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 on: July 21, 2017, 09:55:12 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Many years ago, Microsoft announced the Halo Television Series which would be produced by Steven Spielberg and Showtime. However, due to the backlash surrounding the Xbox One and its supposed film-over-games agenda, the project wasn’t really discussed since then. Many thought that it had been canceled but that’s not the case. Speaking with AR12Gaming, a spokesperson for Microsoft said:

“Progress on the Halo Television Series continues. We want to ensure we’re doing this the right way together with a team of creative partners (Steven Spielberg and Showtime) that can help us build the best Halo series that fans expect and deserve. We have no further details to share at this time.”

This is great news for those who wanted to see the collaboration happen. Halo is vast universe rife with possibilities and it’s understandable why 343 Industries and their partners want to take their time. Video games have a habit of turning out to be quite terrible films and shows so they don’t want the same to happen with the Halo franchise. Hopefully, we’ll hear more about this project soon because it’s already been many years since it’s been in development. At least the good news is that they’re still working on it and it hasn’t been canceled. I know many people will be ecstatic to hear this!


 on: July 21, 2017, 07:04:07 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Today Microsoft released a new firmware update for the Surface Pro 4. The latest update is rolling out right now via Windows Update for Surface Pro 4 owners and it isn’t really a substantial update in terms of new features and fixes. With the latest update, Surface Pro 4 owners will now see the Power Control slider in the tray if they are running the Windows 10 Creators Update. The Power Control slider can be seen in the Battery fly out from the tray, which will let you change the power mode on your device. For instance, you can switch the power mode to get the best battery life or the best performance right from the tray which is pretty neat.

The new firmware also includes driver updates for the Surface UEFI, Pen Pairing, and the Management Engine, along with updates for the Surface Accessory Device. Here’s the full list of updates:

► Surface driver update for Surface Management Engine

► Surface driver update for Surface Embedded Controller Firmware

► Surface driver update for Surface UEFI

► Surface driver update for Surface Pen Pairing

► Microsoft driver update for Surface Accessory Device

► Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. driver update for Marvell AVASTAR Bluetooth Radio Adapter

► Intel Corporation driver update for Intel(R) HD Graphics 520,

► Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. driver update for Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller

► Intel(R) Corporation driver update for Intel(R) Display Audio and Surface driver update for Surface Integration

Microsoft is yet to provide an official changelog for the firmware update, but in the meantime, make sure to check for updates to get the latest firmware on your Surface Pro 4.


 on: July 21, 2017, 06:54:46 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc posted an interesting guide to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The document is a huge collection of all the features of the upcoming Fall Creators Update. Buckle up because there are 51 pages to read!

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update highlights

We can’t tell you all about everything, as we said there are 51 pages to read, but we’ll list some of the most important features that will be available in the upcoming Fall Creators Update:

• You can access all files in the cloud on demand with OneDrive Files On-Demand new feature; you won’t have to download them and use the storage space on your device.

• My People will take connections to the next level, and it will bring you closer to your loved ones.

• The Fluent Design System will come with lots of improvements including the following: acrylic, vertical resize, horizontal resize, diagonal resize, resize grips, tablet mode transitions.

• You will be able to control the volume of your UWP apps.

• There will be no more logging out to fix blurry desktop apps.

• Cortana comes with lots of new features and improvements such as incoming call notifications.

• Microsoft Edge got lots of new features and enhancements, and now it’s easier to move from another browser, and it will also give you more control over closing tabs.

• The PDF Reader from Microsoft Edge also got more features such as the option to Ask Cortana in PDFs.

• Other improvements and novelties include the ability to copy and Ask Cortana, updated emojis, shape writing, enhanced text prediction, scrolling with a pen, improved game setting, Braille/narrator improvements and more.

The update will bring a bevy of new features and enhancements that will significantly improve the Windows 10 experience. Check out the complete list of new features here.


 on: July 21, 2017, 06:19:55 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Microsoft confirmed that full Windows 10 on ARM isn’t coming to existing phones such as the Lumia 950.

Full Windows 10 on ARM is a desktop-like experience

Joe Belfiore of Microsoft confirmed that current Windows phones won’t run full Windows 10 on ARM, news that disappoints users who have been waiting for the update to run full Windows 10 on their Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL devices.

The company explained in technical terms why existing Windows phones won’t be able to run full Windows 10 on ARM. More specifically, Windows 10 on ARM is a desktop-like experience and for the phone-like experiences on ARM we already have Windows 10 Mobile.

Long story short, Belfiore said that the full version of Windows 10 on ARM is all about facilitating great battery life and sleep on ARM based laptops and tablets. All this doesn’t mean that the company is not working on something for the phones, as well. Microsoft is planning another attempt at Windows phones that might see the light of day by next year.

Rumors say that this next attempt for Windows phones will not be launched for existing handsets. In other words, devices such as Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL will be sticking to Windows 10 Mobile. Aside from the fact that CShell will play a major role in the future, there is not much information available about future projects involving Windows 10 Mobile.

On the other hand, the good news is that full Windows 10 on ARM will be released on tablets and laptops using Snapdragon 835 processors later this year. We can’t wait to check it out and see how everything works.


 on: July 21, 2017, 06:10:06 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Last year, Microsoft revealed Project Springfield, a unique fuzz testing service that uses AI for finding security critical bugs in software. This is a tool which Microsoft uses internally for rooting out potential security vulnerabilities in software including Windows, Office and other products. It uses AI to ask a series of “what if” questions to try to root out what might trigger a crash and signal a security concern in the testing software product. Microsoft will be making this cloud service generally available to all developers in the name of Microsoft Security Risk Detection in late summer through Microsoft Services.

Key features:

“Million dollar” bugs: Security Risk Detection uses “Whitebox Fuzzing” technology which discovered 1/3rd of the “million dollar” security bugs during Windows 7 development.

Battle tested tech: The same state-of-the-art tools and practices honed at Microsoft for the last decade and instrumental in hardening Windows and Office — with the results to prove it.

Scalable fuzz lab in the cloud: One click scalable, automated, Intelligent Security testing lab in the cloud.

Cross-platform support: Linux Fuzzing is now available. So, whether you’re building or deploying software for Windows or Linux or both, you can utilize our Service.

Here’s how it works:

1. The customer logs into a secure web portal. Project Springfield provides a Virtual Machine (VM) for the customer on which to install the binaries of the software to be tested, along with a “test driver” program that runs the scenario to be tested, and a set of sample input files called “seed files” to use as a starting point for fuzzing.

2. Project Springfield will continuously fuzz test using multiple methods, including Microsoft whitebox fuzzing technology.

3. Project Springfield reports security vulnerabilities in real time on the secure web portal. Customers can download actionable test cases to reproduce the issue.

4. The customer can prioritize and fix bugs. Then re-test to ensure the effectiveness of the fix.

Microsoft will also be offering a preview version of this tool for Linux users as well. Developers can sign up here for Windows version or Linux preview. You can learn more about Microsoft Security Risk Detection service here.


 on: July 20, 2017, 10:21:37 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Two weeks ago we posted that Microsoft was removing SMBv1 file sharing from future versions of Windows.  The vulnerable file sharing protocol was instrumental in making the recent WannaCry and Petya attacks so successful by allowing lateral spread on a Windows network to other Windows users without them even needing to open any attachments.

Microsoft has been deprecating the SMBv1 protocol since 2014, as it is inherently less secure than more recent versions of the file sharing protocol.

Google, with impeccable timing, has now released an SMB client for Android which is full featured, but only supports SMBv1, as confirmed by Android Police.

If widely adopted by enterprises it would make it more difficult for administrators to deactivate SMBv1 support on their network, and therefore place the Windows machines on the network at risk.

Microsoft’s Ned Pyle, who owns SMB, also reports that SMBv1 is vulnerable to Man in the Middle attacks, meaning even Linux and Android users who use a clean room implementation of SMB would be exposing users to being exploited.

“Linux users are not perfectly safe using this client, as the SMB1 client does not provide sufficient MitM protections unless carefully configured with UNC hardening (a feature likely not available or possible here, since this phone likely cannot use Kerberos, join active directory domains, and there isn’t an obvious way I see to configure signing). I would not recommend using any SMB client from any vendor that only supports SMB1,” he noted.

Google has been hitting Microsoft recently with a steady stream of security disclosures, making the ill-thought release of the Android Samba Client by Marketing @ Google not just odd but suspicious.

Hopefully, Google will do the right thing for their customers and follow Microsoft’s lead in deprecating SMBv1, for the safety of all concerned.


 on: July 20, 2017, 07:21:58 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
The Basis Peak activity-tracking watch earned a reputation a few years ago as one of the most accurate wearables for tracking steps, heart rate, and other vital stats. So when Intel acquired Basis in 2014, it seemed like the company might be planning big things for the wearable space.

But last summer the company issued a recall for the Basis Peak due to overheating. Intel never released the watch and disabled cloud services for the watch at the end of 2016.

Now CNBC reports the Basis team has been entirely disbanded and that Intel is pretty much done developing its own wearables, at least for now.

According to CNBC’s source, Intel eliminated 80 percent of the jobs in the Basis group in November 2016 and shut down Basis altogether earlier this month.

While the Basis Peak wasn’t the only wearable product Intel was working on, other products were even more niche.

This probably doesn’t mean Intel is entirely done with the wearable space. But the company will likely approach it much as it does most other market niches: by offering chips that can be used in gadgets produced by other companies.

Intel’s Curie modules, for example, are small, low-power solutions that combine a processor, motion sensor, Bluetooth, and other features into a compact design aimed at wearables and other tiny gadgets.

For now I’m still not convinced that there’s a lot of growth potential in the consumer-oriented smartwatch and fitness tracker space currently dominated by ARM-powered devices. So it’s not surprising to see Intel scale back its plans.

But as Google is discovering, there may still be some potential in the enterprise space, and who knows what kind of wearable gadgets we could be using in the future?


 on: July 20, 2017, 03:53:48 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Once upon a time if you wanted to totally change the look and feel of the Android software running on  your phone, your best bet was probably to install a custom ROM. Then along came the Xposed framework, which lets you make deep changes to Android by installing and customizing modules, making the process almost as easy as installing an app.

But every time Google releases a new version of Android, the developer of Xposed needs to update the framework… and sometimes that’s pretty hard to do.

While Google is getting ready to release Android O, the developer of Xposed has yet to release an official version that works with Android N (Nougat). But if there is a fork that does work… it just may not be as simple to install as earlier versions.

The new Xposed for Android Nougat software from abforce is a port of developer rovo89‘s work. The good news is that it doesn’t require your phone to be rooted.

The bad news is that it does require installing a custom ROM.

That’s because the new build of Xposed for Nougat is a submodule designed to be included in ROMs built from Android Open Source Project 7.1.2 code. In other words, you need to compile a ROM with Xposed pre-installed in order for this build to work.

Instead of acting as a replacement for custom ROMs, it looks like this latest port of Xposed will supplement ROMs, allowing users to further customize the behavior of their devices after replacing the software that came pre-loaded on their phones, tablets, or other devices.

Looking for a simpler way to hack your device? The latest version of Magisk is also out today. Magisk is a tool that lets you root an Android device, alter system files, and (perhaps most importantly) hide the fact that your device is rooted from Google’s SafetyNet service, allowing you to run apps that would otherwise not work on a rooted phone.

Magisk plays a bit of a cat-and-mouse game with SafetyNet, but the new version comes just a few days after a Google update which kept earlier versions of Magisk from hiding itself from SafetyNet checks.


 on: July 19, 2017, 11:07:15 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
It was reported earlier this week that the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will be known as the Windows 10 Autumn Creators Update in some countries. As it turns out, that’s not going to be the case.

Microsoft today confirmed (via Ars Technica) that there is no such thing as the Windows 10 Autumn Creators Update. Redmond claimed that the name was shown in some countries due to “mistranslation” and that the update will indeed be known as the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update everywhere.

It is no secret that the “Windows 10 Fall Creators Update” is one of the worst product names from Microsoft. In parts of the world, there is no such thing as Fall due to the fact that the season is referred to as Autumn in some regions and Spring in others. If the update had different names in different parts of the world, that would actually be even worse as it’ll result in confusion for regular users.

Microsoft hasn’t been too creative when it comes to naming Windows 10 updates, and I personally hope it doesn’t get any worse from here.


 on: July 19, 2017, 08:40:43 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Security software giant Avast has acquired Piriform, the U.K.-based company behind CCleaner — one of the most popular system cleaners on desktop and mobile.

Founded out of London in 2004, Piriform is a privately held company that makes a number of utility programs and optimization tools for Windows, Mac, and Android. The best-known of these products is CCleaner, which helps Windows, Mac, and Android users delete temporary or otherwise unwanted files left by other software, thus freeing up resources on the machine. Piriform said that CCleaner is used by 130 million people, including 15 million on Android.

Founded in 1988, Avast is one of the best-known brands in the antivirus security realm and recently snapped up rival AVG in a $1.3 billion deal. This acquisition created a new entity with more than 400 million users — the foremost of which is the U.S., with around 60 million users.

Clean up

The Piriform acquisition makes sense for Avast, given the popularity of CCleaner and Avast’s clear intention to become a colossus in the security and system performance realm. Indeed, Avast already offers two similar products — Avast Cleanup and AVG TuneUp, the latter of which it took on as part of last year’s AVG deal. Avast will continue to offer all three standalone products under their own brands.

“We see many commonalities between CCleaner and Avast, allowing for great new products for our user bases,” said Avast CEO Vince Steckler, in a press release. “Avast and CCleaner are the top two downloaded products on popular download sites. They are both known by advanced users as focused on performance, so we believe there will be a great interest from our CCleaner customers in using Avast security products and vice versa. In today’s connected world, it’s all about speed and high performance, and with Piriform’s robust technology we can address this need perfectly. We look forward to working with the Piriform team to grow the business together.”

So what does this mean for the CCleaner brand? Well, similar to AVG TuneUp, which is still offered as a standalone service, Avast will continue to operate CCleaner as it is. It seems this deal was as much a customer acquisition exercise as anything else, while it also allows Avast to cross-sell its existing products to CCleaner users. Avast hasn’t given any indication that it will integrate CCleaner’s underlying technology into its own products.

According to Avast, Piriform’s employees will join Avast’s consumer business unit, reporting directly to Avast CTO Ondrej Vlcek. It’s also worth noting here that the Piriform acquisition gives Avast a much firmer foothold in the U.K. capital, a major technology hub.

“Through the acquisition of Piriform, we broaden our presence in London, which is an important hub for tech companies, bringing us even closer to the local tech scene in London,” added Steckler, in a separate blog post.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.


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