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ComputerWorld
Jul 17, 2018

How to handle Windows 10 updates
Confused about how updates work in Windows 10? Join the club. In this latest version of its operating system, Microsoft has transformed what was once a straightforward procedure into a seemingly complicated process that varies according to whether you have Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro or an enterprise or education edition. As a result, there have been lots of misperceptions about how Windows 10 Update works, and how to best use it.

Get into the fast lane with the Insider ProgramTo read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jul 17, 2018

Microsoft lures Windows 2008 users to cloud with offer of extra support
Microsoft is dangling three years of additional support in front of customers running Windows Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008 if they move the servers' workloads to Redmond's cloud-based Azure.

SQL Server 2008 -- and its follow-up, SQL Server 2008 R2 -- exit support July 9, 2019, or less than a year from now. Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will be retired from support about six months later, on Jan. 14, 2020. After those dates, the server software will not receive security updates, leaving them vulnerable to attack by hackers exploiting unpatched security flaws.

[ Related: The best places to find Windows 10 ISOs] In an effort to entice customers to move to the cloud, Microsoft last week said it will provide three additional years of support to Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 when those systems' workloads are migrated to Azure virtual machines or Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, respectively. (The latter is a new service set to debut in the fourth quarter.) Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 workloads transferred to Azure will receive fixes for vulnerabilities rated "Critical" or "Important," until January 2023; SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will get the patches for bugs designated as "Critical," with the end of extra support coming in July 2022.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 17, 2018

Stung by a festering pile of bugs on Patch Tuesday, MS releases 27 more patches
In what is becoming a common occurrence, Microsoft's Patch Tuesday brought along so many bugs that they necessitated a remediation round. This month, unusually, it took only six days to get the exterminators out.

Since these fixes are aimed at four specific bugs introduced on Patch Tuesday, they don't include the massive patches normally appearing on the second Patch Whateverday of the month. My guess is we'll see at least one more big set of Windows patches before the month is out. Oh, boy.

Windows July patches, version 2 Yesterday, Monday, July 16, Microsoft released 27 new security patches for Windows, bringing the total number of patches so far this month up to 156. The new patches fall into six separate groups:

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 17, 2018

Get ready for the next silly smartphone superlative
Smartphone marketing tends to revolve around superlatives — you know, words or phrases that suggest being the most something in all of the land.

The specific quality in question shifts pretty regularly (hey, you've gotta keep it fresh, right?). For a while, way back when, the boasting was all about having the phone with the most processing power. Since then, in no particular order, we've seen phone-makers focus on having the biggest, the smallest, the thinnest, the brightest, the most pixel-packing, and the least-bezel-showing devices. Oh, and don't forget megapixels. For the longest time, having the phone with the most megapixels was about as good as you could get in terms of ad-ready bragging rights.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 17, 2018

Oracle rolls out its own blockchain service
Oracle wants in on the blockchain-as-a-service game, too.

The company on Monday announced the availability of a fully-managed blockchain service over which businesses can automate processes over an immutable electronic ledger, such as tracking goods in a supply chain or handling customer financial transactions.

Blockchain-as-a-service offerings have grown over the past three years, enabling businesses to launch proof-of-concepts to test the distributed ledger technology without the capital costs required by an internal deployment.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 17, 2018

It's a Y2K miracle!
On the run-up to Y2K, this consultant pilot fish gets the job of making sure a state government department has all its patches and firmware up to date for the cutover.

"One of the sysadmins was more of a Lotus Notes admin and not really familiar with patching and firmware ugrades," says fish. "But he watched me as I patched a ton of Netware servers.

"One morning as I walked into the building I noticed him in the hallway, bouncing off the walls waiting for me to arrive.

"'You gotta help me,' he said. 'I upgraded the firmware on the Windows NT mail server and now it just blue screens!'

"I asked him if he upgraded the device drivers for the RAID controller too -- and just got that deer-in-the-headlights look of what's that for?

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 16, 2018

Enterprise PC-buying spree spurs first shipment climb in six years
Shipments of traditional personal computers during the second quarter of 2018 grew by nearly 3% year over year, the largest increase since 2012, research firm IDC said last week.

According to IDC, computer makers shipped approximately 62.3 million systems in the June quarter. Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple and Acer were the top five OEMs (original equipment manufacturers); their shipments represented 78% of the total.

[ Related: How to protect Windows 10 PCs from ransomware ] Rival research company Gartner pegged second-quarter growth at 1.4% and pointed out that it was the first year-over-year increase in 25 quarters. Gartner said that total shipments in the June quarter reached 62.1 million, with the same top five OEMs accounting for 74% of the global number.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 16, 2018

IDG Contributor Network: Lawmakers investigate how AI in Apple, Google invade privacy
We all carry smartphones. It's become one of the most important things we grab along with our keys and wallet when we walk out of our home in the morning. However, companies are going under the microscope with how they intrude on our privacy with these devices. It started with Facebook and Marc Zuckerberg in front of Congress. Now it's Apple and Google. What's next?

After the recent eye opening and jaw dropping testimony from Marc Zuckerberg and Facebook lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are finally getting more interested in how companies take, use and abuse our privacy in order to grow.

Now this investigation is spreading to smartphone makers Apple and Google with their iPhone, Android smartphones and Gmail. Who's next? AI like what we use in Amazon Alexa and Google Home are one of the hottest new technologies and areas of growth. They are always listening to every word we say.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 16, 2018

How to use Apple Maps more effectively
While we wait for Apple to implement its promised deep changes to Maps, here is how to use a few of the lesser-known features in the company's navigation software.

Take control of Maps I'm going to skip the basic stuff about using Maps. In this short guide you'll learn how to:

Scroll Maps the easy way How to find and add pit stops to an existing route How to export a Map as a PDF How to find the car What Apple Watch is trying to tell you There are lots of other Maps features. Take a look here and here for other ideas.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 16, 2018

The show must go on!
It's far away and long ago -- so long ago, in fact, that there are still IT trade shows where vendors can show off their wares, says a pilot fish working at just such a show.

"I was on hand to set up a demo machine," fish says. "The equipment arrived at a loading dock on one floor, but needed placement on a mezzanine area half a flight of stairs down.

"The person in charge of the demo was anxious to load the software and ensure everything was ready. But after moving some of the equipment down a ramp, the folks responsible for moving the 19-inch racks disappeared and were nowhere to be found...for a long time.

"A marketing guy returned from his liquid lunch, and conspired with me -- I was, somewhat sadly, naive -- to make the exhibitor happier by moving a rack down to the mezzanine.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 15, 2018

6 efficiency-enhancing Android apps
Your phone is now essentially your personal assistant — and like any aide, it needs the right set of tools to do its job effectively.

The good news? As an Android user, you've got no shortage of efficiency-enhancing options. Unlike other mobile platforms, Android affords you the opportunity to customize and control the core user interface to make it better suited to your needs. And while the more advanced UI-adjusting tools tend to be targeted at the power-user crowd, you don't have to be a card-carrying geek to take advantage of what they offer.

Behold: six innovative apps that'll empower your favorite high-tech helper and allow it to reach its full productivity potential.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 14, 2018

Why your smartphone needs 5 cameras
Who knew that the camera in your phone would turn out to be the most popular, useful and important technology in your life?

The human race will take 1.3 trillion photos this year, according to Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends. Smartphones will be used for 87% of them.

Most of these pictures are useless and frivolous — not only selfies, but bad selfies that will never even be posted. Don't even get me started about videos. Smartphone cameras are responsible for the biggest waste of storage space in history.

But a huge number of these photos are valuable for business or professional uses.

Businesspeople of all kinds are increasingly using smartphone cameras as all-purpose sensors for harvesting data from the environment, augmented reality, quick data entry and far more.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 13, 2018

Chat happens: Your guide to 11 group-chat services
Everyone knows the secret to success — personal and business alike — is good communication. But in what form? If you're trying to communicate with a group in real time, you're no doubt familiar with the old standby: conference calls. You know: those mind-numbing phone meetings in which talkers overlap, voice quality is terrible, half the people aren't paying attention and somebody's dog barks intermittently throughout the call.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jul 13, 2018

Surface Pro 2 owners wonder: Will Microsoft ship TPM firmware that works?
If you have a Surface Pro 2, you're in for yet another runaround. This time, the controversy surrounds the SP2's TPM chip - the chip that controls access to BitLocker and some other disk encryption technology.

[ Further reading: 8 steps to install Windows 10 patches like a pro ] The SP2 shipped with an older, less-secure version of the TPM firmware. If your machine has an older version of the TPM firmware, you see a Win10 Defender warning like the one in this screenshot.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 13, 2018

Microsoft yanks buggy Office 2016 patch KB 4018385, republishes all of this month's patch downloads
As I reported yesterday, the July 2018 Windows and Office patches teem with bugs. We're just beginning to see the fallout.

The July 3 non-security Office 2016 patch KB 4018385 is officially yanked. If you don't recall KB 4018385 — a small patch in a sea of Office fixes — the original KB article describes it thusly:

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ComputerWorld
Jul 13, 2018

Adobe has killed the ‘iPad is not productive' story
If I had a dollar for every time I've heard someone say "iPads are not productive" I'd have a lot more dollars. And they'd still be wrong. Adobe next year will kill that myth completely, as it brings Photoshop and then its other creative apps across to Apple's pro tablet, a report claims.

Get things done with an iPad Adobe apparently plans to introduce Photoshop for iPads in 2019, the story claims.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 13, 2018

Here come the first blockchain smartphones: What you need to know
After months of speculation, Taiwanese electronics company Huawei Technologies Ltd. (HTC) has confirmed it will be releasing a blockchain-enabled smartphone this year that will allow users to securely store cryptocurrency offline and act as a compute node in a blockchain network.

"We want to double and triple the number of nodes of Ethereum and Bitcoin," HTC said in its marketing material for the device. The new smartphone is expected to be able to work with multiple blockchain protocols allowing for interoperability between them.

[ Further reading: Review: Samsung's new Galaxy S9 phones make excellence routine ] In addition, the HTC Exodus blockchain-enabled smartphone will allow owners to play CryptoKitties, a decentralized app (Dapp) game. Dapps are applications that run across multiple nodes on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 13, 2018

How to win friends and influence people, eventually
It's New Year's Eve, and this consultant pilot fish gets a call from a VP at a big customer site on the other side of the continent.

"The caller explains with considerable animation that he and his fellow execs decided at the office celebration to send the IT operations staff home and start the year-end processing themselves," says fish.

"Things are not going well, and they expect me to talk them out of their dilemmas, as the year-end processing is super critical."

That must have been some serious celebrating, fish thinks. And after a bit of conversation with the VP, his fears are confirmed: With these execs in this condition, the likelihood of walking them through the process is vanishingly small.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 12, 2018

Google flips switch on Chrome's newest defensive technology
Google has switched on a defensive technology in Chrome that will make it much more difficult for Spectra-like attacks to steal information such as log-on credentials.

Called "Site Isolation," the new security technology has a decade-long history. But most recently it's been cited as a shield to guard against threats posed by Spectre, the processor vulnerability sniffed out by Google's own engineers more than year ago. Google unveiled Site Isolation in late 2017 within Chrome 63, making it an option for enterprise IT staff members, who could customize the defense to shield workers from threats harbored on external sites. Company administrators could use Windows GPOs - Group Policy Objects - as well as command-line flags prior to wider deployment via group policies.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 12, 2018

Microsoft takes on Slack with a free version of Teams
In another sign of how heated the collaboration software market is getting, Microsoft has launched a free version of Teams, offering access to the group messaging and collaboration app without requiring an Office 365 subscription.

Teams was launched as a rival to popular team chat platform Slack - which already offers a free version - at the start of last year; Microsoft bundled it with other Office 365 apps such as Yammer, One Drive and other Office tools.

[ Further reading: Chat happens: Your guide to 11 group-chat services ] As of March, some 200,000 organizations were using the chat app - up from 125,000 in September - though Microsoft doesn't break out monthly active user figures. 

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 12, 2018

How to get Android-P-like features on any phone right now
Android P is almost ready for primetime, with likely just a month or two left until its official release. Let's be honest, though: Unless you have one of Google's Pixel phones, there's a decent chance you'll be waiting a while for the software to show up on your device. And even when it does get there, some of P's most prominent features might not be available to you.

But hey, this is Android, right? Developers have tons of freedom to tweak the system interface and change the way things work. So — yup, you guessed it, Mabel — with the right set of tools, you can get some incredibly useful Android-P-like features on any phone today. In fact, you can get features that act like their Android P equivalents but crank up the productivity potential even further, with extra options and opportunities for customization.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 12, 2018

Patch Tuesday problems abound, Server 2016 crashes, and a .Net patch goes down in flames
You know it's going to be an Alice in Wonderland month when some sites report that Microsoft plugged 54 vulnerabilities on Patch Tuesday, while others report 53. Fact is, patching has become so brutal — and so banal — that there's no consensus on counting, much less on what's good and bad.

Suffice to say that, once again this month, there was a huge number of security patches (129 individual patches, according to the Microsoft Update Catalog), with no pressing security fixes unless you're using the Edge browser or Internet Explorer. Microsoft changed Win10 version 1803 to "Semi-Annual Channel," but the term now means less than it ever has before. If that's possible.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 12, 2018

8 things we learned about Apple Car this week
Legal action and recruitment mean we've learned a lot about the Apple Car this week, and it seems the technology it is developing is also being deployed across the company's wider ecosystem. Here's a few things we've learned this month:

Apple has thousands working on a car Apple has already confirmed it is working on a car. We've heard rumors that it has a huge team working on developing some kind of vehicle. We know now those claims to be true, because charges made against former Apple engineer Xiaolang Zhang reveal the company has at least 5,000 employees authorised to access data on its autonomous driving efforts.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 12, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Hey mister, got the time?
This law-enforcement agency stores its mainframe data with time stamps on every record. That can be important, especially in court cases, says a database admin pilot fish there.

"In my role as a DBA, I have the chance to educate the rest of the IT staff," fish says. "I was showing some programmers how easy it is to use the 'time zone' information available from the operating system."

Fish tells the crowd that the time-zone setting shows hours and minutes offset from UTC -- what used to be called Greenwich Mean Time.

Hours and minutes? Yes, fish explains, there are places where the official local time is shifted by an extra half-hour or even 45 minutes.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 12, 2018

Delaware to test blockchain-based business filing system
More than half of all U.S. publicly-traded companies - and two-thirds of Fortune 500 firms - are incorporated in Delaware because of its business-friendly laws and well-established corporate legal precedence.

The state, which doesn't have a sales tax, gets nearly one-third of its revenue from franchise taxes on more than a million corporate entities, accounting for $1.3 billion of its $4.2 billion general coffer. Making incorporating in the state more attractive is seen as a money maker and competitive advantage against other states.

To that end, Delaware in October plans to launch a proof-of-concept for a blockchain-based business filing system that will allow corporations to take advantage of smart contract technology to automatically track stocks and collateral assets in real time; being able to do so will give lenders and borrowers a more efficient and accurate record with which to transact business and meet state and federal regulations.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 12, 2018

Delaware to test of a blockchain-based business filing system
More than half of all U.S. publicly-traded companies - and two-thirds of Fortune 500 firms - are incorporated in Delaware because of its business-friendly laws and well-established corporate legal precedence.

The state, which doesn't have a sales tax, gets nearly one-third of its revenue from franchise taxes on more than a million corporate entities, accounting for $1.3 billion of its $4.2 billion general coffer. Making incorporating in the state more attractive is seen as a money maker and competitive advantage against other states.

To that end, Delaware in October plans to launch a proof-of-concept for a blockchain-based business filing system that will allow corporations to take advantage of smart contract technology to automatically track stocks and collateral assets in real time; being able to do so will give lenders and borrowers a more efficient and accurate record with which to transact business and meet state and federal regulations.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 11, 2018

7 tools to supplement (or supplant) PowerPoint
It can be a challenge to create presentations that are relevant and engaging and make your customer want to say, "Yes, yes, yes!"To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jul 11, 2018

IDG Contributor Network: Microsoft Surface Go: rethinking the millennial laptop/tablet and creating an IT bridge product
This week Microsoft (disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author) announced the Microsoft Surface Go. This is an original iPad sized Surface product with a base price of just under $400 that uses a Pentium processor and has 9 hours of battery life. While the iPad is clearly the competitive target, particularly in education, you can also see it as a hedge against the Chromebook which has been making inroads in education and in a lot of trials, but few (if any yet) successful deployments in the enterprise market. 

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 11, 2018

Microsoft puts Dynamics 365 on twice-a-year release cadence
Microsoft now plans to refresh its Dynamics 365 enterprise planning and customer relationship management software twice each year, on essentially the same schedule as Windows and the Office 365 suite.

"We are transforming how we do service updates for Dynamics 365 (online). We will deliver two major releases per year - April and October - offering new capabilities and functionality," Mo Osborne, the COO of Microsoft's Business Applications Engineering group, wrote in a July 6 post to a company blog.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 11, 2018

Office 365: A guide to the updates
Office 365 subscribers always have the latest version of Microsoft Office — currently Office 2016. They also get more frequent software updates than those who have purchased Office 2016 without a subscription, which means subscribers have access to the latest features, security patches and bug fixes. But it can be hard to keep track of the changes in each update and know when they're available. We're doing this for you, so you don't have to.

Following are key updates to Office 365 for Windows since Office 2016 was released in September 2015 — all the 2017 updates and the most important ones from 2016 and late 2015, with the latest releases shown first. We'll add info about new updates as they're rolled out.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 11, 2018

Why Microsoft's Surface Go is no 'iPad-killer'
I hoped the ‘iPad-killer' meme had finally kicked the bucket, but I was wrong: the hype is back around Microsoft's overpriced and underpowered Surface Go. I've not used a Surface Go yet (Microsoft could change that) but reports that it's about to kill the iPad are over-exaggerated. Here's why:

It's not an iPad Pro Let's get something out of the way. Surface Go does not compete with the iPad Pro on any metric that matters: it holds a slower processor, offers nothing like the performance, lacks battery life, and doesn't even have the same high-resolution display.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 11, 2018

Do iOS 12 and 'Mojave' mean it's time to dump old hardware?
As developers (and early-bird beta testers) have been working with the various preview releases of iOS 12 this summer, one of the big changes they've seen are performance improvements, particularly for older and/or lower-powered devices. This bodes well for this fall's updates, given that Apple's track record isn't great when it comes to how older hardware handles new iOS releases.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jul 11, 2018

How to be efficient and cost effective (or not)
It's the mid-1990s, and this big corporation is working on a major development project to replace most of its critical systems, says a Unix admin pilot fish working there.

"A major contracting firm was hired to design the development environment and help with development," fish says. "The contractor recommended against purchasing a large Unix machine for development, and suggested purchasing numerous Unix workstations instead.

"By their account, each workstation could support four developers working simultaneously, and machines could be purchased as needed as more developers were brought on board. This would be the most efficient and cost-effective solution, according to them."

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ComputerWorld
Jul 10, 2018

As bitcoin values slide, high-end GPU prices drop, too
The processing power of high-end gaming cards made them ideal for cryptocurrency mining rigs and they were in hot demand when Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital token prices leaped to unprecedented heights in late 2017 and early 2018.

That trend now appears to be reversing; add-in board (AIB) prices appear to be declining and supplies increasing - following the same path down as digital token prices crash.

[ Related: IT buyer's guide to business laptops ] "We have predicted a drop in [application specific processors] as [digital] currencies prices dropped," C. Robert Dow, manager of digital media at Jon Peddie Research, said in an email. "The cost to run the mining rigs is not insignificant, so when the price for the currencies drop..., people will run rigs and choose to dump AIBs on the secondary market hoping to recover some cost."

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 10, 2018

Android P's biggest shift may be one of philosophy
As we enter the final phase in the countdown to Android P's public release, an intriguing new twist is becoming increasingly apparent: More than any Android release before it, Android P is first and foremost about Google's Android phones.

That, my friends — to put it lightly — is a pretty seismic shift.

We first got a whiff of this new reality back at the Google I/O developers' conference in May, when Google Engineering VP Dave Burke made the following disclaimer ahead of unveiling some of Android P's most prominent changes:

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 10, 2018

Apple's App Store: 10 years to change the world
Digital transformation. Artificial Intelligence. The Internet of Things. The mobile workforce. Even photo libraries capable of gathering themselves into their own collections, productivity and team management enhancements via a mobile device. All these profound changes came into effect thanks to three things:

Apple, the iPhone, and the App Store Think what was on the big stage when CEO Steve Jobs presented the first iPhone keynote. The best available device at that time was (in my opinion) the Treo. 

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 10, 2018

Really, it'll be easier that way
VP comes to this pilot fish's office with a new mobile phone -- and a problem.

"She said, 'The email won't work,'" fish reports. "We went through the configuration for her email. Everything looked correct. I had her retype her email password and had her try connecting again. Still no luck.

"I then sent her to an area where I knew the wireless signal was very strong and asked her to try again.

"After a few minutes I went to check on her. 'Email is still not working,' she said.

"Let me have a look, I said.

"The first thing I noticed was that she was not connected to the Wi-Fi. Um, you're not connected to the Wi-Fi, I said.

"She replied, 'Why would I need to do that?'

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 09, 2018

IT buyer's guide to business projectors
When it comes to effectively communicating with potential customers, training employees or collaborating on your company's next-gen gadget design, a good projector setup can help you put your best business foot forward. With the ability to send anything from a computer, phone or tablet across the room and onto a screen, projectors have the power to put your company in the best possible light.

Short-throw projectorsTo read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jul 09, 2018

Make sure Windows Update is temporarily disabled, particularly on Win7
June 2018 was a relatively innocuous patching month, but even amidst the mediocrity there were a handful of persistent problems. We've seen the same pattern repeat  almost every month since the beginning of the year: The first round of Microsoft security patches (notably including Windows 10 patches) introduces bugs, while the second round of patches each month squashes most of them.

It follows, as night unto day, that you'd be well advised to wait out the first onslaught and see if the second round of patches fixes problems introduced by the first.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 09, 2018

What Apple's 32-bit app phase-out on Mojave means to you
Apple said in June it will bar all 32-bit applications from running on up-to-date Macs in little more than a year.

Although the Cupertino, Calif. company has been warning Mac owners when they run 32-bit applications since April and had told customers in June 2017 that the now-current macOS High Sierra would be among the last editions to support 32-bit apps, no banishment date had been set until this year's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

[ Further reading: 40 tips to get the most from your Mac (and macOS 'High Sierra') ] "This year, we're announcing that macOS Mojave is the last release to support 32-bit, at all," said Sebastien Marineau, vice president of software, during a presentation at WWDC in early June. Mojave, also known as macOS 10.14, will release in the fall, most likely in September or October. Developers and users have been testing beta versions of Mojave since last month.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 09, 2018

How to turn your iPhone into a step counter
Have you ever wondered how many steps you take in any working day? The good news is that if you happen to be an iPhone owner you don't need to invest in a step counter - the function is built inside of Apple's life-saving Health app. Here's what you need to know:

What is the Health app? I'm hoping most iPhone users already know about the Health app inside iOS.

Apple's Health app gathers all kinds of health-related data from your iPhone, Apple Watch (if you have one) and apps you are already using.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 09, 2018

IDG Contributor Network: Wireless competition should heat up second half of year
Wireless is one of the hottest and most competitive industries. However, during the first half of this year, it has not been as hot and in-your-face as usual. That's about to change. I predict the second half of this year will see a much louder and hotter competitive playing field. Let me explain why I think this will happen.

AT&T Mobility has been quiet while the company was waiting for the Time Warner merger to be completed. Now that is done. So, I fully expect them to turn the dial back-up to high. I expect to see a higher level of marketing from AT&T on a variety of fronts including wireless, bundled services including pay TV like DirecTV NOW, wireless TV and more, and now with their new asset, WarnerMedia which was called Time Warner.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 09, 2018

The top 3 disruptive FinTech technologies to watch in 2018
The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is widely expected to limit the amount of data companies can use for data mining, but new research suggests that it will actually be a boon for the FinTech industry.

One result of the GDPR is that businesses will have access to honestly sourced data from consumers using a transparent opt-in model, which will be a rich source of information for discovering user patterns in large datasets, according to the report from Juniper Research.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 09, 2018

Who says lowly IT techs don't get any power?
It's early in this pilot fish's long and varied career, and he's sent to a location in a faraway land to do some routine data center maintenance.

"Most of the work got done, but there was a power supply that needed an engineering change order applied," says fish.

"I watched the customer shut down the machine and throw the breaker for the power. Then he left me alone to complete that task.

"I opened the power supply and was preparing to apply the change when the screwdriver in my hand hit a bare ground wire -- to spectacular effect.

"Turns out, in that place, or in that institution, or at least in that case, they fused the ground rather than the live line.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 07, 2018

Enterprises, emotion and the rise of the ‘empathy economy'
Big business is getting emotional.

User interfaces and other aspects of enterprise computing are being increasingly designed to detect the emotional states or moods of users, and also to simulate emotion when they communicate back to the users.

A Gartner report published in January said that within four years, your devices will "know more about your emotional state than your own family."

Deep learning has advanced emotion detection from basic emotions such as happiness, surprise, anger, sadness, fear and disgust to more than 20 more subtle emotions that include awe, happy surprise and hate. (Psychologists say people have 27 different emotions.)

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jul 06, 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.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 06, 2018

5 clever little iCloud tips you'll probably use
While we all resent that Apple provides just 5G of free iCloud storage space, no matter how many of its products you own, most Apple OS owners use the online service. Here's a few little things it does that might make life a little easier.

Lost and found again If you accidentally delete a file, contact, bookmark or calendar item from iCloud you can easily find it and restore it using iCloud online. Visit www.icloud.com and login with your Apple ID; tap the Settings icon and scroll down the page to the Advanced area, here you can choose to Restore Files, Contacts, Calendars and Reminders and Bookmarks. The process can take a few minutes and you may be surprised at some of the files you find still available to you there - don't wait too long as files are only kept here for 30-days. When you find the item(s) you are looking for just tap the checkbox and hit Restore.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 06, 2018

Crank up your Chromebook's cloud-connecting power
A key advantage of using a Chromebook is knowing you could lose your laptop today, sign into a new Chromebook tomorrow, and pick up exactly where you left off — as if nothing had even happened. By the same token, you could sign into practically any other device, Chrome OS or otherwise, and find all the same stuff that's on your Chromebook without any effort.

That's because so much of the Chrome OS experience revolves around the cloud — that big, fluffy series of servers sitting in an undisclosed Google data center and constantly syncing your apps, preferences, and information. (Sounds utterly "cloud"-like, doesn't it?) That mostly invisible system lets a Chromebook transform into your own within seconds of signing in, eliminating all the usual hassle of moving stuff over and getting everything set up the way you like it. It also makes all your Chromebook data readily available wherever you may go.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 06, 2018

Where did THAT come from?!?
This non-profit organization's offices are located on the outskirts of town, and that makes getting a good internet connection iffy, according to a sysadmin pilot fish working there.

"When we finally decided to get high-speed internet, the only choice was wireless," says fish. "Not cellular wireless like you can get today -- just a directional antenna on the roof, pointed at the ISP's access point on the city water tower.

"It wasn't the best, and it took a few days of trips up to the roof of the building to repoint the antenna. But eventually it was working very well, especially compared to the individual dial-up that a lucky few users had before that."

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ComputerWorld
Jul 05, 2018

Windows by the numbers: Windows 10 gains ground but still trails Windows 7
Windows 10 last month for the first time passed the 40% milestone, but adoption still lagged behind the venerable Windows 7, which refused to budge from its dominant spot.

According to California-based analytics vendor Net Applications, Windows 10 added a full percentage point in June, accounting for 35.7% of the user share of all personal computers and 40.4% of all those running Windows last month. (The second number is larger than the first because Windows powered 87.9% of all PCs, not 100%.)

The 40.4% represented an estimated 606 million Windows personal computers, calculated using Microsoft's oft-cited number of 1.5 billion Windows PCs worldwide. Microsoft's most recent claim for Windows 10 was that the operating system was on nearly "700 million ... connected devices," a statistic it touted in early May. However, Microsoft counts not just PCs, but also Xbox gaming consoles, tablets and a small number of Windows-powered smartphones, which run Windows 10.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 05, 2018

Apple plans a little Mac and iPad summer lovin'
Summer flings may not mean very much, but a fresh Apple regulatory filing sure makes it look as if it may plan to spread a little sunshine for Macs and iPads this side of the summer recess.

Summer lovin' Apple has filed five new iPad and five new Mac models with the Eurasian Economic Commission database, as spotted by Consomac.

The new Apple items are described as running iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 High Sierra, which makes me think it's possible the company intends introducing these things this side of summer -- if it does so at all.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 05, 2018

How Apple could disrupt healthcare
For a nearly a decade, healthcare providers in the U.S. struggled to meet the demands of U.S. government requirements for electronic medical records. Those requirements were designed to get doctors, hospitals and other entities away from paper records - promising in return that the change would simplify healthcare workflows, allow disparate providers to exchange patient data, provide deeper understanding about patients as a result of more connected and searchable data, and empower users to take charge of their care by electronically accessing and sharing relevant information.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jul 05, 2018

Speed kills
Flashback a few decades to this pilot fish's first job in IT: the day-shift operator for a minicomputer with several dozen dumb terminals.

"My first task for this particular day was to set up a terminal for a new hire," says fish.

"All the terminals were connected to an I/O board with rows of serial ports via the usual rat's nest of cables, which made it hard to route a new cable.

"But the very last port was unused and easy to reach. No brainer! I plugged in the new terminal's cable to that last port, configured it and walked away, satisfied.

"Less than half an hour later, my boss called me in and asked, "What have you done?" Everyone on the system was complaining about snail-like response times, and they were not happy.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 04, 2018

Apple's iPhone 8 is about to get even better
It's July. Apple is probably going to launch new iPhones in a few weeks. And this is great news for budget-conscious shoppers in the market for a second-user iPhone 8.

iPhone 8 Plus, appreciate One of the most popular smartphones money can buy, iPhone 8/Pus is the quintessence of iPhone design.

I described it as being, "Iconic, (it) delivers everything we have grown to expect from the brand... a traditional and time-tested counterpoint to the new-fangled iPhone X."

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ComputerWorld
Jul 04, 2018

Wayback Wednesday: Undependence Day
At 12:30 a.m. on the Fourth of July, system administrator pilot fish gets a page from his company's outsourcer: A remote execution job is down, and the error message says it can't connect to the remote server.

So fish gets online and pings his server, but it's OK. He logs on: OK. Checks daemons: OK. "Nothing seems to be wrong," says fish. "So I restart the job and check it out."

For five minutes, fish watches as remote job runs without incident. Then he logs off and goes back to bed.

But fish's head barely hits the pillow before he gets another page. "Your job died again," outsourcer tech tells him.

Fish climbs out of bed again and repeats his troubleshooting process. Once again, everything looks OK until it mysteriously dies. Must mean it's time to call the database administrator to recycle the database, he figures.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 03, 2018

Top web browsers 2018: Being the default does little good
The browsers bundled with operating systems, notably Microsoft's Edge and Apple's Safari, fell to new lows last month as they continued to lose users, showing that being the default no longer provided a significant advantage.

According to California-based analytics vendor Net Applications, Edge's share of all Windows 10 personal computers and Safari's share of all Macs dropped to record lows in June. Edge, the default for Microsoft's newest operating system, was the preferred browser on only 11.8% of all Windows 10 systems. Meanwhile, Safari, the browser packaged with macOS (and before that, OS X), ran on 38.4% of all Mac machines.

Net Applications calculates user share by detecting the agent strings of the browsers people use to visit its clients' websites. It then tallies the visitor sessions — which are effectively visits to the site, with multiple sessions possible daily — rather than count only users, as it once did. Net Applications thus primarily measures activity, although it does so differently than rival metrics sources, which focus on page views.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 03, 2018

Top R language resources to improve your data skills
Do you want to improve your R skills? Here are my favorite R language resources for users at any level.

Learn R language basics Ask questions Visualize your data Advance your skills Keep up with new developments Package and repo info Shiny Web framework Learn R language basics If you're just starting out with R, I (not surprisingly) recommend my Computerworld Beginner's Guide to R. It's also available as a handy Beginner's R Guide PDF download.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 03, 2018

Does your Surface Book 2 or Pro 4 have super slow write speeds? You aren't alone
Way back in December, KyoHyoukKim, posting on the Microsoft Answers forum, had a simple question:


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ComputerWorld
Jul 03, 2018

IDG Contributor Network: It's time for IT to get out of the shadows
Let's start by agreeing to dispense with the term "Shadow IT."

Anything with the word "shadow" in it is bound to have a negative connotation and so whether we're talking consumerization of devices or applications, almost every modern organization today is confronted with some form of either departmental or consumerized IT. The two are different — even more reason to avoid grouping them both under the "Shadow IT" designation.  Lines of business may opt to use non-IT procured devices or non-IT-managed applications, employees might be using their personal computer at home to work on their presentation because they never took their laptop home from the office, or they might be using a personal Dropbox instead of the corporate OneDrive for cloud storage and collaboration.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 03, 2018

Thoughts on Apple's rapidly evolving AI
WWDC 2018 introduced significant enhancementst o AI on Apple's platforms, so here's a few ideas of what to expect.

Apple Maps (soon) We recently learned that Apple's fleet of Maps cars use LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors when capturing data about the places they visit.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 03, 2018

What is the Epic browser (and what makes it different)?
Once past the Big Four browsers — Chrome and Firefox, Edge and Safari — the battles for user share scraps are typically waged by specialties, with each contestant proclaiming why it's best at this or that forte. Vivaldi, for example, boasts that it's a throwback to times when browser austerity had yet to take hold; Brave dares to upend the online advertising ecosystem.

And some, like Epic, an almost-unknown browser that originated in India, have decided that pushing privacy is how they'll stand out, or try to.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 03, 2018

...And never come back!
Database programmer retires at this family-owned company that's on the conservative side, and he goes out with a bang, says a pilot fish on the scene.

"At his retirement party, he told a couple of hilariously bawdy road-trip tales that made the plant manager turn red with rage," fish says.

"They didn't allow future retirees to speak after that.

"But it turns out Mr. Bad Boy had a talent that no other local consultants had. The plant had to bring him back to help transition his automated update routines to a new system.

"But the cheesed-off plant manager had barred him from ever entering the plant again.

"Solution? Database expert was given a workstation in the transportation building on the plant grounds.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 02, 2018

Here's the latest on when Apple will ship its wireless charger
It's approaching a year since Apple announced that it would release its first wireless charger to go along with the first iPhones that could be wirelessly charged.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 02, 2018

IDG Contributor Network: Lenovo vs. Asus vs. Apple iPad: Approaching the ideal Always Connected PC
 [Disclosure: Microsoft and Lenovo are both clients of the author.]

I'm fascinated with the Always Connected PC concept largely because it tries to meet the need that the iPad initially identified, and Apple has largely failed to address.

Microsoft has been hovering around this idea for some time, with Windows RT being the first failed attempt, crippled by a unique version of Windows that just ran Office and a few other things reasonably well.  Then they brought out Continuum, a fascinating modular concept with the Windows Phone at its heart. But sadly, the Windows Phone was failing in market and Microsoft and its partners couldn't get to a viable offering in time to save their phone.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 02, 2018

Get the Microsoft June patches applied, but watch out for Win7 NICs and old antivirus
Windows 7 customers should be on the lookout for a couple of, uh, challenges this month, as the Win10 1803 trail of tears continues and Win10 1709 finally looks pretty solid.

The Win7/Server 2008R2 network card bugs continue First, the good news. If you installed last month's Win7/Server 2008R2 patches and your network connections didn't go kablooey, you're almost undoubtedly OK to proceed with this month's patches.

On the other hand, if you've been waiting to install patches on your Win7 or Server 2008R2 machine, you need to be aware of a bug that Microsoft has acknowledged. It was introduced by a patch back in March, according to the KB articles, and hasn't been fixed yet:

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ComputerWorld
Jul 02, 2018

IDG Contributor Network: Should regulators approve T-Mobile and Sprint merger?
Something interesting happened when T-Mobile and Sprint filed their intention to merge with the FCC. They said a merger would strengthen them and let them compete head to head with competitors like AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless. But wait. I thought they already were successfully competing. So, are they, or aren't they?

The truth is somewhere in the blurry middle. Over the last five years, both T-Mobile and Sprint have gone through major changes. Five years ago, both of them were smaller and insignificant competitors in the wireless industry.

CEO John Legere saved T-Mobile Then John Legere was brought in as CEO of T-Mobile and things started to change. When he stepped in, the company was crashing and burning. It missed the changeover from 2G to 3G and they were suffering because of that judgement call.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 02, 2018

iOS 12: 26 ways Apple is about to improve Maps
Apple's Maps service is hugely important. Location and knowledge about different locations is a secret sauce that binds so many future IoT product development plans together, from news app to ride sharing and tomorrow's road transport. In a recent interview with TechCrunch, Apple's vice presidnet of services, Eddy Cue, promised the following improvements to Maps beginning in iOS 12.

Apple Maps in iOS 12: What to expect "The best map app in the world" Apple hopes to make Maps the "best" mapping app in the world, Cue promised.

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ComputerWorld
Jul 02, 2018

How AI will change enterprise mobility
Your smartphone is about to get smarter, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). And that has huge implications for enterprise support for mobility.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jul 02, 2018

You're not helping!
This large organization has two kinds of workstations, reports a pilot fish there: the regular ones, and high-security workstations that, if they go down, people can die.

"Our contractor rolled out a change, possibly two changes, that broke the ability to log in to the high-security ones," fish says. "Customers are screaming. To make matters worse, the help desk is so backed up on other failed upgrades that the average time to answer is measured in hours instead of minutes as required by the contract.

"When customers are in the help desk phone queue, after 30 minutes a recorded message tells them they can send an email instead of waiting. Now the email queue is over 30 days long.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 30, 2018

Dispatch from the Super Internet
There's a version of the internet that's superior to the internet you're probably using.

Call it the Super Internet.

The Super Internet is faster, more powerful, more secure and more private, and it offers modular features on popular websites that most people don't have access to.

I believe millions of people, thousands of businesses and hundreds of enterprises would profit massively from having access to the Super Internet.

But they don't have access, because they don't know it exists.

That's why I'm writing this column — to tell you that the Super Internet does exist, and also how to gain access.

The Super Internet exists right now. But understanding it requires a contextual understanding of the past and the future.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 29, 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.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 29, 2018

GoToMeeting adds AI transcription features, Amazon Alexa integration
LogMeIn has updated its GoToMeeting video and audio conference platform with new features that include a text chat function, AI transcription service and integration with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant.

LogMeIn — which also owns cloud meetings tool join.me — acquired GoTo products from Citrix for $1.8 billion in 2016. This immediately positioned the vendor as one of the largest video and web conferencing players, with millions of customers worldwide.

A range of features announced this week are aimed at enhancing the GoToMeeting platform as it faces competition from large tech firms with web conferencing capabilities, such as Google (Hangouts Chat), Amazon (Chime), Cisco (Webex) and Microsoft (Skype for Business/Teams), as well as smaller players including BlueJeans and Zoom.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 29, 2018

10 macOS 10.14 Mojave secrets
I guess most of us who watched the news from Apple's WWDC developer's conference know lots about the bigger features in macOS Mojave, but I thought it might be fun to dig out some of the lesser-known changes.

Safari Favicons I don't really understand why it took all this time for Safari to show you favicons. Now it does - but not by default: to enable it open SafariPreferencesTabsand check the Show website icons in tabs item.

SMS verification If you have your iPhone Messages synced to your Mac, Mojave will detect when a website or service sends in an SMS verification and can automatically place it in the correct place on your Mac to make it easier to use. Apple really wants you to use dual-factor security.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 29, 2018

IDG Contributor Network: Shadow IT: When employees venture to the dark side
The IT landscape today feels like the Wild West as IT managers play "cops and robbers" to chase down and neutralize an ever increasing number of problems. Technologists are mired in an array of high-tech challenges—balancing security with accessibility, integrating legacy and new technologies, and understanding data, to name a few—while under pressure to constantly innovate. But with the speed of technology and business today, what happens when IT teams fall behind? The answer? "Shadow IT."

TechTarget defines shadow IT as "hardware or software within an enterprise that is not supported by the organization's central IT department." The concept emerged more than a decade ago as companies began to acquire more technology (as well as foreign, unsanctioned software) to power their business. IT admins moved quickly to rein in unknown products, and for a time, largely re-established control.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 29, 2018

Sometimes you just gotta take a broader view
Database pilot fish is about to leave work when a co-worker catches him as he's walking out of his cubicle.

"He says that he and another colleague found an issue with a table that's not inserting unique IDs -- the primary key -- for records." says fish. "And it's a table I remodeled a few years back."

That means it's probably fish's fault if there's an issue. But fish is also intrigued by the problem -- after all, it's unlikely that SQL Server would fail completely by inserting the same IDs.

So they go to the co-worker's desk, where SQL Server Management Studio is on his screen, showing a table containing about 150 records. Sure enough, toward the end of the table is a bunch of records all showing an ID of 1 instead of a unique ID.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 29, 2018

The best travel apps for Android
Traveling can be a massive hassle, with plenty of room for inconvenience and error. But while there's not much you can do about the late departures, the surly gate attendants, or the smelly fellas somehow always seated right next to you, there are ways you can make your next business trip a little less unpleasant — all thanks to that handy little gadget in your pocket.

Android's travel app selection has really taken off over the past few years, and the Google Play Store now boasts an impressive array of genuinely useful titles for the traveling professional. After putting numerous standout candidates to the test, these are the apps I'd recommend stowing on your smartphone and keeping at arm's reach whenever your work next has you hitting the road or flying the (allegedly) friendly skies.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jun 28, 2018

Slack outage causes disruption, but highlights importance of team chat
Slack users were unable to access the team chat tool for several hours on Wednesday, after "connectivity issues" knocked the app offline.

Although service resumed later that day, it caused a disruption for users who rely on the application for communication and collaboration within the workplace. Problems were reported by users in the U.S. and the U.K., with many venting frustrations on Twitter.

Keaton Fox from Houston tweeted, "breaking: as Slack outage continues, thousands of workers are forced to actually speak to others in the office." In Palo Alto, Calif., Chris Mutchler chimed in, "Slack is down. How is that ChatOps strategy working for you now?"

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ComputerWorld
Jun 28, 2018

BlackBerry's Android upgrade track record should give anyone pause
Hey, look: A new BlackBerry phone is here! And no, you didn't just wake up from a 12-year coma. I promise you, it is still 2018.

The new BlackBerry Key2, however, is aimed squarely at those who miss the glory days of the physical-keyboard-packin' phone — specifically, business users who still place some sort of value on the BlackBerry name (even if it's technically a different organization making the devices now). The company's own landing page for the device placards that focus plainly:

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ComputerWorld
Jun 28, 2018

MacOS Mojave: How to use Quick Actions in Finder
Available now in beta, one of the best improvements within Apple's latest Mac operating system, Finder Quick Actions make it much easier to perform some of your most frequently used edits on photos and videos. Here's what you need to know.

What are Finder Quick Actions? In its latest Mac operating system, Apple chose to make it much easier for everyone to get things done in fewer steps. One of the ways in which it has done this is to make a range of actions for handling graphics, video and audio easily available from within the Finder. These Finder Quick Actions currently include Markup, Rotate Left, Create PDF, Trim (audio or video) and a More option, which we'll look at a little more deeply below.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 28, 2018

Review: The BlackBerry KEY2 gets things done
"You're reviewing a BlackBerry?" my 16-year-old asked, incredulously. "What is this — the 1980s?"To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jun 28, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Essential, defined
This small engineering company has a T1 internet connection that works fine "almost all the time," says a sysadmin pilot fish who keeps it running.

"For the 'almost' part, I set it up so I can share an air card connection until the T1 is restored," he adds.

Of course, the bandwidth for that wireless modem is no T1. So fish warns users that, while the T1 is down, they should use only essential internet services. That means sending only email messages with no large attachments and keeping Web browsing to a minimum.

But response time during the latest T1 outage is still much slower than it should be, so fish starts hunting for the problem.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jun 27, 2018

Windows 10: A guide to the updates
The launch of a big Microsoft Windows 10 update like the April 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 1803, known as the April 2018 Update — with the most recent updates on top. (Note that the April 2018 Update is on a phased rollout, so you may not have received it yet.) Below that are updates to version 1709, known as the Fall Creators Update, and below that 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.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 27, 2018

Microsoft Patch Alert: Some bugs in Win 10 (1803) fixed, others persist
Microsoft's patches in June took on some unexpected twists.

Windows 7 owners with older, 2002-era Pentium III machines got their patching privileges revoked without warning or explanation (and a documentation cover-up to boot), but there's little sympathy in the blogosphere for elderly PCs.

Win10 1803 was declared fully fit for business, a pronouncement that was followed weeks later by fixes for a few glaring, acknowledged bugs — and stony silence for other known problems.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jun 27, 2018

What's in the latest Firefox update? Faster page loads, 'warmer' tabs
Mozilla on Tuesday delivered Firefox 61 for Windows, macOS and Linux, claiming that the browser's page-painting speed has been improved and that switching tabs is faster than before.

The developer's engineers also patched 18 vulnerabilities in Firefox, a third of them marked "Critical," the highest threat ranking in a four-step system.

[ Further reading: 14 must-have Firefox add-ons ] Firefox 61, which can be downloaded from 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.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 27, 2018

Windows 10 Redstone: A guide to the builds
Microsoft never sleeps. Even before the Windows 10 April 2018 Update (version 1803) started to roll out, the company began work on the next major update to Windows 10, code-named Redstone 5 and due to be released this autumn. As it did with the April 2018 Update, Microsoft has been releasing a series of public preview builds to members of Microsoft's Insider Program.

What follows is a list of every preview build of Redstone 5, 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. After that you'll find summaries of all the preview builds that led up to the Windows 10 April 2018 Update (Redstone 4), the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (Redstone 3) and the Windows 10 Creators Update (Redstone 2).

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jun 27, 2018

Want a more digital workplace? You'll have to overcome resistance to tech
With more employees turning to collaboration and mobility tools to do their jobs away from the office, the way companies work is clearly changing.

The range of technologies available to support an increasingly fragmented workforce, from team chat tools such as Slack to video conferencing and content collaboration platforms, continues to evolve and grow. And while the potential benefits of these tools - namely, greater productivity across teams, no matter where they are situated - might seem obvious, achieving widespread adoption across large organizations can be problematic.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jun 27, 2018

Mingis on Tech: BlackBerry's Key2 phone is for 'masters of the universe'
In an era when just about every high-end smartphone looks a lot like those from rival manufacturers - even Android devices now sport iPhone X-like notches - BlackBerry still manages to stand out.

BlackBerry The keyboard on the BlackBerry Key 2 takes up a large portion of the front of the phone.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 27, 2018

MacOS Mojave beta first look: Stable, powerful and about you
First impressions count and that's why all the preview posts start with macOS 10.14 Mojave's Dark Mode, but beyond that eye candy the message inside Apple's latest OS stays true to the core of the company's belief: it's all about you.

You, you, you While there's a whole lot going on under the hood (Metal, CoreML, AFPS, to name but three) most Mac users live on the surface of their machines.

We use them to get things done. We use them for different tasks and in different professions at different levels of skill. These "bicycles for the mind" are creative tools creative people use to get things done.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 27, 2018

How (not) to speed up the system
Electronic components manufacturer's shipping system is having problems, but the original programmer is long gone, so this pilot fish is asked to take a look.

"It's a pretty simple application to use," says fish. "The operator is supposed to scan the serial number of each item as it's placed in a box, and then a label is printed with the box quantity, along with a unique ID and barcode.

"The barcode is then scanned in another system which is used by the shipping company to track the box and its contents."

The system only allows a certain number of parts to go in each box, depending on the part, and each part can only be scanned once. But something is going wrong: The quantity printed on the label is far greater than the software should allow, and that's causing problems in the shipping department.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jun 27, 2018

Why Microsoft's big bet on deep learning could go bad
When Microsoft looks into the near and far future, it sees artificial intelligence, particularly the hottest branch of it, called deep learning. The company has spent billions on A.I., including a spate of acquisitions such as the deep-learning startup Bonsai in late June and Semantic Machines in May. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has said that A.I. is the "defining technology of our times." He also said at an investor's conference this spring: "It's going to be A.I. at the edge, A.I. in the cloud, A.I. as part of SaaS applications, A.I. as part of in fact even infrastructure."

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ComputerWorld
Jun 26, 2018

Microsoft takes first whack at browser ad blocking with Edge on Android, iOS
Microsoft in the past week updated its Edge browsers for Android and iOS, adding a built-in web advertisement blocker - a first for the Redmond, Wash. company.

The browser, Windows 10's default but since October available on the two mobile operating systems, was refreshed June 19 and 21 for Android and iOS, respectively, with technology based on eye/o GmbH's Adblock Plus, one of the world's most widely-used ad blockers.

[ Related: How to replace Edge as the default browser in Windows 10 — and why you should ] Eye/o spokesman Ben Williams confirmed that a partnership deal between the two companies had been reached, but he declined to comment further or answer questions about the financial terms. "The real beneficiaries here are users, who now have more options to customize and improve their online experience on the go," Williams said in an email.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 26, 2018

How to get Apple's iOS 12 or macOS 'Mojave' betas
Apple earlier this month issued previews for this year's upgrades to iOS and macOS, its two most popular operating systems, at the firm's annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

The betas of iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 - the latter was labeled with another California place name, "Mojave" - were initially delivered only to registered developers. But  anyone who wants to run the rougher code can do so now: the iOS 12 public beta was released on Monday and the public beta for Mojave arrived today.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 26, 2018

The always-connected Chromebook: What's different this time
'Twas a time, not long ago, that Google's Chrome OS platform was laughed off by pundits as being a glorified "browser in a box" environment — a limited-use, destined-for-failure setup that'd be practical for practically no one and couldn't possibly amount to anything.

Boy, did that assessment prove to be wrong.

These days, Chromebooks have evolved into versatile all-purpose productivity machines. To be sure, part of that has been the result of Google's near-constant progression of the platform — but part of it has also been the fact that on the other end of the equation, people's computing habits have slowly but surely been catching up with Google's cloud-centric vision.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 26, 2018

Apple's iOS 12 Public Beta is available now: First thoughts
Just weeks since announcing it, Apple has already shipped its first iOS 12 Public Beta. Any iPhone user can sign up for the beta. I thought I'd drop a few first impressions.

An upgrade older iPhones will thank you for iOS 12 is looking good for owners of older (iPhone 5s and later) devices. Apple has met its promise of performance improvements when running the operating system on older devices. This is significant and means if you need to get an extra year or two out of the iPhone you already have, you can expect to with iOS 12.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 26, 2018

What is Quick Base? A low-code database platform for citizen developers
Business users have lots of ideas for tools and add-ons that could improve daily operations — for instance, adding a workflow to an asset tracking application to govern how new assets are added into inventory. But with many IT departments caught up in initiatives around mobile, the IoT, cloud migration and other digital transformation efforts, it can be hard to get attention for day-to-day departmental workflow issues.

"For our customers, particularly in middle-market and larger enterprises, the need they have for software is far outstripping the supply of IT and developer resources available," says Jay Jamison, Quick Base senior vice president of strategy and product management.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 26, 2018

Urgent!
This contract programmer pilot fish frequently gets urgent requests from IT shops that farm out software projects to his company -- and by now he's pretty sure he knows just what that means.

"We get these 'urgent' requests from the software developers all the time," says fish. "I think the 'urgent' part is their deadline, not the business-side customer's.

"The actual users can be really slow about getting around to using the software sometimes, especially if it changes what they see on their computer.

"We had one customer whose client-server application was being moved to the web. They killed four different rewrites of the application from three different contractors, simply because it involved change for the users.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 26, 2018

Windows Update Survey: What do you think about Microsoft's patching regime?
Susan Bradley, the driving force behind the patchmanagement.org mailing list, really wants to know: What do you, as an individual, think about Windows updates?

She's started two SurveyMonkey surveys that ask for your feedback on Windows patching, the quality of Windows patches, and the pace of "feature updates" (which most of us would identify as version changes).

[ Related: Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration guide ] If you're riding herd over a bunch of machines - say, you're an IT pro with a managed network, or a consultant who regularly deals with enterprise patching - take the first survey.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 25, 2018

Brave browser begins controversial ad repeal-and-replace tests
The builders of the Brave browser have begun serving replacement advertisements to volunteers, a key part of a business model that relies on stripping others' ads from web pages.

"We're now ready to start voluntary testing of our ad model before we scale to further user trials," the company wrote in a post to a company blog last week. "Once we're satisfied with the performance of the ad system, Brave ads will be shown directly in the browser in a private channel to users who consent to see them."

The initial testing will be limited to users who raised their hands when Brave Software asked for volunteers in March. By the replies to that call, as many as 1,000 responded to join what the firm dubbed "Brave Early Access."

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ComputerWorld
Jun 25, 2018

IDG Contributor Network: Altice Mobile names Jean-Charles Nicolas Sr. VP. So, what's next?
Wireless has been growing and changing for decades. Now, the cable television companies are going wireless. First it was Comcast with Xfinity Mobile last year. Then Charter with Spectrum Mobile will enter soon. Next Altice USA will enter wireless next year. In fact, Altice Mobile just named their new head of mobile, senior VP, Jean-Charles Nicolas. So, what can we expect next?

After Comcast entered wireless a year ago with Xfinity Mobile, we wondered whether they would be successful or not. They have a different set of goals, but after a year it looks like so far, they are successful. Charter is getting ready to enter wireless and it looks like they will follow the same path as Comcast. Will they be successful as well? They both are MVNO players and re-sell Verizon Wireless services.

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ComputerWorld
Jun 25, 2018

World Cup 2018: Apple's AirPods play a beautiful game
We may not have heard much more about Apple's AirPods at WWDC, but soccer fans watching World Cup 2018 won't have missed the number of players filmed wearing them as they arrive at the stadium.

Shape of you Thirty-two national teams are battling to win the coveted FIFA trophy and hundreds of millions are watching worldwide.

To reach those people, Apple announced the addition of Siri support for football in Brazil, Russia, Denmark, Finland, Malaysia, Turkey, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Israel in the prelude to the game. Soccer fans in around 36 countries can now ask Siri for match scores, schedules, standings and team rosters for Senegal, or others -- some may even be using AirPods to do it.

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