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ComputerWorld
Jan 18, 2019

There's a newly acknowledged Edge local IP networking bug in Win10
If you can't get to your router's admin page using the Edge browser, there's a reason why. Microsoft broke it with this month's cumulative updates.

[ Related: The best places to find Windows 10 ISOs ] Yesterday, Microsoft appended this warning to all of its Windows 10 January cumulative update pages for version 1703 onward:


To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 18, 2019

The best Linux apps for Chromebooks
Being able to install Linux apps on Chrome OS opens up some fascinating new possibilities — particularly if you're an advanced user.

After all, while a Chromebook's standard combo of web apps, Chrome apps, and Android apps is more than sufficient for most folks' needs, some of us still require (or maybe just prefer) traditional local programs for certain specific purposes. The presence of Linux apps on Chrome OS means we can have our cake and eat it, too — by enjoying the speed, simplicity, and security of a Chromebook while also embracing the occasional heavy-duty desktop app.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 18, 2019

Balancing act
Big company starts a program to help employees balance their work and family lives, and it sounds appealing to this IT pilot fish.

"At one point I looked into the program because my grandmother was ill at the time," says fish. "Being able to have the time to assist her was important.

"She ended up recovering quickly, so I didn't actually sign up for the program."

But after looking into it, it's clear to fish that the program isn't really designed for him -- it's supposed to help the company get a more diverse workforce by attracting and retaining more women.

Then comes a round of layoffs, and fish ends up attending a series of outplacement sessions with other employees in a similar situation.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 17, 2019

SAP targets counterfeit drugs with blockchain tracker
SAP has launched a supply chain tracking service based on blockchain that will enable drug wholesalers to authenticate pharmaceutical packaging returned from hospitals and pharmacies.

The Information Collaboration Hub for Life Sciences will initially be used to trace the return of unused drugs to wholesalers, but SAP this week said it plans to expand use of the distributed ledger technology to include a broader range of pharmaceutical supply chain processes.

[ Further reading: What is blockchain? The most disruptive tech in decades ] There are about 60 million pharmaceutical returns made to U.S. wholesalers annually, worth an estimated $7 billion.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 17, 2019

Microsoft expands Windows 7-to-Windows 10 app compatibility pledge
Microsoft this week announced that an application compatibility guarantee it gave to enterprises migrating from Windows 7 to Windows 10 has gone global.

The "Desktop App Assure" program, which launched in October and was then available in North America only, has been expanded to all markets, Brad Anderson, the executive who leads the Microsoft 365 group, said in a post to a company blog.

[ Related: Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration guide ] "We've heard loud and clear that one of the most important considerations for shifting to a modern desktop is application compatibility, and we've done a massive amount of work to ensure that Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus are now the most compatible upgrades ever," Anderson said.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 17, 2019

Mingis on Tech: All about Google Fi
In the beginning (2015), it was known simply as Project Fi.

Then late last year, Google renamed its foray into cellular service: It's now called Google Fi.

Just this week, Google announced that Google Fi was getting a few new features: Rich Communications Services for messaging and faster international speeds, which bring it closer to the offerings of providers like AT&T, Version and Sprint. (Google essentially piggybacks on the cell towers and networks of other carriers, making it a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, MVNO.)

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 17, 2019

Android Q dreaming: Imagine the notification inbox
When you stop and think about it, we've reached a really interesting point in the evolution of smartphone software. By and large, the foundation for our mobile tech devices these days is pretty darn decent — "mature," as people who take themselves a little too seriously like to say.

That means we don't see many of the seismic shifts that used to be near-annual occurrences anymore — y'know, the dramatic redesigns and interface rebirths that were almost comically common in the years from Froyo to Lollipop.

And you know what? That's not necessarily a bad thing. With a solid foundation in place, the folks responsible for Android can focus on under-the-hood improvements in areas like performance and privacy along with small but significant above-the-surface enhancements — the sorts of tweaks and additions that may not dramatically change our virtual environments but do make some part of our lives a little more pleasant. If you ask me, those types of changes are often the ones that deliver the most noticeable day-to-day impact.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 17, 2019

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 that has been rolled out to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring, 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
Jan 17, 2019

Microsoft starts its 'phased rollout' of Win10 1809, now controlled by a next-generation machine-learning model
Looks like Microsoft has upped its game on deploying the September-October-November-December 2018 Update for Windows 10, with forced upgrades on the menu.

Yesterday evening, Microsoft updated the status of Win10 1809 to say:


To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 17, 2019

IBM calls time on Slack-rival Watson Workspace
IBM has decided to end support for its Watson Workspace team chat app, citing a lack of customer traction. 

The decision follows the sale of IBM's software assets -  including legacy collaboration applications such as IBM Notes, Domino and Connections - to Indian technology services provider HCL for $1.8 billion in December.

[ Related: 7 Trello alternatives for visual task management ] A preview of Watson Workspace, announced in 2016, touted  IBM Watson's cognitive computings capabilities. Watson's AI underpinned features such as Workspace Moments, which promised to reduce the noise of collaboration by summarizing posts within the chat app.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 17, 2019

'We need new privacy laws' urges Apple CEO, Tim Cook
In a sidelong slap at the business model of Facebook, Google and others, Apple CEO Tim Cook has published an article in which he urges the U.S. government to put surveillance capitalists/data brokers under transparent legal oversight.

Stand up for your rights "In 2019, it's time to stand up for the right to privacy - yours, mine, all of ours." Cook writes in an article for Time Magazine.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 17, 2019

'We need new privacy laws,' urges Apple CEO Tim Cook
In a sidelong slap at the business model of Facebook, Google and others, Apple CEO Tim Cook has published an article in which he urges the U.S. government to put surveillance capitalists/data brokers under transparent legal oversight.

Stand up for your rights "In 2019, it's time to stand up for the right to privacy — yours, mine, all of ours." Cook writes in an article for Time Magazine.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 17, 2019

Start-up Devvio claims its blockchain can handle 8M transactions a second
A start-up firm claims its highly efficient distributed ledger protocol can address all the major problems facing blockchain networks, including being able to scale for global financial business by executing up to eight million transactions per second (TPS).

The new blockchain protocol, called Devv, was unveiled and demonstrated at CES in Las Vegas last week.

If the claims prove true, Devv would be able to compete with traditional financial networks in terms of scalability, be far less expensive to use and would address fraud, theft and privacy issues. Like many blockchain protocols, Devv is not just a peer-to-peer (P2P) database technology but also a digital currency or cryptocurrency called Devcash.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 17, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Hey, what's another six months?
Pilot fish is hired by this company to support an application that tracks orders on a manufacturing plant's shop floor.

"The application was written by a former employee who learned programming from a Dummies book, and had then left the company," grumbles fish.

"The program was extremely buggy and was constantly crashing. But I was told not to modify the existing system in any fashion whatsoever because a new, better system was being written by corporate and would be delivered in six months."

So fish spends the next six months supporting the existing system, and tells his users to be patient because a completely new version is coming.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 16, 2019

7 things Apple's ex-iOS chief, Scott Forstall told us about product design
Former Apple executive Scott Forstall recently spoke with thePhilosophy Talkshow, for a wide-ranging chat during which he offered rare insights into how Apple once thought about product design.

Who is Scott Forstall? Stanford alumni, Scott Forstall began working with Steve Jobs back in 1992 when he took a position at NeXT.

When Jobs moved to Apple, Forstall followed, eventually becoming Apple's senior vice president of iOS software.

He left the company in 2012 following the great Apple Maps debacle, and is now a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer. This means he has deep insight into how the company used to think about product design.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 16, 2019

Brave browser previews ad-replacement feature in latest Dev build
Brave Software on Tuesday previewed part of its unusual advertising model in a developer version of the Brave browser.

The firm also said users of the browser will share between 15% and 70% of the revenue earned from its strategy, which relies on blocking websites' intended online advertisements and replacing them with its own ads.

[ Related: Get serious about privacy with the Epic, Brave and Tor browsers ] "This version provides a preview for users to test ad display and delivery but does not yet include advertiser confirmation or user payment for ad views," Brave Software wrote in a Jan. 15 unsigned post to the company's blog.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 16, 2019

How collaboration apps foster digital transformation
Throughout enterprises large and small, collaboration apps and services are breaking down silos, connecting colleagues in more effective ways and resulting in stronger employee engagement. These tools are enabling companies to transition to a purely digital world and transform business operations with relative ease.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jan 16, 2019

Where's the fire?
It's the late 1970s, and this data center has a high-performance IBM 360/75 mainframe that sports a massive 1 MB of core memory -- one of only four in the world, reports a computer operator pilot fish working there.

"I was a smoker and, of course, smoking in the computer room was forbidden due to the smoke detectors," fish says.

"One night shift I was the lone person in the building. I was walking through a hallway not even close to the computer room when I heard a very loud whooshing noise that sounded like hundreds of tires being deflated at the same time."

Fish runs to the computer room and sees a cloud of white, heavy fog covering the entire room. He knows what happened: The Halon fire-suppression system has deployed.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 15, 2019

Chrome to take ad blocking worldwide in July
Google plans to go global with Chrome's ad-blocking in July, expanding the practice from North America and Europe, where it's been in place for nearly a year.

Beginning July 9, 2019, Chrome will ... stop showing all ads on sites in any country that repeatedly display (disruptive ads)," Ben Galbraith, senior product director of Chrome, wrote in a Jan. 9 post to a company blog.

[ Further reading: Google's Chromium browser explained ] Google first directed Chrome to "filter" online ads - its preferred label for the practice - in February 2018. Then, the company announced its browser would expunge all ads from sites that displayed advertisements identified as the most annoying on the web. The "disruptive" ad types were those that violated the "Better Ads Standards" set by an industry group named "Coalition for Better Ads" (CBA).

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 15, 2019

The 15-minute Chromebook tune-up
As far as computers go, Chromebooks are almost shockingly low-maintenance. Google's Chrome OS operating system updates itself silently and automatically — as do most of the core apps associated with the platform — and it doesn't get gunked up and slowed down over time, as traditional operating systems tend to do. There's no antivirus software to fret over, either, and little in the way of complicated settings or compatibility concerns. By and large, things "just work" — like, for real.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 15, 2019

Apple's biggest challenge isn't selling iPhones
It doesn't matter if we buy them less often, we're all going to continue to buy smartphones; the congregation of loyal iPhone users will continue to grow; and Apple's biggest challenge isn't mobile - it's Mac.

Wave bye-bye to Windows 7 Apple has a huge opportunity.

Over a third of all the Windows PCs on the planet are running a version of the Microsoft OS that is about to die a cold and lonely death, Windows 7. That installation is just twelve software patches away from forced retirement, after which enterprise and consumer users will be forced to upgrade, or to pay Microsoft way too much money to support the old OS, or to upgrade.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 15, 2019

Google Keep cheat sheet
Google Keep lets you create notes and to-do lists that sync across your computer and phone or tablet. It's remarkably handy in a variety of ways. You can tag and search all your notes so they're easy to find later. You can share your notes with other users and collaborate on them. You can record voice memos, and Keep will transcribe them as text notes. You can include images in your notes, and if text is shown in an image, the image shows up in search results. You can create time- or location-triggered reminders based on your notes.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jan 15, 2019

How to quit smoking in 90 days
Pilot fish gets a job working as a field engineer for a small local tech company run by a pair of married couples.

"Every morning I would get a list of service calls for the day at the morning meeting," says fish.

"The couples that ran the company had really bad chain-smoking issues. Both of the guys had heart attacks in their 30s and 40s, but I guess Mr. Nick O' Tine was a hell of an attraction.

"So every morning, the couples lit up and smoked for an hour or two straight while we went over the day's agenda in an enclosed room with no ventilation.

"By the end of each meeting, I smelled like an ashtray.

"After three months, I just couldn't take it, and I finally quit."

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 14, 2019

Apple's AirPower wireless charger may already be in production - and shipping soon
After failing to meet its own shipping timeline in 2018, Apple is now thought to have two manufacturers ramping up production of its AirPower wireless charging pad, according to a Hong Kong-based website that specializes in device charging news.

As first reported by MacRumors, the website ChargerLAB tweeted out this morning that it had "just learned from credible source in supply chain" that Chinese manufacturer Luxshare Precision has begun manufacturing the AirPower multi-device wireless charger. ChargerLAB followed its initial tweet with another claiming a second Apple supplier, Pegatron, will begin manufacturing AirPower chargers on Jan. 21.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 14, 2019

Tick-tock: The year-long Windows 7 countdown by the numbers
A year from today, Microsoft will issue the final public security update for Windows 7, ending the operating system's 10-year run.

[ Related: Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration guide ] Here are some of the important numbers related to Windows 7's final 12 months.

10 The label for the version of Windows slated to replace Windows 7 as the default OS in the enterprise. Currently, Windows 10's adoption rate lags behind Windows 7's at the same point in its post-launch timeline. In March 2013, 41 months after its debut, Windows 7 powered approximately 49% of all Windows PCs.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 14, 2019

Resources to help you modernize your SharePoint intranet
Based on the exciting changes that are rolling out for modern SharePoint, I think 2019 is going to be the "year of modern" for SharePoint intranets. Within the next few months, most of the key barriers to "going modern" will have been removed the point where many more organizations will jump in. There are still a few big rocks that I know several of my clients are waiting for — including the ability to easily schedule the publishing of pages, multi-lingual sites, and audience targeting in navigation — but we know these are either planned or top of mind for 2019. (See my summary of all the roadmap slides from Ignite 2018.)

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 14, 2019

IDG Contributor Network: CES 2019 was all about wireless and 5G
It was no surprise that many of the exhibits at CES 2019 were centered around wireless and 5G. Perhaps because I'm a wireless analyst and columnist, I view the world through this wireless lens anyway. But it should be obvious to everyone at this point that 5G is becoming very real...and that is very exciting for a number of reasons.

It's important for everyone - every company, executive, investor, worker and customer - to understand the transformation that's occurring. The future will be amazing…and it will all be connected, operated and stored virtually, using wireless, the cloud and the IoT.

Sure, there was plenty of wireless news last week at CES from wireless networks, smartphone and tablet makers and more. But if you looked closely, there was also so much from a growing variety of companies who are using wireless to transform themselves and their industries.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 14, 2019

How to integrate blockchain with legacy systems (and whether you should)
Blockchain offers enterprises a new method for transacting over a distributed, trusted network, but plugging the technology into existing databases, ERP systems and a client/partner base is no small task. And in many cases, it isn't even needed.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jan 14, 2019

Not that I ever doubted you...
Flashback to the early 1970s, when this IT pilot fish first starts working for a government office with not one but two mainframes.

"In our computer room, the two mainframes were about five feet tall and stood side by side," fish says.

"One day, our computer operator happened to place a hand on each mainframe.

"He only found out that the machines weren't properly grounded after he was flung against the wall on the other side of the room.

"So he went to the branch chief to report the problem.

"The branch chief, in turn, went to the computer room, stood in front of the machines and placed a hand on each of them.

"After he picked himself off the floor, he called the mainframe support staff to get it fixed."

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 12, 2019

How Google plans to reinvent the user interface
When the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone 12 years ago, he also introduced to many the concept of the multitouch user interface. He emphasized the benefit of using "the pointing device we were all born with": our fingers.

But there's one thing even more natural than physically poking something with our fingers: in-the-air hand gestures. All humans use hand gestures to communicate to other people.

Now Google wants you to use them to communicate with all your electronics.

Google is working on something it calls Project Soli, which uses radar to control electronics with in-the-air hand gestures.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 11, 2019

IDG Contributor Network: CES 2019: The end of the technology segment as we know it
At this year's CES I saw some amazing computers. Whether you're into games or want something for work you'll be able to buy something in a few weeks from a variety of vendors that will likely make your old box look like yesterday's paperweights.

The OEMs at the show showcased some impressive design work. But one of the most interesting conversations I had was with Microsoft's VP of Corporate Communications Frank Shaw. [Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author.] One of the global trends he's observed has been the death of the technology segment. Now don't go shorting all your technology stocks in a panic - this is a good thing.

What he argued was that if you look at most tech firms, they've stopped acting like the world revolved around them and started acting like it revolved around their customers - granted, you can likely name the exceptions. Increasingly, firms are understanding that to succeed, you need to listen and adapt to what your customers' needs are or you not only won't flourish, you won't survive.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 11, 2019

Tech event calendar 2019: Upcoming shows, conferences and IT expos


Tech Events Event Description Starts Ends Location RStudio Conference 2019 Hadley Wickham hosts this conference on all things R and RStudio aimed at helping attendees become better at data science with R. 2019-01-15 2019-01-18 Austin, TX MWC Barcelona The original Mobile World Congress, now renamed MWC Barcelona, addresses a wide range of mobile topics, from AI to Digital Wellness, Digital Trust and connectivity in general. 2019-02-25 2019-02-28 Barcelona, Spain RSA Conference USA Expert-led sessions, keynotes and seminars covering the latest cybersecurity developments. 2019-03-04 2019-03-08 San Francisco, CA SXSW Covering everything from entertainment to entrepreneurship, this sprawling conference has tracks dedicated to Tech Industry & Enterprise, Coding & Development, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency, Health & Medtech, and VR/AR/MR. 2019-03-08 2019-03-17 Austin, TX

ComputerWorld
Jan 11, 2019

An enterprise take on Apple's ‘Project Marzipan'
We will learn much more about Apple's Marzipan initiative that enables iOS apps to run on Macs at WWDC 2019. Meanwhile, here's a quick catch-up on what we know so far and some probably implications for enterprise IT.

A little iOS in the Mac Apple announced Marzipan at WWDC 2018 when it introduced macOS Mojave and iOS 12.

With Mojave now on millions of Macs, lots of us are already using the first four iOS apps to be liberated to run on the Mac:

News Home Stocks (perhaps not so compelling as economies collapse) Voice Memos The apps aren't the be all and end all of Apple's Marzipan initiative, which goes much further and includes development of new cross-platform design-libraries developers can use in order to build apps capable of running on both Mac and iOS platforms.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 11, 2019

MS releases KB 4476976, a test Win10 1809 cumulative update, to the Insider Preview Ring. Bravo!
If Microsoft's patchers keep it up, folks might start to think that they know what they're doing.

Last night we saw the release of KB 4476976, which is a bug-fixing patch for Win10 version 1809. The fix itself isn't remarkable (more about that later). What's amazing is the delivery mechanism.

Once again, Microsoft is making use of the Windows Insider Program Release Preview Ring in the way it was originally intended — to release test versions of cumulative updates, before they head out to the general populace.

Interesting concept. It's called "testing," I believe. Demonstrably, Microsoft has had problems in that department.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 11, 2019

It's not the tool -- it's how you use it
It's many years ago, in the days when a top-of-the-line IBM Selectric electronic typewriter is every secretary's dream to have -- and this senior secretary is getting one, says an IT pilot fish working there.

"To say the least, she loved it," fish says. "She also lorded it over the other secretaries that didn't have one.

"So one day, someone put one of those Christmas light interrupters on the Selectric's power cord. The senior secretary would type a few words, then the Selectric would die. Then revive. Then die.

"An IBM repairman was dragged out to our site to fix the problem. He thought it was pretty funny -- and still charged for the call.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 11, 2019

Mingis on Tech: Bent iPads and a bad quarter - Apple, WTF?
Want to get bent out of shape real quick? Buy one of Apple's new iPad Pros, find out that it's slightly bent, complain about it and then be told - by Apple - that it's still within manufacturing tolerances and won't be replaced.

Yes, that sounds like something from The Onion, but it's actually what's happened to some iPad owners in recent weeks.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 11, 2019

The tech world's best CEO? Microsoft's Nadella, hands down.
Over the years, plenty of kudos have been directed at the people at the helms of big tech companies. Until recent hard times, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Apple's Tim Cook and Alphabet's Sergey Brin, among others, have been fawned over by a compliant press and portrayed as visionaries and great leaders.

But the world's best tech leader hasn't been lionized, not even now that the tech giant he has guided for almost five years remains relatively stable amid jumpy markets. I'm talking about Microsoft's unassuming CEO, Satya Nadella, who as often as not has been considered merely a steady, somewhat boring functionary. Take a look, though, at what he has done at the company through 2018. He has successfully turned Microsoft from a plodding, increasingly irrelevant company into a tech powerhouse that's surprisingly nimble and more willing to change course than its competitors.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 11, 2019

Why full-Chromium Edge means end times for IE
How much longer will Microsoft patch Internet Explorer?

That's a question Windows users who still run the aged browser should ask themselves. The answer? Only Microsoft knows for sure. But there are signs that the Redmond, Wash. developer won't support Internet Explorer (IE) as long as it's promised.

The last (Internet) Explorer Although IE has been demoted to legacy status - it's been three years since Microsoft halted development of the browser - the firm pledged to deliver security updates through the lifetime of any operating system with which the browser was bundled. "Internet Explorer 11 is the last major version of Internet Explorer," Microsoft stated. "Internet Explorer 11 will continue receiving security updates and technical support for the lifecycle of the version of Windows on which it is installed."

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 10, 2019

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
Jan 10, 2019

Nestle phases out Salesforce Chatter, deploys Facebook's Workplace
Nestlé will phase out its company-wide deployment of Salesforce Chatter as it deploys Facebook's Workplace enterprise social network. 

The Swiss firm - the world's largest food company by revenue - chose Workplace to connect staff and support communications across its complex operations. Nestlé owns more than 2,000 brands, has a presence in 191 countries and employs approximately 210,000 workers. 

[ Related: 10 ways to get the most from Facebook's Workplace ] The company had previously relied on an implementation of Salesforce's Chatter - dubbed "NestChatter" internally - as its social communications platform. The rollout was the "largest Salesforce Chatter deployment ever," said Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff during a 2013 earnings call.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 10, 2019

The 15-minute Android phone tune-up
Ah, the beginning of a new year: What better time to clean up, start fresh, and make sure your various work spaces are primed for productivity?

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

A handful of simple-seeming steps can go a long way in clearing out the virtual clutter, y'see, and turning your Android phone back into the optimal work companion it oughta be. And best of all? It shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes to complete.

[Get fresh tips and insight in your inbox every Friday with JR's Android Intelligence newsletter. Exclusive extras await!] So pop open your hood, put on the nearest pair of coveralls, and get ready to get your hands metaphorically dirty: It's time to step into the garage and get your mobile device in tip-top shape for 2019.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 10, 2019

How to create and open compressed files on iPhone, iPad
Many enterprises rely on zip files to exchange data, particularly confidential data - compression helps keep information safe, even against inquisitive ads trackers lurking inside "free" email or online storage services. How do you handle these things on iPad or iPhone?

How to handle zip files on iPhone While it isn't especially obvious, iOS provides some limited features that let you archive and decompress zip files. You can even create a nice little Shortcut to do this for you:

Open Shortcuts, Tap Create Shortcut In the search bar, type Extract Archive: That shortcut should appear in the list below, tap it to add it to your workflow. Returning to the search bar, type Save File. When it appears tap it to add it to the workflow you are building. Tap the switch button at top right of the shortcut name In the next pane you can name the shortcut and give it an icon. The most important change you should make is to enable Show in Share Sheet (flick to green). You can create a second Shortcut to make archives. Just tupe Make Archive to find the relevant flow and then add Save File and Show in Share Sheet as decribed above. Don't forget to give it a name, such as Make Archive. Shortcuts can work with multiple compression formats, including .tar, .zip and .iso. How to use it:

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 10, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Yeah, but it worked!
This engineering office is installing a new network copier/printer in its word-processing department, reports an IT pilot fish on the scene.

"One of the people in that department also handles package shipping via a particular delivery service that also provides Windows software for printing shipping labels, billing, tracking packages, etc.," fish says.

"With the new printer, we're having problems getting that software to properly hold the new printer configuration."

The service representative who is setting up the printer tells fish he needs to reboot the PC. Fish tells him to wait and check with the woman who handles shipping, because he knows that the shipping software can't be shut down and restarted during the working day.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 09, 2019

Windows 10 quick tips: How to share a single PC
Two or more people sharing one PC for work sounds like a recipe for disaster. Do you really want a co-worker to read, edit and delete your files and folders; use or delete your applications; or make system-wide customizations?

In some offices, however, computers need to be shared between two or more workers, or handed off to a temporary worker — without being completely wiped each time. And Windows 10 has great tools for allowing multiple people to share a single PC without any of those problems. In this piece, I'll show you what to do.

This article has been updated for the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809). If you have an earlier release of Windows 10, some things may be different.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 09, 2019

Microsoft upgrades Teams mobile app to woo frontline workers
Microsoft has added a raft of updates to its Teams collaboration tool in a bid to win over "first-line" workers such as retail, healthcare and service staffers. The additions include new mobile app functions, integrations with third-party scheduling apps and an employee "praise" tool.

Microsoft claims there are more than two billion frontline staff globally - a segment of workers that has received less attention than knowledge workers, who have access to a plethora of digital tools to support workplace communications and productivity. 

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 09, 2019

IDG Contributor Network: A great start to patching in 2019
After a busy year of patches and real challenges to the quality of the update process, Microsoft has delivered a "mild" January Patch Tuesday that addresses 47 unique vulnerabilities. This month, we have one publicly reported vulnerability (CVE-2019-0579) that addresses a problem with the Microsoft JET engine. No critical updates for Adobe (really!) and a "Patch Now" rating for the Microsoft IE and Edge browser updates. In addition to the normal security and quality updates released this month, Microsoft has published its latest Servicing Stack Update (SSU) with ADV990001 which applies to Windows 10 (all releases), Server 2008 and Server 2016.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 09, 2019

Enterprise iPhones will soon be able to use security dongles
Enterprise security professionals will be pleased to learn that it will soon be possible to enhance the already considerable device security of Apple's iPhones with hardware-based physical authentication dongles using the Lightning port.

A highly secure proposition Announced at CES 2019, the key fits on a keyring and comes from the authorization experts at Yubico. The hardware connects to iOS systems using the Lightning connection and is also equipped with USB-C for Macs. This is quite a big deal.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 09, 2019

Patch Tuesday updates for Win7, KB 4480970 and KB 4480960 knock out networking
It's Reboot Wednesday (the day following Microsoft's Patch Tuesday) and, like roses unto spring, bugs are starting to crawl out of the woodwork. This time, if you have a network that uses SMBv2, this month's Win7 patches may knock your network upside the head.

I first read about it on Günter Born's site:


To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 09, 2019

Mingis on Tech: As blockchain hype cools, a 'trough of disillusionment' for 2019?
Ok, so maybe blockchain isn't ready yet to become the biggest new technology since the internet.

But the distributed ledger technology clearly made strides in 2018, when it was embraced by companies from Walmart to shipping bigwig Maersk to top tech venders like IBM, SAP, Oracle and Microsoft who see potential in blockchain-as-a-service. (Walmart's vice president in charge of food safety, Frank Yiannas, compared his embrace of blockchain to a "religious conversaion.")

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 09, 2019

Details, details
It's a few years after Y2K when the IT security team at this university gets a rude awakening, reports a pilot fish in the know.

"They discovered that persons unknown had hacked into a university server," fish says. "It was being used to launch denial-of-service attacks against a victim somewhere outside the university."

The team's first job is finding the server -- which turns out to be in the alumni office -- and taking it offline.

Then they start digging into the security logs. That's when they find out that the attackers have been making use of the server for more than a year.

And once they start checking on the IP addresses of whoever it is that has accessed the server, they discover it's not just one or two hackers. It seems people from all over the world have been using this server to launch attacks.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 08, 2019

Windows 10 1903 to seize 7GB of user storage space for smoother upgrades
Windows 10's next feature upgrade will commandeer 7GB of a personal computer's storage space to better ensure updates are properly processed, Microsoft announced Monday.

The drive space, dubbed "Reserved storage," will be set aside starting with what Microsoft will likely name "Windows 10 April 2019 Update" and mark as 1903 in its four-character yymm label. The feature upgrade may begin distribution in March or April.

[ Further reading: Top 35 free apps for Windows 10 ] "Our goal is to improve the day-to-day function of your PC by ensuring critical OS functions always have access to disk space," Jesse Rajwan, a program manager in the storage and file systems group, said in a Jan. 7 post to a company blog.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 08, 2019

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

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

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 08, 2019

7 Android trends to watch in 2019
Nobody panic, but I'm pretty sure there's been a glitch in the matrix.

My calendar insists it's 2019, y'see, but my brain is fairly certain that can't be possible. I mean, c'mon: Did another year somehow slip by us already? Has my holiday hibernation time actually come to an end? Are we really, truly at the start of a whole new orbit around that hot, boastful sun of ours?

Truth be told, I'm pretty skeptical — but until I wake up and determine this is a dream, I reckon we oughta go ahead and act like a new year has begun. And that means it's time to think ahead to the themes and trends we're likely to see taking shape here in the land o' Android over these next 12 months.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 08, 2019

Apple has a chance to transform enterprise communications
Apple at CES is making its consumer-related pitch clear, but if it wants to put even more life into its enterprise sales it must make FaceTime and iMessages more compatible with other platforms to support next-generation enterprise communications.

Enterprises speak to customers Enterprises speak to their customers, and while enterprises are certainly (and appropriately) adopting Apple's solutions across their internal infrastructure, they must still communicate with customers who may be using other platforms.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 08, 2019

Microsoft tries to take on the Chromebook once more
If I were in charge of Microsoft, besides fully embracing Linux for the desktop, I'd give up on trying to challenge Google's Chromebooks with lightweight versions of Windows. It hasn't worked before, and it won't work now.

But I'm not in charge of Windows. Indeed, since Terry Myerson was shown the door in March 2018, no one in Microsoft's mahogany row has represented Windows. That lack of top leadership may be why Windows quality assurance hit new lows with the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 08, 2019

After Apple's guidance revision, time to focus on enterprise
To say Apple's statement to investors revising its quarterly guidance got a lot of attention in the tech industry would be an understatement. The statement, which largely focusaed on iPhone sales in China as a major reason for missing revenue expectations by billions of dollars quickly became one of bigger tech and business stories of the new year.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jan 08, 2019

Can't stay, gotta fly!
This sysadmin works for a non-profit organization on the West Coast, and he keeps strict office hours, reports a pilot fish in the know.

"He comes in at roughly 10 AM and is out the door at about 2 PM," fish says. "How he's managed to stay so long, we don't know.

"When his colleagues ask, 'What are you doing in the early morning and most of the afternoon?' he indignantly replies, 'Working from home!'

"One of his fellow sysadmins has a different explanation: 'He's well-traveled. In the morning he flies in on Alaska time, and in the afternoon he flies out on Florida time.'"

Help keep Sharky flying by sending me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google community, and read thousands of great old tales in the Sharkives.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 08, 2019

Microsoft spins off security, compliance bits from Microsoft 365's priciest plan for E3 customers
Microsoft has introduced two add-on plans for corporate customers currently relying on the not-all-of-the-kitchen-sink Microsoft 365 E3 subscription.

The new deals: "Identity & Threat Protection" and "Information Protection & Compliance." They will be available for purchase as of Feb. 1.

[ Related: Microsoft cheat sheets: Dive into Windows and Office apps ] Although Microsoft didn't say it in so many words, both will be aimed at businesses already subscribing to the $34 per-user per-month Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3 plan.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 07, 2019

Blockchain craze helps push up related salaries
Salaries for blockchain developers are up again, with annual pay soaring by more than $4,000 over the past six months for those in the highest bracket. And the rush to embrace distributed ledger technology is also pushing pay up for related jobs, according to a new report.

The median annual salary for a blockchain developer is now $132,000, with experienced workers commanding upwards of $176,000 a year when they move to new organizations, according to Janco Associates, a management consulting firm that conducts regular salary surveys and updates its report biannually. 

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 07, 2019

BrandPost: End Users are Speaking: It's IT's Turn to Listen
There's a quiet crisis throttling productivity, frustrating end users, and vexing IT leaders: Workers aren't getting what they need from IT to do their jobs. They're frustrated, avoiding IT, and becoming less engaged with their work.

The good news is this crisis can be quelled with some simple steps like listening more, asking the right questions, and focusing on the ends — the business objectives — to deploy the means — technology — to empower workers.

This challenge has become acute thanks to a confluence of trends: digital transformation and changing workforce demographics. Digital transformation has solidified the importance of mobility — with mobile technologies and cloud computing, we work anywhere, anytime. Work isn't a place: It's what we do. As younger workers — Millennials, Gen-Z especially — flex their muscles in the workplace, IT leaders face a new set of challenges.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 07, 2019

CES 2019: Apple's other trade show
One week into 2019 and Apple just plugged the news gap with a series of major announcements that put it at the center of a trade show event it doesn't even exhibit at, CES 2019.

What stays on iPhone First warning that 2019 won't be like every other Consumer Electronics Show event ever came when Twitter was set ablaze with news of Apple's well-targeted attack ad on the outskirts of the show.

The ad - a huge 13-storey black billboard- is emblazoned with the slogan:

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 07, 2019

IDG Contributor Network: How Microsoft lost the wireless smartphone wars
Why, if Microsoft is such a successful company, has it failed in wireless and smartphones over the last decade? Sure, they still lead in operating system wars with Windows and software like Word, but that may have as much to do with lack of real competition than the more important customer satisfaction. So why has the company having so many problems in wireless?

If we pull the camera back, we can see the wireless and smartphone wars have claimed many victims over the last decade or two. Ten years ago, the smartphone space was led by Blackberry and Nokia. Ten years before that it was Motorola. All have now fallen to the bottom of the list as Apple iPhone and Google Android entered and rapidly grew.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 07, 2019

Microsoft is yanking patches already. Make sure automatic update is disabled.
With Patch Tuesday coming tomorrow, now's a good time to make sure you have Windows Automatic Update throttled. Yes, you need to patch sooner or later. No, you don't need to do it in lockstep with Microsoft's, uh, exuberant pace.

Case in point: On Jan. 3, Microsoft released 14 non-security Office patches. (Those are patches for the "perpetual" installed "MSI" versions of Office, not the Office 365 Click-to-Run versions. You gotta love the terminology.) The bug fixes covered a range of bugs, most notably including errors in the way Japanese dates are displayed.

A few hours later, the Japanese-language blogs erupted with reports that four of the new patches — the ones for Office 2010 — caused Excel to throw a Stop error when it was opened. The bad patches:

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 07, 2019

Perfect, redefined
It's the early days of big-iron computing, when IT is called Data Processing and this programmer pilot fish has a program that has apparently compiled perfectly.

Well, not exactly. "I had exactly 256 errors in my program," fish says. "The mainframe compiler software used to have only one byte for counting compiler errors. My program took the whole mainframe down -- several times!

"After they figured out that it was my compilation that took the mainframe down, I got called in to a meeting with my manager and the data center manager.

"I was told I could only compile my program on weekends, and only under the supervision of the data center manager and his top mainframe programmer!

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 07, 2019

In 2019, look for AI-enabled mobile devices - and a UEM push
This year, artificial intelligence will continue its push into mobile hardware and enterprise communication devices, challenging IT shops' enterprise mobility management (EMM) capabilities while at the same time offering potential security benefits.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jan 07, 2019

Windows 10 1809 adoption remains in the cellar
Microsoft's disastrous roll-out of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update was put into stark focus last week when published data showed its adoption was only an eighth that of its 2017 predecessor.

According to statistics gathered by AdDuplex, a Lithuanian company whose technology is embedded in thousands of Windows Store apps, Windows 10 October 2018 Update - 1809 in Microsoft's yymm labeling format - had been installed on just 6.6% of all Windows 10 systems by year's end.

[ Related: Windows 10 October 2018 Update: Key enterprise features ] That was a small fraction of the 53.6% powered by 1709 - Windows 10's second feature upgrade of 2017 - at the close of that year.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 07, 2019

Top 4 enterprise tech trends to watch in 2019
If 2018 was the year of the data breach, the thinking among IT pros is that this will be the year companies take concrete steps to prevent future breaches.

That was the sentiment among tech professionals who took part in a recent @IDGTechTalk Twitter chat about enterprise tech trends for 2019.

In fact, a recent @IDGTechTalk poll found privacy and security to be the top enterprise tech issue for 2019 (45 percent), followed by artificial intelligence (30 percent), cloud computing (16 percent), and blockchain (9 percent).

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 04, 2019

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


Tech Events Event Description Starts Ends Location RStudio Conference 2019 Hadley Wickham hosts this conference on all things R and RStudio aimed at helping attendees become better at data science with R. 2019-01-15 2019-01-18 Austin, TX MWC Barcelona The original Mobile World Congress, now renamed MWC Barcelona, addresses a wide range of mobile topics, from AI to Digital Wellness, Digital Trust and connectivity in general. 2019-02-25 2019-02-28 Barcelona, Spain RSA Conference USA Expert-led sessions, keynotes and seminars covering the latest cybersecurity developments. 2019-03-04 2019-03-08 San Francisco, CA SXSW Covering everything from entertainment to entrepreneurship, this sprawling conference has tracks dedicated to Tech Industry & Enterprise, Coding & Development, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency, Health & Medtech, and VR/AR/MR. 2019-03-08 2019-03-17 Austin, TX

ComputerWorld
Jan 04, 2019

IDG Contributor Network: 2019 CES: Anticipating a revolution that transcends personal devices
This year, there are a lot of moving parts regarding personal technology. First, we have the foldable screens coming to smartphones, which will likely migrate to other devices. Second, we are due for a major refresh on existing AR and VR technology, bringing both closer to the mainstream. Third, we have 5G ramping up shifting performance loads from the devices to the cloud. Fourth, we have deep learning replacing machine learning as the primary way we build AI. Fifth, we have the Apple watch, which, in its ultimate configuration, is basically a wrist-mounted smartphone. And finally, we have the disruptions associated with a weakening of Apple and Intel, opening the door for more innovation and some major changes in the existing technology power structure.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 04, 2019

Apple wants to stop you from using dangerous USB-C devices
Apple wants to make it harder for its customers to use cheap USB-C cables — and it's for your own good.

The risks of USB-C cables Cables are complicated, and that's why friends don't let friends connect cut-price or otherwise unverified USB-C cables to their systems — and soon, you won't be able to.

Apple has warned its users to avoid using low-quality equipment for years. It was only in 2016 that it was revealed that hundreds of chargers at that time sold on Amazon and advertised as being made by Apple were in fact dangerous fakes.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 04, 2019

Apple wants to stop you using dangerous USB-C devices
Apple wants to make it harder for its customers to use cheap USB-C cables - and it's for your own good.

These are the risks of USB-C cables

Cables are complicated and that's why friends don't let friends connect cut-price or otherwise unverified USB-C cables to their systems -and soon, you won't be able to.

Apple has warned its users to avoid using low-quality equipment for years. It was only in 2016 that it was revealed that hundreds of chargers at that time sold on Amazon and advertised as being made by Apple were in fact dangerous fakes.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 04, 2019

Forget IT -- this guy obviously belongs in sales!
This pilot fish is an IT team lead, and most of his software developers are fine -- but then there's Fred.

"He had been a mechanic, and had no real computer training," says fish. "He took a one-week programming class, and then somehow convinced an IT manager that he was a programmer and was hired.

"I had the honor of being Fred's lead. He knew nothing. Once, when he was having a problem, I told him to copy several lines of code into his program without changing any of them. When he came back and said that it still wasn't working, I found he had totally rewritten it into gibberish.

"When the project was about to be delivered to the testers, his code still wasn't working. Over the next week, I totally rewrote his code. At least he thanked me.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 03, 2019

Chrome Remote Desktop: The easy way to access a remote computer
Once upon a time, in a world not so far away, accessing a computer remotely required all sorts of costly, complicated software and technical know-how.

These days, it's a different story. Google's free Chrome Remote Desktop service makes it dead-simple to get on any computer — Windows, Mac, Linux, or Chrome OS — from practically any other desktop or mobile device. You can access all of the remote system's contents and even click around as if you were sitting right in front of it.

Chrome Remote Desktop can be useful for signing into your own personal or work computer from afar, and it can be equally valuable for peeking in on someone else's system — be it your co-worker's or your mother's — to provide hands-on help without having to be in the same location.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 03, 2019

Google yanks option to restore Chrome's older UI; users decry 'ugly' new look
Chrome users have laid into Google after the search giant scrubbed an option that let them restore an earlier user interface (UI), saying that the new look was "untenable" and "ugly," and "would burn the eyes."

The brouhaha, which has packed complaints into venues like Chrome's official support forum, Twitter and Reddit, grew in volume and vitriol throughout December, after Google upgraded the browser to version 71.

[ Further reading: Google's Chromium browser explained ] Although Google revamped Chrome's UI with version 69 - released in September to mark the browser's 10th anniversary - users were able to punt that look-and-feel for the prior by setting an option in the panel that showed after typing chrome://flags into the address bar. The option was labeled "UI Layout for the browser's top chrome;" switching from "Default" to "Normal" and restarting the browser restored the older UI.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 03, 2019

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
Jan 03, 2019

Apple's big miss: It's time to stop messing around
In retrospect, Apple's warning of softer-than anticipated iPhone sales is entirely predictable as trade wars, political and civil insecurity and tribalism deepen their grip across societies that really should know better.

Tough times Apple CEO Tim Cook issued a statement to explain the miss. You'll have seen it dissected everywhere (though few point the finger at the real culprit).

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 03, 2019

AR and VR bring a new twist to collaboration
Businesses are finding a wide variety of applications for augmented reality and virtual reality tools, from training to rapid prototyping to enhancing marketing materials. Add that demand to consumer interest in the technologies for entertainment, gaming, retail showcasing, and more, and it's not surprising that IDC has predicted that the overall AR and VR headset market is set to grow from 8.9 million units in 2018 to 65.9 million units by 2022.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Jan 03, 2019

New year, same old users
IT support pilot fish takes a call to help a user change a password on a webpage form -- and it reminds fish of just how much help-desk techs love password resets.

"I spent 25 minutes talking to him," fish groans. "There were only two buttons to press, Submit and Reset.

"You'd think that after pressing Reset three times and having it erase the passwords he typed in, he would try Submit -- right?

"But no -- our customer tried a fourth and then a fifth time, until he got the idea to hit the other button.

"This person was by all accounts a functional, employed adult..."

Sharky needs a new year's worth of stories of users, management and IT gone off the rails. So send me your true tales of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google community, and read thousands of great old tales in the Sharkives.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 02, 2019

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.

Nominations are now closed for the 2019 Best Places to Work in IT list. Our special report announcing the honorees will be published in June 2019.

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
Jan 02, 2019

Top web browsers 2019: Microsoft needs to rebuild Edge before Edge disappears
By the time Microsoft manages to refit its Edge browser with Chrome's engines, there might not be much of an Edge there.

Microsoft's browsers - Internet Explorer (IE) and Edge - jettisoned the most user share in over a year last month, falling to a record low. Meanwhile, Edge's share of all Windows 10 PCs, a metric Computerworld views as the most accurate reflection of user acceptance, also dropped to a new low.

[ Related: Get serious about privacy with the Epic, Brave and Tor browsers ] According to web analytics company Net Applications, IE's and Edge's combined share plunged by 1.5 percentage points to end 2018 at 12.4%. The decline was the largest since September 2017, excepting a larger share sell-off two months later when Net Applications purged its data of fraudsters' bots. Most of the drop-off was due to users fleeing IE; the obsolete browser lost 1.3 percentage points all by itself, slumping to 8.3 percentage points. Edge shed slightly more than one-tenth of a point, more-or-less tying its former record low, first set in September 2018.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 02, 2019

IDG Contributor Network: CES 2019 should change name to CES 5G 2019
CES 2019 is coming to Las Vegas next week and from the pre-briefings I am taking, what I am learning is that it may be time for a name change. Instead of calling the show CES 2019, I think it should be called CES 5G 2019. The reason is simple. So much of the innovation and enhancements to the products and services at the show depend on 5G wireless networks, smartphones and other mobile gear going forward.

Wireless is becoming the heartbeat at the center of the massive consumer electronics industry. This is incredible to think about. Just ten years ago, 3G wireless played a smaller role at the CES shows.

5G Wireless will play a growing role in every other industry Fast-forward to today and we can see how wireless is playing a crucial role in a growing number of consumer electronics technologies and companies. And that is rapidly growing.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 02, 2019

Why Apple must make January great again
There was a time when Apple defined the future direction of the entire tech industry for the next twelve months when its annual January Macworld Expo event set the scene.

Even the first iPhone was announced January 9, 2007.

What this meant The January event meant Apple commanded the attention of every tech media and industry thought leader at the beginning of each year.

Airports across the planet were filled with people making their quarterly journey to an Apple keynote (others took place in New York, France and Tokyo, with a fifth event WWDC in June).

Crowds congregated and speculation flew.

Hacks were happy to have something exciting to write about after the annual crushing bore that CES became and the long spell of holiday season news emptiness that seems to extend from November.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 02, 2019

Windows by the numbers: Windows 10 finally dethrones Windows 7
Nearly three and a half years after its release, Windows 10 last month surpassed its enterprise predecessor, Windows 7, as the most popular operating system on the planet.

According to analytics vendor Net Applications, Windows 10 jumped by 1.1 percentage points in user share in December, climbing to 39.2% of all personal computers and 45.5% of all PCs running Windows. (The second number is larger than the first because Windows does not power all PCs; in December, Windows ran 86% of the world's systems. Most of the remainder ran macOS, Linux or Chrome OS, in decreasing order.)

[ Related: Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration guide ] Meanwhile, Windows 7 lost 2 percentage points last month, four times the loss of November and the largest one-month decline in over a year. Windows 7 ended 2018 on 36.9% of all personal computers and on 42.8% of all Windows PCs.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 02, 2019

How blockchain may kill the password
Imagine a company that can verify the background of a new employee and onboard them with the click of a single virtual button, or a banking customer who can verify their identity for a loan without exposing personally identifiable information - again with a click of a button.

That's the potential blockchain holds for decentralized identity management. It's done  by creating a digital wallet that serves as a repository for all kinds of personal and financial data, info that can only be shared after a specific request and only with the permission of the owner.

[ Further reading: What is blockchain? The most disruptive tech in decades ] Blockchain distributed ledger technology (DLT) - in combination with digital identity verification - holds the potential to solve online privacy issues that plague everything from consumer sales and bank know-your-customer regulations to employee credentials that allow access to confidential business systems.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 02, 2019

If the CTO says it's OK, what could go wrong?
Medical rehab facility is facing a compliance deadline for HIPAA privacy regulations, and that could be a problem, says a cybersecurity pilot fish working there.

"The HIPAA regulations are strewn with potential issues," fish says. "When some aspect isn't followed and a patient's data privacy is compromised, the fines can be substantial."

And that's the headache fish faces because of his facility's use of Gmail. As the site's cybersecurity engineer, fish knows that ordinary Gmail isn't HIPAA compliant.

Fortunately, there's a fix -- one that involves additional paperwork and agreements, along with some added security verification. But that's still easier and less complex than moving everyone off Gmail.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 01, 2019

Android 2019 primer: 10 bits of telling analysis to mull over
When it comes to mobile technology, trends mean so much more than any single event.

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

We had no shortage of such matters to consider in 2018 — and some of the trends we've observed over these past 12 months will almost certainly inform the patterns we'll see over the course of the coming year.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Jan 01, 2019

Throwback Tuesday: In 1756 it was a very good year
Pilot fish's company gets a new ERP package in early 1999. Implementation team works for nine months and hits the go-live date at the end of November.

A couple weeks into December, fish receives notice that the ERP vendor's tech support will be available over New Year's weekend to provide phone support -- for a premium price. "My company took a pass -- we felt pretty good about our level of Y2K readiness," says fish.

On the first business day of the year, there's a noncritical non-Y2K problem with the ERP package. Fish goes to the vendor's website and tries to create a Support Incident but can't. "I kept getting bounced out to a message stating, 'Incidents may not be created for dates prior to Dec. 1, 1756.' So I went to the phone," he says. "Their phone system was down."

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Dec 31, 2018

Q&A: Experian exec says biometrics won't save you from mobile hacks
If you think your new iPhone's Face ID facial recognition feature or your bank's fancy new fingerprint scanner will guarantee privacy and block hackers from accessing sensitive personal or financial data, think again.

In the coming year, cyberattacks will zero in on biometric hacking and expose vulnerabilities in touch ID sensors, facial recognition technology and passcodes, according to a new report from credit reporting agency Experian Plc. While biometric data is considered the most secure method of authentication, it can be stolen or altered, and sensors can be manipulated, spoofed or suffer deterioration with too much use.

Even so, as much as 63% of enterprises have implemented or plan to roll out  biometric authentication systems to augment or replace less-secure passwords, Experian said in its report. The push toward biometric systems dates back to the turn of the century in the financial services industry.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Dec 31, 2018

Not change! Anything but change!
This business owner was told years ago that a Microsoft Exchange server was too expensive to maintain for a network his size, reports a pilot fish who now has the business as a client.

"So even in 2018 they were still on POP email, with a copy of each message going to their cell phones," fish says.

"Client had internalized 'Exchange bad,' so there was no real discussion on this topic, even while experiencing really horrible customer service from their current email provider.

"Client received an email on Christmas Eve stating that the provider was shutting down the email server in one week, so my client needed to migrate over to the new server. This involved changing all the settings on both the phones and the PCs, as well as the MX records.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Dec 29, 2018

How Microsoft lost the web
Microsoft's announcement earlier this month that it was dumping its own browser technology for Google's - turning Edge into a Chrome clone - was a stunning acknowledgement that the company had lost its decades-long battle for browser supremacy.

"We intend to adopt the Chromium open-source project ... to create better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers," Joe Belfiore, a corporate vice president in the Windows group, wrote in a Dec. 6 post to a company blog. But while Belfiore blew the open-source horn, he didn't bother to recap how Microsoft reached this point when earlier in the century, it was the dominant browser maker, accounting for more than 90% of all usage after it laid waste to Netscape Navigator.

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ComputerWorld
Dec 28, 2018

Broken, not broken, broken, not broken...
Your software is lying down on the job, a customer accuses tech support pilot fish.

What do you mean? fish asks.

"The computer starts printing the form, but when it's halfway, it just stops," user says. "If we try to print it again, we get the same result."

Fish quickly exhausts the diagnostics he can do over the phone and makes the long drive out to the site.

On arrival at the office, he notices a big Christmas tree standing near the printer and decked out in lots of lights. He also notices that the cord to the Christmas lights isn't plugged in and remarks on it to the clerk.

"That's right," says clerk. "We don't have enough outlets in this room, so we had to unplug the printer in order to plug in the tree lights. But don't worry -- we've unplugged the lights and plugged the printer back in.

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ComputerWorld
Dec 28, 2018

Collaboration 2019: Teams, Slack and what's coming
The booming team collaboration market is likely to continue booming in 2019 as companies roll out chat apps more widely across their operations.

With Microsoft leveraging the ubiquity of its Office suite to push Teams, and Slack doubling down on its still-evolving enterprise push, the two leaders in the market are likely to continue to try and one-up each other in the search for new customers. At the same time, a host of other firms, from Facebook to Google, Cisco and more, will continue to build out their own team chat platforms.

[ Related: 10 ways to get the most from Facebook's Workplace ] IDC, by the way, expects the collaboration market to generate $3.5 billion in revenues in the year ahead, up from $2.9 billion in 2018.

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ComputerWorld
Dec 27, 2018

Tech luminaries we lost in 2018
Remembering our industry's innovators In Memoriam 2018 Tech luminaries we lost this year [slideshow cover]" data-license="Getty Images"/Image by FreedomMaster / Getty Images

They were the founders of such household names as Atari and Microsoft. They built the hardware and software that powers the Internet. They used computers to give voice to the young and the disabled. And they rarely did so in the spotlight. Whether they ever achieved fame or fortune, these 13 women and men deserve a place in the history books for their lives, accomplishments, and contributions to science and information technology around the world.

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ComputerWorld
Dec 27, 2018

Run. Boom! Repeat.
Christmas: Pilot fish in IT operations is working the holiday so a critical mainframe application can go live by New Year's. Schedule is tight, and the programmers don't want to lose time the day after Christmas waiting for the work to come back from operations.

So the fish starts compiling and test-running job after job -- no problem. Gets down to the last set of 50 jobs. Runs the first one. It blows up.

Runs the second one. It blows up.

After job number 10 blows up, he gives up, scrawls across the remaining work orders "THIS PROGRAM MUST REALLY BE SCREWED UP!" in big red letters and sends the whole mess back to the programmers.

Next day he gets a call asking why he didn't just continue to run the jobs. Explains they were all blowing up.

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ComputerWorld
Dec 26, 2018

The top 10 stories of 2018: Blockchain rises, open source reigns, trust wanes
2018: The year in reviewImage by Rob Schultz, Stephen Lawson, Pete Linforth, Natascha Eibl, NegativeSpace.co, modified by IDG Comm

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ComputerWorld
Dec 26, 2018

How about a little Christmas fudge?
It's the late 1960s, and this U.S. Marine Corps pilot fish is charged with keeping track of more than 100,000 Marines in the Western Pacific and Hawaii -- using, fish says, "an IBM 1401 mainframe and lots of cards."

Which means fish spends much of his time traveling between Vietnam, Hawaii and Washington, updating the ranks and specialties of the Marines and how long it's been since they were rotated into or out of Vietnam.

As Christmas approaches, fish is in D.C. with his headquarters counterpart, frantically working on a semiannual staffing report.

"Because only one airline was serving Hawaii, I booked my return flight for Dec. 24 so I could be with my family for Christmas," fish says. "Next available flight was the middle of January."

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ComputerWorld
Dec 25, 2018

See how well that worked out?
Employees at a Southern design firm feel the urge to decorate for the holidays, but a network admin pilot fish tries gently to put on the brakes.

"I told them not to put a Christmas tree on the server," fish says. "But since it's in the accountant's office who thinks she owns the world, they thought it would 'be OK.' "

So the server gets topped with a fully decorated Christmas tree. And the inevitable happens.

"A few days before the Christmas break, some pieces of decorating tinsel got sucked into the server," says the fish, "which fried instantly, hard drives and all."

But it worked out well, the fish says: "We started Christmas early."

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ComputerWorld
Dec 24, 2018

Be of good cheer: The Windows/Office December patching minefield looks clear
The big remaining bugaboo — the Dec. 19 emergency release of Internet Explorer patches for all supported versions of Windows — remains shrouded in secrecy. That said, it looks like early reports of devastating bugs in the IE update are overstated; at this point, I'm not aware of any replicable problems.

That's very good news, actually, given Microsoft's exceedingly poor recent history with emergency patches.

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ComputerWorld
Dec 24, 2018

Apple in 2019: Expect more focus on enterprise identity, device ownership
If 2018 was the year Apple revamped its relationship with enterprise users, 2019 is likely to be year the company keys in on device ownership and identity in the workplace. In fact, Apple has been signaling this kind of focus for a while with a series of moves that have shifted how it handles hardware management and lay the groundwork for the year ahead.To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

ComputerWorld
Dec 24, 2018

Christmas has been cancel--er, rescheduled!
Flashback to late 2005, when this pilot fish is part of the 24x7x365 staff for a bank's data center -- and Christmas is coming.

"The state's list of bank holidays moved the Christmas holiday from Sunday, Dec. 25th, to Monday, Dec. 26th," says fish.

"This seemed fair for the Monday to Friday staff. But data center staff worked either Tuesday to Saturday or Sunday to Thursday. I told management that Dec. 25th should be the holiday for data center staff.

"Management said that the holiday was Monday, Dec. 26th, not Dec. 25th.

"So data center staff worked Christmas Day for straight pay, and the day after Christmas was double-time pay for whoever covered the 'holiday.'"

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