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October 29th, 2016:

Windows 10 – New features for Creators Update as of OCT 2016

Network World shares an informative slide show of 11 innovative features found in Creators Update for 2017

There’s a new music app coming, a revamped Windows Defender, and more

Microsoft showed off a handful of marquee features for next year’s Windows 10 update on Wednesday, but the company sneakily hid 11 more new releases in its sizzle reel preview of the Creators Update. There’s a lot packed in there, including a new app plus changes to Edge, Maps, Windows Defender, and more.  The company declined to comment when asked about these features, and the video makes clear that they may change or disappear before the update launches this Spring. Fair warning.

Leadership – Needed verses Novel Changes for personal growth

John Maxwell shares that we need to focus on the exciting changes, as well as the harder ones needed for personal growth as a leader.

From the day you are born until the day you die, there is one constant throughout your life: CHANGE. From your physical appearance to your intelligence, from your emotional awareness to your spiritual well-being, you are constantly in a state of flux. You are changing. There are, however, changes you do have control over. They are in areas like relationships, passions, and work.

There are two types of changes a person can make when it comes to relationships, work, or passion. In fact, the same two types of change are present in almost any area where you have some say in the process. The two types of change are novel and needed.

1. NOVEL CHANGE — A novel change is distinctive, and it brings a fresh energy. It creates a sense of value and momentum. It gets us excited and invested in the outcome. It can sometimes seem like it came out of nowhere. Novel change, however, is not always necessary. In fact, sometimes it’s just change for its own sake.

2. NEEDED CHANGE — Needed change is often viewed as the lesser cousin of novel change. Needed change isn’t always sexy, or unique. It rarely generates excitement or energy. It often feels gradual, or even tedious. Because it’s necessary, it can feel like an obligation or a reaction. In fact, needed change is vastly under-appreciated in part because it’s needed!

You can’t avoid change. No matter how hard you try, tomorrow will always be different from today. But you can focus your energy on making the needed changes that produce the novel results. By making those changes consistently, day after day, you can be better today than you were yesterday, and better the next day, and the day after that.

Cybersecurity – US lawmakers evaluate ways to prevent attacks OCT 2016

Congress and technology companies are evaluating new laws, controls, and preventative measures to improve internet safety in light of recent attacks

In addition to law enforcement, Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, who joined Republican Cory Gardner of Colorado over the summer in forming the bipartisan Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, wants answers and issued a statement calling for better protections. Warner called on three federal agencies — the FCC, FTC and Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) — to provide information on the tools available and needed to prevent attacks from flaws in consumer devices and IoT components including IP-based cameras, connected thermostats and other products that that have connectivity. An FCC spokesman said the agency is still reviewing Warner’s letter.

In his letter to FCC Chairman Wheeler, he questioned what can be done about the fact that consumers aren’t likely to change passwords in their IoT devices (and if it’s even an option). One implication was perhaps mandating improved software that enables automatic firmware updates. Warner also questioned the feasibility of enabling ISPs “to designate insecure network devices as ‘insecure’ and thereby deny them connections to their networks, including by refraining from assigning devices IP addresses? Would such practices require refactoring of router software, and if so, does this complicate the feasibility of such an approach?”

Morey Haber, VP of Technology at BeyondTrust, in a blog post earlier this week, called on Congress to come up with legislation that would put security requirements on all IoT devices. Haber believes the legislation should put the following requirements and restrictions on all IoT and Internet-connected devices:

*** Internet-connected devices should not ship with common default passwords
*** Default administrative passwords for each device should be randomized and unique per device
*** Changing of the default password is required before the device can be activated
*** The default password can only be restored by physically accessing the device
*** The devices cannot have any administrative backdoors or hidden accounts and passwords
*** The firmware (or the operating system) of the device must allow for updates
*** Critical security vulnerabilities identified on the device for at least three years after last date of manufacturer must be patched within 90 days of public disclosure
*** Devices that represent a security risk that are not mitigated or fail to meet the requirements above can be subject to a recall

Leadership – Team members improve on step-by-step basis

John Maxwell notes that success or improvements to team members do not come all at once.  But it is based on experience and personal growth that is more inch-by-inch in nature.

One of the most stunning buildings in the world stands in the middle of the New York City skyline. At 1,776 feet tall, it draws people from all over the world to remind them of the tireless spirit of the American people. It is One World Trade Center, and it grew from the ashes of the fallen Twin Towers.  But as amazing as One World Trade Center is, it’s still not the most important building in the world. For all of the spirit and hope that went into its construction, there are millions – billions – of buildings around the world that are more important.

The buildings I’m talking about are you and me. Everyday ordinary people.  My friend, you may not think about it this way, but your life is being built one day at a time. Your character is your foundation and your talents the raw materials. Your relationships provide the labor for building you up. And the choices you make on a daily basis determine how high you rise or how far you fall.

That’s why I’m so passionate about helping you live your life with purpose. I believe the world needs you to build a life that will stand the test of time, a life of significance and impact that will inspire and ignite generations to come. You have that potential within you if you’ll discipline yourself to unlock it.  There is no building more important than the life you are constructing little by little each and every day of your life. Not the Eiffel Tower, not One World Trade Center, not even the White House or the Colosseum in Rome. The world’s most important building is the life you and I choose to build. Let’s build wisely.

Mozilla Firefox – Project Quantum to support multicore CPU processing

Mozilla has announced Project Quantum to support multi-core CPU processing for the future generation of devices

Mozilla is developing a next-generation Web engine, dubbed Project Quantum. For the uninitiated, a Web engine basically runs all the content you receive as you surf the Web. Most browsers today are still built for a single-core world, where CPUs could only process commands in a single stream and do just one thing at a time. But modern phones, tablets, and laptops have more sophisticated processors — with two, four, or even more cores. Mozilla plans to tap into the full processing power of these modern devices.

“Quantum is all about making extensive use of parallelism and fully exploiting modern hardware,” Mozilla Head of Platform Engineering David Bryant wrote in a blog post. “The resulting engine will power a fast and smooth user experience on both mobile and desktop operating systems — creating a ‘quantum leap’ in performance.” If all goes according to plan, Bryant said the performance improvements will be so noticeable that “your entire web experience will feel different.”

Internet Security – 75 percent of access by mobile devices in 2017

Mobile devices are now more of a security target than ever — as online activiy moves away from traditional PC and laptop computing

Seventy-five percent of internet use will be mobile in 2017, up slightly from this year, as a growing number of consumers around the world access the web on smartphones and tablets, media buying agency Zenith forecast this week.  Zenith previously estimated that 71 percent of internet consumption would be mobile in 2016. Sixty percent of global internet advertising dollars will come from mobile advertising in 2018, Zenith said, following the release of its “Mobile Advertising Forecasts” report on Thursday.  Mobile advertising expenditure in 2018 will total $134 billion, which “is more than will be spent on newspaper, magazine, cinema and outdoor advertising put together,” it said.

Apple Mac Pro – New Thunderbolt design uses USB-C only

Future devices are using newer hardware standards and some will no longer easily support older devices, as laptop technology further evolves

Someday we’ll live in a truly wireless future, where everything is interconnected. Speeds will be so fast — 5G and WiGig — and the chipsets so cheap and plentiful that everything from your coffee maker to your garage door opener will have them embedded by default. Even your charging cable may go away, when and if we ever get a single wireless charging standard. In the meantime: you’ve got cables and wires. Lots of them. And they all probably fit into a different-shaped port.

That’s the world that Apple’s new MacBook Pros are coming into. Ironically, after pulling the headphone jack from its iPhone 7, Apple left it in its new laptops. But aside from that old-fashioned 3.5mm jack, the only connector you’ll find on Apple’s latest and greatest laptops is USB-C. Depending on which model you choose, you get two or four of the tiny ports, all of which offer the Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth and connectivity.

Apple’s full-on embrace of Thunderbolt 3 is great. Thunderbolt 3 is extremely fast and versatile and really is the connection port of the future. On the other hand, we’re still living in a present where port standards like HDMI, the SD card slot, and especially regular old USB-A ports — those rectangular ones that have been around for 20 years or so — are still widely used by the vast majority of devices.

Web Security – New hacking tools and IOT devices can bring down sites

Some of the new “smart devices” in IOT family were used to cause massive website outages recently.  IOT Security will likely be improved in future to prevent or reduce impacts.

The bad news? Hackers also have new tools to take those sites down. Friday morning, Dyn, a New Hampshire company that hosts critical portions of the internet’s infrastructure, was hit with so much traffic that its servers were overwhelmed. The attack caused sporadic disruptions at sites like Twitter, Reddit and The New York Times.

It is too early to say who did it. But security experts are concerned about how they did it: using a vast, co-opted collection of internet-connected devices, like cameras and perhaps even baby monitors, in what is called a distributed denial-of-service attack. Experts have been warning for some time that everyday objects with internet connections, the so-called internet of things (IOT), could be used in such an attack

Home Technology — Tesla improves solar capabilities with Powerwall 2

Tesla is pilot testing solar powered innovations that may show up in future homes

To the surprise of everyone gathered on the Universal lot, each of the four set homes had been outfitted with solar roofs, which are made up of glass tiles that are embedded with solar cells. They had been redone over the course of two weeks, and according to Musk, will probably be functional enough to run.

From the street it’s hard to tell that these are solar roofs at all, since panels tend to be bulky and unsightly. However, the roofs—which will be installed by Tesla and SolarCity starting in the summer of next year—come in four different styles (Textured Glass Tile, Slate Glass Tile, Tuscan Glass Tile, and Smooth Glass Tile). They were designed, according to Musk, with aesthetics as a priority. It was important to make solar roofs as “appealing as electric cars,” he said, which was one of the concerns surrounding the commercial viability of the product.

During the day, the tiles will collect sunlight and store the energy inside the Powerwall 2, the latest generation of the product, which was also on display at the event. The Powerwall is a lithium-ion battery for homes that can consume power and store it in case of emergency and when the sun isn’t shining. The Powerwalls can be mounted on walls and could potentially replace generators in a few decades.