All posts on September, 2017


Is wireless charging bad for your smartphone?

With Apple finally bringing native wireless charging to its iPhone lineup, the technology will become far more widely adopted, both among consumers and within corporations.

Apple chose to use the Qi specification, which uses inductive charging technology, for its iPhone 8 and iPhone X lineup of smartphones. Samsung committed to the same specification for its flagship Galaxy smartphones; in all, about 90 smartphone models use Qi today, making it the industry’s most popular among three standards. In addition to desktop charging stations (typically in the form of small charging pads), the automotive marketplace has also adopted in-cabin wireless charging.

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It’s time to install the September patches for Windows and Office

If you’ve already installed some (or all) of the September patches, you’ve watched a parade of problems pass by. The first stab at September’s Windows 10 Creators Update, version 1703, patch brought all sorts of problems to Edge — crashes, stalls and worse. It also brought some unlucky HP computer owners five to 10 minutes of black screens every time Windows restarted. Those problems were fixed earlier this week.

The Windows 8.1 patch made it impossible to log on with a Microsoft account. (I know, some of you think that’s a feature.) The Windows 7 patch made Internet Explorer sprout a new search box. We had a report of the Windows 7 patch breaking activation on certain Dell machines, but it appears that’s an isolated problem. The .NET Security and Quality Rollup makes certain custom images turn black. None of those bugs have fixes, but at least you’ll be prepared before installing the patch — and you’ll know where to look for problems.

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How to replace Edge as the default browser in Windows 10 — and why you should

Don’t like the Windows 10 Microsoft Edge browser? You’re not alone. Only 20% of all Windows 10 users ran Edge as their main browser as of August 2017, down from 24% a year earlier, reports Computerworld’s Gregg Keizer.

Still, that’s a lot of people running the browser, and many of them might run it only because Microsoft has made it the Windows 10 default. You might be one of them. There’s no doubt Edge has been an improvement over Internet Explorer. But it may not be improvement enough.

In this article, I’ll outline the reasons you may want to switch from Edge to Chrome, Firefox, Opera or another browser, and then show how you can replace Edge with any browser of your choice as your default.

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IDG Contributor Network: The virtual keyboard and the beginning of the end for physical user PC controls

The idea of a virtual keyboard isn’t new, we’ve had projection keyboards in market on and off for years, but they never sold well. But with the advent of Mixed Reality and, thanks to Smartphones, a far greater acceptance for buttons that don’t move, this concept of dumping the hardware for something else it is gaining momentum again. Microsoft, [Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author] just got a patent for a new type of virtual keyboard to be used in Mixed Reality that not only has the potential to end physical keyboards, but all physical input methods including Stylus and mice as well. 

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How your iPhone can save your life

Yesterday we learned that iPhones don’t have an FM chip inside them Apple can use to enable radio reception on its smartphones, but there are several ways mobile iOS handsets can save your bacon when disaster strikes.

On radio

Apple yesterday responded to calls that it should enable the FM radio chip the FTC said existed in iPhones.

The notion was that those who can’t get to a vehicle with a functioning radio, or who had lost all their possessions due to disaster may be able to access FM frequencies on their iPhone to help them survive.

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Online Entertainment

Google Assistant Goes to Work for Nvidia’s Shield TV

Nvidia on Thursday announced that its Shield TV now includes Google Assistant as part of its Shield Experience Upgrade 6.0 update. The update also lets the Shield device work as a SmartThings Hub when paired with a SmartThinks Link. The SmartThings Link, which can be used to connect Shield TV as a SmartThings Hub, will be released in the coming months with a promotional launch price of $14.99.

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Vendors

Digital Hub Returns

Digital Hub is not a new idea. It’s been percolating for a few years, and its roots can be traced to Dublin, Ireland, where in a cluster of eight buildings, there exists what might be the original hub. In Dublin, it’s made up of 97 companies employing 725 people, and it was given a jumpstart by the government in 2003. Elsewhere, we might be more attuned to the idea of a tech incubator.

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Informatica brings AI to GDPR compliance, data governance

Companies that are scrambling to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have a new tool to consider: Informatica’s Compliance Data Lake, unveiled this week at the Strata Data Conference in New York.

With the new software, Informatica is bringing machine learning to bear on compliance issues, aiming to give enterprises a comprehensive view of compliance-related data stored not only in geographically dispersed databases but also in email, social media, instant messages, financial transactions and non-traditional sources.

The idea is to provide more accurate compliance analytics and reporting to ensure and prove adherence to critical regulations like the GDPR.

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