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On Friday, Apple will release the iPhone XS and XS Max with the XR coming in October. All these phones will partake in the annual ritual of being praised for their Appleness and criticised for the price, as per usual. These devices will also all ship with Face ID, a first for Apple which previously only offered FaceID on one device — the iPhone X. Other smartphone makers are quickly offering facial recognition systems on their own devices, from the mid-range to the most premium. As time goes on, it becomes more and more likely that your next smartphone will ship with facial recognition. If you’re more likely to use Windows 10 laptops, you’ll probably have some form of facial recognition on it too as Windows Hello catches on. Use Facebook? Your Facebook account already has facial recognition. The firm is using it to match users to their untagged photos. For the regular consumer, it’s magical in a sense, but also a little unsettling. Tech writers often explore the magical aspects of facial recognition software being installed on all our devices, but rarely the potential downsides. In other words, facial recognition is everywhere, but we haven’t really talked about it – not really. As techies, we’ve explored the fun parts of facial recognition, your phone unlocks super fast, your laptop does the same too. Microsoft’s Brad Smith has called for regulation of facial recognition software by the US Congress earlier this year, opting to open the debate in a move uncharacteristic of tech companies who are often resistant to the prospect of restrictive legislation and loathe to introduce the topic themselves. More in-depth details can be found on OUR FORUM.

If you're one of the people who own a stylus or touchscreen-capable Windows PC, then there's a high chance there's a file on your computer that has slowly collected sensitive data for the past months or even years. This file is named WaitList.dat, and according to Digital Forensics and Incident Response (DFIR) expert Barnaby Skeggs, this file is only found on touchscreen-capable Windows PCs where the user has enabled the handwriting recognition feature [1, 2] that automatically translates stylus/touchscreen scribbles into formatted text. The handwriting to formatted text conversion feature has been added in Windows 8, which means the WaitList.dat file has been around for years. The role of this file is to store text to help Windows improve its handwriting recognition feature, in order to recognize and suggest corrections or words a user is using more often than others. "In my testing, the population of WaitList.dat commences after you begin using handwriting gestures," Skeggs told ZDNet in an interview. "This 'flicks the switch' (registry key) to turn the text harvester functionality (which generates WaitList.dat) on." "Once it is on, text from every document and email which is indexed by the Windows Search Indexer service is stored in WaitList.dat. More can be found on OUR FORUM.

Microsoft just released a new patch for Windows 10 with minor improvements. If you’re on Windows 10 April 2018 Update, KB4464218 is now available for you. The direct download links for Windows 10 KB4464218 are also available so you can use them to upgrade all your PCs at the same time. If you install Windows 10 KB4464218, your system would advance to Build 17134.286 and you may not notice any new changes. Windows 10 Build 17134.286 fixes only one bug and Microsoft is not aware of any known issues in this release. The latest patch for Windows 10 April 2010 Update is expected to be flawless as the build comes with no bugs. If your PC is on Windows 10 version 1803, Build 17134.286 should show up in Windows Update and the download process will run correctly without any issues. If you’re planning to install the update manually, keep in mind that you’re supposed to install the patch for correct version of Windows 10. If you don’t know your system configuration (32-bit or 64-bit), open Settings -> System and click on About to see system type. You can simply double-click the .msu file that you downloaded from Microsoft’s catalog website and install the patch for Windows 10. Changelog and download links can be found on OUR FORUM.

If you have enrolled in the beta version of Twitter -- and, in some instances, even if you haven't -- you may well have noticed the appearance of Twitter bug reporter icon in the Android status bar. It very likely annoys you, and you probably want to get rid of it. Hunt through the app's settings, and you'll find nothing that relates to the icon. So, what can you do? You could move away from the official Twitter app and try one of the third-party options, but you may not want to. Read on to find out how to stick with the app you've come to know and love (perhaps) and banish the Twitter bug reporter icon once and for all. Quite why the icon appears seems to be a little random. For some people it appears because they're taking part in the beta program, testing out new features. For others, it just randomly appears in the main, non-beta version of the app. For some people, installing an update is all it takes to get rid of the irritating icon, while for others, it is rather more persistent. But there's a simple way to hide the icon and prevent it from ever bothering you again: We have the workaround posted on OUR FORUM.

Microsoft released a security advisory about a denial-of-service vulnerability that could render multiple versions of Windows completely unresponsive and has no mitigation factors, the company says. The vulnerability affects all versions of Windows 7 through 10 (including 8.1 RT), Server 2008, 2012, 2016, and Core Installations. Tagged with the identification number CVE-2018-5391, the bug received the moniker FragmentSmack because it responds to IP fragmentation, a process that adjusts the packet size to fit the maximum transmission unit (MTU) at the receiving end. IP fragmentation attacks are a known form of denial of service, where the victim computer receives multiple IP packets of a smaller size that are expected to be reassembled into their original form at the destination. FragmentSmack is a TCP fragmentation type of attack, also known as a Teardrop attack, that prevents reassembling the packets on the recipient end. The vulnerability is as old as Windows 3.1 and 95, where it crashed the OS, but it was seen in the more recent Windows 7, too. "An attacker could send many 8-byte sized IP fragments with random starting offsets, but withhold the last fragment and exploit the worst-case complexity of linked lists in reassembling IP fragments," reads Microsoft's advisory on the bug. There is a possible workaround posted on OUR FORUM.

A SENIOR GOOGLE research scientist has quit the company in protest over its plan to launch a censored version of its search engine in China. Jack Poulson worked for Google’s research and machine intelligence department, where he was focused on improving the accuracy of the company’s search systems. In early August, Poulson raised concerns with his managers at Google after The Intercept revealed that the internet giant was secretly developing a Chinese search app for Android devices. The search system, code-named Dragonfly, was designed to remove content that China’s authoritarian government views as sensitive, such as information about political dissidents, free speech, democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest. After entering into discussions with his bosses, Poulson decided in mid-August that he could no longer work for Google. He tendered his resignation and his last day at the company was August  31. He told The Intercept in an interview that he believes he is one of about five of the company’s employees to resign over Dragonfly. He felt it was his “ethical responsibility to resign in protest of the forfeiture of our public human rights commitments,” he said. There's plenty more posted on OUR FORUM.

 

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