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 on: September 23, 2020, 12:43:18 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Due to the new US sanctions, Huawei is prohibited from purchasing or manufacturing chipsets if it uses American technology and equipment. Now there is good news.

Chinese sources familiar with the matter said that Intel has received a license from the US to continue doing business with Huawei. This means the Chinese giant will be able to order chips from Intel for its hardware.

Recently it became known that AMD received a license from the United States to continue doing business with Chinese companies included in the prohibited list of legal entities. However, AMD has yet to disclose the names of the companies with which it is allowed to do business.

This confirms that the United States is still issuing licenses to companies to do business with Huawei and other Chinese manufacturers. Therefore, sooner or later Huawei can re-establish relationships with the necessary suppliers.


Against the background of what is happening in China, the price tags for Huawei smartphones have risen. Prices for selected models have already increased by 40% compared to January this year. For example, the cost of the already expensive Huawei Mate 30 RS Porsche Design increased by $443.7. On average, the cost of the company’s devices increased by $60-74. Wholesale consignments of devices are bought up in minutes. Electronics retailers have to rush as prices for Huawei devices are rising almost hourly.

The high demand for the company’s devices in China is because many decided to have time to buy smartphones before they disappear from stores. Consumers understand that Huawei will not have enough stock of processors for a long time. So in the future, they will not be able to purchase gadgets from this manufacturer. Because their release will be discontinued.

Analysts say that the company’s stock of components will be enough until the middle of next year. Naturally, much will depend on the pace of production Huawei will adhere to. Most likely, it will follow the path of reducing its own model range. And will also introduce restrictions on the number of gadgets produced.

I must say that Chinese users, driven by patriotic feelings, all the time since the imposition of sanctions in May 2019, have been actively supporting Huawei, actively purchasing its smartphones. It is on the patriotism of the Chinese that the company’s success in the mobile market this year is based. And we must pay tribute to them that now they have not turned away from Huawei; But continue to actively buy its smartphones.


 on: September 22, 2020, 04:12:49 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
A new Android malware strain has been uncovered, part of the Rampant Kitten threat group’s widespread surveillance campaign that targets Telegram credentials and more.

Researchers have uncovered a threat group launching surveillance campaigns that target victims’ personal device data, browser credentials, and Telegram messaging application files. One notable tool in the group’s arsenal is an Android malware that collects all two-factor authentication (2FA) security codes sent to devices, sniffs out Telegram credentials, and launches Google account phishing attacks.

Researchers found the threat group, dubbed Rampant Kitten, has targeted Iranian entities with surveillance campaigns for at least six years. It specifically targets Iranian minorities and anti-regime organizations, including the Association of Families of Camp Ashraf and Liberty Residents (AFALR); and the Azerbaijan National Resistance Organization.

The threat group has relied on a wide array of tools for carrying out their attacks, including four Windows info-stealer variants used for pilfering Telegram and KeePass account information; phishing pages that impersonate Telegram to steal passwords; and the aforementioned Android backdoor that extracts 2FA codes from SMS messages and records the phone’s voice surroundings.

“Following the tracks of this attack revealed a large-scale operation that has largely managed to remain under the radar for at least six years,” said researchers with Check Point Research, in a Friday analysis. “According to the evidence we gathered, the threat actors, who appear to be operating from Iran, take advantage of multiple attack vectors to spy on their victims, attacking victims’ personal computers and mobile devices.”

The Attacks
Researchers first discovered Rampant Kitten’s campaign through a document, the title of which translates to “The Regime Fears the Spread of the Revolutionary Cannons.docx.” It’s unclear how this document is spread (via spear-phishing or otherwise), but it purports to describe the ongoing struggle between the Iranian regime and the Revolutionary Cannons, an anti-regime, Mujahedin-e Khalq movement.

The document when opened loads a document template from a remote server (afalr-sharepoint[.]com), which impersonates a website for a non-profit that aids Iranian dissidents.

click to enlarge
It then downloads malicious macro code, which executes a batch script to download and execute a next-stage payload. This payload then checks if the popular Telegram messenger service is installed on the victims’ system. If so, it extracts three executables from its resources.

These executables include an information stealer, which lifts Telegram files from the victim’s computer, steals information from the KeePass password-management application, uploads any file it can find which ends with a set of pre-defined extensions, and logs clipboard data and takes desktop screenshots.

Researchers were able to track multiple variants of this payload dating back to 2014. These include the TelB (used in June and July 2020) and TelAndExt variants (May 2019 to February 2020), which focus on Telegram; a Python info stealer (February 2018 to January 2020) that is focused on stealing data from Telegram, Chrome, Firefox and Edge; and a HookInjEx variant (December 2014 to May 2020), an info stealer that targets browsers, device audio, keylogging and clipboard data.

During their investigation, researchers also uncovered a malicious Android application tied to the same threat actors. The application was purporting to be a service to help Persian speakers in Sweden get their driver’s license.

Instead, once victims download the application, the backdoor steals their SMS messages and bypasses 2FA by forwarding all SMS messages containing 2FA codes to an attacker-controlled phone number.

“One of the unique functionalities in this malicious application is forwarding any SMS starting with the prefix G- (The prefix of Google two-factor authentication codes) to a phone number that it receives from the C2 server,” said researchers. “Furthermore, all incoming SMS messages from Telegram, and other social network apps, are also automatically sent to the attackers’ phone number.”

Of note, the application also launches a phishing attack targeting victims’ Google account (Gmail) credentials. The user is presented with a legitimate Google login page, inside Android’s WebView. In reality, attackers have used Android’s JavascriptInterface to steal typed-in credentials, as well as a timer that periodically retrieves the information from the username and password input fields.

click to enlarge
It also retrieves personal data (like contacts and account details) and records the phone’s surroundings.

“We have located two different variants of the same application, one which appears to be compiled for testing purposes, and the other is the release version, to be deployed on a target’s device,” said researchers.

Researchers also warned of websites owned by the threat actors that were phishing pages impersonating Telegram. A Telegram bot was sending phishing messages warning recipients that they were making improper use of Telegram’s services and that their account will be blocked if they do not enter the phishing link.

“Since most of the targets we identified are Iranians, it appears that similar to other attacks attributed to the Islamic Republic, this might be yet another case in which Iranian threat actors are collecting intelligence on potential opponents to the regime,” said researchers.


 on: September 22, 2020, 12:56:08 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Huawei, the known Chinese consumer electronics maker, is apparently planning on launching a curved gaming monitor soon. The company and its subsidiary, Honor, have launched smart TVs in the past, and now, it seems like they plan on entering the gaming market as well.

According to a DigiTimes report, Huawei is reportedly gearing up to launch its own brand of monitors, specifically, curved gaming monitors. This move will have it compete with another known Chinese smartphone maker, Xiaomi that recently entered into the gaming monitor market as well. Industry sources close to the matter revealed this information and even stated that it will outsource the production of standardized monitor products to BOE Vison-Electronic Technology (BOEVT), which will be for 2 to 3 different models.

Huawei will also be subcontracting the manufacture of its curved gaming monitors to TPV Technology for its initial orders for over one million units in the current mainstream sizes of 27 inch and 34 inch. This move also marks another area through which the Chinese tech giant is stepping into the desktop PC market. It had recently unveiled its Kunpeng 920 powered desktop, while Honor also launched its Hunter series of gaming laptops.

Notably, we had also previously reported on a leak that revealed gaming monitors from Huawei back in August 2020. These monitors feature a high refresh rate of 240Hz. This might be the same model as the upcoming curved gaming monitors that have been reported by sources. This report also mentioned different sizes at varying price points with a 32 inch model with mini LED also being hinted at. Unfortunately, this is still an unconfirmed report and we will have to wait for an official Huawei announcement to know for sure. So stay tuned.


 on: September 22, 2020, 12:36:01 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
It’s the biggest gaming acquisition in Microsoft’s history. The company bought Mojang, the studio behind popular title Minecraft, for $2.5 billion in late 2014. That proved to be a boon to the company as Minecraft continued to surge in popularity, rapidly becoming the world’s bestselling game with more than 200 million copies sold to date.

The acquisition of Bethesda gives Microsoft access to a raft of successful game franchises, including the role-playing game series Fallout and The Elder Scrolls and the Doom shooter franchise.

“Gaming is the most expansive category in the entertainment industry, as people everywhere turn to gaming to connect, socialize and play with their friends,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said.

“With the addition of Bethesda, Microsoft will grow from 15 to 23 creative studio teams and will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass,” Microsoft said. “This includes Microsoft’s intent to bring Bethesda’s future games into Xbox Game Pass the same day they launch on Xbox or PC.”

Microsoft’s Xbox unit is betting heavily on subscriptions this year. Its Xbox Game Pass platform gives players access to dozens of games and the firm recently included a so-called cloud gaming feature that lets users play games on their phone or tablet. Microsoft said it aims to bring Bethesda’s upcoming space-themed game Starfield to Xbox Game Pass on the day of launch.

Microsoft is also selling its new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles — which will go head-to-head with Sony’s PlayStation 5 next month — via point-of-sale financing plans to spread the cost over monthly installments. Preorders for both systems start Tuesday.

ZeniMax to remain independent

Speaking Monday on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley,” Microsoft Xbox head Phil Spencer said ZeniMax would continue to operate independently following the acquisition and suggested there would be no cuts at the company.

“Our plan is to leave it alone,” Spencer said. “ZeniMax has an amazing track record of building great games. Our goal is to make ZeniMax the best ZeniMax they can be.”

The deal comes at a time when interest in video games has surged thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Demand for gaming exploded as countries went into lockdown earlier this year, and companies in the sector have reported rising profits and revenues as a result. The industry is forecast to generate revenues of $159.3 billion this year, according to games analytics firm Newzoo.

“This announcement comes at a critical time,” George Jijiashvili, a senior analyst at Omdia, told CNBC. “The lead-up to the launch of the next-gen consoles is when gamers pick their ‘religion.’”

Jijiashvili said Microsoft could launch Bethesda games as exclusive Xbox titles, meaning they wouldn’t be available on other platforms such as the PS4, PS5 and Nintendo Switch. Microsoft recently said it would delay the launch of Halo Infinite, one of the flagship games for its new consoles, until sometime in 2021.

“The delay to Halo Infinite, the most anticipated Xbox exclusive, is a huge blow to Microsoft, but it is betting that Game Pass will sway gamers in the long run, thanks to day-one launches, cloud gaming and a growing library of appealing games,” Jijiashvili said. “The question of exclusivity now looms large. Microsoft has not opted for the exclusive route with its past acquisitions, but this may change given the scale of this acquisition.”


 on: September 21, 2020, 01:43:09 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt

If you often use virtual desktops in Windows 10 to manage your workspaces, you might find that keeping track of windows between them can sometimes be a hassle. Luckily, Windows makes it easy to move windows between virtual desktops. Here’s how.

How to Drag and Drop Windows Between Virtual Desktops

Using your mouse or a touchscreen, you can easily drag windows between virtual desktops using the Task View sceen. To open “Task View,” click the “Task View” button on your taskbar or press Windows+Tab.

(If you don’t see a “Task View” button on the taskbar, right-click the taskbar and select “Show Task View button.”)

Using the row of virtual desktop thumbnails across the top of the the Task View screen, click the desktop that contains the window you’d like to move.

After clicking, the virtual desktop you selected will appear. Activate “Task View” again, then drag the thumbnail of the window you’d like to move onto the thumbnail of the virtual desktop you’d like to move it to.

As you move it over the destination desktop, the thumbnail will reduce in size.

Once the window thumbnail is over the virtual desktop destination thumbnail, release the mouse button, and the window will be moved to that desktop.

After that, you’re free to switch to whichever virtual desktop you like by clicking it or simply pressing “Escape” to close Task View.

How to Move Windows Between Virtual Desktops by Right-Clicking

You can also move windows between virtual desktops by using a pop-up menu that appears in Task View. First, open “Task View” and focus on the desktop that includes the window you’d like to move. In Task View, right-click on the window’s thumbnail and select “Move To,” then pick the destination desktop from the list.

After that, the window will appear on the virtual desktop you selected. You can also make the window appear on all virtual desktops at once if you right click on its thumbnail in Task View and select “Show this window on all desktops.” Very handy!

Unfortunately, Windows 10 does not include a keyboard shortcut for moving windows between virtual desktops.


 on: September 21, 2020, 01:26:11 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Now that Apple has announced the new iPads and Apple Watches, the focus will turn to the delayed iPhone 12 family and the first ARM-powered MacBook. In a topsy-turvy world, the former should stand out in a pandemic disrupted market. The latter should bring Apple’s ability to innovate back to the laptop and desktop market.

Yet for all the talk of Apple’s innovation and cutting-edge technology, Microsoft is already there.

Detail of a person using an Apple MacBook Pro laptop computer in a cafe, taken on November 18, 2016

This new battleground will focus on laptops and tablets, and specifically on the move towards ARM-based processors. Tim Cook’s Apple has stated that the company is ‘all-in’ with this move, and it should be completed within two years. Although the Intel machines will continue to be supported (and the strength of that support is yet to be confirmed, although the historical precedent suggests the window will be about three and four years).

The first ARM-powered MacOS machine for the public is expected to be launched in October this year. Analysts are pointing towards the adoption of the MacBook Pro name for one of the machines that will use the increased computational power of ARM, and the return of the titular MacBook for a smaller and lighter laptop that takes advantages of the lower thermal and battery requirements of ARM chips.

Microsoft is already there.

Last October saw the release of the Surface Pro X. Following the same design as the Surface Pro 7, launched at the same event, the Pro X stands out because of the CPU; Microsoft’s SQ1, which is a variant of Qualcomm’s 8CX ARM-powered system on chip.

The Surface Pro X has given Microsoft a first-move lead in retail of around 12 months. Microsoft will have gathered a significant amount of data on how the devices are used, as well as the feedback from users in a live environment rather than a supervised marketing research session.

It also raises the visibility of the Windows 10 on ARM platform to Microsoft’s hardware partners. The software development that can be seen on the Pro X will be development that can apply to the whole Windows ARM project and will benefit the computer manufactures that will sell ARM-powered machines in the future.

As the number of ARM machines available grows, so will the Windows 10 on ARM platform. Assuming Microsoft can kick the virtuous cycle into gear then the platform will gather its own momentum. With the likes of Lenovo, HP and Acer involved, and a number of devices announced at the recent IFA for the 8CX Gen 2, the pace is increasing.

Curiously for Microsoft, Apple’s entry into the market with its own implementation of ARM for MacOS legitimizes the space for both of the behemoths. Given the lead time of development, this isn’t a ‘Keeping up with the competition’ scenario, this is the two major players recognizing the way forward.

It also shows up the different approaches of the company. Apple is keeping quiet about its Arm project as much as possible. Developers have test machines - presumably under heavy NDA - and while hardware availability has been noted, exact details are not forthcoming.

In essence, Apple’s ARM will reach the market in what it hopes will be a fully formed offering, with issues such as backwards app compatibility addressed, full support throughout the ecosystem of first- and third-party apps, and software stability all addressed and solved. It help that Apple’s ecosystem is tightly controlled, and many awkward legacy apps were cut loose from MacOS last year with 32-bit app support dropped from MacOS Catalina.

Microsoft has taken another approach, with more of the work done in public. The Surface Pro X proved that Windows 10 on ARM as a concept was the way forward, but there were issues out on the cutting edge. The Pro X supported any app downloaded or purchased through Microsoft’s App Store and legacy 32-bit apps from Windows on Intel would run, but the more advanced 64-bit Intel apps were incompatible with the system.

That 64-bit support is expected to arrive alongside the preemptively named Surface Pro X2 in October… the same time as the ARM MacBook and potentially the ARM MacBook Pro.

The Microsoft Corp. Surface Pro X hybrid tablet and laptop computer is displayed during a product product event in
New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. Microsoft unveiled a dual-screen, foldable phone that will run on
Google's Android operating system, jumping back into a market it exited years ago. Photographer:
Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg © 2019


The geekerati wait to measure up both the individual machines from Apple and Microsoft, and the depth and reach of their respective ARM-powered ecosystems over the next year. With two competitors pushing each other forward, with two similar but distinct visions that can play off each other, and the start of a new cycle of innovation under way, which vision will win out?


 on: September 21, 2020, 12:56:59 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
Earlier this year, Microsoft started rolling out forced Windows Update titled “KB4559309” and it alleged killed system performance for many users. This update was reportedly pushed out to a wide range of devices to replace the old Edge browser with the new Chromium-based one.

The problem is not with the Chromium Edge, which is a fantastic Chrome alternative, but something in the Windows 10 KB4559309 update process was reportedly hampering the performance of some devices, specifically the startup time.

Another problem with KB4559309 is that the update is pushed out automatically, so you cannot opt-out unless you use advanced tools designed for business customers. If you’ve been forced to install the patch, there’s also no way to uninstall it because the option is greyed out.

“Windows taking a long time to boot up after installing the KB4559309 update, and sign-in is also getting very slow after that,” one user noted in Feedback Hub and Microsoft said it has received the feedback. In a community thread, Microsoft also confirmed that they’re investigating the reports.

Fortunately, after several users flagged the problem, Microsoft says it has replaced the update with another update “KB4576754” and it appears to install without any problems for users.

“This update replaces previously released updates KB4541301, KB4541302 and KB4559309,” the company noted in support documentation.

Windows 10 KB4576754 was issued on August 31 to replace the botched KB4559309 and we haven’t seen anyone reporting performance issues after applying the patch.

Chances are you won’t face any performance issues or system slowdown after this patched update installs onto your machine.

KB4576754, which is also installed automatically, enables the new Chromium Edge on Windows 10 and the new browser is a huge improvement over the previous one.

If you’re still worried about the potential performance issues in the latest update, you should manually download and install the Chromium-based Edge browser. When the Chromium-based Edge is installed, Windows Update will automatically block the update from installing onto your device.


 on: September 21, 2020, 12:50:21 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt

Amid the trade ban that sees Giant Chinese tech company Huawei struggling in manufacturing certain products, a silver lining is seen as AMD is rumored to be officially on board to provide the company of essential hardware.

For reasons yet to be disclosed, AMD is said to have secured a license to become a supplier for Huawei—a statement which is also confirmed by AMD’s vice president, Forrest Norrod. Surprisingly, the exec also claims that US’ existing trade ban on Huawei will not have any “significant impact” on AMD’s business.

Meanwhile, as fears for Huawei’s products soon becoming “extinct,” a trend is ongoing which sees pricing on a rise by as much as 40 percent in comparison to January this year. On average, consumers are seeing an increase by around $60 to $74 for Huawei products, such as the Huawei Mate 30 RS Porsche Design which got a staggering price increase of $443.7.


 on: September 20, 2020, 10:37:11 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt

Windows 10 October 2020 Update will begin rolling out to consumers sometime next month, but you can already install the update if you’re willing to join the Windows Insider program.

While the feature update is expected to begin rolling out next month, Microsoft won’t begin force-feeding 20H2 to users until next year, when it begins upgrading machines reaching the end of support, such as version 1903 or version 1909.

On consumer PCs, you’ll be able to download and install the update via Update & Security > Windows Update. In the update page, you need to click on ‘Download and install’ button, and the update won’t be forced on your device unless you select the option.

The update process is still same, but there’s one major change – October 2020 Update will install via the “enablement package,” which will transform May 2020 Update into October’s feature update 20H2.

The enablement package weighs less than 100MB, as in megabytes. This certainly makes sense because Windows 10 version 20H2 is nearly feature-free and it appears to be Microsoft’s another attempt at the old-school service packs, which include collections of fixes and improvements made to the existing OS.

We wouldn’t be surprised if the update size is reduced further after the forthcoming cumulative update.

That’s because cumulative updates for Windows 10 version 2004 are supposed to include October 2020 Update’s dormant features. In other words, your device running Windows 10 version 2004 will be transformed automatically into 20H2 if the tiny enablement package is detected.

The enablement package size could go beyond 400MB if you don’t have the latest cumulative update applied to the May 2020 Update. This is again because the files needed for Windows 10’s October Update are included in the cumulative updates, which was pushed out over a month ago.

If you haven’t installed May 2020 Update (version 2004) yet, you’ll have to face a download of around 4GB to 4.7GB, which is the common size for Windows upgrades.

It’s also worth noting that this new enablement technology, which acts as an “update switch”, is still a new project, and there’s no formal plan to deliver upgrades next year in this way.

In fact, we’ve already reported that Microsoft is internally mulling a plan to deliver only one major update per year.


 on: September 20, 2020, 10:07:07 PM 
Started by javajolt - Last post by javajolt
The Microsoft Surface Duo, the dual-screen revolutionary hardware unveiled in 2019, is now shipping in the United States. Microsoft is charging $1,399 for the Surface Duo with 128GB of storage. If you want 256GB of storage, you need to pay $1,499.

The device uses last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM, single 11-megapixel camera, and relatively small 3577mAh battery. It’s pocketable at 145.2mm x 93.3mm x 9.9mm (thinner than the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra) and it’s more like a tablet than a phone if you use it with both screens open.

Surface Duo ships with the heavily skinned and specified version of Android rather than Windows (Phone) and it also comes with Play Store.

While there’s no app gap problem and all your Android apps should just work, some apps will work best only if they’re optimized for the dual screens and fully leveraging hinge-based form factor.

Microsoft also made the rather surprising revelation that it worked closely with Google to optimize the platform for a dual-screen future. That includes not just the Android 10/11 but also apps like Google Play Music, Maps, and Chrome.

Based on the reports from users across social media platforms, here’s a list of apps optimized for the dual-screen.

Surface Duo optimized apps

   ■ Microsoft Edge.

   ■ Microsoft To-Do.

   ■ Microsoft News.

   ■ OneDrive.

   ■ Outlook.

   ■ Office.

   ■ OneNote.

   ■ Solitaire Collection.

   ■ Google Chrome.

   ■ Google Play Books.

   ■ Amazon Kindle

   ■ Adobe Acrobat Reader.

The Surface Slim Pen, which seems important to the dual-screen experience, is also optimized to work with these apps.

A phone like the Surface Duo requires support for dual-screen that Android hasn’t supported before. As a result, the list of optimized apps doesn’t cover the majority of the apps that users use daily, but the good news is that more apps developers are planning to update their apps with dual-screen support.

Thanks to that close collaboration with Google, Microsoft should be able to convince more people to build apps for its Surface Duo and future dual-screen hardware.


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