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   NEWS: ENTERPRISE APPLICATION NEWS
Enterprise Application News
Jan 24, 2020

Google and Microsoft have gone too far
Google and Microsoft are using dark pattern design to trick or force users to do things they never intended. Is it time to switch to more ethical search engines? (We list 10 alternatives.)

Enterprise Application News
Jan 24, 2020

Get the January 2020 Patch Tuesday patches installed
This month has seen a whole lotta hand waving and sky-is-falling-caliber rhetoric, but the reality is much more prosaic. If you aren't running a major network (and thus aren't susceptible to the imminent problems with Remote Desktop Gateway, the Citrix network bugs or the whopping 334 patches in Oracle), there's been little reason to install this month's updates. 

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 24, 2020

Prepare for entry-level to advanced CompTIA exams with this $89 bundle
Modern companies rely on capable IT professionals to manage their networks. However, the IT landscape is always evolving. If you want to stay up to date with the latest technologies and advance in your IT career, you need to earn certifications. CompTIA is one of the most popular certification vendors because it teaches you versatile, vendor-neutral skills, and you can learn them and prepare for CompTIA's cert exams with this $89 bundle.

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Enterprise Application News
Jan 24, 2020

What does it mean to be a human in a world of computing?
If you're interested in learning about the history of the computer industry or even if you just want to figure out how to lead an enterprise technology company, then you should take a look.

The Computer History Museum I think millions of computer users will have heard of the Computer History Museum, a world-class institution in Mountain View, California.

It's a place in which you can learn everything about the history of the technologies which continue to transform the way humans interact with each other and with the world.

Being human in a computer world "What does it mean to be a human in a world of computing?" asks Dan'l Lewin, President and CEO, Computer History Museum in the latest StoriesHere podcast.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 24, 2020

Need-to-know
It's Cold War days, and on his first day at a defense contractor, this pilot fish is taken to lunch by his new boss. Who has some advice upon leaving the campus: Remove your ID badge. He explained that foreign government agents were suspected of showing up in local restaurants and bars looking for employees of the contractor.

Three decades on, fish still follows the advice, though the Cold War is long over. And he has extended it to another sphere: He never wears conference badges outside the venue. He calls them "Mug-me" tags.

Send Sharky your true tales of IT life — no ID required — at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

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Enterprise Application News
Jan 24, 2020

10 ways Android and Windows 10 can work well together
If you regularly use a Windows 10 PC and an Android phone or tablet, there are several Android apps you can install that can seamlessly link the flow of information between the two. For instance, you can start a quick note on your phone, then finish it later on your Windows 10 PC, or you can receive the same alert on both devices for an appointment.

The following Windows 10-friendly Android apps are all from Microsoft — and all free. To get the kind of interoperability described above, you need to be signed into each of the apps on your Android device with the same Microsoft online account you use to sign into your Windows 10 computer.

1. Cortana: Sync reminders between your Windows PC and Android device The Cortana app for Android lets you create reminders that will sync with, and send notifications to, your Windows 10 PC. To set a reminder in the Cortana app for Android, tap the three-dot icon on the upper-right of the app's main screen, tap Reminders, tap "Remember to…" on the next screen, and enter a name for your reminder to the right of the circle icon.

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Enterprise Application News
Jan 23, 2020

Atlassian expands Jira roadmaps for better project status visibility
Atlassian has expanded the roadmapping functions in Jira Software in a bid to offer users greater insight into the progress of their software development projects. 

The update comes a year after Atlassian introduced its "next-gen" Jira Software, with roadmaps as one of the key new features.

Roadmaps can provide a high-level view of tasks under way, show how that work relates to specific items in each project, and can be shared with a range of stakeholders, including  executives and and cross-functional partners, according to Atlassian.

The company said the feature was an immediate hit: 45% of Jira Software customers were accessing roadmaps within a month and active use is now above 50%. 

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 23, 2020

Microsoft Patch Alert: January 2020 patches look relatively benign
The big patching problems this month fell at the feet of admins who had to deal with an unholy mess of pressing exposures: Fixing the holes in Microsoft's RD Gateway (CVE-2020-0610; see Susan Bradley's Patch Watch, paywalled); dealing with Server 2008 R2 systems that booted to Recovery mode after installing the January patches; scrambling to pick up after breaches in Citrix networking products; or the 334 Oracle security patches. They all took a toll.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 23, 2020

The 20-minute Android tune-up
Ah, the beginning of a new year: What better time to clean up, start fresh, and make sure your various work spaces are primed for productivity?

Making your physical desk presentable is all on you (seriously, pal, would it kill ya to do a little dusting once in a while?), but when it comes to that virtual office in your pocket — y'know, that shiny ol' smartphone of yours — I'm here to help.

A handful of simple-seeming steps can go a long way in clearing out the virtual clutter, y'see, and turning your Android phone back into the optimal work companion it oughta be. And best of all? It shouldn't take you more than 20 minutes to complete.

So pop open your hood, put on the nearest pair of coveralls, and get ready to get your hands metaphorically dirty: It's time to step into the garage and get your mobile device in tip-top shape for 2020.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 23, 2020

Apple says it's healthy to be sceptical about digital health
Is technology really good for your health? Can Apple really make a difference in future healthcare? Questions like this are all perfectly appropriate, argues Apple's VP health, Dr Sumbul Desai.

You have to test what tech firms claim Desai leads Apple's teams in developing health focused software and sensors, such as Activity, Health, ECG reading on Apple Watch and the company's selection of health-focused research apps. She joined the company in 2017.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 23, 2020

Apple says it's healthy to be skeptical about digital health
Is technology really good for your health? Can Apple really make a difference in future healthcare? Questions like this are all perfectly appropriate, argues Apple's vice president for health, Dr. Sumbul Desai.

You have to test what tech firms claim Desai leads Apple's teams in developing health-focused software and sensors, such as Activity, Health, ECG reading on Apple Watch and the company's selection of health-focused research apps. She joined the company in 2017.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 23, 2020

Microsoft to force Bing on Chrome users in the enterprise
Microsoft quietly announced last week that it will change the default search engine of Google's Chrome to Bing - Microsoft's own search service - on personal computers running Office 365 ProPlus, the productivity applications that serve as the heart of the enterprise-grade subscriptions.

The swap of search defaults within Chrome will begin next month and wrap up in July, the timing dependent on when corporate IT administrators have scheduled Office 365 ProPlus' upgrades.

"Starting with Version 2002 of Office 365 ProPlus, an extension for Microsoft Search in Bing will be installed that makes Bing the default search engine for the Google Chrome web browser," Microsoft said in the support document announcing the switcheroo. "This extension will be installed with new installations of Office 365 ProPlus or when existing installations of Office 365 ProPlus are updated."

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Enterprise Application News
Jan 23, 2020

Throwback Thursday: Help is right around the corner
Sysadmin pilot fish is working at home when he gets a trouble ticket that was logged the night before.

"The guy reported that he can't print from an application in location 1 (about 10 miles away)," says fish. "He spoke to the help desk in location 3 (about 300 miles away), and left a location-4 number (about 40 miles away).

"Location 3 passed it to the applications admins in location 5 (about 180 miles away), who called me at location 2 (about 15 miles away) last night.

"I can't get the guy on the phone. Try to ring him on the location-4 number this morning, still wondering why he can't print in location 1, to find it's the guy who lives at the end of my road, who is also home as he got called out last night.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 22, 2020

Will Apple's iPhone 9 be ‘Made in India'?
The morning runes suggest Apple may be preparing to increase the scale of iPhone manufacturing in India, as component orders, market speculation and news from supply chain partners combine to suggest just that.

The iPhone 9 unicorn is (almost) here, maybe Industry watchers believe Apple will very soon replace iPhone 8 with a new device called, (appropriately enough given the company's naming conventions) "iPhone 9".

We've glanced at the rumors already, but here's a quick reprise of what we think we know:

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Enterprise Application News
Jan 22, 2020

Prep to earn some of the most in-demand IT certifications with this bundle
If you're struggling to get ahead in the increasingly competitive world of IT, you may need to have more certifications under your belt. With nine courses and over 1,000 lessons led by industry pros, the Complete 2020 IT Certification Exam Prep Mega Bundle will help you earn some of the most valuable certifications in the field, and it's available for over 95% off at $39.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 22, 2020

Work toward a top Cisco certification with this $39 prep course
Adding certifications to your resume is the best way to get ahead in the increasingly lucrative world of IT. Beginning in 2020, the renowned Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification will be replaced with an entirely new certification that encompasses several subjects at once, and the Complete 2020 Cisco CCNA Certification Prep Course will get you up to speed for just $39.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 22, 2020

Can developers dictate how their software is used?
The politics of the Silicon Valley are colliding with customers and impacting innocent bystanders who put their trust in open source software.

Enterprise Application News
Jan 22, 2020

Galaxy users, take note: Samsung's probably selling your data
Relying on Google services, as most of us Android-carrying primates do, comes with a certain tradeoff. It's no big secret or anything: Google makes its money by selling ads, which are more effective when they're catered to our interests — the subjects we tend to search about, the things we buy (when Google knows about 'em, at least), and often even the places we go with our location-enabled phones in tow (and/or in toe, for the monkeys among us).

That's all par for the course, as I frequently say — part of the deal we all accept when we use Google services. That's what makes it possible for Google to give us top-notch apps for free, and it's also what opens the door to certain advanced features that wouldn't be possible without that information's presence.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 22, 2020

Time waits for no code
This pilot fish working for a large aerospace and defense contractor finds the time reporting onerous, and the reason is not a badge of honor for the company. It had gotten into a bit of trouble for telling employees to add cost overruns from fixed-price contracts to cost-plus contracts.

Since the government doesn't like being bilked, the company had to refund a lot of money and implement new time-tracking and -reporting procedures.

Codes had to be looked up, and fish can easily spend more than a quarter of an hour per day just entering his time. Since the reporting is done in increments of 15 minutes, he asks what the charge code is for entering time. Too soon. No one appreciated the humor.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 21, 2020

Feeling revenue squeeze, Mozilla lays off 70
Mozilla, maker of Firefox, last week laid off 70 employees, about 7% of its paid workforce, according to a report by TechCrunch.

"You may recall that we expected to be earning revenue in 2019 and 2020 from new subscription products as well as higher revenue from sources outside of search," wrote Mozilla Foundation chairman Mitchell Baker, in an internal memo acquired by TechCrunch. "This did not happen."

Baker noted that the final lay-off tally "may be slightly larger" because of ongoing discussions in the U.K. and France. Mozilla employs more than 1,000 people, the organization said two months ago.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 21, 2020

Tim Cook keeps promising new health features, probably for Apple Watch
The digital health sector should think deeply about what happens next as Apple CEO  Tim Cook has again spoken out about his company's focus on wellness technologies.

Prevention is good for business Cook talked up Apple's plans for digital health with IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan. His focus is very much on prevention, above cure - perhaps reflecting the depth of research and the huge burden of proof required before new technologies can truly be declared lifesaving.

"I think you can take that simple idea of having preventive things and find many more areas where technology intersects healthcare, and I think all of our lives would probably be better off for it," said Cook.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 21, 2020

Don't worry about CurveBall just yet — get your Citrix systems patched
Hey, admins! It's been an exciting week, eh?

Most of you have been inundated with requests — demands — that you patch all of your systems immediately to protect them from the highly publicized CVE-2020-0601 Crypt32.dll security hole, known as "Chain Of Fools" or "CurveBall." 

While you were scrambling to comply with the NSA's unique advertising, abetted by almost every security expert on the planet, a funny thing happened. There are no in-the-wild exploits for the ol' CurveBall. But there are lots and lots of Citrix ADC and Citrix Gateway systems under attack, using a security hole announced in December called CVE-2019-19781. 

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 21, 2020

Is your Gmail inbox setup slowing you down?
An inbox is an inbox — right?

You'd certainly think so. After all, how many ways could there possibly be to view email?

The answer, as it turns out, is quite a few — especially when it comes to Gmail. It's easy to overlook or forget, but Google's email service now offers the choice of five distinct inbox arrangements. And within each of those setups lie even more options for fine-tuning and customizing how your email reaches you.

We're talking about more than just basic themes here, too: These are completely different ways to experience email, each with its own unique set of characteristics and advantages. And finding the right arrangement for your own personal style of working can make a world of difference in your ability to manage email efficiently — and keep your brain from suffering an inbox-induced meltdown.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 21, 2020

Time-Machine Tuesday: That's really escalating the problem
Pilot fish gets a help desk call from a user who says he's bringing his laptop to IT to fix a problem he's having with printing.

No problem, fish says, we handle that kind of issue all the time.

But the rest of the day passes without the user appearing.

Next morning, user's boss does show up at the IT department with the laptop, and explains that the user is out sick.

But the laptop clearly has more than printing problems. The display is dangling by a cable, the keyboard is unusable, and the machine is pretty much trashed.

"Turns out the user was bringing the laptop to the IT office," says fish. "But while crossing between buildings, he was unlucky enough to walk under a large falling icicle, which not only seriously injured the user but sent the laptop flying.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 20, 2020

How to avoid collaboration burnout
While collaboration tools are pervasive in the enterprise, practices for smartly managing the flow of information created by and in them is not. As a result, these tools often lead to overload and burnout.

Enterprise Application News
Jan 20, 2020

Former U.S. regulator leads effort to create digital dollar
The former chair of the Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC) has partnered with Accenture to create the non-profit Digital Dollar Project, which plans to explore the creation of a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

"The digital 21st century is underserved by an analogue reserve currency," said Chris Giancarlo, former CFTC chair under Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. "A digital dollar would help future-proof the greenback and allow individuals and global enterprises to make payments in dollars irrespective of space and time. 

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Jan 20, 2020

Garbage in, nothing out
It's way back, when all input is typed on a command line, and this pilot fish gets his first exposure to computers as a college freshman. He has to run a program on the school's mainframe as part of a statistics class. He has a list of 10 sample numbers. First, he has to enter the number of samples, then enter each of the samples, and finally sit back and watch as the computer spews out the average, the mean, the standard deviation and all kinds of other statistical measures.

But in entering the number of samples, his finger bounces and he inadvertently types 100 instead of 10 — and then doesn't notice. So after he enters his 10 samples, the computer wants more. Fish enters the samples again; the computer still wants more. As a flustered first-time user, he types, "Done," "Quit" and "Exit," all to no avail. He knows some other words with four letters and tries those. No help.

To read this article in full, please click here



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.

To read this article in full, please click here



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).

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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.

To read this article in full, please click here



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.

To read this article in full, please click here



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.

To read this article in full, please click here



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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.")

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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(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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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