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14-01-2021
Apple makes welcome change to Big Sur security for Macs

When Apple shipped macOS Big Sur in November, researchers quickly spotted a strange anomaly in the system’s security protection that could have left Macs insecure. Apple now seems to be dealing with this problem, introducing a fix in the latest public beta release.What was wrong? For some strange reason, Big Sur introduced a controversial and potentially insecure change that meant Apple’s own apps could still access the internet even when a user blocked all access from that Mac using a firewall. This wasn’t in tune with Apple’s traditional security stance. What made this worse is that when those apps (and there were 56 in all) did access the ‘Net, user and network traffic monitoring applications were unable to monitor this use.To read this article in full, please click here

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14-01-2021
Pandemic rebound? PC shipments post biggest upswing in a decade

The PC market rebounded last year, sporting the highest growth rate in a decade, industry analysts said this week, pinning credit (or blame) on the coronavirus pandemic.Research firm IDC pegged 2020's global shipments of personal computers at 302.6 million devices, a 13% increase over the year prior, which represented the largest annual gain since 2010. The shipment volume was the largest since 2014, said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager with IDC's mobile device trackers team, in an interview.The turnaround was striking: Of the past 10 years, six saw year-over-year declines while one had been flat.Gartner Research, an IDC rival, also claimed a notable boost in PC shipments. Even though Gartner's numbers for 2020 differed from IDC's — the former firm said last year's increase was just under 5%, less than half IDC's — it agreed that that growth was the highest measured since 2010.To read this article in full, please click here

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14-01-2021
The future of work from CES: The headquarters at home

This year’s CES, which ends today, has been fascinating because it's showcased a coming shift in product design based on the assumption that — rather than everyone going into the office — many people will remain working at home for the foreseeable future. One of the most exciting sessions at the virtual event focused on this new work-from-home normal. My former colleague from CNET, Brian Cooley, joined Paul Lee from Deloitte LLP, Megan Wollerton from CNET Home, and Jennifer Kent from Parks Associates to talk about where we are now and what’s coming. To read this article in full, please click here

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14-01-2021
Galaxy reality check: 4 big reasons to avoid Samsung's Android phones

The biggest story in the Android universe this week is the pending arrival of Samsung's latest and greatest Galaxy flagships — the Galaxy S21 and its various cousins, expected to be unveiled at a virtual event later this morning. The phones will almost certainly be the de facto standard bearers of the high-end Android experience for the months ahead, and they're all but certain to be among the top-selling premium Android devices of 2021.In many ways, it's not surprising. When it comes to high-end Android phones, Samsung does a lot of things right — from its sleek, eye-catching hardware designs to its exceptional build quality and frequently top-of-the-line components. And that's to say nothing of the equally or perhaps even more important no-holds-barred marketing strategy that's helped Samsung gain and maintain its dominant position within the Android ranks.To read this article in full, please click here

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14-01-2021
Microsoft adds Teams ‘task publishing’ for front-line workers

Office workers may be an obvious target audience for Microsoft Teams, but elements of the collaboration platform have also been tailored for front-line employees, such as retail workers, field technicians and hospital staff.  On Wednesday, Microsoft unveiled a handful of new features aimed at supporting staff in these roles — retail in particular — including the ability to publish task lists to specific teams across an organization.Often overlooked when it comes to spending on digital tools, front-line workers typically spend less time at a desk and their primary computing device is more likely to be a smartphone rather than a laptop. It is a large market: there are more than 2 billion such workers globally, Microsoft claims, and Teams has received several updates in recent years to cater to those at the edge of their organization.To read this article in full, please click here

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13-01-2021
Apple takes huge steps to boost diversity in tech

Apple has taken a series of what should be major steps to help dismantle some of the barriers faced by communities of color as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative.Knowledge is power Understanding that education and access to it is critical to empower access to opportunity and make communities more resilient, Apple has announced: Investment in the Propel Center, a global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The launch of an Apple Developer Academy to support coding and tech education for students in Detroit. Venture capital funding for Black and Brown entrepreneurs.  Apple announced its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative in June 2019, part of its corporate response to global protests against the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others.To read this article in full, please click here

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13-01-2021
Apple takes big steps to boost diversity in tech

Apple has taken a series of what should be major steps to help dismantle some of the barriers faced by communities of color as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative.Knowledge is power Understanding that education — and access to it — is critical to empower access to opportunity and make communities more resilient, Apple has announced: Investment in the Propel Center, a global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The launch of an Apple Developer Academy to support coding and tech education for students in Detroit. Venture capital funding for Black and Brown entrepreneurs.  Apple announced its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative in June 2019, part of its corporate response to global protests against the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others.To read this article in full, please click here

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13-01-2021
Apple’s mythical AirTags shimmer slowly to release

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Apple seems to be closer to actually introducing the near-mythical AirTags, which you’ll no doubt use to track hardware, devices, and the vehicles that make up your transit fleet.What we think we know This is a long-running story. We first began to anticipate introduction of these products after WWDC 2019. Later, we thought they might show up even before the iPhone 12, or even as part of the company’s holiday season launches.To read this article in full, please click here

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12-01-2021
5 new Chrome OS features you should find right now

Android may be Google's highest profile platform, but Chrome OS is the arguably the place where the fastest and most exciting progress tends to go down these days.Every year as of late, we see leaps and bounds being made in how Chromebooks work and what they're capable of doing — the types of programs they're able to run, the kinds of advantages they're able to offer, and the interesting ways they're able to interact with Android to create a more connected and cohesive-feeling experience.To read this article in full, please click here

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12-01-2021
Q&A: Workplace exec on employee productivity, app plans for 2021

Facebook hopes to make it easier to get work done within Workplace via new productivity features — some natively built, others from third parties — and other changes it has in mind this year for Workplace, its enterprise social network. The Workplace platform, which jettisoned its free tier last month, had grown to 5 million paid users as of last May, including a roster of enterprise customers such as Nestle and Walmart in the four-and-a-half years since its launch. Facebook Workplace Ujjwal Singh, head of product at Facebook Workplace.To read this article in full, please click here

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12-01-2021
Not another Windows interface!

I'm a lucky guy. I can pick up new operating systems and desktop interfaces at the drop of a hat. But, over the years of learning how to make IBM 3270, CP/M-80, and Windows 1.0 to 10 jump through hoops, I've gotten a wee bit tired of it all. So, when I saw that "Windows 10’s desktop interface will get an all-new look with Sun Valley update in 2021," I almost screamed.To read this article in full, please click here(Insider Story)

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12-01-2021
Microsoft reveals new Surface Pro 7+, business-only 2-in-1

Microsoft today unveiled the Surface Pro 7+, a new device in its 2-in-1 PC line, that will be sold only to commercial and educational customers.A variant of the consumer-aimed Surface Pro 7, the new model sports the same 12.3-in. display, a choice between three Intel processors, and SSD (solid-state drive) options up to 1TB. Like the Pro 7, the 7+ can mutate from more-or-less notebook form factor to tablet, with or without the optional keyboard still attached.But the Pro 7+ tweaks some of those characteristics to better fit corporate customers, Microsoft argued. "Surface Pro 7+ is purpose-built with the needs of our business and education customers in mind," asserted Robin Seiler, a corporate vice president in the Microsoft Devices group, in a post to a company blog.To read this article in full, please click here

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12-01-2021
Apple’s social media failure now looks like success

The lens of history shows Apple’s most heavily criticized decisions often become justified over time, whether that’s abandoning headphone ports, focusing on on-device AI, or letting the Ping social network disappear.Apple’s social media failure now looks like success Introduced in 2010, Apple marketing told us Ping was a “social network for music”.The company had hoped to work with Facebook on the service, but CEO Steve Jobs told us the other company wanted terms he saw as “onerous”.Instead, we ended up with a hugely limited system that no one really used, and a great deal of friction between Apple and FB.To read this article in full, please click here

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12-01-2021
Apple’s social media failure now looks like success

The lens of history shows Apple’s most heavily criticized decisions often become justified over time, whether that’s abandoning headphone ports, focusing on on-device AI, or letting the Ping social network disappear.Apple’s social media failure now looks like success Introduced in 2010, Apple marketing touted Ping as a “social network for music.” The company had hoped to work with Facebook on the service, but CEO Steve Jobs said the other company wanted terms he saw as “onerous."Instead, Apple ended up with a hugely limited system that no one really used, and a great deal of friction between Apple and Facebook. Not surprisingly, Ping never became a vibrant social network.To read this article in full, please click here

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11-01-2021
The first Patch Tuesday of '21; time to delay updates

It’s Patch Tuesday time — that exciting second Tuesday of each month when we turn towards Redmond, WA, hoping for quality updates — and my advice is to not install updates tomorrow. To be fair, the vast majority of Microsoft users should be fine with whatever patches and fixes arrive. But, personally, I push off updates and delay installations on the systems I care about; you should do the same.With that piece of advice out of the way, I have some suggestions for 2021 for a healthy patching year.Susan’s first recommendation of ‘21: Use Windows 10 Pro, not Home.I recommend several things when dealing with updates: First and foremost, make sure you are on Windows 10 professional, not Windows 10 Home. To read this article in full, please click here

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CyberLink Vol. 148 Jan 2021

DELF 2020 virtual platform concluded with 600,000+ views from 30 countries/regions

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