Microsoft has brought live, collaborative editing to its Excel app for Windows through a beta update it launched on Tuesday. The new feature lets testers collaborate with one another on the same file from inside the app.
Live collaboration has been a major focus of Office 2016, which Microsoft released roughly a year and a half ago. The suite first offered real-time co-authoring for the desktop version of Word, then expanded those capabilities to PowerPoint. It’s a major change for Microsoft’s client applications, which previously kept editing to a fairly solitary experience.
China is pouring more money into chasing its semiconductor ambitions. The state-backed Tsinghua Unigroup, which has been building up the country’s chip-industry infrastructure, received a 150 billion yuan (US$22 billion) in financing on Tuesday.
The funds come from the China Development Bank and a national integrated circuit investment fund, two groups tied to the country’s government.
Tsinghua Unigroup hasn’t said what the money will be specifically used for. But it will go toward making it more competitive in the semiconductor space, according to a company statement.
As we noted when we looked at the AMD Radeon RX 470 last August, the card lives in an awkward spot. As a stepped-down version of the RX 480 meant to rock the house at 1080p gaming, the RX 470 is a solid performer, but the list price is just too close to the RX 480's to justify buying it.
When on sale, though, the card makes much more sense. Today only, Newegg is selling the PowerColor Red Dragon Radeon RX 470 with 4GB of GDDR5 memory for $150, with the option of an additional $30 mail-in rebate for a final price of $120. The rebate comes in the form of a prepaid Visa or American Express card.
BlueJeans customers will be getting improved call quality, thanks to a partnership the company unveiled Tuesday. Dolby is working with the videoconferencing company to improve call clarity for people using its service.
As part of the deal, BlueJeans will integrate Dolby Voice technology for all the video and audio calls made using its service. It will provide a number of benefits to users, like reducing background noise on calls and normalizing sound levels from different speakers.
While BlueJeans offers video meetings, company CEO Krish Ramakrishnan said that good voice connections matter more than high-definition video.
Even before the U Ultra was available for purchase, HTC was already teasing a better phone, with a Snapdragon 835 processor. Now it looks like it might be coming on the heels of the Galaxy S8, and it could be one of the most interesting handsets of the year.
According to a VentureBeat report, tipster extraordinaire Evan Blass dishes on next phone in the U line will bring the wild “Ocean” concept to reality. Following up on the video Blass leaked last year, the 5.5-inch, quad HD handset will reportedly feature a button-less design that relies on gestures to navigate and control things on screen.
Planescape: Torment is still one of the all-time great RPGs. I should know—I just replayed it in January in preparation for the then-impending launch of spiritual successor Torment: Tides of Numenera.
If only I’d waited two more months though, eh? Today a countdown timer at planescape.com (cheekily titled “Plan Escape”) was supposed to tick down to zero and pull back the curtain on Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition, coming to PC, Mac, and Linux later this year. Then uh...well, the trailer leaked early. Best laid plans.
For the second time in two weeks developers of the popular LastPass password manager are working to fix a serious vulnerability that could allow malicious websites to steal user passwords or infect computers with malware.
Enlarge your smartphone's display and watch a bigger screen at a longer distance, minimizing eye fatigue. The magnifier with integrated stand is designed to be foldable, lightweight and portable. It currently averages 4.5 out of 5 stars from almost 500 reviewers on Amazon (read reviews), where its list price of $26.99 is currently discounted 44% to just $14.99. See this deal now on Amazon.
Vivint Sky and Wink Hub owners who want to use voice commands to control their lighting, thermostats, and other subsystems will soon no longer be limited to deploying Amazon Echos—both companies announced today that their systems will soon be compatible with Google Assistant, too.
Both companies already work with Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, but neither wants to be limited to a single platform. “Obviously there’s more than one option for homeowners who want to have voice services in the house,” said Vivint Smart Home Chief Technology Office Jeremy Warren. “We want to make sure we’re providing a great user experience for our customers regardless of which platform they adopt.” Google announced 11 other new partnerships as well, ranging from Logitech Harmony, to August smart locks, to the Anova sous-vide cooker.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Comcast will release an online streaming service for live TV later this year.
No, I’m not talking about Stream, Comcast’s trial run at an “over-the-top” streaming package that debuted in 2015. This time around the service is called Xfinity Instant TV and will be rolling out to Comcast’s markets nationwide this fall, according to Reuters.
Comcast has yet to officially announce the new service, but it would reportedly be a redesigned version of Stream. Xfinity Instant TV would also replace Stream in the limited markets where the trial service is available.
Snapchat famously rejected a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook back in 2013, but that hasn’t stopped Facebook from taking the features that make Snapchat great. The latest is Stories, a visual diary separate from your main news feed that disppears after 24 hours. Facebook is adding the Snapchat clone to its iOS and Android apps today.
Update 3/6/17:This article has been updated with information about how to watch tomorrow's event.
Now that the dust has settled from Mobile World Congress, we can turn our attention to the next big thing: Samsung’s Galaxy S8 event. Samsung opted to skip its usual Barcelona unveiling, but it won’t be too much longer until we can get our hands on the most anticipated Android phone in years. With just hours to go now until the main event, Samsung has launched a countdown app in the Play Store and provided info on how we can watch the unveiling.
After the Note7 debacle, Samsung is surely using the extra time to run a litany of battery tests on its new handset, because a lot is riding on this launch. Samsung has weathered the phablet storm fairly well, but it needs the S8 to be a major hit. And from what we’ve seen so far, it looks like it will be.
The AI battle on our Android phones is getting serious. After Google added Assistant to millions of handsets running Marshmallow and Nougat, Amazon followed by adding Alexa to the Mate 9. And now Microsoft is looking to enhance its new position on the lock screen.
Microsoft added Cortana to the Android lock screen earlier this month, but it was little more than a feed of information with news, calendar appointments, and weather. With the latest update, Cortana on the lock screen has been enhanced to allow lock-screen interactions, giving Google Assistant a serious run for its money.
The PlayStation 4 Pro is finally getting some serious 4K video playback capability. Since launch, the beefed up console has only worked with 4K video from streaming sites such as Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube. But Sony recently started rolling out a Media Player update for the PS4 Pro to add 4K local file playback.
With the new update, PS4 Pro owners can watch 4K content streamed from a home media server or files connected directly to the PS4 Pro via USB. Sony notes that any USB storage you connect to your console cannot use the extended storage format for the PS4—that’s only for games and apps.
The Power Station from Nyko attaches to the side of the Xbox One console and charges 2 included rechargeable batteries for use in Xbox One Wireless Controllers, for up to 25 hours of play time. It's powered by USB so there are no visible cords, and is designed to look like a natural extension of your console. The Power Station averages 4 out of 5 stars from over 190 people on Amazon (read latest reviews here), where its typical list price has been reduced 9% to just $15.97. See this deal on Amazon.
Now that Ubisoft’s heavy hitters have had a few months to lure high-end gamers to GeForce Experience, Nvidia’s targeting the mainstream masses.
On Tuesday, Nvidia announced that the GeForce GTX 1060 ($250 and up on Newegg for 6GB model) is being added to the “Prepare for Battle” bundle, joining the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080. When you buy one of the graphics cards from a participating retailer or PC vendor, you’ll be able to take your pick of For Honor or Ghost Recon: Wildlands for free. The former’s a satisfying melee brawler with samurais, Vikings, and knights, while the latter tasks you with disrupting drug dealers in a massive open-world recreation of Bolivia. Both are better played with pals.
Netgear’s Orbi RBK50 is one of the best Wi-Fi systems we’ve tested, and now the company is expanding the brand into a broader family of products with today’s introduction of the Orbi RBK30 and the Orbi RBK40. Like the original Orbi, both of the new models are tri-band routers that dedicate one 5GHz Wi-Fi channel for data backhaul from satellite access points.
Both of the new systems will use the same router, but will have different satellites. The router is an AC2200 model supporting two spatial streams up and down on each frequency band to support one 2.4GHz network with to 400Mbps of bandwidth, a 5GHz network with up to 866Mbps of bandwidth, and a third 5GHz network dedicated to data backhaul with up to 867Mbps of bandwidth. The original Orbi RBK50 is also a tri-band router, but it operates a 4x4 radio for backhaul, delivering up to 1733 Mbps. Like that router, the new model will come equipped with a four-port ethernet switch, but it won’t have a USB port.
Late last year Razer resurrected its Blade Pro laptop line, finally stuffing it with hardware worthy of the “Pro” appellation. Our three-word review: We loved it. It’s a great machine, if you can afford it.
And now it’s a bit better, thanks to the standard year-over-year refresh. Razer released details on a new Blade Pro today—it’s keeping Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080, but moving over from an Intel i7-6700HQ at 2.6GHz to an overclockable i7-7820HK processor at 2.9GHz. The Blade Pro’s 32GB of RAM also gets a timing bump up to 2,667MHz (from 2,133MHz).
Three people from Illinois last week sued Microsoft, claiming that the free Windows 10 upgrade they had installed on their PCs caused "data loss and damage to their computers."
Lawyers for the trio asked a Chicago federal court Thursday to grant the case class-action status, which would allow other Americans to join the litigation.
"Many consumers have had their hard drives fail because of the Windows 10 installation," alleged the complaint. "Many consumers have had their existing software and data rendered inoperable by the Windows 10 installation."
All three of the plaintiffs asserted that after accepting the free Windows 10 upgrade -- a one-year deal that ran from 2015 to 2016 -- some data on their Windows PCs had been destroyed. One said that she had had to purchase a new personal computer after the one upgraded to Windows 10 was crippled.
It’s bad enough when black hat hackers insert malicious backdoors into systems and software after vendors/makers have sold these into the marketplace. It is another matter when the vendors who create these devices and programs unwittingly or purposely leave backdoors inside their products.
With IHS forecasting an influx of 30.7 billion IoT devices by 2020 and 75.4 billion by 2025, additional products that could house vendor backdoors will flood the enterprise, multiplying the risks of these kinds of security holes.
As a Midwest insurance brokerage navigating digital transformation, Ash Brokerage is committed to pulling out the stops to attract and retain the right IT talent. Because its Fort Wayne, Ind., location isn’t a draw compared to other metropolitan areas, Ash offers competitive salaries in addition to bonuses. But compensation alone isn’t enough to keep a deep bench happy and engaged, says CIO David Threm.
Computerworld's 2017 IT Salary Survey shows solid, if not spectacular, pay gains for IT pros. The average increase in total compensation (including salary and bonus) was 3% -- less impressive than the 3.6% and 3.9% raises tech workers saw in 2015 and 2016, respectively, but significantly better than the -0.4% to 2.2% changes in 2009 to 2014.
Despite the gains seen in recent years, just 50% of this year’s survey respondents reported that they are satisfied or very satisfied with their compensation. As always, though, some tech workers fare better than others, and being in certain roles, industries and metro regions can make a big difference in pay.
VMware’s vSphere 6.5 virtualization platform fixes many issues we had with vSphere 6.0 and delivers significant improvements in management, security and high availability. There are also first steps toward vSphere-Docker integration.
Upgrading and in some cases installing vSphere 6.0 was arduous; the good news is that is no longer the case. Our Lenovo server upgraded with ease. Our HPE Gen8 and Gen9 servers required a different ISO, but installed without drama. An ancient Dell 1950 appears not to be able to upgrade past 6.0, so be sure to so check moldy hardware for compatibility.
The biggest news for day-to-day administrators is the new vCenter Server appliance, and it’s breathtakingly more evolved than prior versions. It’s worth the price of the upgrade for the sheer functional and aesthetic value.
Some companies are already recognizing business benefits from IoT. And the projects don’t have to boil the ocean and take years to implement. Experience has shown that you can get up and running fast and recognize real payback. That said, some companies are taking a big picture look and baking IoT in to their long-term strategic plans.
Network World has spoken to organizations large and small that are embracing IoT and compiles in this downloadable PDF examples that may help spark ideas for your company.
The iPad makes a great laptop, and nowhere is that more obvious than in its productivity tools. Apple showed the way years ago with its iWork suite (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote), and Microsoft has validated the notion with its Office suite (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). Of course there's also Google G Suite (Docs, Sheets, and Slides), which includes mobile versions of the apps for iOS.
[UPDATED MARCH 27, 2017] Which of these office suites should you use on your iPad? Part of the answer depends on the functionality of the individual apps, but part depends on your greater ecosystem—namely, how your iPad productivity work fits into your overall productivity work on computers and other devices. That of course is for you to decide. Naturally, I'll focus here on how these three suites stack up in terms of functionality and ease of use.
Microsoft Windows 10 has gone a long way towards fixing the problems that were endemic with earlier versions of Windows -- notably Windows 8. But it's still far from a perfect operating system and has its share of headaches.
Looking through various user discussions (and tapping our own experiences) we've identified five problems that a lot of people are complaining about: forced Windows 10 updates; the Cortana digital assistant (which some users want to get rid of and can't); lost disk space; sluggish boot times; and problems with the Start menu.
The only sane and efficient way to manage a large numbers of servers—or even a few dozen, if they change often—is through automation. Automation tools have to be learned and mastered, so they exact a significant up-front cost, but they dramatically reduce the administrative burden in the long run. Perhaps most important, they provide a staunch line of defense against the fatal fat-fingered mistake, which even the most sophisticated cloud operators struggle to avoid.
Configuration management tools such as Puppet, Chef, Ansible, and SaltStack hold the key to automating server provisioning and management tasks. Puppet and Chef are long-established, feature-rich tools that handle the complete lifecycle of IT operations regardless of the hardware platform, OS, application, and configuration model. Ansible is a relative newcomer distinguished by its simplicity and ease of use. SaltStack is neither as convenient as Ansible, nor as feature-rich as Puppet or Chef. But with a highly scalable architecture, powerful orchestration of services, and reliable performance, SaltStack stands tall among these competitors.
When Scott Copeland got his associate degree in network administration back in 2004, the community college he attended didn’t offer IT security courses, “but it gave me the foundation to learn more about network security,” he says. His determination and thirst for learning led him to his current job as an IT security engineer at FedEx Services in Memphis, Tenn.
Sometimes it’s obvious when it’s time to move on from a job. Other times it’s not so clear. If you’re not sure if the time is right to search for a new job, here are 10 reasons to consider making a change.
1) You’re not challenged
If you’re looking to broaden your knowledge or test your skills, you’re not alone. The No. 1 reason professionals would hunt for a new job is to seek a more challenging position, according to a survey from executive search firm Korn Ferry International. Among nearly 2,000 professionals surveyed in January, 73 percent said that if they plan on being in the job market this year, it’s because they’re looking for a challenge. Other reasons for job hunting are far less common: 9 percent said they are looking because they either don’t like their company or their efforts aren’t being recognized; 5 percent say their compensation is too low; and 4 percent say they don’t like their boss.
Social engineering is the strongest method of attack against the enterprise’s weakest vulnerability, its people. Criminal hackers recognize this fact. In 2015, social engineering became the No. 1 method of attack, according to Proofpoint’s 2016 Human Factor Report.
These successful social engineering methods often use phishing and malware. But deceptive information assailants have more tools and approaches to draw on than these.
Details matter when developing an incident response (IR) plan. But, even the most successful IR plans can lack critical information, impeding how quickly normal business operations are restored.
This guide from Cybereason takes a closer look at nine of the often forgotten, but important steps that you should incorporate into your IR plan.
Preparation across the entire company
Good security leaders should be able to get people from across the company to help develop the IR plan. While CISOs will most likely manage the team that handles the threat, dealing with the fallout from a breach requires the efforts of the entire company.
For instance, a bank handling the impact of a breach may need help from its public relations staff if the organization is legally required to publicly disclose the incident.
For the ambitious IT professional, there are a number of ways to take advantage of today’s hot job market. You could patiently climb the ladder at your organization or jump to an attractive opportunity at another company … or you can go into business for yourself as a consultant.
To be a successful consultant, you’ll need excellent technical skills. But knowing networking, security and databases like the back of your hand will only get you so far. You’ll also need a bit of business savvy.
How do you get started? Here, three consultants share how they landed their first clients.
When you choose a productivity platform like Microsoft’s Office 365 or Google’s G Suite, the main focus is on the platform’s functionality: Does it do the job you need?
That’s of course critical, but once you choose a platform, you have to manage it. That’s why management capabilities should be part of your evaluation of a productivity and collaboration platform, not only its user-facing functionality.
You’ve come to the right place for that aspect of choosing between Office 365 and Google G Suite.
Admin console UI. Both the Office 365 and G Suite admin consoles are well designed, providing clean separation of management functions and clear settings labels, so you can quickly move to the settings you want and apply them.
MongoDB 3.4 continues the trend of databases building out support for a range of conceptual data models over the same underlying data store. This multimodel approach aims to deliver a single database that can be used to store data as documents, tables, and graphs simultaneously. The benefit to the user is a dramatically simplified infrastructure when compared to a polyglot persistence model, which might entail managing three or four separate data stores to satisfy those different use cases.
MongoDB 3.4 introduces the ability to perform recursive graph queries. It was co-released last November with version 2.0 of the BI connector, which provides the ability to query MongoDB using a SQL interface through tools like Tableau and Qlik. Also, aggregation operators were added to greatly enhance the ease and performance of facet-style interactions.
For months now, we’ve been hearing about Microsoft Teams, Microsoft’s much-heralded Slack killer for corporate chat. It’s now in official release (what Microsoft calls “general availability”) as part of Microsoft’s Office 365 enterprise plans. Sadly, Teams is underwhelming in its formal debut and definitely not a match for the hype Microsoft has been providing since October 2016. For a product so late to market, Microsoft should have delivered much more.
We all know Yammer was a massive failure, and Teams is meant to bury that corpse and present us a replacement. In the meantime, Slack has gained a strong following because it is a great product that works well, is highly capable, and runs on any device you might use. It’s very easy to get addicted to Slack, and it’s set a high bar. (Atlassian’s HipChat is capable, but nowhere near as well designed as Slack. That may be why the new Hangouts Chat for G Suite users, expected in May or June, at first blush looks so Slack-like.)
As organizations rush to establish a coveted mobile presence, business units are developing and deploying apps on their own, and that means IT departments are facing a whole new era of shadow IT. In fact, research firm Gartner predicts that, by 2020, 70% of mobile apps used within the enterprise will be created or adopted without IT's involvement.
The fact that so many mobile apps are developed outside of IT might seem like a blessing to overworked tech departments already facing lengthy lists of mission-critical tasks. But the situation rarely translates into fewer headaches for the tech team. In fact, outside development can cause a host of problems to land on IT's doorsteps.
Technology entrepreneur Raven Zachary has seen things he has difficulty talking about.
"It is a profound moment to put on the device and see an object on your table, and then to walk around that object and see that it is fixed there and behaving as if it were real. It is impossible for me to communicate the experience. You have to experience it for yourself," says Zachary, cofounder of software firm Object Theory.
Fellow developer Ryan Peterson, head of Finger Food Studios, is a little more grounded. "The Star Trek: Next Generation holodeck is real today," he says. "You can sit down with any corporation and come up with 20 ideas for using it that would transform their business."
We’ve seen a steady flow of multifunction NAS boxes over the years. What began as relatively straightforward uses of Linux software RAID and mildly customized hardware has blossomed into a crop of multifaceted appliances that sport a full-on rampage of capabilities. In some cases, the NAS functionality may be one of the more minor considerations. QNAP’s TVS-882T is a prime example of this new class of NAS.
The TVS-882T supports a plethora of software features, starting with the usual stable of open source packages like MariaDB, Apache, Node.js, and PHP and extending to virtualization and containers and beyond. The TVS-882T works with many types of surveillance cameras and can serve as a print server, media server, VPN server, and RADIUS authentication server, as well as an FTP and web server. It can even serve as a host for virtual machines and containers.
Ever since I can remember, Silicon Valley has been enamored with the idea of group editing of documents. Very little good writing gets done that way, of course. It’s like the joke that a camel is a horse designed by committee.
But collaboration around documents is immensely useful, so people can share ideas, suggest revisions, and provide other feedback to the document writer or editor to incorporate into the final result. Even simultaneous multiuser access has its place, such as for documents that track progress or schedules and documents that contain boilerplate information for group use.
Google made document collaboration a hallmark many years ago in its G Suite, then called Google Apps, letting people share documents via the web with other users for both collaborative editing and read-only distribution. That eliminated the problem inherent in both paper and email copies of each person needing to track which version is the most recent—and ensuring that they have it.