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  • Opera launches Touch, a mobile browser aimed at one-handed use
    by Gregg Keizer on April 25, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Opera Software today launched a new mobile browser dubbed Touch and upgraded its desktop browser so that the two can better stay in sync.The Oslo-based browser maker rolled out Opera Touch, an Android application that features one-hand operation and focuses on search, with the latter dominating the screen as users launch Touch.[ Further reading: Google's Chromium browser explained ]"The current browsers are not doing their job properly," argued Maciej Kocemba, an Opera product manager, during an early-Wednesday live-streamed launch event that was made available later as a recording. He then showed how designers had cast the browser's UI (user interface) so that buttons and functions, including search and tabs, are all within reach of the user's thumb.To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • Microsoft Patch Alert: April patches infested with bugs, but most are finally contained
    by Woody Leonhard on April 25, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    People think I’m joking when I refer to bug fixing as Microsoft’s next billion-dollar business. I’m not. This month woefully demonstrated why patching Windows has become much bigger – and more critical – than developing new versions. Microsoft’s hell-bent move to bring out new versions of Windows twice a year “as a service” makes things worse, but quality control problems dog patches to every version of Windows. Except, arguably, Windows 8.1.In April, we’ve seen a return to two massive cumulative updates per month for all supported versions of Windows 10. The second cumulative update, with luck, fixes the bugs in the first cumulative update. Windows 7 turned into a fiery pit when it was discovered in late March that every patch to Win7 (and Server 2008R2) pushed out this year enables the Total Meltdown bug. Fortunately, by April 23, we finally saw some stability return to the process.To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • Where is Apple's AirPower?
    by Jonny Evans on April 25, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    What is happening with Apple’s AirPower? Announced months ago, expected in spring, Cupertino’s wireless charging solution still hasn’t launched. Why?Apple’s slipping shipping schedules It has now been over 200 days since Apple announced AirPower. It is not the first recent Apple product to be announced in a blaze of glory only to ship months later than originally promised:Mac Pro isn’t now expected until 2019. Apple Watch was announced in May 2014 to ship April 2015. HomePod was expected in time for Christmas but didn’t actually hit market until early 2018. AirPods were delayed. Even the original iPhone shipped later than originally expected. Apple always excuses its perceived product delays by saying it likes to ship new products “when they are ready." To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • Is the U.S. headed toward a cashless economy through blockchain?
    by Lucas Mearian on April 25, 2018 at 10:32 am

    A former Federal Reserve executive believes it's only a matter of time before central banks adopt a form of digital currency that could look like bitcoin, and will offer a more convenient and anonymous way for businesses and consumers to buy and sell goods and store wealth.The advent of a government-backed, peer-to-peer (P2P) digital currency would likely be based on a blockchain-based electronic ledger, and it could signal the beginning of a cashless economy, not unlike what's occurring today in Sweden. It also may simply complement the modern-day current cash-based system.To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • Why we love lawyers (well, OUR lawyers, anyway)
    by Sharky on April 25, 2018 at 10:00 am

    This IT pilot fish has spent the past year and a half helping his company's clients prepare for the European Union's upcoming General Data Protection Regulation, and with a month to go, it's been smooth sailing -- mostly."Over the last 18 months I've been asking my customers time and again about their readiness to implement the GDPR rules," says fish. "We have mostly small companies as our customers, family businesses and one-to-ten-person outfits, and most of them had need of our services one way or another."But one customer, a lawyer, told me every time that this particular set of rules does not apply to him, because everything he does is governed by an obligation to confidentiality. Ten weeks before the final date, he still thought it had nothing to do with him."To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • Chrome's Canary reveals UI refresh
    by Gregg Keizer on April 24, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Google has introduced the first changes to Chrome's UI (user interface) in two years, focusing on the shape of the browser's tabs and other top-of-window elements.Available in "Canary," the rawest version of the browser, and so far only for Windows, the tweaked UI is hidden behind an experimental setting. To see the UI, users must type chrome://flags in the address bar, then search for UI Layout in the resulting page of optional settings. Once UI Layout has been located, change the setting from "Default" to "Refreshed" and restart the browser.[ Further reading: Google's Chromium browser explained ]The most noticeable change currently displayed is to the tabs, which have dispensed with an earlier trapezoidal form for a rectangle with slightly-rounded upper corners. The active tab has also been slightly brightened from a very light gray to a plain white, making that most important tab stand out more than before.To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • Heads up: Total Meltdown exploit code now available on GitHub
    by Woody Leonhard on April 24, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    Remember the Total Meltdown security hole? Microsoft spread the vulnerability in every 64-bit Win7 and Server 2008 R2 patch released this year, prior to March 29. Specifically, if you installed any of these patches:KB 4056894 Win7/Server 2008 R2 January Monthly Rollup KB 4056897 Win7/Server 2008 R2 January Security-only patch KB 4073578 Hotfix for “Unbootable state for AMD devices in Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1” bug installed in the January Monthly Rollup and Security-only patches KB 4057400 Win7/Server 2008 R2 Preview of the February Monthly Rollup KB 4074598 Win7/Server 2008 R2 February Monthly Rollup KB 4074587 Win7/Server 2008 R2 February Security-only patch KB 4075211 Win7/Server 2008 R2 Preview of the March Monthly Rollup KB 4091290 Hotfix for “smart card based operations fail with error with SCARD_E_NO_SERVICE” bug installed in the February Monthly Rollup KB 4088875 Win7/Server 2008 R2 March Monthly Rollup KB 4088878 Win7/Server 2008 R2 March Security-only patch KB 4088881 Win7/Server 2008 R2 Preview of April Monthly Rollup ... your machine was left in an exposed state. Microsoft made changes to your PC that makes it easy for a running to program to look at, or modify, any data on your computer. To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • Google weighs in on the future of Inbox
    by JR Raphael on April 24, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    To appreciate the way so many of us feel about Google today, we need only remember the words of perfectly adequate 80s rock band Great White: Once bitten, twice shy. (Go ahead, watch the music video. It's hilarious.)Those bleach-haired biker boys may have been writing about groupies and rock 'n' roll clichés, but they also tapped into a feeling all too common in our current mobile tech landscape: You never know when a service you love is going to go away. And so after a while, it gets tough to feel comfortable enough to commit.You know what I'm getting at here, right? Google makes some really great apps and services. It also isn't afraid to kill off said apps and services when it sees fit, regardless of how users may react. The inevitable question, then, is always: What's next? Which Google app or service will be given a death sentence that'll send its dedicated users into a tizzy?To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • The missing cumulative update for Win10 1709 appeared overnight — KB 4093105
    by Woody Leonhard on April 24, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Late last night — on a Monday, mind you — Microsoft released its second big cumulative update for Win10 version 1709. This completes the triumvirate of second cumulative updates, since last week, on the third Tuesday of the month, Microsoft released second cumulative updates for Win10 1703 and 1607. There’s a pattern emerging. Microsoft is now showering Win10 customers with two (sometimes more) cumulative updates a month, and they’re big. The first cumulative update contains security patches and a big hodgepodge of additional bug fixes. The first one is (usually) released on the second Tuesday of the month. The second cumulative update arrives, uh, whenever, and it contains massive amounts of bug fixes in addition to those in the first — including, if we’re lucky, fixes for the bugs introduced by the month’s first cumulative update.To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • Windows 10: A guide to the updates
    by Preston Gralla on April 24, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    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.To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • 12 thoughts on the new Apple enterprise
    by Jonny Evans on April 24, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Apple’s growing place in enterprise IT means you’re already seeing more of its logos appear in meetings, conferences, and in the field. What do enterprise CIOs need to understand today as they make decisions for tomorrow?Complexity sucks It doesn’t matter how important your business process is, there really is no excuse for fiddly and complex user interfaces, often used features that are nested deep in the innards of the app, or inconsistent software behavior. If your workers are using better computers at home, or better mobile devices, then they will use consumer applications to do the same task no matter how much you warn them about "Grey IT."To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • IDG Contributor Network: Is the Palm wireless smartphone coming back?
    by Jeff Kagan on April 24, 2018 at 11:00 am

    There always are all sorts of crazy rumors always floating around the wireless industry. One is that Palm is coming back, and that Verizon Wireless will introduce it later this year. That’s right. Palm, one of the two original smartphones. Before the Apple iPhone, Google Android and Samsung Galaxy, there was Palm and Blackberry. The last was the Palm Pre. That was their last gasp, then they faded into the sunset.So, will Palm be reborn? And if it is, will it make an impact?In the 1990s, smart phones were not a big deal. They were a business device. There were only a couple hundred business-oriented apps. We all carried a plain wireless phone like we all had a POTS phone on the wall in our kitchen. If you recall, POTS meant plain old telephone service.To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • Mingis on Tech: All about Android security
    by Ken Mingis on April 24, 2018 at 10:30 am

    One of the many topics techies like to debate is whether Google's Android or Apple's iOS is more inherently secure. Sure, Apple has a closed system that makes it harder for iPhone users to get into trouble. But the frequent headlines about Android malware usually miss the point.As Computerworld's JR Raphael explains, an Android user would really have to work at picking up malware. Android has multiple layers of defense; malware doesn't install itself without user intervention; and the chances of actually coming across damaging malware is really, really small.To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • One lousy hurricane hits and it all goes to the dogs
    by Sharky on April 24, 2018 at 10:00 am

    This pilot fish's employer is developing a disaster recovery plan for a client's business operations -- and, naturally, it's by the book every step of the way."The client's call center was designated as the backup operations site in our plan," says fish. "My role was Technical Delivery Manager there."The disaster recovery/business continuity planning happened over 18 months, and at the end of the 18 months our area experienced several brushes with hurricanes."The first hurricane missed our city, hitting further eastward. We implemented the plan, but I stayed at home during that hurricane. We were not required to stay onsite."Several months later, a second hurricane warning was raised for our city. We once again implemented the plan, and I went home again, not expecting to stay at work.To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • The best privacy and security apps for Android
    by JR Raphael on April 24, 2018 at 10:00 am

    Let's get one thing out of the way right off the bat: If you're looking for recommendations about Android security suites or other malware-scanning software, you've come to the wrong place.Why? Because, like most people who closely study Android, I don't recommend using those types of apps at all. Android malware isn't the massive real-world threat it's frequently made out to be, and Google Play Protect and other native Android features are more than enough to keep most devices safe.To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • Microsoft cites 24% jump in tech support scams
    by Gregg Keizer on April 24, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Reports of tech support scams jumped by 24% last year, Microsoft said, with losses by the bilked averaging between $200 and $400 each."Scammers continue to capitalize on the proven effectiveness of social engineering to perpetrate tech support scams," Erik Wahlstrom, Windows Defender research project manager, wrote in a post last week to a Microsoft blog. "These scams are designed to trick users into believing their devices are compromised or broken. They do this to scare or coerce victims into purchasing unnecessary support services."To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • Microsoft boosts anti-phishing skills of Chrome, the IE and Edge killer
    by Gregg Keizer on April 23, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Microsoft has ceded a major asset of its Edge browser to rival Google by releasing an add-on that boosts Chrome's phishing detection skills.The Redmond, Wash. company had little choice, according to one analyst. "Phishing is a huge problem, and people are going to use the browser they use," said Michael Cherry of Directions on Microsoft. "They're doing this to protect the Windows ecosystem."[ Related: How to replace Edge as the default browser in Windows 10 — and why you should ]Dubbed "Windows Defender Browser Protection" (WDBP) the free extension can be added to Chrome on Windows or macOS, and after a post-launch fix, Chrome OS as well. Like the defenses built into Edge, the add-on relies on Microsoft's SmartScreen technology that warns users of potentially malicious websites that may try to download malware to the machine or of sites linked in email messages that lead to known phishing URLs.To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • 11+ Mac keyboard skills to learn today
    by Jonny Evans on April 23, 2018 at 11:42 am

    If you happen to be multilingual, a developer, a statistician or a data scientist, it’s likely you already know how to unlock additional symbols when typing on your Mac. But if you aren't, you’ll need to take a moment to learn.How to type a check mark Want this? √ Type Option and v (or type Option-4 for a cent sigil).How to type a copyright symbol The Mac shortcut to type a copyright (©) symbol is Option + g.[ Further reading: 10 super useful Mac Finder tips ]To infinity and beyond Tap Option + 5 to reach infinity: ∞To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • Picomanagement, defined
    by Sharky on April 23, 2018 at 10:00 am

    Programmer pilot fish for a big electronics company has a small software fix for one of his programs."I needed to push an incremental update to one of my applications that solved a minor issue in how it reported data errors," says fish. "It wasn't a show stopper -- in fact, the problem was so minor it had been around for several years and I only addressed the issue when I remembered it existed."So I told my manager I was going to submit the change to be pushed out through our corporate IT group, and she told me she wanted to have a meeting."We had a 30-minute meeting discussing the issue when she decided she needed to add her boss.To read this article in full, please click her […]

  • Walmart’s mobile checkout trial is a major advance
    by Evan Schuman on April 23, 2018 at 10:00 am

    When Walmart rolled out its mobile Check Out with Me program last week, it made a meaningful first step toward the retail nirvana of full in-aisle mobile checkout.Some quick background: For more than a decade now, ever since mobile applications were first taken seriously in retail, the ultimate goal has been to do away with checkout lanes and have all purchases paid either as you go (think loading items into smart carts that total prices or purchasing through the shopper’s own mobile device) or all at once but through a mobile-armed associate in whatever aisle the shopper’s last item was grabbed. To read this article in full, please click her […]