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Month: March 2018

Amazon Adds Custom Address Books Feature to Alexa for Business

Alexa for Business allows companies to utilized Amazon Echo devices for a number of things, including dropping in to other devices in the office as a sort of whole office intercom system and utilizing the Calling feature for contacting clients, customers, and colleagues. Amazon has just released the ability to create custom Address Books that allow those in charge of configuring and managing the Shared Echo devices to make it easier for employees to reach common resource by name. For example, the IT administrator can  add frequently accessed phone numbers to address books, such as an IT helpdesk, or the facilities team, and make it easier for users to access these services. These Shared Echo devices can also be transported so that employees can access business resources from a hotel room o...

Late Breaking Microsoft Security Patch for Newly Discovered Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability in Windows

Microsoft has now released a new security update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1, and Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 customers. KB: 4100480: Windows kernel update for CVE-2018-1038 CVE-2018-1038: Windows Kernel Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability This update is intended to solve the issue that Microsoft introduced in January:  Microsoft’s January Meltdown Patch Introduced Something Far Worse Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

Microsoft Splits Features for Windows Server Editions and Removes HCI and SDDC from Semi-Annual Channel

In a post talking about how the company is splitting features, support and availability between different editions of Windows Server, Microsoft also has provided new details about how the Semi-Annual Channel pieces have fallen into place based on usage metrics… The Semi-Annual Channel releases will focus on modern application platform and other innovation scenarios such as containers and micro-services. While some infrastructure roles, such as Hyper-V, may be available, the full range of HCI and SDDC scenarios will be the focus of the LTSC channel and not the Semi-Annual Channel. Windows Server 2016, the latest LTSC release, is the recommended version today for Storage Spaces Direct and HCI scenarios. Customers interested in specific scenarios for Semi-Annual Channel and LTSC, should...

Free Book on ARM Templates for Microsoft Azure

If you’re wanting to get more practical knowledge on using ARM templates with Microsoft Azure, there’s a new book available called: Quick and Practical Guide to ARM Templates: Become Experts in Developing ARM Templates for Azure without any prior knowledge Description: This is an unconventional book. This is a quick and practical approach to learning ARM Templates for Microsoft Azure. It covers only the most essential topics that you will need 95% of the time while working with ARM Templates. The goal is to have you working faster and quicker on ARM Templates without compromising any of the best practices. The book assumes that you do not have prior knowledge of ARM Templates. Even if you have no development background this book is for you. It starts by building the fundamental...

Don’t Miss Out on Speaking at IT/Dev Connections 2018!

According to the good folks at IT/Dev Connections, the deadline for submitting to speak is April 3rd (this Monday!). I If you’ve been working on topic ideas, or squirreling away your abstracts and titles until you had more time – this weekend is it. They’ve been known to extend the submission deadline before, but that’s no guarantee. Speaking at IT/Dev Connections is an extremely prestigious affair that goes a long way to improve your professional profile and open up additional speaking, consulting, and authoring opportunities. Why? Because IT/Dev Connections is considered THE marquee technical conference for Cloud, Data, Development, and Security. If you speak at IT/Dev Connections, you’re immediately considered a top technical talent. Submit your session thi...

Alexa Skill of the Week: TuneIn Live

Each week, we take a look at new and important Alexa skills you might want to consider enabling for your Alexa device. Amazon continues to improve Alexa with its own updates, but skills are software components that allow Alexa users to extend functionality across all Alexa-enabled devices in use for very specific functions. Alexa is available for Amazon devices Echo, Echo 2, Dot, Tap, Echo Spot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, Echo Look, Echo Connect, Dash Wand, Amazon Cloud Cam, Fire tablets, and Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Edition TVs, in the Music app, but also on iOS, Android, and the web with Reverb.ai. This week’s skill: TuneIn Live Description: TuneIn Live brings you the best collection of live sports and news to your Alexa enabled device. Real world use: TuneIn is now delivering a premium offer ...

Microsoft Issues End of Month Out of Band Update for Windows 10 1607

As is the case with Windows 10 systems… Clark, its the gift that keeps on giving all month long. Customers talk about Patch Tuesday (the 2nd Tuesday of each month) as part of their patching planning and strategy, but anymore, Microsoft continues to release updates willy-nilly with no real planned schedule. Most of the updates are released only to solve issues introduced by early patches. Such is the case with this latest update for Windows 10 Version 1607 and Windows Server 2016. Addresses an issue that can cause operational degradation or a loss of environment because of connectivity issues in certain environment configurations after installing KB4088889 (released March 22, 2018) or KB4088787 (released March 13, 2018). Details: March 29, 2018—KB4096309 (OS Build 14393.2156) Looking ...

MyFitnessPal Gets Hacked, Tells Customers How to Protect Themselves

The Under Armour owned food tracking service, MyFitnessPal, was hacked in February of this year and is just now letting customers know. According to an email to customers, the service somehow was only notified themselves about the hack on March 25, 2018. On March 25, 2018, we became aware that during February of this year an unauthorized party acquired data associated with MyFitnessPal user accounts.  The service also notified customers about the type of information that was obtained by hackers: The affected information included usernames, email addresses, and hashed passwords – the majority with the hashing function called bcrypt used to secure passwords. Fortunately, for those that subscribe to the premium service, MyFitnessPal states that credit card information was not stolen bec...

Amazon Goes One Step Further, Says it Will Delete Your Music

We reported a couple months ago about Amazon’s intent to eliminate music storage on its platform. Now, the company is taking a further step to let customers know that any music it has stored will be deleted on April 30, 2018. Manage your Music Settings: https://www.amazon.com/music/settings Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

Apple Releases iOS 11.3 with Battery Management in Beta

Apple today is making iOS 11.3 available for applicable iPhones. Included in this release is the much anticipated fix for issues with older batteries that got the company in trouble when some in the media blamed Apple for purposely draining batteries to force customers to buy new devices. The update also includes security fixes. But, the battery fix comes in the form of an unfinished product called iPhone Battery Health (Beta). The iPhone Battery Health beta offers the following functions: Displays information on iPhone maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability Indicates if the performance management feature that dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns is on and includes the option to disable it Recommends if a battery needs to be replaced &nb...

Terry Myerson Issues His Farewell Post on LinkedIn

Earlier today, Satya Nadella’s email to employees announced that Terry Myerson is leaving Microsoft after 21 years of service. See: Terry Myerson Out as Microsoft Rethinks Windows Terry has volleyed back with a post of his own – this one on LinkedIn. The farewell post is a page turner – literally.  At around 13-15 pagedowns, Terry takes us through his 21 years at Microsoft that began and ended in a meeting with Bill Gates drinking Diet Coke. Terry is looking forward to some time off to catch up with family, learn piano, train for an Ironman, and have some unbusy moments before moving into the future. The post is a good one and reflects a bit on both Terry’s life at Microsoft and and how Terry affected Microsoft’s history. Full post: Thank you for 21 years, and...

Microsoft’s January Meltdown Patch Introduced Something Far Worse

If you haven’t patched this month, you may want to rethink your strategy and speed up the process a bit. According to Swedish researcher, Ulf Frisk, when Microsoft attempted to patch against the Meltdown vulnerability in January, it introduced a new vulnerability that could potentially be worse. Full details: Total Meltdown? Though the new vulnerability was exposed in January it took until this month (March 2018) for Microsoft fix the hole. Ulf says… Only Windows 7 x64 systems patched with the 2018-01 or 2018-02 patches are vulnerable. If your system isn’t patched since December 2017 or if it’s patched with the 2018-03 patches or later it will be secure. Other Windows versions – such as Windows 10 or 8.1 are completely secure with regards to this issue and hav...