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Apple's indoor maps format is now a standard; here's why that matters (www.computerworld.com) 02/26/2021 12:07 PM
Tech event calendar 2021: Upcoming US shows, conferences, and IT expos (www.computerworld.com) 02/26/2021 11:30 AM
The Poly Studio P15: Searching for a better home videoconferencing answer (www.computerworld.com) 02/26/2021 07:58 AM

Like many of my peers during the pandemic, I’ve been living off a Logitech Brio camera, which was considered the best in the market until recently.  The problem is that Logitech didn’t seem to understand how important this camera had become and refused to support it properly.  (It has driver issues with AMD-based PCs, the company won’t address them, the initial application support ended, and much of it doesn’t work anymore. 

Most other cameras on the market arrived before COVID-29 and were more designed for infrequent use when traveling — not for permanent use from a home office.  Yes, you can get conference room systems and adapt them for the home, but that is a wicked expensive path — and people don’t have conference rooms at home. 

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IT Salary Survey 2021: The results are in (www.idginsiderpro.com) 02/26/2021 06:00 AM The latest Insider Pro and Computerworld Salary Survey reveals the current salaries for dozens of tech titles, the IT skills most in demand (and those not), the tech hiring expectations for the coming year, and what matters most to IT pros in their current jobs.
Forget macOS — it's Chrome OS vs. Windows for desktop domination (www.computerworld.com) 02/26/2021 06:00 AM

I've been saying for ages now that Google's Chrome OS would become Microsoft's Windows top competitor. I had the timing wrong, but my prediction that "most of us will be moving to cloud-oriented operating systems" is finally coming true. According to IDC's latest PC sales numbers, by 2020's fourth quarter, Chromebooks were outselling Macs by two-to-one.

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(Insider Story)
Podcast: 30K Macs infected with "Silver Sparrow" virus; M1 Mac SSD health (www.computerworld.com) 02/25/2021 02:56 PM

Security researchers uncovered malware affecting tens of thousands of macOS devices, but it's unclear what exactly the malware does. Affecting both Intel and Apple Silicon processors, this malware, nicknamed "Silver Sparrow," still poses a threat. And in other Apple news, some M1 Mac users have reported that the SSDs on their new systems are being overused. Macworld executive editor Michael Simon and Computerworld executive editor Ken Mingis join Juliet to discuss Apple's response to the virus and SSD issues and what users can do if they've been affected.

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Android 12 and the big deal with little touches (www.computerworld.com) 02/25/2021 11:29 AM

Ahh — can you smell it? The scent of freshly baking Android software is very much in the air this week, as Android 12's first official developer preview teases us with a tiny taste of what's to come.

Google launched the inaugural public version of Android 12 last week, and the internet's many software-sniffing sleuths have been hard at work pokin' around and clawing at its many crevices to uncover every last hint of the treats lurking within.

So far, Android 12 doesn't look like much — and for good reason: This latest Android version really is a true developer preview, with mostly just technical changes aimed at, y'know, developers. It actually makes an awful lot of sense, even if Android previews in the past have generally been a little more elaborate early on.

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Driven by pandemic, the US enters the world of Apple Pay (www.computerworld.com) 02/25/2021 10:54 AM

Apple’s decision to invent arguably one of the world’s best mobile payment systems seems a really great move now as US consumers shift away from cash in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apple Pay advances in the US

We know the COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated global digital transformation projects, nurturing new respect for fron- line and essential workers and prompting what seems likely to be a lasting move to work from home.

It has also driven mass adoption of mobile payments systems, according to the latest Worldpay Global Payments report. “2020 catapulted payments years ahead of projections,” the report says.

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IT Salary Survey 2021: Security and cloud computing certifications on the up (www.idginsiderpro.com) 02/25/2021 06:00 AM Do more certifications lead to new jobs, promotions or a pay rise? We asked 1,172 IT professionals their thoughts and whether or not they are currently pursuing certifications and in which areas of technology?
Microsoft to cut perpetual Office support by 50%, raise price by 10% (www.computerworld.com) 02/25/2021 06:00 AM

Microsoft plans to upgrade the "perpetual" Office for enterprises in the second half of the year, when it will also slash support to five years and raise prices by 10%.

The company's multiple shots at the traditional form of licensing — dubbed "perpetual" because the license provides rights to run the software as long as one wants — are more evidence, if it's needed, that Microsoft is eager to push, pull, and prod commercial customers into service-esque subscriptions.

Microsoft reiterated, seemingly for the nth time, that it is expending virtually all of its Office-related resources on the subscription-based Office 365 and Microsoft 365, and implied that anything but a subscription would be second rate and substandard.

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16 technology winners and losers, post-COVID (www.cio.com) 02/25/2021 05:00 AM The coronavirus crisis has shaken up business as usual, with some IT strategies and tools rising to the occasion and others in line for a rethink or tough recovery post-pandemic.(Insider Story)
WhatsApp's new 'privacy' policy is a gift to other messaging apps (www.computerworld.com) 02/25/2021 05:00 AM

When WhatsApp made clear that it planned to share a lot more information with parent company Facebook, including sensitive data such as phone number, device particulars and location, some users were not happy. But WhatsApp didn't just make those changes. It included them in a new privacy policy and asked users to agree or not.

TechCrunch noted that users who don't agree will soon become non-users.

"In an email to one of its merchant partners, …Facebook-owned WhatsApp said it will 'slowly ask' such users to comply with the new terms 'in order to have full functionality of WhatsApp' starting May 15," TechCrunch reported. "If they still don’t accept the terms, 'for a short time (later defined as "a few weeks"), these users will be able to receive calls and notifications, but will not be able to read or send messages from the app. WhatsApp’s policy for inactive users states that accounts are 'generally deleted after 120 days of inactivity.'"

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Windows 10 Insider Previews: A guide to the builds (www.computerworld.com) 02/24/2021 02:56 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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Amazon switches on macOS Big Sur for AWS (www.computerworld.com) 02/24/2021 08:54 AM

Delay may be the deadliest form of denial, but Amazon’s decision to introduce Mac support via AWS illustrates Apple’s growing importance in enterprise IT, as vendors across the board follow the money.

Big Sur in the cloud

That importance is this week reflected by Amazon’s decision to offer macOS Big Sur in the cloud within AWS. The company originally confirmed plans to offer Big Sur support in early December when it first introduced support for Macs in the form of a fleet of Mac minis. Now, it seems those Macs have been upgraded and Amazon has introduced support for macOS Big Sur in its cloud.

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How to hire and retain Black tech pros — for real (www.computerworld.com) 02/24/2021 06:00 AM

American companies are once again promising to increase minority hiring and retention in the aftermath of the 2020 police killings of George Floyd and other Black people and subsequent Black Lives Matter demonstrations. But Black people have heard this promise before — for decades, in fact — with little tangible change in the low employment numbers of Black engineers, developers, and IT pros.

For companies that really do want to change their staffs to better reflect diversity in the US, it’s time to go beyond words and take action. To help you do that, Computerworld talked to several people in the frontlines of promoting the hiring of Black people for tech jobs. Their advice was strong and unambiguous: Define the business case for diversity, then follow up with a determined action plan and establish the metrics to monitor the results and adjust course as needed. And perhaps even harder, learn to truly connect with the Black community to establish the relationships that lead to sustainable diversity.

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IT Salary Survey 2021: Over half of IT pros are satisfied at work – but nearly half are job hunting (www.idginsiderpro.com) 02/24/2021 06:00 AM Happy at work? Maybe you are not alone. Our 2021 salary survey of IT professionals reveals current attitudes to pay, responsibilities and what matters most in their current jobs.
Microsoft 365 Advanced Audit: What you need to know (www.csoonline.com) 02/24/2021 05:00 AM Microsoft's powerful new auditing options will help detect intrusions and see what was accessed...if you've paid for the right licenses.(Insider Story)
This AI And Coding Course Will Change Your Career Forever (www.computerworld.com) 02/23/2021 01:38 PM

Between the mass move to working from home and working online, there is ample evidence to suggest that learning to program is both a lucrative career move and a fascinating essential skill. Coding is a skill that can take your career new places or just make your resume stand out among all the others, and with the professional hand the last year has dealt the world, every opportunity for improvement is worth taking. With the AI & Python Development eBook Bundle by Mercury Learning, you can become a skilled programmer and distinguish yourself professionally. For $19.99, you will get access to 15 eBooks on Python, Artificial Intelligence, TensorFlow, and more, a comprehensive set of books that would normally cost you over $500.

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Two big buts about Samsung's Android security update announcement (www.computerworld.com) 02/23/2021 10:52 AM

Didja see? Samsung's pledging a full four years of support for security updates on its Galaxy-branded Android phones. Well, shiver me timbers: That sure is somethin'!

Samsung slapped the news down onto these here internerfs of ours Monday morning, and the glowing headlines predictably followed — with some stories going as far as to proclaim Samsung as the new undisputed "king of Android upgrades" or to declare that the company was now "beating Google at its own game."

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Microsoft slashes Windows 10 long-term support by half (www.computerworld.com) 02/23/2021 09:01 AM

Microsoft has slashed support from 10 years to just five for Windows 10 LTSC, the version the company once pitched to enterprises as the OS that foreswore constant updating.

In a Feb. 18 post to a Microsoft blog, Joe Lurie, senior product marketing manager, announced that the next iteration of Windows 10 LTSC, aka "Long-term Support Channel," will be released in the second half of this year. That timetable means the next LTSC will be pegged as either Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2021 or Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2022.

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Something new, something old in Apple’s 2021 MacBook Pro upgrade (www.computerworld.com) 02/23/2021 08:44 AM
BrandPost: Why Hyperconverged Infrastructure Can Mean Hyper-reduced Lifetime Costs (www.computerworld.com) 02/23/2021 08:22 AM

Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) has been around for some time, but it is now being used by many mainstream enterprise data centers. It blends the elements of a traditional three-tier architecture (compute, storage and networking) into a single software-defined solution. In doing so, it offers cloud-like economics and scale without compromising on performance, resiliency and availability.

That’s all well and good, but much is made of HCI’s ability to reduce your operating costs. Is that true, and exactly how does HCI do it?

Modern IT’s biggest challenges

With multi-billion-dollar digital transformation projects already in progress, IT needs to justify every dime spent. This goes beyond upfront capital expenditure. You need to maximize the efficiency of every investment over time.

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IT Salary Survey 2021: Hiring rate expected to increase but priorities will shift (www.idginsiderpro.com) 02/23/2021 06:00 AM Our survey of 1,172 IT professionals finds that demand for some IT skills is strong but the pandemic has influenced the rate of hiring and roles that are being prioritized.
Where to find and recruit Black tech pros (www.computerworld.com) 02/23/2021 06:00 AM

The shock of the killing of George Floyd and other Black people in 2020 got Americans talking again about racial disparities — and companies talking again about improving diversity and inclusion. With Black History Month now winding down, there’s even more talk.

But there’s been talk off and on for decades, with little result.

By some measures, the proportion of Black people in engineering professions has actually dropped since the 1980s, despite all the awareness. More recently, while there have been improvements in Black representation in IT positions across industries, Black representation in the US tech sector as a whole is still just half of what the Black population overall is. Black representation remains even lower in the tech vendor community.

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BrandPost: 3 Ways HCI Helps Improve Your Data Center Security (www.computerworld.com) 02/22/2021 05:20 PM

As we all know, nothing is 100% secure — perhaps none more so than when legacy server infrastructure is involved. Old, vulnerable gear is a blessing for hackers. Increasingly sophisticated attacks are preying on outdated legacy infrastructure.

$4m per data breach
According to figures from IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach report1, the average financial cost of a security breach in 2020 was $3.86 million. The cost to reputations (both corporate and personal) can be long-lasting and even more brutal. It’s clear to see why regulations such as the EU’s GDPR come with hefty penalties for data breaches.

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Viva Connections: What your intranet wants to be (www.computerworld.com) 02/22/2021 02:49 PM

Microsoft earlier this month announced Microsoft Viva, a new integrated Employee Experience Platform (EXP) that brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights inand delivers them via Microsoft Teams. There are four modules: Viva Topics, Viva Insights, Viva Learning, and Viva Connections. While every organization may not use all four modules, or every aspect of each module, Microsoft Viva includes something for every organization.

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Why Apple should let you define private places on iPhones (www.computerworld.com) 02/22/2021 12:31 PM

If you’ve ever found the Significant Locations section on your iPhone, then a recently published study that shows how such data can be used to decipher personal information about users should pose some alarm.

Significant Locations

The way Significant Locations works is that your iPhone keeps a list of places you frequently visit. This list usually shows your favorite places and shops and will, of course, log the location of any service you might visit often, such as the medical center.

Apple gathers this information to provide “useful location-related information” in its apps and services, and promises this data is encrypted and cannot be read by Apple. But I’m a little unclear whether this information is made available to third-party apps.

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Apple tramples on security in the name of convenience (www.computerworld.com) 02/22/2021 11:53 AM

Apple plans with iOS 14.5 to allow masked enterprise employees to access their iPhones if they are also wearing an Apple Watch (running WatchOS 7.4), that is unlocked. Heads up: This is a quintessential convenience vs. security trade-off from Apple, and if you don't insist that workers refrain from using the feature, corporate security will suffer.

In short, it will be make it much easier for corporate spies and cyberthieves to snag your company's intellectual property, which is being created, stored, and shipped within smartphones today at a far greater rate than 2019 — aka the pre-COVID-19 times.

Apple has refused to let this convenience do anything other than opening the phone (which is bad enough). And it will not allow the feature to bypass facial ID authentication for the AppleCard, ApplePay or any third-party app (such as banks and investment firms) that have embraced Face ID. That tells you pretty much all you need to know about how much of a security corner-cutter this move is.

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The .NET patch failure that wasn’t (www.computerworld.com) 02/22/2021 10:30 AM

When we started this month of patching, I fully expected to come back by now with massive listings of applications that hated the February updates. That hasn't been the case, though there have been some issues related to .NET this month. 

In case you're wondering, .NET is a framework used by developers to build applications. It makes for standard coding techniques and “managed code” and can make an app more secure. Developers primarily use Visual studio to develop software that we all use on our Windows systems.

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IT Salary Survey 2021: Compensation holds steady despite pandemic (www.idginsiderpro.com) 02/22/2021 06:00 AM Our survey of 1,172 IT pros finds that despite the pandemic, most people have seen compensation rise or remain steady but some old inequalities remain

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