IDG Contributor Network: Fix poor VoIP call quality with a dedicated circuit

This is a bummer but I’m going to say it.

Getting a huge fiber Internet connection may not do anything to help your company’s VoIP call quality.

Assuming everything is squared away on your LAN, the most common causes of poor call quality are latency, packet loss and jitter; None of which can be controlled over the public Internet, no matter how much bandwidth you throw at it.

“But what if we have a 1G dedicated Internet connection?” Sorry, it’s not immune.

“But what if it’s fiber from a Tier 1 provider?” Your call quality is still high-risk.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Microsoft announces a Surface laptop that won’t run Call of Duty

Locked-down laptops rule the classroom.

It’s already possible to control what apps can be accessed if you hand a middle schooler a Chromebook. What can you run on that thing? Not anything fun. Industrious hackers could run a first-person shooter through a browser window, but let’s be honest — it’s not going to run the latest Call of Duty game.

Now, Microsoft wants to essentially do the same thing.

The Microsoft Surface laptop — available in four trendy colors like cobalt blue — weighs 2.76 pounds, opens with a finger, and runs the new Windows 10 S operating system, which only supports approved apps you can download from the Windows Store.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Artificially inflated: It’s time to call BS on AI

First there was “open washing,” the marketing strategy for dressing up proprietary software as open source. Next came “cloud washing,” whereby datacenter-bound software products masqueraded as cloud offerings. The same happened to big data, with petabyte-deprived enterprises pretending to be awash in data science.

Now we’re into AI-washing — an attempt to make dumb products sound smart.

Judging by the number of companies talking up their amazing AI projects, the entire Fortune 500 went from bozo status to the Mensa society. Not to rain on this parade, but it’s worth remembering that virtually all so-called AI offerings today should be defined as “artificially inflated” rather than “artificially intelligent.”

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Apple saves iPhone call history to iCloud, but barely mentions it

Modern smartphones make it easy to back up all your data to the cloud so you can keep it synced across devices, or download it to a new phone. That can have unfortunate consequences, however—especially when phones are syncing sensitive information that users aren’t explicitly aware of, and then a company famous for developing smartphone cracking software finds out.

Moscow-based Elcomsoft recently added a feature to its Phone Breaker software that the company says can retrieve an iPhone user’s call history data via iCloud. To use its software to crack an iCloud account, an attacker would need your login data or a login token from one of your devices.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Hackers call Time on Ashley Madison — with huge data dump

The Ashley Madison hackers have released the site’s user data, as threatened. Or, at least, that’s what they say they’ve done.

There are strong indications that the data is real — at least, that it’s come from the site. However, it’s likely that much of the data is forged or bogus in some way, so don’t believe everything you read.

“Life is short. Have an affair.” — that was Ashley Madison’s strapline. Worryingly, for some spouses whose names appear in the dump, life might indeed be short.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers tread carefully.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing