April 22, 2021

Network Tech

Apple Silicon M1 Mac buying guide: 2021 iMac vs. 2020 MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac mini

At its 2021 Spring Loaded event, Apple added the iMac to the list of computers with the Apple Silicon M1 processor, which currently also includes the 2020 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. Here’s how to pick the right one for your needs.

Apple M1 iMac colors (2021)

Apple announced the first set of Macs to be powered by the company’s new ARM-based

system-on-chip (SoC) at its ‘One More Thing’ event in 2020. The initial lineup of M1 machines were the M1 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and
Mac mini

. At the company’s 2021 Spring Loaded event, it unveiled a completely redesigned
M1 iMac

…available in seven different colors no less.

At TechRepublic, we’ve been
evaluating the new M1 Macs

since release to see how they compare to their Intel-based Mac counterparts and similar Windows PCs. But, should you buy one…for yourself or your business? And, which one

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Salesforce launches Digital 360 for Industries, expands product offerings for retail, healthcare, financial services and more

Digital 360 for Industries builds on Salesforce’s existing Industry Cloud product with ready-made templates, apps and tools specialized for industry verticals.

Salesforce expanded its industry-specific offerings on Monday with a new set of tools, templates and training materials called Digital 360 for Industries. The product is designed to make it easier for companies to rollout new digital experiences and accelerate their digital transformation efforts.

“Every company needs to become digital-first, no matter the industry,” said Shannon Duffy, EVP, Marketing, Salesforce Digital 360, in a company blog post. “With Digital 360 for Industries, we’re expanding our leading digital and industry offerings to deliver exactly what our customers need – a flexible technology platform that is quick and easy to deploy.”

Salesforce Digital 360 for Industries

Image: Salesforce

Digital 360 for Industries is comprised of the following:

  • Digital 360 for Industries Templates: Pre-built templates that include “webpage layouts, pre-built portals and integrations
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How businesses can build strong connections with customers

Nearly 67% of businesses know more about customers than last year, according to a new study by Insightly.

Image: Ridofranz/Getty Images

The pandemic showed businesses it was possible to make a large-scale technical shift, as many employees were sent home to work remotely. Organizations also gained more insight into their customers, and a new study from Insightly and Zogby Analytics revealed that 66.6% of 500 business decision makers polled said they know more about their customers in 2021 than they did in all of 2020. Another significant finding of the study is that businesses rank customer relationship management as the most important tech initiative of 2021, with data management and reporting falling closely behind. 

The new revelation may stem from the additional finding that nearly 60% of businesses are spending more on marketing in 2021 compared to 2020—only 22% are spending less and 20% noted no change—which the Insightly study

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Update to REvil ransomware changes Windows passwords to automate file encryption via Safe Mode

The ransomware changes the device password to “DTrump4ever” and forces the device to log in automatically after being rebooted.

Image: iStockphoto/Kritchanut

The hackers behind the REvil ransomware have released an updated version of the malware that allows them to change Windows passwords and automate file encryption through Safe Mode, according to a recent report from Bleeping Computer. Researcher R3MRUN also released a detailed breakdown of the attack method on his Twitter account, highlighting that attackers can now use the command-line “smode” to essentially put a device into Safe Mode, allowing them to execute the encryption of the files on a device. 

SEE: Identity theft protection policy (TechRepublic Premium)

The ransomware then changes the device password to “DTrump4ever” and forces the device to log in automatically after being rebooted.

Bryan Embrey, director of product marketing at Zentry Security, explained that REvil uses three primary attack vectors to penetrate a network: phishing

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What to consider when shopping for cyber insurance

Cyber insurance is gaining favor in the business world. An expert offers tips on how to get what’s needed for the best price.

Image: iStock/Getty Images Plus

In his TechRepublic article IBM finds cyberattacks costing companies nearly $4 million per breach, Jonathan Greig mentioned, “On average, breaches now cost organizations $3.86 million per attack, with the United States having the highest average cost per breach and healthcare being the most heavily hit industry.”

That was nearly a year ago and many tech pundits, including Rob Sobers in his Varonis article 134 Cybersecurity Statistics and Trends for 2021, suggest that 2021 ain’t gonna be any better. One statistic that hits home to most business owners is Gartner’s forecasting that the worldwide information security market will top $170 billion by 2022.

So what’s a business owner to do—spend money on the latest and greatest cybersecurity platform, that may or may not prevent

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The Free Software Foundation’s Richard Stallman problem begins and ends with board tenure

Commentary: It’s hard for organizations to evolve to meet changing circumstances if its board composition remains static.

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto, HAKINMHAN

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has a serious governance problem that goes beyond how they handled the return of Richard M. Stallman (RMS). For nonprofit boards, the overwhelming standard is to have term limits, and the most common arrangement is two terms of three years each. The FSF? According to Brian Fitzpatrick, with some help from Nathan Naze, the average tenure of FSF board members is a whopping 13.83 years, double the industry standard and well beyond what other open source boards typically see. This is a problem.

No evolution without revolution

There are many good reasons for a revolving door on nonprofit boards. According to BoardSource, which trains and supports nonprofit leadership, rotating board members makes it easier to increase board diversity, minimizes stagnation and guards against

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NVIDIA and Cloudflare offer AI to all developers

The partnership said its workers developer platform is faster and 75% less expensive than AWS Lambda.

Image: iStock/Blue Planet Studio

NVIDIA and Cloudflare announced a partnership that will “put AI into the hands of developers everywhere.”

Working with NVIDIA, Cloudflare will offer artificial intelligence (AI) tools to developers on top of its workers developer platform, making it “easier and faster for developers to build the types of applications that will power the future all within a platform.” On the Cloudflare blog, it claimed that it is faster and 75% less expensive than AWS Lambda.  

More about artificial intelligence

Cloudflare also announced it will support TensorFlow, the open source tool for testing machine learning models, so developers will have access to familiar tools to help build applications before deploying on Cloudflare’s network. 

The announcement said the intent of the partnership is to “bring AI to the edge at scale.”

Developers rely

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2021 tech events, summits and conferences to add to your calendar

The 2021 conference season is going to be a strange one, with many events still TBA or online only due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Image: iStock/metamorworks

What’s Hot at TechRepublic

The 2020 conference season was over almost before it began. COVID-19 shuttered many major tech events, and many planning to relaunch later in 2020 ended up cancelling altogether. This list of tech events in 2021 will look quite different as a result.

Many events have yet to announce dates, and with good reason: The coronavirus pandemic is leaving 2021 shrouded in uncertainty and announcing dates now could result in another bad investment. 

Those events that have been announced for 2021 are here, but be sure to check this list regularly for updates. Some organizations that host event series haven’t released any dates, but still plan to do so. If you don’t see a particular event on this list, check with

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