November’s two dozen or so non-security Office patches won’t raise any eyebrows: A bad antivirus scanning sequence problem (KB 4011188, 4011229, 3162081, 4011138), an upgrade from Lynch 2013 to Skype for Business (KB 4011255), and lots of miscellaneous bug fixes. Two patches caught my eye.

First, I’m surprised that the antivirus scanning problem is characterized as non-security:

If Windows Defender is enabled and registered for IOfficeAntivirus scanning, Office applications still run registry key scanning first instead of using Windows Defender for documents scanning. After you install this update, Office applications will use Windows Defender instead.

The description’s more than a little hard to parse, but it certainly sounds like a security problem to me.

Second, we got a patch for Publisher 2007, even though Office 2007 as a whole reached end-of-life on Oct. 10. The KB 4011203 article says:

IT consultant pilot fish is brought in to help overhaul a big financial firm’s mobile app — new features, new look, pretty much a complete rework.

“I was the lead backend engineer,” says fish. “We had a meeting with the project owner, the project management team — from a different company — and the design firm. Then we received mockups and began to dig in.”

It’s not long before it becomes obvious to fish that there are more than a few things requested that weren’t fully thought through. He raises the issues — but he’s told to keep working on it.

But that’s not the only issue. The mockups of the app are essentially being used as a requirements document, and the project suffers from some poorly executed management processes. Still, fish and his team do their best.

Blockchain is poised to change IT in much the same way open-source software did a quarter of a century ago. And in the same way that Linux took more than a decade to become a cornerstone in modern application development, Blockchain will take years to become a lower cost, more efficient way to share information between open and private networks.

But the hype around this seemingly new, secure electronic ledger is real. In essence, blockchain represents a new paradigm for the way information is shared and tech vendors and companies are rushing to figure out how they can use the distributed ledger technology to save time and admin costs. Numerous companies this year have been rolling out pilot programs and real-world projects across a variety of industries – everything from financial services to healthcare to mobile payments.

It’s unlikely to be a wholly disruptive technology that attacks traditional business models with a lower-cost solution that overtakes other networking technology quickly, according to Karim Lakhani, a professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School. Instead, Blockchain is a foundational technology, with the potential to create new foundations for economic and social systems, Lakhani said in The Truth About Blockchain, which he co-authored.

Blockchain adoption is expected be slow and steady, as the changes it brings gain momentum, according Lakhani, a principal investigator of the Crowd Innovation Lab and NASA Tournament Lab at the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science. “Conceptionally, this is TCP/IP applied to the world of business and transactions,” Lakhani said in an interview. “In the ’70s and ’80s, TCP/IP was not imaginable to be as robust and scalable as it was. Now, we know that TCP/IP allows us all this modern functionality that we take for granted on the web.

You distractedly type in a whole series of labels, then realize that you meant them to go across a row, and not down a column. Rather than cut and paste them one at a time to their correct position, why not flip the column of data through 90 degrees using the Paste Special/Transpose option?

Start by selecting the column of labels or other data you want to transpose. You can click and drag or, if the column is very long, try this: Select the first cell in the column, hold down the shift key, and double-click on the lower border of the selected cell: Excel will extend the selection downward until it encounters an empty cell. Copy the selection, then select the leftmost of the cells where you would like the transposed labels to appear.

Now, for the magic: Call up the Paste Special dialog with Ctrl+Alt+V (or command+control+V in macOS); hit E to select the Transpose option, bottom right, then Enter. As long as the source and destination areas don’t overlap, you should see your cell entries spread across the sheet rather than down it.

Excel will only let you perform this trick using Copy, not Cut, so to delete the data from its original position, click once again in the first cell of the column, hold Shift and double-click the lower border of the cell to extend the selection, then hit Ctrl+Delete (just delete in macOS) to empty the cells.

Note: This trick also works the other way, for transposing a horizontal block of cells into a vertical one.

I’ve written a lot about Android security over the years — and more often than not, it’s the same ol’ story time and time again:

A company that sells mobile security software finds some theoretical threat — something that (a) hasn’t affected any actual users in the real world and (b) couldn’t affect any actual users in the real world, outside of a highly improbable scenario in which all native security measures are disabled and the user goes out of his way to download a questionable-looking app from some shady porn forum.

Those critical points then become footnotes in a fear-inducing narrative, complete with a carefully crafted memorable name for the Big, Bad Virus™ and a strongly worded reminder about how only such-and-such security software can possibly keep you safe.

It’s an effective form of marketing — that’s for damn sure. But it’s also about as sensational as can be.

Apple must by now be close to launching its promised Apple Pay Cash service, and when it does, it will be taking a big step toward building its own kind of multinational cryptocurrency.

Money, money, money

While it’s only funny in a rich man’s world, the chasm between money as a tangible asset and cash as an item on a digital balance sheet isn’t hard to see.

From the trillions spent by future generations to bail out the banking system to the eye-watering cost of property loans, so much of this cash is invented by itself in a closed-loop system and then traded by consent.

The fintech industry is making billions by trading digital assets, and the need to protect and internationalize those numbers is driving a growing number of traditional financial service providers to move toward adopting blockchain-based accounting systems.

The ThermoPro TP03A is an effective solution to achieve the most accurate temperature in a matter of seconds. With a simplistic yet practical design, and at the push of the button, the foldaway probe will pop open for quick an easy temperature reading, and when you’re done taking the temperature measurement you can fold the probe back into the holding to ensure the probe is kept safe and clean. Stop overcooking or under-cooking your meat and perfect meat temperatures like a professional, ensuring the perfect temp every time you’re grilling or cooking. It typically lists for $29.99 and is being discounted 65%, down to $10.49. Learn more or purchase the discounted ThermoPro TP03A Thermometer at Amazon.

This story, “67% off ThermoPro TP03A Digital Food Cooking Thermometer Instant Read Meat Thermometer – Deal Alert” was originally published by TechConnect.

Apple last week said it sold a record number of Macs for a September quarter.

“The Mac…had its best year ever, with the highest annual Mac revenue in Apple’s history,” said CEO Tim Cook in prepared remarks during a Nov. 2 call with Wall Street analysts. Apple recorded revenue of $25.8 billion from Mac sales in its fiscal 2017, which ended Sept. 30.

Mac unit sales of nearly 5.4 million bested both industry and financial analysts’ expectations. Before Apple released its data, research firm IDC had pegged Apple’s number at 4.9 million, while rival Gartner offered an even lower estimate: 4.6 million. And according to Philip Elmer-DeWitt, who regularly polls Wall Street for quarterly forecasts, every analyst from a group of more than two dozen undershot Mac sales, some by over half a million machines.

Unit sales were up 10.2% over the same quarter in 2016, and the Mac’s ASP, or “average selling price,” jumped to $1,331, a year-over-year rise of $156, for an increase of 13.3%.

Last month we had no end of problems with Microsoft’s Windows and Office patches. If your machine was attached to a corporate Windows Update server, and your admin approved Windows patches for immediate distribution, your PC may have joined a sea of blue screens. There were lots and lots of additional gotchas.

This month, we already know that KB 4041686, the 2017-10 Win7 Preview of a Monthly Rollup, has a retrograde bug in it that clobbers SFC scans. It’s not at all clear if Microsoft is going to fix that bug before the Preview becomes the for-real Monthly Rollup.

We also know that last Thursday’s attempt to fix a bug introduced in the October security patches failed miserably, with Microsoft surreptitiously pulling KB 4052233, 4052234, and 4052235 and erasing them from the KB list, the catalog, and even the update histories. Heaven only knows if the next iteration of that abomination will succumb to a similar fate.

Later today, we should see a dozen or more non-security patches for Office. You don’t need any of them right away. A week from now, the security fixes should roll out. As I’ve argued many times before, it just makes sense to hold off installing Windows and Office updates until the major first-round bugs get shaken out. Let the unpaid beta testers sacrifice their machines first.

This data center has had problems with its database servers for most of a decade, reports a pilot fish on the inside.

“A few years ago, one of the cluster servers failed completely, so the disaster recovery cluster became the production servers,” fish says.

“Less than a year after that, those servers started having problems. One server started showing a corrupted hard disk. Database program files went missing, and replacing the disk didn’t stop the disk problems.

“I thought anyone with any hardware experience would know what that means.