Month: June 2018

Alexa Skill of the Week: Note Pad

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. This week’s skill: Note Pad Description: The Notes skill lets you dictate a note to Alexa, to be stored and read aloud at a later date. Real world use: Turning Alexa into a full-fledged dictation assistant has a lot of value, particularly when there’s certain pieces of information you’d like to store until later. This new skill allows you to do that. It gives Alexa the ability to record brief voice notes for you and later recall and read them back. Examples of things to...

Microsoft Releases Security Compliance Toolkit 1.0 for Windows 10 Baselines

The Microsoft Security Configuration Toolkit enables enterprise security administrators to effectively manage their enterprise’s Group Policy Objects (GPOs). Using the toolkit, administrators can compare their current GPOs with Microsoft-recommended GPO baselines or other baselines, edit them, store them in GPO backup file format, and apply them via a domain controller or inject them directly into testbed hosts to test their effects. This set of tools allows enterprise security administrators to download, analyze, test, edit and store Microsoft-recommended security configuration baselines for Windows and other Microsoft products, while comparing them against other security configurations. Download: Microsoft Security Compliance Toolkit 1.0   Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technic...

Tip: Turn an Existing Fire HD 10 or Fire HD 8 Tablet into an Echo Show

In addition to unveiling a Fire tablet bundle that includes a either a Fire Tablet HD 10 or  Fire Tablet HD 8 and the new Show Dock, Amazon has also made the new dock available for existing Fire tablet owners. The Show Dock allows Fire tablet owners to turn the devices into Alexa voice controlled powered devices similar to the Echo Show. Amazon has the Echo Show down to its lowest price of $150 right now. While Echo Show offers better speaker options than tablet with a Show Dock, the Echo Show’s screen is only 7-inches. A software update to existing Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 8 tablets is due on July 2, 2018 that will allow these tablets to take advantage of the new Show Dock that can be purchased and shipped separately from the bundle option. Both the bundle and the dock-only option sta...

Amazon Gives Kids Its 10-inch Tablet

Its a day of new Amazon gadget announcements. Earlier the company unveiled a new docking station for its Fire HD tablets that essentially turns them into Alexa-driven Echo Show devices. The Fire HD 10 is the company’s most current and best performing tablet. And, now the company is offering it in a kid-friendly version. Features: Up to $119 in savings on Fire HD 10 tablet, 1 year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, and a Kid-Proof Case, plus a 2-year worry-free guarantee. Not a toy, a full-featured Fire HD 10 tablet with a brilliant 10.1” 1080p Full HD display (1920 x 1200), 32 GB internal storage, and up to 10 hours of mixed-use battery life. Add a microSD card for up to 256 GB of expandable storage. The included 1 year of FreeTime Unlimited gives your kids access to 15,000 popular apps a...

Amazon Announces Show Mode Dock Bundle for Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 8 Tablets

Amazon today has unveiled a new gadget bundle that combines its Fire HD 10 tablet or its Fire HD 8 tablet with a dock that effectively turns each tablet into an Amazon Echo Show. Called the Show Mode Charging Dock, the bundle is available for pre-order and starts shipping on July 12, 2018. Here’s some preliminary information: Fire HD 8 is the next generation of our best-reviewed Fire tablet, with up to 12 hours of battery life, a vibrant 8″ HD display, a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, and Dolby Audio. The Fire HD 10 tablet features a brilliant 10.1″ 1080p Full HD display (1920 x 1200), up to 1.8 GHZ quad-core processor, 2 GB RAM, and up to 10 hours of battery life. Transform your tablet to an immersive, full-screen Alexa experience optimized for visibility ac...

Windows 10 Enterprise version 1803 Gets a Servicing Stack Update

In addition to a new Cumulative Update, Windows 10 1803 is also receiving a servicing stack update. The servicing stack includes the files and resources that are required to service a Windows image. This includes the Package Manager executable, the required servicing libraries, and other resources. The servicing stack is included in all Windows installations. More information: Servicing stack update for Windows 10, version 1803: June 26, 2018 Download the standalone package: http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/search.aspx?q=kb4338853 Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

Firefox and 1Password Get Have I Been Pwned Capability

Security industry maven, Troy Hunt, has now made the official announcement that his “Have I Been Pwned” service is being integrated into Firefox and 1Password. The capability allows the valuable service to reach more people. Troy says that his service has reached over 2 million people already, but through integration with Firefox and 1Password, the value of easily being able to find out if an online account has been compromised can reach the masses. These two integrations are only the beginning. Without giving away solid promises, Troy suggests that these two combinations are just the beginning and he is working with other benefactors. Full details, including how it works: We’re Baking Have I Been Pwned into Firefox and 1Password   Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense...

Amazon Adds Alexa Capability in the Actual Alexa App

Amazon has been adding the ability to use voice commands in its mobile apps for a while. But, surprisingly, its taken until now for the company to include this functionality in the app that customers use to actually control Alexa features – the Alexa mobile app. Now available, Alexa customers can now use the Alexa mobile app to tap and talk to enact Alexa’s features. The capability has been available for Android already, but the capability has now been added to iOS users. Just tap the big blue Alexa icon at the bottom of the app and start issuing commands. The first time the Alexa icon as tapped, the app will walk through a series of pages for information and to gain access required to function. This still does not go far enough for some users who want the ability to replace Si...

Microsoft Issues Another June CU for Windows 10 1803 with Lots of Fixes Including Reported RDP Problems

As it has done for months now, Microsoft continues to deliver additional cumulative updates for Windows 10 in response to issues introduced by the initial ones offered during Patch Tuesday. A new update is available today for Windows 10 1803 – OS Build 17134.137. The update is now is already delivering through Windows Update, but the standalone update is available from here: http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Search.aspx?q=KB4284848 Fix list: Addresses an issue that causes the Video Settings HDR streaming calibration slider to stop working. This is caused by a conflict with the panel brightness intensity settings configured by certain OEMs. Addresses streaming compatibility issues with certain live TV streaming content providers. Addresses an issue where media content previo...

Microsoft Redirecting Its Entire Bulk of Edge Chakra Documentation to the MDN Project Wiki

In another show of openness and support for an open Internet, Microsoft is redirecting its documentation content that exists on its newer docs.microsoft.com platform to the MDN Project community platform. Today the Microsoft Edge JavaScript engine, Chakra, joins the community-wide effort to make MDN web docs the web’s one-stop, premiere development reference, starting by redirecting all 500+ pages of Microsoft’s JavaScript API reference from docs.microsoft.com to their MDN counterparts and porting our legacy JS extensions reference for historical and servicing purposes. What is MDN Web Docs? MDN Web Docs is a wiki on which we document the open Web, Mozilla technologies, and other developer topics. Anyone is welcome to add and edit content. You don’t need to be a programmer or know a ...

Microsoft Press Stops Blogging About New Products and Promotions

Microsoft is discontinuing its Microsoft Press blog that is located at the MSDN domain. Moving forward, we will not be contributing content to this forum. Please visit www.MicrosoftPressStore.com to learn about our new products and promotions. The old blog location provided weekly deals information about technical books. Per the announcement, this will cease. For those that still want information on weekly deals, there is still an RSS feed available:  Deal of the Week RSS Microsoft Press’ days have been numbered for a while, with reports in 2017 that it would close up shop eventually. This may be another step in that direction. Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

Free eBook: ConfigMgr Driver Management Primer

A fast way for busy IT pros to get their ConfigMgr driver management under control. Written by Ami Casto, evangelist for Adaptiva and Community Track Chair for IT/Dev Connections 2018, this eBook covers the following: the best driver management strategy to employ which community tools to use how to get started   Keep in mind that even though this eBook is labeled as free, it does require that you give your contact information by filling out a form. You will probably be contacted by a representative of Adaptiva for marketing/sales purposes. Get it: ConfigMgr Driver Management Primer Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

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