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


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

 Latest Technology News
The Audiophiliac lends an ear to the goings on at Axpona.

Certain MacBook Pro laptops without the Touch Bar are eligible.

This season, a pregnant Offred will be at the center of the dark drama. The show will travel to Canada and also set scenes in the dreaded radioactive Colonies.

It's kind of hard to believe, but Headphones.com has the best return policy we've ever seen.

We read through it since you probably won't.

Show Us Yours: Joe and his wife wanted to replace their unattractive entertainment system with something better. See how they said goodbye to ugly by hiding their wires.

Celebrating 70 years of legendary sports and race cars, the Porsche Effect at the Petersen Automotive Museum lets you get up close to some incredibly machines.

The Petersen Automotive Museum'-™s latest exhibit celebrates many mighty machines from the legendary automaker.

The 6.1-inch iPhone could have a starting price of $550, according to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Time Warner and AT&T just wrapped up legal arguments in defense of their proposed $85 billion merger. Next up: The Justice Department gets a chance at a rebuttal.

Q Acoustics has announced its 3000i range of speakers with a raft of improvements, which promise to bother budget brands such as Elac and Polk.

Both phones claim their sound will blow you away, so we put them to the test.

Get an eyeload of where the glass meets the metal in the Pixel 2's unusual design.

The original 1973 film, despite being very different from the HBO series, has many ideas that can still make for fascinating TV reveals.

One of the oldest skywatching traditions on Earth is underway and set to peak this weekend. So lay back, relax and look up at the sky.

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What in the heck is going on?

The world of mobile and IoT operating systems used to be pretty stable and comprehensible. Suddenly, however, surprising events and weird changes have left everyone scratching their heads.

Here are the questions I'-™m hearing about these operating systems '-” and the answers.

Will Pixelbooks run Windows?

All of a sudden, Chromebook-using IT pros and developers are wondering whether Google'-™s Pixelbook will soon dual-boot into Microsoft Windows.

A sharp-eyed Reddit user discovered some comments in the Chromium Gerrit that'-™s leading some to speculate about a coming dual-boot feature. (Gerrit is a team code collaboration tool that integrates with Git.)

States and the federal government are increasing their scrutiny of cryptocurrencies in an attempt to bring more transparency to a market where buyers and sellers are anonymous and regulatory oversight is light.

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, LiteCoin, and Ripple skyrocketed in value last year as investors sought to get in on what many see as the future of global currency '-" one that for trade and commerce knows no borders. Bitcoin generated massive hype among investors as its value surged more than 1,900% to nearly $20,000 last year, before tumbling back down below $11,000.

Almost every R user knows about popular packages like dplyr and ggplot2. But with 10,000+ packages on CRAN and yet more on GitHub, it's not always easy to unearth libraries with great R functions. One of the best way to find cool, new-to-you R code is to see what other useRs have discovered. So, I'm sharing a few of my discoveries -- and hope you'll share some of yours in return (contact info below).

Choose a ColorBrewer palette from an interactive app. Need a color scheme for a map or app? ColorBrewer is well known as a source for pre-configured palettes, and the RColorBrewer package imports those into R. But it's not always easy to remember what's available. The tmaptools package's palette_explorer creates an interactive application that shows you the possibilities.

One of the most exciting days I had at work was the day I came into the office, sat down at my desk, logged into my PC'-¦and there in glorious detail were all my emails, voice mails (with pictures of the senders and text describing content), instant messages and all my social media feeds.

All my communications in one place, and easy to manage. I thought I'-™d died and gone to heaven. That was back in 1989 (I was only joking about the social media, which obviously didn'-™t exist back then). I was co-running a telephony lab for IBM and, sadly, a few months later transferred to another IBM site. They took away my PC and gave me a color terminal, and I was back to the dark ages '-" they were literally dark, because my new, larger office had no window and I felt like I was in prison.

Stop me if you've heard this one: Google has a new plan for fixing its mess of messaging apps and bringing clarity, consistency, and order to an area that's been chaotic for far too long.

As reported in a novel-length story by The Verge last night, Google is "pausing" all work and investments in Allo '-” the standalone chat service announced with great fanfare in 2016 '-” and moving the entire Allo team over to Android Messages, the company's current default SMS app for Android devices.

There are over five billion mobile phone subscribers, and an even greater number of wireless devices competing for access in the unlicensed bands. Every tech giant--from Amazon to ZTE--wants to be the leading force in mobile platforms, networks, and cloud services in what could be a winner-takes-all contest.

Unfortunately, spectrum crowding threatens dreams of a future filled with ubiquitous access to content and services. As connectivity is extended to '-'things'-" (both indoors and outdoors) and consumers get their first taste of ultra-high definition TV and broadcasts in virtual reality, the growth in demand for wireless access could overwhelm spectrum resources.

Apple'-™s 2018 Environmental Responsibility Report reveals dozens of fascinating details about the company's products, including deep insights into the care and attention it puts into their design.

'-˜Climate change is undeniable'-™

Apple'-™s report includes a sizeable collection of interesting data concerning the company'-™s efforts to reduce the impact of its business.

Apple is a huge business and it understands that even small reductions in its environmental footprint can have huge consequences, even as it moves toward closed-loop manufacturing processes.

Yesterday, I talked about the weird bug that makes April'-™s Win7 Monthly Rollup, KB 4093118, re-install itself over and over, even when Windows Update says that it'-™s been installed successfully. Windows sleuth abbodi86 has discovered the source of the problem, and it should give you patching pause.

To understand how we got into this mess, you need to understand the bugs that Microsoft introduced in the March Win7 patches and their kludgey patches. Installing either the March Monthly Rollup (KB 4088875) or the March Security-only patch (KB 4088878) may knock your machine off the network. As Microsoft says:

Google this week released Chrome 66 for Windows, macOS and Linux, patching 62 vulnerabilities, banning older site certificates issued by security giant Symantec, and refusing to run auto-play content unless the volume was muted.

Chrome updates in the background, so users only need relaunch the browser to install the latest version. (To manually update, select "About Google Chrome" from the Help menu under the vertical ellipsis at the upper right; the resulting tab either shows the browser has been updated or displays the download-and-upgrade process before presenting a "Relaunch" button.) Those new to Chrome can download it from this Google site.

It's 1988, and this pilot fish is the entire IT team for the 250 users in the IC design department of a chipmaker in Arizona. But his biggest problem isn't his very tech-smart users.

"Occasionally I had to do a 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. shift to get all the big-box computers updated," says fish. "This was Arizona in July, so I parked in one of the few shaded spots -- that way my car wouldn't be 140 degrees at 1 p.m.

"Turned out we had a senior sales-dude who had decided that was his spot. He would leave business cards with nasty notes if you parked there. Some young designers who came in early had a contest going for how many of the cards they could collect.

You might not know it from all the panic-inducing headlines out there, but Android is actually packed with powerful and practical security features. Some are activated by default and protecting you whether you realize it or not, while others are more out of the way but equally deserving of your attention.

So stop wasting your time worrying about the Android malware monster du jour and which security company is using it to scare you into an unnecessary subscription, and take a moment instead to look through these far more impactful Android security settings '-” starting with the core elements and moving from there into some more advanced and easily overlooked options.

Last week, Microsoft quietly re-released its buggy April Win7 Monthly Rollup patch, KB 4093118. You may recall the patch as a reaction to the Carnak the Magnificent situation we had with the original version of KB 4093118.

With the re-release earlier this week of the original Carnak patch, KB 4099950, it'-™s not clear to me what the recommended installation sequence might be. But this much I know for sure. People all over the internet are complaining that this new version of KB 4093118 installs itself over and over again.

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 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.

Apple'-™s iPhone has become a key factor for global economic growth, claims the International Monetary Fund (IMF) '-” but the boom times may be over, it warns.

'An iPod, a phone, Internet Communicator and economic saviour'

Noting that in 2017, global smartphone sales reached 1.5 billion units (one smartphone for every five people on the planet), the IMF World Economic Outlook April edition makes lots of observations around Apple, the iPhone, technology, and the post-smartphone era.

Consultant pilot fish gets the order to build an online store for one of the company's major clients. "I'm told to use an off-the-shelf e-commerce system to save time," he says. "When I ask for the specifications, I'm told it's a basic shopping cart, nothing special.

"This worries me, but foolishly I move forward."

After scoping out the project, fish reports to his manager that he can get the off-the-shelf system ready for customer review by a particular date.

Shortly after that, fish learns that the sales rep has promised the entire site by that date, including migrating all data.

And fish still has no specifications or feature list, nor has he been told what data he needs to migrate.

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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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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)?

Apple is expected to include wireless charging as a core feature in the iPhones it launches on...

Apple's 10th anniversary iPhone is nearly upon us. Here's everything we expect from what could be Apple's most important product in years.

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