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IDG Contributor Network: Microsoft ups effort to get firms off Windows 7 with FastTrack

IDG Contributor Network: Microsoft ups effort to get firms off Windows 7 with FastTrack

[Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author.]

Windows is pretty unique in the segment if you think about it. For most everything else we use, the hardware and software come from – and get support from – the same company. For most of our other devices, tools, equipment, etc., a major software update will only come when we buy a new system.

The good part of this is that our PCs are more up to date than our cars, appliances and other integrated products. The bad news is if we don’t want to update, we don’t have to – and a lot of us don’t like the update process and are sometimes back a couple of generations on the OS. (I won’t even mention the folks still using Windows XP, because they’re in their own unique and painful world at the moment.)

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The content for this post was sourced from www.computerworld.com

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31 always useful Apple productivity tips

31 always useful Apple productivity tips

I’ve put together thousands of Apple-related tips over the years. I thought it might be useful to reprise 31 essential ones that will help you get more from your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple Watch.

6 Siri tips for everything

Change Settings

Use Siri to change Settings or System Preferences. Just trigger Siri and ask it to open the Setting or Preference you need – it can change some of them too…

Open an App

Open any app by triggering Siri and asking it to open the app.

Open a website

Ask Siri.

Siri the weather

On any Apple device that supports Siri you can get a weather report by just asking for it. Or sports scores, or get answers to sums, measurement conversions and more.

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The content for this post was sourced from www.computerworld.com

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Windows 10 1803-to-1903 forced upgrades gather speed

Windows 10 1803-to-1903 forced upgrades gather speed

Microsoft has focused its Windows 10 attention on upgrading hundreds of millions of machines before they lose rights to security updates in three months.

From June 26 to July 25, the portion of all Windows 10 systems running the May 2019 Update, a.k.a. 1903 in Microsoft’s four-numeral format, almost doubled, climbing 5 percentage points to 11.4%, according to analytics company AdDuplex.

To compensate, in the same period Windows 10 1803 — the “April 2018 Update” — fell 4.3 points to 53.7%. However, the next feature upgrade, 1809, dipped just three-tenths of a percentage point to 29.7%.

The likeliest explanation for the changes — 1903 up, 1803 down, 1809 flat — was Microsoft’s July 16 announcement that it had started forcible upgrades “for customers with devices that are at or nearing end of service and have not yet updated their device.”

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The content for this post was sourced from www.computerworld.com

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4 noteworthy new Chrome OS features coming your way right now

4 noteworthy new Chrome OS features coming your way right now

Android upgrades can often seem like an eternal waiting game, thanks to the role unmotivated device-makers play in the process — but with Chrome OS, it’s a completely different story.

Chrome OS upgrades, y’see, roll out to every current Chromebook within days of their release, directly from Google and without any meddling along the way from manufacturers. So when you hear about a new Chrome OS version coming out, you can rest easy knowing it’ll reach your Chromebook quickly and reliably — no matter who made the thing.

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The content for this post was sourced from www.computerworld.com

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Slack touts ‘announcement channels’ for team update broadcasts

Slack touts ‘announcement channels’ for team update broadcasts

Slack admins can now designate any channel to be used for announcements only, a move aimed at minimizing distractions and ensuring that important information is communicated to workers.

While it’s already possible to limit posting in the default #general channel in Slack workspaces, the change unveiled today allows admins on Slack’s paid Plus and Enterprise Grid plans to restrict other channels as well. So, for instance, #it-announcements or #emea-announcements channels can be restricted to broadcasting information only.

The goal is to prevent employees from posting messages in channels intended for announcements (such as IT-related requests in an IT announcements channel), which can lead to other workers muting the channel and ignoring it completely. 

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The content for this post was sourced from www.computerworld.com

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Flying for business? Don’t take (some models) of 15-inch MacBook Pro

Flying for business? Don’t take (some models) of 15-inch MacBook Pro

This isn’t a good look. The Federal Aviation Authority has banned certain models of 15-inch MacBook Pros from flights due to a previously disclosed battery risk.

What’s happening?

It’s important to stress that not every MacBook Pro is affected, but models sold between mid-2015 to February 2017 are impacted.

These are the same Macs Apple issued a voluntary recall for earlier this year, warning that they may “contain a battery that may overheat and pose a fire safety risk”.

As part of the recall, Apple is offering free battery replacement for these models. You can check if your Mac is part of this recall on an Apple support page here.

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The content for this post was sourced from www.computerworld.com

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Windows 10’s fall upgrade: Yep, it’s a service pack

Windows 10’s fall upgrade: Yep, it’s a service pack

Microsoft last week tacitly confirmed that this year’s fall upgrade for Windows 10 will, in fact, be service pack-like, in effect a rerun of the May 2019 Update, aka Windows 10 1903

On Thursday, Microsoft delivered two previews to what it continues to call 19H2, a reference to the second-half upgrade in its twice-annual cadence for Windows 10. Some Insiders – the volunteer participants in the Windows 10 beta program – would get one build while others would get another.

The difference? “A subset of Insiders in the Slow ring will have features turned off by default, and another subset will have them turned on by default,” wrote Dona Sarkar and Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft employees and the public faces of Windows Insider. “We are testing the ability to ship these updates with features turned off by default so that we can then turn them on via controlled feature rollouts. This helps us gain better feedback on overall build quality.”

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The content for this post was sourced from www.computerworld.com

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Master data analytics and deep learning with this $35 Python certification bundle

Master data analytics and deep learning with this $35 Python certification bundle

Python is one of the easiest programming languages to learn, but mastering it allows you to build apps and games or even take advantage of neural networks for deep learning. But first, you’ll need to learn the basics of Python, and this $34.99 bundle has exactly what you need to do so.

The Complete Python Certification Bootcamp Bundle contains 12 courses on the different ways that Python is employed. If you’re new to Python and coding in general, the first course you should take is From 0 to 1: Learn Python Programming – Easy As Pie. This course will teach you how to write Python code, auto-generate spreadsheets with xlsxwriter, scrape websites with Beautiful Soup, and more. You can hone your skills even further with The Python Mega Course, which will teach you how to build real-world applications such as an interactive web-based financial chart.

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The content for this post was sourced from www.computerworld.com

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Is Windows pushing you to upgrade? Don’t be bullied. There’s a middle path.

Is Windows pushing you to upgrade? Don’t be bullied. There’s a middle path.

Microsoft’s in a full-court press to get folks running Win10 version 1803 to upgrade to version 1903. Ostensibly it’s because version 1803 patches will stop after Nov. 12, and the laggards still stuck on the “old” version — first declared suitable for business a scant year ago — need the enlightened, new 1903. Waiting for three or four months just won’t do. 

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The content for this post was sourced from www.computerworld.com

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Why blockchain-based voting could threaten democracy

Why blockchain-based voting could threaten democracy

Public tests of blockchain-based mobile voting are growing.

Even as there’s been an uptick in pilot projects, security experts warn that blockchain-based mobile voting technology is innately insecure and potentially a danger to democracy through “wholesale fraud” or “manipulation tactics.”

The topic of election security has been in the spotlight recently after Congress held classified briefings on U.S. cyber infrastructure to identify and defend against threats to the election system, especially after Russian interference was uncovered in the 2016 Presidential election.

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The content for this post was sourced from www.computerworld.com

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