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RightScale 2018 State of the Cloud Report Uncovers Cloud Adoption Trends

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RightScale Inc., a demonstrated leader in enterprise universal cloud management, today announced the results of the RightScale 2018 State of the… Read more at VMblog.com.

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Robots had their own skiing competition at the Winter Olympics

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The Olympics aren't just an event for the most talented athletes to strut their stuff on the world's stage. No, The Games are where robots can find honest work and leisure, too. Some 85 robots (spread across 11 different models, humanoid and otherwis…

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MIT’s low power encryption chip could make IoT devices more secure

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The Internet of Things hasn't ever been super secure. Hacked smart devices have been blamed for web blackouts, broken internet, spam and phishing attempts and, of course, the coming smart-thing apocalypse. One of the reasons that we haven't seen the…

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While Western Union wired customers’ money, hackers transferred their personal info

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Outside storage outfit blamed for data leak blunder

Western Union has confirmed one of its IT suppliers was hacked, and that customer information was exposed to miscreants.…

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Reverse Engineering A Bitcoin Miner

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If you’re brave enough to have dipped your toes into the Wild West that is cryptocurrency, you probably know that people have long since abandoned trying to mine on their desktop computers. Farms of GPUs are all the rage now, but dedicated mining hardware has also enjoyed a following among those who are serious about their fictitious money. The state-of-the-art for such devices is moving just as rapidly as cryptocurrency itself is, which means older mining gear can now be picked up fairly cheap on the second-hand market. This is an excellent opportunity for those who want to experiment with this type of hardware and potentially utilize it for some other purpose, but first you’ve got to figure out how the thing works.

To that end, [Tomasz Wątorowski] wrote in to the tip line to tell us about the progress he’s made reverse engineering the control protocol for the Antminer S1. As is often the case, the documentation didn’t have all the details he needed, but it did have a schematic of the BM1380 chip at the heart of the device.

< class="wp-caption alignright" id="attachment_294104">< class="wp-caption-text">Performance of the Antminer S1 controlled via UART

The Antminer S1 contains 64 BM1380 chips on an internal UART bus. With the information from the schematic, [Tomasz] was able to tap into this UART bus with a USB adapter and start listening in on the conversation. He compiled a collection of commands and learned enough to be dangerous (which is always the goal here at Hackaday).

For example, he found that the could set the frequency of the BM1380 as high as he wished without any consideration for thermal overload. This could potentially allow somebody to run  the hardware to the point of destruction, à la Stuxnet.

Once he figured out how to give the hardware hashes to work on over the UART interface, he setup a little head-to-head competition between the software he wrote to command the Antminer S1 and the official control software. No drop in performance was found between his software and the real deal, which sounds like a win in our book.

Even if he can’t improve on the performance of this particular piece of outdated mining hardware, it still beats doing it by hand on a piece of paper.

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Updates for Planner but No Sign of Guest Access

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Office 365 with Teams

Office 365 with Teams

Planner Pushes Forward

Planner, the Office 365 app to organize tasks for teams (but definitely not as well as Microsoft Project) received a set of welcome changes recently. The upside is that Microsoft is delivering on the commitments they made at Ignite last September to improve Planner. The downside is that Planner still does not support access to plans for users outside an Office 365 tenant, something that the app needs to support guest access in Teams and Office 365 Groups.

Slow Progress

I like Planner and use it to organize the work for different projects, including the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. It is a frustrating app because Microsoft does not appear to give Planner the same loving care as other parts of Office 365 receive.

Teams is out on its own in this respect as new features pop up in it every couple of weeks. Office 365 Groups does things differently by keeping interesting new features in preview for months, perhaps because Microsoft needs space to figure out the licensing rules.

Planner plods on with new features showing up once in a blue moon. It’s not as if Planner is complicated, or that it has multiple clients (just browser and mobile). The lack of progress is puzzling and has been a disappointment over the twenty-odd months of Planner’s existence.

Schedule View

But now we have a schedule view, a welcome addition to the paltry charting capabilities in Planner to date. People use schedule views all the time with Outlook to organize personal and team commitments, so it is surprising that it has taken so long for Microsoft to introduce the same view to Planner.

It is not that the schedule view establishes a new high mark in the state of calendaring representation. The view is basic and perfectly usable because it looks as if it was lifted out of OWA (Figure 1). Well, lifted while leaving some functionality behind, like being able to assign categories (colors) to different tasks. The only visual sign that something is happening with a task is an icon showing if it is progress (an example is in the top task listed for February 14).

Planner Filter View

Figure 1: Tasks for a plan shown in Planner’s schedule view (image credit: Tony Redmond)

Filters

As anyone who has a busy calendar knows, it is all too easy to be overwhelmed with a packed schedule. To help, Planner now supports the ability to filter tasks so that you can focus on specific categories by suppressing the display of stuff you don’t want to see.

Some filters are date-based, such as tasks that are late or due today. Others use the labels that you can assign to tasks, like the “Critical Path” label shown in Figure 2. And you can also filter tasks assigned to members of the team.

Planner Filters

Figure 2: Filtering tasks with Planner (image credit: Tony Redmond)

There’s not much you can say about filters because they either work or they don’t. In this case, they do, and Planner covers all the major ways to filter tasks.

Notifications

Next up, we have some new notifications. Bizarrely, Microsoft omitted notifications for Planner up to now. Part of task management is reminding people to get assigned work done. Given that Office 365 knows about tasks and has more than enough ways to remind people, I do not know why Planner has not been able to send email to flag tasks due soon, which is what we now have.

To access the notifications setting (which is personal to a user), click the cogwheel (settings) icon and select Notifications (Figure 3). These settings are separate to the notification settings for the team.

Planner Notifications

Figure 3: Personal task notifications (image credit: Tony Redmond)

Teams are Missing

What’s missing from notifications is the ability to flag a task through the Teams activity feed. Some tenants are likely to prefer seeing these notifications in Teams, especially if they are trying to transfer some workload from email to Teams or prefer to access Planner through links to plans set up as channel tabs.

The good news is that Microsoft made the commitment to bring Planner notifications to Teams at Ignite, so it is likely coming soon. Figure 4 shows how I use Planner to track Microsoft’s progress against commitments. As you can see, they are getting there. Slowly.

Planner Progress

Figure 4: The progress of Planner (image credit: Tony Redmond)

Sponsored

Next Steps for Planner

Microsoft’s blog post makes no mention of guest access, but I hope that is the next big thing we see in Planner. So many plans involve external experts, and Planner really suffers through this lack. In the meantime, Microsoft says that Planner will soon be able to publish tasks through an iCalendar feed, meaning that tasks can be picked up in personal Outlook calendars. That capability is “coming soon.”

I continue to like Planner. I would use it more if the app was more functional, but it does seem to be squeezed inside Office 365 by Outlook tasks and To-Do at the bottom end and by Microsoft Project at the top end. It must be hard to figure out what feature goes where when you have so many competing demands…

Follow Tony on Twitter @12Knocksinna.

Want to know more about how to manage Office 365? Find what you need to know in “Office 365 for IT Pros”, the most comprehensive eBook covering all aspects of Office 365. Available in PDF and EPUB formats (suitable for iBooks) or for Amazon Kindle.

The post Updates for Planner but No Sign of Guest Access appeared first on Petri.

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Embark’s self-driving truck completes 2,400 mile cross-U.S. trip

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Embark’s autonomous trucking solution just demonstrated what it could be capable of in a big way: It make a coast-to-coast trip from L.A. to Jacksonville, Florida, driving 2,400 miles and delivering refrigerators for Electrolux from one end of the U.S. to the other.
This follows Embark‘s prior test route, which ran from L.A. to El Paso, and covers more than four times the distance of that initial path. Embark did the new… distance… Read More

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cloneapp (1.20.812)

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CloneApp enables easy backup of all your app settings from Windows directories and Registry.

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I see you’re writing a résumé?!.. LinkedIn parked in MS Word

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It’s so unreal, didn’t look out below. Watch the time go right out the Windows

Microsoft has glued LinkedIn and Office 365’s Word together so it can automatically help folks write or update their résumés – and find them new jobs at the same time.…

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Brad Dickinson | Honeywell will let other companies tap into its quantum computer

Honeywell will let other companies tap into its quantum computer

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Honeywell's quantum computer is now commercially available after it was first announced in March. The company, best known in the US for making thermostats, says enterprise customers can access the machine either directly through one of its own interf…