Ken Mingis

About the Author Ken Mingis


Mingis on Tech: Blockchain explained

It’s the most disruptive technology since the arrival of the Internet.

Or maybe it’s the next Linux, an open-source technology that offers great promise, but somehow never seems to make it to the mainstream world.

“It,” in this case, is blockchain – the buzz-worthy distributed ledger technology that first came into widespread use with Bitcoin represents a new paradigm for the way information is shared. FinTech firms are embracing it and a variety of companies are already rushing to figure out how they can use it to save time and admin costs, according to Computerworld Senior Reporter Lucas Mearian.

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Tech Talk: Uber hack, Google tracks, AWS packs (in China) … and Firefox is back

Compare and contrast: How Uber handled its data breach last year and how Imgur handled the same kind of thing last week. (Hint: Each company responded in radically different ways.)

That’s what our tech panel – CSO‘s Michael Nadeau, Network World‘s Brandon Butler, Macworld‘s Michael Simon and Computerworld‘s Ken Mingis – chewed over first in this month’s episode of Tech Talk. In short: Why did Uber keep the breach secret for so long and pay the hackers $100,000? And is that really better than Imgur, which found out it had been hacked three years ago and went public within 24 hours. On Thanksgiving Day.

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Mingis on Tech: Coding for Alexa

Alexa, the helpful assistant best known as the voice of Amazon Echo and Echo Dot devices, offers a range of “skills” right out of the box. It can perform a variety of tasks such as looking up information, setting a timer, playing music, activating smart home devices and more.

But what happens if there’s a certain skill you want that Alexa doesn’t do?

You can do what Sharon Machlis did and code your own.

Machlis, IDG’s director of editorial analytics and data, explained to Computerworld Executive Editor Ken Mingis why you might want to develop your own skill and detailed some of the things to keep in mind if you decide to do so. 

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Mingis on Tech: The iPhone X – best phone for business, or best phone ever?

When it comes to mobile devices, companies tend to like three things: solid security, ease-of-management and low cost.

With Apple’s iPhone X, it looks like you can check off two of those three items. The phone’s cutting-edge Face ID authentication system really does work. iOS 11 is easy to manage and inherently secure. But that last one – price – is a big one. The iPhone X  starts at $999 for the 64GB model and goes to $1,149 for the 256GB version.

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Tech Talk: The technology that scares us

The scary thing about technology is that every day can be Halloween when it comes to what worries us in thids hyperpast digital age.

Whether it’s the flippant fear that your shiny new device might never show up, more realistic worries that Alexa or Google Home or even Apple’s Siri might be listening in  (and recording) your every word, or the spread of fake news on social media, these are trying times.

That’s what our panel of tech experts – Network World‘s Brandon Butler, CSO‘s Steve Ragan, Macworld‘s Michael Simon and Computerworld Executive Editor Ken Mingis – concluded after surveying the digital landscape. At least one of them – you have to watch to find out who – would be more than happy to turn the clock back to the pre-Internet days of the early 1990s.

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Mingis on Tech: Thumbs ups (and downs) for Win 10 Fall Creators Update

With Windows 10 Fall Creators Update now rolling out to PCs worldwide, it’s a good time to look at some of what’s new and improved, and what’s not. 

With that in mind, Computerworld‘s Windows expert, Preston Gralla, offers up his thoughts after spending time with the updated OS for his recent review. 

It’s not the most exciting Windows update to come along, Gralla tells Computerworld Executive Editor Ken Mingis. But it does offer a retinue of improved security features, along with better OneDrive integration for file access on demand.

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Mingis on Tech: Thumbs ups (and downs) for Win 10 Fall Creators Update

With Windows 10 Fall Creators Update now rolling out to PCs worldwide, it’s a good time to look at some of what’s new and improved, and what’s not. 

With that in mind, Computerworld‘s Windows expert, Preston Gralla, offers up his thoughts after spending time with the updated OS for his recent review. 

It’s not the most exciting Windows update to come along, Gralla tells Computerworld Executive Editor Ken Mingis. But it does offer a retinue of improved security features, along with better OneDrive integration for file access on demand.

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Mingis on Tech: Pondering the Pixel 2 (as an iPhone alternative)

For high-end smartphone buyers – whether you prefer Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS – this may well be the best of times. The iPhone 8 is out, the X arrives in just a few weeks, and the latest device from Google, the Pixel 2, is available now.

What’s an Android-curious iPhone user to do?

pixel 2 xl beautyAdam Patrick Murray/IDG

Pixel 2 XL: Google’s marriage of hardware to software to machine-learning.

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Tech Talk: The Equifax data breach, a new Apple Watch and A.I. for all

First there was news that Equifax, the credit rating agency, had been hacked. Then came stories about questionable stock sales by execs before the breach became public. Then…anger and confusion from some of the 143 million people affected.

And finally, this week, came the retirement of the company’s CEO.

It’s enough to (almost) make our panel of tech experts – Network World‘s Brandon Butler, CSO‘s Fahmida Rashid, Macworld‘s Michael Simon and Computerworld Executive Editor Ken Mingis – throw up their collective arms as everyone tries to figure out how to stop it from happening again.

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Mingis on Tech: Android vs. iOS – How the two mobile OSes compare

It was supposed to be a genteel discussion, a dispassionate side-by-side comparison of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android: How they stack up on security, OS updates, App stores, customization and innovation.

And mainly, it was just that, as Computerworld‘s Android blogger JR Raphael and Apple expert Michael deAgonia both explained which side of the mobile OS fence they’re on and why. (Playing the role of referee: Computerworld Executive Editor Ken Mingis.)

But, hey, these guys aren’t really dispassionate about their technology choices, and so before anyone knew it, DeAgonia was slamming Android on security, Raphael was asking whether anyone really thinks Siri is all that, and in a flash the debate was on. 

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Mingis on Tech: All about Android 8.0 ‘Oreo’

If you’re an Android user who’s eagerly been awaiting Android 8.0, a.k.a. “Oreo,” the good news is that Google’s updated mobile OS has been out since late August and will be gradually making its way in the coming months to a device near you.

Android 8 OreoGoogle

If you have one of Google’s own smartphones like the Pixel, you may well already have Oreo – just like Computerworld blogger JR Raphael. And that means you’ve already had time to get used to its new features and tinker with it.

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Mingis on Tech: For the new iPhones, ‘X’ marks the spot

Well, that was both enticing and disappointing – enticing because the upcoming iPhone X is just about everything the rumor mongers said it would be, disappointing because no one will get their hands on one until November.

In case you were under a rock Tuesday, Apple unveiled its iPhones as expected, rolled out the new Apple Watch Series 3, announced that iOS 11 will be available Sept. 19 and even threw in a 4K-capable Apple TV for good measure.

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Tech Talk: iPhone pricing, intent-based networks, GPS spoofing and smartwatches, oh my!

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Mingis on Tech: The death of Microsoft’s GigJam

Admit it: You’ve never heard of GigJam.

The Microsoft collaboration tool, which has been flying under the radar for the last 18 months or so, offers forward-thinking ways of sharing information between workers in real time from various sources – everything from Office 365 to LinkedIn, Dropbox, Salesforce and Trello.

As Computerworld Senior Writer Lucas Mearian explained to Executive Editor Ken Mingis, information a user wants to share is circled in GigJam and passed along to others on the same project. And info that needs to be hidden can be crossed out, blocking its access by other GigJam users.

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Mingis on Tech: The death of Microsoft’s GigJam

Admit it: You’ve never heard of GigJam.

The Microsoft collaboration tool, which has been flying under the radar for the last 18 months or so, offers forward-thinking ways of sharing information between workers in real time from various sources – everything from Office 365 to LinkedIn, Dropbox, Salesforce and Trello.

As Computerworld Senior Writer Lucas Mearian explained to Executive Editor Ken Mingis, information a user wants to share is circled in GigJam and passed along to others on the same project. And info that needs to be hidden can be crossed out, blocking its access by other GigJam users.

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