Latest Technology News

Microsoft releases Windows 10 Preview Build 17074.1002 with AMD boot fix related to Spectre and Meltdown

A week ago, Microsoft released a new Preview Build of Windows 10 -- 17074. It was chock-full of new features and fixes, making it a wise upgrade for anyone in the Insiders program.

Sadly, it was discovered that Build 17074 had a huge bug -- it made some AMD systems unbootable. Yikes! Apparently, this was related to fixes for Spectre and Meltdown. True, this is pre-release software, so bugs should be expected, but losing the ability to boot can really ruin a user's day. Today, that bug is fixed, as Microsoft pushes out Build 17074.1002. It also fixes an issue where some computers would hang.

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Huawei will preload Android Messages on its Android smartphones

Huawei

After you've used a messaging app, it's hard to go back to SMS. You can't share files, get read receipts, group chats or share emoji. It's archaic, but the good news is that there is an alternative.

It's called Rich Communication Services and it offers many of the features that we have come to love on messaging apps. Google is one of the biggest adopters, offering support for RCS in its Android Messages app. And, today, it announces that Huawei, one of the largest Android vendors, will integrate it in its Android smartphones.

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Slack now available as a Snap for Linux

At the end of last year, the Linux desktop scored a huge win when Spotify became available as a Snap. If you aren't familiar with Snaps, please know that they are essentially software packages designed to run as a container on any Linux distro. Not only does it make installing software packages easier for users, but it makes things simpler for developers too. Ultimately, Snaps have the potential to solve the big fragmentation problem in the Linux desktop community.

Today, yet another wildly popular program gets the Snap treatment, and quite frankly, it is arguably more significant than Spotify. What is it? Slack! Yes, Canonical announces that the ubiquitous communication app can be installed as a Snap. True, Slack was already available on the Linux desktop, but this makes installing it and keeping it updated much easier.

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New platform integrates Windows file servers with the cloud

Cloud server

Although businesses are keen to move to the cloud and IaaS solutions, most still have files stored on in-house servers.

Enterprise file sharing and sync platform FileCloud is launching a new product called ServerSync that integrates Microsoft Windows file servers with any IaaS cloud.

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How behavioral analytics help to fight insider threats

In the increasingly complex threat landscape faced by businesses, insiders continue to be a problem, accounting for around half of data breaches, according to a recent Forrester report.

One way that companies are combating this threat is with the use of User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA). This detects abnormal behavior, adds contextual information to confirm the behavior is abnormal, and then prioritizes the riskiest insiders for analysts to investigate.

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New AI platform helps companies with GDPR compliance

GDPR touchscreen

At the heart of the forthcoming GDPR legislation is the protection of personal data. For businesses this means being able to identify data that’s covered, including where it’s held and how it’s processed.

California-based Algorithmic IT Operations (AIOps) specialist Loom Systems is launching a new platform and virtual IT data analyst that helps users maintain GDPR compliance with just a click of a button.

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Intel: Meltdown and Spectre bugs also affect Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake and Kaby Lake systems

Intel processor

In an update following the Meltdown and Spectre revelations, Intel has admitted that the problems also affect newer chips. The company had previously focused its attention -- and that of users -- on Broadwell and Haswell chips, but now company vice president Navin Shenoy has conceded that Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake and Kaby Lake-based platforms are susceptible.

In rather more positive news, Shenoy also says that good progress has been made in identifying the root cause of the problem. Furthermore, beta microcode should be made available to vendors next week.

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Tim Cook: iPhone users will soon be able opt out of performance reduction

Plugging in an iPhone 6S

Many iPhone owners were disappointed to learn that Apple had been purposefully slowing their handsets, with many people believing it confirmed rumors that Apple slowed older iPhones to encourage upgrades.

Facing a backlash, the company explained that the forced performance degradation was an attempt to maximize battery life, and it then announced a cheaper battery replacement program. Now Tim Cook has said that a future iOS update will make iPhone throttling optional.

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Samsung begins GDDR6 mass production

Graphics cards are huge business nowadays, and not just for gaming. Actually, many consumers are buying these cards for the mining of cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, this is driving up the cost of GPUs, negatively impacting gamers that are shopping for a new card.

Right now, graphics cards largely utilize the super-fast GDDR5 for memory, but there is something better on the horizon -- GDDR6. Today, Samsung announces that it has begun mass producing the memory chips. If you are a gamer, you should be extremely excited about this!

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Apple plans to invest $350 billion in the US economy in the next 5 years

Apple has announced plans to make further investment in the US economy, spending some $350 billion over the course of the next 5 years. This figure does not include Apple's ongoing tax payments, tax revenues generated from employees' wages, or the sale of Apple products.

The tech giant promises to add 20,000 more American jobs (Apple already employs 84,000 people across all 50 states), and create a new campus -- to house technical support for customers -- at an as-yet unannounced location.

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YouTube updates its video review process yet again to avoid another problem like Logan Paul

YouTube logo

YouTube is to subject large numbers of videos to manual review in an attempt to ensure that they are "ad-friendly." Google says that "stricter criteria for monetization" will be introduced as it tries to avoid further controversies such as Logan Paul's video that featured a dead body.

The changes are likely to mean that some YouTubers will lose money when they are introduced in February. Google is also making changes to the requirements that need to be met to join the YouTube Partner Program.

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New SDK helps deliver best practice privileged account management

Admin login

The idea of security by design is something we'll hear much more of as GDPR implementation looms. But many organizations still struggle when it comes to implementing a least privilege security model.

Access management specialist Thycotic is launching a new command line interface for its Secret Server privileged account management solution, enabling DevOps teams to bring best practice privileged account management to their code, build scripts, and configuration files.

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Having Wi-Fi problems? Your Chromecast device could be to blame [Updated]

Google Home

Google support forums are filling up with complaints from Google Home and Chromecast users that they are experiencing problems with their Wi-Fi connections. With such devices connected to a network, many people are having issues with stability, or finding that their network collapses entirely.

Both TP-Link and Linksys have issued patches for their routers, but the problem ultimately lies with the Cast feature of Google Home and Chromecast devices.

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AI is moving into the enterprise mainstream

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is often seen as being a technology of the future, but a new study from natural language processing company Narrative Science reveals that 61 percent of businesses are already using AI.

Interest and investment in the technology is increasing too, 71 percent of respondents say their company has an 'innovation strategy' to drive investments in new technologies like AI. A majority of companies say they have budget dedicated to enabling innovation (59 percent) and expect that outlay to increase in 2018 (62 percent).

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Microsoft brings Surface Book 2 to more markets

Surface Book 2

Microsoft today announces that it is expanding the availability of the Surface Book 2 to include all the markets where it currently sells Surface devices.

The Surface Book 2 was launched in mid-October of last year, making the 13-inch version available in more markets than its 15-inch counterpart. This latest move will slowly change that.

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