And that's why we troubleshoot first

IT support pilot fish who works for a public library system gets a work order from one of the branches: One of the PCs that's available for public use is making a beeping sound. "Trying to troubleshoot the device, I asked the onsite staff to be sure that there wasn't something on the keyboard that might be pushing down a key," says fish. "I had them clean the keyboard. I asked if there was a pattern to the beeping. Just random beeping, they...
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Google, A.I. and the rise of the super-sensor

Google dazzled developers this week with a new feature called Google Lens. Appearing first in Google Assistant and Google Photos, Google Lens uses artificial intelligence (A.I.) to specifically identify things in the frame of a smartphone camera. In Google's demo, not only did Google Lens identify a flower, but the species of flower. The demo also showed the automatic login to a wireless router when Google Lens was pointed at the router bar...
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WD aims to tame growing data needs with latest enterprise SAS SSD

With data centers seeing rapid data growth, Western Digital Corp. (WD) has announced its highest performing 2.5-in. small form-factor SAS SSD. The drive is aimed at helping companies deal with increasing needs for virtualized storage systems, online transaction processing, database analytics and private and hybrid clouds. WD's Ultrastar SS300 , developed in partnership with Intel, uses a 12Gbps SAS interface and sports sequential read/write...
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Hackers reportedly hold Disney's newest Pirates of the Caribbean film for ransom

While some people are still fretting about WannaCry ransomware and possible variants of it, hackers are reportedly threatening to release Disney’s upcoming Johnny Depp film if Disney doesn’t pay a ransom. Although Disney would not confirm that the stolen film is the fifth in the Pirates franchise, it doesn’t intend to bow to extortion. The ransomed movie is Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, according to Deadline ; it is sche...
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At Google I/O, enterprises may get A.I. they can put to work

As Google I/O, the search giant's major developer conference, gets ready to kick off on Wednesday, enterprises will be curious to see if Google offers new artificial intelligence technology they can put to work. Google executives are expected to talk about A.I. and machine learning during the Wednesday morning keynote, led by CEO Sundar Pichai. During last year's Google I/O conference, Pichai said the company was moving from a mobile-first ...
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Yes, Apple is building a car

The experts say Apple's self-driving car project is canceled, delayed or converted into a software play. They'll also tell you that cars are a weird business for Apple to be in. The experts have it all wrong. Apple is going pedal-to-the-metal on building a car and for good reason. Here’s why. Talk about titans Steve Jobs wanted Apple to make an "iCar." The late Apple founder and CEO wanted more than that, according to J. Crew CEO and chairm...
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Microsoft posts PowerShell script that spawns pseudo security bulletins

A Microsoft manager this week offered IT administrators a way to replicate -- in a fashion -- the security bulletins the company discarded last month. "If you want a report summarizing today's #MSRC security bulletins, here's a script that uses the MSRC Portal API," John Lambert, general manager of the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center, said in a Tuesday message on Twitter . Lambert's tweet linked to code depository GitHub, where he post...
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IDG Contributor Network: Does Twitter encourage a ‘no filter’ attitude?

I’m starting to hate Twitter these days. Since 2008, it’s been an ever-flowing channel of communication -- direct and unfiltered. Celebrities, basketball stars, and even Presidents can post with reckless abandon. We’ve been living in the age of unfiltered status updates for almost ten years now, but it makes me wonder if there is a better way to share thoughts spontaneously...but with a little more civility. As a recent example, President T...
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Why your next business phone will be an Amazon Echo

"The phone is already dead." That's what Microsoft visionary and HoloLens honcho Alex Kipman said this week. The "phone call is making a comeback." That's what one tech publication said this week, based in part on wishful thinking by MIT egghead and Reclaiming Conversation author Sherry Turkle. Could both be true? The answer is yes. Phones are definitely dead. Phone calls are forever. But the reasons why may surprise you. Phones' fatal flaw...
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Asus router warnings on privacy and security

I ran across a most  unusual router review today, by Daniel Aleksandersen. For one thing, it was not a review of a specific model (though the author uses an Asus RT-AC87U ), instead it reviewed ASUSWRT, the stock firmware (router operating system) used in Asus routers. Think of it as a review of General Motors rather than the Buick Regal. As such, there was none of the usual focus on Wi-Fi speed and range. And, while most reviews are writte...
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Career advice: Moving into DevOps

Ask a Premier 100 IT Leader Hakan Karamanli Title: Executive vice president and CIO Company: Tam Faktoring Karamanli is this month’s Premier 100 IT Leader. If you have a question you’d like to pose to one of Computerworld’s Premier 100 IT Leaders, send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Tam Faktoring Tam Faktoring CIO Hakan Karamanli As a programmer with 12 years of experience, what skills should I acquire to help me get on a DevOps team ...
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46% off Razer Kraken Pro Gaming Headset for PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4 - Deal Alert

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How the Amazon Echo Look improves privacy

Look! A new Amazon Echo! The Amazon Echo Look is like the original Echo, plus a camera. The $200 device delivers the Alexa virtual assistant. But the camera is optimized for helping you choose clothing to look your best when you get dressed. The Echo Look is a camera for your bedroom. As such, it's being widely slammed as a massive invasion of privacy. But this view is wrong and based on a provably false assumption. I'll tell you exactly ho...
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Surface revenue does a U-boat, and dives

Revenue generated by Microsoft's Surface hardware during the March quarter was down 26% from the same period the year before, the company said yesterday as it briefed Wall Street. For the quarter, Surface produced $831 million, some $285 million less than the March quarter of 2016, for the largest year-over-year dollar decline ever. Microsoft blamed the portfolio's age and increased competition from hardware partners for the fall-off. "Our ...
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Android users are losing interest in iPhones, survey claims

The latest Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) survey results show that Apple’s iPhone 7 series smartphones are doing almost as well as the previous generation, except in one key metric: Android users aren’t switching to them as frequently. Though they are still switching The statistics claim around 26 percent of iPhone 6S series smartphones switched over from Android last time round, but this has fallen to around 10 percent with...
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Discounted CleanMyMac 3 with Gemini 2 Space Saving Bundle - Deal Alert

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Hey, it HAS a C: prompt, so what's the problem?

It's the dawn of history (well, PC history, anyway), and this still-in-school pilot fish has a job working on the department's machines, including an early Tandy computer -- Radio Shack's first crack at the MS-DOS market. "We had IBM PC clones for the rest of our department's computers, but this one had snuck in somehow," fish says. "We wanted to upgrade the Tandy's drive capacity, and I had a 'hard card' -- a hard drive attached to a contr...
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There's now a tool to test for NSA spyware

Has your computer been infected with a suspected NSA spying implant? A security researcher has come up with a free tool that can tell. Luke Jennings of security firm Countercept wrote a script in response to last week’s high-profile leak of cyberweapons that some researchers believe are from the National Security Agency. It's designed to detect an implant called Doublepulsar, which is delivered by many of the Windows-based exploits found in...
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CW@50: A look at life on the job in IT through cartoons

News flash: There’s a shortage of IT professionals with Cobol expertise and other mainframe skills. Or maybe you’ve heard that before. We’ve been reporting since at least 2002 that Cobol skills were in short supply and that the situation was going to get worse because older mainframe experts would soon be retiring and young programmers had no interest in learning mainframe skills. That might not seem like much of a problem, but as we pointe...
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67% off Tribe Premium Water Resistant Cell Phone Armband - Deal Alert

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H-1B visa demand slips; analysts see Trump effect

The U.S. government today said it received 199,000 H-1B visa petitions for the upcoming 2018 fiscal year -- 37,000 less than in 2016. The government will issue 85,000 visas distributed via a computer-generated lottery. The winners will be able to use their visas at the start of the federal fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. [ Further reading: Hottest jobs, cities and industries for IT pay in 2017 ] Industry analysts see President Donald Trum...
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An introduction to six types of VPN software

A VPN is simply an encrypted connection between two computers, each side running VPN software. The two sides, however, are not equal. The software that you, as the user of a VPN service deal with, is known as the VPN client. The software run by a VPN company is a VPN server. The encrypted connection always starteds with a VPN client making a request to a VPN server. There are many different flavors of VPN connections, each with its own corr...
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50% off Foval 150PSI Car Digital Tire Pressure Air Gauge - Deal Alert

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Toshiba’s memory biz sale attracts many, including Apple

Apple may be considering partnering with its China-based supplier Foxconn to purchase a major stake in Toshiba's semiconductor unit. In January, Toshiba officially announced it would seek to sell a portion of its flash memory business, including the SSD business of the Storage & Electronic Device Solutions Division, to a not-yet-named buyer. [ Further reading: Face-to-face without frustration: The HP Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms ] The ...
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Microsoft begins denying updates to some Windows 7 users

Microsoft this week began blocking Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs equipped with the very newest processors from receiving security updates, making good on a policy it announced but did not implement last year. But the company also refused to provide security fixes to Windows 7 systems that were powered by AMD's "Carrizo" CPUs, an architecture that was supposed to continue receiving patches. The decree that led to the update bans, whether allowable o...
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