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   NEWS: ENTERPRISE APPLICATION NEWS
Enterprise Application News
Apr 25, 2019

Fast forward: What's coming in future versions of Chrome?
Fact: Chrome rules.

With a massive two-thirds of the world's browser user share - a measurement of browser activity calculated monthly by analytics vendor Net Applications - Google's Chrome has no peer in popularity.

So when Chrome speaks, people listen. That holds true for whatever moves Google makes with each browser upgrade - something Computerworld details in the What's in the latest Chrome update? series - and in what it plans to do in the future.

[ Further reading: Google's Chromium browser explained ] With each update, Google publishes a set of release notes aimed at enterprises. In those release notes, the company highlights some of the upcoming additions, substitutions, enhancements and modifications planned for its browser._

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 25, 2019

Slack Frontiers 2019 | TECH(talk)
At its Frontiers event this week, Slack rolled out tweaks to its popular collaboration platform - all of them aimed at helping users get their jobs done easier. Most notably, the company is looking to connect Slack with email.

Enterprise Application News
Apr 25, 2019

FedEx CIO: It's time to mandate blockchain for international shipping
TORONTO -- When railroad tracks were first laid across the western U.S., there were eight different gauges all competing to dominate the industry - making a nationwide, unified rail system impossible; it took an act of Congress in 1863 to force the adoption of an industry standard gauge of 4-ft., 8-1/2 inches.

FedEx CIO Rob Carter believes the same kind of thing needs to happen for blockchain to achieve widespread enterprise adoption.

[ Further reading: Blockchain: The complete guide ] While the promise of blockchain to create a more efficient, secure and open platform for ecommerce can be realized using a proprietary platform, it won't be a global solution for whole industries now hampered by a myriad of technical and regulatory hurdles. Instead, a platform based on open-source software and industry standards will be needed to ensure process transparency and no one entity profits from the technology over others.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 25, 2019

Unraveling the new Android Notification Assistant
I'll admit it: I spend far too much time thinking about Android notifications.

To wit: 'Twas a time when I wished upon a star for the simple ability to snooze an Android notification — to send it away to a later moment, similar to what Google's recently deceased Inbox app allowed us to do with emails. That capability came around in Android 8.0 Oreo (thank you, Google genie!), so I got to wishing some more.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 25, 2019

Apple is suffering the butterfly effect
Introduced with the MacBook in 2015, Apple's butterfly keyboard was meant to be a technological marvel, instead it was loud in use and broken too easily.

Now Apple is offering to fix these keyboards at its retail stores in as little as a day.

Apple is suffering the butterfly effect People who really like Apple products noticed problems with these keyboards.

In normal use, keys would jam as tiny pieces of dust crept underneath them; sometimes they would never work again. Sometimes they literally fell off the keyboard.

The problem is in the design. Apple's butterfly keyboard is designed to be much thinner than others, but to achieve this it has created a delicate mechanism that jams very easily when dust gets under the key. The spring used is also quite weak.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 25, 2019

What's in the latest Chrome update?
Google on Tuesday updated Chrome to version 74, an update that patched 39 security vulnerabilities and added support for websites that want to honor users' requests to limit stomach-churning motion effects.

The search company paid out $26,837 in bug bounties to 17 researchers who reported some of the vulnerabilities quashed in Chrome 74. Five of the flaws were ranked "High," the second-most-serious category in Google's four-step rating system.

Because Chrome updates in the background, most users only need to relaunch the browser to complete the upgrade. To manually update, select "About Google Chrome" from the Help menu under the vertical ellipsis at the upper right; the resulting tab shows that the browser has been updated or displays the download process before presenting a "Relaunch" button. New to Chrome? Download the latest in versions for Windows, macOS and Linux from here._

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 25, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Switcheroo
Flashback to the 1960s, when this rookie technician is responsible for servicing a telephone switch. And what a switch it is, remembers a pilot fish in the know.

"Enormous," says fish. "The switch fills a large room and runs unattended. It's designed for no more than eight hours total downtime over 40 years. The design is for two identical processors, each of which is itself very reliable, and each of which monitors the other and reboots it if needed.

"Sometimes there's a hard failure. When that happens, the processor that's still working runs diagnostics on the other one, prints its findings on the console and sends a message to maintenance headquarters."

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 24, 2019

DataCamp CEO steps down indefinitely in wake of 'inappropriate behavior'
DataCamp CEO Jonathan Cornelissen is stepping down "indefinitely" in the wake of "uninvited physical contact" with an employee in 2017. The move comes after an uproar in the R community over what was seen as an inadequate response by the company and no punishment or consequences to the executive.

In an apology posted earlier today, Cornelissen said the company will establish an Instructor Advisory Board, and an independent third party will conduct "a full review of the company's environment and culture, including its response to the incident."

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 24, 2019

Buy More, Save More -- This HP Coupon Code Cuts Prices on Business PCs
If you're looking to buy a new business PC, HP is currently offering a "buy more, save more" discount that gets activated at 3 different price points, and using a special code. 

Configure your new PC to the $599 price point and apply code BMSM60 to save $60. Or configure to $1,299 and use code BMSM150 to save $150. Configure to $1,999 and use code BMSM350 for a whopping $350 off your new PC.  Click the codes just mentioned to learn more, or click right here to review available models, specs, and configurations.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 24, 2019

The Mac is becoming an iPad accessory
I've reached that point in using both a Mac and an iPad when I regularly find myself pointing at the Mac's screen to get work done. I think that's a turning point.

The future of the Mac I've been using both Apple's platforms side-by-side since the 2010 iPad shipped. At that time, the iPad was more like a large iPhone.

These days, productivity features like Slide Over mean I'm making much more use of iPads to replace the Mac, and in future I think we'll find that Macs become iPad accessories.

Apple is expected to make iPads even more capable Mac replacements at WWDC 2019, when it will introduce Mac/iPad features that current speculation claims will include:

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 24, 2019

Where are the April Windows patches?
After a couple of years of rattling around its release cage, Microsoft settled on a monthly patching pace that's largely worked.

First Tuesday ("A week"):

Patch Tuesday ("B week"):

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 24, 2019

Apple edges closer to cursory code review for all Mac apps
Apple will soon make a code review mandatory for all applications distributed outside its own Mac App Store by new developers, a first step towards requiring all Mac software to pass similar reviews.

The Cupertino, Calif. company argued that the process, which it calls "notarization," would build a more secure macOS environment. "We're working with developers to create a safer Mac user experience through a process where all software, whether distributed on the [Mac] App Store or outside of it, is signed or notarized by Apple," the company stated in an April 10 message on its developer portal.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 24, 2019

Android versions: A living history from 1.0 to Q
What a long, strange trip it's been.

From its inaugural release to today, Android has transformed visually, conceptually and functionally — time and time again. Google's mobile operating system may have started out scrappy, but holy moly, has it ever evolved.

Here's a fast-paced tour of Android version highlights from the platform's birth to present.

Android versions 1.0 to 1.1: The early days Android made its official public debut in 2008 with Android 1.0 — a release so ancient it didn't even have a cute codename.

Things were pretty basic back then, but the software did include a suite of early Google apps like Gmail, Maps, Calendar, and YouTube, all of which were integrated into the operating system — a stark contrast to the more easily updatable standalone-app model employed today.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 24, 2019

Did she at least get to say, ‘I told you so'?
A local beer distributor is notorious for not exactly being a Best Place to Work in IT, so pilot fish is grateful he has never worked there, but he knows quite a few people who have. One of his friends — we'll call her Betty — is charged with keeping the company's tablet computers up and running. The actual job she was hired for? Salaried accountant — no overtime pay.

The tablets are used for a variety of mission-critical tasks, like inventory control and planning the daily routes for the delivery trucks. They're old, and frequently mistreated by the warehouse workers who use them. Hardly a day goes by without at least one coming in for repair. That keeps Betty pretty busy, and she already has a full workload of accounting tasks. 

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 23, 2019

Microsoft lets SMB workers share Office on a single PC with expanded M365 Business rights
Microsoft this week announced it has added shared computer activation (SCA) for Office to the less-expensive Microsoft 365 Business subscription, giving small- and medium-sized businesses a way for multiple employees to run Office's productivity applications from a single PC.

"((This will help)) in scenarios where multiple users are connecting to the same remote computer at the same time ((or)) where multiple users share the same computer and the users are logging in with their own account," Ashanka Iddya, a senior product manager, wrote in a Monday post to a company blog.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 23, 2019

The curiously missing piece in Google's Chromebook puzzle
2019 has already shown itself to be the year of funky phones with Android — foldable phones, sliding phones, and even phones with hidden screens on their backs (for some reason). For all the wild experimentation in the phone arena, though, there's one area where we aren't seeing enough willingness to do something different.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 23, 2019

6 best note-taking apps for an Apple iPad
We all need to take notes, and these six note-taking apps all have their own unique advantages, particularly used with Apple Pencil.

The app you've got: Apple Notes Apple's Notes app works quite well with an Apple Pencil but is quite limited in comparison with the more full-featured choices in this collection. You can use it to keep sketches, notes, drawings, web links and more. I use this app a lot, but I'd really value better export, filing and deep linking options within the app, so I could not only link notes up to one another but also bring them inside third-party project management and shared project folders. It would also be useful if you could sync Notes up elsewhere than iCloud.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 23, 2019

How to fix six Windows 10 headaches
Microsoft Windows 10 has gone a long way towards fixing the problems that were endemic with earlier versions of Windows — notably Windows 8. But it's still far from a perfect operating system and has its share of headaches.

Looking through various user discussions (and tapping our own experiences) we've identified six problems that a lot of people are complaining about: forced Windows 10 updates; the Cortana digital assistant (which some users want to get rid of and can't); lost disk space; sluggish boot times; annoying notifications; and problems with the Start menu.

But don't worry, help is on the way. We've researched ways to take care of these issues (or at least make them a little less irritating). Here are some solutions that will make Windows 10 more pleasant to use.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Apr 23, 2019

Security theater, '80s style
It's the late 1980s and pilot fish is working on business application development for an aerospace and defense contractor where physical security is surprisingly lax. There's a guard on duty at the front desk during business hours, but that's about the extent of it. That changes with the announcement that all personal gear will be subject to inspection on leaving the building.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 22, 2019

Wireless charging from A to Z: What you need to know
The term wireless charging has been around since... well, Nikola Tesla attempted to demonstrate it in 1901. For nearly a century after, however, the technology was without many practical uses, except, perhaps, for a few electric toothbrush models.

Over the past decade, wireless charging matured through the formation of various standards groups such as the Wireless Power Consortium, and through mainstream adoption by mobile device makers, such as Samsung in 2014, and finally, Apple in 2017.

To date, wireless charging has consisted of direct-contact charging pads using tightly-coupled induction technology; that combo creates an electromagnetic field between  two copper coils. Induction charging, while widely adopted because of Qi and other specifications, greatly limits the placement of a smartphone or other device on a charging pad. Nevertheless, inductive charging has become the de facto industry standard.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 22, 2019

16 multi-device wireless chargers to replace Apple's defunct AirPower
Belkin BOOST?UP Wireless Charging DockImage by Belkin

Apple made a big splash announcing its AirPower wireless charging pad - and then wound up killing off the device before it ever made it to market. But there are alternative multi-device wireless chargers to keep in mind. 

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 22, 2019

Microsoft adds more reasons for enterprise users to run Edge on mobile devices
Microsoft on Monday announced that the iOS and Android versions of its Edge browser now support single sign-on (SSO) and conditional access - crucial security, management and convenience features to the enterprise.

Integrating Edge on mobile into the broader enterprise ecosystem - leveraging the SSO of Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), for example - may be Microsoft's best shot at getting its most important customers to adopt the browser.

[ Related: How to get the most from Microsoft Intune ] Edge's user share on mobile has been microscopic. According to analytics vendor Net Applications, Edge accounted for just six-hundredths of one percentage point in March, or more than 1,000 times less than the leader, Google's Chrome.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 22, 2019

Why I've learned to hate my Apple Watch
In a perfect world, the Apple Watch Series 4 could be great. With a few easy settings, a glance at the watch would deliver time, temperature, the dial-in details for your next appointment or many other things that would be helpful. This would be in an ideal world. I don't live in an ideal world. I live in Jersey. (No wisecracks; that's my job.) As such, I have quickly learned to hate my Apple Watch.

Much of my fury is caused by missed opportunities. With a few small tweaks, the Apple Watch experience could be one of happiness and efficiency. Fortunately for Apple, I am now going to share those tweaks. Until then, though, I will continue to curse at this buzzy, won't-show-me-what-I-want-except-when-I-don't-want-it, overpriced annoyance.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 22, 2019

Report meets abrupt end
It's the early '80s and pilot fish is working at a company with several remote job entry (RJE) stations across the country. It makes it easy to print batch reports tailored to each location.

One of the reporting jobs has an abend that causes it to send a dump to one of the RJE sites, and it's weeks before the programmers notice, because the dump doesn't print at headquarters. 

When the abend finally is noticed, the job is quickly fixed. The next day, though, the programmer gets a call from the operator at an RJE, who asks, "Where's my numbers report?"

"What numbers report?" says the puzzled programmer.

"Every morning I was getting this big report that had nothing but columns of numbers on it, and now it's not coming out anymore."

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 22, 2019

Google hopes AI, collaboration will win G Suite customers
With G Suite, Google faces an uphill battle against Microsoft's widely used Office 365 productivity tools. At its Cloud Next conference in San Francisco earlier this month, Google unveiled a number of updates to G Suite, outlining its vision for a collaborative, AI-infused set of apps under the marketing banner "Make it fast. Make it smart. Make it together."

Among the announcements: Google Assistant's integration with G Suite Calendar; the expansion of Cloud Search to third-party business applications; and the addition of telephony features to create a unified communications as a service (UCaaS) offering within G Suite.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Apr 20, 2019

Can Facebook be trusted with a virtual assistant?
Facebook is working on its third virtual assistant.

That Facebook would pursue a voice-based, artificially intelligent interface is hardly surprising. A list of the world's biggest eight companies by market cap contains the complete roster of seven major players in the virtual assistant market: Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google), Facebook, Alibaba and Tencent. The outlier in the list is Berkshire Hathaway.

Evidently, to be one of the biggest tech companies is to have an AI assistant interface. It's easy to predict that voice-based virtual humans will become the preferred, mainstream user interface for almost all computing.

And Facebook also owns one of the world's most formidable AI research labs. The company now spends nearly $8 billion per year on R&D.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 19, 2019

Windows 7 upgrade nag messages start to show up
Microsoft this week triggered a nag message in Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Ultimate to remind users that their operating system will drop out of support in a little less than nine months.

A month ago, the Redmond, Wash. developer gave customers a heads-up that they would start seeing on-screen messages sometime in April about Windows 7's impending support end.

[ Related: Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration guide ] The message appeared on PCs when they booted yesterday, April 18. "After 10 years, support for Windows 7 is nearing an end," it stated.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 19, 2019

16 iPhone tips to get things done faster
I'm attempting to put together an attempt at a definitive list of useful but fast tips to get things done quicker and better on an iPhone. Here are some of my favorites.

Siri everything Siri is the fastest way to open an app. It's the fastest way to open Settings for an app - just ask Siri to "open Settings" while you are in the app. It's also the fastest way to send a fast message to someone and the quickest means by which to dictate an email. You can even ask it to switch on Do Not Disturb or schedule meetings with named contacts.

Fast response Received a message and want to send a response fast? Just long press the message to open its preview and then slide your finger up the screen to find three quick responses you can use.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 19, 2019

Review: Choetech's PowerDual 5 is 'a quality charger with limitations'
The new T535-S PowerDual 5 Coils Fast Wireless Charger pad is marketed as a breakthrough, especially since Apple finally cancelled its own AirPower wireless charger.

But Choetech's new charger only resembles the AirPower because of its oval form factor and overlapping, internal, copper charging coils. Unlike Apple's unrealized  charger, the PowerDual only charges up to two smartphones (namely any iPhone 8 and newer device or Samsung Galaxy Note 8 or newer phones).

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 19, 2019

IDG Contributor Network: The birth of the virtual window
With the near-constant increase in display resolution - we're now talking about 16K displays! - and the constant uptick in display panel sizes (I have a magnificent 49" display on my desk, for instance), I've long believed we could eventually replace the windows in our homes and offices with displays. These could provide a number of advantages, of course.

I've waited year after year for someone to actually build a product like this. I even thought Bill Gates might be the first to do it, given that, in his home, he already had dynamic, display-based art that changed based on who was viewing it. But, nope…even that didn't happen.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 19, 2019

Not quite the result we were planning
Pilot fish is admin to a few social media pages that post about a computer magazine's blog that runs stories of useless users, hapless bosses, clueless vendors and adventures that readers have encountered in their professional and personal lives. The magazine posts a new story each morning, and fish posts links to the story on social media, adding his own comment about it.

On occasion, the magazine posts a story from about 10 years ago under headings like "Throwback Thursday," letting readers revisit a favorite story from that time. But while the latest "Throwback Thursday" story has a title and description that matches a story from 10 years ago, the body of the story is identical to what ran as a fresh item the day before.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 18, 2019

Microsoft discounts consumer Office 365 by 30% under 'Home Use Program'
Microsoft now offers discounts of 30% on consumer-grade Office 365 subscriptions to employees of companies with "Home Use Program" agreements.

The savings reduced Office 365 Home subscription to $69.99 yearly, and Office 365 Personal to $48.99.

[ Related: How AI is changing office suites ] Home Use Program (HUP) is one of the benefits provided by Software Assurance (SA), in turn either included with some Office licensing categories or optional with others. Although SA may be best known for granting upgrade rights to the next version of a "perpetual" license - such as Office 2019 - it also is included with some subscription-based licensing of, for instance, Office 365 or its more inclusive big sister, Microsoft 365.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 18, 2019

Here's an easier way to block the IE XXE zero day security hole
The latest Internet Explorer XXE zero-day depends on you opening an infected MHT file. MHT is an old file format that's almost always opened by IE — no matter which browser you're using, no matter which version of Windows. Catalin Cimpanu has a good overview of this XXE vulnerability on ZDNet.

It's a doozy of a security hole as it affects every recent version of IE, and it infects whether you're actively browsing with IE or not.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 18, 2019

The massive Google shift you probably haven't noticed
A funny thing is happening in the land o' Googley matters right now. It's actually a collection of smaller things that, taken by themselves, may not seem like much. But add 'em all together, and you've got quite the transformative trend a-cookin'.

The trend, in short, revolves around getting down to business — specifically, the business of making money off of you and me and everyone else who uses Google services. For a while now, y'see, Google has been focusing on new areas that don't directly fit in with the company's long-standing main business model. Google, as we all know, makes its money primarily from selling and showing ads that are custom-tailored to your interests at any given moment. But many of Google's newer services have remained mostly ad-free since their starts.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 18, 2019

How your enterprise can help reduce e-waste
Apple is quadrupling the reach of its iPhone recycling program, but admits the existing scheme has recycled millions of devices so far - e-waste is a huge problem, so what can your enterprise do with old kit?

Apple extends global scheme Apple now offers a global recycling scheme. In the U.S., it has quadrupled the extent of the program by putting Daisy recycling robots in Best Buy stores across the country.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 18, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Not quite the result they were planning
Pilot fish is in charge of the mainframe product that converts output to Printer Command Language so it can be printed on regular network-attached printers, and he has a regular set of questions ready for when client representatives need some trouble shot.

And when he gets a call from a client representative who says that, whenever a report is sent to one of the printers, the users have to press the "OK" button so the report will print, he starts running through his questions.

Type of printer? No surprise there. Is it a new printer? Nope. Where is the printer located? 

OK, that last response is a little out of the ordinary: The printer is fairly remote. On another continent. Seven time zones away.  

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 18, 2019

The best Android apps for organizing your life
Most of us juggle an immense amount of information these days — enough tasks, to-do's, and scattered scraps of mental data to fill up a 40-gallon fish tank. (Just imagine all those tiny little thought-fishies swimming around! Glub, glub, glub.)

But guess what? Your tired ol' noggin isn't the only tool for keeping track of the important stuff in your life. That shiny slab of glass in your pocket is overflowing with excellent apps that can organize practically everything imaginable for you. And now's as good a time as any to embrace their organizational prowess and give your brain a break.

These are the best Android apps for organizing different areas of your life — all free unless otherwise noted.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 17, 2019

Former Firefox exec alleges Google torpedoed Firefox with 'oops' excuses
A former Mozilla executive last week claimed Google, a browser rival but again also a business partner, purposefully undermined Firefox's development even as the company denied compatibility problems were anything but accidental.

Contrary to declarations by individuals at Google, the search company and Mozilla were not on the same team, charged Johnathan Nightingale, a former vice president of Firefox, who said decisions by Google that ended up hurting Firefox were too frequent to be coincidences. "Focus on the behaviour of the organism as a whole," Nightingale tweeted. "At the macro level, Google/Alphabet is very intentional. [And] Google as a whole is very different than individual googlers."

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 17, 2019

Former Mozilla exec alleges Google torpedoed Firefox with 'oops' excuses
A former Mozilla executive last week claimed Google, a browser rival but again also a business partner, purposefully undermined Firefox's development even as the company denied compatibility problems were anything but accidental.

Contrary to declarations by individuals at Google, the search company and Mozilla were not on the same team, charged Johnathan Nightingale, a former vice president of Firefox, who said decisions by Google that ended up hurting Firefox were too frequent to be coincidences. "Focus on the behaviour of the organism as a whole," Nightingale tweeted. "At the macro level, Google/Alphabet is very intentional. [And] Google as a whole is very different than individual googlers."

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 17, 2019

R community blasts DataCamp response to exec's 'inappropriate behavior'
A significant portion of the R community is in an uproar over how online training company DataCamp has handled an executive's ‘uninvited physical contact' with an employee, and calls are growing on social media to shun the platform.

RStudio removed links to DataCamp from its website, requested DataCamp stop using its employees' names and photos, and "indefinitely suspended discussions" to renew a content license agreement. Some DataCamp instructors are urging people not to take their courses. satRdays organizers said they will no longer allow DataCamp to sponsor its worldwide R events. And the R-Ladies Global team posted "ideas about how you can show your disapproval of DataCamp's response."

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 17, 2019

Coming soon: A token taxonomy to define the world of blockchain
The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) is working with Microsoft and more than a dozen businesses, research organizations and industry consortiums to create a blockchain-neutral business-focused Token Taxonomy Framework.

In essence, the group is working to universally define in non-technical terms what a token is - regardless of the blockchain platform involved - and create a common set of terms and definitions for cross-industry business use. Creating a single set of definitions and terms will help enable blockchain platform interoperability.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 17, 2019

Thoughts on the Apple/Qualcomm settlement
I wrote on the substance of this already, so this is just a selection of thoughts/reactions to the surprise settlement of the Apple/Qualcomm litigation.

Intel leaves the modem business Apple's announcement that it had reached a deal with Qualcomm was surprising enough, but this was soon followed by news Intel is shuttering its own 5G chip development. I have no inside track on the order of events, but it seems possible Intel decided to quit the business first, forcing Apple into the corner - or that development of alternative modems proved to be too challenging. The truth will out eventually.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 17, 2019

What's a crypto wallet (and how does it manage digital currency)?
A cryptocurrency wallet is a piece of software that keeps track of the secret keys used to digitally sign cryptocurrency transactions for distributed ledgers. Because those keys are the only way to prove ownership of digital assets - and to execute transactions that transfer them or change them in some way - they are a critical piece of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

[ Further reading: Blockchain: The complete guide ] Better known as "crypto wallets," they are like the keys to the blockchain car. Without those keys, the car won't run. And without them, there would be no way to prove ownership of a digital asset - anything from a bitcoin to a token representing some kind of asset.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 17, 2019

All is A4-OK
Pilot fish is in charge of the mainframe product that converts output to Printer Command Language so it can be printed on regular network-attached printers, and he has a regular set of questions ready for when client representatives need some trouble shot.

And when he gets a call from a client representative who says that, whenever a report is sent to one of the printers, the users have to press the "OK" button so the report will print, he starts running through his questions.

Type of printer? No surprise there. Is it a new printer? Nope. Where is the printer located? 

OK, that last response is a little out of the ordinary: The printer is fairly remote. On another continent. Seven time zones away.  

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 16, 2019

Apple settles with Qualcomm - the 5G iPhone looks more real
In a completely unexpected twist to what was shaping up to be a colossally dull never-ending global lawsuit, Apple and Qualcomm have reached a settlement that means both sides can work together, at least for the next six years.

Apple settles with Qualcomm The two companies announced their new détente in a press release, titled: "Qualcomm and Apple agree to drop all litigation." You can read it in full here, but it really is as short as the below:

The companies have ended litigation worldwide. This ending of hostilities extends to manufacturing partners. The companies have reached a global licensing deal. That deal extends for six years and includes a two-year option to extend. They have reached a chipset supply agreement. Apple has paid Qualcomm an undisclosed sum. Reaction to the deal has been positive. Qualcomm stock is spiking (up over 20%) at time of writing, while Apple's has climbed a few points in anticipation of what this might mean for its future mobile product plans.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 16, 2019

Apple settles with Qualcomm - the 5G iPhone looks more real (u)
In a completely unexpected twist to what was shaping up to be a colossally dull never-ending global lawsuit, Apple and Qualcomm have reached a settlement that means both sides can work together, at least for the next six years.

Apple settles with Qualcomm The two companies announced their new détente in a press release, titled: "Qualcomm and Apple agree to drop all litigation." You can read it in full here, but it really is as short as the below:

The companies have ended litigation worldwide. This ending of hostilities extends to manufacturing partners. The companies have reached a global licensing deal. That deal extends for six years and includes a two-year option to extend. They have reached a chipset supply agreement. Apple has paid Qualcomm an undisclosed sum. Reaction to the deal has been positive. Qualcomm stock is spiking (up over 20%) at time of writing, while Apple's has climbed a few points in anticipation of what this might mean for its future mobile product plans.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 16, 2019

Samsung's Galaxy Fold: Bright future or dead end?
With a starting list price of $1,980, the Samsung Galaxy Fold is no mass-market device in the sense of its more pocketbook-friendly (and larger volume) Galaxy S10 cousins. Some have said there is no market for this device given the price point. In my opinion, given the "status" this device brings to the owner as she pulls it from a bag or pocket, there will be plenty of buyers. (Remember when many said no one would buy a $1,000 smartphone?)

But what kind of buyers will find this device attractive? Certainly the "I have to be first" consumers will, as the bragging rights are very appealing. But I expect that a large portion of the devices will be sold to executives and business professionals (e.g., financial, consulting, legal, and healthcare), where the specific features of the phone (a truly compelling experience with the unfolded Infinity Flex Display screen size of 7.3 inches) make it dramatically easier to get the job done. And if it's a business tool that's increasing my productivity, I am going to be much less price-sensitive. But that's not the only reason business users will find the Galaxy Fold attractive.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 16, 2019

Learn how to get certified in Microsoft Azure for just $29
You may be surprised to learn that AWS isn't the only cloud solution out there. In fact, Microsoft has their own cloud platform that's surging in popularity. You can explore its potential with the Complete Microsoft Azure Certification Prep Bundle 2019, discounted by over 90% to just $29.

The Complete Microsoft Azure Certification Prep Bundle 2019 includes access to four beginner friendly-courses that'll show you how to use Azure to deploy a cloud-based environment. Students will start by learning the foundations of cloud technology and then gradually move into more complex concepts. The courses are accessible online 24/7; and the content will be available to you for life, so it's a convenient way to learn too.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 16, 2019

LG's revolutionary upgrade letdown
Ladies and gentlemen, the results are in — and I'm delighted to report that LG has officially revolutionized Android upgrades as we know them.

Hang on — lemme clarify: By "revolutionized Android upgrades," I mean that the company has brought a new level of laughable absurdity to an already absurd area.

It's now been just over a year, y'see, since LG made a big show of unveiling its "Global Software Upgrade Center" — the industry's "first such facility aimed at providing customers worldwide with faster, timelier smartphone operating system and software updates," as the company put it in a carefully worded press release designed to solicit positive attention without requiring any real action.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 16, 2019

19 brilliant Apple Watch tricks and tips
You wear it daily, might be slightly obsessive about the Activity app, but are you getting everything you can from using your Apple Watch?

Check the time No one likes people who check the time in the middle of a meeting, even though everyone does it. Apple Watch lets you check the time surreptitiously - just twist the Digital Crown away from you and the display will illuminate gently so you can check the hour.

Take a picture with your iPhone This is a great feature:

Open the Camera app on your Apple Watch and you'll see whatever your front-facing iPhone camera is pointing at. To take a picture tap the large round button, or the small timed button to capture a time shot. Your iPhone will take the image - this is really useful for capturing portrait shots using a tripod - but there's more...

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 16, 2019

Win7/8.1/Server patch conflicts abated, somewhat, but it's still too early to install the April crop
A week ago, Microsoft released six patches that brought many machines to their knees. As I explained last Friday, when the dust cleared, it was apparent that all six of these April patches:

Win7 and Server 2008 R2 Monthly Rollup (KB 4493472) and Security-only (KB 4493448) patches Win8.1 and Server 2012 R2 Monthly Rollup (KB 4493446) and Security-only (KB 4493467) patches Server 2012 Monthly Rollup (KB 4493451) and Security-only (KB 4493450 ) patches would trigger blue screens on reboot on most systems running Sophos antivirus products, and many systems running AV products from Avast and Avira.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 16, 2019

Time-Machine Tuesday: Because nontechnical is what he's all about
Pilot fish is summoned by a nontechnical boss to clear up an email problem for a company executive.

It seems the exec has sent an email message to hundreds of recipients and now wants to recall it. But that's not possible, fish explains, because all the recipients are external to the company's email system.

The exec understands that nothing can be done on the technical end, and he's receptive to fish's alternative resolution: Fish and the exec draft a new email to the external recipients, apologizing for the mail message sent in error. When fish leaves, the exec seems satisfied.

But later that day, nontechnical boss runs into the exec and asks if his email problem was resolved. Exec replies, "No, I was told that no technical solution existed."

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 16, 2019

How to protect your privacy in Windows 10
There has been some concern that Windows 10 gathers too much private information from users. Whether you think Microsoft's operating system crosses the privacy line or just want to make sure you protect as much of your personal life as possible, we're here to help. Here's how to protect your privacy in just a few minutes.

Note: This story has been updated for the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, a.k.a. version 1809. If you have an earlier release of Windows 10, some things may be different.

[ Further reading: Windows 10 quick tips: 12 ways to speed up your PC ] Turn off ad tracking At the top of many people's privacy concerns is what data is being gathered about them as they browse the web. That information creates a profile of a person's interests that is used by a variety of companies to target ads. Windows 10 does this with the use of an advertising ID. The ID doesn't just gather information about you when you browse the web, but also when you use Windows 10 apps.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 15, 2019

Google's Chromium browser explained
While the names are similar - Chrome and Chromium - the labels represent two different web browsers. But they are related.

One leads to the other. One is open-source, the other is not, not really. One dominates the world's browser landscape, like a single huskie dominates a team of Chihuahuas on the Iditarod. The other is used by less than one-sixth of one percent of all those who ran a browser last month.

[ In case you missed it: 10 ways to work better with G Suite ] Computerworld put Chrome and Chromium under the magnifying glass to better understand what Chromium does and how it figures into the development of its offspring. Here's what you need to know to better understand them both.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 15, 2019

12 essential iPad productivity tips
If you are using your iPad to get things done, then you may want to review this short collection of iPad productivity tips.

Use Dictation to write You see that little microphone button to the left of the Space bar? Tap this and you can dictate your message using Siri.

Siri for Settings If you are using an app and need to quickly change the  Setting for that app just invoke Siri (hold the Home or Power button) and say "Settings" to open those that belong to the currently active app.

Drag & drop You can drag multiple items around on your iPad.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 15, 2019

A baud-y tale
Pilot fish with a great memory takes us back, if not to the Stone Age, then pretty close: the time of 300-baud modems and floppy disks that were truly floppy and measured a whopping 8 inches. He's working for a company that troubleshoots clients' computer problems, and one mid-afternoon a customer from the other side of the state calls. Send me the data so I can investigate, fish tells them, but at 300 baud, copying it over takes most of what remains of the workday. Fish expects to be working late on this problem. 

But the new office manager wants it solved same-day, and then proceeds to pretty well sabotage her own desires. First, she interrupts every couple of minutes for updates. Fish patiently explains that the only way to expose the data and find the bug is to insert "Print" statements into the code, recompile it, and then run it to see the results. The compile process takes many minutes, as does the test run. Each full test cycle takes about 15-20 minutes — pretty much an eternity in the office manager's eyes. 

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 15, 2019

Google, Hyperledger launch online identity management tools
In two separate announcements last week, Google and Linux's Hyperledger project launched tools aimed at enabling secure identity management for enterprises via mobile and other devices.

Google unveiled five upgrades to its BeyondCorp cloud enterprise security service that enables identity and access management for employees, corporate partners, and customers.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 15, 2019

Microsoft surrenders control over Windows 10 upgrades: What you need to know
Every few months, the Redmond, Wash. company switches up scheduling or support or something about Window 10, just to make sure everyone is paying attention.

Earlier this month, Microsoft again reshaped Windows 10's delivery. Or maybe the change wasn't about disbursing updates, but about not distributing them.

It all depends on your point-of-view.

[ Related: The Windows update dictionary Microsoft never wrote ] Not surprisingly, there were questions. We have answers. (Maybe even the right ones.)

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(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Apr 12, 2019

Google boosts G Suite with collaboration, AI, integration features
SAN FRANCISCO - Google on Wednesday announced a slew of enhancements to G Suite, its productivity suite that includes Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Gmail, Hangouts Chat and a variety  of other business apps. The additions, many of them still in beta, are aimed at boosting users' productivity, helping them work with external collaborators and services, and giving organizations more control and insight over enterprise data.

G Suite now has 5 million paying business customers, up from 4 million one year ago, according to David Thacker, vice president of product management for G Suite. At the company's Cloud Next conference, Thacker and other company representatives repeatedly stressed the office suite's collaboration features as a key differentiator between G Suite and its main competitor, Microsoft's Office 365.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 12, 2019

15 business ideas you can steal from Apple
"We've always been shameless about stealing great ideas," Apple's Steve Jobs famously said.

So, which of Apple's ideas about how to run a business can you steal to make your business better? Here's some suggestions.

Consistency takes discipline Consider Apple's track record. Ever since the iMac it has delivered consistently important products: iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods.

Achieving this consistency takes discipline but means customers are much more willing to take a look at the next product release. If you don't maintain such consistency, then you have to win customers over each time you release anything.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 12, 2019

IDG Contributor Network: Microsoft and the birth of the responsible AI
[Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author.]

Pretty much the same week Google disbanded their Artificial Intelligence Ethics Board - once again showcasing an inability to lead their own company (this is becoming a really bad problem for Google) - I was reminded of Microsoft Responsible AI program.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 12, 2019

This month's Windows patching debacle gradually comes into focus
This month's Patch Tuesday sent many Windows users running for cover. As I reported on Wednesday morning, Win7 and 8.1 machines running Sophos antivirus products frequently refused to boot. The dragnet has since expanded, with both Avira and Avast now admitting their products are having problems, and rumors are swirling about many other antivirus manufacturers.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 12, 2019

Visa and Coinbase team up on crypto-backed debit card
In another example of how fiat and digital currencies are converging in the financial services industry, Visa on Thursday unveiled a debit card that lets users buy things with fiat money converted from cryptocurrency stored in online wallets.

The new Coinbase Card is directly tied to a person's cryptocurrency balance in digital wallets managed by the eponymous digital currency exchange.

[ Further reading: Blockchain: The complete guide ] Coinbase enables the trading of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple's XRP and Litecoin, all of which will also be spendable through the new debit card.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 12, 2019

Incoming
It's big iron days at a military base, recalls pilot fish who was there, and a new, bigger and faster mainframe computer is installed in a somewhat temporary computer center. 

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 11, 2019

Gmail, G-meh: 4 alternative Android email apps, evaluated
So here we are. It's April 2019, and lots of us who haven't used Google's actual Gmail app in ages are finding ourselves back within its virtual walls and staring at it blankly — maybe even with mild signs of resentment or disdain.

Now, don't get me wrong: Gmail is, for most intents and purposes, a very good email app. Most of us adored it, once upon a time. But after years of using its more forward-thinking Inbox sibling, well, going back to Gmail can be a bit of a harsh adjustment.

Heck, even if you didn't use Inbox, you might find yourself feeling somewhat "meh" on Gmail nowadays. It's good enough for most purposes, sure — but maybe there's something better out there. Or at least better for you.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 11, 2019

Will Apple need to spin out its services business?
Following a complaint from Spotify, Apple faces EU anti-trust investigation to determine if it unfairly favors its own apps above those from its competitors.

The whole widget The problem appears to be two-fold:

Competing services such as Spotify resent paying Apple a percentage on subscription and digital item sales, and competitors also argue that the built-in nature of Apple's own services on iOS also gives the company an advantage.

The Netherlands' Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) will examine whether Apple abuses a dominant market position "by giving preferential treatment to its own apps," a Bloomberg report stated.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 11, 2019

Here's why Microsoft raised the white flag on Edge
Microsoft stunned most tech watchers several months ago when it announced it was abandoning 25 years of its go-it-alone browser strategy and would replace Edge's web rendering engine with one developed by the Chromium open-source project. The shock wasn't just that Microsoft was turning to open source for its browser. It was that Chromium also powers Edge's main rival, Google's Chrome browser — and that the Chromium project was originally created by Google, although Google is not in charge of it now.

The move was born of desperation. As Computerworld's Gregg Keizer points out, Edge had only a 12% adoption rate in February, while Chrome had an insurmountable 67% market share. There's been no evidence that Edge will ever catch up.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 11, 2019

Master SQL With This $39 Training Bundle
Data begets success, which is why organizations gather so much of it. Once it's collected, however, they need skilled database administrators to deal with it all. Want a future-friendly career? Then train to become one of these professionals with The Complete SQL Certification Bundle, now just $39.

This package, which is valued at $3,289, offers essential training for becoming a skilled database pro. It includes 11 courses that'll introduce you to the basics of data management, show you analysis techniques, as well as teach you how to design and deploy your own database. You'll even have the opportunity to prep to earn respected certifications from Microsoft and Oracle that could help you to secure gainful employment.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 11, 2019

Atlassian's Confluence gets more powerful analytics
Atlassian has given Confluence its biggest revamp in years, offering more powerful analytics, improved search and new ways to interact with the content collaboration platform.

Alongside the 15 new Confluence features unveiled at the Atlassian Summit in Las Vegas this week, the Australian software vendor also announced the acquisitions of Good Software - the  startup responsible for the Analytics for Confluence add-on. It is the fourth acquisition by Atlassian in the past 12 months, a list that includes AgileCraft (now Jira Align), Butler and OpsGenie. 

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 11, 2019

Microsoft previews 'full-Chromium' Edge for the first time
Microsoft this week began a public preview of the "full-Chromium" version of its Edge browser, offering Windows 10 users running the 64-bit edition of the OS two different "builds" of the still-under-construction application.

The revamped browser will be available later for 32-bit Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and macOS, although the company did not set arrival dates.

[ Further reading: Google's Chromium browser explained ] "In these first builds we are very much focused on the fundamentals and have not yet included a wide range of feature and language support that will come later," cautioned Joe Belfiore, a company executive, in an April 8 post to a company blog.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 11, 2019

Throwback Thursday: It's easier that way
This pilot fish works at a psychiatric hospital where, he says, "our most challenged individuals are all too often medical doctors."

It's one of them that a tech is trying to help in a call that fish overhears.

Tech: "Hold down the control key."

"Did you hold it down?"

"Hold it down."

"The control key, are you holding it down?"

"The control key."

"Yes, the control key."

"On the keyboard."

"Yes, the control key."

"The keyboard."

"What is next to your mouse?"

"That's your keyboard."

"Where are you sitting?"

"I'll be right over."

Use your keyboard to send Sharky your true tales of IT life. Send them to me at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 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.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 10, 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.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 10, 2019

You Can Now Get This Award-Winning VPN For Just $1/month
If you use the internet (which you clearly do), you likely know how important it is to protect your data in an increasingly dangerous cyber environment. But like other essential tasks that tend to be tedious (like filing taxes early and brushing your teeth for the full two minutes), most installing and running a VPN can sound unappealing to many: sure, they encrypt your internet traffic and hide your location — but they can also run frustratingly slowly, delaying the way you'd usually use the internet for entertainment and work.

That's where Ivacy VPN is different: not only will the speedy service let you browse and stream lag-free, it also offers real-time threat detection technology, removing malware and viruses at the server level. It ensures that all your downloads and devices stay totally secure, so you can stay safe online without being inconvenienced.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Apr 10, 2019

Tax and finance execs show interest in blockchain, but see hurdles to adoption
More than half of tax and finance executives are interested in adopting technology to automate routine tasks, but most are not considering blockchain as a solution because of a lack of resources, funding and technological capabilities, according to KPMG.

The company this week released data from a February survey of about 450 tax and finance execs who responded to various questions on blockchain and other technologies. While 60% of respondents said they would be willing to adopt technology to automate repeatable tasks, 94% said they are not now using blockchain or are unsure whether their organizations are using the technology.

[ Further reading: What is FinTech (and how has it evolved)? ] Tthe primary reasons many haven't adopyed blockchain include a lack of resources (33%); funding (22%); and a lack of technology capabilities (22%).

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 10, 2019

IDG Contributor Network: April brings massive updates to Windows and critical updates to both browsers and Adobe Flash
They say that "April is the cruelest month." Well, when it comes to Microsoft patching, there is some truth to this. With 74 reported vulnerabilities and significant updates to all Microsoft's major platforms (Windows, browsers, development platforms, Office and Exchange and, of course, Adobe Flash), getting these updates deployed in a timely fashion will be hard work.

One bright note to all this is that we can finally remove Adobe Shockwave. You can find some good patch prioritization advice from Chris Goettl's April Patch Tuesday posting and you can find more technical patch details on the Readiness Patch posting for April found here.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 10, 2019

Atlassian targets agile development at scale with Jira Align
Following its acquisition of software vendor AgileCraft for around $166 million last month, Atlassian today launched Jira Align to help companies manage agile software development projects at scale.

AgileCraft, founded in 2013, connects agile teams with the wider business, giving executives an overview of project progress and potential bottlenecks. The application was already used in with Atlassian tools by various customers, including AT&T, TIAA and Duke Energy. AgileCraft supports a range of scaled agile frameworks, including SAFe, LeSS and Spotify. 

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 10, 2019

Your iPhone will be your passport
Imagine if all you needed to do was wave your iPhone or Apple Watch a couple of times to take a flight, with the device handling your boarding card, identity and immigration documents?

Your iPhone will be your passport One of Apple's many missions with the iPhone has always been to replace everything you have in your pocket.

Smart 'Made for HomeKit' locks, Apple Wallet, Apple Card and boarding passes mean the company now provides digital alternatives for most of the items you carry with you.

Why wouldn't it replace your passport?

Way back in 2015, Apple VP Eddy Cue told us that replacing passports was one of the company's ambitions. Governments are already exploring use of Apple's devices to replace driving licenses.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 10, 2019

Widespread reports of freezing with yesterday's Win7 and 8.1 Monthly Rollups, KB 4493472 and KB 4493446
Patch Tuesday seemed uneventful until loads of Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 machines, as well as Win8.1 and Server 2012 R2 machines, rebooted overnight. Looks like we have another throat-clutching bad round of patches to contend with.

Sophos Anti-Virus appears to be at the core of many reported bugs, but it's still too early to tell if other software will get stung by the same changes.

Yesterday, as is its wont, Microsoft released a big bunch of patches: 74 separately identified security holes; two of them actively exploited; with every version of Windows, Office, IE and Edge plugged.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 10, 2019

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

In theory, anyway. In reality, Microsoft keeps rearranging, rejiggering and repositioning Windows 10's support and update practices. Last year, Microsoft monkeyed with 10's arrival and departure itinerary by extending support for Enterprise and Education to 30 months. More recently, the company said it would soon let Windows 10 Home users decide when to download and install feature upgrades.

"[The new] 'Download and install now' option provides users a separate control to initiate the installation of a feature update on eligible devices with no known key blocking compatibility issues," wrote Microsoft executive Mike Fortin in an April 4 post to a company blog.

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(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Apr 10, 2019

DON'T RTFM
Pilot fish's Army job is maintenance of electronic equipment, including a transmitter. Because his unit had been one of the original deployment sites for that transmitter, all of its operators have either gotten training from the manufacturer or learned from those who did.

That probably explains why the unit has only minor problems with its transmitter, whereas some others have troubles like failure of the final amplifier tube.

Because that tube is a very expensive item, a senior operator and fish are assigned to visit one of the problem units and see if they can figure out what the problem is. Once there, fish's colleague observes the operators for a while and then tells fish that they're doing something very backward to what fish's unit has been doing.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 09, 2019

Slack adds email, calendar and file integrations for Office 365
Slack has added new ways to interact with Microsoft's Office 365 app directly from its own collaboration platform. This includes an Outlook calendar app, Office file previews and the ability to export emails into Slack channels and direct messages.

The integrations announced Tuesday are part of wider moves to connect Slack with productivity apps from a range of vendors, said Andy Pflaum, Slack's director of product management for interoperability.

[ Related: 6 tips for scaling up team collaboration tools ] The variety of third-party app integrations has long been a strength of Slack's (it has added more than 1,500 so far), helping users work without forcing a switch between applications. The list of integrations includes productivity and business apps from vendors such as Google, ServiceNow and Salesforce.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 09, 2019

Android Q's bubbles could be a mobile multitasking breakthrough
Multitasking sure has come a long way since we first laid our paws on Google's Android software.

I mean, think about it: Back in the early days of Android, multitasking basically just meant being able to switch quickly between apps, using the Overview (then known as Recent Apps) button that was built into the operating system. It seems almost silly now to think of that as a feature, given how commonplace and basic of a concept it is in 2019, but put yourself back in your brightly colored 2009-era shoes — when smartphone operating systems were simple and the iPhone's option-free interface was the de facto standard — and it's easy to remember how powerful and transformative such a possibility was at the time.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 09, 2019

How Apple Search Ads work
If you or your business publishes iOS apps you may need to take a look at Apple Search Ads to reach more potential customers.

What are Apple Search Ads? Apple Search Ads are the small advertisements you see inside App Store search results.

When available Search Ads appear at the top of the search results listings, which is useful if they are well-targeted - there is little point offering a game to App Store customers seeking productivity apps.

The theory is pretty simple: Customers searching for apps on the App Store know they can trust the apps they find at the store, which means they are more willing to at least try an app that seems appropriate to their needs.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 09, 2019

Microsoft throws in the towel on Windows 10 1809
Microsoft has given up on Windows 10 1809, the troubled feature upgrade of last year that was delayed by months, data from an analytics vendor showed.

The Redmond, Wash. developer largely abandoned efforts to distribute the October 2018 Update, aka 1809 in its four-digit yymm format, last month, apparently deciding that it would, like many of its corporate customers, simply skip one feature upgrade to solve the problem of two on a collision course.

[ Related: Windows 10 October 2018 Update: Key enterprise features ] According to AdDuplex, a Lithuanian company whose metrics technology is embedded in thousands of Windows Store apps, Windows 10 1809 powered just 26% of surveyed Windows 10 systems as of March 26. The gain from February to March, only 5 percentage points, was about half the increase from January to February, illustrating the slowing of 1809's adoption.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 09, 2019

Grease is the word
It's the early 1970s and this shop decides to upgrade to a faster card reader for its mainframe. And so the consultants arrive from the BIG mainframe provider. But the installation doesn't go well, says a pilot fish on the scene — every time they run a deck of punched cards through the new card reader, the mainframe crashes.

Support technicians come and go. Each one tries to troubleshoot the problem but comes up empty-handed.

Then, on a Friday afternoon, the mainframe maker's design engineer arrives with tools and an oscilloscope. He attacks the situation all day and is still hard at work when the shop's employees go home for the weekend. And on Monday morning the employees arrive see the card reader mostly disassembled, the oscilloscope's probe attached to the card reader's ground wire, and the design engineer lying on the floor — laughing hysterically.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 08, 2019

Blockchain jobs remain unfilled, while skilled workers are being poached
Mirroring an uptick in job openings across the IT industry, blckchain professionals remain in high demand, especially for staff and middle manager positions, according to a new job market report from Janco Associates, a management consulting firm that conducts regular industry surveys.

"With 20,600 new IT jobs created in the first three months of 2019, the market is tight," said Janco Associates CEO M. Victor Janulaitis. "There is a skills shortage, some projects are missing key early benchmark dates due to lack of staffing. Many blockchain and ERP positions remain unfilled and some organizations are seeing an increase in attrition rates for those positions."

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 08, 2019

Patch Tuesday's coming, so lock down automatic updates
In theory, when Windows 10 version 1903 rolls out in late May, we'll suddenly have tools at hand that'll make it easy to temporarily turn off automatic updating. I'm not yet convinced that all will be milk and honey, but for now there's every reason to take control of your machine and turn off automatic updating. Wait for the dust to clear before you apply the next round of patches.

By introducing new patch-blocking capabilities in Win10 version 1903, Microsoft's implicitly acknowledging what you and I have known for a long time: Windows (and sometimes Office and .NET) patches have a nasty habit of clobbering machines. It makes no sense to join the first line of cannon fodder. Far better to wait and, if the coast is clear, patch when millions of our compatriots have participated in the grand unpaid beta test.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 08, 2019

Apple's Siri is as important as iPhone or the Mac
Apple now sees AI as being as important in its own right as its retail, services, hardware, software or design arms - and that's why machine intelligence now has a seat on its executive board.

How Apple works Think about how Apple works. Former CEO, Steve Jobs, deliberately organized the company so that it fostered topic-related expertise.

Company executives reflect this - most have been involved in their department (marketing or hardware design) for the majority of their Apple careers. They are experts in their field.

What this means is that different teams have different needs and different responsibilities. That's why a procurement official sent to China to source components for an unreleased and unannounced Apple device didn't realise they were ordering the parts for the original iPhone until after the product was announced.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 08, 2019

Microsoft move to release Windows 10 1903 in May marks third straight delayed upgrade
Microsoft last week said the next Windows 10 feature upgrade will be available for all users to download and install sometime in late May - the third straight postponement for Windows 10. The decision illustrates the strain under which Microsoft's Windows-as-a-service model has been operating of late. What had been billed as a metronomic every-six-months release schedule for the feature-and-functionality upgrades has faltered, burdened by months-long delays.

Windows 10 1803 - last year's April upgrade in Microsoft's yymm format - launched about a month late. Microsoft claimed that the fall refresh, Windows 10 1809, was officially just one month behind but in reality 1809 was at least three months late. In both instances, Microsoft extended support so each received the promised 18 months of bug fixes.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 08, 2019

Memory-Lane Monday: Oops!
It's a sizzling summer season at this retailer, and the main server has failed for the second time in a month, reports a pilot fish on the scene.

"CEO is rather upset, and calls IT consultant and demands immediate action," fish says. "IT consultant responds that he proposed investment in some cooling for the server room the year before, but it was deemed unnecessary."

CEO deems it necessary now and agrees to the investment, and the consultant works out the details of a deal with a local contractor to put in the new air conditioning system quickly.

Two days later, the contractor calls and reports that all work has been done as agreed, and the new cooling system is up and running.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 08, 2019

How AI is helping the help desk
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are turning up seemingly everywhere these days, and the IT support function is no exception. In fact, experts see AI in various forms becoming a key component of the help desk in the years to come.

"Artificial cognition will, over the next three to five years, become absolutely indispensable for any form of operations or support," says Shannon Kalvar, research manager for IT service management and client virtualization at research firm IDC.

IT self-service is nothing new. But these days it's becoming much more sophisticated, with chatbots and intelligent search recommendations to help guide users to the right solution. AI is expected to increasingly help IT support teams in other ways too, such as predictive analytics for incident management, demand planning, and workflow improvement.

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(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Apr 06, 2019

The smart speaker finally gets its killer app for business
The smart speaker space is one of the most innovative and fast-moving in the industry. The sales figures are impressive, but very little of the market's growth is driven by business users. Businesses haven't climbed aboard because there's been no killer app, something that's so useful that it motivates businesses to buy the hardware that runs it.

I think that's about to change. A potential killer app has appeared on the scene, something that could have an effect on the smart speaker market similar to what spreadsheets did in igniting the PC revolution of the '80s.

I'll tell you about that app later, but first let's review where this market stands right now.

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 05, 2019

How to reshape data with tidyr's new pivot functions
See examples of tidyr's new pivot_longer and pivot_wider functions.

Enterprise Application News
Apr 05, 2019

Massive bank app security holes: You might want to go back to that money under the mattress tactic
A new report from a well-regarded payments consulting firm has found a lengthy list of security insanity while examining several major fintech company mobile apps. Although the very nature of apps that manage and move money would suggest presumably strong security, banks and their cohorts tend to adopt new technology slower than almost any other vertical, which puts them in a bad place when it comes to security.

My favorite finding from the Aite Group report: "Several mobile banking apps hard-coded private certificates and API keys into their apps. [Thieves] could exploit this by copying the private certificates to their computers and running any number of free password-cracking programs against them," the report noted. "Should the [attackers] successfully crack the private key, they would be able to decrypt all communication between the back-end servers and mobile devices, among other things. The API keys allow an adversary to then begin targeting the [financial institution's] API servers, gaining them access to data in the back-end databases. This allows [attackers] to authenticate the device with the back-end servers of that app, since this is what APIs use for authentication and authorization."

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 05, 2019

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


Tech Events Event Description Starts Ends Location Atlassian Summit Atlassian's annual user conference and biggest global event of the year. Aimed at helping companies transform how their teams work, and tout the company's latest innovations. 2019-04-09 2019-04-11 Las Vegas, NV Google Cloud Next Google Cloud Next is where the company announces all the latest updates to the Google Cloud Platform. The conference also offers educational, networking and hands-on opportunities for its more than 10,000 attendees. 2019-04-09 2019-04-11 San Francisco, CA Mendix World 2019 This event is aimed at business and IT leaders interested in low-code application development. 2019-04-16 2019-04-17 Rotterdam, Netherlands Slack Frontiers 2019 (SF) At Frontiers, Slack shares best practices to help leaders and their teams create the right conditions for collaboration. You'll explore how new ways of working through Slack can accelerate performance, bring bigger gains, and keep your organization competitiv

Enterprise Application News
Apr 05, 2019

IDG Contributor Network: How AR, the cloud and AI could change the courtroom experience for the better
I was in trial for much of last week and it was a bit of a technology nightmare. The case was being tried in the Orange County California Court, which prides itself on its technical advancement but is still well off the mark in terms of best practices.

It appeared to be the typical mishmash of vendors and technologies often seen in environments that break up technology deployments and focus on the lowest bid. We had problems with PCs not working because of background apps that likely shouldn't have been running. We had compatibility issues, connectivity issues and the way-too-common issues of just getting machines to talk to the digital projectors so we could see the slides (I was reminded again how much I hate dongles).

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 05, 2019

iPad Air 2019: A review
To all intents and purposes, Apple's iPad Air is a budget-priced iPad Pro. While it lacks some of the features that make the pro tablet great, for the price you'll get a slab of glass that should be equal to everything most casual users throw at it.

The iPad Pro for the rest of us Apple patents the entire experience, right from the moment you tug the small green tag on the packaging to open the iPad Air's box.

When you pull that tag you're guided through the whole experience - the entire set-up process takes just a few minutes on an iPad ($329), iPad Pro (from $799) or the all-new iPad Air ($499). (The iPad mini remains my favorite model and costs from $399.)

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Enterprise Application News
Apr 05, 2019

The Windows update dictionary Microsoft never wrote
All it took was one question. One question of 26 asked by Microsoft in a survey about experiences with Windows Update. That one question encapsulated the struggle Windows users deal with in updating and upgrading the operating system.

What types of updates do you install? (Check all that apply.)

That was the question. Microsoft offered five possible responses.

IDG Microsoft's questionnaire asked participants to choose the types of updates they installed. But it didn't bother to define those choices.

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(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Apr 05, 2019

Flashback Friday: Step 1: Make sure you have performed Step 0
It's the mid-1990s, and this pilot fish works as a software developer at a big insurance company where his focus is applications — applications from potential customers for new life-insurance policies, that is.

"Our new-business data entry is the start of all applications entering our company," says fish. "We've got a large networked piece of software that is critical to the processing of all these new applications, using a glorified desktop as a server."

One morning, fish stops by the data entry department on his way upstairs, and he can tell right away that something's wrong. Everyone is standing around in little groups talking instead of working.

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