Apple is still selling very old and expensive computers – these are the ones you shouldn’t buy

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Apple is still selling you computers with 2013 specs for 2017 price tags.

While these computers will work fine, they have outdated specs that don’t warrant their high price tags. You should steer your wallet well clear of them.

I’ve listed the Apple computers you shouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole, and added suggestions of computers you should consider instead.

Some of these computers are part of Apple’s recent back-to-school promotion , where you can get a free pair of $300 Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones. Yet, even with the free pair of headphones, some computers aren’t worth your time or money.

[“Source-businessinsider”]

SQL Server 2016 heads for release, but Linux version is still under wraps

Linux version of SQL Server 2016 still under wraps

SQL Server 2016, Microsoft’s newest database software, is set to become available on June 1 along with a no-cost, developers-only version.

With its new features and revised product editions, Microsoft is determined to expand SQL Server appeal to the largest possible number of customers running in a range of environments. But there’s still no word on the promised SQL Server for Linux, a version of the popular database that Microsoft is hoping will open SQL Server to an entirely new audience.

A broader SQL Server market awaits

Much of what’s new in SQL Server 2016 is aimed at roughly two classes of users: those doing their data collection and storage in the cloud (or moving to the cloud) and those doing analytics work that benefits from being performed in-memory. Features like Stretch Database will appeal to the former, as SQL Server tables can be expanded incrementally into Microsoft Azure — a more appealing option than a disruptive all-or-nothing migration.

Big data features include expanded capabilities for the Hekaton in-memory functions introduced in SQL Server 2014, plus in-memory columnstore functions for real-time analytics. And SQL Server’s close integration with the R language tools that Microsoft recently acquired opens up the database to a range of new applications from a thriving software ecosystem.

The forthcoming Linux version of SQL Server, though, is how Microsoft really plans to expand to an untapped market. And not just Linux users, but a specific kind of Linux user: those who use Oracle on Linux but are tired of Oracle’s unpredictable licensing. Oracle has been trying to change its tune, but there’s a lot to be said for being able to run SQL Server without also needing to run Windows.

Which versions and when?

Two big questions still remain about SQL Server for Linux. The first is when will it see the light of day; Microsoft hasn’t provided a timeframe yet. (A Microsoft spokesperson could provide no new comment.)

The second is what its pricing and SKUs will look like; will the feature set match what’s available on Windows or will it be a stripped-down version? Microsoft has versions of SQL Server to match most any workload or budget, from the free-to-use Express edition to the full-blown Enterprise variety.

With SQL Server 2014 — and now with 2016 as well — the company introduced a free-to-use developer version of the Enterprise SKU intended solely for dev and testing work. It’s unclear whether SQL Server on Linux will also include a developer version or only include editions specifically for commercial use.

Whatever happens with SQL Server on Linux, Microsoft’s already making aggressive efforts to woo Oracle users into its camp. The company has a limited-time Oracle-to-SQL-Server migration offer, where Microsoft Software Assurance customers can swap Oracle licenses for SQL Server licenses at no cost. It’ll be intriguing if a similar offer pops up again after Microsoft releases SQL Server for Linux.

 

 
[Source:- Infoworld]

Upcoming Windows 10 update reduces spying, but Microsoft is still mum on which data it specifically collects

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There’s some good news for privacy-minded individuals who haven’t been fond of Microsoft’s data collection policy with Windows 10. When the upcoming Creators Update drops this spring, it will overhaul Microsoft’s data collection policies. Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group, has published a blog post with a list of the changes Microsoft will be making.

First, Microsoft has launched a new web-based privacy dashboard with the goal of giving people an easy, one-stop location for controlling how much data Microsoft collects. Your privacy dashboard has sections for Browse, Search, Location, and Cortana’s Notebook, each covering a different category of data MS might have received from your hardware. Personally, I keep the Digital Assistant side of Cortana permanently deactivated and already set telemetry to minimal, but if you haven’t taken those steps you can adjust how much data Microsoft keeps from this page.

Second, Microsoft is condensing its telemetry options. Currently, there are four options — Security, Basic, Enhanced, and Full. Most consumers only have access to three of these settings — Basic, Enhanced, and Full. The fourth, security, is reserved for Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education. Here’s how Microsoft describes each category:

Security: Information that’s required to help keep Windows, Windows Server, and System Center secure, including data about the Connected User Experience and Telemetry component settings, the Malicious Software Removal Tool, and Windows Defender.

Basic: Basic device info, including: quality-related data, app compatibility, app usage data, and data from the Security level.

Enhanced: Additional insights, including: how Windows, Windows Server, System Center, and apps are used, how they perform, advanced reliability data, and data from both the Basic and the Security levels.

Full: All data necessary to identify and help to fix problems, plus data from the Security, Basic, and Enhanced levels.

That’s the old system. Going forward, Microsoft is collapsing the number of telemetry levels to two. Here’s how Myerson describes the new “Basic” level:

[We’ve] further reduced the data collected at the Basic level. This includes data that is vital to the operation of Windows. We use this data to help keep Windows and apps secure, up-to-date, and running properly when you let Microsoft know the capabilities of your device, what is installed, and whether Windows is operating correctly. This option also includes basic error reporting back to Microsoft.

Windows 10 will also include an enhanced privacy section that will show during start-up and offer much better granularity over privacy settings. Currently, many of these controls are buried in various menus that you have to manually configure after installing the operating system.

It’s nice that Microsoft is cutting back on telemetry collection at the basic level. The problem is, as Stephen J Vaughn-Nichols writes, Microsoft is still collecting a creepy amount of information on “Full,” and it still defaults to sharing all this information with Cortana — which means Microsoft has data files on people it can be compelled to turn over by a warrant from an organization like the NSA or FBI. Given the recent expansion of the NSA’s powers, this information can now be shared with a variety of other agencies without filtering it first. And while Microsoft’s business model doesn’t directly depend on scraping and selling customer data the way Google does, the company is still gathering an unspecified amount of information. Full telemetry, for example, may “unintentionally include parts of a document you were using when a problem occurred.” Vaughn-Nichols isn’t thrilled about that idea, and neither am I.

The problem with Microsoft’s disclosure is it mostly doesn’t disclose. Even basic telemetry is described as “includes data that is vital to the operation of Windows.” Okay. But what does that mean?

I’m glad to see Microsoft taking steps towards restoring user privacy, but these are small steps that only modify policies around the edges. Until the company actually and meaningfully discloses what telemetry is collected under Basic settings and precisely what Full settings do and don’t send in the way of personally identifying information, the company isn’t explaining anything so much as it’s using vague terms and PR in place of a disclosure policy.

As I noted above, I’d recommend turning Cortana (the assistant) off. If you don’t want to do that, you should regularly review the information MS has collected about you and delete any items you don’t want to part of the company’s permanent record.

 

 

[Source:- Extremetech]

Ecuador earthquake death toll passes 400 with many still trapped

More than 300 aftershocks recorded and Spanish Red Cross says as many as 100,000 people may need assistance

People in Pedernales
People in Pedernales, one of the towns worst hit by the earthquake. Photograph: Rodrigo Buendia/AFP/Getty Images

The death toll from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Ecuador has risen to 413, and many survivors are believed to still be trapped inside collapsed buildings.

The government announced the updated toll on Monday night. The security minister, César Navas, said rescuers were continuing to search for victims and survivors.

More than 300 aftershocks have rattled Ecuador in the 36 hours since Saturday’s quake, some measuring as high as magnitude 6.1, according to the country’s Geophysics Institute.

Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, said citizens would pull together after the disaster. “The Ecuadorian spirit knows how to move forward, and will know how to overcome these very difficult moments,” he said.

Early on Monday, rescuers pulled three people from the rubble alive after they had spent more than 32 hours trapped in the ruins of a shopping centre in the city of Manta.

Firefighters cut a 70cm hole in concrete to pull out two women and a young man, who were rushed to a nearby hospital. A third woman remained trapped and was being given water while rescuers tried to lift a concrete slab pinning down her legs.

More than 2,500 people were injured in the disaster, which brought down housing blocks and air traffic control towers, buckled bridges and cracked pavements. In the coastal town of Chamanga, authorities estimated that more than 90% of homes had been damaged.

At least 100 of those killed in the quake were citizens of the regional capital Portoviejo. They included the Quinde family – a mother, father, teenage daughter and toddler son – killed when a four-storey hotel collapsed on their car.

The Quindes were en route to drop off Sayira, 17, for her first term at university, where she had won a scholarship to study medicine. “I never thought my life would be destroyed in a minute,” her aunt Johana Estupiñan told AP.

Few buildings in the city centre had escaped damage: some had lost a few bricks, but others had been reduced to rubble. “It looks like there’s been a war,” said Cesar Velasco, who works for a transport company.

At the Aki supermarket market, survivors stocked up on bottled water, juices, bread – and styrofoam plates to replace shattered crockery. Elsewhere in the provincial capital of 300,000, there were reports of looting as survivors stole clothing and shoes from shattered buildings.

On the road to Portoviejo, a steady stream of ambulances transported the critically injured from the region toward hospitals in Guayaquil, which is 130 miles away and not as severely affected by the earthquake.

At a girls’ school in Playa Prieta, six members of staff including a Northern Irish nun were killed when the building collapsed. Sister Clare, 33, from Derry, was a nun in the Home of the Mother order. Her family said they believed she had been trying to lead colleagues out of the school to safety when a stairwell collapsed.

“She was trying to get them down the stairs and the staircase collapsed. We knew she was trapped but information has been slow to come out,” her cousin Emmet Doyle said. “She died as she lived, helping others.”

Two Canadian citizens, mother and son Jennifer and Arthur Flawn from Quebec, were also among the dead, the family confirmed to Canada’s CTV News.

Warning of the continued risk of aftershocks, radio and television broadcasts recommended residents have a small backpack ready with water, tinned tuna and a flashlight near the door of their homes.

The Spanish Red Cross said as many as 100,000 people may need assistance in holiday towns and fishing villages in the more remote regions near the epicentre of the quake, where citizens have been sleeping outside among the ruins.

The charity said it estimated that 3,000 to 5,000 people needed temporary housing. About 800 volunteers and staff members with the Ecuadorian Red Cross were involved with search and rescue operations and helping provide first aid.

Spain has sent a military plane with 47 search and rescue experts and their five dogs to Ecuador, and it is expected to arrive in Guayaquil on Monday afternoon. Other rescue teams have flown in from Mexico and Colombia.

Local radio reported that two lorries filled with emergency supplies had been carjacked as they headed to the worst-affected areas.

[Source:- Gurdian]

Microsoft could still make Windows Phone a success and here’s how

It’s not a secret that Microsoft’s mobile efforts, currently called Windows 10 Mobile, are in trouble. With a 2.6% market share worldwide, falling sales, and not one single mention at Build, it’s easy to see why.

According to Terry Myerson, the head of Windows, the company’s mobile plans are not somewhere it wants to “lead” in 2016, and potentially beyond. Instead, Microsoft will focus on devices with screens between 9- and 30-inches, a category that Windows 10 caters to perfectly.

More than 270 million people are using Windows 10 across a range of devices and the improvements that Microsoft is making — especially around the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) — mean that the experience is getting better every day. Apps, like Uber or the New York Times, are arriving on Windows 10, plugging the “app gap,” a situation that has plagued the platform for years.

While there is still a long way to go, some of the positives from the UWP are even making their way to Windows phones. This won’t be enough to convince the majority of Android or iPhone owners to switch, but it could appeal to one key market: Businesses.

Essentially, Microsoft is becoming more and more of an enterprise company over a consumer company. It makes the majority of its revenues from selling services, like Azure, to big businesses and loses most of its money on selling Lumia handsets and other consumer stuff.

This strategy is fine because Microsoft makes so much money from enterprise, but the shift to enterprise is there nonetheless. Windows 10, for example, is being adopted at unprecedented rates by businesses and Azure is fast becoming a competitor to Amazon Web Services, which leads the cloud services industry.

For a business, Microsoft is an attractive partner because it provides the whole package. A chief technology officer can simply go to Microsoft and order a few servers, the software to run them, an Office subscription, and Windows licenses — and that’s it. Done.

However, companies are increasingly finding that this strategy has one key element missing: smartphones. Thanks to the rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), employees have been choosing their own smartphone which company IT departments then have to support. This is expensive, time-consuming, and ineffective at scale.

While Apple has been making overtures to companies and has partnered with IBM, there are still a host of Android phones — not to mention different versions of iOS that aren’t the latest — that companies must work with, build software for, and support generally.

Microsoft, up until now, has not been able to offer a compelling solution to this problem. While managing an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy is expensive, it does at least have all the apps a user could want. Windows, however, likely did not. With the introduction of the Universal Windows Platform and its subsequent adoption by developers, that changes.

650back1 Microsoft could still make Windows Phone a success and here's how

Features like Continuum, which can turn a Windows Phone into a desktop computer with a Microsoft-made dock, could appeal to businesses, especially with employees who are on-the-go but need the power of a computer. Neither Apple nor Google has anything like this — beyond a small amount of tie-in between OS X and iOS — and this, really, is Microsoft’s ace in the hole.

Elsewhere, the integration with Office that Microsoft has built into Windows Phone could also be appealing. While Apple and Google have support, Microsoft actually makes Office and the apps on Windows Phones integrate nicely, even with niche features.

Now, in 2016, Microsoft can offer the whole package: software, services, and a compelling smartphone experience that is cheap, easy to manage and works well with all the services Microsoft already offers.

Of course, winning enterprise — if “winning” is the right word — is nowhere near as lucrative as owning the consumer market, as Apple does, and it will likely never be a total Microsoft smackdown. But, it could be a way for the company to get something back from the resources, both in terms of time and money, it has spent on developing Windows Phone.

It may end up that Microsoft is not, in fact, interested in Windows Phone at all. The lack of mentions at Build 2016, for instance, was not a good sign at all. It may be that Satya Nadella has realised that the ship cannot be salvaged, a 2.6% marketshare cannot be overcome, and it is best just to let the platform die slowly and quietly.

Microsoft currently has a range of compelling software on iOS, Android, and Windows for desktop and so, in many ways, it doesn’t matter if Windows Phone lives or dies. But it would likely be nice for Microsoft to be able to turn around and prove the sceptics wrong, especially as there is a broad feeling that missing mobile was one of the company’s biggest mistakes.

The position that Microsoft is in is actually very fortunate, as Windows Phone’s success does not dictate whether the company ultimately lives or dies. Unlike Apple, which derives around 60% of its revenues from the iPhone, the mobile market is not a big factor for Redmond. (Which, it’s worth noting, means Microsoft has missed out on hundreds of billions of dollars.)

The progress Microsoft has made as a company — in terms of culture — and strategically as a business have been good under Nadella, but it would be nice to see Windows Phone, a long-term failed project, succeed and this may be a way for it to do that.

 

[Source:- Winbeta]