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World IT news:
04/24/2019 10:45 PM
The best laptops: Premium laptops, cheap laptops, 2-in-1s, and more

The laptop world is a-changing. New CPUs and GPUs—yes, mobile discrete GPUs—are bringing forth laptops that are thinner, lighter, and faster than ever, even gaming laptops. And the advances keep coming: After a busy round of CES announcements in January, Intel and Nvidia have welcomed spring with yet another round of products: the 9th generation of Core mobile processors, and mobile GeForce GTX 1650 and 1660 Ti graphics. Acer, Asus, Dell, Razer, and more companies are jumping on this bandwagon, so stay tuned for new models we bring in for review. 

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04/24/2019 10:30 PM
IoT roundup: VMware, Nokia beef up their IoT,

When attempting to understand the world of IoT, it’s easy to get sidetracked by all the fascinating use cases: Automated oil and gas platforms! Connected pet feeders! Internet-enabled toilets! (Is “the Internet of Toilets” a thing yet?) But the most important IoT trend to follow may be the way that major tech vendors are vying to make large portions of the market their own.

VMware’s play for a significant chunk of the IoT market is called Pulse IoT Center, and the company released version 2.0 of it this week. It follows the pattern set by other big companies getting into IoT: Leveraging their existing technological strengths and applying them to the messier, more heterodox networking environment that IoT represents.

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04/24/2019 08:06 PM
Cisco: DNSpionage attack adds new tools, morphs tactics

The group behind the Domain Name System attacks known as DNSpionage have upped their dark actions with new tools and malware to focus their attacks and better hide their activities. 

Cisco Talos security researchers, who discovered DNSpionage in November, this week warned of new exploits and capabilities of the nefarious campaign.

“The threat actor's ongoing development of DNSpionage malware shows that the attacker continues to find new ways to avoid detection. DNS tunneling is a popular method of exfiltration for some actors and recent examples of DNSpionage show that we must ensure DNS is monitored as closely as an organization's normal proxy or weblogs,” Talos wrote.   “DNS is essentially the phonebook of the internet, and when it is tampered with, it becomes difficult for anyone to discern whether what they are seeing online is legitimate.”

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04/24/2019 06:39 PM
Office 365: A guide to the updates

Office 365 subscribers always have the latest version of Microsoft Office — currently Office 2016. They also get more frequent software updates than those who have purchased Office 2016 without a subscription, which means subscribers have access to the latest features, security patches and bug fixes. But it can be hard to keep track of the changes in each update and know when they’re available. We’re doing this for you, so you don’t have to.

Following are key updates to Office 365 for Windows since Office 2016 was released in September 2015 — all the 2017 updates and the most important ones from 2016 and late 2015, with the latest releases shown first. We’ll add info about new updates as they’re rolled out.

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04/24/2019 06:00 PM
Delta Lake gives Apache Spark data sets new powers

Databricks, the company founded by the original developers of Apache Spark, has released Delta Lake, an open source storage layer for Spark that provides ACID transactions and other data-management functions for machine learning and other big data work.

Many kinds of data work need features like ACID transactions or schema enforcement for consistency, metadata management for security, and the ability to work with discrete versions of data. Features like those don’t come standard with every data source out there, so Delta Lake provides those features for any Spark DataFrame data source.

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