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Posts tagged ‘Microsoft’

The Next Windows 10 Update- April 2020

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Microsoft will soon release … Windows 10 version 2004 scheduled for general release in April 2020.

Read About It Here

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Microsoft has announced that, beginning in February 2020, Office365 Pro Plus installs and updates will include a Chrome extension that forcibly changes the default search engine to Microsoft’s own search engine, Bing

Killer Robots

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Mykola Holyutyak/Shutterstock

Autonomous targeting systems originated with innovations in anti-aircraft weaponry during World War II. Zef Art/Shutterstock

The President of Microsoft, Brad Smith,  believes that a new digital Geneva Convention is essential to protect the world from the threat of killer robots. Smith told the Daily Telegraph, that the use of “lethal autonomous weapon systems” poses a host of new ethical questions which need to be considered by governments as a matter of urgency. He claimed the rapidly advancing technology, including flying, swimming and walking drones, can be equipped with lethal weapons systems such as missiles, bombs or guns.

Weapon systems with a significant degree of autonomy in the critical functions of selecting and attacking targets are being developed in the US, China, Israel, South Korea, Russia and the UK.

Additionally, technology is a growing focus for many militaries because replacing troops with machines can make the decision to go to war easier. Lethal autonomous weapons are military robots able to make lethal decisions free from human oversight. They are designed to select and attack targets without intervention or the control of a human operator. These weapons are capable of operation in the air, on land, in water, under water or in space.

The development of autonomous weapon systems has received heavy criticism in a open letter to the UN. It was signed by over 100 artificial intelligence robot experts.

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Microsoft and Samsung announced an extension of their existing partnership this week. Both are working together to more tightly integrate Microsoft Outlook, OneDrive and its Your Phone app with Samsung’s just-announced Galaxy Note 10 phones. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella appeared on stage with Samsung officials at the Samsung Unpacked event to show the ijmportance of the announcements to Microsoft, which no longer has a mobile phone platform of its own.

The Note10 phones will come pre-loaded with the Office Mobile app, which allows you to view documents and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. This app has been preloaded on a number of Samsung phones since earlier this year,” a Microsoft spokesperson told me, in response to me double-checking whether the key Office apps would be pre-loaded.

The Clooney Foundation for Justice

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Microsoft and The Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ) has unveiled a TrialWatch app in an effort to shine a light on injustice in courts around the globe – which too often are simply barbaric. CFJ’s TrialWatch program, which formally launched this year, aims to monitor trials around the world that pose a high risk of human rights violations: trials that oppress vulnerable groups, silence speech, or target political opponents. Through the program, a small group of trial lawyers and activists are trained to report on legal proceedings, boiling a trial down to a series of facts that can be easily recorded and ultimately compared.

The new app aims to augment the ability of TrialWatch’s monitors, making it easier to document happenings in a courtroom. It offers a platform to record audio and take pictures of people and documents, which are then uploaded to the cloud. Having a backup of these documents should serve to protect trial monitors.

Vatican & Microsoft Team Up To Promote Ethics In Artificial Intelligence.

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The Vatican is teaming up with Microsoft on an academic prize to promote ethics in artificial intelligence.

Pope Francis met privately on Wednesday with Microsoft President Brad Smith and the head of a Vatican scientific office that promotes Catholic Church positions on human life.

The Vatican said Smith and Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia of the Pontifical Academy for Life told Francis about the international prize for an individual who has successfully defended a dissertation on ethical issues involving artificial intelligence.

The winner will receive 6,000 euros ($6,900) and an invitation to Microsoft’s Seattle headquarters. The theme of the Pontifical Academy’ of Life’s s 2020 plenary assembly is AI.

Microsoft Claims A win Over Russian Plans To Hack US Politicians

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Microsoft has once again turned to US courts to seize six internet domains it says the notorious Fancy Bear hackers had set up for spear phishing US politicians and think-tanks ahead of the midterm elections in November.

Along with the domain seizures, Microsoft has launched a new security service aka Microsoft Account Guard, which will be available at no charge to all current US federal, state and local candidates, so long as they’re using Office 365.

The service includes threat detection and notifications for eligible Office 365, Outlook.com, and Hotmail accounts.

Microsoft will directly notify these organizations if it detects new threats targeting users’ corporate email addresses and personal accounts, while offering early access to security features usually reserved for large business and government customers.

Microsoft Says, Russia-Linked Hackers Target US Think Tanks & Political Organizations

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Microsoft’s president Brad Smith wrote in a blog It’s clear that democracies around the world are under attack. Foreign entities are launching cyber strikes to disrupt elections and sow discord.

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Microsoft Working On Tech To Eliminate Cashiers in Stores Like Walmart

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Microsoft is reportedly working on technology that will eliminate cashiers and checkout lines in stores, similar to Amazon’s technology already implemented in its Amazon Go brick-and-mortar store.

According to the report, Microsoft’s technology tracks which items customers put into their carts. While it’s unclear how far along Microsoft is in developing this technology, the company has reportedly shown sample tech to potential partners and has even talked to Walmart about implementing it.

The exact technology used in Microsoft’s service isn’t explained, but it may be linked to the company’s new Kinect for Azure project. Detailed at Microsoft Build last month, this project builds on Kinect’s current abilities and includes integrated computing power and a sensor package with a depth-mapping camera. It can be used to execute spatial mapping and motion tracking, which could come in handy when tracking customers’ hands as they reach for items on shelves.

Microsoft’s store tech is designed to help retailers “keep pace” with Amazon as the online shopping giant dabbles more in brick-and-mortar endeavors. Specifically, retailers who may use Microsoft’s technology could better compete with Amazon Go, the company’s cashier less convenience store.

Though, it’s unclear when Microsoft will roll out a final version of its checkout-free retail technology or if the project will be scrapped completely

Microsoft Acquiring Spotify

Microsoft Senior VP of Entertainment, Music & Gaming Jason Rutherford during a media presentation in Redmond, WA., March 30th, 2018

Microsoft has now finalized a massive, $41.8 billion acquisition deal involving Spotify.

Microsoft Corporation, one of the largest and most powerful tech companies in the world, is now acquiring Spotify in a deal valued at approximately $41.8 billion.

The deal will make  Daniel Ek a multi-billionaire overnight, with a large portion in cash.  Other top-ranked executives like Martin Lorentzon and Sean Parker will mint billions on the deal, while also gaining a sizable share of Microsoft (MSFT) stock  Spotify counts an impressive 71 million paying subscribers, and more than 150 million total users.  Those numbers are big, but Apple is rapidly catching up.  In fact, at least one analyst has declared Amazon — not Apple or Spotify — to be the biggest streaming music service in the world, thanks to two very lucrative properties: Amazon Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited.

Microsoft Builds Tree houses For Its Employees

The tree houses are connected to buildings around its Redmond campus. They feature weatherproof benches, hatches that hide electricity sockets, rustproof rocking chairs, a fireplace, wood canopies, and an outdoor Wi-Fi network. There are ramps built in for those who need them. If you get hungry, there’s also an indoor cafeteria that’s extended outside and a barbecue restaurant built into a shipping container.

Has It Made In The Shade

Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft Research Developing Classroom Technology To Assess Children’s Reading Ability

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Microsoft Research is developing technology which may end up in the next version Microsoft’s classroom software. In a recent publication, Microsoft Research describes an AI-driven system which could help teachers automatically assess reading performance for students, saving them time and allowing more individual attention to students who need it the most. Their research paper, “Automatic Evaluation of Children Reading Aloud on Sentences and Pseudo words,” automatically predicts the overall reading aloud ability of primary school children (6-10 years old), based on the reading of sentences and pseudo words.

 

FedEx Also Suffers Malware Attack

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FedEx Corp confirms it has suffered a malware attack on Friday  and said its Windows-based systems were “experiencing interference” due to malware and that it was trying to fix the issue as quickly as possible. Computer systems at companies and hospitals in dozens of countries were hit Friday, apparently part of a huge extortion plot. The so-called ransomware attack appears to exploit a weakness that was purportedly identified by the U.S. National Security Agency and leaked to the internet. It encrypts data on infected computers and demands payment before the information is unencrypted..

A cyberattack that is forcing computer owners to pay hundreds of dollars in ransom to unlock their files has hit almost every corner of the world. This is the biggest ransomware outbreak in history.

Security experts from Kaspersky Lab and Avast Software say Russia was the hardest hit, followed by Ukraine and Taiwan. Researchers believe a criminal organization is behind this, given its sophistication.Russia’s Interior Ministry says it has come under cyber attack. Agency spokeswoman Irina Volk says in a statement carried by Russian news agencies that Friday’s cyber attacks hit about 1,000 computers. She said the ministry’s servers haven’t been affected. Volk also said that ministry experts are now working to recover the system and do necessary security updates.

Russian media also said that the Investigative Committee, the nation’s top criminal investigation agency, also has been targeted. The committee denied the reports.

Megafon, a top Russian mobile operator, also said it has come under cyberattacks that appeared similar to those that crippled U.K. hospitals on Friday.

Microsoft has released fixes for vulnerabilities and related tools disclosed by TheShadowBrokers, a mysterious group that has repeatedly published alleged NSA software code. But many companies and individuals haven’t installed the fixes yet, or are using older versions of Windows that Microsoft no longer supports and didn’t fix.

Hospitals in the U.K. and telecommunications companies in Spain are among those hit by a “ransomware” attack that locked up computer data and demanded payment to free it. The attacks use a malware called Wanna Decryptor, also known as WannaCry.

Microsoft & Mixed Reality

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Think Virtual world with a twist.

 

http://www.king5.com/tech/microsoft-announces-push-toward-mixed-reality-experience/439091176

 

 

July 29, 2016-Last Day For Free Windows 10 Upgrade

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Must have Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. to upgrade

Ready To Throw Out an Electronic?

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Before you do…….vist Microsoft ‘s Safe & Security Center

 

Microsoft Will Alert You When State Sponsors Hacking Attacks

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Microsoft will begin alerting users of its online services, including Outlook.com, when it suspects their accounts are being hacked by government entities.  Facebook and Twitter announced they would also warn users when they believe state-sponsored hackers may be trying to access user accounts.

Microsoft Opening An Enormous Retail Store In New York City

The Manhattan Microsoft Store is expected to debut Oct. 26. . A Sydney location will follow in November, the first overseas outpost for Microsoft’s 6-year-old retail arm.The New York store is located at 667 Fifth Avenue about five blocks from Apple’s retail store.

Microsoft Giving Uber 100 Million $$$$$$$$

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Microsoft has reportedly invested $100 million in Uber, this is a  $10 billion jump in the company’s valuation from its previous investment round late last year that had its valuation at roughly $40 billion. Microsoft’s major investment in the ride sharing app was finalized on Friday,Microsoft’s investment in Uber follows a high-profile deal in June in which Uber acquired Microsoft’s Bing Maps technology.

Microsoft’s Surface Hub

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Microsoft Surface Hub is a gargantuan touchscreen computer that Microsoft is about to start selling to companies as a high-tech replacement for conference room whiteboards.

The largest Surface Hub, measuring 84 inches diagonally, looks like and lkie an iPad. The 4K resolution of the screen produces dazzling images. the going price is $20,000.00. The product is so unique – representing one of the largest touch screens of its kind. The weight is 220 puounds and expensive to ship.  The Surface Hub originated at a startup called Perceptive Pixel, which Microsoft acquired in 2012. The startup had an assembly plant in Wilsonville for its giant touch-screen device, which then sold for about $US80,000 and was used by broadcasters like CNN to display election results and other data. Microsoft said the factory, covering about 4 acres with 18 docking bays for delivery trucks, now has a combined engineering and manufacturing staff of a couple hundred people, about seven times that of the original Perceptive Pixel team. Although many components in the product will come from overseas, the Surface Hub will be stamped with the phrase “Manufactured in Portland, OR, USA.”

With the Surface Hub, walk up and join a Skype for Business meeting with a single tap, and share the content easily, so that you spend your time connecting to people rather than technology. And since you can easily send meeting notes and content, you can communicate outcomes and action points.

Windows 10 New Name

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Previously called Spartan, Windows 10 has a new name Microsoft Edge. The web browser is designed to put websites in the frontline and eliminate everything else — including icons and menus that could potentially slow page loads.

Microsoft Edge is “a browser built for doing” with “built-in note taking and sharing” a slide stated. As proof, Edge will support extensions that are designed for Firefox and Chrome with just a few modifications.

Microsoft Edge also has its voice assistant Cortana directly integrated. While Cortana will be baked into Windows 10 at a system-wide level, it will work a little differently in Microsoft Edge. For starters, Cortana in Microsoft Edge doesn’t talk to you at all. When you type certain keywords into the address bar or select topics on a website, it’ll jump into action, serving up relevant information such as the weather, maps and other extras in a window pane. Microsoft Edge will replace Internet Explorer. With Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge, Microsoft finally has a clear strategy for winning back users who turned to Firefox & Chrome.

Microsoft Releases Windows 10 Preview

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Project Spartan is available for the first time for Windows Insiders to try out as part of the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview build for PCs. Be warned that you should be experience in computer use. Do not download the Windows 10 preview in your everyday computer.  http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/preview-iso

The  bold new design for Project Spartan – one that is streamlined and puts the focus on the page, not the browser. This is part of our vision for a browser that doesn’t visually interfere with your life on the Web, but supports it.

Microsoft’s Code Hunt Challenge 2015

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View Here

Cont Here

Windows 10 Will Be Free Upgrade

 

 

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Any device running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows Phone 8.1 will be able to upgrade to the latest version of MIcrosoft’s OS — for free. Release Date expected this summer

The Preview

Microsoft Working To Rid Passwords

 

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Microsoft has confirmed that it is working to rid the passwords in Windows 10. Which means you could be logging on with your face, voice, iris or fingerprint (or your dongle) depending on which method your organization chooses. And it’s not just on the desktop: similarly on the consumer side, Apple’s Touch ID for the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, and iPad Air 2 and Mini 3, replaces a passcode with a fingerprint. Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S5 also has a fingerprint reader. Although no technology is entirely secure, fingerprint readers have improved dramatically in recent years: Apple claims you would have to try 50,000 fingers to find a random match — which it argues is much more secure than the one-in-10,000 chance of guessing a four-digit passcode. This week two UK banks announced that they will use Touch ID to allow customers to access their bank accounts.

The Internet Explorer Won’t Be In Windows 10

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Microsoft will instead ship a wholly new Web browser with Windows 10, with IE11 riding along as a backwards-compatible alternative.

The new browser is currently under development and has the project codename of “Spartan.” A formal brand name for it has yet to be announced. Microsoft employees mentioned in a Reddit AMA a few months ago that Microsoft had considered potentially discarding the “Internet Explorer” name and brand. That branding turns 20 years old in August 2015 and has two decades’ worth of mental associations and baggage—some of it positive, much of it extremely negative.

Spartan is expected to be lighter and quicker than Internet Explorer 11; it will include proper extension support as well. It’s also supposed to come in desktop and mobile versions for inclusion with both the desktop and mobile versions of Windows 10. It is speculated that Microsoft may give the public a peek at Spartan near the end of January with the next big Windows 10 reveal, but it’s unclear whether or not the browser will make it into the next Windows 10 Technical Preview.

Microsoft’s Room Alive

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Microsoft Research project pairs an Xbox Kinect with a projector to extend your TV onto a wall, resulting in an immersive visual experience.  IllumiRoom 2.0 is now called RoomAlive . The new system projects content throughout a room that you can interact with (or shoot), as shown in the insane video below. Instead of a single Kinect and projector, it uses multiple “procams” consisting of off-the-shelf projectors, Kinects and a control device. Microsoft claims that it’s completely auto-calibrating and self-locating, enabling it to calculate the entire 3D geometry of your room in minutes.

 

Windows 10

Microsoft Plan To Open New Store Near Apple

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Microsoft is opening a retail store in the heart of New York City on Fifth Avenue. The software maker’s store will be a few blocks from Apple. Microsoft’s new retail location will replace an existing Fendi store and serve as the company’s first full retail store in Manhattan.

Microsoft & The Internet Of Things In London

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Microsoft and its tech partners Telent and CGI are trying to wire-up the Underground, ,upgrading the way the network is managed by integrating Microsoft’s Azure Intelligent Systems Services and claiming it’s living proof of the “internet of things” in action over in London.

 

Samsung, Intel, Dell Unite For Internet of Things Connectivity Standards

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The Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) plans to deliver the specifications for free data flow between devices, regardless of the OS, device type or wireless communication technology. The new consortium, includes chipmakers Broadcom and Atmel. The consortium will rival the Qualcomm-supported AllSeen Alliance, which last week welcomed Microsoft as its 51st member, among Sharp and others. Apple and Google are also pursuing their own ways of interconnecting household devices. In June, Apple announced HomeKit, which will integrate control of devices like lights and thermostats.
Google’s Nest has also partnered with companies including Whirlpool Corp and light bulb maker LIFX to integrate their products with its thermostats and smoke detectors.

Google & Microsoft Installing Killswitch Technology

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Google and Microsoft have agreed to install killswitch technology into the next version of their Android and Windows Phone operating systems with the hopes of  curbing the growing theft of smartphones in cities across the world.

The killswitch technology follows pressure from authorities in both the US and the UK, under the Save our Smartphones (SOS) initiative. This was formed in response to the huge rise in the number of thefts of high-endsmartphones. The hope is that killswitch will render any theft irrelevant and so curb this growing trend.

 

Operation Clandestine Fox

 

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Over the weekend, Microsoft admitted to a huge vulnerability in Internet Explorer that allows hackers to set up malicious websites in order to gain complete access to visitors’ PC, provided they visited the page with a IE (version 6 and up). There on, hackers can install apps, break into other accounts and generally use the computer as their own.

The flaw has been dubbed  “Operation Clandestine Fox” by security firm FireEye — the best thing to do at this time is to stop using Internet Explorer until Microsoft patches it. Other browsers, such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, don’t have the problem, and you can export your bookmarks and other settings to those browsers very easily.

 Homeland Security issues warning

Dropbox & Microsoft Office: Project Harmony

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Users of select Microsoft Office applications will soon be able to work simultaneously on the same documents with Dropbox.

Dropbox unveiled ‘Project Harmony’, a feature which mimicks the collaboration abilities of Google Docs, and brings Dropbox-powered editing and collaboration tools to software applications, starting with three Microsoft Office products.

Project Harmony will allow Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word users to work at the same time on the same documents, converse with the other document editors, and keep copies in sync.

Within Harmony, once Dropbox files sync, the company’s trademark green tick appears within the application (PowerPoint etc) to notify the user a document has been uploaded. 

Nokia Delays Sale To Microsoft

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Nokia has delayed the sale of its smartphone business to tech giant Microsoft until Apri.l It was reported that Nokia had still not received approvals from certain antitrust authorities in Asia.

September 2013, Microsoft announced its plans to acquire Nokia’s Devices & Services business,  for more than $7 billion. The deal also reportedly included a number of licensing agreements and patents by Nokia to Microsoft. The deal was expected to close by the end of the first quarter of this year.The Washington-based company is buying up Nokia’s core cell phone business — including its feature phone divisions — for $5 billion. The remaining $2.18 billion will be paid out as part of a licensing deal that will give Microsoft non-exclusive rights to Nokia’s patents for ten years. Microsoft has an option to continue the agreement after the initial ten years and will also license Nokia’s location-based business Here, becoming its largest partner.

 

Ex-Microsoft Employee Arested

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A former Microsoft employee was arrested this week stealing trade secrets after he allegedly leaked early copies of Windows 8 to a French blogger. Alex Kibkalo was employed by Microsoft – first in Russia and then in Lebanon – for seven years. He provided the documents to the blogger in 2012, just prior to the launch of Windows 8. According to a complaint filed on Monday in a Washington district court, Kibkalo received a poor performance rating in 2012 and was asked to resign shortly thereafter. The information in question included Windows 8 RT software updates, which were distributed only to manufacturing partners, as well as the Activation Server software development kit (SDK).

It seems that Kibkalo uploaded the documents to his SkyDrive (now OneDrive) account in August 2012, and provided the French blogger with links to these documents.

Microsoft 2013

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 The company’s ambitious Windows 8 operating system didn’t do so well, its endeavor into tablets was a non-starter and it continued to struggle for phone sales. The discontent has prompted CEO Steve Ballmer to announce he would retire within 12 months.

Bill Gates Says Control-Alt-Delete Was A Mistake

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In a question-and-answer session at Harvard University, Bill Gates was asked about the keyboard shortcut.

Question-

“Why, when I want to turn on my software and computer, do I need to have three fingers? Control-Alt-Delete. Where is that from?” 

 Gates answers-“It was a mistake.” According to Gates, the company could have simply gone with a single button but was talked out of it by the keyboard designers at IBM.

IBM designer David Bradley, who created the shortcut in 1981, remembers it, differently. In a 2001 forum with CNET, he explained: “I originally intended for it to be what we would now call an Easter egg, just something we were using in development. … I have to share the credit. I might have invented it, but I think Bill made it famous.”

Regardless of who was to blame, the three keys were reportedly chosen to keep users from inadvertently triggering a restart of their computers — with the delete button far away from Control and Alt. 

Upcoming Trends

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Microsoft software company is acquiring Nokia’s Devices & Services business and the right to license Nokia’s patents to other entities. Assuming the deal is approved by Nokia’s shareholders and regulatory agencies, Microsoft will spend approximately $7.2 billion on the acquisition.

 21-year-old electronics and communication engineer revealed this week that Facebook paid him $12,500 for spotting a software vulnerability that could allow a hacker to delete any image stored on the social networking site. While the company is known to pay out for discoveries like this, such a large amount is thought to be rare, meaning Facebook’s security team considered it to be potentially very damaging. The engineer found a way for a hacker to generate a photo removal link and have it sent to their own inbox, thereby allowing them to delete the image without the uploader knowing.

Sony plans to support virtual reality on the PlayStation 4 using proprietary headsets 

Macworld US editor Jason Snell has confirmed that he has received the invite to the Apple event on 10 September. The event is scheduled for 10 September at 10am at the Town Hall on Apple campus.Earlier today news broke that Apple has issued invites to the rumoured 10 September iPhone launch event.

The upcoming Xbox One will allow eight controllers to connect at once, according to Microsoft. Four controllers has been the norm for consoles of late, so the question is: what can you do with eight controllers at once?That question will be answered sometime this November when the Xbox One is released.

 

The Future Of Gaming

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New software tracks a person’s facial expressions and maps it—in real-time—onto a digital character. The technology could make it easier to create computer animated characters that closely match the expressions of an actor.

Begin by, shaking your head once in front of the Kinect sensor the software uses so it can capture an impression of the shape of your face. The mapping gets better over time, because as a person moves his or her face, the system works to learn its shape better, producing a more accurate mimic. The software was created by Hao Li, Jihun Yu, Yuting Ye, and Chris Bregler of Industrial Light and Magic.

More Here

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