NEWS: COMPUTERWORLD
Setup News Ticker
   NEWS: COMPUTERWORLD
ComputerWorld
Nov 12, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 12, 2018

IDG Contributor Network: HP design innovation on PCs and printers will spread to homes and offices
[Disclosure: HP is a client of the author.]

My first portable PC (you'd never call it a laptop), was made by Panasonic. It cost something like $7K in today's dollars (allowing for inflation), weighed 35 pounds and included a thermal printer.  I also work from home so unlike my office-oriented peers, part of what I think about when I equip or update my home office is the printer — even though it's no longer integrated with my laptop (thankfully). 

For much of my career, laptop design has largely been driven by one of two factors. Corporate buyers who had no taste (and resulted in a long period of time when hardware design could best be described as butt-ugly), or Apple, who tended to put form over function resulting in pretty but often unreliable or fragile products. (My first Apple laptop fell off a chair onto carpet and broke both hinges on its screen, something I'd never seen happen before or since.) 

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 12, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 12, 2018

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 12, 2018

IDG Contributor Network: At CES 2019, 5G wireless plays an increasing role
CES 2019 is coming to Las Vegas in early January and every year around this time, my email goes nuts. As a high-profile wireless analyst, I typically get more email every day than I have time to read, from a wide variety of competitors who want me to learn about them, write about them and talk about them. This time of year, it doubles. So, what's coming in 2019?

As I have to explain to each company who wants to get on my radar, it's not that easy. Over the last thirty years I have built a strong reputation as an independent wireless industry analyst, so I must take my time and learn about them before I consider talking or writing about them.

Wireless plays an increasingly larger role at the Consumer Electronics Show I've been attending the Consumer Electronics show for the last several decades and have watched it change dramatically and grow over time. When I attend, I meet with countless company executives either at their booth or in their hotel rooms where they give me a demonstration and briefing.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 12, 2018

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

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Nov 12, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 11, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 09, 2018

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 09, 2018

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

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

Episode guide:

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 09, 2018

IDG Contributor Network: The lock-in problem hiding behind Apple's unit sales declines
I hate lock-in.  Lock-in is when you wrap a product up with so much proprietary stuff that the customer can't move to a competing offering. The advantage to the company is that they dramatically reduce customer churn—thus reducing the need for marketing—and can focus sales efforts more on acquiring new customers, rather than keeping existing customers happy.

That last part is also the problem, because once lock-in is achieved, companies tend to defund efforts to keep customers happy…and increasingly focus on raising prices as a way to raise revenues. Companies that embrace this strategy effectively morph from being customer-focused to being more like organized crime and a protection racket. You don't buy because you want to, you buy because you don't have a choice.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 09, 2018

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

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 09, 2018

Not the timesheet issue we were expecting
Pilot fish is the new hire at this IT consulting outfit -- in fact, he's fresh out of college when he's sent to work on his first project.

"I followed the lead of the senior consultant on the project, Barney," says fish. "He told me how many hours we worked each day, how to fill out timesheets, how long a lunch we could take -- longer when he felt like it -- and so on."

After about two months, fish gets a phone call from the consulting firm's office administrator, Wilma, who berates him for not filling out his timesheets correctly.

She informs fish that the workday is seven hours, not eight, and that he shouldn't be putting eight hours down on his timesheet, and that she's not happy about all the extra work he's causing her.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 08, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 08, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 08, 2018

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 08, 2018

How to use your iPad Pro to replace your laptop (Part 3)
We've looked at some of the equipment we should carry and learned everything we need to type effectively on an iPad Pro. Now we're going to take a look at the built-in multi-tasking features in the Apple tablet.

Welcome to the third episode in the multi-part guide to help you use an iPad Pro instead of a notebook.

Episode guide

Part One: iPad Equipment Part Two: Keyboard, Typing, Shortcuts, and Dictation tips Part Three (this episode): How to multitask on iPad Pro. Apple has been working hard to develop multitasking on iPad Pro. Features like Slide Out and Split View help you work within multiple apps while the Most Recent apps included to the right of the Dock helps to make sure the software you need to use is easily available to you.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 08, 2018

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

On Twitter, Windows leaker emeritus Faikee posted this screenshot:

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 08, 2018

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 08, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 08, 2018

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

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 07, 2018

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 07, 2018

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 07, 2018

About Computerworld's Best Places to Work in IT
What do IT workers want? Fair paychecks, challenging work and ample opportunities for growth, for starters. Our annual listing showcases the organizations that excel at keeping their employees engaged and loyal with compensation, training and access to hot technologies. The report is published every June.

Nominate an organization for our 2018 Best Places to Work in IT list. The 2018 Best Places to Work in IT will be announced in June 2018.

-- The 2018 Best Places to Work in IT list, our 25th annual report, was published on June 18, 2018.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 07, 2018

IDG Contributor Network: AT&T Mobility now offers Emblem Solutions private label smartphones
AT&T Mobility recently announced they have invested in and will be offering new, private label smartphones from Emblem Solutions to compete with iPhone, Android and Galaxy. While iPhone and Android account for the vast majority of smartphone sales, they are also the most expensive. Many users either can't afford or don't want to spend that much on a new device. That's the marketplace that Emblem Solutions phones and tablets focus on.

Private label wireless phones are not new. As we have walked around the wireless stores from all the major carriers, we often see an explosion of different devices with different features at different price points. Many of these are private label that are significantly lower in cost.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 07, 2018

How to use your iPad Pro to replace your laptop (Part II)
The second instalment of this multi-part guide to using your iPad Pro as a laptop replacement explains how to take control of your keyboard.

Expectation management For a growing number of people the iPad Pro is already the only laptop you'll ever need. This isn't true for everyone - what on Earth is?

It's also true that some tasks just can't be done on an iPad, things like Xcode development, 4K video editing, and other high-end tasks just aren't available (yet), and while the Files app provides a rudimentary filing system, some users need Macs to do what they need to do.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 07, 2018

How to use your iPad Pro to replace your laptop (Part 2)
For a growing number of people, the iPad Pro is already the only laptop you'll ever need. This isn't true for everyone - what on Earth is?

It's also true that some tasks just can't be done on an iPad. Things like Xcode development, 4K video editing, and other high-end tasks just aren't available (yet). And while the Files app provides a rudimentary filing system, some users need Macs to do what they need to do.

All the same, as the promised 2019 release of "Full Photoshop" shows, the list of things iPads can't do will surely shrink, particularly when you consider the latest range of iPad Pros are an astonishing 32 times faster than the second-generation iPad shipped in 2011.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 07, 2018

Your emergency isn't MY emergency
The monitoring console for this data center is lit up like a Christmas tree when this IT pilot fish arrives at work one morning.

"We found out there was a power outage," fish reports. "The UPS did kick in, and so did the generator, but something happened. Fortunately, the facilities people were on it right away."

Next step is bringing the servers back up in the correct sequence. But while some of the servers are managed by fish and his team, some have been contracted out -- and while the contractor has root credentials necessary to bring those servers back up, fish's team doesn't.

And nothing's happening with those servers. What's going on? fish asks a long-time IT guy. Didn't the alert go out to the contractor as well? Why didn't they jump on it?

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 07, 2018

What to look for in a 4G mobile hotspot
I've spent most of the last decade using cellular routers as my sole connection for work. On trains I've stayed connected to the office while others crawled along on congested Wi-Fi. I've used mobile hotspots on all the major U.S. carriers, for video teleconferencing, building websites, and downloading a magazine's worth of raw image files. In other words, I've put these devices through a lot and I rely on them heavily.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Nov 06, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 06, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 06, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 06, 2018

It was history -- and now it's history. Help!
It's the mid-1990s, and this pilot fish is working in a recording studio that's about to do some work for a very well-known individual.

"A client came in with Richard Nixon's recording of his narrative for his presidential library," fish says. "The audio mix was made and tape recorded, and the client left.

"A couple days later, the client frantically called the studio manager, saying that the tapes were lost. Was there anything that could be done to recover them -- please?

"Client came back and the digital audio workstation backup data tapes were reloaded. The mix was played out and the audio tape taken by the very gratified client.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 05, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 05, 2018

How to use your iPad Pro as a laptop replacement
I've been using an iPad Pro instead of a laptop for long haul travel since early 2017. In this series of reports, I hope to share some of how iPads can be used to replace laptops.

Where we are now with Apple's iPad Apple's iPad opened up the enterprise for the company. Huge interest among business leaders led to wide adoption and opened industry up to approving use of iPhones in business. These days, iOS is rapidly growing share in the sector.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 05, 2018

Apple's big impact on wireless charging: 6 billion units to ship by 2023
More than 6 billion wireless chargers are expected to ship over the next five years, a staggering growth rate spurred on by Apple's entry into the market with the iPhone 8 and X and its failure - so far - to produce its promised AirPower pad, according to a new report.

Annual unit shipments for wireless power receivers and transmitters across all applications are forecast to grow from 450 million units in 2017 to more than 2.2 billion units in 2023, according to IHS. Cumulatively more than six billion receiver units and 2.7 billion transmitter units are expected to ship between 2018 and 2023.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 05, 2018

Should Microsoft help the Pentagon ‘increase lethality'?
I've written recently about Microsoft taking on the role of the tech industry's conscience. Among other stands, the company has called for the federal government to regulate face-recognition technology and warned in a blog post about the potential dangers of AI-powered technology, ranging from serious privacy invasions to suppression of free speech. Microsoft has also pushed for international pacts to limit the way in which the United States and other countries use cyberweapons.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 05, 2018

Upgrade, downgrade
This small government agency has its own "data center" with a motley collection of systems -- but no budget money for real data-center necessities, says a pilot fish working there.

"We had VAXen, Linux servers, Windows servers, a small RAID array and our own private Wi-Fi/broadband network because we needed access to files normally filtered by the main network," fish says.

"We did not have UPSes, and our environmental control was a pair of air conditioners in the windows.

"The agency decided to upgrade all the air conditioners due to age. They swapped out our analog-control units with new digital units that would hold specific temperatures. Well, they would hold until the power went out -- then they reset to 'off.'

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 05, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 03, 2018

The dark side of folding-screen and dual-screen smartphones
Samsung is rumored to be working on a folding-screen phone, code-named "Winner."

Unfortunately, the phone will be a loser.

It's one of many products we've been hearing about lately that either use folding, flexible-screen technology or add a second screen to the case or the back of an otherwise normal smartphone.

Enthusiasm for folding-screen phones has been building for a decade. The tech press has been hyping flexible-screen technologies based on lab reports and futurist predictions. Only just now are companies preparing to ship actual products that use this technology.

The dual-screen idea has also been gaining purchase lately. This is driven mostly by the social media selfie craze, as well as the desperation of smartphone companies to differentiate their products in a sea of boring glass rectangles.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 02, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 02, 2018

Apple's little iOS is rapidly changing the retail industry
With nine of the top ten global retailers using iOS devise in their business, it's clear Apple's mobile devices are what we expect to find when we go shopping.

‘We're making great strides' Apple Chief Financial Officer, Luca Maestri alluded to the Apple's rapid progress across retail during the company's Q4 2018 financial call.

The company was confirming record revenues and continued strength in iPhone sales, despite what some analysts call a "recession" in the sector.


To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 02, 2018

Tech event calendar 2018-19: Upcoming shows, conferences and IT expos


Tech Events Event Description Starts Ends Location Splash 2018 ACM SIGPLAN conference on Systems, Programming, Languages and Applications: Software for Humanity embraces all aspects of software construction and delivery. At the intersection of programming, languages, and software engineering. 2018-11-04 2018-11-09 Boston, MA EARL Seattle Enterprise Applications of the R Language conference focuses on real-world commercial uses of R. 2018-11-07 2018-11-07 Seattle, WA EARL Houston Enterprise Applications of the R Language conference 2018-11-09 2018-11-09 Houston, TX EARL Boston Enterprise Applications of the R Language conference 2018-11-13 2018-11-13 Cambridge, MA IT Roadmap This one-day event focused on powering the agile enterprise looks at the latest approaches to make IT more responsive, nimble, and robust. 2018-1

ComputerWorld
Nov 02, 2018

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

ComputerWorld
Nov 02, 2018

Apple's place is in the enterprise
If one word could describe Apple's October, it would have to be "pro."To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Nov 02, 2018

OK, why is my PC so slow AGAIN?
IT support pilot fish at a research organization gets a call from a Ph.D. candidate. The complaint: "My PC is slow."

"I walked down to her office," fish says. "The first thing I noticed was that her iPhone was plugged into the PC.

"I looked at what she was running -- Word and Excel, nothing unusual there. I fired up the Windows Task Manager only to see iTunes sucking up a fair amount of resources."

Fish asks the researcher about iTunes. She admits to updating her stored files. Fish explains how many resources that uses, and that iTunes is obviously the cause of the slowdown.

He also mentions that, while this isn't strictly acceptable use, he isn't going to say anything to get her in trouble.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 01, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 01, 2018

Review: Belkin aims for the enterprise with Boost Up wireless charging spot
Belkin has released a wireless charging pad that embeds into or under a table-top surface, enabling business users to charge up their Qi-enabled smartphones or tablets without searching the room for an outlet (or their briefcases for a charging cable).

Single device charging pads offer modest convenience to consumers when placed on a desktop or bedside table. The only thing they eliminate is the inconvenience of reaching over and plugging in a mobile device.

[ Further reading: Wireless charging explained: What is it and how does it work? ] A wireless charger aimed at businesses, BOOST?UP Wireless Charging Spot, however, provides a far more solid use case for company visitors, employee meetings or simply for workers who don't want to purchase multiple cables to charge a device at home and at work.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 01, 2018

Mingis on Tech: It's Apple week - the iPhone XR, new iPad Pros and more
For Apple users, it's been quite a few days. 

The new iPhone XR is finally in customer hands - and winning rave reviews for its speed, design and overall polish. (Not to mention, it's hundreds of dollars cheaper than the iPhone XS and XS Max.)

[ Further reading: How to switch from Android to iPhone ] Then on Tuesday in Brooklyn, N.Y., the company unveiled new iPad Pro tablets with Face ID and a revamped design; whole new MacBook Air laptops that now eclipse the MacBook; and a new Mac mini (finally) that can be optioned up to cost $4,200. 

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 01, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 01, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Nov 01, 2018

It's a powerful machine, but not THAT powerful
It's a dark and stormy night when this IT pilot fish gets a call from an older customer with a departmental system.

"This company keeps the system in a ventilated closet, and it turns out the caller is now in the closet with the machine," says fish.

"The caller describes how he started the regular backup, and the computer suddenly stopped responding.

"I ask what the computer looks like. The caller responds that it's completely dark, and won't turn on. The caller says he's very worried he has broken something important.

"Then he volunteers that he's very deeply worried that he really caused serious damage, because all the lights in the office are now out.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 31, 2018

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 31, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 31, 2018

An enterprise take on Apple's ‘More in the Making' event
SAP,IBM,Microsoft all confirm that Apple is surging in the enterprise and the company's October 2018 product launch will only reinforce its position in a sector that accounts for maybe 60 percent of computer sales.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 31, 2018

The evolution of the MacBook
The MacBook turns 25 The Evolution of the MacBook [cover]" data-license="IDG"/Image by IDG / Ash Edmonds

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 31, 2018

Little IT Shop of Horrors III: The eyes! The eyes!
Flashback to the mid-1960s, when the Control Data 6600 computer was the fastest thing going, according to this IT pilot fish who remembers it well.

"It was about 1 megaFLOPS," says fish. "The operator console, manned 24/7 of course, had two large, circular CRT screens, side-by-side, that almost always displayed operator messages scrolling up the screens. As long as those messages were scrolling, the operator seldom had to pay attention to them.

"But the CRTs were actually vector displays, capable of more, under program control.

"It's 2 o'clock in the morning. Halloween. Suddenly, the two screens go blank. Then two closed eyes appear. Slowly open. Eyeballs look slowly to the left, then slowly to the right -- then slowly stare straight ahead. Then eyelids slowly close, the two displays blank, and go back to scrolling plain text.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 30, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 30, 2018

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 30, 2018

Save Hundreds On 29 Hours Of Professional Project Management Training ($29)
Whether we work at a small, family-owned business or a multinational corporation, most of us would agree that our team's success requires a project manager who monitors our goals and workflow efficiently. Learning project management skills will positively impact your team's efficiency, and these skills will follow you throughout your career. Not everyone is born as a leader, but you can learn the skills that such leaders espouse with this $29 Complete Project Management Bundle.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 30, 2018

What is the future of the Mac?
Apple will set the fate of both of its main creative platforms - Mac and iPad Pro - at its event in New York October 30. The future of both is at stake.

Which is which? Apple will have to clearly define what each of these platforms is for. That means answering (or at least signalling) answers to tough questions:

Is an iPad Pro the creative tool you always have with you while the Mac remains the productive workhorse for everyday use? Has Apple poured all its R&D dollars into the mobile device at the expense of the Mac? Can Apple (as Dieter Bohn sagaciously points out) create a notebook that delivers the compelling mix of features that made MacBook Air the must-have laptop for a decade? Not only this, but with whispers that Apple may shift to using its own A-series chips inside future Macs, can it make these iterations of its platform sufficiently alluring consumer and pro users will put their money down for computers that may seem dated in a few months?

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 30, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 30, 2018

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 30, 2018

Little IT Shop of Horrors II: Another fine mess
Pilot fish figures it's safe to store these four pumpkins under the mainframe room's raised floor for a month before Halloween.

Come late October, he retrieves them -- but only three are left. The fourth is a reeking orange puddle.

"To my surprise, one of my operators cheerfully said, 'I'll clean that up,'" says fish.

"His previous job was at McDonald's, and this little cow pie was nothing compared to things at that job.

"He was the only operator in our shop to ever get perfect scores on his midyear evaluation."

Sharky's celebrating Halloween with blasts from the past, but I still need your true tales of IT life -- scary or not. Send me your stories at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google community, and read thousands of great old tales like this one from the Sharkives.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 29, 2018

Apple in the enterprise? It's nice, but you may need bigger change
It doesn't matter how many Macs, iPads, iPhones or even Surface devices you throw at your business, if you're not prepared to change the way you do business then you're probably living on borrowed time.

Think differently We've seen numerous examples in which huge technology deployments have failed to deliver the results that were expected of them.

I'd argue that in nearly every case, responsibility for that failure will ultimately rest in poor application of the technologies put in place.

You see, application isn't just about adopting a new platform or what-not, it's about thinking deeply about how that tech will be used, and also answering questions around tech support and implementation alongside legacy business processes.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 29, 2018

IDG Contributor Network: Why augmented reality has surpassed virtual reality as the potential next big thing
There was a fundamental difference about how these two technologies came to market that I think is tied directly to why one appears to be far more successful than the other. What is also interesting is that while there have been point successes with augmented reality in the consumer market with efforts like Pokémon Go, much of the success with both efforts has been in business with a specific focus on training and remote help for service and manufacturing personnel.

Augmented reality (AR) is when rendered content is intermixed with real world items; virtual reality (VR) is when the entire field of view is rendered. The entire class is called mixed reality.  

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 29, 2018

IDG Contributor Network: AT&T leads 5G race with Millimeter Wave mobile browsing
We all have heard, 5G is coming soon. It has now become clear; AT&T Mobility is leading the way with their successful Millimeter Wave mobile browsing test conducted last week. They are the first carrier to offer 5G speeds with their standards-based commercial mobile 5G device. The NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot will be available on the AT&T Mobile 5G network by the end of this year.

What this means is AT&T Mobility customers will be able to get 5G speeds on their smartphones, tablets and laptops when using this hotspot device in areas where the network has been upgraded. Just like with every other move to the next generation services, AT&T is rapidly adding new cities to this list and expanding service within each city.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 29, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 29, 2018

Little IT Shop of Horrors I: Ghost in the machine
Flash waaaaay back to the late 1970s, when this pilot fish has just acquired his first desktop computer: a mammoth, three-cubic-foot monster with a retail price that just about matches a new VW Beetle.

"It had two 8-inch floppy disk drives and three different CPUs, so it would run any operating system then extant," says fish. "I connected it to a terminal and set it to work in my spooky old writing/art-photography studio, where its sole function was word processing scripts and poetry, printing out to a fancy NEC daisy-wheel printer that was connected by a parallel cable nearly as wide as my hand."

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 26, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 26, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 26, 2018

Macs@IBM: An interview with IBM CIO Fletcher Previn
IBM CIO Fletcher Previn appeared at the Jamf Nation User Conference to announce that the Mac@IBM enrolment solution will be released to the open source community.

I spoke with Previn to discuss IBM's adoption of Apple's platforms, and to get some insight into how to run a successful choice program.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 26, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 26, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 26, 2018

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

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Oct 26, 2018

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

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 25, 2018

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

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 25, 2018

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 25, 2018

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 25, 2018

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 25, 2018

For device management, JAMF underpins Apple's enterprise role
As Apple deprecates, JAMF integrates.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Oct 25, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Urgent, redefined
Pilot fish has the on-call pager for the weekend, but he wants to spend some time with a friend having some problems, so he arranges for a co-worker to cover for him.

"Pager goes off at 6 a.m. Saturday," groans fish. "While I'm at this friend's place. Three hours' drive from the office. Having had a lot to drink on Friday night."

But fish answers the page. It's from his boss, who wants him there right away to supervise an engineer that the vendor is sending to fix an urgent problem. Nobody else can make it in time, boss tells fish; the guy who's covering for fish can't make it in until 2 p.m., which will be too late.

Fish is feeling a little guilty about having handed off his on-call duties, so he doesn't argue. He climbs on his motorcycle and very carefully makes his way back to the office.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 24, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 24, 2018

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 24, 2018

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 24, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 24, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 24, 2018

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

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Oct 24, 2018

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

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 23, 2018

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

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

Firefox 63, which can be downloaded here, updates in the background, so most users need only relaunch the browser to get the latest version. To manually update, pull up the menu under the three horizontal bars at the upper right, then click the help icon (the question mark within a circle). Choose "About Firefox." The resulting page shows that the browser is either up to date or details the updating process.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 23, 2018

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 23, 2018

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 23, 2018

Study for Cisco's IT certification exams with this $39 prep training
With hundreds of digital businesses launching each year, the demand for certified IT professionals to implement IT infrastructure and security systems is steadily increasing. As such, IT is a stable field with plenty of room for career advancement. However, there are dozens of IT certifications to choose from, many of which cater to vendor-specific technologies.

Cisco is one such vendor whose technologies are used in IT solutions all around the world; you can prepare for some of Cisco's most popular certification exams with this $39 bundle.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 23, 2018

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 23, 2018

IDG Contributor Network: Share your ideas for battling wireless telemarketing scam calls
Telemarketing and scam calls are spreading to your wireless phone. Everyone thinks they are a pain in the neck, but still they are continuing to grow. I'm sure you have noticed these calls have spread from your home or office phone to your cell phone. In fact, by next year, First Orion says it is expected that nearly half of all calls on our wireless phones will be from telemarketers or scammers. Let's take a closer look at what's happening. Is there any way we can protect ourselves?

Telemarketers have been bugging us on our home and office phones for decades. Wireless was a welcome escape. Those days are coming to an end. Telemarketers are now targeting the wireless world. That means we are getting an increasing number of these waste-of-time calls or even threats on our smartphones.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 23, 2018

Interview: SAP talks about its 100,000 Apple devices
Apple is in the enterprise, and there's ample proof at Jamf's annual JNUC event, the world's largest gathering of Apple administrators where CIOs of some of the world's biggest businesses are gathered to discuss Mac and iOS in the enterprise.

Apple is now big in business Jamf CEO Dean Hager told me in an interview:

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 23, 2018

Blockchain developer salaries now command as much as $175K
The demand for blockchain engineers or software developers has continued to skyrocket over the past year and salaries for those positions are growing in lockstep.

The median salary for a blockchain developer is now $127,000, with experienced individuals commanding upwards of $172,000 when they move to new organizations, according to Janco Associates, a management consulting firm that conducts regular salary surveys.

[ Read about the 2018 Best Places to Work in IT ] "ERP and Blockchain jobs are in great demand. Individuals can look forward to salaries continuing to increase," Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis said via email.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 23, 2018

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

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 22, 2018

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

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Oct 22, 2018

This Platform Is Making Management of Apple Devices Easy
Whether you're just getting your small business off the ground or growing an already successful venture, onboarding and maintaining your employees' tech gadgets are important steps. Unfortunately, IT can be expensive — and out of the question for many small businesses. Even if you can afford to purchase reliable Apple devices for your growing staff, it can be hard to find the time to keep them updated without a specialist. That's where Jamf Now comes into play: it's a cloud-based solution that delivers Apple management and security with just a few minutes of setup.

To read this article in full, please click here



  • CEOExpress
  • 1 Boston Place | Suite 2600
    Boston MA 02108
  • 617 482 1200
    617 299 8649 (fax)
  • Contact

©1999-2018 CEOExpress Company LLC