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IFA: Windows 10 Creators Update lands in October

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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
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.

Gaming 

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.

Security

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.

Accessibility

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.

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Epic Games brings a Nite-mare to Android

Epic Games’ decision to not publish games through Google Play inadvertently opens a market to Android virus makers, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, decided to take the high road by skipping Google Play’s app distribution market and placing a third-party installer for its games on its website. While this is technically fine, it is not recommended for the average user, because allowing third-party installers on one’s smartphone opens up the possibility of non-signed and malicious software to be run on the smartphone. 

In June, malware researchers at ESET warned Android gamers that malicious fake versions of the Fortnite app had been created to steal personal information or damage smartphones. A malware researcher demonstrated how the fake applications works in the Tweet below.

An example on how one can get infected by downloading the Fortnite app from Google Play.

While the decision to bypass Google Play was a bold move on Epic Games’ part, it has been a long time coming for app developers to move their premium apps off Google’s Play Store. The two major app distributors, Google Play and Apple’s App Store, take a 30% cut of every purchase made through their app distribution platforms. 

The App Store is currently the only way to get apps on a non-modified iOS device, which is why Epic Games had no choice for Fortnite to be in the App Store. On the other hand, Android phones can install packages downloaded through the browser, which makes the Play Store almost unnecessary for the gaming company. 

The most interesting part of this development is that Google is not the “bad guy” and Epic Games is no saviour to other game developers. Epic Games is a company with a multi-billion dollar valuation and has resources like large-scale servers to distribute and update its games, a big marketing budget to ensure everyone knows how to get its games, and server security to protect against malware. 

Resources of this scale allow the game company to turn a cold shoulder to Google’s Play Store distribution and focus on its own, in-house solution. 

That said, installing packages without the Google Play Store must be done carefully, and it is essential to do homework on where a package is downloaded. Moreover, when a package is installed outside of the Google Play Store, a security switch to block the installation of third party apps must be turned off. This switch should be turned back on immediately after the third party package is installed. 

This complex amount of steps makes it less worthwhile to install third party apps, in favour of rather waiting for them to reach the Play Store.

From a consumer perspective, ESET recommends not installing packages outside of the Google Play Store and to ignore advertisements to download the game from other sources.

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How to take on IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is coming, whether you like it or not and organisations today will look to platforms and services that help them manage and analyse the streams of data coming from connected devices, says RONALD RAVEL, Director B2B South Africa, Toshiba South Africa.

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Today, we are witnessing an explosion in IoT deployments and solutions and are moving towards a world where almost everything you can imagine will be connected. While this opens the door to many possibilities it also comes with its own challenges such as privacy and security.

The Internet has become an integral part of everyday life; it has been a free for all on a daily basis. IoT is a difficult concept for many people to wrap their minds around. Essentially, nearly every business will be affected.

Managing vast quantities of data across increasingly mobile workforces can be tremendously beneficial if done well, but equally can be cumbersome and ineffective if not managed properly. This is why technologies such as mobile edge computing are becoming increasingly popular, helping to increase the prevalence of secure mobile working and data management in the age of IoT.

Unlocking IoT

The evolution of IoT, despite rapid and ongoing technological innovation, is still very much in its fledgling stages. Its potential, though, is demonstrated by the fact that by 2020, Bain anticipates a significant shift in uptake, with roughly 80 per cent of adoptions at that point to have progressed to the stage of either ‘proof of concept’ or extensive implementation. This means that technological innovation in IoT for the enterprise is progressing at a similarly fast rate with many of these solutions being developed with utilities, engineering, manufacturing and logistics companies in mind.

Processing at the edge

For IoT to be adopted at the rate predicted, technology which does not overwhelm current or even legacy systems must be implemented. Mobile edge computing solves this. Such solutions offer processing power at the edge of the network, helping firms with a high proportion of mobile workers to reduce operational strain and latency by processing the most critical data at the edge and close to its originating source. Relevant data can then be sent to the cloud for observation and analysis, thereby reducing the waves of ‘data garbage’ which has to be processed by cloud services.

A logistics manager can feasibly monitor and analyse the efficiency of warehouse operations, for example, with important data calculations carried out in real-time, on location, and key data findings then sent to the cloud for centrally-located data scientists to analyse.

The work of wearables

The potential of IoT means it not only has the scope to change the way people work, but also where they work. While widespread mobile working is a relatively new trend in industries such as banking and professional services, for CIOs in sectors where working on the move is inherent – such as logistics and field maintenance – mobility is high on the agenda.

Wearables – and specifically smart glasses – have started to gain traction within the business world. With mobile edge computing solutions acting as the gateway, smart glasses such as Toshiba’s assisted reality AR 100 viewer solution have been designed to benefit frontline and field-based workers in industries such as utilities, manufacturing and logistics. In the renewable energy sector, for example, a wind turbine engineer conducting repairs may use assisted reality smart glasses to call up the schematics of the turbine to enable a hands-free view of service procedures. This means that when a fault becomes a barrier to repair, the engineer is able to use collaboration software to call for assistance from a remote expert and have additional information sent through, thereby saving time and money by eradicating the need for extra personnel to be sent to the site.

The time is ripe for organisations to look to exploit the age of IoT to improve the productivity and safety of their workers, as well as the end service delivered to customers. In fact, Toshiba’s recent ‘Maximising Mobility’ report found that 49 per cent of organisations believe their sector can benefit from the hands-free functionality of smart glasses, while 47 per cent expect them to deliver improved mobile working and 41 per cent foresee better collaboration and information sharing. Embracing IoT technologies such as mobile edge computing and wearable solutions will be an essential step for many organisations within these verticals as they look to stay on top of 21st century working challenges.

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