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IBM and Visa want your IoT devices to double as point of sale terminals

Money devices Internet connected IoT

IBM and Visa want every Internet-connected device you own to be its own point of sale. The two companies announced the industry’s first collaboration to achieve this, through IBM’s Watson for IoT platform and Visa’s token technology.

Visa is currently powering 60 percent of the entire world’s payments and IBM’s Watson really needs no particular introduction.

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Sysinternals updates Autoruns, Process Explorer, Process Monitor, more

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Following yesterday’s Sysmon 6 release, Microsoft Sysinternals has announced new releases of Autoruns, Process Explorer, Process Monitor, AccessChk, LiveKD and BgInfo.

Autoruns now lists print monitors, the DLLs responsible for sending data from the Windows print spooler to the kernel mode print driver. We tried this on a Windows 10 laptop and found 10 installed monitors, mostly relating to PDF and other virtual printers.

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Detect and block Mac ransomware with Little Flocker

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Windows ransomware may make all the headlines, but other platforms are vulnerable too. The first Mac ransomware was uncovered last year, and it’s only a matter of time before the next one strikes.

Little Flocker ($19.95) protects your Mac with a firewall-like file system monitor, enabling you to decide which apps have access to confidential files and system resources.

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Google publishes details of Windows bug after Microsoft misses 90-day Project Zero disclosure deadline

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Google's Project Zero has proved controversial on several occasions already, with the search giant publicly revealing details of software bugs when companies fail to fix them. Now the project has unearthed a bug in Windows, and as Microsoft failed to patch it within 90 days of being notified, details of the flaw have been made available for everyone to see -- and exploit.

A problem with the Windows Graphics Component GDI library (gdi32.dll) means that a hacker could use EMF metafiles to access memory and wreak all sorts of havoc. While Microsoft has issued Security Bulletin MS16-074, Google's Mateusz Jurczyk says it failed to properly address the problem -- hence the public outing of the bug.

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Google to drop 30-second unskippable ads from YouTube

YouTube

Ads -- be they on TV, on the web or in apps -- can be deeply annoying, hence the prevalence of ad-blocking software. But there are some ads that you can't always avoid, such as those tacked onto the beginning of YouTube videos; not all ad-blocking software is made equal, after all.

If this is a bugbear of yours, there's good news on the horizon. While YouTube is not ditching ads altogether, the 30-second monstrosities which cannot be skipped are being dropped.

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Fintech players need to build bridges, not walls

Fintech

At a time where in certain parts of the world there is a desire to build walls, brick by brick, to keep people out, it’s ironic that elsewhere -- not least in the global fintech space -- the mantra is all about sharing, partnering, competitive innovation and freedom of movement within a well-governed environment.

That said, a number of the early digital advisory (or "robo") propositions have -- surprisingly -- been slow to recognize this sentiment, instead aiming to recreate a faster version of the conventional advice (or investment) experience -- "faster horses" syndrome. Hardly the stuff to make the big incumbents shake in their boots or lose any sleep.

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IT departments dealing with 'unrealistic expectations' in project assignments

phone laptop tablet multitasking

Just half of IT departments managed to complete all of the projects that they were assigned during last year, a new report by MuleSoft claims.

Based on a survey of 951 IT decision makers, MuleSoft’s Connectivity Benchmark Report 2017 says there is a widening IT delivery gap that is to blame for these results.

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Sysinternals unveils Sysmon 6.0

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Microsoft Sysinternals has shipped Sysmon 6.0, a powerful system monitor for Windows.

The new release can log processes which are accessing other processes, a simple way to detect automated Mimikatz-like credential dumping.

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No fracking way! Fukishima is worse than ever

japanbaby

Remember the Fukishima Daiichi nuclear accident following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan? I wrote about it at the time, here, here, here, here, and here, explaining that the accident was far worse than the public was being told and that it would take many decades -- if ever -- for the site to recover.

Well it’s six years later and, if anything, the Fukushima situation is even worse. Far from being over, the nuclear meltdown is continuing, the public health nightmare increasing. Why aren’t we reading about this everywhere? Trump is so much more interesting, I guess.

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How enterprises can overcome SaaS' data fragmentation challenge

SaaS

When the Great Recession hit in 2007, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) began to catch the attention of enterprise CIOs as a favorable way to reduce the CAPEX necessary to provide their businesses with world-class IT services, and deliver more predictable OPEX. Fiscal reasoning may have been the carrot-on-the-stick, but CIOs were just as smitten by the promise of a simplified IT environment. It took several years for SaaS to firmly establish itself in the enterprise -- gaining a true foothold in 2012 -- and the delivery model is now considered mission critical by most enterprises. The "hands off" environment, rapid deployment potential and lower upfront costs all contributed to SaaS’s disruptive shift.

Notably, however, when SaaS was first being considered as an enterprise option, many cautioned that its use should be rooted in "vanilla" business applications that would not require complicated integration with enterprise data. Remember, SaaS burst onto the scene as a way to provide the SMB market with quick and affordable access to robust, single-purpose capabilities such as CRM or human resource management, but the applications were not particularly good at exchanging data in real-time, across transactional environments. "The convenience of using SaaS applications can mask a significant IT challenge of integration, both with other enterprise applications and with data sources," warned CIO Magazine.

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System76 refreshes Ubuntu Linux laptops with Intel Kaby Lake, NVIDIA GTX 10 series, and 4K

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If you are a Linux user, you can never go wrong with a System76 computer. Its machines come pre-loaded with Ubuntu, but they can also run any Linux distro, such as Fedora or Mint, like a champ. Operating system aside, they come with excellent specifications and superb customer service.

Now, System76 is refreshing three of its laptops with some high-end parts. The Oryx Pro, Serval WS, and Bonobo WS are now all equipped with 7th generation Intel Kaby Lake processors. In addition, all three can be had with 4K displays and NVIDIA GTX 10 series graphics too. While the Oryx Pro already had the option of 4K and GTX 10, it is the 7th gen Intel chips that are new to it. In fact, all of the company's laptops now come with Kaby Lake standard.

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Transform photos into arty masterpieces with Painnt

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Painnt is a Prisma-type app for Windows 10, Android and iOS which transforms your favorite photos into works of art.

Yes, yet another one. But wait -- the app has some interesting extra touches which could make it worth your time.

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Businesses rely on managed services providers to move to Azure

businessman on cloud

While Microsoft's Azure cloud service is gaining popularity with businesses, many of them are relying on a managed services provider (MSP) to implement it successfully.

According to a new survey by cloud and IT services company NetEnrich, 67 percent are 'very likely' to engage an MSP in the next year to migrate to Azure or to manage their cloud and/or on-premises environment.

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Chuwi's Hi13 Windows 10 hybrid retails for $369, promises Ubuntu support

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The Chuwi Hi13 is a very interesting proposition in the Windows tablet market. It has a display similar to that of the Microsoft Surface Book, support for a detachable keyboard and stylus, expansion ports, and competitive internals, but, unlike the devices that it has in its crosshairs, it features a really attractive price tag.

When I discussed the Hi13 earlier this year, I mentioned that Chuwi expected to sell the device for around $500 or less, which seemed like a fair price considering everything that it has to offer. However, as it turns out, the Hi13 will actually retail for much less -- $369 to be exact. The value proposition is hard to beat.

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Best Windows 10 apps this week

ambiance

Two-hundred-and-nineteen in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on the Windows Store in the past seven days.

As always, if I missed an app or game that has been released this week that you believe is particularly good, let me know in the comments below or notify me via email instead.

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