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Wed, December 13, 2017
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 Latest Technology News
Today, it's a few select games -- tomorrow, maybe Alexa's top personalities could quit their day jobs.

The French automaker wants to ensure that you read its content in its self-driving cars.

In a controversial vote, the FCC rolls back net neutrality rules adopted in 2015 and strips the agency of its authority to regulate the internet.

The Canadian province hopes to jump-start electric truck sales with this juicy incentive.

Life imitates art yet again.

The FCC voted 3-2 to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules. Here's what the commissioners who supported the rollback had to say.

After the FCC voted down the Obama-era rules, lawmakers and attorneys general in three states announce different ways they plan to fight.

Silicon Valley CEOs have moved past cybersecurity and taxes to comment on social issues like gay rights and immigration.

Honda released images and a bit of information about four robots it will bring to CES 2018.

On Thursday, the FCC voted 3-2 to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules. Here's what the two had to say.

Thanks to the same kind of Google AI that identifies fluffy pets in photos, we know more about a distant solar system. It's now tied our record.

Bacteriophages and the enzymes they produce are being used in Russia to kill bacteria that is resistant to every known type of antibiotic.

That Tesla you always wanted may still be within reach.

The e-commerce powerhouse adds five Apple TV and Chromecast devices to its online store, offering an olive branch to both Google and Apple.

Stream along with CNET today at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET for great deals and answers to your burning holiday shopping questions -- and a chance to win* a Sphero Mini robot.

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'Tis the season for kicking back, crankin' up the fireplace, and finding some time-saving new tricks for that pretty slab o' glass in your pocket.

Enhanced efficiency is one heck of a holiday treat, after all '-” and one that keeps paying off for months to come. Hey, productivity matters, and there's never a shortage of fresh Android shortcuts and enhancements just waiting to be embraced.

In case you missed any of 'em the first go-round or maybe just didn't have time to try everything out, here are some of my favorite Android tips and tricks from 2017. Pour yourself some cocoa, polish up the ol' Festivus pole, and give yourself the gift of finely tuned technology.


It should be clear by now that Apple'-™s big bet on the iPhone X is working out just fine. Millions of people appear to be picking them up, but what does the new device tell us about the next decade of smartphones?

Face, the obvious

Biometric ID has come of age.

From Touch ID fingerprint sensors to face recognition systems and whatever comes beyond. It'-™s not impossible to speculate that one day our solutions will even be able to recognise us through a combination of biometric signals: fingerprint, face, pulse, even by blood type as mobile sensor development accelerates.


The TP-LINK HS100 smart plug" is quite simply a power outlet that you can control from anywhere. Using your smartphone, you can turn devices on & off, set programs to turn them on & off at set times while you're away, or engage a "countdown timer" which powers the switch off after a set amount of time. Installation is simple -- just plug a device into your smart plug and connect to your wifi network. The HS100 is also compatible with Amazon Alexa, for voice control. Buy multiple plugs and get creative.


Windows 7's security rollups, the most comprehensive of the fixes it pushes out each Patch Tuesday, have almost doubled in size since Microsoft revamped the veteran operating system's update regimen last year.

According to Microsoft's own data, what it calls the "Security Quality Monthly Rollup" (rollup from here on) grew by more than 70% within the first dozen issued updates. From its October 2016 inception, the x86 version of the update increased from 72MB to 124.4MB, a 73% jump. Meanwhile, the always-larger 64-bit version went from an initial 119.4MB to 203.2MB 12 updates later, representing a 70% increase.

The swelling security updates were not, in themselves, a surprise. Last year, when Microsoft announced huge changes to how it serviced Windows 7, it admitted that rollups would put on pounds as the months pass. "The Rollups will start out small, but we expect that these will grow over time,' Nathan Mercer, a Microsoft product marketing manager, said at the time. Mercer's explanation: "A Monthly Rollup in October will include all updates for October, while November will include October and November updates, and so on."


This IT project is highly visible, and management is taking no chances. "To ensure that it is managed properly, execs contract with a highly advertised consulting firm to provide a thundering herd of expert project managers," says a pilot fish on the project.

"Never mind the fact that our corporate PMs usually do quite well."

As is always the case, there's lots of time every day that the regular employees spend on nonproject tasks they're required to do. Fish doesn't report that as project time, and he instructs the rest of his team to do the same.

And it's not long before, one by one, the thundering herd arrives at fish's desk. "You're short on hours! Why aren't you reporting your time?" each one asks.


plans to release an a new wireless charging product in January that will be capable of 15-watt power transfers through a 1.5-in. thick solid surface and provide support for new Apple iPhones and other Qi-enabled devices.

Charging Spot 4.0 is a new charging hardware product that requires no drilling and that can be installed under a table surface. Powermat's new SmartInductive technology, which includes firmware, integrated circuits and charging coils, will allow the new Charging Spot to offer higher power transfers over longer distances than previously availble.

The new charger will allow users to simply place enabled mobile devices atop a desk, for example, to begin receiving power.


Blockchain is poised to change IT in much the same way open-source software did a quarter of a century ago. And in the same way that Linux took more than a decade to become a cornerstone in modern application development, Blockchain will take years to become a lower cost, more efficient way to share information between open and private networks.

But the hype around this seemingly new, secure electronic ledger is real. In essence, blockchain represents a new paradigm for the way information is shared and tech vendors and companies are rushing to figure out how they can use the distributed ledger technology to save time and admin costs. Numerous companies this year have been rolling out pilot programs and real-world projects across a variety of industries - everything from financial services to healthcare to mobile payments.


It's the most disruptive technology since the arrival of the Internet.

Or maybe it's the next Linux, an open-source technology that offers great promise, but somehow never seems to make it to the mainstream world.

"It," in this case, is blockchain '-" the buzz-worthy distributed ledger technology that first came into widespread use with Bitcoin" represents a new paradigm for the way information is shared. FinTech firms are embracing it and a variety of companies are already rushing to figure out how they can use it to save time and admin costs, according to Computerworld Senior Reporter Lucas Mearian.


Managing the explosive growth in SaaS and Cloud applications is largely uncharted territory. While some principles of traditional software asset management can be applied to managing cloud and SaaS applications, the way software is purchased has fundamentally changed and the management and governance of software is evolving.

Some SaaS applications are purchased and implemented as strategic, and often expensive, systems across the enterprise and involve IT and Finance in the process. Other SaaS applications are purchased as a niche solution or for a specific tactical use and the line of businesses run the evaluation and purchasing process, implement it in their area and ensure their team is using it without involvement from IT and Finance. The strategic impact of an application, how many employees use it and how much it costs validate that all SaaS applications are not created equal in the enterprise and they should not be governed the same way, either.


Amazon has a discount of $20 active right now on their all new Echo smart speaker, which features a new speaker, new design, and is available in a range of styles including fabrics and wood veneers. Echo connects to Alexa to play music, make calls, set alarms and timers, ask questions, control smart home devices, and more --
instantly. Echo averages 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 2,200 reviewers, and with the current discount you can grab it for yourself (or someone else) now for just $79.99. See the discounted Echo deal now on Amazon.


While I see online ads as a necessary evil if you want to keep websites in business, I'-™m so annoyed at the way the latest ads services seem so focused on ruining everybody'-™s Christmas surprise.

The ads Grinch stole Christmas

This is what happens: Ads sites track where you go online; retailers track you too and all this information is shared. Look at an item online, see an ad for it on the next page you go to. Not only is this behavioural retargeting vastly creepy, but when it comes to Christmas these things make it impossible to keep secrets, particularly on a shared Mac. Been looking at [insert name of hot new obsessive teenage-focused product here] with a view to buying one to gift your child? Don'-™t be too upset if said child gets onto your computer to check their Bitcoin investment only to find themselves staring at ads for the object of their desire. Kids aren'-™t stupid '-" they know how ads work online (even if we don'-™t). What'-™s happened? Your Christmas surprise is spoiled and your teenager won'-™t believe in Santa Claus any more, even if they are looking for a flat Earth shadow during the next eclipse.


I'-™ve written a lot about Microsoft PowerShell on this site, but my favorite thing to do is show how to apply the scripting language to various tasks you already have to do as part of your regular role and responsibilities. In a previous article, I demonstrated how to accomplish five common administrative tasks using PowerShell.(Insider Story)


This pilot fish is developing a series of training videos for a non-profit mental health organization, and he's pretty happy with the results.

"I created lessons for entering the system, setting up clients and entering client information, including family info, medicines, insurance and schools, as well as how to set up appointments and enter notes for treatment," says fish.

"During all that, I acquired a good working knowledge of how the clinicians conducted their therapy with clients."

When the content is done, fish adds all the necessary e-learning bells and whistles, including a menu to let users select the particular lessons they want or jump to any specific lesson, along with a quick-start guide and a "tips and tricks" section.


The launch of a big Microsoft Windows 10 update like the Fall Creators 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 1709, known as the Fall Creators Update '-” with the most recent updates on top. (Note that the Fall Creators Update is on a phased rollout, so you may not have received it yet.) Below that are 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.


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.


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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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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)?



Facebook has a "realistic opportunity" to enter China in 2018, Mizuho analyst James Lee wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday. Lee came to the conclusion after meeting "various industry contacts" in China during a recent trip. Facebook's recent appointment of an executive to manage relations with China will help the company "understand the regulatory requirement and negotiate Facebook's operating structure in China," said Lee in the note, a copy of which was obtained by Business Insider.



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.



Apple's App Store is getting a major update in iOS 11, and it's going to make finding new apps far better.



Equifax was hacked and lost the information of 143 million Americans, and they need to tell us how.



Apple's iPhone 8 is nearly upon us, but not everyone is psyched. Here are the best alternatives for Apple's upcoming iPhone.



Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 is a wonderful smartphone, but its high price is a tough pill to swallow.



Yahoo's David Pogue has a sneaky way you can create a universal link to a Facebook item so that you can send or post to anyone.



There are some gadgets that are just too cool for us Americans.



More laptop makers are pushing the limits of design and performance, but high-resolution panels are hurting their batteries.



Apple's iPhone is one of the most important consumer gadgets ever made, and it has a lot to do with these simple features.



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