Facebook has begun rolling out 3D photos in the News Feed and also viewable with virtual reality headsets; while the 3D photos will help to bring scenes to life by the facets of depth and movement in the still images.

The company first announced their intent to bring 3D to the News Feed and VR photo option in May, but the feature was finally launched at the Facebook 360 event, with the technology touted as running on the depth map data stored in Portrait mode photos taken with the iPhone 7+, 8+, X and the newer versions.

A photo taken using the Portrait mode on a compatible iPhone can be shared with the 3D photo on Facebook to allow viewers to pan and tilt while scrolling, akin to looking through a window.

The “3D photo” option has arrived for most users and will appear right within the list of post options for people using compatible iPhone when they want to make an update. And perhaps, the rest of us on Android will have to wait for a later release.

Albeit, it is quite less advanced as the 3D reconstructions teased by Facebook back in May, and there’s still no word out if or when we’ll see the actual availability of the full feature on Facebook.

Facebook's 3D photos Arrival to the News Feed and virtual reality headsets

Microsoft has joined the open-source patent consortium, Open Invention Network (OIN) in a move that's perceived as its open endorsement of open source, which it has essentially agreed the grant of royalty-free and unrestricted license to its patent portfolio.

While OIN is the largest non-aggression patent community and represents a core set of open-source intellectual properties, with members including: IBM, Google, Red Hat, and SUSE.

The OIN patent license and cross-licenses are available royalty-free to anyone who joins the community, and currently OIN has more than 2,650 community members with over 1,300 global patent portfolios.

Microsoft patents cover all older open-source technologies such as the Linux kernel, Android and OpenStack; also newer technologies like LF Energy and HyperLedger, and the predecessor/successor versions as well.

The company cashed in about $3.4 billion from its Android patents alone, of which Samsung paid over a billion dollar to license its Android system.

Albeit, there has been many legal battles in the past between Microsoft and the open-source community over some patents, now Microsoft will be bringing 60,000 patents out of its 90,000 total patents to the OIN community.

Microsoft has openly published its roadmap, and stressing its 20,000 employees on GitHub, with over 2,000 open-source projects, making it the largest open-source project supporter in the world.

Microsoft to share its Patents portfolio with the Open-source patent Consortium

Facebook Workplace is a collaborative platform launched in 2016, that offers standard chat functions and ability to share files, including: photos, videos, voice clips, emoji and GIFs, between workers within an organization.

The chat app is used by over 30,000 organizations worldwide, but hitherto the Workplace Chat was only enabled for communication between direct colleagues in an organization.

The company at the Flow conference for Workplace, announced that the chat app, which is part of the enterprise social network and equivalent of its Messenger app, now supports communication between workers in separate organizations.

It works with Standard and Premium versions of Workplace, and requires a corporate email address, as well as the creation of a corporate account, and individual logins using corporate email addresses.

Albeit, the first major additions to Workplace, is allowing users to interact with external partners, suppliers and agencies within the application.

The new update makes it possible for up to 50 participants to interact via text, voice and video in one-to-one or group conversations; and it will help users be more productive on Workplace with the companies they work with every day, according to Julien Codorniou, Facebook’s vice president for Workplace.

Other features launched include pinned threads, that make it easier for users to keep track of conversations, with the ability to “pin” up to 15 important messages at the top of the app. And the “do not disturb” mode which allow users to turn off alerts and notifications when busy or away, and a new “replies” feature that enables direct responses to an individual chat within a broader Workplace conversation.

Additionally, Facebook plans to bring Safety Check to Workplace, which feature is one of the popular from its consumer platform used by millions to alert friends and family of their whereabouts during a crisis situation.

Facebook Workplace expanded to include Collaboration between workers in separate Organizations

Microsoft Infer.NET machine learning framework has evolved from a mere research tool to become the machine learning engine in a number of Microsoft products, including: Office, Xbox and Azure.

Now, the company has open-sourced the Infer.NET framework, and it will eventually become part of the ML.NET machine learning framework for .Net developers, extending ML.NET for statistical modeling and online learning.

Initially, Infer.NET was envisioned as a research tool released for academic use in 2008, and there have been hundreds of papers published using the framework across a variety of fields, from information retrieval to healthcare.

In this age of abundance of machine learning libraries, Infer.NET will enable model-based approach to machine learning, which allow incorporation of domain knowledge into statistical model.

The framework can build a bespoke machine learning algorithm directly from a model, instead of having to map a problem onto a pre-existing learning algorithm, Infer.NET will actually constructs a learning algorithm based on the model provided.

The model is compiled by the framework into high-performance code to implement deterministic approximate Bayesian inference, which allows for substantial scalability. And the use of deterministic inference algorithms is complementary to the predominantly sampling-based methods of most other probabilistic programming frameworks.

The Infer.NET team is looking to engage with the open-source community in developing and growing the framework further, and Infer.NET will become part of ML.NET – the machine learning framework for .NET developers.

Microsoft open-sources Infer.NET framework for model-based approach to machine learning

Google Photos app now boasts of an AI enhancement feature called Live Albums, which automatically sorts and organizes photos into different categories like friends and family, depending on your preferences.

The Live Albums is also integrated with the new Google Home Hub, which are paired together to serve as a smart digital picture frame. While Google voice assistant is now capable of sifting through the photos and organize them in the albums.

The new feature seems to be a spin-off from the earlier launched, partner sharing, which automates the sharing of photos (mostly kids picture) between two people; though Live Albums will allow automated sharing of photos (including people and pets) with anyone.

It could also be used to share photos of children with extended family, and you can specify close friends whom you would always share the photos you took together.

Albeit, Google introduced Live Albums as a feature meant to work alongside its new smart screen, Home Hub.

According to Google, the feature means that photos displayed on the Home Hub will “never get stale because Live Albums update automatically every time you take new pictures” and makes an easier way to share with loved ones.

The sharing capability comes in version 4.3 of Google Photos which is now available for download on the Play Store.

Google Photos to automatically sort and organize photos with Live Albums

The announcement by Google that it will be shutting down its social networking platform, Google+ came as a shocker, as the company cited the issue of a compromise on its system owing to a bug that led to the breach of over 500,000 users' data on the social network.

Google+ isn't just useful as an alternative to the other social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, but as it present stack differentials, which bothered on business usage and collaborations.

And Google+ page offered a way for businesses to show their reputation and garner trust, as it has come to serve as a basis for ownership and authorship, which have become important in the effort to curb the spread of fake news.

Google claims that the Google+ bug discovery has spurred its focus to expand users' privacy protections, with a new initiative called Project Strobe, which will give users more control over what is shared with third-party apps.

The company will also expand the control to include apps that interact with Gmail and Android, as it intends to limit how apps gain access to users data on Android phones. Additionally, third-party apps that access sensitive Gmail contents via APIs will need to undergo a thorough review as part of the expanded protection program.

And perhaps, Google's initial withholding of information about the breach likely underscored the company's proactive stance on privacy protection.

How Google+ shutdown will effect more privacy and protection for users data

The internet has revolutionized the way people get news and opinions across, of which blogging and social media takes a huge chunk; no doubt bloggers are becoming more prominent and influential in the society with the proliferation of the Internet.

And considering the huge influence bloggers in Nigeria are currently commanding and the need for the right environment to foster creativity in the blogosphere, the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) has announced the maiden edition of the Bloggers Summit.

The 2018 NiRA Bloggers Summit will aim to bring the blogging community and stakeholders in Nigeria together to learn, network, and collaborate on the further growth of the online community.

The event would comprise of educational sessions, influencer interactions and sessions on blog monetization, with the bloggers working with the different brands and discussions around topical issues such as the legal impact of online transactions, and opinionated articles on the society and individuals.

There will also be opportunities for brands to take on booths, to exhibit products and services by sponsoring or exhibiting at the summit.

As the maiden event, interested participants are requested to register via the online portal: https://nira.org.ng/blogger. The event is scheduled to hold on Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 8 Funsho Williams Avenue, Surulere, Iponri, Lagos state.

The 2018 NiRA Bloggers Summit aim to bring the blogging community together

Apple's latest update, iOS 12 has already hit a milestone barely 3 weeks of launch, as it surpasses the predecessor, iOS 11 and now running on 47% of all iOS devices; with iOS 11 stuck at a little over 42%, according to Mixpanel report.

The new software boosts of some nifty features: like, group FaceTime chats, Screen Time (Tracks device use), New Emojis, Smarter Notifications and Siri Enhancements.

And it is designed to be faster, among other features, with some particularly positive reviews and given that the timing of its release is most expedient, with the myriads of shortcomings associated with the later update.

While the new software made debut on September 17, it is already running on 47% of iOS devices; this uptake rate is quite similar to iOS 10, which recorded 48% installments on devices after barely two weeks of launch.

Albeit, the overall uptake record is still that of iOS 9 launched on September 16, 2015 - which in 10 days, garnered 50% of iOS device installment base, and a month after, clocked 62% of all devices, against iOS 8 uptake of 29.65% in the same period.

In comparison, it almost took iOS 11 two months when it launched in 2017 to reach a 50% adoption rate.

Apple’s latest software, iOS 12 surpasses the immediate predecessor in less than 3 weeks

Google officially announced WebP in September 2010, as an alternative image format with significant bytes savings of about 30% - 80% compared to JPEG and PNG. While Mozilla initially did not buy into the image format, citing insufficient improvement over the more widely used formats like JPEG and PNG.

Now, Mozilla after seriously evaluating the WebP image format, has formerly endorsed it for Firefox in it's effort to speed up the web with a better image technology.

The new image format was successfully implemented across Google's social networking platforms, including Google+ Android App, and a host of other web service companies like Facebook have already joined the WebP bandwagon.

WebP's unique features includes ability to render transparent sections of an image with lossless compression as in the case of PNG and lossy as in JPEG (Lossy compression is shrinking of file with data losses, while Lossless compression retains original image).

Also, Microsoft had earlier announced the support for WebP on Edge browser, which arrived with the new version of Windows 10 introduced by the company.

The compatibility problems with websites that had relied on WebP without any fallback to JPEG or PNG have been significantly reduced with the more widely adoption of the new image technology, with Microsoft's Edge and Mozilla's Firefox haven joined the party.

Albeit, it's not yet uhuru, as Apple's Safari still don't support WebP and every iPhone/iPad relies on Apple's browser technology, as such Apple's choice carries a lot of weight in the mobile ecosystem.

Google's WebP image format gets Mozilla's nod; support on Firefox for faster web experience

Amazon has added a new Alexa capability called "Skill Connections" to avail developers the functionality of another skill in their own skillset with minimal code changes.

The new skill connections will enable developers to do more for their customers, by using the functionality already available on other skills, thus customers will not have to invoke the other skills, as they've made it possible with only minimal code changes in their own skills.

According to Amazon, when you use skill connections, you can pass useful information to the other skill with the request. For instance, if your skill sells last-minute show tickets, you can pass the theatre address and show time as part of the taxi reservation request.

The company have provided the developer preview, with printing skill from HP, food reservations provided by OpenTable, and taxi reservations provided by Uber. While Epson and Canon are planning to provide for print related services.

And if you'd like to take advantage of services provided by other skills, or if you'd like to provide services for other skills to use, you can apply to participate in the preview by filling in the short survey here. Once you are accepted into the preview, you can send requests for any of these actions from within your skill, and Alexa will automatically route the request to the right service provider.

The overriding idea behind the Connection is to allow less-popular skills tap into the near-universal Alexa functionalities, making it a more capable and frictionless assistant in the process.

Alexa "Skill Connections" to avail developers the functionality of another skill with minimal coding

The Wi-Fi Alliance have bowed to the call for a more easy nomenclature for the technology, which hitherto have followed the age long 802.11 brand moniker, with the latest version designated as 802.11ax.

While the differentiation of the generations of WiFi technology has failed to resonate with the public, making it rather too difficult to understand what offerings are the current versions to guide potential router buyers.

But now, all of this gibberish will be vastly simplified with a new naming pattern and better means of informing users of the different generation of the Wi-Fi technologies, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance in a press release.

Starting with the introduction of Wi-Fi 6, the new industry designation for products and networks that support the next generation of Wi-Fi based on 802.11ax technology.

The new naming approach by Wi-Fi Alliance is an easy-to-understand designation based on the Wi-Fi technology supported by a device and used in connection with a Wi-Fi network. It identifies Wi-Fi generations by a numerical sequence which correspond to the major advancements in the technology.

And the generation sequence can be used to identify the current Wi-Fi technology a device supports, and for OS vendors to identify the generation of Wi-Fi connection between a device and network and by service providers to identify the capabilities of a Wi-Fi network.

This new designation will help the networking ecosystem to better understand the different generations of Wi-Fi technologies in future releases.

The Wi-Fi new nomenclatures eliminate the requirements for 802.11 brand

Jigsaw is the name given to Google's cyber security unit, which unit has been saddled with the task of developing bespoke privacy applications, with the likes of Project Shield and Intra privacy app among their creation.

The company has launched several technology products to help in the fight against government censorship, such products includes: Project Shield (which protects websites against DDoS attacks), Digital Attack Map (live data visualization that maps DDoS attacks) and uProxy (new browser extension that allows contacts share trusted pathway to the web).

The latest offering from their stable is Intra, an anti-censorship and privacy app used in checkmating hostile government regimes from censoring the internet and manipulating traffic.

Intra app is designed to thwart common techniques employed by governments in censoring the internet, and has been in testing with activists in Venezuela, as Google had wanted to keep the trial to a small group.

It effectively takes on Domain Name System (DNS) manipulation, also the most common technique employed in the spread of malware, by creating an encrypted connection between your smartphone and the DNS servers, which makes it more difficult to intercept the traffic.

And Intra will automatically point the device to Google's DNS server, but you can change it to some other servers like Cloudflare's via the settings.

Albeit, this encrypted connection comes by default on Android 9 Pie, but Google wants the other millions of users on Android that don't have the latest software to have that same protection by releasing the app.

The app is said to be compatible with about 99 percent of Android phones, which is quite comforting since over 80 percent of Android's users are still stuck with the old version of the mobile operating system.

Google releases Jigsaw's Intra privacy and security app to the public

Wasmjit is a portable WebAssembly runtime that primarily targets Linux kernel module, and currently supports x86_64, running a subset of Emscripten-generated module within the Linux kernel as a kernel module.

It comes with host environment for running user-space on POSIX systems, which will allow the running of WebAssembly modules without requiring to run entire browser.

Wasmjit is written in C90, and with improved performance to run WebAssembly modules in kernel-space (ring 0), which provide access to system calls as normal function calls, and eliminates user-kernel transition overhead.

It's principal aim is to serve as a portable and embeddable runtime to power WebAssembly just as SQLite powers embedded databases, allowing developers to easily embed Wasmjit instead of building their own runtime.

And the Provision of a kernel-mode runtime for WebAssembly will in turn help to increase performance for system-call heavy loads, which would translate to savings for companies with heavily trafficked websites.

There is a plan to eventually include Wasmjit in the mainline Linux kernel, though it can function as an out-of-tree module.

Albeit, Wasmjit is still in the early stage, the task now is to make it capable of running “real” programs, such as production-grade servers, and the integration of a runtime in the kernel could alter the direction of the computer industry for good, thus allowing simplified distribution for closed-source applications.

If you wish to give it a spin, Wasmjit is now available for download from the project’s GitHub page, with detailed setup instructions and requirements.

The Embeddable WebAssembly runtime, Wasmjit targets the Linux kernel module

The emerging technology, robots are growing at an alarming rate, with statistics pointing to over 1.2 million of these machines coming to factories worldwide by 2018; Microsoft wants to be part of this growth with the announcement of an experimental Robot Operating System (ROS) for Windows.

While robots have been saddled with cases of incessant poor software protection, including outdated software, and exposed IP addresses which poses a higher risk for hackers gaining easy access to the machines.

The case of ABB robots which were reported to have been remotely programmed by reversely-engineering the RobotWare program and the RobotStudio software, allowing the machine's network to be hacked and switching the robot to draw a straight line, is a pointer.

These findings raised serious concerns about the more general automations of the future. Albeit ABB has since fixed the flaws in its robot's software; the advancement of robots calls for the development of tools infused with artificial intelligence technology to augment human abilities in the machines.

ROS for Windows consist of libraries and tools to help in the building of complex robots: both industrial and personal, which are ready for deployments around the world with the cutting-edge robotic projects.

These advanced robots will complement our lives, in the home and at the office. For instance, warehouse robots have made it possible for online shoppers to get next-day deliveries, and many homes are turning to robotic vacuum cleaners to keep their floors clean.

With ROS for Windows, developers will be able to use a set of toolset along with rich AI and cloud capabilities to bring intelligent edge to robotics with advanced features like hardware-accelerated Machine Learning, computer vision, and other Microsoft technologies.

Microsoft demonstrated a ROBOTIS Turtlebot 3 robot at ROSCon 2018 in Madrid, Spain, running the ROS release known as Melodic Morenia, that recognizes and steers toward the person closest to the robot.

The Turtlebot 3 robot runs Windows 10 IoT Enterprise on an Intel Coffee Lake NUC using a new node that leverages hardware-accelerated Windows Machine Learning.

The company has scheduled to host Windows builds for ROS1 and shortly ROS2, as well as provide documentation, development and deployment solutions on ROS for Windows. And it's working with Open Robotics and the ROS Industrial Consortium to extend the advancement in ROS to improve the productivity and return on investment of industrial robots.

How Microsoft Robot Operating System (ROS) will help to advance Industrial robots

Google has announced a new technology, dubbed Project Stream, which is to serve as test ground to solve some of the biggest challenges of game streaming, and a big step forward in the efforts to bring blockbuster AAA games to online streaming platforms.

The initial test for Project Stream will involve the streaming of the upcoming premiere of Ubisoft's Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on Chrome for Windows, Linux, Mac and ChromeOS; though only a "limited number of participants" will be able to experience this free game stream starting on October 5, 2018.

According to Google, the test is meant to push the limits with one of the most demanding applications for streaming — a blockbuster video game; while 25Mbps Internet connection is recommended for the test service and Google/Ubisoft accounts sign up.

The streaming of such graphically-rich content requires near-instant interaction between the game controller and the graphics on the screen, which could pose a number of challenges.

And the creativity behind these AAA video games is extraordinary—from incredible detail and life-like movement of the characters, including the skin, clothing, and hair, to the massive scale of the virtual world in which the game unfolds, down to the last blade of grass.

While the streaming of TV or movies may be comfortable with a few seconds of buffering at the start, but the streaming of high-quality games requires latency measured in milliseconds, with no graphic degradation.

As every pixel is powered by an array of real-time rendering technology, artistry, visual effects, animation, simulation, physics and dynamics.

Google is inspired by the creators who have spent years crafting these amazing games: adventures and experiences, and hope to build the technology that will support and empower that creativity.

Chrome Project Stream: Google's inroad to Realtime Game streaming service

Opera has finally launched Touch browser on Apple's platform, with built-in Ad-Blocker and Fast Action Button for quick access to search and recent tabs, while the browser is capable of syncing data to Opera Desktop by the QR code scanner.

The new Opera Touch was build to match the beauty, speed and ease of use of the new iPhone line and its unique features like the Fast Action Button afford users more control of the browser, as the navigation was designed to be usable with just one hand, making it a lot easier for users to browse the Internet.

According to Opera, about 95 percent of iOS users in the US stick to their device's default browser, which is the Apple Safari, and they want to change the norm by encouraging all iPhone users to give the new Opera Touch a try – as it might just be better than their current browser.

The company even went as far as challenging the “allegiance” to the default browser through the shooting of some videos to show the aesthetics of the Opera Touch browser.

Opera Touch also come equipped with built-in ad-blocker with cryptojacking protection, and provides end-to-end encrypted Flow feature that ensure that connected devices and shared images, notes, links and videos are secure.

Additionally, it affords the user access to tabs from the Opera desktop browser on the iPhone's home screen, and the browser "adapts" to usage, which means the popular sites visited will be automatically added to the home screen.

Opera Touch comes to Apple App Store with Action Button and QR Code scanner

Lens was originally for the Photos app, and offers a visual search engine that can recognize what’s in images and scan business cards, among other image processing capabilities.

Now, Google wants to show more context around images, including captions that reveal the title of the webpage where each image is published, and to make this possible it is employing the Lens’ AI technology to analyze the images.

Lens will show relevant images when you select any object using your finger on a mobile device screen and link the image to product pages so you can continue your search or perhaps purchase the item.

It will also let you “draw” on any part of an image, even if it’s not preselected by Lens, to trigger related results and dive even deeper on what’s in the image.

Also, Google has overhauled the Images algorithm to rank results that have both great images and great content on the page, while the authority of a web page is now a more important signal in the ranking.

And the new look is already live on mobile, and Google promises to bring it to desktop where the larger screen makes it expedient for more complex tasks.

These changes, it hopes will make it a lot more easier and visually appealing to traverse the web, find information, and pursue your interests.

Google Images gets Lens support to bolster visual contents for easy information

Google was caught in a controversial privacy issue with how its browser, Chrome would log users in to their Google account, even without their consent and given the fact that it happens automatically for almost all of Google services.

The issue seems to have been escalated with Chrome 69, as before that users were allowed to keep their login status private, and it's rather too bad for rolling out this sort of change that hinges on privacy without spelling it out to users.

The company, however have assured Chrome users of a reversal of the automatic log-ins to its services with Chrome 70 by the addition of an option to disable the automatic sign-in, and it will allow users to turn off web-based sign-in linking within the browser.

Albeit, the purpose for the browser logging into Google account is to enable the syncing of bookmarks, passwords and perhaps other web preferences, which you can choose to share with other devices.

Google claims that the change was to simplify the way Chrome handles sign-in, making it easier for users to sign into any Google service, and also sign into Google Account with the account picture right in the Chrome UI, so that you can see your sign-in status.

If you sign out, either directly from Chrome or from any Google website, you’re also completely signed out of your Google Account, according to Google.

Chrome 70 will offer a straight out-of-the-box setting that disables the link between the browser with Google services and users that have the feature disabled, when signing into a Google service will not be signed into Chrome.

Upcoming Chrome 70 to disable the controversial automatic sign-in to Google services

The open-source web browser, Brave made headlines as the first browser to bring onion routing from the Tor Project as an option to its private tabs, which feature Mozilla had earlier touted as coming to Firefox in collaboration with Tor Project.

While the browser is notable for its ad-blocking functionality, with the option for private tabs made possible by the collaboration of Tor Project's technology to keep sites from tracking users online.

Brave had recently overhauled the browser Core that mimics Google Chrome, which version lacked support for the Tor privacy technology, but the latest Brave release is perhaps the first Core beta to add the Tor technology.

Brave browser is built on Blink engine, which is also the engine powering Google's Chrome developed by Brendan Eich, the co-founder of the Mozilla project and creator of JavaScript.

The browser is notorious for its assertiveness to protect its users from online prying and spying through its separation of the computer from the site communicating with it by sending network traffic via intermediate servers, thus preventing the websites from keeping logs of browsing history, including your IP address.

Albeit, Brave browser had earlier included a system called Brave Payments, which allow users to send crypto-tokens called Basic Attention Tokens to publishers: YouTubers and Twitch video game streamers.

Now, the Core system update changed the Brave Rewards moniker, with the actual reward approach; though still funded by promotional BAT to compensate creators somewhat for revenue lost as a result of Brave blocking their ads.

The Core beta also brings support for Google's Widevine technology for digital rights management and copy protection, which is prerequisite for watching streaming videos.

Brave browser is getting own ad system; still blocking ads and ad trackers

The Internet giant, Google is marking its 20th anniversary today and has postulated what the next 20 years will look like; which is quite contrast to its earlier mission of organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible.

Google is planning an eminent shift from traditional aspects of search to semantics: what it calls the new way to find information, while this is hugely driven by some fundamental shifts in how we do search today.

The semantic search ideology moves away from just queries to providing a rather more contextual information to a given search; as it tends to surface information related to your interests, even when you have not used that specific query.

Google also hopes to shift from answers to journeys: To what it assumes as helping searchers to continue from where they left off or even learn more new interests. And the shift from text to a more visual way of finding information, including bringing more visual content to Search and completely redesigning Google Images to help users find information easily.

These advancements are nonetheless harping on its AI, which it deems as improving the ability to understand language in ways that weren’t possible when the search engine first started.

While AI can have more promising effects, like predicting areas that might be affected in a flood, or helping to identify the best job opportunities, but AI can also dramatically reduce the reach of your marketing campaigns.

The added intelligence will indeed engage more users into Google services, albeit the Internet marketers may be displaced by the automated task of information discovery as it becomes more or less dictated by Google's whims.

Google's postulated Next 20 Years of Search looks bleak for Internet marketers

Mozilla is working on a security service that can check and notify users when their email addresses have been involved in a data breach, which service is in partnership with Troy Hunt, Firefox Monitor will proactively check for your information and alert you if you are affected in a compromise.

While Troy Hunt's "Have I Been Pwned" service catalogs billions of emails that are exposed in data breaches, Firefox Monitor API will have access to the database, and will afford users the ability to search their email address, and if exposed in a data breach, will be informed specifically, where and when the compromise took place.

The "Have I Been Pwned" service was launched in 2013, and often emails discovered in data breaches hadn’t been made public, as companies tend to keep the compromise secret longer until they have figured out what actually happened, which is not always in the customers' best interest.

The service offer you the option of registration to allow it to proactively monitor and alert you if you’re ever affected by any breach in the future.

And the Firefox Monitor functions much like Hunt’s Have I Been Pwned, allowing users to search email addresses on the service to check if the email was exposed in a data breach, and it’ll show when the mishap happened; albeit alert on a data breach will be of little use if you’re not following good password rules in the first instance.

Mozilla, however made it clear that Firefox recent new features centered around security and privacy are top priorities going into the future for the browser.

Firefox Monitor: Mozilla looks to solve the problem of data breaches from the browserside

Google Feed is a service that brings relevant news, both local and international, sourced from popular media platforms to the Google App, offering information across different range of topics which are sorted to meet individual preference.

While the service is part of Google Now since it was originally introduced, the primary focus was on news content, including articles and videos around topics that a user would mostly care about, made possible by AI input.

It pulls information from topics you are following by using your Google and Chrome browsing history to improve results and customize the news contents according to your preference.

Now, Google has rebranded the Feed to "Google Discover" with new eight-pointed icon, and the bottom bar featuring the icon and a label; while this icon appears in a colored version when viewed from the search bar. And it employs the Topic Layer in the Knowledge Graph to predict your level of expertise on a topic and help you further develop those interests. For instance, you’re learning to play guitar, it will deduct that you might need beginner content about learning chords or let's say you’re already a skilled musician, you may see a video on more advanced techniques.

Google has also added a prompt to encourage searchers to “Check out Discover,” with its brand-colored version of the icon.

The ‘Google Discover’ in contrast to the erstwhile Feed, is more obvious and reflects the intended functionality: ability to follow topics to see timely news information within the feed, including movies, politics, sports, and much more.

According to Google, the Discover will have the capability to pull information and articles that are very relevant, using the same technology as Full Coverage in Google News to bring you a variety of perspectives on the latest news.

And it will takeover Google Now on Android and iOS Google Search apps, as well as the left-side page on the search results homescreen for devices like the Google Pixel.

Google Discover (formerly Google Feed) coming to the mobile web, with slew of new features

Oracle's removal of JavaFX from the Java Development Kit (JDK) 11 has given rise to the first open standalone release of the Java-based rich client technology, JavaFX 11, which will avail developers a client application platform.

The JavaFX 11 is an open source, next generation platform for desktop, mobile and embedded systems built on Java; which comes as a collaborative effort from many independent developers and companies with the goal of producing an efficient and modern, fully featured toolkit for building rich client applications.

While Oracle claimed the removal was inline with its overall desire to get rid of noncore modules from the Java Development Kit or stand the JDK as independent modules.

The standalone JavaFX modules can no longer have permissions by default, as the modules are now loaded by the application class loader, while applications that sort to run with a security manager enabled by default will need to specify a custom policy file, using "-Djava.security.policy", to grant permissions to each of the JavaFX.

Albeit, the now open source JavaFX will be able to use GTK 3 by default on Linux platforms where the GTK 3 library is present, which prior to JavaFX 11, the GTK 2 library was the default.

The new features in JavaFX include the public FX Robot API, which has been added to support simulating user interaction such as typing keys on the keyboard and using the mouse as well as capturing graphical information.

And the known issues with this release is that JavaFX crashes with OpenJDK 11 on Ubuntu 18.04 Linux machines when the XWayland window server is enabled whenever the FX window toolkit code uses GTK 3 on Linux, which is the default for JavaFX 11.

It is however recommended to use the Xorg server instead of the Wayland server when running JavaFX applications as a workaround.

The Java-based rich client technology, JavaFX 11 standalone release

It's no loner news that Microsoft and Amazon have integrated their respective digital assistants, Alexa and Cortana; the next step in the collaboration between the two companies is that Alexa-powered devices will soon be able to tap into Skype to place or receive audio/video calls to/from other devices.

While the initial partnership saw the implementations of the Cortana skill on Alexa devices, with the ability to summon Alexa from Windows 10 devices and the Xbox game console.

Skype, which had hitherto remained Microsoft’s exclusive in the partnership is now purported to be coming on board later this year, albeit the capability is already available for Amazon's Alexa-powered devices in the US and Canada.

The worldwide roll out will follow soon this year, which will allow users of Alexa-powered devices to tap into Skype to place Skype audio and video calls to other devices, accept calls, or even place calls via Skype to cellular phones and landlines.

This new partnership means that if you're about hanging out, let's say in your neighborhood and wish for the company of your friends, you can just tap your Alexa device to place a Skype call to your "old friends" by simply saying: “Alexa, call Dave on Skype,” or say “Alexa, answer” for an incoming call.

And perhaps too, you'll be able to order from your favorite local restaurant and have it delivered in a jiffy all from the comfort of your living room.

Alexa users, get ready for Skype as Microsoft is bringing the service to Amazon's hardware

The Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) is a set of extensions to DNS which provides DNS clients (resolvers) origin authentication for DNS data; the specifications are for securing certain kinds of information provided by the Domain Name System (DNS) on Internet Protocol (IP) networks.

While the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) voted on the first ever change for the cryptographic key that helps protect the Domain Name System (DNS), in a bid to make the internet more secure.

The main driving force for the improvement in DNS security remains that the rollover will help in the continued evolvement of Internet technologies and deployment of IoT facilities.

Initial plan to roll the DNS root KSK was paused in 2017 due to unexpected error, specifically the data raised questions related to how ready validating resolvers were for the roll over that was scheduled to be implemented. ICANN analyzed the data and determined that there were indications that a relatively small percentage of resolvers were likely to be negatively impacted by the KSK rollover, but it also established that the data was unsuitable for determining the number of end users that would be impacted.

But the ICANN Board have now agreed to proceed with plans to roll over the key for the DNS root beginning on October 11, 2018, which change is remarkable as it will be the first successfully in place since 2010.

ICANN stated that minimal user impact from the rollover is expected, as a small percentage of internet users would see problems in resolving domain names, and so they will have problems reaching their destination websites.

The change, however should have little impact for enterprise users, since more than 99% of such users resolvers are validating and will not be affected by the KSK rollover; as most enterprises have their software set on automatic key rollovers or they've manually installed the new key already.

Though, there's no assurance that every network operator will have their 'resolvers' properly configured, yet it is expect that the vast majority have access to the root zone.

What's the impact of ICANN enforcement of DNS Security Extensions change?

Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open source initiative aimed to improve the performance of sites on the mobile web; which goes beyond just websites to include other applications on the mobile Web.

While Google had earlier partnered with several publishers and technology companies in pushing the AMP project to build more features and functionality, the company has now moved the project to a consensus-seeking open governance model.

The open governance model (a system defining how decisions are made) for AMP will focus on agility with feedback from the developers and organizations that have been using it.

Some of the significant changes proposed in the new model, includes: having working Groups with ownership of certain aspects of AMP (UI, infrastructure and documentation), with clear mechanisms for input and well-defined decision making process, replace the informal teams that exist now.

And the power to make decisions in the AMP Project have moved from single Tech Lead to a Technical Steering Committee (TSC) which is made up of representatives from companies that have committed resources to build the AMP project.

The main goal remains to encourage a wider variety of voices at different levels of contribution, such as code contributions, determining the future direction of AMP and what features and the bugs to be fixed.

It will ensure that the voices of those who do not contribute with code, but are nonetheless impacted by AMP, will be heard.

The company is also exploring the possibility of moving AMP to a foundation in the future, and seek the input of the TSC, the AC, and the community over the coming months.

Google pushing Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP) to Open Governance Model

Twitter's real-time update set the service apart from other social networks and lending more to its credence, as natural conversation is supposed to be spontaneous. But earlier last year, the company decided to switch to algorithmic timeline to the backlash of its users, who maintains that the former timeline is preferred, against the supposed option to get the tweets they’re most likely to care about to appear at the top of the feed.

The argument that when a user follow hundreds of people on Twitter — or maybe thousands — that it can feel like you’ve missed some of the most important tweets with real-time update, which Twitter cited for the switch notwithstanding, many users revolted with “Death to Twitter” in a campaign against the change.

Now, the company has announced new changes that make it super easy for users to choose to see a chronological feeds from the people they follow, instead of the machine-learning algorithmic timeline that tends to surface tweets based on your past interactions.

And Twitter will allow those users who wish to opt out of the use of algorithmic timeline to choose what tweets they deem more important.

Twitter's product lead, Kayvon Beykpour, states that the company is making it easier for people to have more control of their timelines and will be testing the new changes in the coming weeks.

The company claims to have learned that when showing the best Tweets first, that users find it more relevant and useful, but they've decided to heed the feedback from people who at times prefer to see the most recent tweets.

If you wish to switch back to algorithmic timeline, simply adjust your setting for "Show me the best Tweets first" from your "Account Settings" page, click Under Content, look for "Timeline" and toggle the box next to "Show me the best Tweets first" to change the setting at any time.

Twitter makes it super-easy to Switch back to the Reverse Chronological Timeline

Microsoft launched ML.Net to provide machine learning framework for .Net developers, with the promise of making model training and predictions easy through high-level APIs, along with strong integration of other .Net capabilities.

The ML.Net framework was first announced in May 2018 with the beta Version 0.4, while the aim is to provide ways for .Net developers to create models for specific tasks and to run common machine learning models using a cross-platform, open source system.

Now, Microsoft has released a refresh of the ML.Net framework, beta version 0.5 with support for TensorFlow model scoring, which capability will enable .Net developers to use existing model from Google’s TensorFlow deep learning toolkit in ML.Net experiments.

The ML.Net framework version 0.5 also brings support for TensorFlow Transform class, which adds existing TensorFlow model and bring the scores from that model into ML.Net. And the TensorFlow scoring do not require any working knowledge of TensorFlow internal details, as the transform class is based on TensorFlowSharp .Net bindings.

Albeit, the initial release of ML.Net included only two basic machine learning tasks, classification and regression, which are useful for categorizing data such as email segmentation or to perform analysis on numerical data like pricing trends, respectively.

Microsoft plans to enable the identification of expected inputs and outputs for TensorFlow models with future releases. But for now, it has recommended that developers should use the TensorFlow APIs to explore the models.

The long term plan, however is the deprecation of the current “pipeline” API, as Microsoft tags it, and the replacement with an easier to use API.

Microsoft’s machine learning framework, ML.Net adds TensorFlow model scoring

Google's AI-infused cutting-edge revolutionary email app, Inbox by Gmail, is perhaps the best message management enhancement ever to hit the email system. While the Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered app is able to automatically sort out priority emails and also suggest/set reminders on calendar events, among others.

Inbox by Gmail brought new ideas such as the snoozing emails, as well as AI-powered experiences like the Smart Reply, Nudges and priority notifications that help users to stay more productive.

But Google isn't all satisfied with this wonderful product; albeit many users are excited about this alternative to Gmail, the company has gone ahead to set an official date for the demise of Inbox by Gmail.

According to Google, they've learned a lot about how to make email better, and taken popular Inbox experiences and added them into Gmail to help more people get more jobs done with their emails everyday; though Inbox's nifty features like trip-related emails and GitHub/Trello notifications, have not quite yet been made available to Gmail.

Google has released a guide for users to be able to effortlessly transition from Inbox to Gmail, as they promised to take a more focused approach that will help bring the best email experience to everyone.

The deadline for Inbox by Gmail is the end of March 2019, after which its users can now say the final goodbye.

Google set to discontinue the experimental Alternative Email App, Inbox by Gmail

Google is currently running a trial for the Shape Detection API with Chrome 70, which makes a device's shape detection capabilities available on the web, allowing users to identify faces, barcodes and text in images.

The Shape Detection API is now available for experimentation through Chrome origin trial; while its application encompasses serving as alternative to password, or acting as an extra layer of security for two-factor authentication.

It consists of three APIs: Face Detection API, Barcode Detection API and Text Detection API, with the Face Detection API able to return the location of faces and the locations of eyes, noses, and mouths for a more accurate result.

The feature could be a driver for Google's recent emphasis on fingerprint scanning for the web, as Chrome 70 bring two updates to the Web Authentication API related to the PublicKeyCredential type, even with the Chrome OS code spotted referencing an out-of-box experience fingerprint sensing capability.

Also, the Credential Management API in Chrome 51 defines a framework for handling credentials that included semantics for creating, getting, and storing them through two credential types: PasswordCredential and FederatedCredential.

The TouchID and fingerprint capability will be enabled by default for Chrome on macOS and Android via Web Authentication, and developers will be able to access biometric authenticators through the Credential Management API's PublicKeyCredential type.

Other major Features expected in the release includes: ontouch* APIs, which helps to avoid confusion on touch feature detection, as ontouch* members on window, document and element will be disabled by default on desktop.

And TLS 1.3, an overhaul of the TLS protocol with a less error-prone design that improves efficiency and security. The new simple design reduces the round-trips required to establish a connection and legacy insecure options, making it easier to configure a server securely.

Google bringing Face Detection support for Chrome on Linux, macOS and Android

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Whаt уоu don’t rеаllу know iѕ the kеу рrinсiрlе which is аlmоѕt ѕtuрidlу ѕimрlе: minimizе ѕреnding whilе mаximizing your inсоmе stream. Grеаt tip! Lеtѕ hаvе a read together оn how to save mоnеу fоr trаvеl. But bеfоrе that, we’d likе tо lеt уоu knоw уоu can еаѕilу save mоnеу fоr trаvеl uѕing thiѕ travel agency called Trаvеlѕtаrt Nigеriа.

  • Knоw How To Trасk Yоu Sреnding Fоr Trаvеl

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We brоkе it dоwn a ѕtер furthеr аnd ѕераrаtеd роtеntiаl ѕаvingѕ on a biwееklу bаѕiѕ, thаt wау you'll knеw hоw much you соuld ѕаvе frоm еасh раусhесk.

  • Deposit a Token Whеn Yоu Hаvе Enough On You

If you hаvе a tаught оf saving when уоu hаvе more than еnоugh оn you, it will dеfinitеlу gо a lоng way tоwаrd building some fundѕ уоu’d use оn уоur nеxt trаvеl if уоu are рrераrеd fоr it. “Buy hey, even if you save whole budget, you still need to get cheap Flight Routes to get to your destination easier.”

There are a fеw wауѕ tо dо thiѕ, thе simplest of it all iѕ ѕеtting uр а deposit withоut even going tо thе bank as there аrе nоw dероѕit ATM machines еvеrуwhеrе which уоu саn еаѕilу uѕе tо trаnѕfеr fundѕ intо уоur ѕаvingѕ account. It’ѕ inсrеdiblу еаѕу tо juѕt trаnѕfеr thе mоnеу intо уоur savings ассоunt. It takes juѕt 5minutеѕ аnd you'll gеt уоur сrеdit аlеrt.

  • Minimize What You Sреnd On

Thiѕ one iѕ pretty difficult. As everyone lоvе snacks in еvеrу tуре, ѕhаре, аnd fоrm. Sаmе with real food likе еаting in thе rеѕtаurаnt, juѕt nаmе it. Unfоrtunаtеlу, fоr our wаllеt, all of thеѕе will соѕt money. Eасh individuаl рurсhаѕе might seem negligible оn itѕ оwn – N500 fоr a ѕnасkѕ, a thоuѕаnd naira fоr food аt thе nearest bоuquеt – but thаt аddѕ uр rеаllу fаѕt. Whilе it’ѕ оkау tо ѕрlurgе оссаѕiоnаllу, dо уоu really nееd thаt outing fоr рizzа?

Another еаѕу wау tо hаvе уоur cake аnd еаt thеm too iѕ to dо it yourself!

  • Sеll Thingѕ Yоu Knоw You Arе Not Uѕing

Hаvе уоu ever calculated thе rаndоm ѕtuff уоu’vе ассumulаtеd оvеr thе уеаrѕ? Did you rеаllу nееd that old Dеѕktор computer after you’vе gоttеn a lарtор? What оf the vidео gаmе ѕуѕtеmѕ? All оf thе old сlоthеѕ you nеvеr got to wеаr? Thеrе аrе ѕеvеrаl аррѕ/ѕitеѕ thаt mаkе ѕеlling уоur uѕеd рrоduсtѕ еаѕy: Jiji, OLX, Efritin аnd a few others. But bе саrеful whеn uѕing thеѕе sites bесаuѕе, оf соurѕе, people аrе weird. Thаt bеing ѕаid, оnе mаn’ѕ trаѕh iѕ аnоthеr mаn’ѕ trеаѕurе, ѕо ѕеll уоur ѕtuffѕ wiѕеlу.

Now that you have put your stuffs online for sale and finally you sold them in peace, all you need is to get to your destination because the main reason you are selling your products is for travel and you need to check out Travelstart.com.ng for cheap flights to your destination.

These ways, it wоuld bе ѕimрlе tо ѕаvе money, in fасt, we’ll bеt уоu’vе рrоbаblу thоught аbоut mоѕt оf thеѕе thingѕ оn your оwn. Sоmеtimеѕ, it juѕt tаkеѕ ѕоmеоnе рutting it tоgеthеr in аn еаѕу-tо-rеаd format to hеlр get thе рuzzlе рiесеѕ fall intо рlасе.

The Infographic below will help to drive home the points even further!

How you can Save Money for Travel and Vacation without stress

How you can Save Money for Travel and Vacation without stress

Mark Zuckerberg had earlier pledged to fix the social network's many problems, which ranges from fake news to interference, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal with an overhaul of the privacy rules and expansive fact-checking of articles, photos and images.

The company have now followed suit by expanding its fact-checking of photos and videos to partners in 17 countries around the world, while the third-party fact-checkers will help in reviewing and rating the accuracy or otherwise of contents uploaded on the platform.

Also, Facebook will be employing machine learning models that uses different engagement signals to identify fake news, which it then sends to the fact-checkers for review; though the fact-checkers can equally surface such false content on their own.

Facebook had recently updated its policies as it concerns collection of data from the over two billion monthly users on the social network, all in a bid to stem interference from outside the network. While Facebook will restrict developers' access to your data or have it expressly revoked if you haven't used their app in three months.

Facebook categorized misinformation in photos and videos into three: (1) Manipulated or Fabricated, (2) Out of Context, and (3) Text or Audio Claim, with that as mainly the kinds of false photos and videos common on the platform, it hopes to further reduce it with the expansion of the help of its fact-checking partners.

Albeit, the hoax can travel across different content types, it’s important to build defenses against misinformation across articles as well, as also the photos and videos.

How Facebook will fact-check Media Contents in fight against fake news and interference

Microsoft has engaged in a frantic last-minute efforts to get Windows 10 users to use its browser, Edge which according to Net Applications statistics hit a record low in browser usage share for July, 2018.

The company is attempting to frighten people into using Edge, with a warning dialog box that pops up on the installation prompt for other web browsers, which reads thus: "You already have Microsoft Edge - the safer, faster browser for Windows 10" - though for now, it's only on the test version of Windows 10 developer version.

While Microsoft's earlier ploy of automatically resetting users browser preference to Edge on upgrade and the later move to make the built-in Edge browser the default for opening of links within the Windows Mail app in the Fall update hasn't seen much success.

Microsoft Edge browser usage has steadily gone down, and perhaps, many users haven’t really hit the “make default” button on Windows 10 to Edge, and perhaps still keeping in their old comfort zone with Chrome or Firefox.

This latest move of employing a dialog box to dissuade Windows users from installing other browsers, currently tied to Windows 10 version 1809, build 17758.1, is seen as a more intrusive phase in the company's attempt to get people to use Edge browser.

Microsoft, however maintains that the Windows Insider Program in which the gaffe was spotted is where it run tests for different features, functionality and garner feedback before rolling out broadly to all users, and there's no guarantee that such tests will see the light of day.

Microsoft's frantic efforts to get Windows 10 users to use Edge browser

Facebook has been working alongside other Internet companies to tackle the problem of inappropriate or harmful content, using shared technology that help to stamp-out extremist images and videos.

Now, the company has gone public with its artificial intelligence (AI), Rosetta which is able to understand contexts in images and videos through machine learning technology, in a bid to identify inappropriate or harmful content and keep the community safe.

Also, the understanding of text that appears on images is important for improving the user experience, such as a more relevant photo search or the incorporation of text into screen readers for better accessibility for the visually impaired.

According to Facebook, Rosetta was built and deployed as a large-scale machine learning system to extracts text from over a billion public Facebook and Instagram images and video daily and in real time, and puts it into a text recognition model that has been trained on classifiers to understand the context of the image altogether.

The AI system was necessitated after taking into account the sheer volume of photos shared each day on Facebook and Instagram, and the number of languages supported on the platforms; as the understanding of text in images is quite different from traditional optical character recognition (OCR), which recognizes character but not the context of the given image.

Facebook's Rosetta features: encoding, RPN, and classifiers, which are trained jointly in a supervised, end-to-end manner, with the text detection model running Faster R-CNN, albeit replacing the ResNet convolutional body with a ShuffleNet-based architecture for more efficiency.

Though, the naive approach of applying image-based text extraction to every single video frame isn't scalable, as the massive uploading of videos of different languages would lead to wasted computational resources.

Facebook aims to support a global language platform, by continuing to invest in extending the text recognition model for the wide number of languages used on the platform.

Facebook's AI, Rosetta to understand images and video context with machine learning

TensorFlow is the result of Google's tinkering with deep learning neural networks back in 2011, with the first generation machine learning proprietary system, dubbed DistBelief, and the second generation iteration is a core part of its commercial products like Google Voice Search, Google Photos, and YouTube.

Now, Google has extended the open source machine learning library to JavaScript (JS) with Tensorflow.js, a JS library for machine learning models deployment in the browser.

Tensorflow.js will work with Node.js server-side JavaScript runtime and as a WebGL-accelerated library remains part of the TensorFlow ecosystem; with the machine learning models running directly in the browser.

It eliminates the need for drivers, as developers can run codes right on the browser. And TensorFlow.js model converters can also run existing models under Node.js or in the browser, which models are retrained with sensor data connected to the browser.

TensorFlow.js APIs will enable developers to build models using low-level linear algebra library or the higher-level layers API, with the Keras-inspired API included for building high-level neural networks.

Albeit, TensorFlow.js isn't the only available JavaScript library for building neural networks, Synaptic offers free JavaScript neural network library for node.js and the browser, with architecture-free generalized algorithm.

Tensorflow.js API does not yet support all the functionality of the Python API, though the developers of the JavaScript API has pledged to work more in achieving an architecture-free JavaScript API.

Google’s open source Machine Learning library extended to JavaScript with Tensorflow.js

While Microsoft had dropped support for Windows XP since April 2014 and Windows Vista in 2017, Windows XP and Windows Vista were still supported by some major browsers such as Firefox and Opera, with security updates coming to the outdated operating systems.

Mozilla has now shut down Firefox support for Windows XP and Windows Vista, meaning that users running the aged operating system will be in danger of malware and virus attacks, since no security updates will be made available for the operating systems.

According to the company, supporting XP well after Microsoft had stopped doing so, required devoting more resources and effort, which makes it difficult to focus on other things.

Also, the Extended Support Release channel will stop supporting Firefox ESR 52: the final version of Firefox with Windows XP support; while recommending that users should upgrade to Firefox ESR 60.2.

As part of the Public Data Report, Mozilla Release channel claims that before the switch of XP users to the ESR channel, which as at February 2016, Windows XP users made up about 12% of release Firefox; and by February 2017, XP users made up only 8% of release Firefox.

If this trend continued without much change after the switch of XP users to ESR, XP Firefox users should presently amount to about 2% of release users, according to Mozilla.

Mozilla Firefox extended support kept millions of users safe on the Internet despite running an outdated operating system with last patch over 4 years ago. Now, the company recommends that users should upgrade to newer OS, like Windows 7, 8 or Windows 10 so that they can go on been protected into the future.

Mozilla Firefox ends support for outdated versions of Windows, XP and Vista

Microsoft has offered to defer the Windows 7 Extended Security Updates deadline beyond January 2020, as enterprises grapple to upgrade to newer operating system; the extended support will now culminate to three years of the deadline.

While Windows 7 Extended Security Updates is expected to continue through to January 2023, it will only be available for PCs running Windows 7 Professional/Enterprise edition, and those versions of the operating system obtained through volume licensing deals.

Microsoft presumably bowed to pressure from customers to extend the support, as Windows 7's user share is estimated at a remarkable 34% for January 2020, which leaves it at a little more than a third of all Windows PCs running the aged operating system.

The extended support will culminate in a one-year increments for three years and will not be sold on the per-user approach Microsoft had always pushed out for Windows 10 licensing, rather it will follow a per-device basis.

Albeit, Microsoft has had the related offering tagged "paid supplemental servicing" for Windows 10, which also follows a one-year-and-done paid support plan for Windows 10 updates scrubbed from the company's page.

The scrubbing of the paid supplemental servicing is presumably as a result of Microsoft's extending of support for the fall's feature upgrade to 30 months.

Microsoft will offer customers on Windows Server's Extended Security Updates patches for "Critical" or "Important" rated vulnerabilities, with the top two tiers in its four-step risks ranking system. And the pricing for Windows Server 2008 support may run at 75% of the full annual license cost if the updates are deployed for on-premise servers.

Microsoft's Windows 7 Extended Security Updates beyond January 2020 deadline

Apple will require every app on its App Store to disclose a privacy policy to communicate how the personal data of users are used, come October 3, 2018, after which the apps that fail to adhere to the new rules will be axed.

The change is coming on the heels of the European Union's GDPR regulations which took effect earlier in the year, though the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) simply applies to data protection and privacy for people within the EU region.

The new requirement will provide Apple a ground in the EU laws, and any developer that falls short will be held accountable by way of its privacy policy and the statements contained therein.

While Apple is noted for its strict lockdown on its systems for security and privacy, allowing apps to run on the platform without privacy policies in place is somewhat a let down on its perceived impregnability.

Just recently, security researchers at the GuardianApp project claims that over a dozen apps on the App Store were secretly sharing the location data of “tens of millions of mobile devices” with third-party data mining firms.

These apps transmit the precise locations of users with other sensitive, personal identifiable information, which at most times with “little to no mention” that such data will be shared with third-parties.

Albeit, most apps require access to location data to work properly, like the weather app and fitness app, but sharing the data with third-party as a monetization scheme is certainly taking it too far.

Apple had earlier made known its stance on apps with contentious attributes, such as Onavo, the Facebook owned VPN app which was kicked out of the App Store in August owing to its data zapping tendencies.

The new rules which takes effect on October 3 is certainly part of the change to tackle these issues, and apps with questionable policies or user permissions will ultimately get the axe.

Apple’s slated crackdown on Apps that fails to Communicate its Privacy Policies

While the original Xbox and Xbox 360 console utilizes the Kinect peripheral to control the Xbox with voice commands, but as the Xbox lacks built-in mic with which to “hear” voice commands, having to pay for additional peripheral and developer support resulted its dwindle.

Now, Microsoft is prepping an Xbox Skill that will grant Alexa and Cortana-powered speakers the ability to control the Xbox game console, since an always-listening smart speaker will serve as a better alternative.

The company announced that the Xbox Skill has been added to both Cortana and Alexa digital assistants, though not yet available for everyone, as it's still a work in progress.

Xbox Skill will allow gamers to issue commands to both assistants to control the Xbox game console, they will be able to give not just the basic commands such as turning it off/on, but also able to launch specific games via voice command.

The new Skill will also work via the apps on smartphone, Windows PC, or the smart speaker, like the Cortana-powered Amazon Echo.

Albeit, it is not yet clear if the oral commands will do, even though Microsoft says users can inquire from the Skill, like say: “Ask Xbox what can I say” for a list of further commands.

Microsoft, however is encouraging gamers to leave feedback on how to further improve the Xbox Skill's capabilities in controlling the Xbox game console.

Alexa and Cortana-powered smart speakers to control the Xbox game console with Xbox Skill