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Apple’s NSO lawsuit targets illegal spying by oppressive regimes (www.computerworld.com) 11/26/2021 06:00 AM

Apple says its lawsuit against NSO Group this week is an attempt to hold the surveillance firm "accountable for ... the surveillance and targeting of Apple users." And it spared no ire in accusing the Israeli spyware company of its selling surveillance software to authoritarian governments — regardless of whether those governments use it to target dissidents, journalists, and activists.

NSO Group was already facing legal problems after messenger platform provider WhatsApp filed suit in 2019 for similar reasons. Earlier this month, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the spyware company’s claim that it should be protected under sovereign immunity laws. In the high-profile case, WhatsApp alleged NSO’s spyware was used to hack 1,400 users of the messaging app.

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Windows 10 21H2, the bashful one, arrives (www.computerworld.com) 11/17/2021 05:44 AM

If I didn’t know better, I’d say Windows 10 21H2 is bashful.

Since being announced in July it’s been overshadowed by its upstart replacement, Windows 11 21H2. Finally, however, Windows 10 21H2 is out.

That doesn’t mean I recommend users install it immediately. I prefer a more measured approach and want to wait a bit to ensure my vendors are ready for it. That makes this a good time to review your hardware to ensure you don’t have machines on older platforms that are nearly out of support. So let’s review what’s still supported, how long it will be supported, and which version of Windows you should be planning to move to.

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With latest Safari preview release, Apple tweaks ProMotion scrolling issue (www.computerworld.com) 11/16/2021 01:26 PM

Apple this week released a Safari Technology Preview update that among changes appears to address a problem that surfaced with its new MacBook Pro laptops and ProMotion adaptive refresh display software.

The problem came to light when owners of the laptops — which were just unveiled last month — began using Firefox, Chrome, and even Apple’s own Safari browser on the MacBook Pro. They found scrolling was anything but smooth, despite the higher refresh rates offered by the new hardware.

Apple’s release notes for Safari Technology Preview 135 say it has addressed “lazy image loading, and updated smooth scroll animations to run at 120Hz on 120Hz displays."

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Latest Android security hole shows why IT should consider a mobile app allow list (www.computerworld.com) 11/18/2021 05:57 AM

More mobile app security headaches have popped up, including a new one discovered by mobile security firm Zimperium that not only steals data, but can silently control mic and camera as well as secretly delete security apps.

IT has, for the most part, gotten fairly decent at controlling apps on corporate-owned devices, but safeguards about apps being added after they are issued to employees is weaker than it should be. When it comes to BYOD devices, which are owned by employees and contractors, IT and security admins need to get far more strict.

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FileMaker Pro now supports Siri Shortcuts on Mac, iPhone, iPad (www.computerworld.com) 11/17/2021 09:25 AM

You can now run FileMaker scripts using Apple’s Siri Shortcuts app on Macs, iPhones, and iPads, a promising move that makes more automation possible for some business users.

Shortcuts for FileMaker

Apple subsidiary Claris first introduced support for Shortcuts a couple of years ago in FileMaker Go, the mobile version of its venerable cross-platform relational database application. The company has now extended this support to Mac users with its very recent macOS Monterey update.

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Remote work and the collapse of the social network (no, not that one) (www.computerworld.com) 11/19/2021 05:47 AM
Now that Apple offers right to repair, what will you do? (www.computerworld.com) 11/18/2021 12:27 PM

Apple finally seems to have finally come to its senses — repairability is no longer a dirty word in the Apple-verse. But is this good news for your business?

What Apple has planned

In brief, Apple finally listened to consumers and governments and will begin giving people the right (and the tools) to repair their own devices.

The Self Service Repair scheme begins with baby steps — the company will begin selling Apple genuine spare parts for iPhone 12 and 13 devices next year, and will make components available for Apple Silicon Macs after that.

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13 hidden Pixel phone superpowers (www.computerworld.com) 11/23/2021 06:00 AM

One of the best parts of using a Pixel is the way tasty little specks of Google intelligence get sprinkled all throughout the experience. Those small but significant morsels show off the value of having Google's greatest ingredients integrated right into your phone's operating system, without any competing forces or awkwardly conflicting priorities at play.

And Goog almighty, does that make a world of difference. The features in question may not always be the most eye-catching or marketing-friendly advantages, but they're incredibly practical touches that can make your life easier in some pretty powerful ways.

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About Apple Business Essentials, I have questions (www.computerworld.com) 11/23/2021 05:58 AM

Apple’s newly announced Business Essentials program seems as if it could be a versatile and useful tool for small and midsized businesses (SMBs). It’s easy to see that the interface is derived from Apple Business Manager, the cloud service for larger enterprise IT shops. (The latter is often used in concert with one of the enterprise mobility management (EMM) or unified endpoint management (UEM) providers who tap into Apple’s mobile device management platform (MDM).)

Apple Business Essentials is available now in beta and provides tools including iCloud+ for Work, AppleCare, 24/7 Apple support, device and application management, and automated setup using Collections and Smart Groups. The service will be available in the US initially, with prices ranging from $2.99 a month per user to $12.99 a month per user depending on number of devices and storage needs.

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Will Windows come to M1 Macs soon? (www.computerworld.com) 11/23/2021 10:43 AM

If you use Apple Silicon Macs, there’s a slightly improved chance you may soon be able to run a licensed version of Windows on your machines, as an Arm-exclusive deal between Microsoft and Qualcomm seems set to expire.

Qualcomm has a key

XDA-Developers tells us Qualcomm holds an exclusive arrangement with Microsoft to provide the processors to drive Windows on Arm. That’s why you find Qualcomm’s chips inside Windows for Arm devices, and don’t find processors from anyone else.

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Ransomware is a threat, even for the smallest of businesses (www.computerworld.com) 11/23/2021 07:00 AM

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times: “My business is too small for a cyber crook to bother with me.” Oh, my friend you are so, so wrong. No company is too big or too small for a ransomware dealer to come knocking at your virtual door.

A recent report from Webroot, The Hidden Costs of Ransomware, found the vast majority—85%—of managed service providers (MSPs) have reported attacks against small and midsized businesses (SMBs). Despite that appallingly high number, just 28% of SMBs consider ransomware a worry.

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Apple pulls no punches in lawsuit against 'amoral' NSO Group (www.computerworld.com) 11/24/2021 09:51 AM

Apple has punched back against the “amoral” surveillance as a service industry of smartphone snoopers, filing suit against the NSO Group and its owner, Q Cyber Technologies, and taking steps to further secure digital lives.

Why this should matter to your business

Israeli firm NSO Group is a spyware firm that provides surveillance services to governments. It effectively privatizes state-sponsored snooping and enables even the most repressive government to outsource such tasks. It has been widely reported that software from NSO Group was used to target family members of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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Windows 11: A guide to the updates (www.computerworld.com) 11/24/2021 01:33 PM

On October 5, 2021, Microsoft announced the availability of Windows 11, which began as a slow, phased rollout, expected to reach all eligible devices by the middle of 2022. But a Windows launch isn’t the end a process — it’s really just the beginning. As with Windows 10, Microsoft continually works on improving Windows 11 by fixing bugs, releasing security patches, and occasionally adding new features.

In this story we summarize what you need to know about each update released to the public for Windows 11. For each build, we’ve included the date of its release and a link to Microsoft’s announcement about it. The most recent updates appear first.

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Windows 10: A guide to the updates (www.computerworld.com) 11/24/2021 01:38 PM

On November 16, Microsoft announced the availability of Windows 10 version 21H2, known as the November 2021 Update. But the launch of a major Windows 10 update isn’t the end of a process — it’s really just the beginning. As soon as one of Microsoft’s twice-yearly feature updates is released, the company quickly gets to work on improving it by fixing bugs, releasing security patches, and occasionally adding new features.

In this story we summarize what you need to know about each update released to the public for the most recent versions of Windows 10 — versions 21H2, 21H1, 20H2, and 2004. (Microsoft releases updates for those four versions together.) For each build, we’ve included the date of its initial release and a link to Microsoft’s announcement about it. The most recent updates appear first.

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Edge and Windows 11 — the return of Microsoft's IE fiasco? (www.computerworld.com) 11/19/2021 06:00 AM

Today, Microsoft dukes it out with the FAANG stocks for top place in the tech stock market. But 20 years ago, Microsoft let out a big sigh of relief when it dodged a bullet.

US District Court judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who oversaw the Department of Justice vs. Microsoft, had ruled in 2000 that Microsoft was a monopoly that should be broken up into two companies. This part of his decision was overturned in 2001, or we'd be living in a very different technology world.

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Will the shift to Windows 11 mean more e-waste? (www.computerworld.com) 11/22/2021 12:33 PM

With Windows 11 now here, there has been a lot of doom and gloom talk about the 2025 end-of-life for Windows 10. But between now and 2025, we first have to figure out what to do with a lot of computer hardware that can’t run Windows 11.

In my own home computer network — two desktops, two laptops and a Surface device — only the Surface can support Windows 11. The rest either don't have a qualifying Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) or use a processor that won’t meet Microsoft’s requirements. My office isn't much better: out of approxmately 20 computers, only two can be updated to Windows 11.

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The Android 12 Quick Settings trick you've been missing (www.computerworld.com) 11/19/2021 06:00 AM

We've seen lots of significant changes to Android over the past decade. For the first time in a long time, though, Android 12 actually feels like a whole new smartphone experience.

That's because Android 12 is the first Android version in years to introduce sweeping changes to the software's front-facing appearance. The new Material You design standard represents a gigantic evolution for the way Android looks and what a device running the operating system is like to use.

By and large, that evolution is a good thing. But with any progression comes certain quirks that don't always jibe with your day-to-day desires.

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Apple delays office return, but is it still too optimistic? (www.computerworld.com) 11/22/2021 11:14 AM

Apple has once again delayed its return to the workplace (this time to Feb. 1), but I think it will be forced to delay the return schedule yet another time.

What has Apple done?

Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees he expects them to begin a phased return to the office as of Feb. 1, 2022. Apple eventually wants its staff to be in the office three days a week on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. It sees this as an ongoing experiment in the adoption of the hybrid working practices which have bought the company such huge benefit this year.

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Podcast: Supply chain issues affect tech buying; Apple to launch its Self Service Repair program (www.computerworld.com) 11/18/2021 03:16 PM

The ongoing chip shortage and supply chain disruption continue to disrupt tech buyers, and the holiday season will likely further complicate the issue. Tech buyers should expect stock shortages and longer delivery timelines. While some retailers, like Apple, are beginning to catch up with hardware demand, customers are waiting longer for their devices than in previous years. Even though it might take awhile to receive your device, there's still some good news: if it breaks, you'll be permitted to fix it yourself. Apple will roll out its Self Service Repair program in 2022, allowing iPhone 12 and 13 users to purchase replacement parts and repair manuals and fix their devices themselves. Macworld executive editor Michael Simon and Computerworld executive editor Ken Mingis join Juliet to discuss what tech buyers need to know ahead of the holiday shopping season, including predicted deals, availability and delivery problems. They also explain what they know about Apple's new Right to Repair program and how it could change the repair process.

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Biggest tech IPOs of 2021 (www.computerworld.com) 11/22/2021 08:06 AM

The 2020 calendar year will long be remembered as an annus horribilis for most, except for a handful of technology companies that reaped the rewards of a global shift to remote work with successful initial public offerings (IPOs).

US companies alone raised a record $435 billion in stock sales in 2020, with more than a quarter of that figure coming from IPOs — far outstripping 2014's mark of $279 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The vast majority of those new listings defined themselves as technology companies.

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4 big ways to put Zoom apps to work (www.computerworld.com) 11/18/2021 06:00 AM

With many companies using Zoom as a primary way to connect remote workers over the past 18+ months, company meetings, strategy sessions, project discussions, and more moved to the videoconferencing platform — and so did a large chunk of business data and content. Organizations that have invested lots of money in other collaboration tools suddenly found themselves concerned with their ability to monitor, preserve, and access the data in Zoom for workflow, security, troubleshooting, or marketing purposes.

While Zoom has long offered integrations with hundreds of different tools that connect the services in various ways, such as by allowing you to launch a Zoom meeting from within another app, the company recently launched Zoom Apps, which bring certain aspects of other apps and services into Zoom meetings. It’s a bit confusing, especially when you visit the Zoom App Marketplace and find “Zoom Apps” listed as a category alongside more typical categories such as Analytics, Collaboration, and Productivity.

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How to repair Windows 10 (and 11) in 4 steps (www.computerworld.com) 11/22/2021 06:00 AM

Sometimes a Windows 10 system starts misbehaving to the point where repair is needed. This often takes the form of worsening performance or stability, and can originate from damage to, loss of, or corruption of Windows system files typically found in the C:\Windows folder hierarchy. When that happens, users would be well advised to break out the following routine to help them set things back to rights.

Step 3: In-place upgrade to current Windows 10 version

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(Insider Story)
Apple gives in on right-to-repair (www.computerworld.com) 11/17/2021 04:58 PM

Apple today unveiled a Self Service Repair program that will enable customers to perform their own repairs using genuine Apple parts and tools. The program will be available early next year in the US and expand to additional countries throughout 2022.

Apple will begin by offering parts, tools, and manuals to individual owners of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 beginning next year. Customers will be able to use parts to fix the mobile-phone display, battery, and camera to begin with. The ability to perform repairs on additional iPhone features will be available later in the year.

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Windows 11 Insider Previews: What’s in the latest build? (www.computerworld.com) 11/19/2021 06:07 PM

Windows 11 has been released, but behind the scenes, Microsoft is constantly working to improve the newest version of Windows. The company frequently rolls out public preview builds to members of its Windows Insider Program, allowing them to test out — and even help shape — upcoming features.

The Windows Insider program is divided into three channels:

  • The Dev Channel is where new features are introduced for initial testing, regardless of which Windows release they’ll eventually end up in. This channel is best for technical users and developers and builds in it may be unstable and buggy.
  • In the Beta Channel, you’ll get more polished features that will be deployed in the next major Windows release. This channel is best for early adopters, and Microsoft says your feedback in this channel will have the most impact.
  • The Release Preview Channel typically doesn’t see action until shortly before a new feature update is rolled out. It’s meant for final testing of an upcoming release and is best for those who want the most stable builds.

The Beta and Release Preview Channels also receive bug-fix builds for the currently shipping version of Windows 11.

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A 20-second tweak for smarter, simpler Android security (www.computerworld.com) 11/17/2021 09:18 AM

Security is important. That much is obvious, right?

And despite all the over-the-top, hilariously sensational headlines suggesting the contrary, the most realistic security threats on Android aren't from the big, bad malware monster lurking in the shadows and waiting to steal your darkest secrets whilst drinking all of your cocoa.

Nope — the biggest risk to your security on Android is (drumroll, please...) you. The likelihood that you'll at some point provide personal information to an ill-intending person or fail to properly secure an account in some way is without a doubt the most realistic threat to your virtual wellbeing. Malware? Meh. That's rarely scary in anything more than a theoretical sense.

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Windows 10 Insider Previews: A guide to the builds (www.computerworld.com) 11/19/2021 02:04 PM

Microsoft never sleeps. In addition to its steady releases of major and minor updates to the current version of Windows 10, the company frequently rolls out public preview builds to members of its Windows Insider Program, allowing them to test out — and even help shape — upcoming features.

Microsoft numbers Windows 10 releases using a YYH1/YYH2 format, with the YY standing for the last two numbers of the year and H1 or H2 referring to the first or second half of the year. So the most recent version of Windows 10 is officially referred to as Windows 10 version 21H1, or the May 2021 Update. The next feature update, due in the fall of 2021, will be version 21H2.

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Microsoft releases its Windows 10 November 2021 update (www.computerworld.com) 11/16/2021 04:48 PM

Microsoft today announced the general availability of Windows 10 November 2021, also known as version 21H2, which includes new security, management, and virtualization features.

Microsoft reiterated that Windows 10 will continue to receive support until October 2025 and said the Windows 10 release cadence will join Windows 11 in returning to just one feature update a year from here on out.

The company also posted an online comparison of the features between the latest version of Windows 10 21H2 and Windows 11.

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Someone is selling your personal details—can you stop them? (www.computerworld.com) 11/19/2021 07:00 AM

Your reputation and privacy matter, particularly if you have a high-profile business role. But the details of your life are very likely more exposed than you know. To prove that, just search your name (and company or location if you have a common name) on any search engine, and, amid the usual Facebook and LinkedIn links, you’ll find an assortment of results from sites with names like Spokeo, Yellowbook, BeenVerified, LocatePeople, and MyLife.

Clicking through might get you a partial address or snippet of a phone number, but to get the good stuff, you’ll need to run a full report—which the services tell you will include not just contact details but also such tantalizing tidbits such as arrest records, marriage certificates, social media accounts, and legal judgments.

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Slack moves to extend in-app workflow automation (www.computerworld.com) 11/16/2021 12:12 PM
Analyst: Apple's AR glasses will run Mac chips (www.computerworld.com) 11/26/2021 12:38 PM

Apple is now expected to introduce the first-generation of its AR/VR glasses in Q4 2022, and a report from analyst Ming-chi Kuo tells us a little more of what to expect from these things. If true, you'll one day be wearing your Mac like sunglasses.

To be fair, a lot of this we've heard already. We’ve known for years, for example, that Apple has been working with Sony on the lenses for these devices and we’ve waxed lyrical ad infinitum concerning what to expect once they ship.

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