Facebook standardizes Workplace pricing, boosts cost for larger deployments

Facebook has changed the pricing for its Workplace enterprise social network, a move that will result in price increases for some new customers.

Workplace was officially launched at the end of 2016, following a lengthy, 18-month beta trial with large enterprises such as Royal Bank of Scotland. The platform is now used by more than 30,000 organizations worldwide and has recently won over some large customers, including Walmart and Virgin Atlantic, where it is accessed by 7,000 staff.

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from Computerworld News https://www.computerworld.com/article/3249907/collaboration/facebook-standardizes-workplace-pricing-boosts-cost-for-larger-deployments.html#tk.rss_news

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Mozilla mandates that new Firefox features rely on encrypted connections

Mozilla this week decreed that future web-facing features of Firefox must meet an under-development standard that requires all browser-to-server-and-back traffic be encrypted.

“Effective immediately, all new features that are web-exposed are to be restricted to secure contexts,” wrote Mozilla engineer Anne van Kesteren in a post to a company blog. “A feature can be anything from an extension of an existing IDL-defined object, a new CSS property, a new HTTP response header, to bigger features such as WebVR.”

Secure contexts, dubbed a “minimum security level,” is a pending standard of the W3 (World Wide Web Consortium), the primary standards body for the web. Secure contexts’ main purpose, according to its documentation: “Application code with access to sensitive or private data be delivered confidentially over authenticated channels that guarantee data integrity.”

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from Computerworld News https://www.computerworld.com/article/3249255/internet/mozilla-mandates-that-new-firefox-features-rely-on-encrypted-connections.html#tk.rss_news

Slack trials private shared channels, adds admin controls

Slack has talked of its high expectations for group chat channels, which it argues will replace email as the primary means of workplace communication by 2025.

While channels are becoming a popular method for internal communication, Slack also wants to push them as way to interact with external companies – and stakeholders, too.

With that in mind, the team messaging company has expanded its shared channel feature – unveiled as a beta trial at its first conference in September last year – to enable private conversations between workers at separate organizations.  A third of its paying users have now signed up for the beta, Slack said.

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from Computerworld News https://www.computerworld.com/article/3248968/collaboration/slack-trials-private-shared-channels-adds-admin-controls.html#tk.rss_news

Microsoft stamps October’s Windows 10 feature upgrade as enterprise-worthy

Microsoft today told enterprises that Windows 10’s second feature upgrade of last year, October’s “Fall Creators Update,” had been sufficiently tested and is ready to deploy across their organizations.

The announcement came slightly short of three months after the Oct. 17, 2017, debut of Fall Creators Update, better known to corporate customers as 1709 in Microsoft’s yymm nomenclature.

“Enterprise customers…can also fully deploy when ready,” wrote John Cable, a Microsoft director of program management, in a post to a company blog.

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from Computerworld News https://www.computerworld.com/article/3247864/microsoft-windows/microsoft-stamps-octobers-windows-10-feature-upgrade-as-enterprise-worthy.html#tk.rss_news

Browser makers build bulwarks to stump Spectre attacks

Amid the panicked response this week to the news of significant, though not-yet-exploited, vulnerabilities in the vast bulk of the world’s microprocessors, it went almost unnoticed that most browser makers responded by updating their wares in the hope of fending off possible web-based attacks.

The Google-driven revelations – it was members of the search firm’s Project Zero security team who identified the multiple flaws in processors designed by Intel, AMD and ARM – were to go public next week, on Jan. 9, this month’s Patch Tuesday. At that time, a coordinated effort by multiple vendors, from OS developers to silicon makers, was to debut with patches to protect, as best could be done without replacing the CPU itself, systems against flaws grouped under the umbrella terms of Meltdown and Spectre. That plan went out the window when leaks started to circulate earlier this week.

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from Computerworld News https://www.computerworld.com/article/3246210/web-browsers/browser-makers-build-bulwarks-to-stump-spectre-attacks.html#tk.rss_news

Chrome to block ads in February

Google yesterday announced that it will start blocking ads in its Chrome browser on Feb. 15.

Websites that want to avoid the Chrome hammer can either shed several broad categories of online ads or pay a consortium of advertisers, advertising trade associations and technology companies, including Google, Microsoft and Facebook, to become “certified.”

“Starting on February 15, in line with the Coalition’s guidelines, Chrome will remove all ads from sites that have a ‘failing’ status,” Google said on its website, referring to the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA), a group that’s promised to scour the web of the most annoying advertisements.

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from Computerworld News https://www.computerworld.com/article/3243096/internet/chrome-to-block-ads-in-february.html#tk.rss_news

Powermat to upgrade to 15W wireless charging, support Apple’s new iPhones

Powermat plans to release an upgrade to its wireless charging technology in January  that will enable 15-watt power transfers through a 1.5-in. thick solid surface and provide support for new Apple iPhones and other Qi-enabled devices.

The wireless charging company also plans to release an under-tabletop product that allows users to simply place enabled mobile devices atop a desk, for example, to begin receiving a charge.

By moving from 5 watts to 15 watts with the upcoming software upgrade, Powermat chargers will transfer power to a mobile device at the same rate as a traditional charging cable, according to Powermat CTO Itay Sherman.

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from Computerworld News https://www.computerworld.com/article/3242154/mobile-wireless/powermat-to-upgrade-to-15w-wireless-charging-support-apples-new-iphones.html#tk.rss_news