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 CTO.org - News Archive - February 20, 2018
The Japanese automaker is investing heavily in a new test facility in its home prefecture in Japan.

The show's geeks will do anything to meet the Microsoft co-founder -- even though he's gotten punchy with Sheldon before.

Matt and Ross Duffer, the creators of the supernatural streaming hit, won't be moving out of Hawkins, Ind.

AT&T won't get access to communications between the Justice Department and President Trump it claims influenced the decision to block its merger with Time Warner.

Seriously McD's, stop toying with us. Either release The Sauce, or don't.

FurReal Friends Ultimate Co-pilot Chewbacca responds to your voice and touch and looks so cute when sleeping.

Humans are still in charge in a new video showing Boston Dynamics' SpotMini robo-dog getting yanked around with a hockey stick and a butt leash.

It's got more of what matters -- NACA ducts, mostly.

A study suggests take-home robots can help patients with COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stay on track.

The powered-up role-playing item includes sounds from "Avengers: Infinity War," Infinity Stones and articulated fingers.

If they're right, we're looking forward to the camera most.

A week after the indictment of Russian nationals, the US attorney general requests a report on the risks of "the malicious use of technology."

The backlash against the crowdsourced navigation leader is reaching critical mass. Brian Cooley investigates.

Everything from colors, camera upgrades to internal components are potentially exposed in this German report.

The first Starlink satellites are set to launch aboard a Falcon 9 on Wednesday. It could be the start of a whole new way to share Elon Musk memes.

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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.

There'-™s no doubt that Slack is popular, with 9 million weekly active users in more than 100 countries, according to the company. But does using the productivity platform truly make you more productive? Or do Slack messages constantly interrupt your actual work, making it difficult to stay focused?(Insider Story)

Apple'-™s entire user interface paradigm can be summed up as '-'reveal as required." You can use its products productively from the moment you power them up out of the box, but as you become more familiar with its systems you can achieve much more. These six handy Mac tips will help you get things done faster and more effectively.


My favorite Mac shortcut, Command-Space, opens Spotlight search. Use this when looking for a document, an image, a website, contact, folder, app or almost anything else '-" just start typing the first few letters of the name and hit Return when the correct item is found.

JD Power just released their 2018 wireless purchase experience study details, and there are two very interesting facts in these results that every buyer needs to know, yet no one is talking about. One is this. While there are winners, there are no losers this year. What I mean is, all the major carriers are now very good. In fact, they are so close it almost doesn'-™t matter which one you choose, based on this study.

However, there are differences you need to know. There are other factors you should be aware of to determine the best carrier for you. JD Power does a great job year after year of measuring different parts of the wireless experience in general. It keeps carriers on their toes. This is one of many factors to help users choose the best carriers for them.

Pilot fish is working at a university's IT help desk when a student walks in with a laptop and a request.

"She asked us to help fix the keyboard and track pad on her laptop," says fish. "I asked, was anything spilled on the keyboard? Well, yeah, it got rained on.

"In communicating further and telling her she would have to order a new replacement keyboard, she proceeded to tell me that she also got sick and vomited on the keyboard.

"When asked why she did not feel the need to tell us earlier in the conversation, she said it was no big deal and has happened a few times, but this was the first time it quit working.

"Student left. Everything she touched went into the trash, and a lot of sanitizing wipes were used. I'm now printing out her picture and captioning it 'Typhoid Mary' and posting it behind the workbench."

Google wants you to keep using Google. So to keep your interest, it'-™s working hard to apply some of the world'-™s most advanced technologies to making your online activities faster and easier.

It'-™s attacking from several angles. One of them is prediction. Google is figuring out how to guess what you'-™ll want to do, then making that prediction available as an instant option.

This predictive power will transform how employees and executives in enterprises and other businesses operate. The predictive internet will do for work what self-driving cars will do for transportation.

It'-™s starts with messaging.

Predictive conversation

Google is beta-testing a new tool called Reply that reads what your colleagues message to you and then suggests replies, which you can choose to send with a click or tap. That might sound like Google'-™s existing Smart Replies, which is built into Gmail, Inbox and Allo. But Reply is Smart Replies for third-party apps, essentially. (Sign up for the beta here.)

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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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