HP launches the most powerful 14-inch Spectre convertible – Windows Experience Blog

HP Inc. launched on Tuesday a lineup of new devices combining premium design, security and performance. HP created its latest Spectre and Elite innovations to take PC experiences to the next level by enabling creativity, connectivity and confidence throughout the day. They build on a series of breakthrough devices, including the recently announced HP Spectre Folio.
“There is a growing desire for personal computing devices that enable new experiences and are built for busy, on-the-go lifestyles,” the company said in a press release. “This is especially true for customers looking to purchase a premium device, as 45 percent spend a significant amount of time using their laptop outside of the home and laptops remain a critical everyday tool for 82 percent of millennials.”
Additions to the HP Spectre Portfolio

The newly redesigned HP Spectre x360 13 and HP Spectre x360 15 join the HP Spectre Folio – available later this month – to create a portfolio of new premium products that deliver top-notch design, security and performance.
HP’s craftmanship and attention to detail are paramount in each device. Available in dark ash silver with copper luxe accents and the all-new poseidon blue with pale brass accents, the devices feature a gem-cut design that can only be achieved with aluminum CNC machining. Functional design is equally important, which is why the angled USB-C port is now placed in the faceted edge on the right side of the device for better cable management, and the dual chamfer design makes the lid easier to lift from three sides. The design of the speaker pattern is also unique, with each hole micro-drilled to improve acoustic transparency, delivering a crystal-clear audio experience by Bang & Olufsen.
The new Spectre lineup has also been equipped with innovative security features. A privacy camera kill switch allows the user to turn off the webcam when not in use. Spectres also come with optional HP Sure View, an integrated privacy screen to help users avoid prying eyes in public areas.
The devices also deliver a connected computing experience. This includes long-lasting battery life, with up to 22.5 hours in the Spectre x360 13 – a 37 percent increase versus the previous generation – and up to 17.5 hours in the Spectre x360 15. The optional gigabit-class 4G LTE on the 13-inch device and ultra-fast Wi-Fi with up to 1 gigabit download speeds on both devices ensure connectivity from almost anywhere. Connected modern standby ensures that emails, calendars and contacts are always up-to-date, and a wake-on fingerprint reader and wake-on voices enable full log-on almost instantaneously.
While the Spectre x360 13 is designed for the highly mobile professional on the go with up to the latest 8th Gen Intel Core processors, the Spectre x360 15 is the most powerful Spectre convertible laptop to date, delivering up to 20 percent more performance versus the previous generation. Ideal for those who immerse themselves in content creation, the 15-inch convertible features a new thermal design, up to the latest six-core 8th Gen Intel Core processors and the optional NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti with Max Q design. In addition, the Spectre x360 15 offers various display options, including a 4K touch display or up to 650-nit FHD display – one of the brightest consumer panels in the industry – and Thunderbolt 3 ports that support dual 5K displays.
HP EliteBook x360 1040 G5

Building on the heritage of the HP Elite Portfolio, the new HP EliteBook x360 1040 G5 is an artfully crafted 14-inch diagonal convertible in a 13-inch form factor with a unibody CNC aluminum chassis and an adonized finish, which is designed to pass rigorous military-standard testing in addition to turning heads.
Mobility for premium customers is a must, which is why the device features up to 17 hours of battery life, gigabit-class 4G LTE, the optional HP Outdoor Viewable Display with an anti-glare screen and up to 700-nit display, and optional HP Sure View that works great both indoors and outdoors.
Regardless of whether users are at their office desk or in the coffee shop, security threats are everywhere and a major factor in purchasing a PC. That’s why the EliteBook x360 1040 and all Elite devices include HP’s hardware-enforced security and features such as HP Sure Start Gen 4, a self-healing BIOS and HP Sure Recover with Embedded Reimaging, which enables customers to restore their PC to a working state in minutes.
Want to personalize your PC? An HP partnership with Zazzle enables users to create decorative high-quality, laser cut notebook skins for HP Elite notebooks. Businesses can easily display their own brand to customers, while individuals can design their own skin to show off their unique style.
Additionally, HP has two new solutions designed to simplify connections and maximize productivity in the office. The new HP EliteDisplay E243d Docking Monitor offers a simpler and cleaner alternative to dock-and-monitor solutions with a single USB-A cable or single power-enabled USB-C cable for data and video, as well a pop-up privacy webcam. The new HP USB Fingerprint Mouse enables users with dedicated PCs to unlock their Windows 10 PC with a single touch, allowing for secure biometric authentication that IT departments can deploy for access control to devices.
Pricing and availability

The HP Spectre x360 13 is expected to be available in November at HP.com for a starting price of $1,149.99. The device is expected to be available at Best Buy stores in December.
The HP Spectre x360 15 is expected to be available in November at HP.com for a starting price of 1,389.99. The device is expected to be available at Best Buy stores in December.
The HP USB Fingerprint Mouse is expected to be available in December at HP.com for a starting price of $49.
The HP EliteBook x360 1040 is expected to be available at the end of October at HP.com for a starting price of $1,499.
The HP EliteDisplay E243d Docking Monitor is expected to be available in December at HP.com for a starting price of $329.
Custom laser cut skins for the HP EliteBook 1000 series are available now at www.zazzle.com/hpelite for a starting price of $19.95.

For further details about the devices above, read the HP press release.

Twilio buys SendGrid for email APIs

Twilio plans to buy SendGrid in a $2 billion deal that underscores the continued importance of email in business communications and collaboration.

SendGrid makes a set of cloud-based email APIs that businesses can use for sending transactional and marketing emails to customers, such as shipping notices and sales offers. Founded in 2009, the company claims its email APIs are used to contact half of the world’s digital users every three months.

Twilio’s communications platform as a service supports voice, video, SMS, chat and social media channels — but not email. SendGrid’s email APIs will fill that gap, as the two companies pledged to release “a single platform for all customer engagement” after the deal closes in the first half of 2019.

The acquisition comes as Twilio looks to expand its presence in the cloud contact center market. The company released a prebuilt contact center this week, Twilio Flex. It is a first-of-its-kind offering from Twilio, which had previously only provided the developer tools for building such a service.

“Incorporating email into the omnichannel customer contact center is definitely part of the story,” said Dan Miller, lead analyst and founder of Opus Research, based in San Francisco, “but it looks like SendGrid is going to be operated as a subsidiary of Twilio, and integration will have to take place over time.”

Twilio also appears poised to gain access to tens of thousands of new customers through SendGrid. Together, the companies said they would serve more than 100,000 businesses, compared to Twilio’s current figure of more than 40,000.

UC vendors redouble commitments to email

Over the past couple years, largely following the lead of Slack, unified communications vendors have invested in team collaboration apps — like Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex Teams — that were supposed to reduce the need for email, especially for internal communications.

But a string of recent acquisitions proves that email will remain a valuable business communication tool for the foreseeable future.

Last month, Slack bought startup Astro, maker of a chatbot that lets users check their email and calendars from Slack. Astro also makes an AI platform that helps people prioritize email inboxes and manage calendars.

And over the summer, Facebook bought startup Redkix with the intention of integrating the technology with its business communication and collaboration platform, Workplace by Facebook. Redkix makes a platform that combines email and teams-based chat apps into a single interface.

Vendors must come to terms with the reality that email is here to stay, at least until older generations exit the workforce, said Jon Arnold, principal of Toronto-based analysis firm J Arnold & Associates.

“Right now, [email is] still just too sticky,” Arnold said. “So, I think [vendors] have realized they can’t just ignore those pieces if they want to get where the money is.”

For Sale – Complete compact gaming PC – VR ready

Hey, this PC has sat behind my TV for ages but I don’t get the time to play on it…it’s pretty good spec and I have used it with VR so ‘VR ready’ as it were

It’s in a small compact case (similar size to a large console than a PC) and has been build with quality components.

i5-4690K CPU
Gigabyte Z87N-wifi mobo
8GB Crucial Ballistix RAM
500GD Samsung 840pro SSD
1060 3GB GFX card

Buyer will not be disappointed, more than happy to demo/let buyer test if collected/delivered.

Review of graphics card

Overview of the case

£560inc fully insured delivery (personally delivered if within 50 miles of GU14 subject to deposit to cover costs)

Razer Chroma keyboard £75

Am looking for £620 inc courier for both (personally delivered if within 50 miles of GU14 subject to deposit to cover costs) – open to offers within reason.

Price and currency: £620
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PPG/Bank xfer
Location: Farnborough
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

How to Make an Availability Set in Azure

This blog post explains how to create an availability set in Azure and how to assign a VM to an availability set. If you want to get straight into the walkthrough you can skip straight to setting up an availability set but if you would like to learn the basics we will go through that first.

What is an Availability Set

An availability set in Azure is essentially your way of designing how available your cloud infrastructure is going to be in the event of unplanned or planned maintenance. Why do we care about maintenance if our workloads are in a public cloud? Well, just because your workloads are running in a public cloud doesn’t mean they don’t have maintenance windows or hardware failure like on-prem solutions. So if you don’t want your application servers all going down at the same time, you may specify with an availability set how your servers will handle both maintenance updates and hardware failures. We will demo how to create and apply an availability set in Azure. But first, there are some terms that we need to understand before we create our availability set.

Fault Domain

Assigning a VM to a separate fault domain will place it on a separate power and network resources. This is very important in the case of an unplanned outage due to power or hardware failure (yes this does happen). Make sure you do your homework and plan for “what ifs” when designing your cloud environment.

Update Domain

Just like on-prem infrastructure, cloud infrastructure needs to be patched and updated. Azure will only restart items in one update domain at a time. When the infrastructure assigned to the update domain is rebooted, it is given 30 minutes to recover before maintenance is initiated on a different update domain. So make sure you plan your update domains accordingly so you’re not taking down the entirety of your environment all at once.

Managed Disks

I don’t want all my storage to be on the same hardware device, how can I tell Azure to separate them? This is where managed disks come into play. By selecting the option to use Managed Disks when creating an availability set, you are essentially telling Azure to place each disk on isolated storage clusters to prevent a single point of failure. If you’re using VMs with unmanaged disks, Microsoft highly recommends converting them over to Managed disks if they are in an availability set.

Creating an Availability Set

To create an availability set, login to the Azure portal and select Create a Resource in the upper left corner. Type in Availability Set and select it. Click on Create:

Now we can set up our availability set. In the example, I’ll name it “LukeLabavaset1”.

Select your subscription and resource group that you’d like to bind this availability set to, then select the location.

Now, here comes the important part. We need to specify the number of fault domains and update domains that we would like for this availability set. The way this works is the first VM gets assigned the first available fault domain and update domain which will be slot 0. Then, the next VM assigned to the availability set takes the next available slots. So it would get fault domain 1 and update domain 1. In our example, we are creating two fault domains and two update domains. If a 3rd VM was assigned to this availability set, the assignment rotation would start over, so it would get assigned to fault domain 0 and update domain 0.  Select create to deploy this availability set:

Assigning a VM to an Availability Set

It’s important to note that a VM can only be assigned an availability set during the VM creation process. To create our VM, we will select Virtual Machines on the Favorites menu and click Add. We want to create a 2016 server, so we type in Windows Server 2016 and select Windows Server 2016 Datacenter:

We get a new blade with details on the VM that we are deploying. Select Create to deploy:

Now let’s fill in the basic info. In this example, I’ll name my VM “LukeLabApp1”. Fill in all the required info and select OK:

Now we will choose our VM size and click Select:

For the last step, we can now add the availability set to our VM. Click on availability set, and select the one we created, LukeLabavaset1. Next, configure the rest of the settings for your VM and select Create:

After the VM is completely deployed, we can check and see the availability set settings by selecting Availability Set in the VM settings blade. We can see our first VM has to take slot 0 of both the fault domain and update domain. Notice the warning stating that we can’t configure the availability set anymore unless we create the VM, this is very important to understand when planning your cloud infrastructure:

Now I made a 2nd VM called LukeLabApp2 and assigned it to the same availability set. You can see it took up the next available slot for both the fault domain and update domain:

Wrap-Up

Availability sets are a very important piece of Azure infrastructure and it’s very important to have a good concept of them before designing and implementing your infrastructure in the cloud. If you have already created your infrastructure without properly planning the fault domain and update domains, unfortunately, you will have to re-create the VM again in order to change the availability sets. However, there is a PowerShell script that will automatically save the settings and recreate the VM with the new availability set. Be sure to check it out and let me know how it works in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

A smarter way to target your audience with Bing Ads and LinkedIn – Bing Ads

Today we’re excited to announce the newest evolution in our continued integration of LinkedIn and Microsoft Advertising. Available now for our current clients, we’re offering profile targeting that leverages LinkedIn data for search campaigns on the Bing Ads platform.

With over 575 million global LinkedIn members, part of our vision has always been to bring together each company’s rich data and deep understanding of users to help our customers reach people in meaningful ways.

Unique to the Bing Ads platform, this is a great opportunity for marketers to maximize their campaign spend with more precision-based targeting through the following three professional profile dimensions: Company, Job Function and Industry.

We are making this easy for our clients to get started right away through the Bing Ads platform using familiar campaign creation and management tools. To start we’re offering bid only targeting, with exclusions coming soon. It works across text ads, shopping, and basically all Bing search products (available in the US only).

We continue to innovate our products and platform, so our clients and marketing partners can gain the highest return on marketing investment as well as perfect the target audience reach best suited for campaign goals.
 

Why do admins need both powershell.exe and pwsh.exe?

Newcomers to PowerShell Core might wonder why there’s a pwsh.exe file when there’s a powershell.exe executable for Windows PowerShell.

There’s a bit of backstory that explains why administrators should be aware of the two PowerShell executables on their Windows machines.

Microsoft changed its PowerShell task automation framework to an open source project in August 2016 and ported it to run on Linux and Mac platforms. However, lost in the translation with the first official release of PowerShell Core 6.0 in January 2018 was full compatibility with all the cmdlets administrators had with Windows PowerShell. There were other breaking changes in PowerShell Core 6.0 that affected how IT workers managed their infrastructure, such as the removal of the workflow feature.

Early on, the PowerShell team knew administrators with a heavy investment in PowerShell automation might need to work with both the Windows-only version and the open source PowerShell until the latter reaches feature parity. The team maintained this backward-compatibility by giving PowerShell Core a different executable name.

Administrators who want to try PowerShell Core can still use the powershell.exe executable for Windows PowerShell while Core uses an executable named pwsh.exe. This arrangement allows users to run both versions side by side. Environments that depend on scripts that use features not yet implemented — or might never appear — in PowerShell Core can stay with Windows PowerShell, of which the latest version is 5.1, released in 2016.

That’s not the only change. The project team also uses a different folder for PowerShell Core on Windows. For example, the path for the 64-bit, Windows-only powershell.exe is C:WindowsSystem32WindowsPowerShellv1.0, while for PowerShell Core 6.1 the path is C:Program FilesPowerShell6 for the pwsh.exe executable.

Jeffrey Snover, Microsoft technical fellow and inventor of PowerShell, said while development for Windows PowerShell is over, Microsoft will continue to stand behind the deprecated version of its automation tool during a July PowerShell meetup in Boston.

Jeffrey Snover, Microsoft technical fellow and inventor of PowerShell, said while development for Windows PowerShell is over, Microsoft will continue to stand behind the deprecated version of its automation tool during a July PowerShell meetup in Boston.

“It’s going to be supported forever. Don’t worry about that. But there will be no [further] feature development [for Windows PowerShell],” Snover said.

Snover, who is also the architect of Azure Stack and the chief architect for the Azure Storage and Cloud Edge group at Microsoft, told attendees that he would have no qualms if administrators stayed with Windows PowerShell due to its deep functionality and continued support from Microsoft.

However, Snover pointed out PowerShell Core runs the Azure Cloud Shell on Microsoft’s cloud platform, meaning administrators who want to use PowerShell to manage Azure workloads will need to familiarize themselves with how it differs from the Windows version, such as case sensitivity with files and the removal of certain aliases that conflict with Linux commands.

The PowerShell team shrank the parity gap with the September release of PowerShell Core 6.1. The team says that version works with the more than 1,900 cmdlets that ship in the latest versions of Windows — provided users install the Windows Compatibility Pack for .NET Core on their machines. But there are still some important modules, such as the Active Directory module, that are not compatible with the 6.1 release.

Netflix Spinnaker pipelines tighten bond with Kubernetes

Netflix and Google’s Spinnaker pipeline tool has improved its integration with Kubernetes, which should add to its appeal within enterprise DevOps shops where Spinnaker has accelerated continuous deployment.

Spinnaker pipelines are highly customizable, but default settings developed at Netflix can give less advanced DevOps shops a leg up as they implement continuous deployment for applications. Some users have replaced another open source pipeline tool, Jenkins, with Spinnaker because it was easier to use. However, previous integrations between Spinnaker and Kubernetes container clusters needed improvement, which was delivered this week.

Version two of Spinnaker’s Kubernetes plugin, which is called a provider, integrates with the native kubectl command-line interface (CLI) instead of the previously used Java library, and adds support for custom resource definitions that facilitate management of third-party infrastructure components alongside Kubernetes.

This means that the v2 provider automatically retrieves Kubernetes manifests for the container images a user wants to deploy, and generates multiple versions of those manifests for staging, QA and production environments as part of the Spinnaker pipeline. IT ops admins can also use the new provider to restrict developers’ access to Kubernetes clusters for security purposes.

“I’m not afraid of the Kubernetes provider anymore,” said Gard Rimestad, staff DevOps engineer at Schibsted Media Group, a multinational media company in Norway, a V2 early adopter. “This one is very close to the Kubernetes code, and means we can use the same versions of Kubernetes with Spinnaker in the cloud that we use locally.”

Google and Netflix also borrowed Kubernetes’ early-stage governance structure for the Spinnaker project this week. Under the new governance plan, the project will get two steering committees, one to oversee the overall project roadmap and another to evaluate technical strategy, which will open up Spinnaker pipelines to more contributors over the next year. This is a prerequisite to Spinnaker’s eventual donation to an established foundation, such as the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, its parent The Linux Foundation or another group, said Andy Glover, director of delivery engineering at Netflix.

Spinnaker pipelines help users get CD off the ground

Netflix created the Spinnaker pipelines tool in 2014 for internal use, and Google joined the project when the continuous deployment software was released to the open source community in 2015. Netflix has long been seen as an elite user of technology. But since June 2017, and the Spinnaker 1.0 release, the Netflix pipeline approach has caught the attention of more earthbound enterprises.

There’s work in the Spinnaker community on a way to say, ‘Deploy this thing, I don’t care how.’ … You can seamlessly update the ‘how’ under the hood as technology changes.
Andrew Dobsonsoftware engineer, Vistaprint

“We made seven attempts at continuous deployment starting five years ago, and they all failed,” said Brandon Leach, senior engineering manager for continuous deployment at Lookout, a mobile device security company in San Francisco. Lookout found uneasy equilibrium for a while with four different Jenkins pipelines, but still searched for a better approach, which it found in Spinnaker in 2018.

“Spinnaker let us orchestrate infrastructure from the perspective of a code release,” Leach said. “We thought about how we wanted the release to happen, and then infrastructure just happened for us, in a much smoother way than blue/green deployments that used Terraform wrappers.”

Vistaprint USA Inc., which custom-prints marketing materials for small businesses, replaced a continuous deployment system based on Atlassian’s Bamboo and Jenkins with Spinnaker pipelines. Vistaprint looked to replace its previous pipelines after under-provisioned Bamboo builds took longer than a day to spin up, and production releases got stuck waiting on those tests to finish. The company tested and compared Spinnaker vs. Jenkins combined with application deployment code written in-house, and Spinnaker won based on its ease of use.

“I had a basic Spinnaker pipeline up and running in a day, and you could see it do [deployments] in another day and a half,” said Andrew Dobson, software engineer at Vistaprint, in Lexington, Mass., a subsidiary of Cimpress, based in the Netherlands.

Spinnaker pipelines can abstract nitty-gritty infrastructure configuration tasks away from DevOps teams, but users can also tinker with Spinnaker’s code. Lookout’s Leach wrote his own infrastructure provider for Spinnaker to support a container orchestration environment on Amazon ECS instead of Kubernetes. Schibsted’s Rimestad blended Spinnaker pipeline tools with his company’s own open source deployment daemon.

Spinnaker pipeline users draw up wish list

Spinnaker pipelines help enterprises navigate the early stages of continuous deployment, but as users grow more sophisticated they look for more features, such as automated evaluation, promotion and rollback of software artifacts in the Spinnaker pipeline before the continuous integration stage. Users also said the tool could improve its API support for stateful app deployment, and stabilize and simplify the CLI for Spinnaker pipelines. Many are eager to get their hands on declarative pipeline tools still at the alpha stage within Netflix.

“There’s work in the Spinnaker community on a way to say, ‘Deploy this thing, I don’t care how,'” Vistaprint’s Dobson said. “That means you can seamlessly update the ‘how’ under the hood as technology changes.”

The Spinnaker pipeline roadmap also includes the artifact promotion features, enhancements to make the alpha version of the CLI easier to use, and updates for stateful application deployment APIs requested by users, the project’s maintainers said.

“All stateful services at Netflix use Spinnaker’s APIs directly to affect delivery,” Netflix’s Glover said. “Cassandra, our encoding farms, and our Kafka messaging services have built some custom orchestrated deployments using Spinnaker APIs, but not pipelines, out of the box, [and] eventually we will build some of this functionality into Spinnaker.”

For Sale – Complete compact gaming PC – VR ready

Hey, this PC has sat behind my TV for ages but I don’t get the time to play on it…it’s pretty good spec and I have used it with VR so ‘VR ready’ as it were

It’s in a small compact case (similar size to a large console than a PC) and has been build with quality components.

i5-4690K CPU
Gigabyte Z87N-wifi mobo
8GB Crucial Ballistix RAM
500GD Samsung 840pro SSD
1060 3GB GFX card

Buyer will not be disappointed, more than happy to demo/let buyer test if collected/delivered.

Review of graphics card

Overview of the case

£560inc fully insured delivery (personally delivered if within 50 miles of GU14 subject to deposit to cover costs)

Razer Chroma keyboard £75

Am looking for £620 inc courier for both (personally delivered if within 50 miles of GU14 subject to deposit to cover costs) – open to offers within reason.

Price and currency: £620
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PPG/Bank xfer
Location: Farnborough
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.