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Microsoft to dump Windows 10's smaller delta updates

Jul 19, 2018 - 5:50 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft will stop serving one of three types of Windows 10 updates, contending that the updates have been superseded by an even small and more efficient format.

Delta updates are due to disappear early next year, Microsoft said, with their demise effective Feb. 12, 2019, that month's Patch Tuesday. Two formats will then remain: Full updates and express updates.

Delta updates are those that include only the components that have changed since the previous month's update. Because delta updates include the full component that changed - say, the Notepad application - not only the individual files that make up the component, they are larger than express updates, which deliver only changed files. The bottom line, and what enterprise IT is most interested in, is that express updates are smaller than delta updates, which are in turn smaller than full updates.

According to Mike Benson, a member of the Windows team responsible for crafting updates, an express update typically weighs in at 150MB to 200MB, compared to a delta update's larger 300MB to 500MB. Put another way, express updates are between 33% and 70% smaller than delta updates.

With that the case, why does Microsoft bother providing delta updates?

"Delta updates were originally created because the express update protocol was only available to devices connecting directly to Windows Update or Windows Server Update Services," Benson wrote in a July 11 post to a company blog.

In January 2017, Microsoft gave third-party update management vendors access to the express protocol but continued to offer delta updates to "give companies and third-party update management tools time to implement support" for the format, Benson explained.

Stopping... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 94 Views

Microsoft Offering Up to $100,000 for Identity Bugs

Jul 19, 2018 - 5:45 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft this week launched a new Identity Bounty program offering serious coin for information about security vulnerabilities affecting its identity services.

"A customer's digital identity is often the key to accessing services and interacting across the internet," the Microsoft Security Response Center team wrote in a Tuesday blog post. "We have strongly invested in the creation, implementation, and improvement of identity-related specifications that foster strong authentication, secure sign-on, sessions, API security, and other critical infrastructure tasks. In recognition of that strong commitment to our customer's security we are launching the Microsoft Identity Bounty Program."

The program covers flaws affecting login.windows.net, login.microsoftonline.com, login.live.com, account.live.com, account.windowsazure.com, account.activedirectory.windowsazure.com, credential.activedirectory.windowsazure.com, portal.office.com, passwordreset.microsoftonline.com, and the Microsoft Authenticator iOS and Android apps.

Rewards for qualifying submissions range from $500 to $100,000. To be eligible for a bounty, submissions must identify an original and previously unreported flaw that allows for the takeover of a Microsoft account or Azure Active Directory account.

"Higher payouts are given based on the quality of the report and the security impact of the vulnerability," Microsoft advised. "Security researchers are encouraged to provide as much data at the time of submission to be more likely of the highest payout possible. We typically reward lower amounts for vulnerabilities that require significant user interaction."

The program does not cover denial of service issues, flaws in third party software, bugs that require "unlikely... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 88 Views

Microsoft to launch new Xbox hardware next month

Jul 18, 2018 - 7:24 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft is teasing new Xbox hardware and accessories will launch at Gamescom in Germany next month. Details are limited. The word comes from a Microsoft blog post about the event in which it lists the date and time of the August 21 event, which will feature “lots of news, all-new Xbox hardware and accessories, and features on upcoming titles.”

Don’t expect the successor to the Xbox One, though.

There are several options here and most signs point to a new Xbox Elite controller. Rumors have been swirling that the updated controller will feature USB-C charging, Windows 10 compatibility and updated mechanisms for the triggers and buttons. The timing is right, too. If announced in the middle of August, Microsoft will have plenty of time to get the expensive controller into retail stores for the holiday season.

Microsoft just released the 4K Xbox One X last year. This model is still competitive with the latest PlayStation 4. A lower price, or a redesigned low-end Xbox One S, could also be on tap.

  0 Replies | 141 Views

Netflix Introduces 'Smart Downloads' on Android

Jul 12, 2018 - 5:42 PM - by Reverend
There's good news for Netflix subscribers who like to download TV shows to a mobile device to watch offline.

The streaming service just introduced a new feature called Smart Downloads, which will automatically delete the last downloaded episode you finished watching, then fetch the next one in the series. That way, you won't have to worry about freeing up space on your mobile device, or manually downloading the next episode.

Say you download three episodes of a series, for instance. After you finish watching the first one, Netflix will automatically delete it and download episode four, so it's ready when you are. Smart Downloads only works over WiFi, so it won't impact your data plan.

At this point, the feature is only available on Android phones and tablets running the latest version of the Netflix app.

"We know how annoying it can be to go through all your apps and delete files you no longer need; we also understand that when it comes to Netflix, the faster you can get to the next episode you want to watch, the better," Netflix Director of Product Innovation Cameron Johnson wrote in a Tuesday blog post.

If you'd rather keep those old episodes on your device, so you can re-watch them later, you'll have to disable Smart Downloads. To do that, tap the Menu icon (three vertical lines), scroll down and select App Settings, look for the Downloads heading, then use the toggle to turn Smart Downloads off. You can also disable it from your Downloads section: just tap the Downloads icon (an arrow pointing down), select Smart Downloads from the top of the My Downloads section, and use the toggle to turn Smart Downloads off.

Netflix first introduced the ability to download content for offline viewing in 2016.

"Members love downloading and... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 437 Views

Xbox One is getting Dolby Vision support

Jul 12, 2018 - 5:38 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft is preparing to add Dolby Vision support to its Xbox One S and Xbox One X consoles. The addition will mean Microsoft’s consoles join the Apple TV 4K and Google’s Chromecast Ultra as the only streaming devices that currently support both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Microsoft is testing out its Dolby Vision support with Xbox Insiders right now, and it appears to be limited to streaming apps for now. Netflix is one of the first apps to be updated with Dolby Vision for the Xbox One S and Xbox One X, and it’s not clear if Microsoft plans to extend this to Blu-ray discs too.

Dolby Vision is widely considered to be more superior to the current HDR10 support found on the Xbox One. Dolby Vision adjusts the brightness and color of scenes with metadata, and supports up to a 12-bit color depth and higher peak brightness targets than HDR10. While you won’t necessarily see an immediate difference on current TV sets, Dolby Vision support (alongside HDR10) on the Xbox One makes it more future proof in the current HDR standards war. Microsoft’s main rival console, Sony’s PlayStation 4, still doesn’t fully support Dolby Atmos or Dolby Vision.

The Verge
  0 Replies | 380 Views

Microsoft teases new Surface unveiling for tomorrow

Jul 09, 2018 - 5:53 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft appears to be teasing a new Surface device announcement for tomorrow. “Where will Surface go next?” asks the official Twitter account for Surface, with a cryptic image attached. The image shows the current Surface lineup with a date of July 10th displayed on each screen, alongside a time of 6AM. Microsoft has previously used this image before, but the displays never included dates or times.

Microsoft is rumored to be launching new $400 Surface tablets to better compete with Apple’s iPad and more importantly Google’s range of Chromebooks. A mystery Surface device passed through the FCC recently, and reports have suggested the new Surface tablets will have 10-inch displays and run on Intel’s Pentium chips. One rumor suggests the new tablets could even be labelled “Surface Go,” and another claims the new Surface model will be displayed in Microsoft Stores on Friday. Microsoft’s teaser and the FCC filing suggest that we’re likely to hear a lot more about a new Surface device as early as tomorrow.

The Verge
  0 Replies | 508 Views

Facebook Bug Unblocks People on 800K+ Accounts

Jul 04, 2018 - 8:59 AM - by Reverend
Do you block anyone on Facebook? They might have recently gotten a peek at your Facebook activity anyway thanks to a bug.

The social network is notifying more than 800,000 users "about a bug in Facebook and Messenger that unblocked some people they had blocked" between May 29 and June 5, Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer, wrote in a blog post.

The problem didn't give blocked individuals full access to a person's account, but "they could have seen things posted to a wider audience. For example pictures shared with friends of friends."

Facebook apologized for the bug and said it has been fixed. People are once again blocked, but Facebook will add an alert to the accounts of those affected, asking them to double-check their blocked lists.

If you block someone on Facebook, they can no longer see things you post, start a chat on Messenger, or add you as a friend. According to Facebook, about 83 percent of the people affected by this bug had only one person temporarily unblocked, but it would have allowed them to make contact via Messenger.

Egan acknowledged that the issue is a serious one; when you block, you "may want to take a break from someone [but] other reasons are more serious like harassment or bullying," she wrote.

This comes a month after Facebook disclosed a software bug, which, for several days in May, changed the suggested audience of all new posts to "public."

Facebook's audience selector tool usually remembers the audience you shared with the last time you posted something (public, friends, friends except..., or only me) and suggests the same audience when you share again. But between May 18 and May 27, some 14 million people made public posts on the social network, many of them likely believing they were sharing with just friends.

... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 804 Views

Developers may have been reading your private Gmail messages

Jul 04, 2018 - 8:47 AM - by Reverend
Even though Google does not allow its employees access to your private emails, the same stringent privacy policy does not extend to third-party developers. In addition to being able to read your full emails in Gmail, Google also gives developers access to details like the recipient’s address and time stamps, The Wall Street Journal reported. However, it doesn’t appear that any user information has been misused at this time.

If you have used a Gmail plugin for price comparison, travel planning, or other tools, your emails may have been exposed to outside eyes. Google claims that it vets all third-party developers before granting access to its users’ emails, and that the user’s permission is required. The problem is that the request for permission often doesn’t state whether you’re granting access to your emails to a human or a computer. “The vetting process involves checking whether a company’s identity is correctly represented by its app, its privacy policy states that it will monitor emails, and the data that the company is requesting makes sense for what the company does,” according to The Verge.

In one example, Google partner Return Path scans more than 100 million emails a day sent and received by Gmail users using its computer network, but its employees also read more than 8,000 emails to train the software, the Journal noted. Return Path claims that its algorithms can detect personal emails and discard those from its system. Initially, the algorithm mis-categorized personal emails, and so two data analysts spent several days reading 8,000 emails to train the system to properly label emails. Another Google partner, Edison Software, claims that it needed access to emails to develop the... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 745 Views

» News Archive

  Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
FrostWire 6.6.8
June 26th, 2018 14:33 PM
June 26th, 2018 14:33 PM
by Reverend
0 1,189
WinRAR 5.60
June 26th, 2018 14:25 PM
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June 22nd, 2018 12:48 PM
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June 20th, 2018 07:10 AM
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