February 10, 2017 brianradio2016

Companies concerned about cybersecurity have a fleet of new Microsoft tools coming their way. The company announced a host of new security capabilities Friday morning as part of the run-up to the massive RSA security conference next week in San Francisco.

On the Windows front, the company announced that it’s adding the ability to use on-premises Active Directory with Windows Hello, its system for allowing biometric-based logins with Windows 10. Microsoft also launched new tools to help organizations get more use out of mobile device management products by giving them tools to migrate group policy settings to cloud-managed devices.

What’s more, Microsoft has launched a new tool that’s designed to help customers configure the Surface hardware under their administration, doing things like disabling the tablets’ cameras. 

Office 365 customers get a new security assessment tool and the private beta of a service aimed at showing them information about security threats.

February 10, 2017 brianradio2016

Up to 20 attackers or groups of attackers are defacing WordPress websites that haven’t yet applied a recent patch for a critical vulnerability.

The vulnerability, located in the platform’s REST API, allows unauthenticated attackers to modify the content of any post or page within a WordPress site. The flaw was fixed in WordPress 4.7.2, released on Jan. 26, but the WordPress team did not publicly disclose the vulnerability’s existence until a week later, to allow enough time for a large number of users to deploy the update.

However, even after the flaw became public, many webmasters did not apply the patch and a wave of attacks soon followed. On Monday, web security firm Sucuri reported that around 67,000 pages had been defaced in four separate attack campaigns.

Since then the number of defaced pages has grown to over 1.5 million and there are 20 different attack signatures, according to statistics from Feedjit, the company behind the Wordfence security plug-in for WordPress. The number of unique affected websites is estimated at around 40,000, as a site can have multiple defaced pages.

February 10, 2017 brianradio2016

The latest version of Docker Datacenter, Docker’s end-to-end container service for enterprises, now solves a common problem with containers: How to store secrets—API keys, passwords, encryption keys—in containerized apps without betraying those secrets.

Docker’s solution, Docker Secrets Management, provides a standardized interface for storing and retrieving secrets in containerized apps. It’s compatible with both container-native apps and legacy apps that have been containerized.

A nice, safe place for everything

By providing a safe place to store secrets, Docker enhances enhances not only security but convenience. Adding secrets directly to application source code is tough to maintain and highly insecure, whether your apps are inside containers or not. It’s also convenient to have a single, consistent manner to store and retrieve secrets throughout an organization. Docker believed these items were the responsibility of the platform provider and set out to address them.

Docker Secrets runs wherever Docker Datacenter runs—in a public cloud, on-premises cloud or bare metal, hybrid cloud, and so on. Secrets are always encrypted when at rest, are only delivered by way of a TLS connection, and are only provided to applications that are authorized to receive them.

February 10, 2017 brianradio2016

This extremely soft, high-quality 6×7 microfiber cloth from MagicFiber absorbs and safely removes dust, oil smudges, fingerprints, and dirt from eyeglasses, camera lenses, computer screens, televisions, and other delicate surfaces without any harsh chemicals. It’s machine or hand washable, and is built to last. The cloths are highly rated on Amazon, where it currently averages 4.8 out of 5 stars from over 8,300 people (90% rate 5 stars: read recent reviews). Its typical list price of $29.99 has been reduced 33% to $20 for a pack of 30 individually wrapped, so you may decide to toss one in everybody’s stocking this holiday season. See the discounted 30-pack of microfiber cleaning cloths now on Amazon.

This story, “33% off MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths For Screens and Other Delicate Surfaces, 30 Pack – Deal Alert” was originally published by TechConnect.

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld’s Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.
February 10, 2017 brianradio2016

Reduce some of that cable clutter with the ultra compact Jackery Bolt 6,000mAh external battery charger that features a built-in Apple Lighting cable for your iPhone or iPad and a built-in micro-USB cable for other mobile devices. With an additional open USB port you can charge up to 3 devices at once. Powerful 6000 mAh capacity can fully charge an iPhone 6 at up to 3 times.  The Jackery Bolt averages 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 240 people on Amazon (read reviews), where its list price of $69.99 has been reduced 63% down to just $25.99. See the discounted external power bank now on Amazon

This story, “63% off Jackery Bolt 6,000mAh Power Bank with Built-in Lightning and Micro USB Cables – Deal Alert” was originally published by TechConnect.

February 10, 2017 brianradio2016

21apple-ipad-air-2.jpgSarah Tew

iPad sales are awful. Truly awful, and while CEO Tim Cook might be bullish about the tablet’s future, Apple desperately needs to do something to turn sales around if it’s going to come off life support.

Must read: Does your iPhone have a battery drain problem?

“We’ve got some exciting things coming on iPad,” Cook said during Apple’s last financial conference call, “and I’m optimistic about where things are headed.”

While this could mean a lot of things, what this is likely to mean is a hardware refresh, especially given how stocks of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro seem to be dried up to where shipping times in the United States, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, and elsewhere have jumped to the 2 to 3 week mark.

When could this refresh happen? Well, during the Q1 2017 financial conference call Cook said that “beyond the 90-day clock, I’m very bullish on iPad.” This to me suggests that we’re not going to see a refresh happening during this quarter, or at the very least new iPads won’t ship until the end of March at the earliest.

Rumors are all over the place, with everything from the end of March to the middle of 2017.

But when it comes to giving iPad owners reason to upgrade, the rumors don’t deliver. It seems to be more of the same — faster processor, new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch displays which feature the same True Tone technology found on the 9.7-inch iPad, 12-megapixel camera, and such.

Basically all just evolutionary upgrades which you’d expect from a mature product. If iPads were already selling well, theses types of upgrades would be enough to keep the iPad relevant, but with sales having fallen to where they are now, I think it’s too little, too late.

Even iOS 10 making some 40 percent of all iPads in use at that point obsolete hasn’t been the catalyst that encouraged existing owners to part with their cash for new hardware.

So what’s the problem?

The bottom line is that the iPad is plagued by two issues.

The first is that it’s overpriced compared to other tablets. For most casual users, an Amazon Fire tablet will do everything they need at a fraction of the price.

Secondly, for professional and business users, the lack of a mouse or trackpad makes the iPad a poor choice for working on spreadsheets and the like. Apple’s made the device more friendly to creative and artistic types with the Apple Pencil, but that market doesn’t seem to be as lucrative as Apple had hoped it would be.

Will Apple drop the price of the iPad? I doubt it. The company is heavily focused on squeezing as much cash as it can from its lineup, and if anything it’s doubling down on the higher-end stuff at the expense of the cheaper stuff.

As to adding a trackpad or mouse support, again I don’t think this fits in with the direction that Apple wants to take the iPad in, and that would bring it too close to being a Mac, which would resurrect that old discussion about Mac tablets again.

My best estimate says that this time next year, Apple will be looking at iPad sales that are some 10 to 15 percent lower than what they were the year before. And that puts the iPad on very shaky ground indeed.

See also:

Six reasons why the iPad Pro could be your next business PC:

February 10, 2017 brianradio2016

GlobalFoundries will open a new factory in Chengdu, China, to make inexpensive chips for wireless devices.

The chipmaker, once part of microprocessor designer AMD, also plans to expand production at existing fabrication plants in the U.S., Germany, and Singapore, it said Friday. It makes chips for AMD, IBM, Qualcomm, and Mediatek, among others.

Beginning next year, the new fab in China — a joint venture with the municipality of Chengdu — will produce chips on 300-millimeter wafers using standard manufacturing techniques, the company said.

Sometime in 2019, it will switch to a different manufacturing process, FD-SOI (fully depleted silicon on insulator), which GlobalFoundries calls 22FDX. That process is particularly suitable for the low-cost manufacture of the radio-frequency chips used in smartphones, cars, and the internet of things, the company said.

February 10, 2017 brianradio2016

For the most part, Chromebooks — laptops that use Google’s Chrome OS — have been marketed as either lightweight and inexpensive student systems or low-end secondary machines for travel or family use. With one or two exceptions (such as Google’s Pixel), the emphasis was on cheapness of both price and materials.

Lately, however, more vendors have been introducing Chromebooks meant for mid-level business use. For example, the recently-released Acer Chromebook R 13 is a solid convertible that can handle day-to-day computing tasks (its sibling, the Acer Chromebook 14 for Work, is aimed even more directly at a business usership).

Back in January during the CES trade show, Samsung announced two new laptops in this class: the Chromebook Plus, which will ship with an ARM processor, and Chromebook Pro, which is pretty much identical except that it will be powered by an Intel Core m3. I spent a couple of weeks with a pre-production model of the Pro; I was assured that, except for the color of the unit (it is silver, while the final will be black), it was identical to a production unit. And I’ve got to say, I was impressed.

Like the Acer R 13, the Pro is a convertible, meaning that its touchscreen display can bend 360 degree, from a “closed laptop” position to a traditional typing position,  further back to a “tented” presentation position, and finally all the way back to a tablet position.

February 10, 2017 brianradio2016

What we have here is a Windows 10-powered PC that looks and feels a lot like a Chromebook (and at $220, it’s also priced pretty much like a Chromebook).

The tech specs aren’t going to blow your hair back, but as a cheap PC to carry out basic work, it’s more than ideal.

Tech specs:

  • Windows 10 Home 64
  • 1.6Ghz Intel Celeron N3060 processor
  • 4 GB memory
  • 32 GB eMMC storage
  • Intel HD Graphics 400
  • 14-inch 1366 x 768 HD SVA BrightView WLED-backlit
  • 41 Wh Li-ion battery

Price: $220 | More information

February 10, 2017 brianradio2016

When Apple introduced its fingerprint reader to the iPhone, the company thought it would help keep your data more secure.

But the problem is that feds have figured out that if it legally wants access to your iPhone’s data, it can’t force you to turn over your passcode, though it can force you to unlock it with your fingerprint.

It’s a rare instance that the law has moved faster than the tech in your pocket. US authorities figured out that your fingerprint is not subject to the Fifth Amendment, which protects the right to silence and prevents self-incrimination.

In other words, it protects what’s stored in your head, but not what’s at on your finger tips.

It’s still up for discussion in the courts, but if you have vital secrets on your iPhone or work in an industry or space where you risk interactions with the law, such as peaceful protests, activism, or journalism, you may want to turn off Touch ID on your lock screen.

Disabling your fingerprint on the lock screen takes less than a minute. Here‘s how.

1. Go to the Settings on your iPhone.

2. Go to Touch ID & Passcode.

3. Enter your lock screen passcode. (If you haven’t set a strong passcode already, check out this guide.)

4. At the top of the screen, make sure iPhone Unlock is set to off.

5. You may also strengthen your passcode requirement by scrolling down and changing the Require Passcode to Immediately.

There’s no harm in using your fingerprint for Apple Pay or the iTunes or App Store. But ensuring that the lock screen is a passcode only further protects your data.

HOW TO SECURE YOUR IPHONE

VIDEO: Police used pacemaker data to arrest man for arson and fraud