New and better things coming in 2021, but before we do… a quick recap to 2020. Interested in me going to CES 2021 this year? Let me know in the comments plus more news coming up! Happy New Year everyone!
With new Xbox and PlayStation consoles on the horizon, backward compatibility with older games seems like not just a hope, but a must-have feature. In earlier console generations, this backward compatibility was common, but by the time Sony released the PlayStation 4 there was simply no built-in support for PlayStation 3 games, and the Xbox One didn’t have backward compatibility at launch either.
Security researchers have discovered a new way to hijack a Twitter user’s stream, and they’ve done it using a seemingly old-school method. They did it by sending SMS messages. A team from Insinia Security managed to post tweets (with permission from the account holders, of course) without having to directly access users’ accounts. It was done without logging in and without having to intercept a two-factor authentication code.
Depending on how paranoid you are, this research from Stanford and Google will be either terrifying or fascinating. A machine learning agent intended to transform aerial images into street maps and back was found to be cheating by hiding information it would need later in “a nearly imperceptible, high-frequency signal.” Clever girl!
So to make sure you’re making the most of your trusty voice-activated partner, we’ve gathered together nine handy but not necessarily obvious Google Assistant features that will help to make it genuinely useful in loads of situations you might not have expected.
Lawrence G. Roberts, the man whose work would eventually allow us to send each other cat GIFs and get into arguments in comments sections, has died of a heart attack in his California home. Roberts was a major force behind Arpanet, the direct precursor to the internet. He was 81.
It’s been a long time coming. While other analyst firms, such as StatCounter, have shown Windows 10 overtaking Windows 7 sometime ago, NetMarketShare has consistently shown the new OS to be lagging way behind the aging fan favorite. In December though, NetMarketShare finally has Windows 10 taking first position.
Now that Epic has launched its challenger to Steam, it’s apparently gearing up to launch a similar war on mobile. Epic is said to have plans to launch an app store all its own, again with the main selling point being that it takes a smaller cut of each sale than Google and Apple do. Unfortunately, Epic’s plans are rather vague at this point. The company only tells The Wall Street Journal that it will begin selling Android apps at some point in 2019, with the same 12% fee it charges developers and publishers on its PC storefront. Apple and Google, for the record, take keep 30% of each sale, just as Valve does with Steam.
During its 2017 announcement of the iPhone X, Apple didn’t just show off its vision of what the future of iPhones would look like, it also announced a new way to charge them. Called AirPower, the charging mat was meant to charge up to three devices at once including a new iPhone, an Apple Watch and a pair of AirPods (with a separate, optional wireless charging case). In its announcement, Apple promised that the new charger would be “coming in 2018.”
The SouljaBoy game console saga was one of the most confusing to watch in the gaming scene this month. The story began with the rapper selling “a game console” that included pirated ROMs of games. Fast forward until today and it seems like the time of reckoning for the rapper has come as the SouljaGame consoles have been retired from sale.
Microsoft’s desktop operating system has been considered as the most popular OS with regards to desktop computing. Majority of the users around the globe uses Windows in their homes and offices.
The previous iteration of Microsoft’s OS, the Windows XP, has been known to be one of the most used operating systems. Thus, it is considered to be the most popular OS around.
Now, Windows 7, the latest Microsoft OS, has overtaken the Windows XP as the most used operating systems, this according to Net Applications who surveyed Microsoft users and their August report.
According to Net Applications, Windows 7 had a 42.76% market share, slightly higher than the 42.52% that the Windows XP has. Windows Vista, which Microsoft thought they could replace Windows XP, has only a 6.15% share.
Mac operating systems like the Mac OS X 107 has a 2.45% market share while the MAC OS X 10.6 had a 2.38% share.
It is surprising to note that Microsoft has 92% of the market in the operating systems race when it comes to desktop computing. This includes operating systems installed on laptops and netbooks.
Windows 7 had to work 3 years to finally overtake the lead that Windows XP had on them.
Do you think Windows 8 can achieve this faster than Windows 7?
Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, may be biting off more than what he can chew, when he announced during a speech that it is expected by the end of 2013 to have about 500 million individuals using a Windows 8-powered device.
AFP reported that the CEO believes that its Windows 8 software will bring Microsoft back to the pedestal and is a sign of rebirth for Microsoft’s operating system.
AFP added that according to Ballmer, the upcoming Windows 8 is the “deepest, broadest and most impactful” software that Microsoft has created.
Fans of Windows are looking forward to the cloud capability of the Windows 8, which gives users the ability to access different devices remotely.
Ballmer said that 500 million isn’t an outrageous figure as the Windows 7 is on track of hitting 350 million units to be sold by the end the year.
The company is trying to enter and shake the market that is being dominated by Google’s Android software and Apple’s iOS.
Ballmer added that they are excited to release the latest version of Skype that is powered by their Windows 8. Microsoft acquired Skype last year for $8.5 billion.
Do you think that Microsoft and its Windows 8 platform can hit the 500 million unit sales projection?
The popularity of the Windows XP OS has reached unfathomable heights during its heydays. Ever since American software giant Microsoft unveiled the latter to the public; it has become much adored by its users. The XP truly was a magnificent creation, like a marvelous sculpture done by a master artist.
Now, the beloved OS is counting its final days on personal computers the world over.
According to the company’s blog post, they reminded the world that in two years’ time, the company will no longer support the generation’s old operating system.
Stella Chrnyak, Microsoft marketing director said, “We want to acknowledge the two-year countdown to the end of Windows XP and Office 2003 support. Windows XP and Office 2003 were great software releases for their time, but the technology environment has shifted.”
The marketing director advises computer users, particularly businesses who still has XP installed in their computers, to start “migrating” machines to the latest versions of the programs well before Microsoft puts XP to rest.
The Vista which was released after the XP was a very bad replacement for the latter. People didn’t shift to Vista after finding out a lot of problems with the OS.
A Russian student who studies in Canada has successfully hacked into a fully patched Windows 7 64-bit version. He used a remote code execution vulnerability/exploit in Google Chrome.
Sergey Glazunov is a security researcher who finds security holes in Chrome and reports it directly to Google.
He earned $60,000 due to his exploits. He targeted two distinct zero-day vulnerabilities in the sub-system of the Chrome extension. Google is trying to partner with hackers to find holes in the system. In exchange they pay the hacker for his job. They call the Pwnium hacker contest which they are running this year.
Justin Schuh of Google said that, “It didn’t break out of the sandbox [but] it avoided the sandbox.” Glazunov’s exploits bypassed the browser sandbox in its entirety.
He also added, “It was an impressive exploit. It required a deep understanding of how Chrome works. This is not a trivial thing to do. It’s a very difficult and that’s why we’re paying $60,000.”
Sergei is a regular contributor in the Google bug bounty program. He also did a similar sandbox bypass bug before that is similar to his work. Schuh said that these types of full code execution that executes code outside the browser sandbox from a very small percentage of bug submissions.
Today, around 500 people (some even camped out all night) waited for the software giant to open its retail store.
Located in Fashion Square Mall in Scottsdale, Arizona, the store is the Microsoft’s first retail outlet. People who waited outside for the opening were greeted by staff wearing Microsoft shirts.
“It’s a good idea to give consumers a warm and fuzzy (feeling) about using an operating system… It will make consumers feel better about their purchase,” Hafthor Stefansson, an IT consultant who uses both Apple and Microsoft systems, said as he stood outside the store.
The store is only the beginning of the many retail stores that will be opened all over. The second one is due to open in Orange County, California.
People in the store really got their shop on, browsing displays of Zunes, Xbox 360s, HP and Dell Laptops, and of course, the much anticipated Windows 7 operating system, which was also launched on the same day.
Surely Microsoft is making headway into what Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer calls making a direct connection with users and showing the “customer what you really can do”.
With lots of opportunities for users to try out their products in the store, friendly and helpful sales associates and in-person support, I’m guessing this’ll be a huge success for Microsoft.
Several readers report that some auctions of the house party kits have been cancelled in eBay. The kits, along with other stuff, contain a Steve Ballmer “signature edition” of Windows 7 Ultimate.
If you’re not sure what this “signature edition” is, it’s just the same as other Windows 7 Ultimate, but its packaging looks waaay cooler than the others and it proudly shows Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer’s signature.
So, going back to the news, reports aren’t sure yet as to whether the cancelling of the auctions is done at Microsoft’s request.
“While we cannot confirm why eBay has removed these specific auctions, Microsoft routinely works with online auction sites such as eBay to remove infringing auction. The Signature Edition of Ultimate that was included in the Party Packs is clearly marked on the outer wrap Not For Resale,” Microsoft said in a statement.
So am I right to read between the lines and conclude that what the statement is saying is in fact “Yes, we told eBay to cancel the auctions”? Or it’s just my imagination running a bit off again? 😉
Not exactly. Microsoft, in an effort to promote Windows 7, has teamed-up with FOX and Family Guy creator/voice actor Seth MacFarlane to bring in Windows 7 promotions in the TV special.
Set to air on November 8 at 8:30 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, the no-commercial-break show will feature Seth MacFarlane and Family Guy costar Alex Borstein in a collection of original animation segments, comedy skits, live-action performances of Family Guy musical numbers, and of course, celebrity guests.
The working title for the program is “Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex’s Almost Live Comedy Show.”
Its not just TV shows that Microsoft is gonna target too. The company, along with FOX, is planning a 12-week college tour that’ll give college students a chance to test out Windows 7. Of course, with “Family Guy’s” Stewie and Brian aboard, there will surely be some entertainment – outdoor movie nights, online videos, etc. – that’ll come along with the tests. 😉
Excited? Catch a glimpse of what you can expect in the Windows 7/Family Guy show here.