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FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) today warned of an ongoing phishing campaign delivering spam that uses fake government economic stimulus checks as bait to steal personal information from potential victims. "Look out for phishing emails asking you to verify your personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the government," IC3's alert says. "While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the news cycle, government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking your private information in order to send you money." The FBI issued another warning about a phishing scam impersonating the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 2008 and trying to steal taxpayers' personal information using economic stimulus checks as bait. Similar campaigns might also ask potential victims for donations to various charities, promise general financial relief and airline carrier refunds, as well as try to push fake COVID-19 cures, vaccines, and testing kits. Other active phishing attacks are also taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to infect victims with malware and harvest their personal info via spam impersonating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other similar organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO). The FBI also says that scammers are also trying to sell products claiming to prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure the COVID-19 disease, as well counterfeit sanitizing products and personal protective equipment (PPE), including but not limited to N95 respirator masks, gloves, protective gowns, goggles, and full-face shields. To avoid getting scammed by fraudsters, infected with malware, or have your personal information stolen, IC3 recommends not clicking on links or open attachments sent by people you don't know and to always make sure that the websites you visit are legitimate by typing their address in the browser instead of clicking hyperlinks. You should also never provide sensitive information like user credentials, social security numbers, or financial data when asked over email or as part of a robocall. To make it easier to spot phishing and scam attempts, you can also check the domain of websites you visit for misspellings or for the wrong top-level domain (TLD) at the end of the site's URL — .com or .net instead of .gov, the sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) used by US government sites. You can read the full FBI Warning on OUR FORUM.

Apple has spent the past 10 years trying to convince everyone that the iPad and its vision of touch-friendly computing is the future. The iPad rejected the idea of a keyboard, a trackpad, or even a stylus, and Apple mocked Microsoft for taking that exact approach with the Surface. “Our competition is different, they’re confused,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook as he stood on stage to introduce the new Macs and iPads six years ago. “They chased after netbooks, now they’re trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows what they will do next?” Every iPad has transformed into a Surface in recent years, and as of this week, the iPad Pro and Surface Pro look even more alike. Both have detachable keyboards, adjustable stands, trackpads, and styluses. With iPadOS getting cursor and mouse support this week, Apple has finally admitted that Microsoft was right about tablets. Let me explain why. Microsoft’s return to tablets was a rough ride and far from perfect. Bill Gates tried to convince the world that tablets would be a thing all the way back in 2002, but the hardware and software were far too primitive back then. The software maker eventually introduced the Surface RT alongside Windows 8 in 2012 as a clear response to the iPad, but it had an ARM-powered desktop operating system that didn’t support your favorite apps. It was slightly confusing, but Microsoft’s tablet principles were clear at the time. “Something is different about tablets, people still do desire a physical keyboard,” wrote former Windows chief Steven Sinofsky in a detailed blog post about Windows 8 back in 2012. “Even in the absence of software like Microsoft Office, the reality is that when you need to write more than a few quick lines of text, you yearn for something better than on-screen typing ... People benefit from the highly accurate, reliable, and fast user input enabled by a physical keyboard, and we think an OS and its apps should not compromise when one is available.” The message was clear: touch-based computing would be a first-class input for Windows 8 but not the only way to use the operating system. Microsoft insisted you needed a mouse for precision, a keyboard for typing, and a stylus for taking notes or drawing. These basic foundations led to the Surface Pro, with its variety of inputs to suit different needs. Read more of Apple's admission on OUR FORUM.

If you told to be back in 2013 that this generation would see first-person shooters return to frenetic retro experiences as tongue-in-cheek was they were colorful, I’d tell you to stop making shit up. Doom 2016 was the start of realizing that dream: the return to form for id Software’s iconic “daddy-of-first-person-shooters” was also the return of an often sidelined method of presenting an FPS. If you thought that 2016’s return to the demon-infested UAC was the true return to Doom, you haven’t played anything like Doom Eternal. While four years ago we were treated to a smidge of what the series could be again – complete with gruesome combat and pumping heavy metal – Eternal’s amp has been cranked up not just to eleven, but away past it. While the last outing of the demon-massacring Doom Slayer ended with the raging marine being sent back to Hell, Eternal instead begins with everyone’s favorite angry-man tackling the rise of the demon horde on Earth. It begins immediately: after steadily shooting your way through a few linear paths, the open combat arenas begin to show their antsy faces. Eternal’s first combat arena is by sure it’s smallest, but it makes a hectic first impression. In comparison to its older brother, this beginning section feels like a mid-game gore nest from Doom 2016. There are imps, zombie soldiers and even an Anachnotron to deal with. For the beginning of a game, Eternal holds no punches and as the game continues its arenas only get bigger, more populated and tougher. That’s not to say that Doom Eternal ever becomes too difficult. We played through the entire campaign on Ultra-Violence, this series’ version of hard mode. As the horde of demon foes expands to include Pinkies, Mancubi, Cacodemons, Tyrants, Archvilles and more, your arsenal of weapons will expand alongside them. As you speedily skate out of the training level, Doom’s combat becomes an eloquent display of ultra-violent gunplay amid grotesque homogenized environments that see their base design overwrought by the unstoppable infection of Hell. The strong core of 2016 lays the unshakable combat foundation that Eternal gleefully builds upon to craft the best shooter this generation has seen. Each combat arena no longer feels like a beautifully choreographed dance; each fight is more akin to a glorious display of freeform combat parkour as you hastily rush to change your direction and approach in a split second. Your core movements of double jumps, mantling, boost-dodging, wall-climbing, and monkey-bar-swinging are constantly in use as you skate around vast demonic warzones and blast away at the ever-oncoming danger. Every gun, from shotgun to plasma rifle to rocket launcher, shreds away the flesh of your foes. Every bullet that blasts against the hardened flesh of the demons takes away a chunk of its target. Eventually, as larger targets with more health take center stage, their bodies become horrifying walking carcasses. It’s a gruesome, barbarous addition that never needed to be added, but it makes combat so much more visceral. There's more to this review posted on OUR FORUM.

From the launch of Windows 10, our focus was on moving people from having to choose, to loving Windows. With the release of every new build of Windows 10, we have seen customer satisfaction improve as we have made fixes and added new capabilities and experiences. We are humbled that customers are choosing and loving Windows 10, and there has never been a more important time for a secure, reliable platform that can empower people to create, educate and communicate wherever they are. Today we’re delighted to announce that over one billion people have chosen Windows 10 across 200 countries resulting in more than one billion active Windows 10 devices. We couldn’t be more grateful to our customers, partners, and employees for helping us get here. One in every seven people on the planet is planning, creating, ideating, executing, moving, shaking and doing great things with Windows 10. Because no matter who or where in the world or life they are, Windows 10 provides them with the features and flexibility they need to achieve more. From the high-powered developer who needs the most advanced technology available to the business professional who needs to be productive at work and home, to the student in a developing market who is looking for a low-cost device for learning and self-improvement—Windows 10 is the platform to meet all these needs. With 100% of the Fortune 500 now using Windows 10 devices, it has become a critical platform for driving business transformation in the enterprise and beyond. As companies transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10, they are making a commitment to running their business more efficiently, more securely, and positioning themselves to offer better products, services, and solutions to their customers. New Windows 10 features and security updates are now delivered faster than ever before. We’ve evolved from releasing a version every three years, to releasing multiple versions per year. And with the recent decoupling of the new Chromium-based Edge browser from Windows 10, we can now deliver new builds to customers outside of the normal Windows 10 release cadence—and to more versions of Windows. With Windows 10, our focus has always been to put the customer at the center, to listen to feedback, and to have that feedback shape the development process. One of the strongest examples of this customer focus is our Windows Insider Program which now has over 17.8 million Insiders, with members in every country of the world. We have also strived to make Windows an open, inclusive and accessible platform that can empower everyone to achieve their goals. Our Windows Accessibility team focuses on human-centered design, a method where engineers and designers work to deeply understand peoples’ needs, and then co-design and continuously iterate on solutions directly with them. Learn more by visiting OUR FORUM.

The Folding@home distributed computing project has added twenty new Coronavirus (COVID-19) projects since earlier this week that uses donated CPU power to research new treatment methods. Folding@home allows researchers to use donated CPU cycles to simulate protein folding to research new drug opportunities against diseases and a greater understanding of various diseases. Last week, we reported that the three new projects (11741, 11742, and 11743) that were being used to research the COVID-19 virus and how to create potential drug therapies. Since we last looked on March 9th, 2020, researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Washington University in St. Louis, and Temple University have added 20 new projects, for a total of 23, that are all being used to analyze the proteins of Coronavirus virus. "To help tackle coronavirus, we want to understand how these viral proteins work and how we can design therapeutics to stop them," Folding@home's announcement stated.If you want to check what project you are currently working on or change some of the program's settings via a web GUI, you can select the 'Web Control' option as shown in the image above. This will open a web page showing your current work-in-progress, your settings, and the project ID you are currently contributing your CPU cycles to. To support Coronavirus projects, make sure to support research fighting 'Any Disease'. After determining the project ID number, you can look up the project ID you are working on here. For example, in the image above you can see that the project ID is 14315, which is for Cancer research. The Folding@home project has said that due to the increasing interest in the project and CPU cycles being donated, it may take some time before you receive a job to work on. "Each simulation you run is like buying a lottery ticket. The more tickets we buy, the better our chances of hitting the jackpot. Usually, your computer will never be idle, but we’ve had such an enthusiastic response to our COVID-19 work that you will see some intermittent downtime as we sprint to setup more simulations. Please be patient with us! There is a lot of valuable science to be done, and we’re getting it running as quickly as we can," Folding@home stated. If you have an idle computer sitting around doing nothing, please contribute it to the project. Who knows, the data you are assigned and solve could be what helps to create a cure! Learn more and to donate visit OUR FORUM.
So, here we go again. Just ahead of the (now online) launch of Huawei’s next flagship, the P40, all attention turns to the impact the loss of Google will have on its sales and the workarounds available to solve the problem. Huawei hasn't given up hope of restoring Google to its new devices, and Google certainly wants the same, but until there’s a change in Trump’s blacklist, this is the path Huawei is on. We’ve been here before, of course. Last September, just ahead of the Mate 30 launch, there was lots of talk about workarounds and quick fixes. With the device in the market, talk of simple workarounds stalled and security concerns for the mainstream users won out. Sales of the device also stalled outside China. Huawei has spent the intervening months pushing its Huawei Mobile Services alternative to Google, with financial incentives for developers to jump on board. But Google is still Google, and there is no real alternative yet. As previewed for by David Phelan, the P40 shows every sign of being another standout hardware achievement for Huawei. But the reality is that the world outside China is not yet ready to buy a non-Google Android phone en masse. Yes, there are clunky ways around, but no, not everything will work. And there are inevitable user complexities and security concerns in trying something new. Google even took the surprise step of warning users not to try these dangerous methods. And so bear all that in mind with the latest whizz-bang workaround to hit the web. Surfacing first on Twitter and and picked up by Gizguide and others, there is apparently a new quick fix that makes it “even easier” to install GMS, the package of Google apps and underlying services that sits atop the basic Android OS. This is a grey area, to say the least. GMS is not licensed for new Huawei phones. So if you run this solution on a Mate 30 or P40, you are in breach of that license requirement and do not have any of the usual protections you would expect. Nor can you guarantee the software will not be switched off at some point, as happened to the well-known “LZPlay” Mate 30 workaround last year. says that “despite our extensive tests, app appraisal and observation of possible illegal account activity in the days after the installation, we received a legitimate security notice.” The blog does acknowledge that “we have not been able to test whether this will lead to restrictions in subsequent use.” This is notable because it seems so easy. How the app is circumventing Google security is unknown. There were implications last year that Huawei might overlook certain bypasses—their consumer head Richard Yu essentially promised users a fix—but this was all quickly shut down by Google and then Huawei. Follow this thread on OUR FORUM.