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Google launches Android 8.0 Oreo PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wayne   
Monday, 21 August 2017 22:23

Google Android 8.0Google Android 8.0 finally has a name. The operating system formerly called Android O will henceforth be known as be Android 8.0 Oreo. During an event timed to coincide with the peak of the solar eclipse in New York City today, Google unveiled a statue of the newest Tasty Treat that will be on display at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View California. It’s basically an Android character in a cape with Oreo cookie in its center… or maybe the bugdroid character is in the center, where it’s the creamy filling of the cookie. Anyway, the name doesn’t really matter as much as the new features in Android 8.0 (which include multitasking, notification dots, a new autofill framework, and battery life improvements and much more). But ever since Google started giving its Android versions code-names based on “tasty treats,” the unveiling of new names has started to become buzzworthy in its own right. Android 8.0 should begin rolling out to Pixel smartphones soon, followed by recent Nexus devices and then eventually to third-party phones and tablets. Google says Motorola, LG, Samsung, HTC, Sharp, Sony, Huawei, HMD, Essential, General Mobile, and Kyocera all plan to launch new devices with Android 8.0 Oreo and/or upgrade existing devices to the new OS by the end of the year. Update: Android O system images are now available for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel CL, Pixel, and Pixel XL.

Microsoft quits Trump’s digital advisory board PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wayne   
Sunday, 20 August 2017 06:09

Trump’s digital advisory boardDonald Trump’s administration has become increasingly isolated as even those who previously reluctantly associated with the White House in an attempt to influence its course have now worked to rapidly distance themselves from what is looking increasingly like a sinking ship. The latest to go overboard was Microsoft president and legal chief Brad Smith, who left the US government’s digital economy advisory board over President Trump’s inability to unequivocally condemn racists. A spokesman for Microsoft said, “Effective today, Brad is no longer a member of the group.” He joins a host of other erstwhile members, including executive chairwoman of the Mozilla Foundation Mitchell Baker; president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Karen Bartleson; Sonia Katyal, a professor of law at the University of California; CEO of the Markle Foundation Zoë Baird; Greg Becker, CEO of Silicon Valley Bank; Oisin Hanrahan, CEO of Handy; and Corey Thomas, CEO of Rapid7. Others believed to have resigned include David Cohen, a Comcast senior veep; James Manyika, a director at McKinsey; and Marta Tellado, CEO of Consumer Reports. Zoë Baird, co-chairs of the advisory board, said “It is the moral responsibility of our leaders to unite Americans by respecting the diversity and inclusion that enables our country to generate new opportunity and celebrate freedom. In order to preserve these cherished values, there must never be an equivocation in denouncing hate, bigotry, violence, and racism.”

Windows 10 KB4034661 fixes black screen issues PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wayne   
Friday, 18 August 2017 13:41

Windows Update CatalogMicrosoft silently rolled out an important update for Windows 10 Anniversary Update. KB4034661 brings quite a long list of bug fixes and improvements to the table. The most important patches include a fix to solve black screen issues, AppLocker crashes, computer account error 1789, and more. KB4034661 patch notes;  ■ This package contains d3dcompiler_47.dll ■ Addressed the issue where a black screen appears when launching an application on Citrix XenApp that was deployed from Windows Server 2016. ■ Fixed the issue where the User Account Control (UAC) prompt sometimes appears hidden under other opened windows. ■ Addressed the issue in the event collector data that caused data corruption with % symbols in the user logon events (ID 4624) from other Domain Controllers (DCs). ■ Addressed issue where the PowerShell command Add-HgsAttestationTpmHost fails to find the Endorsement Key Certificate for a system even though the certificate exists. ■ Fixed the issue where, in some cases, an Encrypted Hard Drive device would not automatically unlock at system startup. ■ The AppLocker rules wizard should no longer crash when selecting accounts. ■ Addressed the issue where third-party directory structures caused Disk Cleanup to render a boot drive inaccessible. ■ Addressed the issue where unsynchronized access in NtfsQueryLinksInfo led to a system crash. ■ Fixed the issue where an extremely high number of I/O flushes might lead to an error. ■ Addressed a reliability issue that occurs when a user gives the wrong input to the smart card pin prompt. ■ Addressed issue by increasing the time out window when starting Docker for Windows to avoid 0x5b4 errors. ■ Fixed the issue with Azure Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) when an ADFX server is configured to use an HTTP Proxy. ■ Addressed issue where the calling IP address is not logged by 411 events in the Security Event log of ADFS 4.0 and Windows Server 2016 RS1 ADFS servers. ■ Computer accounts should no longer lose domain membership with the error 1789. The same problem happens internally when a user password cannot be changed with error 0xc0000206. This issue has also been fixed.

Microsoft Research creating an AI to help autonomous gliders PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wayne   
Wednesday, 16 August 2017 13:28

flying glidersMicrosoft is testing an artificial intelligence agent which can control a glider much like a hawk does, remaining in the sky indefinitely by predicted air patterns and planning a route forward by seeking out columns of rising hot air and using them to stay aloft.  Microsoft researchers tested the technology in Nevada last week using two gliders guided by sensors and onboard computers. The effort is in part to help machines make decisions when faced with uncertainty and specifically the hope is that the autonomous aircraft can eventually ride the air for hours or even days at a time while consuming very little power, help to, say, track weather patterns, monitor farm crops or even deliver the internet to places where it’s otherwise unavailable. The glider is testing a mathematical technique called the Markov decision processes as a way of identifying and responding to uncertainty in predicting the future in a relatively safe environment. “The core problem for robotics is uncertainty,” said Ken Goldberg, a professor at University of California, Berkeley. “This is what differentiates robotics from a game like Go or chess.” “With a glider, you can test these algorithms with minimal risk to people and property,” Mr. Kochenderfer, a Stanford University professor of aeronautics and astronautics. Interestingly the techniques are already being used by Bing and Windows but will eventually also be relevant in self-driving cars and other dynamic environments.

Mind Control VR PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wayne   
Sunday, 13 August 2017 20:54

Neurable MInd ControlHere we have another example of machine learning to improve technology; mind control. Neurable have created a wizard's hat, no more plastic wands! Neurable, the world’s first BCI (Brain Computer Interface) platform designed specifically for developers of mixed-reality experiences. What this actually means is that developers have the chance to use this device to create new media, the focus, their mind as the tool. The device is an adapted Vive that has a number of sensors built into an adapted strap that read event-related potentials from your brain; specific signals that happen when the brain responds to stimuli. this will, in turn, allow for an intention-based method of interaction. The sensors are read by computers set up to learn. Theoretically, the more the devices are used, the more they will understand each small nuance of thought. This is not an exact science so it will be very interesting to see how the device progresses. Keep this in mind though, Neurable are not a gaming company. Based in Boston, Neurable is a startup working on the brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) required for mind control.

Android O could be coming the week of August 21st PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wayne   
Saturday, 12 August 2017 16:49
Android OGoogle could launch the next version of Android by the end of the month. First unveiled with the launch of a developer preview in March, Android O brings improvements to power management, notifications, and multitasking, among other things.  Now Android Police blogger David Ruddock and tech news leak specialist Evan Blass are both reporting that Android O will launch either on Monday, August 21st or during the week of the 21st. Ruddock says that Google will roll out an Android O update for its Pixel and Pixel smartphones on the 21st. There’s no word on whether folks with older Nexus phones will have to wait a bit longer for their official updates, or whether Google will release the source code for the new operating system at the same time as the first updates.  We’ll also allegedly have to wait at least until August 21st to find out what “O” stands for. Google has used the name of a “tasty treat” as the codename for every version of its mobile operating system from Android 1.5 Cupcake to Android 7.x Nougat. Guesses have runt he gamut from Android 8.0 Oreo to Oatmeal Cookie to Oh, does it really matter?
Tech support scammers threaten Windows 10’s security with new tactics PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wayne   
Friday, 11 August 2017 19:21

According to Microsoft, tech support scammers are now borrowing phishing techniques from cyber criminals who are seeking credentials. Phishing-like emails and more tech support scams. Scammers are currently using phishing-like emails to lead potential victims to all kinds of fake tech support web sites. The new attack tactic was spotted by Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center, and it helps evolve bogus tech support. Tech support scams have recently used a mix of malicious ads that automatically redirect users to a fake tech support page that shows a fake Blue Screen of Death or other fake Windows security alerts. Cyber criminals have been using mass email for a long time to spread links to fake online banks or email login to phish for credentials. The latest scammers use almost identical techniques, and they’re sending emails as if they were from Amazon, LinkedIn or Alibaba. The difference is that instead of phishing for credentials, the links lead to fake tech support pages and users are asked to pay for unnecessary tech support services.

Windows 10 SDK Preview Build 16257 available PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wayne   
Thursday, 10 August 2017 03:43

Microsoft is releasing a new build of the Windows 10 SDK and a new emulator for Windows 10 Mobile today. The Windows 10 SDK is feature-complete, which means Microsoft is only busy fixing bug fixes and other minor improvements on the SDK. The latest SDK build is 16257, which is also the latest Insider Preview for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update today. The emulator for Windows 10 Mobile is build 15235. The SDK includes some known issues, which you can find below: ♦ Designer fails to render: When viewing the XAML in the Designer Window in Visual Studio, the controls fail to render. This can be resolved by using Visual Studio 2017.3 Preview. ♦ Compilation fails on non-Windows 10 platforms (need to see if fixed) ♦ When building apps on previous platforms, you may get a build error.

You can get the SDK as well as the Emulator here, and find the API changes here.



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