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Well today we greet the news that we will not be able to take laptops into the cabins of planes leaving the Middle East, Just the countries on the list?

If, of course, you are already in the Middle East, as I am, this creates a problem. Sitting in Beirut, I am now working out how to secure my laptop whilst it is in the hold; not that easy to do.

We, at RPS Partnership, provide security advice for travellers on our training courses. We always advise don’t put valuables in the hold. Keep them in your hand luggage! The airlines say the same. That now seems to be more and more impossible to do. Hmm, so what do we do?

How are the airlines going to secure our laptops when valuables go missing from hold luggage on a daily basis?

The news may well be based on solid intelligence and good proactive security, however this latest attempt to beat the terrorists may well be viewed with a healthy measure of cynicism and disbelief. Do they think that terrorists don’t read the news? If the belief is that a computer may be used, then the ban on carrying computers in the cabins should and must be on all flights, from all parts of the world. Maybe that is next of course? Airline security must be consistent on a global basis, if not the terrorists just pick the airport with the least security and start their journeys there. The impact is sort of the same.

Remember the “shoe bomber”? We went through a whole phase of having to take our shoes off. Now of course, that has been forgotten and the only place I ever have to take my shoes off is in the UK and that seems to be when they feel like it and depending on which airport you are in. Elsewhere, they have all forgotten this method; some airports you barely get searched if everything beeps and pings as you go through the security. Remember the printer bomb? Same thing! Noone ever asks me to take my printer out anymore.

Maybe stepping up security in Middle East airports might be the better option; come to think of it step up the security in airports in Africa and the Middle East (which is where I have the most recent experience), The bomb put on the plane in Egypt was not about what container the bomb was in (could easily have been a computer), it was more about the lax security procedures in the airport that allowed the bomb in in the first place. This is something which I have found to be common in many airports in certain parts of the world. From sleeping security guards to immigration services who can not check my exit stamp from a country with a computer and have wade through paper files at the Ministry of Security downtown.

So back to my original question. How am I going to secure my laptop. I guess I can’t.

If they actually enforce it at Beirut airport (some articles say Lebanon is included and some say it is not.). I probably won’t find out til I arrive at the airport.

So what can we do?

Make sure everything is backed up, Ensure there is a password on your computer, encrypt the hard drive and ensure that it is in a protective case and packed in the middle of your case with clothing around it to provide more protection. Log out of any emails systems (or password protect them), so that if someone gets into your computer they can not get straight into your emails.

Make sure you put a lock on your suitcase, to at least make it more difficult for people to get in when it is going through baggage conveyor belts. That opportunist moment in airports is what we have all worried about for years. The final thing is make sure your insurance covers your laptop, so that if it does get stolen, you at least get the money back to replace it.

“I suppose this will also make it more difficult to justify going into business class so you can work during the flight!” So economy it is then!!!


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Announced at CES this year, Lenovo’s Miix 630 is the third Windows 10 on ARM device, powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset. Lenovo was one of the three launch partners to be in the first generation of Windows on ARM devices. Like both of the other devices in its class, it ships with Windows 10 Pro in S mode, meaning that you can only run apps from the Store unless you switch out of S mode for free.

Of course, this isn’t Windows RT all over again. Announced in 2016, Windows 10 on ARM can emulate x86 apps to run on Qualcomm’s Mobile PC Platforms. There are some limitations, such as x64 emulation and lack of Pro features like Hyper-V, but this is meant to just be Windows, and the average user shouldn’t even know the difference.

The Miix 630 isn’t cheap. Coming with 4GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage, it will run you $899. The real value proposition is 4G LTE connectivity and the additional battery life that comes with an ARM processor. The Snapdragon 835 uses big.LITTLE architecture, using four powerful cores to handle the heavy tasks, and four efficient cores to handle the tasks that don’t require as much power, such as background notifications. Because of this, an ARM processor can deliver much better standby time than an Intel chip.

The Snapdragon X16 4G LTE modem is built into the Snapdragon 835 chipset, so every Windows 10 on ARM PC can support up to gigabit download speeds over cellular, assuming your carrier supports it in your neighborhood (it probably doesn’t). The ability to not have to worry about connecting to Wi-Fi is an extremely freeing feeling although to be fair, there are Intel-powered Always Connected PCs as well, and some of those even use the same Snapdragon X16 modem.

Check out our unboxing of the Lenovo Miix 630 below:



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Microsoft’s new Timeline feature in Windows 10 is designed to let you pick up where you left off on multiple devices. While Timeline supports Microsoft Edge for web browsing history, Chrome and Firefox have not yet been updated to officially support the new feature. A third-party developer has now created a Chrome and Firefox extension to bring Windows Timeline support to both browsers.

The new extension is free and works exactly how you’d expect. Browsing history will be synced to the Windows 10 Timeline feature, so you can pick up old tabs across other PCs. Timeline in its current form is only really useful if you’re using multiple Windows 10 machines with the same account, so perhaps a desktop at home and a laptop on the go (or a work machine). The new extension also lets you push a website you’re currently viewing to another Windows 10 machine.

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Eighteen Chromebooks based on Intel Apollo Lake architecture, which includes many from brands such as Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and Dell, get Linux app support in one fell swoop.

In a change that landed Wednesday morning, the developers switched on Linux app support for all Apollo Lake Chromebooks under the baseboards Reef and Coral. See below for a list of Chromebooks under these baseboards.

All Apollo Lake-based Chromebooks from brands like Acer, Asus, Dell, and Lenovo gain Linux app support

All Reef and Coral boards get Linux app support, that’s a lot of Chromebooks!

See our list of Chromebooks that support Linux apps and what you can expect when Linux apps reach stable.

There are 18 Chromebooks from brands like Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and Dell under Reef and Coral to our knowledge, but there could be more from other OEMs that are missing from this list:

LenovoLenovo Thinkpad 11e Chromebook / Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11e ChromebookPyroreef
LenovoLenovo 500e ChromebookRobo360coral
LenovoLenovo 100e ChromebookRobocoral
AcerAcer Chromebook Spin 11 R751TElectroreef
AcerAcer Chromebook 15 CB515-1HT/1HSandreef
AcerAcer Chromebook 11 (C732, C732T, C732L & C732LT )Astronautcoral
AcerAcer Chromebook 11 (CB311-8H & CB311-8HT)Santacoral
AcerAcer Chromebook Spin 11 (CP311-1H & CP311-1HN)Lavacoral
AsusASUS Chromebook Flip C213SAReefreef
DellDell Chromebook 11 5190Nashercoral
DellDell Chromebook 11 2-in-1 5190Nasher360coral

Apollo Lake is a generation of Intel mobile chips focused on efficient, low-power form factors. They are less powerful than the Kaby Lake chips in the Pixelbook and HP Chromebook X2 but should handle basic Linux apps with ease.



As the change has only just landed, Canary and Developer channels will see this first in the coming days and weeks. Stable or Beta channel users will have to wait until Chrome OS version 69.

Many of the Reef and Coral boards are education-focused, so it’s worth noting that if you have a managed or enrolled device, access to Linux apps is toggled by the administrator.



Source:  XDA

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