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 CTO.org - News Archive - January 12, 2018
The automotive electronics supplier changes the game from analog gauges to beautiful virtual displays with its LCD and OLED digital instrument clusters.

Commentary: In a new commercial, Apple suggests you'll create perfect portraits with its new phone. But will you?

Sporting a typically dramatic Fisker design, the EMotion will go over 400 miles on its 140-kilowatt-hour battery when it comes to production in 2020.

A research firm found about 60 games, many aimed at children, that contained pornographic malware. Those games have now been kicked off Google Play.

Commentary: Appearing on fellow pro J.J. Redick's podcast, the NBA star suggests he instantly repeats what he hears.

Not everything we saw on the show floor will be something you can buy right away, but these products are all slated to hit the market in 2018.

This self-cleaning litter box will help keep your cat's "special space" tidy.

Hyperkin's Ultra Game Boy prototype is a high-end upgrade of Nintendo's original portable game console.

Over 150,000 minivans are being called back to dealers to fix engine software issue that could cause them to stall.

Jeff Bezos is giving college money to immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, while politicians contentiously debate their status.

The scandal, the intrigue, the devices and what it all means for the coming year.

The simple bracelet aims to empower people and raise an awareness about sexual violence.

Audio company Bose used CES to show off its ClearVoice technology, which keeps background noise out of phone calls.

Books burn merrily away in this creepy trailer for the upcoming movie based on Ray Bradbury's classic book.

Don't expect wild new worlds: this year, at the beginning of 2018, it's small changes that matter.

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Microsoft'-™s documentation runs all over the place, but yesterday an announcement from '-˜Softie John Cable is widely interpreted as saying that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, version 1709, is now ready for business use. Gregg Keizer has details.

What do IT workers want? Fair paychecks, challenging work and ample opportunities for growth, for starters. Our annual listing showcases the organizations that excel at keeping their employees engaged and loyal with compensation, training and access to hot technologies. The report is published every June.

The 2017 Best Places to Work in IT list, our 24th annual report, was published on June 12, 2017.

Microsoft never sleeps. Even before the" Windows 10 Fall Creators Update" was rolled out, the company began work on the next major update to Windows 10, code-named Redstone 4. As it did with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft has been releasing a series of public preview builds to" members of Microsoft's Insider Program.

What follows is a list of every preview build of Redstone 4, starting with the most recent. For each build, we've included the date of its release and a link to Microsoft's announcement about it. We've also kept the list of all the preview builds that led up to Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and the Windows 10 Creators Update, which are below the builds of Redstone 4.

Alexa on Windows 10 PCs at CES 2018
hp alexa

Image by HP

At CES 2018 everyone was talking about '-" or talking to '-" Amazon.com'-™s Alexa digital assistant. It'-™s omnipresent '-" around the home and in phones, cars and, increasingly, offices. You'-™ll probably even find it in your next Windows 10 PC. It'-™s already in the new HP Pavilion Wave small form-factor PC (pictured); the Aspire, Spin, Switch and Swift notebooks from Acer; the 2018 ZenBook and VivoBook from Asus, and the Thinkpad X1 Carbon and Yoga devices from Lenovo.

You'-™ve learned all the new gestures, you've kicked Face ID around and you already use a VPN and alphanumeric passcode." You use your iPhone X to get things done, so how can you get things done faster?

The headlong race to cover the Meltdown/Spectre debacle has claimed another victim. In a surprising move, Intel has raised a red flag about some of its firmware patches. What should you do? Wait.

Yesterday, Intel executive VP Navin Shenoy posted on the company blog:

We have received reports from a few customers of higher system reboots after applying firmware updates. Specifically, these systems are running Intel Broadwell and Haswell CPUs for both client and data center. We are working quickly with these customers to understand, diagnose and address this reboot issue. If this requires a revised firmware update from Intel, we will distribute that update through the normal channels.

Pilot fish works in the consulting business of a big computer vendor, and one of his responsibilities at a site where the vendor has 1,000 people is an employee performance improvement program.

"Since it was government work, we had to show why people were terminated," says fish. "I worked with employees and their managers to improve their work product if we could before they were fired.

"One of the managers had an employee who had purchased a degree, a doctorate no less. He was supposed to be a network manager but had no understanding of it other than hooking someone up. His manager's boss wanted him gone because of his arrogance and failure to perform his job."

The iPhone X is the most advanced phone Apple has produced, which makes it a good match for business users. Why is that? Busy professionals are constantly on the move, trying to keep tabs on teams, communicating over messaging apps, even typing documents on the fly. They need a phone that is secure, works reliably, runs fast, and has features that make them more productive. The iPhone X delivers on all fronts.(Insider Story)

Microsoft today told enterprises that Windows 10's second feature upgrade of last year, October's "Fall Creators Update," had been sufficiently tested and is ready to deploy across their organizations.

The announcement came slightly short of three months after the Oct. 17, 2017, debut of Fall Creators Update, better known to corporate customers as 1709 in Microsoft's yymm nomenclature.

"Enterprise customers...can also fully deploy when ready," wrote John Cable, a Microsoft director of program management, in a post to a company blog.

A year of scandal
slide 1 nixon

Image by Nixon Library

2017 was a tough year for many. It exposed the dark side of human nature most people have long tried to ignore or deny: Racism, sexism, predatory sexual behavior, and using tech to cheat at things we all agree should be fair." 

Something interesting happened this week at CES.

I'm not talking about the flashy keynotes, the annual" TV trot-out, or even the gyrating robot strippers (though, okay, that last one sure was...something).

As we rappel down the Patch Tuesday rabbit hole this month, Microsoft just announced it'-™s going to start pushing its January Windows security patches onto AMD processors again. But it neglects to mention which ones. Per a late-night change to KB 4073707:

Microsoft has resumed updating the majority of AMD devices with the Windows operating system security update to help protect against the chipset vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown.

While the hype around bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has sent their prices " skyrocketing, some governments and companies are restricting activity to head off potential money laundering and protect consumers from a credit meltdown.

Cryptocurrencies have begun to exit once-friendly China for more open nations and other regions and businesses are beginning to impose restrictions on how '-" or even whether '-" they can be used.

Open blockchains, such as bitcoin, are only the first to be affected by increased regulatory oversight. Depending on how they're used, permissioned blockchains, or those that are centrally administered and used for general transactions, could also be affected by the push to reign in the cryptocurrency technology.

There have been many companies whose products have changed, and even revolutionized the way in which we live, but it'-™s hard to find one which has had the global impact of Microsoft." 

People like them and dislike them for various reasons, but I sincerely doubt that any of us can objectively dismiss the impact Microsoft has made." 

Founded in 1975, they are a young company by many standards, which may be a contributing factor to their success, but part of their success has been their resilience and ability to respond to changing technologies, market demands, and business opportunities." 

In some cases, they have created opportunities, and even demand, while in others they were slow to respond or late to react." 

If you're a tax time do-it-yourselfer, this is a deal that will save you money, and potentially make you some money as well.

H&R Block's popular tax software is fully updated for 2018 and designed to make your 2017 tax prep easier and more convenient. Step-by-step interviews guide you through a customized experience relevant to your tax situation, so you know everything is accounted for. This version contains everything you need to prepare your federal and state taxes in one complete program, and everything can be handled electronically (including the PC or Mac software download). Right now the tax software's price is reduced 33% on Amazon to $29.99.

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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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