Browser vendors unite to end support for 20-year-old TLS 1.0

A green exterior door is sealed with a padlock.

Enlarge (credit: Indigo girl / Flickr)

Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla have announced a unified plan to deprecate the use of TLS 1.0 and 1.1 early in 2020.

TLS (Transport Layer Security) is used to secure connections on the Web. TLS is essential to the Web, providing the ability to form connections that are confidential, authenticated, and tamper-proof. This has made it a big focus of security research, and over the years, a number of bugs that had significant security implications have been found in the protocol. Revisions have been published to address these flaws.

The original TLS 1.0, heavily based on Netscape’s SSL 3.0, was first published in January 1999. TLS 1.1 arrived in 2006, while TLS 1.2, in 2008, added new capabilities and fixed these security flaws. Irreparable security flaws in SSL 3.0 saw support for that

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Paul Allen—Microsoft co-founder, Seahawks owner, and space pioneer—dies at 64

(credit: Miles Harris)

Paul Allen, who with Bill Gates founded Microsoft, has died at the age of 65. His death comes shortly after he resumed treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; the cancer had returned after being in remission for nine years.

Allen was a Seattle native and went to high school with Gates. The two kept in touch at university—Allen at Washington State, Gates at Harvard—and when Allen dropped out in 1975 to start a company to develop software for the MITS Altair 8800, he soon convinced Gates to follow. That company was Micro-Soft, which shed its hyphen the following year. In 1980, Microsoft was chosen by IBM to develop DOS for its new PC. With the success of the PC and PC compatibles, Microsoft became hugely successful.

Allen had his first run-in with cancer in 1982, when he was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma and drastically cut back his work

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Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Passes Away at 65 Following Battle With Cancer

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen passed away today at age 65 following complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Allen earlier this month announced that he was again undergoing treatment for the cancer, which he was first treated for in 2009.

A childhood friend of Bill Gates, Allen co-founded Microsoft with Gates in 1975. He worked at Microsoft until 1983 when he faced his first fight with cancer after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.



After his time at Microsoft, Allen used his wealth to invest in real estate, aerospace, sports teams, and filmmaking. Allen was the owner of the Portland Trailblazers and the Seattle Seahawks, as well as part owner of the Seattle Sounders FC. He operated Vulcan Real Estate, funded multiple sports venues, and owned Vulcan Productions, a television and film production company.

Following his death, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that Allen’s contributions to Microsoft and the tech industry were “indispensable.”

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What developers say Apple needs to do to make the Apple TV a gaming console

The Apple TV 4K and remote.

Enlarge / The Apple TV 4K and remote. (credit: Samuel Axon)

As we observed in our review last year, the Apple TV 4K has so much potential for gaming. Its hardware is actually pretty powerful given the type of device it is. It shares development tools and infrastructure with one of the most successful gaming marketplaces in the world—the iPhone and iPad App Store. But a recent announcement shows that, instead of thriving as a gaming platform, Apple TV is struggling.

Last month, users who logged in to the Apple TV version of Minecraft were greeted with a message telling them that the game’s support for the Apple TV would end. Minecraft is one of the most popular video games, and its particular resonance with families and its relatively undemanding hardware requirements made it seem like a natural fit for the platform.

Unfortunately, that fit was not to be.

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PC market flat, as Surface becomes a top-5 computer brand in the US

Promotional image of a variety of electronic devices.

Enlarge / Clockwise, from the top left: Surface Laptop 2, Surface Studio 2, Surface Headphones, Surface Pro 6. (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft was the fifth-biggest PC maker in the US in the third quarter of this year, according to industry advisory firm Gartner.

The top spot in the US belongs to HP, with about 4.5 million machines sold, ahead of Dell at 3.8 million, Lenovo at 2.3 million, and Apple at 2 million. The gap between fourth and fifth is pretty big—Microsoft sold only 0.6 million Surface devices last quarter—but it suggests that Microsoft’s PC division is heading in the right direction, with sales 1.9 percent higher than the same quarter last year. The company pushed down to sixth place was Acer.

The current quarter should be better still; the Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, and Surface Studio have all been given hardware refreshes which,

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PC market flat, as Surface becomes a top-5 computer brand in the US

Promotional image of a variety of electronic devices.

Enlarge / Clockwise, from the top left: Surface Laptop 2, Surface Studio 2, Surface Headphones, Surface Pro 6. (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft was the fifth-biggest PC maker in the US in the third quarter of this year, according to industry advisory firm Gartner.

The top spot in the US belongs to HP, with about 4.5 million machines sold, ahead of Dell at 3.8 million, Lenovo at 2.3 million, and Apple at 2 million. The gap between fourth and fifth is pretty big—Microsoft sold only 0.6 million Surface devices last quarter—but it suggests that Microsoft’s PC division is heading in the right direction, with sales 1.9 percent higher than the same quarter last year. The company pushed down to sixth place was Acer.

The current quarter should be better still; the Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, and Surface Studio have all been given hardware refreshes which,

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Microsoft pulls ‘Minecraft’ for Apple TV due to low demand

You probably didn’t have a hankering to build Minecraft worlds on your Apple TV, and Microsoft has quietly acknowledged that reality. The company recently started notifying players that it had stopped updating and supporting the Apple TV version of the game on September 24th in order to “reallocate resources to the platforms that our players use the most.” To phrase it differently, there weren’t enough people playing to justify the investment. The game will continue to work, including Marketplace purchases, but you won’t see new features. It’s not available in the App Store, either.

Via: The Verge

Source: Mac-Interactive (Twitter)

Apple is bigger than Microsoft

This is not a headline I ever expected to write, but the brutal truth is that Apple is bigger than Microsoft when it comes to PC hardware sales in the U.S., even using Gartner’s obfuscated statistics.

When push comes to shove

The latest market share data sees Microsoft push Windows partner Acer aside on strength of Surface sales alone. What makes that stat so weird is that while Gartner counts Surface as a PC, it fails to account for Apple’s iPad sales in the same way.

That’s incredibly odd when you consider that iPads are more powerful machines that are perfectly capable of running macOS if used with Parallels Access software. I still believe Gartner’s (and IDC’s) refusal to count iPads as PCs calls its credibility into question.

All the same, the stats do show that, in the U.S. at least, Apple is a bigger hardware vendor

Jobs Vs Gates: The Hippie And The Nerd

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Lenovo retakes the top spot in PC shipments

Happy days are here again for Lenovo, though not for most of the PC industry. The Chinese tech firm has reclaimed the top spot for PC shipments in both Gartner and IDC market share estimates for the third quarter of the year, pushing past HP to scoop up roughly 24 percent of the market. The analyst groups chalked up the growth to both the addition of Fujitsu, better business PC sales and a smarter North American strategy. For most others, though, the season was a mixed bag.

Source: Gartner, IDC

Chrome OS may be the 2-in-1 solution we’ve been waiting for

Tech’s biggest companies are all about the 2-in-1. Google’s latest effort is the Pixel Slate — a tablet that becomes a sort-of laptop when you snap on its keyboard folio. This is a formula we’ve seen rise in popularity since the first Surface tablet. Think: the iPad Pro, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S4, HP’s Envy x2 detachables and more. These devices are doing so well they’re apparently all people want to buy anymore. According to IDC data, 2-in-1 shipments will grow by almost 10 percent this year, while traditional PCs are expected to decline.

Microsoft promises to defend—not attack—Linux with its 60,000 patents

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Enlarge (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has made billions from its extensive library of software patents. A number of Android vendors, including Samsung, pay the company a royalty on each phone they ship to license patents such as the ones covering the exFAT file system. But that situation may be coming to an end with the announcement today that Microsoft is joining the Open Invention Network (OIN).

The Open Invention Network is a group of about 2,400 companies around the world that have agreed to cross-license their patents on a royalty-free basis for use by the “Linux System,” a collection of projects including the Linux kernel, many tools and utilities built on top of Linux, and large parts of Android. Member companies also promise not to assert their patents against the Linux Community.

This move should put an end to the lingering threat of patent lawsuits from Microsoft that many Linux

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Microsoft promises to defend—not attack—Linux with its 60,000 patents

Article intro image

Enlarge (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has made billions from its extensive library of software patents. A number of Android vendors, including Samsung, pay the company a royalty on each phone they ship to license patents such as the ones covering the exFAT file system. But that situation may be coming to an end with the announcement today that Microsoft is joining the Open Invention Network (OIN).

The Open Invention Network is a group of about 2,400 companies around the world that have agreed to cross-license their patents on a royalty-free basis for use by the “Linux System,” a collection of projects including the Linux kernel, many tools and utilities built on top of Linux, and large parts of Android. Member companies also promise not to assert their patents against the Linux Community.

This move should put an end to the lingering threat of patent lawsuits from Microsoft that many Linux

Continue reading “Microsoft promises to defend—not attack—Linux with its 60,000 patents”

Windows 10 October 2018 Update no longer deletes your data

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Enlarge / Your precious documents, after installing the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. (credit: shaorang)

Microsoft has figured out why the Windows 10 October 2018 Update deleted data from some systems and produced a fixed version. The severity of the bug caused the company to cease distribution of the update last week; the fixed version is now being distributed to Windows Insiders for testing, ahead of a resumption of the wider rollout.

Microsoft is advising anyone affected by the bug to contact support. The bug caused files to be deleted, meaning that the only guaranteed way of restoring them is to retrieve them from a backup (if you have one). However, undelete software can often recover recently deleted files, and Microsoft’s support can apparently assist with this process at no cost for those bitten by the problem. In the meantime, the advice is to use affected PCs as little

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Pixel Slate vs. the competition: Get some work done

We weren’t too thrilled with the first attempt at putting Chrome OS on a tablet, with Acer’s Chromebook Tab 10 getting slammed for its bad cameras and poor performance — and the fact that Chrome OS hadn’t really been optimized for the form factor yet. Maybe things will be a bit better when Google takes the helm with its new Pixel Slate. We have fond memories of tablets like the Nexus 9 from 2014, as well as last year’s Pixelbook laptop. We don’t quite know yet how this new device will fare until we formally review it, but we certainly know what it’s competing against, and can compare specs in this handy chart.

Pixel Slate hands-on: Google’s 2-in-1 takes on the Surface

Google is cooking up a new formula for detachables, and it has an intriguing recipe with the new Pixel Slate. Though Microsoft has a solid desktop environment in Windows that makes its Surfaces excellent productivity tablets, it doesn’t have the same library of touch-friendly apps that Android and iOS offer. The iPad Pro, on the other hand, is swimming in apps but just doesn’t have the multitasking chops of a full desktop OS. Chrome OS seems like a potential opportunity to marry the best of Android, with its plethora of apps, with an established, functional desktop interface.

Microsoft announces Project Xcloud—Xbox game streaming for myriad devices

Microsoft

A new service from Microsoft called Project Xcloud is on the way, and it will stream Xbox games, not just to consoles and PCs, but to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Microsoft shared new information about its plans in a blog post and a talking-heads YouTube video. The company made a vague announcement about the new service at its E3 press conference earlier this year, but this is the first time the industry giant has provided details about how it works and when it might become available.

Microsoft is testing the service right now. Multiple control methods will be offered on mobile phones and tablets. First off, users will be able to pair an Xbox wireless controller with Bluetooth, and Microsoft showed footage of this in action with a phone-mount attachment for the controller. If a user doesn’t have a controller, Microsoft says it is “developing a new,

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Data deletion bug forces Microsoft to suspend rollout of Windows 10 update

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Enlarge / This message shown during Windows upgrades is going to be salt in the wound.

Earlier this week Microsoft started distributing the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, version 1809, to Windows users that manually checked for updates. The company has now halted that rollout after many reports that installing it is causing serious data loss: specifically, deleting the Documents, and perhaps Pictures, folders. Microsoft is also advising anyone that has downloaded the update but not yet installed it to not install it at all.

The exact circumstances causing data loss aren’t clear; the handful of reports on Microsoft’s forums and Reddit don’t have any obvious commonalities, and people report seeing only one affected system among many when upgraded. There will need to be some amount of investigation before a fix can be developed.

This will be too late for anyone that’s suffered data loss; although file recovery/undelete tools

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The Windows 10 October 2018 Update is out now

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Enlarge / Who doesn’t love some new Windows? (credit: Peter Bright / Flickr)

The Windows 10 October Update, version 1809, is now available for Windows 10 users.

As is traditional, Microsoft will be doing a staged rollout, using machine learning to better detect issues and incompatibilities while offering the update as quickly as possible to as many Windows 10 users as possible.

The update will soon be delivered automatically over Windows Update, but if you don’t want to wait, performing a manual check for updates will fetch and install the update immediately (as long as your system isn’t known to be incompatible). Microsoft has been attempting to make the automatic updates less annoying, for example by not updating when the machine is idle only for a short time, and advising laptop users to leave their machines plugged in overnight so that it can update without interrupting them.

Read

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There’s still no Surface Phone, but there are now Surface Headphones

Promotional image of wireless headphones on white background.

Enlarge / Surface Headphones. (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has unveiled a new member of the Surface family: the Surface Headphones.

The rather surprising addition to the Surface range is a set of noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones. They’re large, over-ear headphones with soft, comfortable ear cups. Each ear cup has a spinning dial: one to control the volume, and the other to control the level of noise cancellation. The headphones know when they’re on your head and automatically pause your music when you take them off. And they contain four microphones to pick up clear audio for talking to Cortana or making phone calls. Microsoft estimates they’ll last 15 hours on a charge and take less than two hours to recharge over their USB Type-C connector.

The headphones will be available to buy later this year. We’ve heard the price will be around $350, putting them in the same ballpark as Bose’s

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Surface Studio 2 has an even more amazing screen, ditches the spinning disks

Promotional image of computer monitor

Enlarge (credit: Microsoft)

The original Surface Studio was one of the strangest, most eye-catching, and enjoyable-to-look-at machines we’ve used: a giant 28-inch touchscreen with a computer in its base. Today, Microsoft announced Surface Studio 2: the same concept, an even more beautiful screen, and a healthy improvement to the computer specs.

The first-generation Surface Studio has a 4500×3000 28-inch display. The new one retains those specs, but with big improvements to brightness (38 percent increased) and contrast (22 percent increased). To do this, Microsoft has changed the way it makes the screen by using technology first found in the mobile Surface devices. The new screen has smaller transistors controlling each pixel, meaning that more light can pass through; the new pixels also block more light when turned off. The result is that the best-looking screen in computing now looks even better. It’s a rich, luscious display that will

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