who had installed it to stay off their PCs and warned users who had downloaded but not installed it to trash the disk image.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 22, 2018

Linux apps on Chrome OS: An easy-to-follow guide
Google's Chrome OS platform sure isn't what it used to be.

The software that started out as a strictly web-centric entity — with everything revolving around the Chrome browser and apps that could operate inside it — is now one of modern computing's most versatile operating systems. Contemporary Chromebooks still run all the standard web-based stuff, of course, but they're also capable of connecting to Google's entire Play Store and running almost any Android app imaginable. And if that isn't enough, many models have recently gained the ability to run Linux apps as well.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 22, 2018

Wonder if they'll ever tell HIM what's going on...
This IT pilot fish has been supporting a customer remotely through a VPN that's usually pretty solid -- but definitely not always.

"Every now and then it disconnected me randomly," says fish. "Then it continued disconnecting me repeatedly every 30 to 60 seconds.

"I went through the usual litany of rebooting, trying a different computer, trying a different network, etc. Every time I got the help desk involved, they pulled a bunch of different logs that basically just said 'disconnected' without any cause given.

"After several rounds of changes that miraculously fixed it, then suddenly stopped working again, the issue got escalated to a high-enough tier that an answer was forthcoming.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 19, 2018

Critics warn Microsoft it needs to fix broken update process
The latest fiasco to befall Windows 10 - Microsoft two weeks ago pulled the fall feature upgrade from distribution and urged those already with a copy not to install it - has triggered calls for the company to get its act together.

"Microsoft really needs to get a handle on this. They're running out of time," said Chris Goettl, product manager with client security and management vendor Ivanti, when asked his reaction to the show-stopping problem of deleted user files. "If Microsoft wants to continue down this track of the Windows 10 [rapid release] model, its upgrades and updates must be of better quality than they have been."

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 19, 2018

Microsoft releases a big bunch of bug fixes for older versions of Win10
Remember how patches always came on Tuesdays?

Looks like we're back to getting patches - sometimes large patches - on random days of the week. Let's look at them chronologically.

Windows 7 Servicing Stack tag team Microsoft has a mess on its hands because the Win7 update installer isn't smart enough to update itself before installing new updates. I talked about that last week. Those of you still using the, ahem, most popular version of Windows have been treated to a roller coaster ride of behind-the-scene antics trying to get this month's Monthly Rollup chicken to match up with this month's newly refurbished "KB 3177467-v2" Servicing Stack egg.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 19, 2018

Policies and paper trails -- our new best friends
This IT pilot fish works with lots of sensitive data -- and that means really sensitive, such as child abuse investigations.

"Until a few years ago, I had access to all that data, so I could write ad-hoc reports against it," says fish. "We 'systems' people were given access to everything, so we could troubleshoot application problems for the users.

"Then one day I was called into the CEO's office. He told me that according to the logs, I did a search against the Child Welfare data for a particular family on a date and time six months earlier -- and wanted to know why I did the search."

As best fish can recall, he was doing the search to troubleshoot a particular report that one caseworker was trying to run. To do that, he used his own workstation to duplicate the steps that the caseworker took to get to the error.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 18, 2018

Blockchain to generate more than $10.6B in revenue by 2023
Driven mainly by financial technology (fintech) investments, blockchain has seen a fast uptick in adoption for application development and pilot tests in a number of industries and will generate more than $10.6 billion in revenue by 2023, according to a new report from ABI Research in New York. 

That revenue figure is expected to come mainly from software sales and services.

[ Further reading: What is FinTech (and how has it evolved)? ] Driving much of the interest in blockchain are multinational corporations rolling out proofs-of-concept and pilot programs, moves that have bolstered the credibility of and investment in the distributed ledger technology, according to ABI Research director Michela Menting, the report's lead author.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 18, 2018

Atlassian revamps Jira Software, adds roadmaps tool
Atlassian has overhauled its Jira Software Cloud issue-tracking application, adding a simplified user experience, new third-party integrations and a product roadmap tool.

The Australian company has been laying the foundation to update Jira for a while, breaking down the application, created in 2002, into smaller microservices and moving it to the Amazon Web Services cloud. The latest stage in Jira's redevelopment is to modernize the user experience and interface.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 18, 2018

Google's most enthusiastic users have good reason to be wary
If you're reading this column, there's a decent chance you're among Google's most enthusiastic users — y'know, the type of person who's super-tuned in to the company's latest launches and is always eager to try out the exciting new app or service of the moment.

And if you are such an individual, there's also a decent chance you're feeling a bit dispirited and let down right about now. The truth is, I can't blame you. I feel that way myself.

I'm not talking about the usual "Holy moly, Google's watching my every move!" kind of concern. No — if you're a Google superuser, you're well aware of the company's business model and the options available to you in that regard. What I'm talking about is the pattern Google has established of drawing its most dedicated users into new services with lofty visions and grand promises — and then, once said users have thoroughly invested in adopting those services and integrating them into their lives, changing its tune and abandoning the efforts entirely.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 18, 2018

The best office apps for Android
The days of taking care of business exclusively in an office are over. You've got a powerful productivity gadget in your pocket practically 24/7, after all — and with the right set of apps, you can stay synced with the same spreadsheets, documents and presentations that are on your desktop and work with them seamlessly from anywhere.

Best of all? Achieving that level of connectivity on Android no longer requires a compromise. It's been a long time coming, but the bar has really been raised when it comes to office app quality in the Google Play Store over the past few years. The question now isn't if you can find a worthwhile set of office apps for your phone but rather which set of commendable offerings makes the most sense for you.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 18, 2018

How to use the Shodan search engine to secure an enterprise's internet presence
Shodan, a search engine for all ports within the internet, can help enterprises identify and lock down security vulnerabilities. Senior writer J.M. Porup and content producer Juliet Beauchamp talk through the security scenarios.

Enterprise Application News
Oct 17, 2018

What's in the latest Chrome update?
Google this week upgraded Chrome to version 70, following through on a promise made to disable automatic sign-in after users and privacy advocates complained about changes in the prior edition.

Chrome also sported patches for 23 security vulnerabilities as Google paid researchers $22,000 in bug bounties.

Chrome updates in the background, so in most cases users can simply relaunch the browser to install the latest version. To manually update, select "About Google Chrome" from the Help menu under the vertical ellipsis at the upper right; the resulting tab either shows the browser has been updated or displays the download-and-upgrade process before presenting a "Relaunch" button. New-to-Chrome users can download it from this Google site.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 17, 2018

Microsoft Patch Alert: October's been a nightmare
This month's bad patches made headlines. Lots of headlines. For good reason.

You have my sympathy if you clicked "Check for updates" and got all of the files in your Documents and Photos folders deleted. Even if you didn't become a "seeker" (didn't manually check for updates) your month may have been filled with blue screens, odd chicken-and-egg errors, and destroyed audio drivers — and Edge and your UWP ("Metro" Store) apps might have been kicked off the internet.

You didn't need to lift a finger.

[ Further reading: Windows 10 update (and retirement) calendar: Mark these dates ] Worst Windows 10 rollout ever Hard to believe that Windows 10 version rollouts could get any worse, but this month hit the bottom of a nearly bottomless barrel. Some folks who clicked "Check for updates" wound up with a brand spanking new copy of Win10 version 1809 — and all of the files in their \Documents, \Pictures, \Music, \Videos and other folders disappeared. I have a series of articles on that topic, arranged chronologically:

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 17, 2018

Review: Google's Pixel 3 has looks and smarts but isn't the best for biz
It's going much too far to say that flagship Android smartphones have all become the same, but the differences between their hardware have become pretty narrow. Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, OLED screen, Gorilla Glass — if you were buying strictly off a spec sheet, it's become fairly difficult to make a mistake if you're picking from among the top four or five phones or vendors.To read this article in full, please click here

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