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Microsoft celebrates the 20th anniversary of Windows Server

20th-anniversary

With strange serendipitous timing, just as the free upgrade period for Windows 10 is coming to an end, Microsoft is also celebrating the 20th anniversary of Windows Server. Way back in 1996, the company unleashed Windows NT 4.0 Server onto an unsuspecting world. The rest, as they say, is history.

Described as the operating system that would 'knock the socks of Unix' Windows NT 4.0 Server stuck around for four years before being replaced by the enterprise-specific Windows 2000 Server. With laughably low system requirements -- 133 MHz CPU, 32 MB RAM and 1 GB of disk space -- this was the start of a journey incorporating centralization and security.

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Google brings add-ons to Docs and Sheets on Android

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With a desktop word processor and spreadsheet, you have great power to create a range of documents. The move to the cloud and mobile means that popular Office suites have been ported to mobile platforms, and this usually means missing out on key features -- like add-ons.

Today, this changes as Google has announced that Android add-ons for Docs and Sheets are now available. This means that Google's mobile office tools can be extended with add-ons like DocuSign, Scanbot and Zoho CRM.

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Financial services need to beef up crime protection and prevention

hand stop

Financial services need to rethink crime protection and prevention because the current measures are simply not cutting it, according to PwC. In the company’s new paper, it examines the industry to find out to what extent it is complying with the latest rules and regulations, whether it is investing heavily in protection and prevention, and what are the results.

Basically, financial institutions have always been, and it seems as they will continue to be, cyber-criminals’ most wanted target. They are under intense scrutiny by regulators, and they are investing heavily in both protection and prevention.

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Creating a security-aware mobile culture

hand arm laptop security phishing lure scam

Historically hackers have pursued and targeted individuals more frequently than they have targeted businesses as they are typically the path of least resistance. However, the number of organizations worldwide falling victim to major cyber attacks is dramatically rising. More and more, hackers are infiltrating businesses of all sizes -- and not just through traditional system hacks, but now increasingly through social engineering.

Tricking people to access money or sensitive information on the Internet is by no means a new concept -- these cleverly disguised emails were behind the infamous ‘Celebgate’ hacking case, which exposed nude photos of celebrities. Except now, fraudsters are doing their homework to perfect their technique.

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Lock your home's doors by voice with new Amazon Echo Alexa Skill

SmartLock

When Amazon Echo first came to market, I was a bit skeptical. My phone already has a voice assistant -- why do I need dedicated hardware tethered to my wall? After buying it, however, its value quickly became apparent. I am now doing cool things like turning off my lamp every night by simply telling "Alexa" to do so. It all feels very futuristic.

Today, Amazon's popular solution gains another skill -- locking doors. Yes, you now have the ability to both lock and unlock the doors in your home using August Smart Lock hardware! Before you call this nothing more than a gimmick, I argue that it is a life-changing feature for a very specific segment of the population -- the home-bound handicapped.

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update stops Pro users from disabling annoying features and blocking ads

Head in hands

If there are certain aspects of Windows 10 you don’t like you may be able to change them using a registry hack or adjusting settings in the Group Policy Editor. The Group Policy Editor is available in all professional editions of the operating system, but not Home.

It’s a great tool, and lets you bypass annoyances like Microsoft making Cortana 'unkillable'. Unfortunately, in the Anniversary Update Microsoft has restricted what policies are available to Windows 10 Professional users, and blocked the corresponding registry keys so you can’t make the changes that way either.

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Businesses are less high tech than they think they are

high-tech digital companies

Here’s an interesting prospect: the majority of companies that consider themselves high-tech have not invested nearly enough to become digital businesses.

That is according to a report just released by Accenture, a global professional services and consulting company. Titled Accelerating Digital Performance in High-Tech, it says that just nine percent, out of 55 companies surveyed, are "digital high performers".

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How to print to PDF directly in Windows 10 -- no software required

PDF

PDF is a great file format because it shows a document exactly how it’s intended to look. There’s no shortage of tools you can use to create your own PDFs, and if you have Microsoft Office installed you can even save documents and spreadsheets in that format via the Save As menu.

Windows 10 cleverly offers native PDF printing, so you can turn almost any document or image into a PDF without needing to install anything.

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Yahoo Messenger is not dead -- new Windows and Mac apps are available now

Yahoo Messenger Mac

You may be surprised to read this, but, yes, Yahoo Messenger is still up and running. In fact, the longstanding service seems to be here to stay as it just received new desktop apps that should make Windows and Mac users happy.

Yahoo has launched the new clients to replace the "legacy" programs, which will no longer work after August 5. What you now get is a fresh design and a number of really nice features that add up to a user experience closer to Android, iOS, and the web.

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How IT teams of the future will look

Team meeting

IT teams will look completely different in the next five years, according to professional IT resourcing company Experis.

The company has released a new report, titled Tomorrow’s Tech Teams, in which it polled 1,000 IT workers and 200 senior IT managers. Six in ten (59 percent) believe the traditional IT department doesn’t exist in modern business.

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New solution helps enterprises guard against chat-based phishing

hand arm laptop security phishing lure scam

Slack is the largest enterprise chat platform in the world with more than 2.7 million daily active users who spend an average of 140 minutes per day using it.

Not surprising then that alert attackers see it as an opportunity to expand their social engineering campaigns. The fact than many people use Slack without the IT team's knowledge creates a further security issue.

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What new tech will you see in your lifetime?

crystall ball

Technology has already shaped the world we live in. Things like television, the jet engine and the first computers have made major changes to the way we live our lives.

But what can we expect in the future? The pace of change is faster than ever and there are innovations on the horizon that will change our lives just as radically as those of the past.

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Monitor and analyze your network traffic with SmartSniff

SmartSniff.200.175

We recently wrote about Microsoft Message Analyzer, and explained how it could be used to monitor and better understand your network and internet traffic.

It’s a hugely powerful tool, but also bulky and with an intimidating interface. If you’d prefer something more lightweight, then as usual, NirSoft might have the answer.

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61 percent of Americans fear having their cars or home security cameras hacked

Car protection

As more and more devices get connected to the Internet of Things, so their susceptibility to hacking increases too.

New research from enterprise data protection company Vormetric in conjunction with Wakefield Research shows that this is a concern for many people.

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Microsoft facing more lawsuits over forced Windows 10 upgrades

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Microsoft’s aggressive campaign to get customers to upgrade to Windows 10 might have seen the new OS grow in popularity, but the company's approach has, understandably, upset a lot of users. The software giant employed some increasingly sneaky tricks to fool Windows 7 and 8.1 users into accepting an OS upgrade they didn’t want and, inevitably, some unhappy victims are now looking to sue.

The software giant has already paid out $10,000 to a Californian whose PC was ruined by a Windows 10 update, and several US Attorney-Generals are reported to be actively pursuing cases against Microsoft. But on top of that two new lawsuits seeking class-action status have surfaced.

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