The old fashioned CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) which is currently used in computing to determine whether or not the user is human has received many criticisms, especially from people who feel that their work is ostensibly slowed down, as it takes approximately 10 seconds to solve a typical CAPTCHA.

And CAPTCHAs based on reading text — or other visual tasks — prevent blind or visually impaired users from accessing the protected resource.

With reCAPTCHA, Google is trying to ease the CAPTCHA procedure by introducing an undetectable new system, which uses algorithm to determine whether you're human or bot.

While this isn't the Internet giant's first attempt to ease the user identification procedure, as it had earlier introduced "No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA", a system that only requires a user to tick a box next to "I'm not a robot."

No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA in contrast to the CAPTCHA system that tasks users with solving a puzzle or typing a word, employs Google's Advanced Risk Analysis engine that "actively considers a user's entire engagement with the CAPTCHA - before, during and after - to determine whether that user is a human."

reCAPTCHA was originally developed by Luis von Ahn, Ben Maurer, Colin McMillen, David Abraham and Manuel Blum at Carnegie Mellon University's main Pittsburgh campus and was acquired by Google.

If you're interested in using Invisible reCAPTCHA for your web-based resource, you can sign up on the Google reCAPTCHA website.

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Against the backdrop of steady fall that climaxed at the beginning of the year, Microsoft's Windows 10 is back on winning ways, which according to U.S. analytic provider, Net Applications, Windows 10 gained 1.1 per cent points of user share last month, ending with about 24% for PCs worldwide.

Which stats translate to 26.1% of all Windows machines, considering the different user share of all PCs and those running Windows, from the fact that Windows powered only 91% of all personal computers.

Now, Windows 10 powers more than a quarter of all Windows PCs for the first time, as Net Applications data has revealed.

Albeit, the analytic company measured the Operating System usage share by counting devices OS's through browsing stats recorded from websites on Net Applications’ infrastructure.

The rise is attributed to multiple factors, but majorly as a result of new PC purchases which usually accelerate in the tail-ends of the year as consumers and businesses open their wallets for seasonal shopping.

But obviously, Microsoft's persistent resounding of the new update-early warning: touting tighter security provisions in the new edition, is perhaps the longstanding marketing tactics that has worked pretty well for the company.

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How Microsoft's data Collection aids Windows 10 Security?

Posted by John Onwuegbu | December 04, 2016 |

While many users are obviously concerned about Microsoft's aggressive data-collection in the all new Windows 10 platform, even though enterprise users have better control than consumer-edition users, enterprises need to be careful about turning off Windows 10 intermittent data collection because it can reduce the effectiveness of Windows 10’s security features.

Microsoft maintains that Windows 10 doesn't collect the user’s personal data, but rather anonymized data sets that is necessary to improve overall Windows functionality for better user experience.

As Microsoft increasingly embraces SaaS (Software as a Service) may mean more frequent updates to the Windows platform, and it will require such data to understand how people are actually using Windows applications.

With such data used to understand how to prioritize changes to existing Windows components and know exactly what new features are needed.

Albeit, Windows 10 telemetry levels do affect IT administration and security, administrators' can control what is sent back to Microsoft using group policy objects. With the Privacy option that allow administrators choose one of three telemetry levels: Basic, Enhanced, and Full.

And the Security level that sends the least data, available only to admins, which collects only technical data about Windows’s Connected User Experience and Telemetry component settings, the MSRT (Malicious Software Removal Tool), and Windows Defender to keep Windows, Windows Server, and System Center secure.

However, it has one setback: MSRT is disabled as Windows Update is not running, and the update installation processes isn't collected at the Security level.

Therefore, it obviously require lots of IT involvement to keep the systems secure if the telemetry level is set to Security.

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Google has implemented the ability to convert handwriting into text to the update of its note-takers app, Keep. The new version of the app which is now on its way to the Play Store adds the subtle new feature for note-takers, which is more akin to the optical character recognition it uses to pull text out of images.

Albeit, there isn't any guarantee it will be able to decipher all users' scratches — but it's definitely going to be a nifty tool for the old-fashioned note-takers.

Until the new update arrives in the Play Store, then will you find a new Grab image text option in the top-right menu, which on a simple tap when you’re done drawing, will attempt to convert the words to actual text.

And if you can’t wait for the actual launch date, you can side-load the Google-signed APK from APKMirror to give it a spin.

Even though Keep remains one of the most underrated apps, Google still hasn't ignored it altogether, as it's focused on delivering unique features to that seemingly small segment of its audience.

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Facebook has launched a new HTML5-based platform, dubbed Facebook Instant Games, that eliminates the need to download the Gameroom app for that quick game-play experience, as it now embed games right inside the News Feed and Messenger.

It's rather a re-organizing of its erstwhile online gaming experience, whereby users are required to dig them out from the left-hand sidebar which have hitherto been a constraint for smartphone and tablet users.

The Facebook Instant Games platform debut with initial seventeen games — including the iconic Pac-Man, Space Invaders and the more modern games like EverWing and Frenzy — which can now be launched directly from the News Feed and Messenger.

Also, in-app games can now be launched within both the Facebook mobile apps as well as Messenger, without the need for separate apps.

While for the Messenger, there's a new game controller icon just below the box where users type message, and an “Instant Play” button will allow you to launch the game.

Meanwhile, the new Instant Games isn't replacing Facebook Gameroom app, rather it's complementing the app, even as the name suggests, the new platform is about quick access and play experience.

It's currently available in 30 countries, according to Facebook, and requires a smartphone with either iOS 8 or higher, and Android 5.0 (“Lollipop”) or higher.

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The "micro-blogging" social network, Twitter allow users to have snippets of conversations or short posts that can be seen by everyone else on the network. And it's often a fun place to be for most people, especially for humor mongers and sheer gossips.

While Twitter has become home for groups of attackers who target people for whatever reason, there isn’t previously much tools to take-on such harassment or abuse.

But lately, Twitter has rolled out a variety of tools, which can keep the service usable even when you're a direct subject of attacks.

First on the list, is the filter tool which allows you to select topics you’re not interested in, like sports events or any specific team.

Albeit, Twitter’s filtering and blocking tools doesn't do much to categorize messages, such as using machine learning to group tweets by subject or hash tags, but it's obvious that Twitter analyzes all the messages that pass through its systems, as it offers data derivable from such analysis.

Also, the new Quality Filter uses “signals,” like mentions to recognize those people who have passed through Twitter’s verification process of proving that they’re both who they say they are and have a reason to protect themselves against impersonation.

Twitter mute option in contrast with blocking a user (blocked user can’t follow you, like or retweet your messages or see your tweets) still permit muted account to follow you and engage in other behavior, but you’re not notified of any of it as they don’t show up in notification or timeline.

Additionally, the Twitter website and its official mobile app, allows you to use a variety of ways to report an account, a tweet or even a Moment.

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Why has Mobile Payment not taken off as envisaged?

Posted by John Onwuegbu | November 25, 2016 |

While in 2014 the overriding idea was all about how the U.S. consumers would soon be paying at checkouts using a smartphone, and mobile payment or e-wallets were getting all the hype. And most financial institutions, payment networks, retailers, wireless operators and startup tech companies immediately took to mobile app services that could be used at a point-of-sale terminal to pay digitally.

Now, fast forward to 2016, whereas in-store mobile payments accounts for just 0.6 percent of the roughly US$ 4.65 trillion in sales for 2016, according to a report by eMarketer.

The U.S. consumer adoption of mobile wallets has developed at a much slower pace than most industry experts had predicted, and it's growing sharply off of a low base in recent years.

Then, one may be forced to ask, why mobile wallets and mobile payments have not taken off?

In some ways, mobile wallets were the solution to a problem that never existed: POS terminals using magnetic stripe cards (and later smart cards) were perfectly efficient.

The main reason that mobile wallets have not taken off, is that none of the mobile wallets on offer have succeeded in delivering a real value proposition to consumers, especially as regards checkout speed and/or financial incentives, such as discounts.

And given the proliferation of mobile wallets, there were confusion at checkouts, as many merchants are not equipped to accept them all.

Albeit, there was no clear financial benefit that would outweigh the costs of accepting card payments, which include interchange fees and the costs of installing POS terminals.

Finally, the consumers are now more aware of cyber risks, and not all are convinced that enhanced security features such as tokenization offers sufficient protection against attacks.

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Before now, Pokemon Go dedicated hunters have been crying for help in tracking their favorite pastime, as its tracking system wasn't any good, leaving a host of third party trackers to gain popularity on the platform.

While Pokemon Go shutting out of those trackers, have resulted numerous users quitting the game altogether.

Niantic Labs, the company behind the Pokemon Go, have now switched on a tracking system for Pokemon Go - and just in time for the Thanksgiving weekend bonus XP event, as there's an ample chance that lots of people will be playing the game this weekend.

If you check the list of nearby Pokemon you'll see the Pokestop photo nearest to each of the Pokemon on the list, you just need to tap a Pokemon and then the footprints to be shown exactly where the Pokestop is and have it tracked on the map.

And the footstep icons are back, so maybe that will do more than just show the closest Pokestop when you're in areas with high density Pokestop action.

The new Pokemon Go tracking system, however, seems to be having some obvious problem, as users are reporting that the Pokestop tracking isn't showing up in some areas. Albeit, it correctly flag how exactly individual tracking works and may be limited to those high density cities for now.

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Back in September, Google announced a new system called Google Neural Machine Translation (GNMT), an end-to-end learning framework that learns from millions of examples, and thereby provides significant improvements to Google Translate quality.

While Google Translate already boasts of great accuracy in language translations thanks to the built-in engine that can translate between any two languages, now the new improved system is even more dexterous in translation, able to render one language to another even if those two weren't paired previously.

It uses a “token” at the beginning of the input sentence to specify the required target language, which in addition to improving translation quality, enables “Zero-Shot Translation” — translation between language pairs never seen before by the system.

For instance, in a trained multilingual systems of Japanese to English and Korean to English samples, GNMT is able to translate between these four different language pairs, even though the system has never been taught to do so before.

And the need to translate between multiple languages at the same time forces the system to better utilize its machine learning power.

The Multilingual Google Neural Machine Translation system is already running for all users, and according to Google, this is the first time this type of transfer learning has worked in Machine Translation.

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The Redmond behemoth, Microsoft haven carried out extensive research on Quantum computing for over a decade, now, the company is putting the theory to work in creating actual Quantum computers.

Microsoft is harnessing its extensive knowledge-base to build a working model of Quantum computer as it looks to the future of computing, on the model that Quantum computers can significantly outperform even today’s supercomputers.

The company has handed Todd Holmdahl, developer of Kinect, HoloLens, and Xbox, the lead role in the effort to create quantum hardware and software.

Microsoft has made available the Language Integrated Quantum Operations Simulator as a toolkit, while actual hardware will be released after a number of quantum computing issues, like: error correction, fault tolerance, and gating are resolved.

While, the overriding objective remains to create quantum computers that can conduct a wide range of calculations, the ability to run existing programs much like today’s computers, is quite necessary.

Microsoft Researchers have developed a working model on an entirely new topological quantum computer, which makes use of exotic materials to limit errors.

Albeit, many questions still remains about the viability of such materials and outcomes, as it could take a long time to make practical quantum circuits.

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