All posts on August, 2017


Don’t use Windows 10 to move data on your Android phone

When you attach your phone to a PC with a USB cable, you expect File Explorer to work the way it’s intended to work — copy, move, drag, drop and the like. As long as your PC is running Windows 7 or 8.1, that’s exactly what happens. But if you’re running Windows 10, watch out. You may end up deleting files.

Jörg Wirtgen on German-language site heise.de has a description of the problem. Here’s a translation, courtesy of DeepL:

Be careful with Android devices connected to a PC running Windows 10 via USB: harmless cleanup operations can cause photos and other files to be irretrievably lost. Almost all Android devices except the newer ones from Samsung are affected.

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Audio/Video

Alexa Can Make Music Echo All Through the House

Alexa has a new musical talent, Amazon announced Tuesday. “Today, we’re making Alexa even smarter with an all-new feature that lets you play music synchronized on multiple Echo devices to provide room-filling music throughout your home,” said Amazon Alexa Vice President Toni Reid. Setting up the syncing is easy. Using the Alexa app, you give a group of devices a name, such as “first floor.”

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Microsoft patch alert: Outstanding problems with recent updates

August has seen a flurry of buggy patches:

Win10 1607 – KB 4033637, which arrived last Friday via Auto Update, was documented early Thursday morning. It’s an update to the Compatibility Appraiser, to make it easier for Microsoft to upgrade your version of Windows.

 

Win10 1507 and 1511 – KB 4033631 remains undocumented and was similarly pushed thru Auto Update (on Friday?). It’s also likely an update to the Compatibility Appraiser.

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Six days late, Microsoft reveals the meaning of mystery patch KB 4033637

Last Friday, Microsoft pushed a patch down the Automatic Update chute. Like so many patches before it, KB 4033637 was completely undocumented. Those running Win10 1607 who hadn’t taken steps to block forced patches found they had a newly revised program running on their systems — and nobody had any idea what the patch actually did.

Informed conjecture said it was an update to the Compatibility Appraiser, to help Microsoft upgrade machines to newer versions of Windows. Other guesses were all over the map. On Reddit, a poster relates how he called Microsoft and was told that it’s a hush-hush security patch for Flash. Microsoft’s own Answers Forum is littered with posts blaming KB 4033637 for system freezes, second screen problems, installation hangs and more.

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Users review the top cloud data integration tools

As the world of cloud computing becomes more globalized, IT professionals need multiple levels of security and transparency to manage cloud relationships. Using a cloud data integration solution, an enterprise can configure a number of disparate application programs sharing data in a diverse network, including cloud-based data repositories. This allows enterprise tech professionals to manage, monitor and cleanse data from various web-based and mobile applications more effectively.

IT Central Station users have identified agile data transformation, a clear, customizable dashboard and efficient data replication as valuable features when looking for a cloud data integration solution. According to their reviews, the IT Central Station community has ranked Informatica Cloud Data Integration, Dell Boomi AtomSphere,  IBM App Connect and SnapLogic as leading cloud data integration solutions in the market.

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What’s new in TypeScript 2.5

TypeScript 2.5, the upcoming upgrade to Microsoft’s popular typed superset of JavaScript, is now available as a release candidate. It includes an enhancement for try/catch statements for errors as well as compiler improvements.

The catch binding parameters capability in TypeScript 2.5 uses a late-stage ECMAScript feature to make catch binding optional in try/catch statements. Making catch binding optional “means we can just omit unusedError altogether,” said Daniel Rosenwasser, Microsoft’s program manager for TypeScript. The reason for that is there are times when developers expect something might fail by throwing an error, but the developer does not care what the error is.

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Deals

Apple, Accenture Team on iOS Enterprise Apps

Apple and Accenture on Tuesday announced a new partnership to develop iOS tools and services to help enterprises connect with their customers through iPads and iPhones. Accenture will create a dedicated iOS practice within Accenture Digital Studios, staffed by a range of visual and experience designers, programmers, data scientists and architects, as well as hardware and software designers.

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Customer Service

Rise in Mobile Commerce Fuels Demand for Omnichannel Service

Omnichannel support and communications are becoming essential for brands, as consumers’ increasing use of mobile devices to make purchases and access content fuels their demand to be able to connect with companies when and how they want. However, brands lack the necessary expertise and infrastructure, and are turning to mobile network operators, or MNOs, to acquire omnichannel capabilities.

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Microsoft linker tool shrinks .Net applications

A long-requested and long-unfulfilled feature for .Net has finally been delivered by Microsoft and the Mono team: A linker that allows .Net applications to be stripped down to include only the parts of libraries that are actually used by the program at runtime.

The IL Linker project works by analyzing a .Net application and determining which libraries are never called by the application in question. “It is effectively an application-specific dead code analysis,” says Microsoft in its GitHub announcement for the project.

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Enterprise

Too Few Candidates to Fill Growing Number of Open Source Jobs

Open source hiring has been hampered by a lack of trained job-takers, according to The Linux Foundation, which released its sixth annual summary of career opportunities in open source last week. The report provides an overview of open source career trends, along with factors that motivate industry professionals, and methods employers use to attract and retain qualified talent.

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Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa agree to talk to each other, but no one cares

Bots that talk to each other — there’s a big headline. Or is it?

For most of us, the Amazon Alexa bot became a way of life over the last year. I use the Echo speaker on my desk. I have a Dot speaker in two bedrooms of my house. I’ve used Alexa on my phone many times, and I’ve tested it on pre-production cars. It’s connected into my home security system. It can read books from Audible.com, and it tells pretty good jokes (at least they are better than some jokes by humans).

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