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Expand your brand's online reach by selling directly through Facebook & Instagram (www.computerworld.com) 11/24/2020 10:05 AM

Traditionally, we visited brick-and-mortar stores to go shopping, but our behavior has slowly shifted towards e-commerce transactions, which has been sped up considerably by quarantine restrictions. Now, customers either visit a brand’s website to purchase from their e-commerce shop directly, or purchase items from established e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. 

However, social media’s pervasiveness offers brands an untapped audience full of new e-commerce customers. Facebook alone currently has over 2.7 billion monthly active users. That’s over a fourth of the human population! Add other social media platforms to the mix, and you’ll find more social media users than not. 

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Meet Apple’s telepresence robot (www.computerworld.com) 11/24/2020 09:45 AM

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced every industry to improvise and innovate to build agility and resilience to get through the crisis. Now, a key Apple partner is using telepresence robots as it leads construction of a Apple’s new headquarters in London.

Apple’s telepresence robot

Apple’s billion-dollar Californian headquarters is somewhat under-used at the moment, but the company continues to invest in new centers worldwide as it continues to experience global growth. Apple in the UK has taken over a large part of the globally recognized Battersea Power Station for its new UK headquarters.

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Gmail encryption: Everything you need to know (www.computerworld.com) 11/24/2020 09:00 AM

Encryption may sound like a subject best left to hackers and tinfoil hat wearers, but don't be fooled: It's a critical part of contemporary life and something that's important for everyone, especially business users, to understand. And one of the places where encryption is most relevant and misunderstood is in the realm of email.

If you're using Gmail for electronic communication — be it for business purposes, for personal use, or some combination of the two — it's well worth your while to know how the service does and doesn't secure your information and what steps you can take to make sure you're getting the level of privacy you need.

Ready to dive in?

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Understanding Zapier, the workflow automation platform for small biz (www.computerworld.com) 11/24/2020 06:00 AM

As more and more work processes become digitized through the use of cloud applications, companies are finding it easier to automate mundane and repetitive tasks. Uploading files, creating calendar events and sending text messages to colleagues may seem trivial in isolation, but they can add up — taking away time and attention from more useful tasks.

“One of the biggest advantages of automation in the workplace is time savings,” said Wade Foster, CEO of workflow automation platform Zapier. The Sunnyvale, CA-based software firm has attracted some 1.8 million paid and free users since its launch in 2011, and claims its tools save users an average of 10 hours a week.

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What's in the latest Edge update? Automatic IE redirection and custom content on the new tab page (www.computerworld.com) 11/23/2020 05:27 PM

Microsoft last week released Edge 87, debuting automatic IE-to-Edge redirection of specific sites and beefing up the new tab page with customizable feeds which display business-related content.

The Redmond, Wash. company also patched at least 19 security vulnerabilities, the most serious marked as "High," the second level in a four-step ranking system. (Google's Chrome 87, which like Edge was built on the open-source Chromium project, included fixes for 33 flaws when it was released Nov. 17.)

Although Edge will update automatically in the background, to force an upgrade, select "About Microsoft Edge" from the Help and Feedback menu under the ellipsis at the upper right; the resulting tab shows that the browser has been updated or displays the download process before presenting a "Restart" button. People new to Edge can manually download version 87 for Windows or macOS. The Linux version is available in Dev Channel form from the Insider website, while the Android and iOS browsers can be found in the Google Play and App Store markets, respectively.

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BrandPost: Big Data Drives Efficient Public Services (www.computerworld.com) 11/23/2020 04:37 PM

Amid digital transformation, big data is emerging as a major pillar of public sector IT strategy. Government agencies can increase their efficiency and effectiveness by breaking down data silos and creating one common view of their big data. But they must do so, of course, within the legal framework of their country.

The Huawei Big-Data platform offers the following advantages:

  1. Agility
  • Provides a range of data processing capabilities, covering converged data warehouse, offline processing, real-time stream computing, real-time retrieval, interactive query, and relationship analysis.
  • Supports unified multi-cluster and multi-tenant management.
  • Supports rolling upgrades with zero downtime.
  • Uses Elk and Spark SQL that are compliant with SQL standards.
  1. Intelligence
  • The graph database responds to correlated data analyses covering tens of billions of records within seconds, promptly returning query results covering hundreds of billions of relationships spanning tens of billions of nodes.
  • RTD enables millisecond-level real-time risk control, making the shift from post-event to real-time risk control.
  • This solution has integrated more than ten algorithms to allow unified algorithm management and improve resource utilization of AI clusters by about 100%.
  1. Convergence
  • Provides DLF for one-stop data integration, development, and management.
  • Converges Hadoop and MPPDB data.
  • Deploys x86 and ARM server hybrid.

These capabilities make it possible to support vital public services functions so that public services agencies can create a truly data-driven environment where decisions are made based on accurate data.

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Windows 10: A guide to the updates (www.computerworld.com) 11/23/2020 02:32 PM

In mid-October, Microsoft announced the availability of Windows 10 version 20H2, known as the October 2020 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.

Here we’ve summarized what you need to know about every Windows 10 update being released to the public. First come updates to version 20H2, with the most recent updates on top. Next come updates to version 2004, known as the May 2020 Update; then updates to version 1909, the November 2019 Update; and so on. For each build, we’ve included the date of its initial release and a link to Microsoft’s announcement about it.

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A pre-Thanksgiving all-clear to install patches (www.computerworld.com) 11/23/2020 01:43 PM

In the U.S., we’re quickly coming up to the start of holiday season, meaning it’s time for, well, time off. I typically add technology maintenance jobs to the monthly mix of patching and maintaining servers and workstations. This month, I’m also taking time to better understand the impact of one specific security bulletin — I honestly can’t figure out exactly what I’m supposed to do to keep my network secure. 

The good news: for most readers, none of these concerns apply to you. I’m ready to give the all-clear to go ahead and install Microsoft’s November updates on laptops, desktops and workstations — especially if you are running the Windows 10 1909 feature release. That said, do your Thanksgiving Zoom get-together first and then install any updates. I’d hate to have you see nothing but the spinning wheel of Windows updates instead of your family and friends.

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How to stay as private as possible on the Mac (www.computerworld.com) 11/23/2020 12:29 PM

Apple has long positioned itself as a company that believes in your right to privacy. Here is how to use the privacy tools it provides with macOS for desktop Macs.

Use a strong passcode

To secure your Mac, all of your data, and your privacy, it is essential to create a strong alphanumeric login password. The temptation to use something short or easy to remember is understandable, but if your Mac goes missing, your life is on show. So visit Security & Privacy>General and tap Change Password to pick something more challenging.

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Tech Resume Library: 21 downloadable templates for IT pros (www.idginsiderpro.com) 11/23/2020 09:58 AM A well-crafted resume will attract recruiters, HR pros and hiring managers, but getting it just right is a daunting task. To jump start the process, Insider Pro has assembled this collection of real resumes revamped by professional resume writers. (Watch this space for new templates.)
Windows 10 recovery, revisited: The new way to perform a clean install (www.computerworld.com) 11/23/2020 06:00 AM

Windows 10 has always offered multiple methods for attempting OS recovery. But with the release of Windows 10 version 2004 on May 27, 2020, one of those recovery methods disappeared from its previous home in Settings > Update & Security > Recovery.

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(Insider Story)
Tech event calendar 2020: Upcoming shows, conferences and IT expos (www.computerworld.com) 11/20/2020 08:23 AM
Apple and Verizon put 5G iPhones closer to the (enterprise) heart (www.computerworld.com) 11/20/2020 07:38 AM
What's in the latest Chrome update? Big performance boost, tab search and tab actions, native app for new Macs (www.computerworld.com) 11/20/2020 07:25 AM

Google this week released Chrome 87, boosting performance with "the largest gain ... in years" and featuring a reworked user interface for the browser's built-in PDF viewer.

The Mountain View, Calif. company also paid out more than $42,000 in bounties to security researchers who reported some of the 33 vulnerabilities addressed in Chrome 87. Ten of the bugs were marked "High," Google's second-most-serious threat level. (Critical vulnerabilities are very unusual in Chrome.) A large number of the bounties — seven of the 10 tagged High — had not been yet given a dollar amount, so the actual payout will certainly be significantly higher than the acknowledged amount.

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3 pandemic-related trends for 2021 (www.computerworld.com) 11/20/2020 06:22 AM

When we shifted rapidly from working in offices to working from home early this year, we weren’t at all ready. I’ve heard stories of employees who stripped their offices of everything but their phones because they lacked office furniture at home; workers who got thousands of dollars to buy home office equipment; and employees who got nothing other than a “good luck.”

But tech companies have been watching, and in 2021 we will see several new trends affecting laptops and the arrival of some exciting product bundles. I want to talk about the three most interesting to me this week.

Branded office bundles

One problem with the rush to work and study from home is that support organizations have been hammered by problems resulting from that lack of consistency. To address this problem, vendors are putting together bundles that — at a minimum — include a router (where many support problems  originate) to meet company standards regarding security, management, and reliability. Other than that, it isn’t yet clear what the bundles might contain and whether they will be packaged together (more likely from an online vendor than in a store) or connected by brand, so employees can build their bundle from approved parts. (The latter would more likely be in-store.)

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The best Linux apps for Chromebooks (www.computerworld.com) 11/20/2020 06:00 AM

Being able to install Linux apps on Chrome OS opens up some fascinating new possibilities — particularly if you're an advanced user.

After all, while a Chromebook's standard combo of web apps, Chrome apps, and Android apps is more than sufficient for most folks' needs, some of us still require (or maybe just prefer) traditional local programs for certain specific purposes. The presence of Linux apps on Chrome OS means we can have our cake and eat it, too — by enjoying the speed, simplicity, and security of a Chromebook while also embracing the occasional heavy-duty desktop app.

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Everything you need to know about Rosetta 2 on Apple Silicon Macs (www.computerworld.com) 11/19/2020 11:06 AM

With their new processor, Apple’s M1 Macs deliver ground-breaking performance, but applications built to run on Intel chips may need to use the all new Rosetta translation technology in order to run. What is it and what does it do?

Supporting the journey to Apple Silicon

Apple’s decision to migrate to Apple Silicon is history in action. The company now controls the future of all of its platforms and its processors are already impressing users with their performance and stability.

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Deciphering (and understanding) Microsoft’s patch management options (www.computerworld.com) 11/19/2020 11:06 AM

If you asked a normal user what they dislike most about Windows 10, the answer would likely be related to patching, rebooting and the generally confusing update process. Entire web sites have sections devoted to explaining the updating process and how to manage it — and I’ve written my fair share about the topic. 

In addition to writing about Microsoft patches here (and about Windows security for CSO), I’m also a moderator on the Patchmanagement.org listserve. We have many people who rely on various patching tools to deploy updates and maintain workstations.  There are a number of options, so it’s important to understand how they work (and how they vary) so you can get the most out of them.

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Asana adds new integrations to help connect distributed teams (www.computerworld.com) 11/19/2020 11:04 AM

Work management platform Asana has added new and extended integrations for Atlassian Jira (Server Edition), Microsoft Teams and Slack and boosted admin capabilities on its platform in a bid to help enterprise customers more effectively deploy and manage its software at scale.

The updates, announced earlier this week, come after Asana research earlier this year found that, on average, employees switch between 10 apps 25 times per day, leading to missed communications, reduced efficiency and duplication of work.

“It’s not good enough,” said Alex Hood, the company's chief product officer.

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Android's secret voice control superpowers (www.computerworld.com) 11/19/2020 10:28 AM

Sometimes, a few carefully chosen words can go a long way.

Now, mind you, I'm not talking about interpersonal relations here. (You're on your own there, pal.) I'm talking about the timeless art of talking to your technology — an act that may make you feel ridiculous, and rightfully so, but that can be a true time-saver and efficiency-enhancer in the right situation.

Android has long excelled at voice control, and these days, there's little you can't accomplish by whispering the right sweet nothings into your phone's pretty virtual ear. Google Assistant is overflowing with voice command possibilities, the ever-so-slowly-rolling-out new version of Assistant adds even more options into the mix, and other new additions are showing up constantly.

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10 open-source videoconferencing tools for business (www.computerworld.com) 11/19/2020 06:00 AM

As the world’s knowledge workers continue to work from home due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, using a videoconferencing application is as common as checking your email or opening a spreadsheet. Since many decisions regarding technology tools for remote workers at the start of the pandemic were made based on urgency, ease of use, availability, and cost, many companies turned to free or inexpensive videoconferencing tools such as Zoom or Google Meet for their immediate needs, with some larger organizations ponying up for enterprise versions of those applications.

Nextcloud Talk

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(Insider Story)
Why you need an integrated data lifecycle solution (www.idginsiderpro.com) 11/19/2020 01:00 AM Data may be the new oil, but do you know how to drill for it? There are many stages in a data lifecycle, which is why you need a way to deal with the entire lifecycle – from drilling to production.
Windows 10 Insider Previews: A guide to the builds (www.computerworld.com) 11/18/2020 07:12 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 is officially referred to as Windows 10 version 20H2, or the October 2020 Update. The next feature update, due in the spring of 2021, will be version 21H1.

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Office 365: A guide to the updates (www.computerworld.com) 11/18/2020 07:02 PM

Office 365 and Microsoft 365 subscribers always have the latest version of Microsoft Office — currently Office 2019. They also get more frequent software updates than those who have purchased Office 2019 without a subscription, which means subscribers have access to the latest features, security patches and bug fixes. But it can be hard to keep track of the changes in each update and know when they’re available. We’re doing this for you, so you don’t have to.

Following are summaries of the updates to Office 365/Microsoft 365 for Windows, with the latest releases shown first. We’ll add info about new updates as they’re rolled out.

Note: This story covers updates released to regular Office 365/Microsoft 365 for Windows subscribers. If you’re a member of Microsoft’s Office Insider preview program or want to get a sneak peek at upcoming features, see the company’s “Release notes for Office for Windows Desktop (Beta builds)” page.

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What's in the latest Firefox upgrade? Browse only over HTTPS (www.computerworld.com) 11/18/2020 05:00 PM

Mozilla this week upgraded Firefox to version 83, adding an "HTTPS-Only Mode" that tries to connect to all websites through the more secure HTTPS protocol and, after failing to do so, warning users of with a can't-miss-it, in-your-face alert.

Company engineers also patched 21 vulnerabilities, four marked "High," Firefox's second-most-serious label. Firefox 83 did not include fixes for any bugs marked "Critical."

Firefox 83 can be downloaded for Windows, macOS and Linux from Mozilla's site. Because Firefox updates in the background, most users need only relaunch the browser to get the latest version. To manually update on Windows, pull up the menu under the three horizontal bars at the upper right, then click the help icon (the question mark within a circle). Choose "About Firefox." (On macOS, "About Firefox" can be found under the "Firefox" menu.) The resulting page shows that the browser is either up to date or displays the refresh process.

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Dropbox unveils Spaces 2.0, its standalone workspace for collaboration (www.computerworld.com) 11/18/2020 12:50 PM
Microsoft deviates from the norm, forcibly upgrades Windows 10 1903 with minor 1909 refresh (www.computerworld.com) 11/18/2020 06:00 AM

Microsoft has begun forcibly upgrading Windows 10 PCs running version 1903 with that same year's 1909 faux upgrade as the former's retirement deadline waits just weeks away.

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(Insider Story)
Microsoft adds Teams app integrations for video meetings (www.computerworld.com) 11/17/2020 11:54 AM

Microsoft Teams users can now access a range of third-party and custom applications during video meetings, removing the need to switch screens mid-conversation.

Among the 20 apps available with Teams Apps for Meetings are task management apps from Asana and Monday.com, polling tools Slido and Polly, and video interview software from HireVue and Talview. Microsoft’s own Forms app is also accessible and the company is encouraging developers to build their own integrations for Teams video, according to a Microsoft blog post Monday.

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Review: M1 Mac mini shows a bright future for Apple Silicon (www.computerworld.com) 11/17/2020 11:49 AM

Apple’s first M1-powered Mac mini is short on flaws and big on promise, and it absolutely sells the company’s migration to its own Apple Silicon processors on its own.

What is the Mac mini?

Apple announced three Macs powered by Apple Silicon last week: the MacBook Air, 13-in. MacBook Pro and the Mac mini.

All three use an M1 chip, running an optimized operating system (Big Sur) and equipped with features such as unified memory, which helps boost and improve graphics performance.

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11 promise-filled Android features that quietly faded away (www.computerworld.com) 11/17/2020 10:33 AM

Every time a new Android version arrives, a new game begins: Which of the lovingly described fresh platform features will fail to live up to its hype and then end up fading out of the foreground — either to be phased out completely or just brushed aside and consigned to oblivion?

It seems like a funny thing to say, but when you look back at Android's history, you realize how many once-transformative-sounding features ended up fizzling and being forgotten soon after their grand debuts. Some remain buried in the software while others quietly vanished after a period of inertia, but they all share the fact that they're nowhere near the center-stage-worthy elements they once appeared to be.

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