All posts on May, 2017


Tech firms hoard huge cash piles

TAKE a moment to admire—and fear—the ascent of America’s big-five tech firms. Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook have recently become the five most valuable listed companies in the world, in that order. With a total market value of $2.9trn, they are worth more than any five firms in history.

Elevated tech valuations used to be a sign of hysteria. Today’s investors believe they are making an ice-cold judgment that these firms are the dominant oligopolies of the 21st century and will extract a vast, rising, flow of profits. There is one gnawing doubt, however: the formidable five’s cash-rich balance-sheets, which are built as if they expect a crisis, not to dominate the world.

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IDG Contributor Network: Why Macs are still having trouble in the enterprise

If you don’t live and breathe IT everyday, you may not realize what a headache it is to support the Mac. Some larger companies have figured out how to make it all work, and tools like those from JAMF certainly help. (You can buy a Mac from Apple these days and have it all configured for your company before you ever remove the shrink-wrap from the box.)

What’s still not working out?

There are still a lot of gotchas for users.

Recently, I’ve heard about end-users who have tried to use a Mac for a few simple, straightforward activities. One was related to Microsoft Teams. Even though Microsoft makes a client app for the Mac (and mobile platforms), there was a configuration problem related to Office 365 in the Chrome browser on a Mac. PC users had no trouble, but when Mac users tried to join a team, they hit a roadblock. It was a simple configuration on the back-end, but it was still frustrating and time-consuming.

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Dual biometrics may just be the authentication answer we need

A major problem with biometric authentication is that, when it doesn’t work, there are few good options to proceed with the authentication. When the system says that’s not your eyeball, there’s no fallback akin to “Forgot your password?” You have to revert to some less discerning authentication method, such as a PIN. 

Some vendors are trying to deal with this by using a simultaneous, multi-biometric method. “Simultaneous” is important because using two methods consecutively would take more time, resulting in end users’ resistance and lower participation rates. 

One vendor, Sensory, is making serious headway in figuring out interesting ways to use dual biometrics.

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