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23 articles, 2016-03-25 12:02
 1  HP Envy 13 Review

For many people, spending $1,000 on a laptop is not feasible, even if high-end hardware is important. This is where the HP Envy 13 comes in: it packs hardware that's comparable to a $1,000 laptop in a MacBook Air-like... 2016-03-25 07:48 5KB www.techspot.com

 2  A Glimpse at the Future of Containers in the Enterprise

As interest in containers continues to grow, industry experts gathered at the Container Summit to discuss the technology and its future. 2016-03-25 08:49 1KB www.eweek.com

 3  Google glitch translates 'Russian Federation' into 'Mordor'; it has a ring to it

Irony alert: Google Translate bug brands Russians as occupiers when translating from Ukrainian 2016-03-25 07:30 3KB www.v3.co.uk

 4  A different take on what DevOps is

For the last couple of years I’ve been struggling a bit with the idea of DevOps. At the root of it was my own lack of clarity about what it is. My question remained unanswered and it wasn’t for the want of trying. For the last couple of... 2016-03-25 04:44 4KB feeds.betanews.com

 5  Black Duck Names Open-Source Rookies of the Year

The 2015 Open-Source Rookies class reflects three technologies shaping open-source software's future: Docker containers, open collaboration and AI. 2016-03-25 06:28 1KB www.eweek.com

 6  FileHippo News - powered by FeedBurner

Cellerbrite , a provider of mobile forensic software, is already under contract to several law enforcement agencies around the world to help with... 2016-03-24 22:25 21KB feeds2.feedburner.com

 7  Microsoft and Rakuten sign patent licensing agreement

REDMOND, Wash., and TOKYO — March 9, 2016 — Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC and Rakuten Inc... 2016-03-25 02:50 2KB news.microsoft.com

 8  E-School for Girls partners with NYU and Microsoft for entrepreneurship event

NEW YORK — Feb. 4, 2016 — Pre-college entrepreneurship program E-School for Girls partnered with New York University, Microsoft Corp... 2016-03-25 02:50 3KB news.microsoft.com

 9  Google Maps for iOS adds taxi services to route options

Less than a month after its last update, Google has rolled out Google Maps for iOS 4.17. The big news here is the addition of taxi services when comparing route options for six countries, including the US, UK and India. Less than a month... 2016-03-25 02:43 1KB feeds.betanews.com

 10  Microsoft may be backing bids to buy Yahoo!

A new report shows that Microsoft may be interested in backing bids to buy Yahoo. It is no secret that the firm's core business is for sale, and the two companies have had a longstanding partnership. 2016-03-25 01:38 1KB feedproxy.google.com

 11  Tech industry sides with Apple in San Bernadino iPhone case

The tech industry is on Apple’s side when it comes to the dispute with FBI over the unlocking of the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone. The tech industry is on Apple’s side when it comes to the dispute with FBI over the unlocking of the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone... 2016-03-25 00:44 2KB feeds.betanews.com

 12  Windows 10 Mobile Redstone build 14291 now available for more devices

Microsoft is now offering Windows 10 Mobile build 14291 to Windows Phone 8.1 handsets that are officially supported for by the new OS version, with the exception of one device. 2016-03-24 17:27 1KB feedproxy.google.com

 13  Sony creates new company to focus on bringing "full-fledged" gaming to mobile devices

Sony has announced the formation of a new company, which it says will focus on providing "full-fledged game titles" for various smart devices, including iOS and Android phones. 2016-03-24 16:54 1KB feedproxy.google.com

 14  Microsoft announces Facebook integration into its Health app

Microsoft Band users will finally be able to compete with Facebook friends. Challenges and leaderboards are both part of the new feature set, which will be available through an update to Health. 2016-03-24 16:28 1KB feedproxy.google.com

 15  Microsoft to launch a Universal Skype app for Windows 10, coming soon to Insiders

Microsoft seems to be backing away from its task-based Skype integration in Windows 10, as it says it will "streamline all Skype experiences" into a new Universal app, coming soon to Windows Insiders. 2016-03-24 16:12 2KB feedproxy.google.com

 16  Firmware updates available for Lumia 950 and 950 XL

A new firmware update is available for the Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL. The new firmware is not available OTA, as it focuses on fixes through the repair channel, and must instead be flashed. 2016-03-24 15:44 1KB feedproxy.google.com

 17  Microsoft releases more details on its Edge Translator extension

Last week Microsoft finally revealed extensions for its Edge web browser for Windows 10. It began with just a handful of add-ons, but more are on the way. We previously told you how to install them, including the translator, but now Microsoft is adding... 2016-03-24 15:43 1KB feeds.betanews.com

 18  Zero day OS X flaw can bypass System Integrity Protection

Security company SentinelOne has released news of a major flaw in Apple OS X systems that can allow the bypassing of the latest System Integrity Protection security feature. Security company SentinelOne has released news of a major flaw in Apple OS X systems that can allow the bypassing of... 2016-03-24 14:33 2KB feeds.betanews.com

 19  You might want to hold off on upgrading to iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan

Apple earlier this week released new versions of its mobile and Mac operating systems, namely iOS 9.3 and OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan. They come with a significant number of changes, like Night Shift mode, extended Wi-Fi calling support and lots of security... 2016-03-24 14:08 2KB feeds.betanews.com

 20  Save 94% off a Network+ (N10-006) Certification Training Bundle

Save hundreds of dollars off this Network+ (N10-006) Certification Training Bundle. 13 in-depth courses: Study infrastructure services and prep for the CompTIA Network + Certification exam. 2016-03-24 13:16 2KB feedproxy.google.com

 21  Tay, Microsoft's chatbot, is offline after Twitter turned it into a racist nutjob

Microsoft unveiled a chatbot yesterday, whose aim was to study human interactions and language online. Unfortunately, it did exactly that and quickly became a xenophobic, racist hate-machine. 2016-03-24 13:00 2KB feedproxy.google.com

 22  Uber announces bug bounty program

Uber is calling on independent computer researchers and experts to find weaknesses in its system as the transportation firm is set to release its technical map. Uber is calling on independent computer researchers and experts to find weaknesses in its system as the transportation firm is set to release... 2016-03-24 12:35 2KB feeds.betanews.com

 23  Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum wireless gaming mouse outperforms wired mice

Wireless mice are a tricky situation. On the one hand, they eliminate unsightly wires, creating a more aesthetic desktop look. The downside, of course, is the need of batteries. Whether it is rechargeable or not, it can be a total bummer when... 2016-03-24 12:07 4KB feeds.betanews.com

Articles

23 articles, 2016-03-25 12:02

 

 1 

HP Envy 13 Review

Most of the 13-inch laptops I’ve reviewed over the past few years have been high-end options, typically starting at or above $1,000. Usually you’d get pretty decent hardware and features for this price, including metal bodies, gorgeous high-resolution displays, and powerful Intel Core i5 or i7 processors.
But for many people, spending $1,000 on a laptop is not feasible, even if high-end hardware is important. This is where the HP Envy 13 comes in: it packs hardware that’s comparable to a $1,000 laptop in a MacBook Air-like package, complete with a price that starts at just $800. In some ways, the Envy is the budget high-end laptop that price-conscious shoppers may be after.
For $800, you get a very respectable collection of hardware. On the processor side, it’s equipped with an Intel ‘Skylake’ Core i5-6200U, paired with 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB solid state drive. The display is a 13.3-inch 1080p IPS LCD, although for just $50 (a bargain in the PC space) you can upgrade that to a high-resolution QHD+ panel.
In other markets, such as Australia, there’s an even cheaper model available with a Core i3-6100U and just 4 GB of RAM. That’s the model I have on hand for review, and it will be interesting to see how the weaker hardware on offer stacks up.
As far as the design is concerned, the Envy 13 is one of the better laptops I’ve seen at this price point, and it competes very well with Apple’s more expensive MacBook Air. By far my favorite feature is the size: yes, it’s larger than Dell’s XPS 13 in both axes, but it’s much thinner at just 12.95mm at its thickest point. The Envy is also quite light, at 1.27 kg (2.81 lbs), which helps make the laptop feel very portable.
HP’s all-metal body for the Envy 13 is excellent from both a visual and textural standpoint. The use of silver aluminium on the lid, around the keyboard, on the bottom, and even around the sides of this laptop gives it a wonderful unibody look. The only seam I noticed was between the bottom panel and the sides, which is hidden in most cases. And let’s not forget how awesome it feels to hold a metal laptop; it’s simply leagues ahead of anything plastic.
Due to widespread use of metal, there’s not much flare to the design. The lid features a simple monochrome HP logo, while the keyboard surrounds includes a few basic text logos. There is no color found anywhere around the body, and the only point of contrast is the black display bezels. This gives the Envy a clean and understated look, which is something I prefer in my laptop design.
Not every visual aspect to the Envy 13 is great, and not everything is truly made from metal. I’m not a fan of the plastic black bezel that surrounds the display, and after opening the lid for the first time it immediately stood out to me as looking cheap. The matte finish to the plastic, combined with an inset matte non-touchscreen display, is great for reducing fingerprints, but it reminds me of an entry-level laptop rather than something top-tier.
On the other hand, I’m a big fan of the Envy 13’s hinge design. The lid is curved at the hinge, and when opened, this curve transforms into the rear stand for the laptop, propping up the base at a comfortable angle for typing. Aside from its great functionality, it looks awesome, and from some angles makes it look like the base is floating above the display’s curved stand. The hinge allows for a decent range of display angles, though you’re not getting a 180- or 360-degree hinge like some competitors.
The main feature to the base of the Envy 13 is the Bang & Olufsen audio system, which sees two prominent speaker grilles on either side of the keyboard. Obviously these grills are mostly for show – the speakers aren’t actually as large as they’re made out to be – but I was impressed with their quality considering they’re small laptop drivers.
The bottom of the Envy includes a few small rubber feet to raise the laptop for cooling. As for cooling, there are just a few small vents towards the rear of the body that intake and exhaust into the hinge area. For the most part, the cooling solution remained inaudible in all but the most intense use cases.
For ports, the Envy includes an average selection. On the left is a USB 3.0 port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and SD card slot; while on the right are a further two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, and a proprietary power port. One notable and disappointing omission is USB Type-C, which is becoming increasingly popular, and as a result you miss out on Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 gen 2. I’d have liked to see a USB 3.0 port replaced by Thunderbolt 3 to future proof this laptop to a better extent.
The other notable feature found on this laptop is a swipe fingerprint reader, which is located at the bottom right edge of the keyboard. The sensor works with Windows Hello to provide better security for the laptop, and it was reasonably accurate and fast to use during my time testing the feature. I’d have preferred to see a touch fingerprint sensor like on modern smartphones but I’m yet to see this on any laptop.

 

 2 

A Glimpse at the Future of Containers in the Enterprise

With containers gaining increasing popularity in enterprise environments across a variety of industries to automate the deployment of applications, Joyent and others in the container ecosystem got together to give a state-of-the-state event at the Container Summit conference Feb. 10 in New York City. Although the cloud native world is adopting container technologies, such as Docker, only 8 percent of enterprises are using them in production, said Dave Bartoletti, a principal analyst at Forrester Research. Yet curiosity about containers is soaring. Bartoletti said questions from clients about containers and when and how to deploy them have increased by a factor of 10 in the last two years. Indeed, many of the speakers at the Container Summit said they were introduced to container technology in a previous job and moved it to their current role. Others simply adopted it as the proper thing to do. This eWEEK slide show looks at some of the scenes from the Container Summit and what industry experts had to say about the technology.

 

 3 

Google glitch translates 'Russian Federation' into 'Mordor'; it has a ring to it

As a fan of Cossack dancing, Eastern Bloc architecture, vodka and pervasive government oppression, Sneak loves Russia.
And while he accepts that Siberia is a vast and mostly empty land mass, capable of killing the unwary in numerous ways, he would not liken it to Mordor, the dark, ash-covered, orc-infested land in the south-east of Tolkien's Middle Earth.
But, according to multiple reports, the all-seeing, all-knowing Sauron Google believes that Russia is in fact Mordor. Or more accurately a bug in the Google Translate tool translated the Ukrainian word for 'Russian Federation' into 'Mordor'.
Not content with effectively calling Russia a nation of twisted, down-trodden creatures ruled by a brutal dictator, Google Translate went one step further by translating 'Russians' into 'okkupanty' meaning ‘occupiers' in Sneak's second language, that being English. C++ is his mother tongue.
Then to pour a granary of salt into the virtual wound, Google translated the surname of Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov into the Russian for 'sad little horse', according to The Telegraph. Sneak thinks that's rather cute in a slightly Eeyore way. Yes he knows Eeyore is a fictional donkey. Please don't write in.
Now, that noise you're hearing is Sneak's irony alarm going off at full pelt, given that Ukraine is not exactly having the best time with Russia and pro-Russian rebels at the moment, particularly as in 2014 Russia annexed the Crimea region from Ukraine, simply because it could.
Google has apologised for the error and blamed the automated aspect of Translate, but Sneak is not convinced that it was a bug and, to indulge the conspiracy theorist in him, believes that a disgruntled pro-Ukraine programmer decided to tweak Google Translate to offer this slight at Russian users.
Back in his early years as an IT chap at Northern Rock, Sneak ended up dating a lovely Russian systems analyst called Natasha. She had a mononym.
Next thing he knew she disappeared one evening after a heady mix of vodka and Kerplunk! and disappeared with Sneak's server room key card. Then the banking crisis happened, Northern Rock went under and Sneak took indefinite sick leave.
The moral of the story is that annoying the Russians might not be wise, otherwise the road to Google's Mountain View HQ could end up being blocked by Soviet-era tanks with president Putin straddling a turret, topless and declaring "You shall not pass" to befuddled Google engineers.
Or perhaps they will take it in good humour. After all as the video below explains: Russians love to boogie.
07 Jan 2016

 

 4 

A different take on what DevOps is

For the last couple of years I’ve been struggling a bit with the idea of DevOps. At the root of it was my own lack of clarity about what it is. My question remained unanswered and it wasn’t for the want of trying.
I went to conferences, attended talks, read articles and met with people in our business. I gathered logically inconsistent lists of things that it was and wasn’t. In the end, I concluded that there isn’t a consensus, so I had to work out what DevOps means to me.
Well, I’m pretty sure it’s about development and operations being closer together! Not too many people will dispute that (he said confidently!). But I’m not sure it’s really helpful. The context can vary wildly and getting closer can look really different in different situations.
On one hand consider a five supplier global program of work lasting three years in a highly regulated industry and on the other think about a two team program delivering value for an autonomous product owner. Context matters.
I was at the Gartner conference in Barcelona last year and I listened to a presentation by Yve Morieux from Boston Consulting. He reminded me of a story I’d heard before. A car company had problems with high servicing costs (no focus on repairability). They compared two methods of resolving the problem:
The bonus scheme was bolted onto the existing framework, percentages compounded together and in the end, a massive improvement in repairability generated a 0.6 percent increase in pay. People could legitimately choose to ignore it and they did.
By contrast, warranty department costs are massively driven by repairability and the prospect of picking up responsibility for a money pit was truly terrifying. To avoid the terror, small, but thoughtful changes now could create huge savings and they would soon be living in the land of milk and honey.
I’m not sure if the story is true, but in many ways, it doesn’t matter. The point is well made. End to end responsibility makes people care more. When we care more, we try to make things better and we do it much more effectively.
I’ve come to believe that caring about the end to end process is the most important ingredient for DevOps to work. And caring is important for the teams, the management and the client. As soon as smart people care, if they have the appropriate resources, they can collaborate and do all the things that are appropriate in their context. Of course they have to trust each other and believe that no one is trying to screw them over. Of course they have to be empowered and able to self organize. But they can learn any new concepts and choose the best ones to apply. If they care, they can review what they’ve done and check how well it works.
Management must take care to set the priorities correctly and ensure enough resources (people and cash in general) are allocated. Development teams have to care that their application is going live, and know it will need to be looked after and that it will serve real customers. They have to care that it will perform and if it falls over, they have to care about that and care about the people who will need to fix it and build instrumentation to help them. They need to care about the future teams that will add and remove features. Operations teams have to care about the development process, and all of the environments needed from dev through to disaster recovery. They have to care about the ease of initiation and migration through those environments to live. They have to care about all the stakeholders and be hungry to engage and act as one team to make everyone’s life better: customers, development teams and of course operations. All collaborating to break down the silos and get the job done in the best way.
In some contexts, the lines between dev and ops can be blurred to the point of removal. The same people can take responsibility for application development and the design, deployment, operation and support of the live environments. In other contexts, there still needs to be some separation with teams responsible for the live operation of a huge estate.
In my opinion the DevOps journey starts with smart, responsible people who care about all the stakeholders, are empowered and have the resources to make a difference. Everything else will follow.
Peter Brookes-Smith, group managing director, Objectivity .
Published under license from ITProPortal.com, a Net Communities Ltd Publication. All rights reserved.
Image Credit : alphaspirit / Shutterstock

 

 5 

Black Duck Names Open-Source Rookies of the Year

Black Duck , which provides automated solutions for securing and managing open-source software, has announced its annual Open Source Rookies of the Year awards, recognizing the top new open-source projects initiated in 2015. Patrick Carey, Black Duck's director of product management, who headed the selection process, said the chosen projects show how diverse and ambitious open-source software development has become. "This year's Rookies are impressive examples of how far open source has come, with start-ups like Mattermost and Glucosio as well as big players like Google, Facebook and Red Hat leveraging the open-source community to help drive innovation in everything from DevOps and Docker container solutions to diabetes monitoring and real-time communication," he said. The 2015 Rookies class reflects three hot technologies shaping the future of open-source software: Docker containers, open collaboration and artificial intelligence. In 2014, a number of Docker ecosystem players emerged, and the trend continued into 2015 with several, including projects sponsored by Red Hat and Capital One. This eWEEK slide show looks at the winners and honorable mentions of the 2015 Black Duck Rookie of the Year awards.

 

 6 

FileHippo News - powered by FeedBurner

Cellerbrite , a provider of mobile forensic software, is already under contract to several law enforcement agencies around the world to help with the extraction of encrypted information from all types of computers and mobile devices, including iPhones.
Essentially, Cellerbrite is responsible for creating technology that law enforcement agencies can use to access pretty much everything and anything from mobile devices and other IT related equipment.
The forensic tech group certainly seems to have experience in the area. One report lists the firm as being one of the world’s leading mobile analytical and forensic extraction companies, with an estimated 50% share of the market globally, and around the same amount in the US.
But the clock is ticking for both the FBI and the Israel based company. The FBI has to report back to the court room where it is currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute with the maker of iPhones, Apple, over privacy rights, on April 5 th.
The current court case has become a beacon for a broader all-consuming debate about data privacy and the rights of individuals within the US.
The BBC has reported that Cellerbrite would only say that it works with the FBI, but declined to comment further.
The FBI had been demanding that Apple create a special version of their iOS operating system, that would prevent the device from wiping itself if too many incorrect attempts are made via the passcode logon screen
A federal court in the US was due to rule last Tuesday whether the FBI could issue a court order forcing Apple to help them, but the hearing was postponed when the Department of Justice announced that it might not need the tech firm’s assistance because a third-party had demonstrated a possible extraction method to FBI agents.
Cellebrite was established in 1999 as a manufacturer of various data extraction, transfer and analysis devices. It expanded its services in 2007 to add mobile forensics. It currently can access over 15,000 devices, should it need to.
The post Israeli Cybersecurity Firm Linked To FBI Unlock Of Terrorist iPhone appeared first on FileHippo News .
Apple’s iPhone has been making news headlines for the past few weeks following a superior court ruling which stated the tech manufacturer was required to rewrite its OS operating system in order to create a “backdoor” for the FBI to break into a phone. Apple has steadfastly refused to attempt such a thing, even if it was possible; the company feels that this move would allow the FBI or any other government or law enforcement entity to use this backdoor whenever they chose. The FBI, however, has promised to only use it in this one specific case involving the San Bernardino, California, terrorist attack in December of 2015.
As it turns out though, that’s not really what Apple should be worrying about.
As an article for CBS explained, “A team from Johns Hopkins University says it found a security bug in iMessage, the encrypted messaging platform used on Apple’s phones and other devices. The bug would allow hackers under certain circumstances to decrypt some messages. The team’s paper is extremely critical of iMessage’s encryption technology, citing ‘significant vulnerabilities that can be exploited by a sophisticated attacker.’ And it argues that in the long term, the technology needs to be replaced with a more modern mechanism.”
So what? Some of the best security systems in the world have been hacked. But this news does have serious implications for the company and for its customers.
First, it will hopefully serve as yet another warning that nothing is secure. Tech users who put all their eggs in the proverbial security basket are going to be highly disappointed in the result, namely that a hacker with the right capabilities can probably get in. Of course, it’s finding that hacker to do the dirty work that is the problem.
As second, the government has found out. The supposed inherent vulnerabilities in Apple’s system mean (again) a hacker can get in. So why is the government taking legal action against Apple in order to create a work around that provides access to the bad guys’ phones? Could it possibly be because they want this access available at all times, on every iPhone? Why bother invoking a hacker’s skill when you can break into a citizen’s phone at the touch of a button, a button that was provided by the manufacturer and therefore guaranteed to work?
The truly interesting news with regards to this flaw is the official response from Apple. While the company issued a statement saying that several of the noted flaws were already fixed in recent patches and updates, Apple thanked the team for bringing these further concerns to light so that they can be addressed.
The post New Security Concerns For Apple’s iMessage appeared first on FileHippo News .
The clock is ticking for owners of certain models of Kindle e-readers as the deadline to install a critical update is looming. Today’s deadline means owners who failed to follow through with the update will no longer be able to connect to the internet, and will have to install content (including this update) via a USB cable. This will include being unable to purchase new books or sync content (as in, retrieving a previously purchased book that they removed from their device; the book is still their purchased content but can’t be reloaded via the web command).
This update includes all models through the 2012 Paperwhite 5th edition; the 6th edition and those since then do not need the update. If you’re not sure which generation or model device you have, consult the Amazon web page announcing this important update.
Depending on the model you have, there may be two different methods of installing the update. The first is for more recent models and it involves simply going to the settings and clicking to install the offered update, much like consumers are used to doing with a desktop computer, smartphone, or tablet. Older devices, though, didn’t remind users to update; these device owners will need to connect to the internet via their own connections and follow these steps:
“To sync your Kindle:
Kindle (1st Generation) –
Kindle (2nd Generation) or Kindle DX (2nd Generation) –
Complete instructions and help can be found on the Amazon website dedicated to the news of this update. It is important to note that the Kindle Fire tablet is not affected by the update.
The post Older Kindles Need A Software Update appeared first on FileHippo News .
Had the latest ongoing legal dispute gone ahead, it would have been the next stage by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to try and force Apple to cooperate with a previous ruling demanding they unlock the phone, or create the means to do so.
The FBI state that:  “Testing is required to determine whether this is a viable method that will not compromise data on Farook’s iPhone. If the method is viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple Inc.”
Crucially the FBI is not asking for the case to be dismissed, only for time to see if they can unlock the iPhone with the new means at their disposal. The FBI will have to show their progress and file a report by April 5 th at the latest.
“That is why we asked the court to give us some time to explore this option,” said Department of Justice spokeswoman Melanie Newman. “If this solution works, it will allow us to search the phone and continue our investigation into the terrorist attack that killed 14 people and wounded 22 people.
That said, if the FBI can gain access, the court case and Apple’s staunch defense of its current position will be pretty much irrelevant.
If the FBI fails however, then Apple will find itself back in court to continue fighting the order.
It is still not clear, and has not been disclosed, as to just how the FBI now think they may be able to circumvent Apple’s security features, but some observers have speculated that a 3 rd party firm has come forward with a solution.
Rizwan Farook and his wife killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, last December before police killed them.
The post Have FBI Discovered Way To Unlock San Bernardino iPhone Without Apple? appeared first on FileHippo News .
In the past seven years, the tech world has undergone a major shift in terms of giving “the little guy” the tools to build a high-quality product and a platform to monetize his efforts. The self-publishing craze that was sparked by the digital publishing revolution is probably the most widely reaching example; even children’s book authors have the tools and the capability to produce a very decent product. YouTube and iTunes have given musicians and filmmakers the launch pad to put their content in front of audiences; even Amazon’s new Lumberyard gives gamers the ability to write and share their video games.
Now, animators can rejoice in the new open-source release from Toonz that puts a full spectrum of professional features in their hands. Toonz Ghibli, a collaborative effort from Toonz and Toonz-users Studio Ghibli, is a software version that lets smaller animation studios (yes, even one man operations) use the same level of software that has produced films like The Secret World of Arrietty and Princess Mononoke.
In an article for AWN , Jennifer Wolfe spoke with Atsushi Okui, Executive Imaging Director, Studio Ghibli, who said, “During the production of Princess Mononoke in 1995, we needed a software which enables us to create a certain section of the animation digitally. We checked for what was available at that time and chose Toonz. Our requirement was that in order to continue producing theater-quality animation without additional stress, the software must have the ability to combine the hand-drawn animation with the digitally painted ones seamlessly. From then onwards we continued to use the software while going through major updates to make it easier for us to use. We are happy to hear that this open-source version contains the Ghibli Edition.”
The software will officially be presented at the upcoming AnimeJapan convention in Tokyo, and then will be available for use shortly after.
The post Toonz Releases Open-Source Animation Software appeared first on FileHippo News .
The rolling out of Windows 10 will still no doubt come as welcome news for most users of Microsoft’s own telecommunication range of devices. Up until now, pretty much the only way to get your hands on Windows 10 Mobile was if you bought a new phone.
Microsoft released news of the available upgrade on a blog post dated Thursday, saying:
“Consistent with our approach to the Windows 10 PC upgrade, we are focused on delivering a high quality experience for our customers. The Windows 10 Upgrade Advisor app can be downloaded from the Windows Store to see if the upgrade is available for your device.”
To make things just that little bit easier for anyone interested, here’s the full list of phones that have been certified as being capable of making the jump to Windows 10 Mobile:  “Lumia 1520, 930, 640, 640XL, 730, 735, 830, 532, 535, 540, 635 1GB, 636 1GB, 638 1GB, 430, 435, BLU Win HD w510u, BLU Win HD LTE x150q, and the MCJ Madosma Q501.”
In a surprise twist to events however, the official list has omitted some devices that are currently running Windows 10 Mobile as part of the Windows Insider program. But, as Microsoft explains in their blog:
“Windows 10 delivers significant new innovations, many older devices are not able to successfully upgrade without an impact on the customer experience. Our goal is to only offer the Windows 10 upgrade to devices that we are confident can continue to deliver a good customer experience.”
For some people, this news, will, inevitably suck. However, it’s probably the right move. Windows phones are still struggling to pick up market share from the likes of Android and Apple, despite the fact that the latest Windows phone offerings have been favorably received by critics.
The post Microsoft Finally Brings Windows 10 To Older Phones appeared first on FileHippo News .
Fitness wearables are all the rage, but for many tech models the process of retrieving the information means plugging up the device to your computer and comparing the results by hand. While some will stream the data to a mobile device app for convenience, Amazon has taken the ease of use even further, Alexa-style.
Amazon’s popular virtual assistant that streams through its Echo device will now tell you what’s up with your health based on your FitBit use. By syncing your Echo with your wearable and activating the feature in your account, you can ask Alexa to vocally update you on your sleep patterns, calories burned, and more. The virtual assistant not only calculates work done, but also tallies up the effort you need to put into your workouts in order to reach your fitness goals, all with that soothing “What are you doing, Dave?” voice of hers.
Amazon has been sneered at for its efforts to control your house–and therefore, your life–through its Echo/Alexa assistant, but the reality is a far more demonstrable example of some of the utmost in updatable technology. New Echo capabilities appear weekly; some of them are vapidly pointless, like the ability to make fart sounds on command, while others are far more useful, like the option to ask Alexa to tell you all the showtimes for movie theaters in your town.
This ability to incorporate new capabilities has been part of Amazon’s business model since its first forays into tech with its Kindle e-reader. Customers who bought some of the later models as early as 2009 were pleasantly surprised to get emails that said things like, “Your Kindle is now also an MP3 player,” or “Your Kindle can now surf the internet.”
Despite its growing catalog of tech devices, Amazon seems to determined to keep its customers’ expensive devices from becoming obsolete. With the ongoing feature additions to Echo–and the new Echo Dot, which plays off your existing Echo base model to put Alexa’s power in any room of your house–the company is working to ensure the most value for the money in terms of tech upgrades and updates.
The post Alexa Now Updates You On Your Health appeared first on FileHippo News .
As a result, Anonymous, have allegedly published The Donald’s Social Security number , personal phone number, and a host of other information into the ether of the internet.
The hacking collective have given their clandestine information gathering the name #OpWhiteRose on social media, and dumped the information for the world to peer at on pastebin.com.
As well as Trump’s phone number and social security id, the list also includes contact details for his agent, his lawyers, and also the names of his children.
Anyone expecting more will probably be disappointed, as apart from his US cell phone number and Social Security information, most of the details are already in the public domain, or can be simply googled. The point though, according to some sources, is that Anonymous are just getting started.
Curiously, Trump is the only US presidential candidate that has seemingly been targeted. At the time of writing, there has been no immediate or official response from anyone in Trump’s campaign team. It should also be noted that none of the information released by the hacking collective has either been denied or confirmed.
Despite this, news of the hack quickly exploded across the internet. It is unknown whether anyone actually got through to Trump to have a chat, or indeed hurl a few insults in his general direction.
Anonymous originally declared war on Trump and his campaign last year after he floated his idea for banning all Muslims from travelling to the United States if he were to be elected.
The declaration of war on Trump’s campaign stated that:
“Your inconsistent and hateful campaign has not only shocked the United States America, you have shocked the entire planet with your appalling actions and ideas…. We have been watching you for a long time and what we’ve seen is deeply disturbing. You don’t stand for anything but your personal greed and power.”
At the end of the video posted online, the Guy Fawkes masked member of Anonymous says that people can do with the information as they will, but to “ just be aware that you are responsible for your own actions .”
Wise words, maybe. But the real question is whether Anonymous or anyone else will be able to dent the enthusiasm and zeal many of his supporters have for the outspoken business man.
The post Anonymous Releases Trump Phone And Social Security Number appeared first on FileHippo News .
If activated, the maliciously appropriated adverts sought to install ransomware on users’ hardware, encrypt their data, and then demand payment via the virtual currency, bitcoin, in order to have their computers unlocked. 
Online adverts from trusted and well known sites such as the BBC , MSN, The New York Times, AOL, and even the NFL were targeted last weekend. MSN alone, receives on average, over one billion hits a month, while the New York Times, and the BBC, receives over half a billion hits collectively.
The potential for mass infection by this latest target specific surge of ransomware attacks was, according to Malwarebytes security researchers, high.
“…. out of the blue on the weekend we witnessed a huge spike in malicious activity emanating out of two suspicious domains. Not only were there a lot of events, but they also included some very high profile publishers, which is something we haven’t seen in a while.”
The malware was systematically uploaded to several ad networks, managing to exploit a number of well-known vulnerabilities, but also including some only recently fixed flaws such as one for Microsoft’s Silverlight , which was discontinued in 2013.
The ransomware loaded ads were funneled to the popular websites mainly via four well known but separate ad networks, said the team at Malwarebytes.
Users who fell victim to the infected ads were redirected to servers that hosted the malware, including the infamous Angler exploit kit, which specialises in finding unguarded entrances into computers, before then encrypting the hard drive and demanding payment for the decryption key that would unlock the files.
In recent times, Ransomware has fast become the go-to software for hackers and cyber criminals to install on users’ hardware, rapidly displacing other more traditional types of malware such as Trojans and adware.
Earlier this month, ransomware appeared for the first time on OS X Apple based computers.
The post US and Global News Sites Hit By Advertising Ransomware appeared first on FileHippo News .
While the collective tech world was agog at the recent Go championship match between a world master and Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo software, other AI innovations have quietly been making waves of their own. It might not be as flashy as a computer beating a human champion in four of the five games–or the human turning around and beating the computer, for that matter–but there are no doubt serious implications involved.
Microsoft, for example, announced the news that it was teaming up with Minecraft to create an AI interface. Long perceived as the go-to world building game for eight-year-olds everywhere, Minecraft is actually an ageless and highly-sophisticated gaming world of its own. With the advent of the open-source AIX interface , Microsoft is inviting AI developers to use Minecraft as their own personal proving grounds, largely due to the high-volume of unforeseeable game play ramifications.
Another software research lab has been working on developing an AI that can win at poker, a seemingly basic card game on the surface but one that is actually filled with nuance and pitfalls. As Thor Oluvsrud points out for CIO.com , poker–specifically Texas Hold ‘Em–is even more difficult for a computer to play than loftier games of strategy like Go or chess. In those games, the players (and therefore, the computer) can see the board at all times. They can develop predictive strategies in order to prepare their moves. But in card games, the players don’t know what all of the other players are holding, and therefore have a much harder time predicting what moves they’ll make based on the moves of other players.
But what is all of this effort for? Surely there’s more to AI development than being able to play against the computer on your tablet. As always, the goal for AI technology is to develop robots that don’t have to be told every single “if/then” scenario in order to make a sound decision. Coding for every possible outcome is hard enough when it’s chess, but it’s nearly impossible when it’s life-altering and emergency situations. For now, though, the tools to develop this type of understanding of outcome-based predictive decision making lie in games.
The post Recent News Puts AI In The Spotlight appeared first on FileHippo News .

 

 7 

Microsoft and Rakuten sign patent licensing agreement

REDMOND, Wash., and TOKYO — March 9, 2016 — Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC and Rakuten Inc. on Wednesday signed a worldwide patent cross-licensing agreement covering each company’s respective consumer electronics products, including Linux and Android-based devices.
“Our agreement with Rakuten reinforces the opportunities that cross-licensing can bring to companies across the technology spectrum,” said Nick Psyhogeos, president of Microsoft Technology Licensing. “We’re pleased to have found a mutually beneficial path of collaboration that will ultimately benefit consumers.”
“This agreement gives us the freedom to bring our customers new and exciting products, while jointly recognizing the value of patented innovation,” said Akio Sugihara, managing executive officer and director of Rakuten.
The terms of the agreement are confidential.
Microsoft’s commitment to licensing IP
The patent agreement is another example of the important role intellectual property (IP) plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant technology ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, it has entered into more than 1,200 licensing agreements. More information about Microsoft’s licensing programs is available at http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing .
About Rakuten Inc.
Rakuten, Inc. (TOKYO: 4755) is one of the world’s leading Internet companies, offering a wide variety of services for consumers and businesses with a focus on e-commerce, finance, and digital content. Since 2012, Rakuten has been ranked among the world’s ‘Top 20 Most Innovative Companies’ in Forbes magazine’s annual list. Rakuten is expanding worldwide and currently operates throughout Asia, Europe, the Americas and Oceania. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo, with nearly 12,000 employees worldwide. For more information: http://global.rakuten.com/corp/
About Microsoft Technology Licensing
Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC was formed in 2014 to acquire, manage and license Microsoft’s patent portfolio.
About Microsoft
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

 

 8 

E-School for Girls partners with NYU and Microsoft for entrepreneurship event

NEW YORK — Feb. 4, 2016 — Pre-college entrepreneurship program E-School for Girls partnered with New York University, Microsoft Corp. and Natalie Zfat for an inspirational and educational event, What It Takes to Be a Successful Entrepreneur, on Feb. 3, 2016, at the NYU Stern School of Business.
“Microsoft is committed to empowering entrepreneurs at all stages of their lives, and excited to see more girls and women taking advantage of the rapidly changing technology landscape to bring their ideas to reality,” said Kristina Libby, consumer public relations lead at Microsoft.
Speakers at the event included Teaching Garage CEO Janice Chong, Microsoft Consumer PR Communications Lead Kristina Libby, Council of Economic Education CEO Nan J. Morrison, Motivate Design CEO Mona Patel, E-School for Girls Founder and Program Director Allison Wright and entrepreneur Natalie Zfat, who gave lightning talks to a crowd of 100 decision-makers, media, faculty and students.
“Over the past three years, E-School for Girls has developed into a premier pre-college program serving the community and our young women as they become female entrepreneurs and our future leaders,” said E-School for Girls Director Allison Wright. “It is my personal mission to ensure that our students get to experience entrepreneurial success, build their skills and confidence, and learn how to support themselves and each other no matter their gender or socioeconomic background. We are developing a new group of female entrepreneurs and leaders in each E-School for Girls class, and I’m excited to grow the program even further in partnership with Microsoft.”
Now approaching its third year, E-School for Girls was created in partnership with NYU College Advising Corps and provides underserved high school juniors and seniors with a premier summer pre-college program. The experiential two-week program takes young women through a journey of self-exploration while developing an entrepreneurial enterprise, which includes ideation, business planning, team building, personal branding, pitching, and an introduction to a network of academics, businesspeople and mentors.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
E-School for Girls/NYCPromise Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions to E-School for Girls/NYCPromise Inc. in the United States are tax-exempt to the extent provided by law.
Note to editors : For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts .

 

 9 

Google Maps for iOS adds taxi services to route options

Less than a month after its last update, Google has rolled out Google Maps for iOS 4.17. The big news here is the addition of taxi services when comparing route options for six countries, including the US, UK and India.
Supported taxi services include Uber, plus 99Taxis (Brazil), Ola Cabs (India), Hailo (UK and Spain), mytaxi (Germany and Spain), and Gett (UK).
The service requires the taxi provider’s app be installed and configured on the user’s phone or tablet -- once done, should nearby taxi services from that provider be available, they’ll appear on a new tab, providing users with estimated arrival times and fares. Users then simply tap a fare to switch to the provider’s app to complete the booking.
The update also makes it possible to save driving, walking and biking route options for future use. This feature is enabled by default -- to switch this off (and tweak the available options), click the ≡ button next to the From box and choose "Route Options".
One final improvement sees Google Maps make saved and recently accessed maps available to Spotlight searches. Tapping the result whisks users off to the location in the app.
The update is rounded off with the usual unspecified bug fixes. Google Maps for iOS 4.17.0 is available now for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch running iOS 7.0 or later, plus the Apple Watch.

 

 10 

Microsoft may be backing bids to buy Yahoo!

It's no secret that Yahoo is interested in selling off its core business. A report from Re/Code states that Microsoft has been meeting with private equity firms and that they would be willing to 'lend significant financing to their efforts', according to numerous sources.
This isn't the first time that Microsoft has been interested in Yahoo. Back in 2008, the firm made an effort toward a hostile takeover. Then CEO Steve Ballmer had planned to spend $31 a share, for a total of $45 billion.
These days, the two firms are on much better terms and they've enjoyed a now longstanding partnership. In 2009, they inked a deal that would make all Yahoo searches powered by Bing.
While that deal was supposed to last for ten years, there were terms that would allow it to be renegotiated after a time, an option that Yahoo accepted last year. While the firm did renew their partnership, searches would no longer be exclusively powered by Bing, and in October, the firm inked a deal with Google.
According to the report in Re/Code, Microsoft is planning on backing the bid because of its interest in keeping its status as the provider of Yahoo Search.
The firm's market cap is $32.5 billion; however, this includes its Asian subsidiaries, such as Alibaba. Once those are spun off, the core business is estimated to be worth between $6 billion and $8 billion. Yahoo is allegedly asking for $10 billion.
Source: Re/Code

 

 11 

Tech industry sides with Apple in San Bernadino iPhone case

The tech industry is on Apple’s side when it comes to the dispute with FBI over the unlocking of the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.
This was, once again, confirmed through a research done by security vendor AlienVault. According to the company’s survey, which polled 1,500 IT security professionals, 33 percent support FBI, while the rest think unlocking the phone will do nothing but weaken overall product security.
Almost two thirds (63 percent) believes Apple should not give in to FBI’s demands.
But the opinion the surveyed have on overall security is what’s dismal here -- almost two thirds believe the government is already so intrusive and pervasive in its surveillance that it’s impossible to have a private conversation on any device.
Moreover, 34 percent believe the government should monitor mass communications for national security purposes.
"We are clearly at a turning point in the history of Internet surveillance and suspicions among those in the know are running high. IT and security professionals can see straight through the public arguments being made about the Apple case", said Javvad Malik, security advocate at AlienVault.
"Many seem to view it as a power grab by the FBI, and an attempt to gain significant new powers that could undermine the communications infrastructure used by us all. But whatever the underlying motives may be, the outcome of this case will clearly have broader implications on future government attempts to access encrypted information, and the development of legal frameworks for state surveillance powers, such as the Investigatory Powers Bill in the UK".
The FBI recently uncovered an iPhone 5c belonging to the San Bernardino shooter. The iPhone is locked and the authorities have no way of unlocking it to see if the phone has any leads on potential accomplices or future plans.
The government asked Apple to help them unlock the iPhone, and has even gone as far as to ask phone makers to build special backdoors so that law enforcement agencies could have access to the devices.
Published under license from ITProPortal.com, a Net Communities Ltd Publication. All rights reserved.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock / ymgerman

 

 12 

Windows 10 Mobile Redstone build 14291 now available for more devices

When Microsoft released the official Windows 10 Mobile upgrade last week to a disappointing list of devices , they also promised to allow those handsets to once again be eligible for Fast ring builds. Today, the firm is delivering on that promise.
Signing up for the Fast ring will get you build 14291 , which includes a completely redesigned Maps app, along with a new Alarms & Clock app.
In case you're thinking of dipping your toes into the Insider Preview and have never done so before, here's how to sign on:
It is not required for your device to already be upgraded to Windows 10 for it to be eligible for these builds. Even if you're still on Windows Phone 8.1, you can still opt in.
Source: Microsoft

 

 13 

Sony creates new company to focus on bringing "full-fledged" gaming to mobile devices

Sony Computer Entertainment, which will be renamed Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC starting April 1st, has announced the establishment of a new business that will see the company diving into mobile gaming once more.
This company, progressively called ForwardWorks will “deploy new services towards the ever-expanding smart device market,” according to the press release. This means that a variety of full-fledged PlayStation games, software, development expertise, etc. will be aimed at providing content for smartphones, tablets, and other such devices.
These efforts come after the company’s recent restructuring , which saw the PlayStation division (Sony Computer Entertainment) spun off into its own company and combined with Sony Network Entertainment. This move also somewhat contradicts the decision to shut down its PlayStation Mobile initiative last year, which never really took off. It seems Sony isn’t quite ready to throw in the towel just yet, and is making a serious effort to attract the mobile audience.
ForwardWorks operations will commence on April 1st. Interestingly, the company’s efforts seem to only be aimed at users in Asian markets.
Source: Sony via Engadget

 

 14 

Microsoft announces Facebook integration into its Health app

Microsoft announced some new social integration features for its Health app today. Users will now be able to compare their stats with those of their Facebook friends.
Users that don't have a Microsoft Band or Band 2 can join in as well. Microsoft Health can use your phone to track steps and calories burned, no Band required.
Social leaderboards is a feature that Fitbit's platform has had for years, before Microsoft Band even existed. It's a feature that has been praised by users and it will certainly be a welcome addition to the Health platform.
The new features should be rolling out soon in an update to the Microsoft Health application.
Source: Microsoft

 

 15 

Microsoft to launch a Universal Skype app for Windows 10, coming soon to Insiders

Last year, Microsoft decided to end development of its 'Modern' Skype app, designed for Windows 8 , instead launching a new Universal 'experience' for Skype in Windows 10. Rather than developing a direct replacement for the older app, the company decided to integrate Skype functionality into a 'task-focused' experience in Windows 10, spreading Skype features across separate Messaging, Phone and Video apps.
However, that wasn't a popular move. Indeed, the Skype team said today : "We've been listening, and we've heard you. "
In response to feedback on its Skype integration in Windows 10, Microsoft appears to be reversing course on its earlier decision, announcing that it will soon release a new Skype app built on its Universal Windows Platform.
Of its original task-based approach, Microsoft said today:
But as it went on to explain, what works in principle isn't always the best solution in practice:
The first preview version of the new app will be released to those on the Windows Insider Program "in the coming weeks", and will include these features:
In future releases, Microsoft will expand the functionality of the app further, filling in the gaps, and eventually adding new features:
The first preview will only be released for Insiders on Windows 10 PCs, but since this is a Universal app, the goal is for it to eventually be usable across a range of devices, including phones running Windows 10 Mobile. Microsoft says that a version of the app will be released for Mobile handsets "shortly".
On PCs, the preview app will - for now - coexist alongside the existing Skype desktop application, as well as the experience integrated into the Messaging, Phone and Video apps.
However, Microsoft adds: "Over time we will streamline all Skype for Windows 10 experiences into the Skype Universal Windows Platform app, but we'll do this in stages - first ensuring we release a fully featured, high quality and lightweight application by gathering your feedback and monitoring its performance. "
Source: Skype

 

 16 

Firmware updates available for Lumia 950 and 950 XL

There's a new firmware update available for Lumia 950 and 950 XL owners today. While it's a fairly minor update, it requires owners to use the Windows Device Recovery Tool (WDRT) to get it.
As we can see, it focuses on fixes to the repair channels, so it doesn't look like it's anything that is going to improve day-to-day usage.
It's also not clear whether or not this firmware is available in all parts of the world or just select regions. Nevertheless, if you plug your device into a PC and run WDRT, you'll be able to see whether the new firmware is waiting for you.
This new firmware is also not on Microsoft's list of devices to receive firmware updates, so it's shrouded in mystery. We've reached out to Microsoft for comment.
Source: Microsoft via Windows Central

 

 17 

Microsoft releases more details on its Edge Translator extension

Last week Microsoft finally revealed extensions for its Edge web browser for Windows 10. It began with just a handful of add-ons, but more are on the way. We previously told you how to install them, including the translator, but now Microsoft is adding a bit more information.
The new Edge extensions are currently considered previews and are only available to Windows 10 Insiders, and you'll need Build 14291 to use them.
"Once installed, the translation icon will appear in the address bar when visiting a foreign-language webpage in Microsoft Edge. You can then click on the icon to instantly translate the webpage to your current Windows language. The extension works with all of the  languages supported by Microsoft Translator ", claims Microsoft. Currently that's more than 50 languages.
If you are not a current member of the Insider program then you'll have access to this and other add-ons via the Windows Store, once they are officially released. If you need help installing them then you can check out our tutorial.
Photo credit: charnsitr / Shutterstock

 

 18 

Zero day OS X flaw can bypass System Integrity Protection

Security company SentinelOne has released news of a major flaw in Apple OS X systems that can allow the bypassing of the latest System Integrity Protection security feature.
This zero day vulnerability is present in all versions of Apple's OS X operating system. It has been reported to Apple and patches will be available soon. SentinelOne’s lead OS X security expert, Pedro Vilaça, is presenting the full findings on this vulnerability today at SysCan360 2016 in Singapore.
System Integrity Protection is intended to limit the ability of a root account to access protected parts of iOS and OS X. But some programs, such as those that update the operating system, retain privileges. It's this that is being exploited by the flaw which allows programs to run arbitrary code on the device and bypass SIP.
To exploit the vulnerability, an attacker must first compromise the target system, which could be done via a spearphishing attack, or by an exploit in the user's browser. The vulnerability is said to be reliable and stable, and won't cause systems to crash. It's also able to avoid detection using techniques that traditional detection mechanisms, looking for more obvious warning signs, would miss. The good news is that, up to now, there's no evidence of it being used in the wild.
You can find out more about the threat and see a full copy of Vilaça's presentation on the SentinelOne blog .
Photo credit: studioVin / Shutterstock

 

 19 

You might want to hold off on upgrading to iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan

Apple earlier this week released new versions of its mobile and Mac operating systems, namely iOS 9.3 and OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan. They come with a significant number of changes , like Night Shift mode, extended Wi-Fi calling support and lots of security fixes, but also introduce bugs which are causing major issues for some early adopters.
It is not unheard of a new iOS or OS X release to break things, as Apple seems to be dealing with these kind of things quite frequently nowadays. Not everyone may be affected, but if you have an iPad 2 or use Apple's messaging services often on your Mac you might want to hold off on performing the upgrade.
For iPad 2 users, the update to iOS 9.3 leads to an activation issue, which ultimately  renders the device "useless". As you may know, in order for any iOS device to work, it has to be able to activate itself by connecting to Apple's servers. Normally this is done in a matter of seconds when connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network.
However, it looks like, following the iOS 9.3 upgrade, iPad 2 devices cannot connect to the server anymore. At least that is the error message that affected users have reported. It is unlikely to be an issue on the server side, and more likely to be a bug in the upgrade process which affects these devices.
Users who have reported this issue say that it is possible to bring their iPad 2 back to life by installing iOS 9.3 from scratch using recovery mode; restoring iOS 9.3 on the device has to be performed twice to work. This is not something that everyone might be comfortable doing though.
Connection issues also plague a number of OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan users, who have reported that they are no longer able to access Facetime and iMessage on their Macs following the upgrade. As a Mac user myself, I have yet to experience such problems. While writing this story I was able to access both services without issues. However, if you are a heavy user, you might want to postpone the update to OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan for a while.
Photo Credit:   9nong / Shutterstock

 

 20 

Save 94% off a Network+ (N10-006) Certification Training Bundle

Today via our ELearning section of Neowin Deals, you can save 94% off a Network+ (N10-006) Certification Training Bundle. 13 in-depth courses: Study infrastructure services and prep for the CompTIA Network + Certification exam.
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This Network+ (N10-006) Certification Training Bundle normally represents an overall value of for $895, but you can get this for just $49 for a limited time. In addition, if you refer this deal via social media (below the 'Add to cart' button) which results in a purchase, you'll get $10 credit added to your Neowin Deals store account.
Get this deal or learn more about it | View more offers by LearnSmart
That's OK. If this offer doesn't interest you, why not check out our giveaways on the Neowin Deals web site? There's also a bunch of freebies you can grab here , as well as other great tech-related deals.
We also have several giveaways you can enter, try your luck on the Ultimate Photography Giveaway , Makerbot 3D Printer giveaway or the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7" giveaway. If you aren't a Samsung fan, try your luck on the $1000 Apple Store giveaway instead.
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 21 

Tay, Microsoft's chatbot, is offline after Twitter turned it into a racist nutjob

Microsoft unveiled Tay, its Twitter conversation bot, just yesterday with the aim of researching human interaction and speech models. Now, barely more than twenty-four hours later, the AI chatbot has gone offline, after it started sending out racist, homophobic, sexist and utterly nonsensical tweets.
So what exactly happened? The AI bot was a complete success in some ways. It quickly learned what its audience was saying and started responding in kind. Unfortunately, what it learned mostly came from Twitter trolls who were trying to make the bot say the most hateful or outrageous things possible. And they easily succeeded, especially since the bot had a “repeat after me” function.
Now Microsoft has taken the bot offline for “upgrades” and such. If you try to chat with it, Tay responds that it’s away to get its annual updates. But there’s little doubt that Microsoft is reconsidering its approach to how it handles the massive input of data and language, especially when that input is poisoned by trolls. Right now there’s no word on when or indeed if Tay might come back.
In some ways this could be considered a very interesting social experiment: what happens when you expose a blank - and, by definition, naive - mind to the world. It’s also a very interesting data point for the future of AI and our interactions with it. As machines become smarter, and artificial intelligence becomes a daily presence, there’s little doubt that issues like these will crop up more and more.
Source: The Guardian

 

 22 

Uber announces bug bounty program

Uber is calling on independent computer researchers and experts to find weaknesses in its system as the transportation firm is set to release its technical map.
As Uber jumps into the bug bounty bandwagon -- a philosophy that has long been advocated by the open-source software movement -- it details its software infrastructure to the public, identifies what sorts of data might be exposed inadvertently and suggests what types of flaws are the most likely to be found.
While bug bounty is not a new idea, companies rarely divulge information about their proprietary programming, except to enable third parties to make compatible software.
"That’s a level of confidence that you have not seen too many closed-source software companies take in the past, and I’m really hopeful that others will follow suit", said Alex Rice, chief technology officer at HackerOne, which is managing Uber’s bounty program. The rewards are up to $10,000.
HackerOne, an intermediary between researchers and companies, is only one among many startups that help accelerate efforts to tap the independent security community in identifying serious programming mistakes earlier before cyber criminals attack.
CEO of HackerOne rival Bugcrowd Casey Ellis said that he has also seen a surge in corporate clients asking for private bounty programs.
This shows that the industry has moved into an era where hackers pointing out problems no longer fear arrest, and can even earn modest sums from platforms like HackerOne and BugCrowd and act as "white hats".
Published under license from ITProPortal.com, a Net Communities Ltd Publication. All rights reserved.
Photo credit: NatBasil / Shutterstock

 

 23 

Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum wireless gaming mouse outperforms wired mice

Wireless mice are a tricky situation. On the one hand, they eliminate unsightly wires, creating a more aesthetic desktop look. The downside, of course, is the need of batteries. Whether it is rechargeable or not, it can be a total bummer when the juice runs out. Hardcore gamers in particular just don't have time for such things -- depleted batteries can cause lost matches and other frustrations. Not to mention, wired mice can have less lag, offering better performance.
Today, Logitech announces a gaming-focused mouse. Called the G900 Chaos Spectrum, it features a selectable DPI between 200 and 12,000. While wireless gaming mice are nothing new, the company claims this model has advanced wireless technologies, offering better performance than wired mice. That is quite the bold statement -- is it realistic?
"With a one-millisecond report rate, and highly optimized 2.4GHz wireless connection, the Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum outperforms both wireless and wired competitors. Thanks in part to the exclusive clock-tuning technology that significantly reduces power consumption, you can play continuously for 32 hours -- an entire competition weekend -- on a single charge (24 hours with default lighting). When you're running low on power, the Logitech Gaming Software (LGS) Battery Assistant will notify you. There’s no need to stop playing to recharge as the mouse seamlessly switches between wireless and wired modes when plugged in. Since a full charge from empty only takes about two hours, you're never attached to the cord for long".
Wow, OK, this I like. The Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum can be both a wired or wireless mouse. In other words, it will still function when charging. This is the opposite of Apple's latest wireless mouse, which has a charging port on the bottom, so it is useless when charging.
Logitech is very wise with this design. Gamers can have the best of both worlds -- convenience and appearance while in wireless mode, and worry-free operation in wired mode. Since the mouse gives you advanced notice when the battery gets low, gamers can simply plug in and never stop battling.
Both lefties and righties are going to dig this mouse from a comfort perspective. The company explains, "going beyond ambidextrous, the Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum can be transformed into a truly left- or right-handed mouse, using the included magnetic button covers. The mouse is constructed for a non-prescriptive grip that accommodates a variety of palm, claw and fingertip holds".
This is very cool, as ambidextrous mice are typically not the most comfortable. After all, building a general purpose "one size fits all" mouse usually results in something that doesn't excel for either hand. Logitech is eliminating this woe with a smart design choice.
The mouse features a special "metal spring tensioning system", which when paired with its special pivoting hinges, should offer improved performance when clicking buttons. In today's fast-paced online games, even a millisecond can mean the difference from killing your opponent's character and having your own character killed.
While it has no impact on gaming performance, it also features a color spectrum of 16.8 million colors. Using a Windows program, you can change the LED output to the color of your choice. You can also personalize the pulsing of the lights, choosing something solid or flashing. If you attend LAN parties, this is a great way to stand out among your opponents.
If all of this sounds good, and you want to buy the Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum, I have both good and bad news. The good news is, the lightweight (107g) mouse launches next month. The bad news, sadly, is the price. Many consumers will balk at the $150 price. With that said, gaming enthusiasts and esports professionals may see this as money well spent.
Would you ever spend $150 on a mouse? Tell me in the comments.


Total 23 articles.
Created at 2016-03-25 12:02