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23-09-2020
Microsoft Teams gets custom layouts, new Together ‘scenes’

Microsoft will enable Teams users to overlay a presenter’s video feed when displaying content such as slides – part of its aim to improve meetings as the number of video calls rockets during the pandemic.  The feature, due out later this year, is among a handful of updates to the Teams collaboration platform unveiled at Microsoft’s Ignite conference Tuesday. The company also highlighted enhancements to office-based meeting tools and new capabilities to promote employee wellbeing.The custom layouts feature lets users place a video feed of a meeting presenter onto the foreground of a PowerPoint presentation,  thanks to the same artificial intelligence  segmentation technology used in Teams background blur and Together mode. This will enable meeting participants to view the presenter’s hand and face gestures, as well as allow for weather forecaster-style highlighting of content.  To read this article in full, please click here

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23-09-2020
IT admins want one, and only one, Windows 10 upgrade annually

IT administrators voiced strong support for Microsoft's move to a fewer-than-two-upgrades-a-year Windows 10 cadence, even as many question the way the Redmond, Wash. developer has reduced the number of refreshes.To read this article in full, please click here(Insider Story)

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22-09-2020
Android 11's biggest letdown

Android 11's got plenty of good stuff going on, both on the surface and under the hood — but one of the release's most promising new additions is turning out to be one of its least compelling elements.I'm talking about Bubbles, the long-under-development feature that first came into the picture as part of last year's Android 10 update but ended up getting pushed back to this year's release. If you haven't thought much about Bubbles since getting Android 11 (or since reading about the software, if you're using a non-Pixel phone and still waiting), well, I can't say that I blame ya.To read this article in full, please click here

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22-09-2020
Apple’s Tim Cook shares his company's WFH experience

It still seems a little counter-intuitive that one of the world’s biggest technology firms was also one of the least amenable to remote working, but this, I’ve heard, describes the culture at Apple pre-COVID-19. Now things have changed there, just as they have elsewhere.Going back better Speaking during a more extensive interview conducted at The Atlantic Festival, Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed his company’s experience around remote working, telling us that around 10-15% of company staff have been working at the office during the pandemic. Around 85%-90% of Apple employees are currently working from home, he said, admitting that he does so himself, some of the time.To read this article in full, please click here

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22-09-2020
How IT can keep remote workers’ Windows 7 PCs safe

In the time of COVID-19, with so many people working from home, it’s inevitable that many will be using Windows 7 devices. And that’s a big security problem for IT. As of January 2020, Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft. That means no security patches — particularly dangerous at a time when many people are connecting to enterprise networks from their Windows 7 PCs.To read this article in full, please click here(Insider Story)

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22-09-2020
Maybe it’s therapeutic

This pilot fish is at a remote office to help a user, Barney, with a software problem, but he can’t help noticing that Barney periodically jumps in his chair. Fish finally asks Barney if he’s feeling OK, and Barney says he’s fine, but he periodically gets a mild shock from his desk.It’s a mid-century steel-frame desk with a Formica top. This office has had some renovations, and fish wonders whether something was mis-wired. It’s not his area of responsibility as IT desktop support, but fish decides to just take a look.Behind Barney’s desk he finds a large wire paperclip that had managed to contact the hot pole of a slightly loose plug in a power strip and the steel leg of the desk. As long as Barney’s contact was with the Formica desktop, nothing would happen, but when he brushed the steel trim around the edge, he’d get a shock.To read this article in full, please click here

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22-09-2020
BrandPost: HP Laptops: Made for A New Era of Mobility

Today’s business users have high expectations for mobility, and search of solutions that let them confidently connect and stay productive in nearly any work setting – whether at home, in the office, or on the go.Given the speed of business, the ability to multi-task has become a requisite for the modern workforce, requiring platforms that enable efficient toggling between workflows, such as jumping on a videoconference call while simultaneously crunching last-minute data requests, and fielding emails. In fact, 77% of HR and business managers cite outdated systems and technology as their biggest workforce management challenge, according to a study by the Workforce Institute at Kronos.To read this article in full, please click here

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21-09-2020
iOS 14: What’s new for enterprise IT?

Apple has introduced a selection of interesting improvements for iOS and Mac admins in the recently introduced iOS 14, including new APIs for mobile device management (MDM) and usability improvements.The easy (but good) stuff One of the better enhancements is the introduction of choice. iPhone and iPad users can now choose which web browser and/or email app they want to use. While Safari is highly secure (and more secure in the latest OS iterations), the real beauty of this improvement is in email, as enterprises built around use of Microsoft Office will now be able to standardize on use of Outlook on enterprise mobile devices. The process is pretty simple: Install the app you want to use and then set it as default in application Settings on the device.To read this article in full, please click here

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21-09-2020
iOS 14: What’s new for enterprise IT?

Apple has introduced a selection of interesting improvements for iOS and Mac admins in the recently introduced iOS 14, including new APIs for mobile device management (MDM) and usability improvements.The easy (but good) stuff One of the better enhancements is the introduction of choice. iPhone and iPad users can now choose which web browser and/or email app they want to use. While Safari is highly secure (and more secure in the latest OS iterations), the real beauty of this improvement is in email, as enterprises built around Microsoft Office will now be able to standardize on Outlook on enterprise mobile devices. The process is pretty simple: Install the app you want to use and then set it as default in application Settings on the device.To read this article in full, please click here

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21-09-2020
The state of ethnic minorities in U.S. tech: 2020

The tech industry has been talking about increasing minority participation for decades — I wrote my first story on the topic for an IEEE Computer Society magazine in 1990, and things have changed little since then.This year, B2B review site TrustRadius surveyed employees at both tech providers and IT organizations to find out the status of ethnic minorities in the tech industry, and sought out minority voices for a direct take. The People of Color Tech Report released today drew 1,207 respondents, 53% of whom identified as people of color: 16% were Black, 16% Asian, 12% Hispanic, 5% Indigenous, and 7% other non-White, such as mixed-race.To read this article in full, please click here

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21-09-2020
Memory-Lane Monday: An ounce of prevention is worth a pounding headache

A very large thunderstorm is headed for this company’s data center, and there’s reason to worry, says a pilot fish working there.The company is the product of several mergers back in the late ’90s, when it was decided that the newest data center would be the new company’s production data center. That particular data center was, of course, built for a much smaller company than the merged entity, so it had to be immediately expanded.Laments fish: “In the intervening years, the quantity of servers and network and disk hardware in the data center increased rapidly, but the UPS and emergency generator didn’t keep up with the growth.”Nonetheless, with that big storm on the way, a high-level manager overrides the advice of the technical support team and decides to switch the data center over to emergency power, rather than risk the possibility that the city power could be disrupted.To read this article in full, please click here

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19-09-2020
The NVIDIA-Arm merger could change how we work

If the merger between Arm and NVIDIA is approved (I expect Great Britain, the EU, and China will have reservations), the result could be a massive change in AI capability. And, given that Arm is dominant in mobile devices and IoT, and NVIDIA is dominant in both graphics and AI training, it's a merger that could have a dramatic impact on how we work as well.We’ve had several efforts, most recently from Dell and Microsoft, to integrate smartphones with PCs. But there has been no dedicated bridge hardware vendor yet.  Yes, Microsoft seems to be working in that direction with its Surface Duo, but it is a niche product and if it does go mainstream, it likely won’t be until its third version.  Qualcomm could do this, but its Always Connected PC effort is just getting off the ground – even though the company does have critical mass with cell phones. Even so,  Qualcomm doesn’t seem that interested in blending the two concepts. To read this article in full, please click here

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18-09-2020
Mozilla tightens belt, folds two Firefox services

A year and a half after launching the free file-sharing service Firefox Send, Mozilla canned the concept, part of a retrenchment that began this summer when the organization laid off a quarter of its workforce.Firefox Notes, another service that got its start from the Test Pilot program, also went under the knife Thursday. Notes will be decommissioned on Android Nov. 1, and Mozilla will not provide security updates to the desktop browser's add-on after that date."As Mozilla tightens and refines its product focus in 2020, today we are announcing the end of life for two legacy services that grew out of the Firefox Test Pilot program," Mozilla said in an unsigned post to its primary blog.To read this article in full, please click here

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18-09-2020
Q&A: NearForm CCO Larry Breen on contacting-tracing apps

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, governments around the world have highlighted the importance of contact-tracing apps to monitor infection levels, let people know when they may have been exposed and as a pre-cursor to a safe return to the office.To read this article in full, please click here(Insider Story)

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18-09-2020
The worst version of Windows ever released

Twenty years ago this month Microsoft released a stink bomb of an operating system, Windows Me. Unstable, unloved and unusable, that was Windows Me. Many people believe it was the worst version of Windows ever built.The anniversary got me thinking: Was Windows Me really the worst Windows ever, or was it outdone by other notable flops?I’ve used every version of Windows since the Windows 1.x version that shipped with the desktop publishing program Aldus PageMaker (later Adobe PageMaker), so I’ve had plenty of experience with the best and worst of Windows. Here’s my list of the worst three Windows versions of all time. I’m offering them in order of ascending horribleness, so you’ll have to wait to get to the bottom of the article to find the worst of the worst.To read this article in full, please click here

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CyberLink Vol.144 Sep 2020

Braving the Epidemic campaign bestowed ET Net’s Health Partnership Awards 2020

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CyberLink Vol. 142 July 2020

FAST to spur FinTech talents hiring

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