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 CTO.org - Technology News Archive
Selected news feeds from CNET News.com, Computerworld, TechWeb, and Yahoo! News


Tue, February 20, 2018
Mon, February 19, 2018
Sun, February 18, 2018
Sat, February 17, 2018
Fri, February 16, 2018
Thu, February 15, 2018
Wed, February 14, 2018

 Latest Technology News
The social network'-™s big conference is where CEO Mark Zuckerberg gives his biggest speech of the year.

T'Challa's world, and the huge crowds eager to visit it, inspire a voter-registration drive dubbed "Wakanda the Vote."

Volvo tells us there will absolutely be a Cross Country version of the new V60.

Fitting, since that's where the new sedans will be produced.

Conspiracy theories surrounding the Florida school shooting are spreading rapidly on Facebook and, at one point, propelled a video to the top-trending spot on YouTube.

For $35 a month, the beta version of this game streaming service needs to stop tripping over itself.

A free software update turns your Nest Cam IQ Indoor into a Google Assistant speaker.

It's just a set of chairs built into the cargo area, but I'm surprised nobody's done this before.

"Danger, Will Robinson!" The date-announcement teaser for Netflix's "Lost in Space" remake features a creepy Robot voice.

The vulnerability has already been addressed, thankfully.

Parent company Dish claims 47 percent growth during 2017.

Here are the details on how to watch a super-deluxe edition of the daily podcast on Wednesday.

Bright green flames are an interesting choice for camouflage.

It's lighter and more powerful, which is par for the course for a special-edition Ferrari.

Gorgeous, functional and packed with tech. Volvo's new longroof checks all the right boxes.

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One month ago today, Intel told the world that their Meltdown/Spectre patches were a mess. Their advice read something like, '-'Ooopsie. Those extremely important BIOS/UEFI firmware updates we released a coupla weeks ago are causing Intel machines to drop like bungee cows. In spite of what we told you then, stop installing them now. And if you installed a bad BIOS/UEFI patch, well golly, contact your PC manufacturer to see if they know how to get you out of the mess.'-"

I thought it might be time to share some of the commands I think most people will want to use most often with Apple'-™s HomePod.

Making streaming music great again

All these commands begin with the phrase, '-'Hey Siri'-", so you might say '-'Hey Siri, play Ray LaMontagne'-". I'-™ve left the prefix out in the commands below, but please remember to say '-'Hey Siri'-" first.

I'-™ll make no secret that both myself and my non-techy (former music teacher) partner both think the HomePod is one of the best" small home audio systems we'-™ve come across.

Apple has in recent years" made healthcare a major focus of its mobile OS, allowing iPhone and iPad users to more easily collect and share healthcare information on everything from workouts to emergency medical info to basic health stats.

The company in late January unveiled plans to move far beyond what its Health app '-" now nearly four years old '-" can do: With the upcoming release of iOS 11.3 patients will be able to view electronic medical records (EMRs) and other clinical information about themselves on their iOS devices.

It's early days in this pilot fish's career as an IT contractor, and he gets hired for a gig that's just three months long -- but the recruiter for the consulting company tells him not to fret.

"I was a bit concerned about the brevity of the contract," says fish. "The recruiter assured me, 'Don't worry, when your contract is close to completion, we start looking for another contract for you. Then when you roll off one contract, we're ready to roll you onto the next one.'

"I believed her, so when I completed the project early -- coded, tested, fully documented == and the client said, 'Thanks! Great work! We're ending your contract today and you can leave at lunch,' I immediately contacted the recruiter."

Microsoft'-™s cloud storage service, OneDrive, can back up your personal and work files online. It'-™s built into Windows 10. With it you can sync files on your Windows 10 PC to the cloud and to your other Windows PCs, smartphone or tablet (with the OneDrive app for Android or" iOS installed on either). It can even sync your cloud files to your Mac (via the OneDrive desktop app).(Insider Story)

While" blockchain may have cut its teeth on the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, the distributed electronic ledger technology is quickly making inroads across a variety of industries.

That's mainly because of its innate security and its potential for improving systems " operations all while reducing costs and creating new revenue streams.

David Schatsky, a managing director at consultancy" Deloitte LLP, believes blockchain's diversity speaks to its versatility in addressing business needs, but "the impact that blockchain will have on businesses in various industries is not yet fully understood."

I don't know about you, but oftentimes, I find the headlining features of a new OS release have less impact on my day-to-day life than the random little touches.

I'm talking about the easily overlooked additions that might not even be mentioned in an official announcement and might go completely unnoticed if you didn't happen to stumble onto them. They tend to be out-of-the-way shortcuts or subtle enhancements to the user experience. And they tend to have the potential make your life just a teensy bit easier '-” in some small but meaningful way.

How can I say Apple is in trouble when it'-™s selling 10 iPhones per second? This is a company that just recorded quarterly revenue of $88.3 billion, an increase of 13% from a year earlier and an all-time record. That led to a whopping quarterly profit of $20.1 billion. So how can I diss success like that? Easily. Apple has fundamental problems that could stop those billions from rolling in.

For starters, sales of Apple'-™s top-of-the-line smartphone, the iPhone X, have been lagging. KGI Securities'-˜ Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a.k.a. '-'The Most Accurate Apple Analyst in the World,'-" believes Apple will kill off its $1,000 phone because of weaker-than-expected sales.

Dearly beloved, we gather here today to celebrate the life and honor the memory of an Android pioneer whose impact on mobile technology is still felt by all of us today.

Swype, the keyboard app that introduced swipe-to-type input to the masses with its once-unmatched Android text input system, passed away quietly in its sleep on Monday. The app's health had been in steady decline for some years, and its adoptive father, Nuance, has now confirmed it has been taken off life support and will no longer be developed.

Over the decades, major technology advances have typically fallen into one of two categories: truly disruptive, where the approach is meaningfully different from anything that exists; and piggyback, where the technology leverages something that already widely exists, thereby sharply reducing both the cost of implementation and any needed behavioral changes.

In short, piggyback advances are seen as less risky and easier to adopt. (My favorite piggyback mobile implementation is several years old and came from Macy's, which opted to leverage the huge number of audio speakers in its stores as a low-cost way to identify customers for loyalty programs.)

At least it isn'-™t as bad as last month'-™s three cumulative updates for the bestest version of Windows 10 '-” on Jan. 3, Jan. 18, and Jan. 31 '-” but many people running the latest version of Windows 10, version 1709, are wondering why and how this month'-™s 1709 cumulative update is messing things up.

Broken USB ports

By far, the most common problem involves broken USB ports: Install this month'-™s cumulative update for Win10 Fall Creators Udpate, and your USB-connected devices stop working. There'-™s a lengthy discussion on AskWoody. One anonymous poster says:

This full-fledged, easy-to-tote first aid softpack is designed to save time and frustration in the midst of an emergency. It's" compact and portable, but contains 299 physician-recommended supplies. " Among the items neatly organized inside the zippered kit is a first aid guide, vinyl gloves, bandages, cold compress, gauze pads, trauma pad, cotton-tipped applicators, first aid tape roll, antiseptics and all three common OTC pain medications. The kit is currently a #1 best seller on Amazon, averages 4.6 out of 5 stars from over 2,230 customers, and its typical list price of has been reduced to just a hair over $12. Click over to Amazon to see this deal.

With this smart plug from Etekcity, you can turn your appliances on/off remotely from your mobile device, or with your voice via Alexa. Or automate the on/off cycle with a schedule. The plug also monitors and helps control energy usage, and the slow drain that occurs even when devices are powered down. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 2,200 people on Amazon, the 2-pack of smart plugs has been discounted to just $26.99, or $13.50 per plug." See this deal now on Amazon.

The best productivity tools are the ones you always have with you. And when it comes to enterprise productivity, it'-™s pretty clear that most knowledge workers are adopting iPhones '-” so here are some Siri tips to help you stay productive:

Wake-up call

At night, ask Siri to set your morning alarm last thing at night.

Weather report

In the morning, after you silence your alarm, ask for a weather report:" '-'Hey Siri, will I need an umbrella today?'-" If you have a HomeKit-enabled home, you may even ask it to boil the kettle. (Or heat up the water for a shower).

This pilot fish supervises the IT help desk, so he's on the scene when one of his support techs takes a call that's very ordinary -- mostly.

"It was some normal problem like 'install this printer' or 'the computer forgot my password, please reset it,'" says fish.

"But at the end of the call, when they were discussing various things, the user happened to mention, very proudly, that she always turns off her computer at the end of the day every Friday, so it can get its updates over the weekend.

"The tech didn't have the heart to break the bad news to her. He just told her that was a good idea and to have a nice day."

Sharky has a better idea: Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google+ community, and read thousands of great old tales in the Sharkives.

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BYTE is starting a new series, to bring back the issues you loved in print from 1975 to 1998. Initially we have the first two issues and four others from 1984, 1985 and 1986.

Security experts urge companies to implement two-factor authentication, VPNs, and graduated permission levels to better protect customer data from hackers.

Microsoft admits that it doesn't encrypt all server-to-server communications, opening the way for the NSA and others to access the data flow.

Affordable Care Act site has faced a relatively low volume of attacks, compared with other federal websites.

Google's Gmail app for iPad and iPhone gets new features and iOS 7's design language.

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels announces PostgreSQL database service, new instance types, use of solid state disk to speed I/Os.

As software eclipses hardware, it's dawning on enterprises that they need API programs. Here's where to begin.

Authors Guild's claim of copyright infringement gets shot down in a surprise ruling.

The goal is allow home monitoring devices and mobile health apps communicate more easily healthcare providers.

Google's personal assistant software gets upgraded to better manage owners' lives and understand natural language requests.

Android smartphones owners can now pay for goods and services by tapping their device to Isis terminals at 1.3 million locations nationwide.

LinkedIn pushes customized content with the integration of news curation app Pulse for desktop and mobile versions.

Hacker grabbed 860,000 passwords for fun, but promises not to leak or use them to harm people.

VMware wants to move into cloud computing? Guess what, Amazon's moving into desktop virtualization.

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Acer's Swift 7 is the thinnest laptop in the world.

HTC and Valve'-™s Vive was the first virtual reality headset that really made me jump on the VR hype train. Not only could you escape into virtual worlds, but thanks to its motion tracking sensors, your movement in the real world was translated into the digital. Like Facebook'-™s (FB) Oculus Rift, the Vive'-™s display resolution made individual pixels clearly visible in certain situations, killing any sense of true immersion.

CES 2018 had more than its fair share of wacky items and compelling gadgets, but one of the biggest trends to emerge, once again, from the popular tech expo was voice-enabled devices. And, of course, it was all about Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Here are seven items at CES 2018, some of which address legitimate use cases and some of which may be closer to mad-scientist territory.

At CES 2018, Sennheiser announced two new products that focus on recording or playing back 3-D audio.

Honda wants to change your perception of robots. And it's hoping to do so with four new concept robots.

At CES 2018, Ford announced it is working with a city in which it will operate its self-driving cars. The automaker wouldn't identify the city but did say how autonomous vehicles can change the way people live.

Intel is betting that Volocopter 2X will be one of the first passenger-carrying drones to operate in the U.S. A prototype of the pilotless two-seat helicopter-like drone was shown off at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.

AMD CEO Lisa Su told Yahoo Finance that the Austin, Texas-based computer and graphics chip company is quickly working to resolve and address a recently-discovered security flaw that affects AMD computer chips.

Nvidia rolled out a slew of updates for its GeForce line of gaming products at CES 2018 including massive computer screens and cloud game streaming.

It's hard to figure out which of the connected household devices on display at CES 2018 is worth buying, but it's even more difficult to know if they are secure from hackers. A security expert visits exhibits and tries to help.

Nicomi Stewart, a mother in Rochester, New York, is '-'disgusted'-" after an automated call sent to her phone from the city'-™s school district mispronounced her daughter'-™s name as a racial slur.

You may soon get to say a lot more on Twitter. The social media giant announced it is testing a longer character limit. The change will extend the current 140 characters to 280 for all languages except Japanese, Chinese and Korean. Users won'-™t see this change right away, though. Only a small percentage will be testing it at first, and according to the company, it is just a test and there is no guarantee this change will be available to everyone. Via Business Insider:" http://www.businessinsider. ...

Mac OS High Sierra (macOS 10.13)." As the new name suggests, it'-™s just a refinement of last year'-™s Mac OS Sierra. In fact," you" could sum up what's new in an article about as short as" this one.

Want to add some cool sound effects or music to your YouTube video (or any video)?

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