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IBM launches global blockchain-based payments network

IBM today unveiled Blockchain World Wire, a real-time global payments network based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) for regulated financial firms.

The blockchain-based network will offer a new way for near real-time  cross-border payment exchange and international settlement. (The settlements can be done in five to 10 seconds.) The network is currently able to transfer funds to more than 50 countries using 47 digital coins backed by fiat currencies.

IBM claims its World Wire is the first blockchain network of its kind to integrate payment messaging and clearing and settlement on a single unified network while allowing participants to dynamically choose from a variety of digital assets for settlement.

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W-I-D-E area network

Pilot fish is working at the Washington headquarters of a federal bureau, one that may or may not do investigations, but one that definitely has offices all over the world.

Fish wants to print a document, but the color printer in his office area is out of toner, and none will be available until the next day.

So he opens the print manager, sees his printer in the list, and changes his print command to the next printer down. And he adds a page with his office room number, his phone number and his email, asking whoever finds the printout to contact him and let him know where to find the doc so he can pick it up. The next morning, there?s an email waiting for him: ?This is the Legal Attache Office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. When can we expect you to come pick up your printout??

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Microsoft OneDrive cheat sheet

Microsoft?s cloud storage service, OneDrive, can back up your personal and work files online. It?s built into Windows 10. With it you can sync files on your Windows 10 PC to the cloud and to your other Windows PCs, smartphone or tablet (with the OneDrive app for Android or iOS installed on either). It can even sync your cloud files to your Mac (via the OneDrive desktop app).

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(Insider Story)

Tech event calendar 2019: Upcoming shows, conferences and IT expos

Tech Events

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What to expect at WWDC 2019 - Pt 1

Apple has announced WWDC 2019 will take place in San Jose, California, in early June. What can we expect to see at the show?

What is WWDC?

Apple?s Worldwide Developer?s Conference (WWDC) is the company?s annual developer event at which its engineers speak with the company?s vast dev community, explain what?s new within its operating systems and provide deep insight into how its systems can be used to build third-party services and products.

WWDC 2019 is the thirtieth ever such event and is expected to host 6,000 people with thousands more watching news and talks from the show online.

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Echo chamber

Pilot fish gets a panicked phone call from the central control supervisor at a busy international airport. The VT420 dumb terminals are double-displaying every character typed, so that ?exit,? for example, is being displayed as ?eexxiitt.? Of course, when users hit Enter after typing ?exit,? they get an error message regarding the unknown command ?eexxiitt.?

The terminals are used to enter commands to do things such as starting up and shutting down the central control software ? thus the panic.

Fish takes a look and sees that there?s a setup menu that lets you control the behavior of the terminal. One of the menu options ? about three levels deep ? is ?Turn on Local Echo.? The sole purpose of Local Echo is to repeat each character typed on the keyboard.

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Windows 10 quick tips: Get the most out of Cortana

Microsoft's digital assistant Cortana is one of the major additions to Windows 10 ? and it's a winner. Turn it on and Cortana alerts you to upcoming meetings; searches your PC and the web; tells you about the weather, news, and sports; and a lot more.

To help you get the most out of Cortana, I've put together some of my favorite tips for using it ? including using Cortana to manage your Google Calendar, identify the music you're listening to, and track packages and flights.


  • This article assumes that you're already familiar with the basics of Cortana. If you want help getting started, see the Cortana section of Computerworld?s ?Windows 10 cheat sheet.?
  • Keep in mind that there have been six major updates to Windows 10 since its initial release in July 2015. This article reflects how Cortana works if you?ve installed the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809), so if you haven?t installed that update, what you see and read here may vary slightly from what you see in your version of Windows 10.

Get a direct answer to your question

When you ask Cortana a question, it will typically show you the answer via a listing of web links; you then open the search results in your browser. That's what happened, for example, when I asked, "What was the coldest day of the year in 2015 in Boston?"

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Windows 10 to automatically uninstall faulty monthly updates

The next iteration of Windows 10 will self-diagnose start-up failures and if necessary uninstall recent updates to get the PC up and running, Microsoft quietly announced in a support document earlier this week.

"If Windows detects that your machine cannot start up successfully, it will try to diagnose and resolve failures due to disk issues, system file corruption, invalid registry keys, or other such causes," the document said. "If all these steps are unsuccessful and your machine is still unable to start up properly, Windows will determine if the startup issue was introduced after recent driver or quality updates were installed. If so, these updates may be uninstalled automatically to get the device back to a workable state.

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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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Windows 10: A guide to the updates

The launch of a big Windows 10 update like the October 2018 Update isn?t the end of a process ? it?s really just the beginning. As soon as a major update is released, Microsoft quickly gets to work on improving it by fixing bugs, releasing security patches, and occasionally adding new features.

Here we?ve summarized what you need to know about every Windows 10 update being released to the public. First come updates to the currently shipping version of Windows 10 ? version 1809, known as the October 2018 Update ? with the most recent updates on top. (Note that the October 2018 Update is on a phased rollout, so you may not have received it yet.) Below that are updates to version 1803, known as the April 2018 Update; 1709, known as the Fall Creators Update; and finally updates to version 1703, known as the Creators Update. For each build, we?ve included the date of its initial release and a link to Microsoft?s announcement about it.

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Windows 10 Redstone: A guide to the Insider Preview builds

Microsoft never sleeps. Even before the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) started to roll out, the company began work on the next major update to Windows 10, due to be released next spring. As it did with the October 2018 Update, Microsoft has been releasing a series of public preview builds to members of Microsoft's Windows Insider Program.

After years of using "Redstone" in its code names, Microsoft is changing it up with the next release, which is code-named "19H1" (for 2019, first half) rather than "Redstone 6." What follows is a list of every preview build of Windows 10 19H1 that has been rolled out to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring, starting with the most recent. For each build, we've included the date of its release, a summary of what?s in the build and a link to Microsoft's announcement about it.

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Android Q's quietly important improvements

Oh, hey! Wouldja look at that? Android Q is here!

Well, sort of: The first Q developer preview ? apparently now being called a "beta" right out of the gate ? landed with a thump on these rusty ol' nets of inter Thursday afternoon. The software is far from finished, of course; this is merely an early peek at what Google's cookin' up for its next big Android version, provided mostly as a way for developers to get a head start at preparing for the release's actual arrival later this year (sometime between July and September).

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Apple has a right to charge for space in its digital malls

IDG Contributor Network: Hands-on with HoloLens 2: It?s even better than I thought!

[Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author.]

A couple of weeks back I wrote that HoloLens 2 was the beginning of a computer revolution. Last week I was able to spend some time with HoloLens 2 and I?m pleasantly surprised that the device was actually better than I thought it would be.

I?ve been involved with HoloLens since it was a targeted prototype for Lawrence Livermore Labs, where they pretty much had to assemble it on your head (and it was tethered)! Now it could actually be successfully deployed by someone other than an expert.

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Wrike: A flexible project management tool for the digital workplace

Wrike is a digital work management tool that lets users track and coordinate projects, combining a simple user experience and interface with enough depth for power users.

The software, created in 2006, is the brainchild of Write CEO Andrew Filev; at the time, he was in charge of a fast-growing consultancy business with a remote workforce. Wrike officially launched the following year. 

?Wrike was borne out of my frustration with having to manage multiple teams in a distributed environment and multiple projects - I had to do it via emails and spreadsheets,? Filev said. ?There was a need in the market to build a work management platform with world-class collaboration capabilities so that people can easily coordinate and prioritize and manage their work.?

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NEW AVG PC Tuneup 2014!