Last week in Berlin at IFA, Microsoft announced that the next update of Windows 10, the Fall Creators Update, will be available worldwide next month.
Microsoft says its mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more, and this next step in the Windows journey empowers the creator in all of us with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
Microsoft provided the following information:
With the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft is introducing fun, new ways to get creative. The update will deliver an evolution to the photos experience allowing customers to tell their story using photos, videos and 3D effects; enhancements in gaming, security, accessibility and immersive new experiences made possible by Windows Mixed Reality. All of this innovation will be brought to life by a range of beautifully designed, and feature rich modern devices available from our hardware partners this holiday.
Windows Inking keeps getting better by letting users ink directly onto PDF documents, making it easier and faster to comment and share with others, improving on what can be done with pen and paper alone. Smart Ink applies artificial intelligence to inking automatically making the squares drawn more perfect, or turning boxes into a table with no extra work. With Windows Find my Pen customers will be able to locate their pen to start inking.
Photos and Videos
With the Fall Creators Update, the Windows Photos Application has been reimagined to deliver remixed experiences to let customers tell their stories with photos, videos, 3D and even inking.
OneDrive Files On-Demand
Customers can save their creations in OneDrive Files On-Demand, accessing their cloud files like any other file on their PC without using up their local storage.
The fuel that often inspires creativity is play. The Fall Creators Update brings new enhancements to Game Mode, which allows games to use the full processing power of a device as if it was an Xbox game console, right from a new button on the Game bar. To take advantage of this power, Microsoft has a fantastic lineup of Xbox Play Anywhere games including: Cuphead, Forza Motorsport 7, Super Lucky’s Tale, and Middle-earth: Shadow of War. Additionally, the most powerful console on the planet, Xbox One X, will be available on November 7.
The Fall Creators Update also brings security improvements to Windows 10. Windows Defender is smarter and defends better than before with behind the scenes cloud intelligence that enables new defenses against ransomware and exploits. Furthermore, Windows 10 S, introduced last May, is specifically designed for simplicity and security, with significant breakthroughs in battery life and performance.
This is the core of Fall Creators Update, it’s all about unleashing customers’ creativity and having some fun while at the same time keeping them safe and secure.
With Fall Creators Update, Microsoft is making Windows more accessible for those with Lou Gehrig’s disease, which is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that impacts the brain’s ability to control the body’s muscles. A new feature called Eye Control, implements eye tracking technology that lets users type, and operate a mouse using their eyes. This is life-changing technology for those with this disease, and a real advancement in accessibility.
Windows Mixed Reality
One more aspect of the Fall Creators Update is all about immersing customers in a new reality, the world of Windows Mixed Reality. By combining physical and digital worlds, Microsoft believes mixed reality is the next step in the evolution of human computing. In Windows Mixed Reality, users are fully immersed in the experience and are not limited to a mobile device screen size. The setup is simple, and does not require users to mount cameras around the room – just put the headset on, plug it into a PC and get started. It’s available from a range of device partners around the world, like Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo with prices starting as low as $299.
Windows Mixed Reality headsets start to become available on October 17 when the Fall Creators Update ships.
Even for customers without headsets, Microsoft will deliver mixed reality experiences through the PC. With Mixed Reality Viewer, users can see 3D objects – either from the Remix3D.com community or their own creations from Paint 3D – mixed into their actual surroundings through the PC’s camera – and snapped and shared – for powerful ways to tell their story.
Modern devices bring the magic of the Fall Creators Update to life
Earlier this week at IFA, Microsoft partners also announced a range of beautifully designed, and feature rich modern devices. Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo introduced new Windows 2-in-1s, laptops, all-in-ones, and gaming PCs that feature Intel’s latest 8th generation processors, include the latest NVIDIA graphics cards that enable Windows Mixed Reality experiences, deliver all-day battery life, and offer OLED and 4K screens for the most stunning visuals.
How to rob a bank in the 21st century
In the early 1980s, South Africans were gripped by tales of the most infamous bank robbery gangs the country had ever known: The Stander Gang. The gang would boldly walk into banks, brandishing weapons, demand cash and simply disappear. These days, a criminal doesn’t even have to be in the same country as the bank he or she intends to rob. Cyber criminals are quite capable of emptying bank accounts without even stepping out of their own homes.
As we become more and more aware of cybersecurity and the breaches that can occur, we’ve become more vigilant. Criminals, however, are still going to follow the money and even though security may be beefed up in many organisations, hackers are going to go for the weakest links. This makes it quintessential for consumers and enterprises to stay one step ahead of the game.
“Not only do these cyber bank criminals get away with the cash, they also end up damaging an organisation’s reputation and the integrity of its infrastructure,” says Indi Siriniwasa, Vice President of Trend Micro, Sub-Saharan Africa. “And sometimes, these breaches mean they get away with more than just cash – they can make off with data and personal information as well.”
Because the cyber criminals operate outside bricks and mortar, going for the cash register or robbing the customers is not where their misdeeds end. Bank employees – from the tellers to the CEO – are all fair game.
But how do they do it? Taking money out of an account is not the only way to steal money. Cyber criminals can zero in on the bank’s infrastructure, or hack into payment systems and even payment documents. Part of a successful operation for them may also include hacking into telecommunications to gain access to one-time pins or mobile networks.
“It’s not just about hacking,” says Siriniwasa.. “It’s also about the hackers trying to get an ‘inside man’ in the bank who could help them or even using a person’s personal details to get a new SIM so that they can have access to OTPs. Of course, they also use the tried and tested method of phishing which continues to be exceptionally effective – despite the education in the market to thwart it.”
The amounts of malware and available attacks to gain access to bank funds is strikingly vast and varies from using web injection script, social engineering and even targeting internal networks as well as points of sale systems. If there is an internet connection and a system you can be assured that there is a cybercriminal trying to crack it. The impact on the bank itself is also massive, with reputations left in tatters and customers moving their business elsewhere.
“We see that cyber criminals use multi-faceted attacks,” says Siriniwasa. “This means that we need to come at security from multiple angles as well. Every single layer of an organisation’s online perimeter need to be secured. Threat isolation is exceptionally important and having security with intrusion protection is vital. Again, vigilance on the part of staff and customers also goes a long way to preventing attacks. These criminals might not carry guns like Andre Stander and his gang, but they are just as dangerous – in fact – probably more so.”
Beaten by big data? AI is the answer
by ZAKES SOCIKWA, cloud big data and analytics lead at Oracle
In 2019, it’sestimated we’ll generate more data than we did in the previous 5,000 years. Data is fast becoming the most valuable asset of any modern organisation, and while most have access to their internal data, they continue to experience challenges in deriving maximum value through being able to effectively monetise the information that they hold.
The foundation of any analytics or Business Intelligence (BI) reporting capability is an efficient data collection system that ensures events/transactions are properly recorded, captured, processed and stored. Some of this information on its own might not provide any valuable insights, but if it is analysed together with other sources might yield interesting patterns.
Big data opens up possibilities of enhancing internal sources with unstructured data and information from Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Furthermore, as we move to a digital age, more businesses are implementing customer experience solutions and there is a growing need for them to improve their service and personalise customer engagements.
The digital behaviour of customers, such as social media postings and the networks or platforms they engage with, further provides valuable information for data collection. Information gathering methods are being expanded to accommodate all types and formats of data, including images, videos, and more.
In the past, BI and Data Mining were left to highly technical and analytical individuals, but the introduction of data visualisation tools is democratising the analytics world. However, business users and report consumers often do not have a clear understanding of what they need or what is possible.
AI now embedded into day to day applications
To this end, artificial intelligence (AI) is finishing what business intelligence started. By gathering, contextualising, understanding, and acting on huge quantities of data, AI has given rise to a new breed of applications – one that’s continuously improving and adapting to the conditions around it. The more data that is available for the analysis, the better is the quality of the outcomes or predictions.
In addition, AI changes the productivity equation for many jobs by automating activities and adapting current jobs to solve more complex and time-consuming problems, from recruiters being able to source better candidates faster to financial analysts eliminating manual error-prone reporting.
This type of automation will not replace all jobs but will invent new ones. This enables businesses to reduce the time to complete tasks and the costs of maintenance, and will lead to the creation of higher-value jobs and new engagement models. Oracle predicts that by 2025, the productivity gains delivered by AI, emerging technologies, and augmented experiences could double compared to today’s operations.
According to the IDC, worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics (BDA) solutions was expected to total $166 billion in 2018, and forecast to reach $260 billion in 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 11.9% over the 2017-2022 forecast period. It adds that two of the fastest growing BDA technology categories will be Cognitive/AI Software Platforms (36.5% CAGR) and Non-relational Analytic Data Stores (30.3% CAGR)¹.
Informed decisions, now and in the future
As new layers of technology are introduced and more complex data sources are added to the ecosystem, the need for a tightly integrated technology stack becomes a challenge. It is advisable to choose your technology components very carefully and always have the end state in mind.
More development on emerging technologies such as blockchain, AI, IoT, virtual reality and others will probably be available on cloud first before coming on premise. For those organisations that are adopting public cloud, there are opportunities to consume the benefits of public cloud and drive down costs of doing business.
While the introduction of public cloud is posing a challenge on data sovereignty and other regulations, technology providers such as Oracle have developed a ‘Cloud at Customer’ model that provides the full benefits of public cloud – but located on premise, within an organisation’s own data centre.
The best organisations will innovate and optimise faster than the rest. Best decisions must be made around choice of technology, business processes, integration and architectures that are fit for business. In the information marketplace, speed and informed decision making will be key differentiators amongst competitors.
¹ IDC Press Release, Revenues for Big Data and Business Analytics Solutions Forecast to Reach $260 Billion in 2022, Led by the Banking and Manufacturing Industries, According to IDC, 15 August 2018