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 on: May 20, 2019, 11:21:06 AM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Canonical has created an optimized desktop image of the Ubuntu 19.04 Linux distribution that is now included as an available virtual machine in the Hyper-V quick create a gallery.

Hyper-V Manager includes a "Quick Create" option that opens a gallery of premade virtual machine images that can easily be downloaded and installed in Windows 10 and Windows Server.

In September 2018, Canonical created an Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS image for Hyper-V Manager. This month Canonical has released an image for Ubuntu 19.04, which Microsoft has also made available in their default Quick Create gallery.

As explained by Ubuntu, this virtual machine image has been optimized to include the following benefits:

   • Improved clipboard integration

   • Dynamic desktop resizing

   • Shared folders for easy host/guest file transfer

   • Improved mouse experience, seamlessly moving between the host and guest desktops

To access the Hyper-V Quick Create Gallery, simply open the Hyper-v Manager and click on Action and then Quick Create. You will then be shown a list of an installable operating system as shown below.

Hyper-V Quick Create List

To install Ubuntu 19.04, simply select it and then click on the Create Virtual Machine button. Hyper-V Manager will now download the current image from and automatically add it as a virtual machine.

Downloading Ubuntu Image

When finished, Hyper-V Manager will tell you that the virtual machine has been created successfully and you should click on the Connect button to continue.

Ubuntu Virtual Machine Created

This will launch Ubuntu 19.04, as shown below, where you can configure it and begin using it. It is strongly suggested that you create a Checkpoint before and after configuring the new virtual machine so that you can start over if you need to. To create a Checkpoint, click on Action and then Checkpoint.

Hyper-V Ubuntu Virtual Machine

Hyper-V's Quick Create Gallery is an underutilized feature that allows users to quickly install popular operating systems that have been optimized to run under Hyper-V. Hopefully, Microsoft will team up with more Linux distributions to create further images for the gallery.


 on: May 19, 2019, 08:10:32 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
In a report on Friday, Google highlights the importance of linking a phone to an account when it comes to fighting hijacking attempts from automated attempts from bots, phishing, and targeted attacks.

An email address is at the center of our online life, essential for creating accounts to web services and for receiving communication more or less sensitive in nature.

Moreover, providers of a large host of services, like Google and Microsoft, have moved to the single sign-in system where the same username and password to access all services from the same provider. On top of this, these accounts can be used to sign up or log into third-party services.

It's no wonder email accounts are coveted by hackers of any sort. Account hijacking attempts occur every day, by the hundreds of thousands, and companies like Google have developed defenses against these threats.

Anti-hijacking proactive protection

Adding a recovery phone number to the Google account seems to be an effective way to win against take-over attacks, especially if they are not targeted.

A study from academic researchers shows that where a Google account was linked to a phone, the takeover prevention rates went up as much as 100% in the case of automated bots, as high as 99% with run-of-the-mill phishing, and up to 90% with targeted attacks.

The research took into account over 350,000 real-world hijacking attempts on a sample of 1.2 million users.

Google is proactive in securing user accounts and relies on user routine to determine the legitimacy of a login attempt in a passive way. Among the signals employed is the origin of the login request, which includes both device and location.

In simple terms, when users log into their accounts from a different device or location, they are asked to prove that they are the legitimate owner by solving a second authentication challenge.

When a suspicious login is detected, users go through an extra verification step, which can be knowledge-based (answering security questions, providing a recovery phone number or email address) or device-based (prove access to a registered device).

Device beats knowledge-based challenges

According to a study from researchers from New York University and Google real-world efforts to hijack a Google account were mostly ineffective against device-based challenges.

On-device prompt, a protection measure that authorizes the login by confirming it on the phone, had a success rate of 100% against automated bots, 99% against bulk phishing attacks, and 90% against targeted account takeover attacks (ATA).

More successful was authorizing the login with a security key. Where this protection was enabled, all ATA attempts failed because the physical device was required for the login process to continue.

click to enlarge

Unfortunately, security keys add friction to the authentication challenge that most users are not willing to accept. This is why they are typically used by a category of users that are more likely to become victims of a targeted attack. For most users, even having the phone at the ready is not possible at all times.

The weakest form of protection resulting from the study was the common SMS-based authentication, which can be defeated if the attacker in a man-in-the-middle position deploys a live phishing attack and intercepts requests and running validity checks in real-time.

click to enlarge

"If you’ve signed into your phone or set up a recovery phone number, we can provide a similar level of protection to ​ 2-Step Verification​ via device-based challenges," say Google researchers.

The alternative of not having a phone connected to the Google account is that recovery needs to rely on weaker, knowledge-based challenges that may be known to an attacker, or very easy to discover. While this is works against automated bots, phishing can be successful in as many as 90% of the cases.

If you don’t have a recovery phone number established, then we might fall back on the weaker knowledge-based challenges, like recalling your last sign-in location. This is an effective defense against bots, but protection rates for phishing can drop to as low as 10%. The same vulnerability exists for targeted attacks. That’s because phishing pages and targeted attackers can trick you into revealing any additional identifying information we might ask for.

It's important to note Google provides other means for users to protect their accounts against takeover endeavors. Relying on an authentication app that generates codes for two factor login and using single-use backup codes are also available options. However, both of them are considered less convenient from the point of view of an average user because it takes longer to complete the challenge.


 on: May 19, 2019, 07:49:15 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Microsoft has pushed an update to its new browser, Microsoft Edge. The browser in the Canary distribution channel is currently receiving a new update, which takes the browser to version

But, it does more than changing the version number. With the new update installed, you’ll notice a new entry to the main browser menu. If you hit Settings and more, then you’ll now see a Close Microsoft Edge option, clicking on which will let you close all the active tabs in the browser.


 on: May 19, 2019, 03:42:32 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
What you need to know

   • Minecraft has sold over 176 million copies.

   • You can purchase the game for $20 on the Microsoft Store.

   • Minecraft appears to have surpassed Tetris in terms of sales.

Minecraft is an incredibly popular survival game which focuses on gathering resources, building shelters, and exploring a procedurally-generated world. The title has become a cultural sensation in recent years along the lines of Fortnite. This is mostly due to the fact that it features open-ended gameplay and has received excellent post-launch support over the past decade.

The same version of Minecraft is available across a number of devices like the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, allowing users to play together. In a recent post on Xbox Wire, Microsoft stated that the game has sold over 176 million units as of its tenth birthday. The company said the following.

This is an incredibly exciting time for Minecraft. Ten years ago today, the game launched on PC. Now, Minecraft has sold more than 176 million copies to-date in virtually every country in the world. As a way to celebrate ten years for the franchise, we announced today a brand-new Minecraft game… Minecraft Earth.

Minecraft Earth is a Pokémon Go-like experience which allows you to build together in an augmented reality environment. It takes cooperation and communication to another level because you have to work with other players to build complex structures.

Given the fact that Minecraft has sold 176 million units, it might be the best-selling game of all time. Tetris seems to be its closest rival, but it's not an exact comparison because a lot of different versions of Tetris exist with different visuals and features. If you analyze all Tetris purchases — and remove the copious free-to-play versions — it turns out that past iterations have sold 70 million copies. This figure appears to contain partial phone sales because in 2010, EA announced that the mobile version crossed 100 million copies sold. The 70 million figure was reported in 2009.

Around the same time, EA adopted a free-to-play model for Tetris on smartphones. Instead of purchasing the game outright, you have to buy microtransactions which give you coins and the ability to remove advertisements. Even if we combine the 70 million figure with the 100 million figure — though there might be overlap — Tetris sales are still lower than Minecraft sales.

Minecraft seems to be the best-selling game of all time if you take all of these factors into account. Even though estimates suggest that Tetris has been downloaded over 500 million times, the fact that it's fragmented among so many different spin-offs means that a direct comparison between the two games can never be made. A better comparison would be between Grand Theft Auto V which is at roughly 110 million units sold.

click for Microsoft Store


 on: May 19, 2019, 03:28:53 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
The latest Xbox One 1910 Preview build, which Microsoft is releasing today for Skip Ahead Xbox Insiders will make the long downloading periods slightly more bearable. After installing the update, the Xbox One OS will now display the estimated download time for games, telling gamers when they will be able to finally play.

“We are adding new features in this build to the Download Queue in My Games and Apps today based on User feedback,” explained Bradley Rossetti, Xbox Insider Team Lead. “You will now see the Estimated time to finish downloads appears in the queue and Allow users to move titles in the queue up and down, not just move to the front.”

In an era where Xbox One games can weigh more than 100GB of storage and take hours to download, this should be a very welcome improvement. As a reminder, certain Xbox One games support a “Ready to start” feature allowing gamers to launch them before they’re fully downloaded. Other games also support FastStart, a new technology that can get you into your game in half the time by identifying the most important bits to download first.

This new feature won’t be available until the fall when the 1910 update for the Xbox One is released. In the meantime, the Xbox team is planning a new system update (1906) in June, but we don’t know yet what’s in the pipeline for this


 on: May 19, 2019, 03:23:49 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
The progress of the Lumia 950 XL Windows on ARM project has been nothing short of amazing, but in the end, you are still running a desktop OS on a 6-inch screen.

Like the other numerous obstacles the team has so far overcome, someone is already working on a solution.

Developer ADeltaX has started work on a custom “Mobile Shell” which is more suited to the small screen.

The work, which is in an early stage, will be hosted on Github here, and will likely be based largely on Windows 10 Mobile.

The work does make one wonder if the future of Windows Phone would have been different if it was just Windows 10 on a smaller screen, and whether any small OEMs would be interested in releasing a phone-shaped device running Windows 10 on ARM in the future.

A Step by Step guide to installing Windows 10 on ARM on a Lumia 950 XL has just been published, if you wish to join the fun. See more resources here.


 on: May 19, 2019, 01:12:42 AM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Do you think your email on Gmail is private? If so, you may want to think again, as your Gmail messages are being scanned by Google for purchases, which are then displayed in your Google account.

This week, a user posted on Reddit about how they discovered that their Google Account's Purchases page contained all of the purchases they have made from Amazon and other online stores even though they do not use Google Pay.

When I saw this, I checked my Google Account Purchases page, located at, and saw that it too contained the purchases I made from online services such as Dominos, Steam,, Amazon, Adidas, and more.  Like the Reddit user, I do not use Google Pay.

Purchases Page

The general consensus was that Gmail was analyzing incoming emails for purchase receipts and then extracting that information.

When BleepingComputer contacted Google about this, they confirmed the information was coming from Gmail messages. They also stated that this was being done to help their users find their data and that they do not use any information stored in your emails, including your purchases, to serve you ads.

“To help you easily view and keep track of your purchases, bookings, and subscriptions in one place, we’ve created a private destination that can only be seen by you. You can delete this information at any time. We don’t use any information from your Gmail messages to serve you ads, and that includes the email receipts and confirmations shown on the Purchase page. We're always working to help people understand and manage their data.”

While they may not be using this information to serve you ads, are they using it for something else? Google has not given us a definitive answer to this question.

Deleting purchase data is a pain

While Google told us that you can delete this information at any time, they did not mention how much of a pain it is to do so.

Instead of having a single setting that allows you to control how this data is saved, you need to go into each and every purchase and click on the Remove Purchase button. This will bring you to the original email that the data was pulled from and once this email is trashed, the purchase will be removed from the Purchases page.

With my Purchases having data going as far back as 2013 and showing approximately 300 purchases, it would be a big pain to manually delete each and every one.  Even worse, another account that I use for most of my purchasing has thousands of orders, which would take forever to clean up.

When searching for a way to stop Google from pulling purchases out of my Gmail emails, I could not find a setting that would allow me to do so.

CNBC who also covered this story this week was also unable to find a setting that stopped Gmail from scanning emails and extracting purchase information.

G Suite customers appear to be spared

I use different email accounts depending on the particular purpose and one of these email accounts is through Google's G Suite service.

When I checked the Purchases page for my G Suite account, I noticed that the page was empty even though it is commonly used to make online purchases. I also asked another person who uses G Suite and they too confirmed their page was empty.


While two people is not a large sample by any means, it could indicate that this data extraction is not occurring for G Suite accounts. I also could not find any settings in the G Suite Admin console that allows me to configure these settings.

We have already asked Google if G Suite is excluded from this data extraction, but have not heard back as of yet.


 on: May 18, 2019, 08:23:57 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt

For a little weekend fun, you can now get The Witcher: Enhanced Edition for free simply by installing another free game called Gwent from and subscribing to the newsletter.

In the Witcher series, you can collect in-game playing cards that can be used to play a game called Gwent. Due to its popularity, CD Projekt spun Gwent into a free stand-alone game that can be downloaded from their digital distribution site called GOG. Users can then purchase card packs to build decks to be used in the game.

For a limited period of time, GOG is running a promotion that gives you a free Card Keg, which is a Gwent card pack, and The Witcher: Enhanced Edition for free when you download and install Gwent and then subscribe to the GOG newsletter.

If you do not mind subscribing to a newsletter, you can install Gwent by going to the GOG store and searching for the game. When found, click on the Play for free button and you will be prompted to download and install the GOG game client to install the game.

Once Gwent is installed, go to The Gwent and Witcher promotion page and click on the Subscribe & Claim button to sign up for the newsletter and get your free Card Keg pack and The Witcher: Enhanced Edition for free.

While The Witcher is 11 years old, it is still a great game, the graphics are more than adequate, and you will quickly lose your weekend to Geralt of Rivia.

Even if you are not ready to play, if you are a game hoarder it is well worth grabbing the promotion while you can.


 on: May 18, 2019, 08:14:21 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Google I/O 2019 saw many cool demos of features coming to the next version of Android, officially named as Android Q. One of the new features coming to the Android Q is “Find My Accessories” for Fast Pair enabled devices. Also, the company announced a revamped Bluetooth settings page for devices running Android Q.

Find My Accessory is a new Fast Pair feature on the Find My Device app and it will help Android Q users to find their earbuds or other Bluetooth accessories. Google will show you where the Bluetooth accessory last disconnected on a map in the Find My Device app(via XDA).

Talking about the new Bluetooth settings page, Google confirmed that the Bluetooth settings page is where users will be able to see detailed battery information of your accessories, manage Assistant and notification settings, change touch controls, control audio tuning, and toggle in-ear detection. The feature isn’t available at this moment and is expected to hit the beta branch soon.

OEMs can control these settings through their own companion apps and to make the overall experience better, Google urges OEMs to use the Slices API.


 on: May 18, 2019, 04:06:55 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
January 14, 2020, is when Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 7, meaning those who don’t upgrade to a newer version will stop receiving security updates from Microsoft. And if you do the math we are just seven months away from the end of support of Microsoft’s almost a decade old operating system, Windows 7.

The end of support of Windows 7 is making the South Korean Government migrate to Linux and not Microsoft’s newer operating systems Windows 8, 8.1, and Windows 10. South Korea Government, however, didn’t explain as to why they chose to ditch Microsoft’s operating systems.

The country’s Interior Ministry is all set to test-run Linux on its PCs, and if all goes well,  Linux systems will be introduced more widely within the government(via TR).

A report from the Korean Herald  stated, “Before the government-wide adoption, the ministry said it would test if the system could be run on private networked devices without security risks and if compatibility could be achieved with existing websites and software which have been built to run on Windows.”

It is not exactly clear which Linux distribution the South Korean Government are eyeing.


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