Thurrott Daily: January 20

Posted on January 20, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Dev, Hardware, iOS, Windows Phones with 0

Thurrott Daily: January 20

We only got 4-inches of snow the other day, but I finally got to take Plowzilla out for a spin.

It’s going to be a busy day, it seems. Here are some tidbits from around the web to get you started. I’ll have more later today.

1/20/2016 5:27:11 PM

OK, much later today.

These passwords suck

As it does every year, SplashData has just released its list of the worst passwords of 2015. And they are terrible:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. 12345
  6. 123456789
  7. football
  8. 1234
  9. 1234567
  10. baseball
  11. welcome
  12. 1234567890
  13. abc123
  14. 111111
  15. 1qaz2wsx
  16. dragon
  17. master
  18. monkey
  19. letmein
  20. login (New to 2015!)
  21. princess (New to 2015!)
  22. qwertyuiop (New to 2015!)
  23. solo (New to 2015!)
  24. passw0rd (New to 2015!)
  25. starwars (New to 2015!)

“Despite PC doldrums, AMD slightly beats Wall Street’s expectations for Q4”

Advanced Micro Devices reported earnings that slightly beat Wall Street’s expectations for its fourth-quarter earnings. But the company continues to lose money and struggle with tough competition from Intel, the world’s biggest chip maker, and declining sales of PCs.

Those are some low expectations.

1/20/2016 9:08:30 AM

OneDrive and Wunderlist for iOS are both updated

I noticed on my iPhone 6S Plus last night that OneDrive had been updated to version 6.8. Here’s what’s new.

  • Your lines have never looked so smooth! PDF annotations are now pressure sensitive, including support for Apple Pencil and 3D Touch displays.
  • Plenty of bug fixes and stability improvements.

Semi-related to this, Microsoft’s Wunderlist app for iOS was updated a few days back as well, to version 3.4.1.

  • New: No your eyes aren’t deceiving you, we really are looking prettier today–thanks for noticing. Our brand new look has come to your iPhone and iPad. Your lists are even easier to see at a glance and we’ve streamlined the Detail View, to help make adding Reminders, Subtasks and Notes even faster.
  • New: Got a new iPhone 6s? You lucky thing. Say hello to our smart 3D Touch Peek, Pops and Quick Actions. When you press on the Wunderlist icon on your home screen, you’ll get two options—”Add to-do”, which lets you instantly jot down what’s on your mind, and “Due Today” to take you directly to your Today Smartlist so you can start checking off all of today’s to-dos.
  • New: Want to take a quick Peek inside a to-do? Use 3D Touch to see a preview of a to-do. Now swipe up while you’re in the Peek screen and you’ll be able to quickly reschedule it without even opening the Detail View. Press harder on the Peek screen and you’ll Pop straight into the Detail View, which is looking mighty pretty, we’re sure you’ll agree.
  • Fixed: We also toiled hard on fixing some minor bugs.

Build 2016 sells out in less than 5 minutes

Registration for Build 2016 opened and quickly closed yesterday while I was at lunch. In fact, it took less than 5 minutes for the show to sell out.

Here’s the official statement.

We’re excited to see the continued interest in Build. The conference sold out in under 5 minutes, but we encourage developers to register for the wait list should additional tickets open up. Keynotes and select sessions will be also be streamed live starting at 8:30 am on Wednesday, March 30. The conference sold out in 45 minutes last year.

Mary Jo Foley notes that there will be no hardware giveaways this year. Clearly that didn’t dampen enthusiasm for the conference, which I regard as one of the top Microsoft events of each year.

I wasn’t expecting Microsoft to give away the HoloLens augmented reality goggles to attendees, given the HoloLens developer kits cost $3,000 a pop, but I guess some people were.

“This year, we will forgo hardware in favor of delivering a deeper technical experience for developers. In addition to great sessions from technical leaders and technology experts, you’ll discover Code Labs providing hands-on coding time with Microsoft experts, dialogue with speakers in our Expert Zone, or visit The Hub to see the latest in technology from Microsoft and select partners,” the Build site noted.

Microsoft Edge Web Summit will be in San Francisco April 4

Following right in the footsteps of Build—which runs from March 30 to April 1 in San Francisco—Microsoft will host a second developer-oriented show in that city: The second annual Microsoft Edge Web Summit will be in San Francisco April 4.

This one-day conference will take place after Build 2016 and include short and focused technical talks covering everything from in-depth performance analysis to the tools used to measure and improve interoperability across the Web.

Developers can learn what’s under the hood of the newly open-sourced JavaScript engine, powerful techniques for building accessible sites and what’s on the roadmap for the year ahead.

You can find out more on the Microsoft Edge Dev Blog.

Continuum for Phones will work with mid-level Snapdragon 617 too

While the initial release of Continuum for Phones—a feature of Windows 10 Mobile–only supports high-end processors, Microsoft announced last year that it would support this technology on lower-end chipsets over time as well. This week, we discovered the first step in that direction with Microsoft adding support for the mid-level Snapdragon 617 processor to the Continuum for Phones compatibility list. This was first discovered by Nokia Power User, I believe. But here’s how the Microsoft web site describes the requirements, which annotations:

Processor: Qualcomm MS8952 [Snapdragon 617], MS8992 [Snapdragon 808], MS8994 [Snapdragon 810] with dual-SIM support

RAM: 2 GB of RAM for 720p phones, 3 GB of RAM or more for 1080p phones

Flash storage: 16 GB or more of non-removable storage

microSD: Optional, but supported

Wi-Fi: 802.11n dual band is the minimum, 802.11ac dual band is recommended, 2 x 2 antenna recommended

USB: USB 2.0 when used with dock, USB 3.0 is recommended, Type C connector (USB-C) strongly recommended for wired configurations

Intel brings PC security to the chip level

This is interesting, and will no doubt come under fire from the usual anti-privacy and Linux/open source crowds, both of which will misunderstand what Intel is trying to do. But the microprocessor giant will soon provide PC-based security technology at the chip level, which seems like a good idea to me. Here’s how the WSJ explains it.

Intel said a new technology, dubbed Authenticate, is built into new versions of its Core line of chips that are aimed at business PCs. Intel said the technology can make it much easier for companies to require that up to four safeguards be in place before users can log onto their computer, a technique called multifactor authentication, rather than a single factor such as a password.

For example, a company could require any combination of a password, a fingerprint scan or the presence nearby of an authorized employee smartphone that a PC could sense using Bluetooth technology, Intel said. It could also require users to enter a set of numbers on a PC touch screen, thwarting potential threats from malicious software that monitors their typing on keyboards, the company said.

The technology works with Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7 operating systems. Intel said it is letting companies test Authenticate and provide feedback on how it works before announcing its general availability.

The business versions of Intel’s new chips go by the name Skylake vPro. Brett Howse has a great overview if you want to know more.

“Car Makers Bid Adieu to Old Standbys”

If you’re an automobile enthusiast and a tech enthusiast, as I am, you know how slowly the former market moves when it comes to incorporating modern technology. But it’s happening.

Analog gauges, CD players are giving way to digital displays, auto-pilot technologies … Well-known components like ignition keys and analog gauges are going the way of cigarette lighters and hand-cranked windows.

What’s new? Why, the steering wheel, of course, and with Google and others making strides into autonomous (e.g. self-driving) vehicles, it’s only a matter of time before cars turn into mobile living rooms. And that is one transition I am absolutely not ready for.

“5 great Microsoft apps for people who hate Microsoft”

Seriously? People “hate” Microsoft?

Oh, right. These guys …

“Tech’s ‘Frightful 5’ Will Dominate Digital Life for Foreseeable Future”

After years of berating New York Times reporters for continually ignoring the existence of Microsoft and focusing instead on Silicon Valley darlings, they finally throw Microsoft a bone. And then ignore them for the entire article.

There are currently four undisputed rulers of the consumer technology industry: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, now a unit of a parent company called Alphabet. And there’s one more, Microsoft, whose influence once looked on the wane, but which is now rebounding.

The very notion that Facebook and Amazon’s “rule” of the consumer technology industry was “undisputed,” while Microsoft, which makes more money than both of them combined, has been lazily tossed back into the list, is infuriating. And typical. But at least he finally admits that Microsoft is actually in the top three, alongside Apple and Google. At least from a stock price perspective. Or what we might call “one measure of actual worth.”


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