Brave browser bets on BATs to the web

The builders of the Brave browser are trying to put a price on online users' attention with blockchain-based tokens that will be traded between publishers, advertisers and those willing to view ads. The project, dubbed "Basic Attention Token" (BAT), will offer a substitute for traditional display advertising, claims Brave Software, the browser's maker as well as the force behind BAT. "Digital advertising is broken," argued the BAT team on i...
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How to choose the right enterprise mobility management tool

It’s almost redundant to refer to a “mobile workforce,” because so much of the workforce today is using mobile devices in some fashion. Managing this large and expanding environment continues to be a huge challenge for IT, and for a growing number of organizations, enterprise mobility management (EMM) is the solution of choice. Recent industry research shows the expected growth in demand for EMM products, which typically incorporate mobile ...
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Wanted: A world where virtual assistants help (without being asked)

Instead of fearing that artificial intelligence (A.I.) will replace us, we should be excited about how A.I. will help us. In a perfect future, our A.I. virtual assistant will know what we're doing, where we're going and — most importantly — what we're saying. They'll know lots of other things, too. And when they sense we need help, they'll whisper suggestions, ideas or facts into our ears, essentially giving us real-time knowledge as we go ...
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The Essential phone that’s not that essential

Perhaps one of the most poorly named products in recent memory, the new Essential phone arrives just in time to make us wonder why it even exists. Using a “modular” design, the idea is to add pieces like a 360-degree camera or maybe some sort of connected home gadget to the smartphone, which runs a stock version of Android. It also uses a slick black enclosure, something that might make you think of a recent Blackberry model. And, the scree...
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60% off Logitech G105 Gaming Keyboard - Deal Alert

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IDG Contributor Network: Enabling the multiverse of mini-internets

I am a believer that the Device Virtualization vision will manifest fully one day, but we have a long road to travel to this end game. The related notion of Service Endpoint Agent (SEA) devices that I have written about is simply a continuation of emerging edge and fog computing trends that will ultimately drive the transformation of wireless networks into flexible, new, value-added service offering environments where said services are lite...
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Two of this month’s Win7 patches causing second-screen problems

We now have solid reports of a bug in both of the Windows 7 security patches for this month, KB 4034664 (the monthly rollup, installed by Windows Automatic Update) and KB 4034679 (the manual security-only patch). If you have a Win7 machine with two or more monitors, and there’s something weird happening with the second monitor, you may be able to solve the problem by uninstalling the bad patch. I first read about the problems last Saturday ...
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Smartphones make people distracted and unproductive

Silicon Valley is draining away the economy's most precious resource for its own benefit. OK, I'd better explain that. The economy's most precious resource is human attention — specifically, the attention people pay to their work. No matter what kind of company you own, run or work for, the employees of that company are paid for not only their skill, experience and work, but also for their attention and creativity. When, say, Facebook and G...
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Apple TV: The comeback king

While millions of iOS and Mac users own and enjoy them, it’s true to say that Apple TV is not the world’s most successful Apple product. Apple’s one-time “hobby” is a bit like the white walkers in Game of Thrones, it just keeps coming back. Over the years we’ve seen Apple try lots of things to make the product an absolute essential, and while I think the current model is a brilliant thing for any Mac, iPhone, or iPad user, it has still bare...
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12 improvements in High Sierra's Photos app for Mac

Whether you're an enterprise or consumer user, you probably take a lot of photos with your iPhone — that’s why it’s the most popular camera used on Flickr. When you get those images onto your Mac, though, what can macOS High Sierra’s Photos app do for you? Image matters We’ve looked at Apple’s new image formats , and we are learning all about ARKit , but Photos was the other key highlight to Apple’s High Sierra announcement at WWDC.  Reflec...
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iPad sales growth doesn't herald a tablet-as-PC rush

Apple last week reported a 15% uptick in iPad sales, the tablet's first sign of growth in more than four years. But credit for the prosperity should probably go to Apple's lower-priced iPad, said one analyst - not to the company's campaign to convince customers to pick a tablet rather than a personal computer . "The vast majority of [those we polled] is not even considering it," said Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies, referring to a recent...
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Why Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are the same thing

Words matter. And as a stickler for accuracy in language that describes technology, it pains me to write this column. I hesitate to expose the truth, because the public is already confused about virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), 360-degree video and heads-up displays. But facts are facts. And the fact is that the technology itself undermines clarity in language to describe it. Before we get to my grand thesis...
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3 hidden iOS Settings you need to know

These iOS Settings are often overlooked, but once you get to know them you can control your privacy and extend your data limits. Wi-Fi settings Wi-Fi Assist helps you enjoy a better connection by using your mobile data network to supplement a patchy Wi-Fi connection. This is fine when you have data bandwidth to burn, but it isn't great at all when you are coming close to the end of your data allocation. You don’t want to pay a surcharge, do...
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Hey, it's a LONG way up to the 26th floor!

Flashback to the days when there were still IT trade shows -- remember them? -- and this pilot fish is providing hardware support for one vendor's software demonstrations. "One of the marketing suits got the bright idea of having an 'executive briefing' for customer bigwigs on the 26th floor of the large hotel where the trade show was being held," says fish. "In those days they were using terminals that connected to a control unit with coax...
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Windows 10: A guide to the updates

The launch of a big Microsoft Windows 10 update like the Creators Update isn’t the end of a process — it’s really just the beginning. As soon as a major update is released, Microsoft 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 since the Creators Update, with the most recent on top. For each bui...
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Honor, redefined

Flashback to 1981, when this pilot fish and everyone else in his university computer science program is learning Cobol, and they submit their decks of punched cards on the honor system. "We were very careful with the computer time in those days," says fish. "Every time the compiler was executed, one point was subtracted from the score for that exercise." "One day a friend commented that a guy named Fred always got his printouts back before ...
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How smart cities like New York City will drive enterprise change

Everybody talks about smart cities, but few are doing anything about it. New York City is an exception. It's in the early stages of an ambitious project to blanket the city with ultrafast Wi-Fi via smart kiosks , which will replace obsolete public telephones. These kiosks are the work of a Google-backed startup called Intersection. The company has already installed around 1,000 kiosks, and aims to install more than 6,000 more, Intersection ...
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Office 365: A guide to the updates

Office 365 subscribers always have the latest version of Microsoft Office — currently Office 2016. They also get more frequent software updates than those who have purchased Office 2016 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 for you, so you don’t have to. Fol...
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Microsoft declares April's Windows 10 upgrade ready for business

Microsoft today said its latest Windows 10 upgrade, the "Creators Update," is suitable for broad deployment by businesses, marking an important milestone for the edition and simultaneously setting its retirement in 14 months. The move also begins a countdown clock on support for the late-2015 version of Windows 10, which will be struck from the rolls in October. "Windows 10 1703 is ready for that broad deployment, based on feedback that we'...
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The 50+ best features in iOS 11

Apple’s upcoming iOS 11, already in public beta and due out this fall in its final form, delivers numerous improvements and changes for iPad and iPhone users. These include a host of new enterprise-useful features — especially for the iPad — as well as a variety of tweaks that will benefit almost any user. Here’s a rundown of the 50 or so most important things you need to know to get the most from Apple’s mobile platform. (And until iOS 11 ...
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Tweaking Internet Explorer to only use TLS 1.2

I rarely write about Internet Explorer. In part, its because I don't use it, but also, on the assumption that no one that reads a Defensive Computing blog uses it either. Nonetheless, I included it in this series on limiting web browsers to TLS 1.2, because, frankly, it does such a good job of it. To recap, there are six versions of the security protocol that underlies secure websites, those transmitted with HTTPS rather than HTTP. The two ...
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Why 'experiental' marketing will be a massive IT challenge

In the 1989 comedy Back the Future, Part 2, Marty McFly travels into the high-tech, space-age future of 2015 where he encounters, among other dazzling wonders, a shark hologram advertising Jaws 10. That kind of advertising is called experiential marketing, where consumers are deeply immersed in a brand in a way that's novel, emotional and memorable. Advertising on the web, TV, radio, print publications, billboards and elsewhere is here to s...
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If you're going to lose a laptop, better it be a Chromebook

I lost my laptop computer yesterday. I was on a long bus ride that became even longer due to traffic. I was a bit off to begin with, having gotten up earlier than usual for the trip. By the time I got off the bus, my brain was mush. I was sitting by the window. The Chromebook that I had been using to do some writing was next to me, propped up between my seat and the wall of the bus. The Chromebook was very small (an Asus Flip with a 10.1 in...
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Tech Talk: Azure Stack, cyberattacks, the next iPhone and ... keyboards

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How to expose flaws in custom-built mobile apps

As enterprises develop more custom applications -- many of them  mobile apps as part of a mobile-first strategy  -- in-house developers are increasingly at risk of unwittingly using open-source code rife with vulnerabilities. Developing custom apps allows a business to differentiate itself from competitors by offering customers, whether internal users or consumers, a better mobile experience. Thinkstock Unlike traditional software developme...
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