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Microsoft Debuts SDKs for Surface Duo and Surface Neo

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We’re now counting the time to the launch of the dual-screen Surface Duo smartphone and Surface Neo 2-in-1 in months. Both folding devices will land during holiday season 2020. Ahead of the release, Microsoft is starting to roll out developer tools for both the Duo and Neo.

Furthermore, Redmond has introduced new web standards proposals for developing both pieces of hardware. The Surface Neo Windows 10X 2-in-1, and the Surface Duo Android smartphone are moving ahead with development. We have already seen numerous Microsoft patents reflecting features for both devices.

Now, Microsoft will introduce a preview SDK for Windows 10X in the “coming weeks”. This means Insiders will be able to start working with the platform that underpins the Surface Neo.
In a blog post, Microsoft says it will bring dual-screen Hyper-V emulator support to Windows 10X on February 11. Furthermore, there will be new interfaces for dual-screen support in Windows.
Elsewhere, the SDK will also have native Windows APIs on board that will bring support for UWP and Win32 apps. You may remember Microsoft previously confirmed the Surface Neo will support existing apps.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Open Sources BERT for ONNX Runtime

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In December, Microsoft open sourced its ONNX Runtime inference engine. Now, the company says it also open-sourced an optimized version of BERT, a natural language model from Google, for ONNX.

By using ONNX Runtime with BERT, users can lower latency for language representation on the Bing search platform. Microsoft has previously said BERT brings “the largest improvement in search experience” for Bing.

With ONNX Runtime support, developers can use BERT to scale to as low as 1.7 milliseconds latency (alongside a Nvidia V100 GPU). Microsoft told VentureBeat that this capability has previously only been available to major tech companies.
“Since the BERT model is mainly composed of stacked transformer cells, we optimize each cell by fusing key sub-graphs of multiple elementary operators into single kernels for both CPU and GPU, including Self-Attention, LayerNormalization and Gelu layers. This significantly reduces memory copy between numerous elementary computations,” Microsoft senior program manager Emma Ning said today in a blog post.
ONNX
Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX) creates a standard open platform for AI models that will work across frameworks.
ONNX Runtime is a high-performance inference engine for machine learning creations across Windows, Linux, and Mac. Developers can use the service to train AI models in any framework and turn these models to production in the cloud and edge.
Developed with Facebook and Amazon, the platform is growing in popularity. By its full launch in 2017 Facebook said several major tech companies have joined. Among them are AMD, ARM, IBM, Intel, Huawei, NVIDIA, and Qualcomm.

Source Winbuzzer

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Telnet Attacks Results in Major User Credentials Leak

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Hackers have confirmed they successfully attacked Internet of Things (IoT) devices that access the Telnet port. In a confirmation, bad actors say they took passwords for smart devices, home routers, and servers from a device scanning attack.

In a published list (bot list), the credentials of 515,000 IoT devices were revealed. According to a report on ZDNet, this is the largest Telnet breach ever.

If you’re unfamiliar with Telnet, it is a remote access protocol that acts as a connected device controller. It is notorious for being pretty poor in terms of security and is notable for being open to backdoor attacks.
In the list, there are IP addresses, passwords, and usernames. The hackers achieved the attack by scanning across the entire internet to find Telnet connected devices that had their ports open. Once this found, the attacker used default passwords and usernames or tried easy to guess passwords until they had success.
While this is clearly bad news for owners of affected devices, there is a caveat. Specifically, the information hacked comes from October 2019. There will be at least a subset of users who have updated their credentials since. However, there’s no point ignoring that most probably haven’t.
Recent Wyze Breach
Earlier this month, IoT company Wyze suffered a similar leak. An Elasticsearch database owned by the company was leaking the information, which included email addresses.
The offending Elasticsearch database was exposed between December 4 and 26. Information hosted on the database included email address from millions of Wyze customers. Device information such as Wi-Fi SSIDs, camera nicknames, and general manufacturer details was also stored.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Launcher Preview Debuts as Testing Ground for Features

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Microsoft Launcher has become one of the company’s best performing services on mobile. The Android launcher is hugely popular and has hundreds of millions of installs. Much of the success has been down to Microsoft’s consistent updates that have allowed the launcher to be feature rich. Now the company has announced its Microsoft Launcher Preview.

As the name suggests, Microsoft Launcher Preview gives users early access to features in exchange for testing them. The app will become the Alpha testing ground for Microsoft Launcher.

Microsoft has the preview differs from the full launcher app because it is built on a new codebase. Essentially, this allows features to be tested without disrupting stable builds. Because of this, the app will not function as a genuine launcher as it will be missing some core features.
Among the first features for testing are an overhaul of dark mode and a landscape mode. Here’s how Microsoft Launcher Preview is starting:
Give your phone a new look
Personalize your apps with custom icon packs, and use adaptive icons to give your phone a consistent look and feel.
Enjoy Bing daily images as your wallpaper, or use your own photos.
Dark Theme
Microsoft Launcher supports Dark theme for your viewing pleasure. Select dark theme for comfort of use at night or in low light environments. This feature is compatible with Android phone’s dark mode settings.
Landscape mode
Microsoft Launcher supports horizontal orientation to enhance your viewing preference.
It is worth noting that Microsoft Launcher already has a beta app. It is unclear if Microsoft plans to shutter that preview channel in favor if the new one. Either way, you can download Microsoft Launcher Preview from the Google Play Store.

Source – Winbuzzer

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Microsoft’s Project Artemis Automatically Detects Child Predators

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Microsoft has announced a new tool to automatically detect the grooming of children for sexual purposes. Code-named ‘Project Artemis’, the technique builds on its patented technology to look for patterns in predator’s communication and flag them for human review.

“It evaluates and ‘rates’ conversation characteristics and assigns an overall probability rating,” explained Courtney Gregoire, Chief Digital Safety Officer at Microsoft, in a blog post. “This rating can then be used as a determiner, set by individual companies implementing the technique, as to when a flagged conversation should be sent to human moderators for review. Human moderators would then be capable of identifying imminent threats for referral to law enforcement.”

The company has been working with popular children’s game Roblox, as well as Kik, The Meet Group, and Thorn to create the solution. Thorn, a child defense non-profit, will provide the tech to ‘qualified online service companies’.
Hackathon Roots
Project Artemis has its roots in Microsoft’s 2018 cross-industry hackathon. The idea of the event was to engineer solutions that work not just on a technological level, but legally and policy-wise. Further collaboration with Dr. Hany Darid, who worked with the company on PhotoDNA has furthered the project to the point it’s ready for adoption.
However, Gregorie stressed that though Project Artemis is a definite aid, it shouldn’t be seen as a catch-all solution.
“Project Artemis is a significant step forward, but it is by no means a panacea. Child sexual exploitation and abuse online and the detection of online child grooming are weighty problems,” she said. “But we are not deterred by the complexity and intricacy of such issues. On the contrary, we are making the tool available at this point in time to invite further contributions and engagement from other technology companies and organizations with the goal of continuous improvement and refinement.”

Interested parties can get in contact with Thorn for the solution. Reports of child sexual abuse material have increased 10,000% since 2004, and tools like Microsoft could become essential in fighting it.

Source – Winbuzzer

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CES 2020: TCL Showcases a Foldable Phone That’s Almost Affordable

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CES 2020 has kicked off with the usual array of TVs, but also some TV-makers that are continuing to branch out. This year, TCL let press play with another of its foldable phones, which it says will cost less than the $1500 Motorola Razr.

The vivid emerald hides a flexible 7.2-inch plastic display on the inside, much like the Galaxy Fold. Unlike Samsung’s effort, though, the TCL foldable can hold itself up at any degree of fold, opening that second screen for use as a keyboard in a laptop-like form factor.

TCL has emphasized that this is one of many prototypes it’s working on, and may not actually be what the device looks like in production. The devices shown as CES have been functional, though it forgoes a selfie camera in favor of four rear-mounted one. When folded, the screen closes completely flush, which should be good for durability.

The foldable will has telephoto, wide-angle, macro, and ultrawide lenses, but it wasn’t ready to reveal their specs quite yet. The same goes for its internals, which remain secret for now.
If rumors are to be believed, the device might ship late this year. Officially, though, TCL has been quiet, and we’re unlikely to hear more on that until at least WMC 2020. Even so, its unclear if consumers would prefer this variant of plastic-screened foldables or a dual-screen device like the Surface Duo, which is set for release around the same time.
If you’re not into folds, TCL is also planning to launch its 10-series of regular smartphones, which will be powered by the Snapdragon 765G. The TCL 10 5G, TCL 10 Pro, and TCL 10L will also start at under $500 and will be available in Q2 2020.

Source – WinBuzzer

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CES 2020: AMD Unveils Its Ryzen 4000 Laptop CPUs to Take on Intel

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AMD is finally stepping up its laptop game. During a CES 2020 keynote last night, CEO Lisa Su announced its Ryzen 4000 line, its 3rd generation chips designed to compete against Intel’s high-end.

They’ll feature a U-series for ultrathin laptops, an H series for gaming and creations, and a Pro-series for ultra-thin professionals. In that U series is the flagship Ryzen 7 4800U, a 9 core 16 thread chip with a 1.8 GHz base clock and up to 4.2 GHz boost. It also holds 8 Radeon cores, which have been upgraded for 59% more performance.

In real-world benchmarks, AMD claims this led to a 90% increase in multi-thread Cinebench R20 performance vs Intel’s i7-1065G7 and 4% in single-thread. In terms of graphics, its testing saw a 28% performance increase in 3DMark Time Spy Extreme.
Of course, these kind of benchmarks are usually the best-case scenario and can be weighted to favor Ryzen. Power draw is a little more black and white, though, and AMD is promising that its 3rd Gen mobile processors have double the performance per watt in Cinebench.
The 45W H-Series
The 4800U is available announced for Lenovo’s Yoga Slim 7, and AMD is promising dozens of OEM laptops with it in Q1. On the H-series side, AMD announced the flagship Ryzen 7 4800H, with 8C/12T at a base of 2.9 GHz and a boost of up to 4.2. This and the others in the H lineup will be 45W chips, rather than the 15W of the U-series. It’ll also be offering slower variants of both lines:

 

Model Cores/ Threads Watts Boost / Base Frequency (GHz) GPU Cores L2 / L3 Cache (MB)
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H 8C/16T 45W Up to 4.2 / 2.9 GHz 7 12
AMD Ryzen 5 4600H 6C/12T 45W Up to 4.0 / 3.0 GHz 6 11
AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 8C/8T 15W Up to 4.2 / 1.8 GHz 8 12
AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 8C/8T 15W Up to 4.1 / 2.0 GHz 7 12
AMD Ryzen 5 4600U 6C/12T 15W Up to 4.0 / 2.1 GHz 6 11
AMD Ryzen 5 4500U 6C/6T 15W Up to 4.0 / 2.3 GHz 6 11
AMD Ryzen 3 4300U 4C/4T 15W Up to 3.7 / 2.7 GHz 5 6
AMD Athlon Gold 3150U 2C/4T 15W Up to 3.3 / 2.4 GHz 3 5
AMD Athlon Silver 3050U 2C/2T 15W Up to 3.2 / 2.3 GHz 2 5

Meanwhile, the company appears to be making progress on its integrated graphics offerings vs Intel. Though its U line has fewer compute cores than last-gen, it claims the 4800U will still beat Intel in many games. Rocket League it says runs at 110fps at low settings vs Intel’s 80, while GTA V jumps from a barely playable 29 to a solid 53.

If AMD’s marketing is to be believed, things are looking very positive for the company. It’s gone from being trounced by Intel processors 5 years ago to having a highly competitive product stack across desktop, laptop, and consoles. Let’s just hope that battery life holds up on the go.

Source – Windbuzzer

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Samsung Confirms the S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite with iPhone-like Camera Bumps

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After some rumors, Samsung has confirmed that it will launch a Lite variant of its flagship smartphones. The Galaxy S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite are designed to deliver premium features at an affordable price.

In doing so, Samsung is following industry trends from the likes of Google and Apple. The Pixel 3a and 3a XL proved very popular with consumers as did the base iPhone 11 and XR.

The S10 Lite will include a ‘Pro-grade camera’, with a 48MP f2.0 wide-angle, 123-degree 12 MP f2.2 ultra-wide, and a 5 MP f2.4 Macro lens. These will be paired with the new Super Steady OIS and Super Steady modes.

Both devices feature 6.7-inch 2400×1080 AMOLED displays, with a small hole-punch in the top-middle. They contain 4,500 mAH batteries and fast charging, which should mean impressive longevity, as well as Samsung’s usual slew of apps.

The Note 10 Lite has some changes over the S10 Lite in the camera department. Its wide-angle is a 13MP dual-pixel f1.7 affair, while the macro is switched for a 12MP f2.4 telephoto. The third camera has the same specs as the S10 Lite’s ultra-wide. Either way, both adopt the ugly square camera bump design of the iPhone 11/Pixel 4.

Camera and Processor Differences

There are also significant differences in the processor. The S10 Lite appears to house a Snapdragon 855, while the in-house Exynos 8895 will power the Note 10 Lite.

All of this sounds quite promising, but the defining factor will definitely be price. Too high, and consumers will start looking at offerings from Google, Apple, OnePlus, or Xiaomi. Samsung hasn’t published any information in that regard, but it’s showing off the phone at CES 2020 next week, so here’s hoping.

source – Windbuzzer

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Becomes a Breeding Ground for Scammers

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Scammer’s latest tactic to distribute malware and steal credit card information centers on the latest Star Wars movie. According to Kaspersky, bad actors are using so-called ‘black SEO’ to lure unsuspected users.

A search for the film returns results for several suspicious sites, claiming to offer the film for free or at a discounted sites. They tie in descriptions, galleries, and fake social media accounts to trick users and search engines they provide content of value.

Needless to say, you aren’t going to get your hands on The Rise of Skywalker for some time, even through unscrupulous means. It only just launched in cinemas, so your best bet for Star Wars right now is Disney+’s The Mandalorian.

Despite this, Kaspersky says 83 of its users have been caught by 65 suspicious files disguised as the film. Some of them will have clicked links from social media accounts that link to over 30 fraudulent websites discovered by Kaspersky. Others are from torrents.

Other Star Wars movies appear to be a target, too. Kaspersky says general Star Wars-themed malware attacks have risen by 10% this year, from 257,580 to 285,103.  Interestingly, the number of unique files used in those attacks has fallen by 30%, and the number of users targeted by 25%.

Needless to say, you should not enter your credit card details or download a movie from a site you don’t already know and trust. Even then, you should check the address bar to make sure it’s not a phishing attempt. Basic security principles also apply, such as checking the filetype, having a strong anti-virus solution, and avoiding suspicious links.

source- Windbuzzer

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Nvidia Showcases Graphical Improvements for Minecraft From Ray Tracing

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Gaming chipmaker Nvidia has published a video detailing ray tracing technology on Microsoft’s Minecraft. Ray tracing allows for improved graphics on the game, including better reflections and accurate lighting.

Nvidia says the graphical boost will come to Minecraft in 2020. In this teaser of what to expect, the company highlights the graphics based on builds made by gamers. Interestingly, the builds were possible in just two days and showcase the new graphics.

To highlight the improvement, Nvidia also shows comparisons with how Minecraft looks without ray tracing tech.

Ray Tracing Development

Nvidia says the use of ray tracing will come to Windows 10 devices with the GeForce RTX GPUs in 2020. However, the use of the improved graphics will be optional in the settings app.

Ray tracing development was introduced by Nvidia back in 2018.

In terms of the Turing architecture, Nvidia describes it as “the greatest leap” since the CUDA GPU was revealed in 2006. The architecture is used in three new GPUS within the Quadro range of cards. As the world’s first ray tracing GPUs, the company says the architecture “fundamentally changes how computer graphics will be done, it’s a step change in realism.”

“Hybrid rendering will change the industry, opening up amazing possibilities that enhance our lives with more beautiful designs, richer entertainment and more interactive experiences,” says Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang. “The arrival of real-time ray tracing is the Holy Grail of our industry.”

source – Windbuzzer

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