Windows 10 Anniversary Update will have Xbox One compatibility & Linux Support and some..

Microsoft has moved away from update branding like Service Packs and has decided it has to call them something — in this case, the Anniversary Update. The annual Build developer conference is this week, and Microsoft has a number of significant updates planned for Windows 10’s first anniversary.

Windows 10 now has 270 million users, which makes it the fastest-adopted operating system Microsoft has ever shipped. Adoption is outpacing even Windows 7 by 145%, though Microsoft isn’t on-pace to achieve its one billion target goal within two years at the moment. The only way to acheive that would be if corporations start shifting to Windows 10 in large numbers, or if consumers finally begin purchasing replacement PCs. How much they can depend on either trend is unclear.

One of the major changes coming to the Windows 10 platform doesn’t involve the PC at all, but the Xbox One. Microsoft already allows for game streaming between an Xbox One and a Windows 10 PC, but that compatibility is expanding significantly with the Anniversary Update. Post-update, the Xbox One will be able to run any Windows 10 Universal Application.

The Anniversary Update will allow gamers to actually disable V-Sync and will improve support for multi-GPU configurations. Other issues, like the complete lack of modding support or any kind of editable INI configuration, are not addressed in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update — at least, not yet. The company will have to work to rehabilitate its image after recent launches mostly flopped.

Cortana will also be coming to the Xbox One. Microsoft seems to think this will be a major appeal for the platform; the Windows Store is getting a new section devoted to applications that integrate Cortana.

For a company whose former CEO once famously declared that “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches,” Microsoft’s about-face on Linux has been nothing short of astonishing. Project Astoria, the plan to run Android applications on Windows Mobile devices, may be dead, but Microsoft isn’t abandoning its plans to drive closer relationships between Linux developers and Windows users. Windows 10’s Anniversary Update “will include the ability to run the popular bash shell from Unix, along with the rest of a typical Unix command-line environment,” Ars Technica reports.

Microsoft is teaming up with Canonical to provide a system image with Windows-compatible versions of the command-line tools used for Ubuntu development. I’m not sure I understand what the proposed value proposition is here — it made sense for Microsoft to consider developing a compatibility layer that would allow Android code to run on Windows 10 Mobile, due to the vast difference between their respective user bases. I’m not sure why it makes sense to integrate a Linux bash shell into Windows 10, or which developers Microsoft intends to court with this maneuver. Programmers, feel free to weigh in.

Other significant updates include the use of biometric authentication for websites (at least when using Microsoft Edge) and increased stylus support for Windows 10 devices that use one.

Micro:bit finally being delivered to schools by the BBC

Months later than originally planned, the BBC has finally started deliveries of its micro:bit pocket sized computers to schools around the country.
The Micro:bit is a small codeable computer that is aimed to encourage pupils to learn basic programming skills. It is a modern take on the BBC Micro, which was used by millions of school children in the 1980s. The broadcaster originally intended to give micro:bit to all Year 7 school children — aged 11 or 12 — when they started school in September, but the rollout of the device was pushed back due to design and manufacturing issues. The BBC says that all one million pupils will receive their devices in the coming weeks. In the package that students and their teachers will receive will be a micro:bit, USB, cable and a battery holder.

As well as 25 on-board LEDS the device has two programmable buttons, which the BBC says can be used to “control games or pause and skip songs on a playlist”. A ‘compass’ built onto the card is able to detect the direction it is moving in and can be coupled with data from the micro:bit’s accelerometer. There are three input/output pins on the bottom of the device and it also comes with Bluetooth Low Energy, to allow communication with external machines. The BBC says that those with a smartphone will be able to send code directly from the phone to the micro:bit. After the rollout of the device the BBC says the hardware and “much of” the software will be open-sourced and available to buy from retailers. The micro:bit’s retail price is unknown currently, but it may be in line with the Raspberry Pi Zero. The £4 hardware from Raspberry Pi was launched in January and sold all 100,000 initial units within days of its launch. Microbit.co.uk has tutorials for teachers and students touching on basic JavaScript, Microsoft Block Editor, Microsoft Touch Develop, and Python. These allow children to learn more about the programming languages, create projects or watch a number of videos showing how the system works. “The BBC micro:bit has the potential to be a seminal piece of British innovation, helping this generation to be the coders, programmers and digital pioneers of the future” BBC director-general Tony Hall said, as the devices were launched.

You can read more about it on the BBC website at https://www.microbit.co.uk/

microbit

Facebook to alert you of impersonation accounts

Apparently Facebook is testing a ‘troll detection’ engine that will scan its billions of users for accounts which appear to be impersonating others, and flag up imitations. According to Mashable it has been in development since November but is now live for 75 percent of the world.

Antigone Davis, the social network’s head of global safety, said impersonation alerts were intended to minimise the harassment of women on the platform. “It’s a real point of concern for some women in certain regions of the world where it [impersonation] may have certain cultural or social ramifications,” Davis said.

When the new feature detects a user with the same name and profile picture as another, the new tool will send an alert to the suspected target. Mashable reports that the alert will ask the person to confirm the impersonation by using personal information. The process is automated but profiles that are flagged as fake will be reviewed by Facebook staffers.

Impersonation of another user is outlawed because it falls under the company’s controversial ‘real names’ policy. Since its launch the company has insisted that users provide their real names, rather than a pseudonym or other names a person may use to ensure they are not easily found on the site. “We require people to provide the name they use in real life; that way, you always know who you’re connecting with,” Facebook’s policy page on the issue says.

However, after a coalition of human rights and privacy groups complained that the name policy “exposes its users to danger, disrespects the identities of its users, and curtails free speech,” Facebook introduced new tools to make verification easier. In December Mark Zuckerbrerg’s company started testing a tool, in the US, that allows those required to prove their identity to say if they have a “special circumstance”.

The UK is also moving to make it easier for authorities to prosecute trolls who use fake profiles online. The move from the Crown Prosecution Service aims to clampdown on those that post “damaging or embarrassing” material.

As well as the impersonation feature Facebook is also reportedly testing new ways for people to report nonconsensual intimate images — commonly referred to as revenge porn — that are posted to the site.

Facebook is apparently testing a new way of reporting nudity; when someone reports an inappropriate photo they will have the ability to identify themselves as the person in the photo. Facebook will then review the images as standard, but Mashable reports that when this happens it will provide links to support groups and potential legal options.

Recently WIRED reported on the cases of several users who had sensitive photos posted to Facebook. The issue, which is a growing one across all social media platforms, was described by legal experts as having “no silver bullet”.

Mary Anne Franks, Law professor, University of Miami School of Law, said that as a society we need to change laws, technology and culture.

This article was published on www.wired.comhttp://bit.ly/1MlPnCR )

Education.. get ready for iOS 9.3

The best classroom experience is about to get better.

Technology can reshape education. And iPad, with its powerful features and apps, opens up new, more engaging ways of learning. With the iOS 9.3 beta, you’ll find a preview of new features that will make it even easier for schools to put devices where they’ll have the greatest impact — in the hands of students.

Shared iPad for students

Students can log in to any iPad in any classroom and make it their own.

The devices may be shared, but the experience is personal.

When a 1:1 student-to-iPad ratio isn’t possible, Shared iPad offers an elegant solution that lets students enjoy the benefits of having their own iPad in whatever classroom they’re in. They simply log in to any iPad, and their content is ready to go.

Fast, easy access to materials.

As soon as students log in to an iPad, they have access to all their apps, books and documents. So when class is ready to start, they are, too.

Students pick up where they left off.

For students who use the same assigned iPad in a class each day, starting a lesson is hassle-free. Thanks to intelligent caching, when students log in they don’t have to wait for everything to download — it’s already there.

Photo ID lets students find their iPad fast.

Intelligent caching lets teachers use the Photo ID feature to assign shared devices quickly and easily. Each student’s picture appears on the iPad they’ve been using. So all they have to do to find their device is spot their photo.

Younger students have a simpler login.

Even students in lower years will find it easy to use Shared iPad. To log in, they just enter a simpler four-digit PIN on the Lock screen.

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New Classroom app

Teachers can guide students through a lesson, see their progress, and keep them on track.

Meet your new teaching assistant.

Every teacher can use a little help. With Classroom, you can launch everyone’s apps at the same time, then guide what students are looking at on their devices. So teachers can focus on teaching, and students can focus on learning.

See what your students see with Screen View.

Want to find out how a student is doing on a worksheet or equation? You can glance at any screen in your classroom with just a tap.

Launch and lock apps with Remote Control.

Launch a specific app, website or page in a textbook on every iPad in class. And whenever you need to, you can lock an app to keep students focused.

Share student work on the big screen.

Teachers can easily project any student’s work on a classroom television equipped with Apple TV. With AirPlay, no Internet connection is necessary.

Reset forgotten passwords right there in the classroom.

No more calling IT when a student can’t remember a password. With the Classroom app, you can help students reset their passwords directly from your iPad.

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Apple School Manager

Now admins have one portal where they can do everything from create Apple IDs to purchase apps to prepare devices for MDM.

One login. One location. Everything you need to use iPad in schools.

Introducing one central place for admins to create Apple IDs, build courses, and access everything you need to deploy iPad in your school. All from the web browser on your Mac or PC.

Get up and running fast.

A built-in setup assistant provides step-by-step instructions to create Managed Apple IDs, enrol IT administrators, purchase content, manage device enrolment and more.

Create accounts for students, teachers and admins.

Apple School Manager lets you securely access all of your institution’s key enrolment information. By connecting to your Student Information System, you can set up IT managers, create accounts, and locate students, staff and classes.

Manage MDM enrolment for all your devices.

Quickly find devices your institution has purchased through Apple or a reseller. You can also oversee MDM server information, configure enrolment settings and streamline device setup.

Buy and distribute apps and books.

It’s easy to make volume purchases of books and apps. Your education discount is automatically applied to the apps you buy. And you can distribute materials to students or staff with a few keystrokes.

Build and deliver courses.

Now it’s even simpler for teachers to create and deliver lessons with iTunes U. Schools can train their staff with the iTunes U Course Manager, then use Managed Apple IDs to connect teachers and students.

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Managed Apple IDs

A new kind of ID for education, Managed Apple IDs are created and assigned by the school.

Easily create and manage student and teacher IDs.

Apple School Manager offers something completely new: Managed Apple IDs. Like any Apple ID, they allow you to store documents in iCloud, enrol in iTunes U courses and more. But Managed Apple IDs are designed just for schools, so you can easily reset passwords, audit accounts, create IDs in bulk, and create customised roles for everyone in the school.

for more information, go here : http://www.macrumors.com/2016/01/11/ios-9-3-new-education-features/

Beware Crypto Ransomware

Last week one of our staff opened a zip attachment that squirmed it’s way through the mail filters. Boom – queue a host of fileservers with files infected by cryptoware – it encrypts your files and renames them to the extension .locky – you can pay to have them unlocked! Nice – luckily I found the offending machines, re-imaged them and deleted all files and restored from backup. Problem solved – well apart from blocking zip attachments (probably something I should have done ages ago!)

Here’s so more info, found on Neowin.net

We already know that ransomware has become a growing threat to users around the world. Last week, Mac users saw their first such attack on Apple’s operating system. By encrypting a user’s local files and holding them ransom for payment in the hundreds of dollars, the perpetrators have become increasingly sophisticated in their methods to extract money. The software is so difficult to deal with that the FBI advises people and businesses to just pay up to unlock their files.

Now, according to Trend Micro, the past 24 hours have seen a rash of new crypto-ransomware spreading through popular websites. The attack, dubbed Angler Exploit Kit, is taking advantage of vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight, among others, to feed the malware through compromised ad networks.

Malwarebytes is reporting that the “malvertising” is hitting the BBC, MSN, nfl.com, The New York Times, my.xfinity.com and many others in the form of clickable banners. The anti-malware company provided lots of detail around the exploit, reporting a number of suspicious domains through which the ads are apparently served. Google’s ad network carried trackmytraffic[.]biz, while the AOL, Rubicon and AppNexus ad networks carried talk915[.]pw as well. Other suspicious domains include brentsmedia[.]com, evangmedia[.]com and shangjiamedia[.]com.

According to a blog post by SpiderLabs at Trustwave, as reported by Ars Technica, the team inspected a JSON-based file and wrote the following:

If the code doesn’t find any of these programs, it continues with the flow and appends an iframe to the body of the html that leads to Angler EK [exploit kit] landing page. Upon successful exploitation, Angler infects the poor victim with both the Bedep trojan and the TeslaCrypt ransomware–double the trouble. Google’s ad network was compromised in this attack, according to MalwareBytes. Last year, Google reported to have made progress in filtering ad injectors and malicious sources across the ad networks it manages. However, it would appear that the ad network still has work to do.

Credit John Devon – neowin.net

Xbox Live to support cross-platform multiplayer with PS4

Microsoft is announcing a big new feature for Xbox owners today: cross-network play. It’s something they have hinted at for years, and now it seems the reality of PS4, Xbox One, and PC players playing the same game together might finally happen. At this point, there’s very little difference between the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. But there was one key difference. Xbox gamers could only play with Xbox and PC players as Microsoft was restricting access to the multiplayer component. Microsoft just announced that game developers can now create cross-platform multiplayer modes that work with other consoles and operating systems. So it means that the next Call of Duty or FIFA could feature a multiplayer mode that works with both Xbox and Playstation gamers. It just depends on developers now. Developers building games for Xbox One and Windows 10 will be able to support the feature, but it will require Sony and others to “participate” in order for games to be played across Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

 

The first game that is going to support cross-platform multiplayer is Rocket League. Microsoft mentions cross-platform multiplayer between the Xbox One and Windows, but you can also expect support for PlayStation gamers as well given that the current version of Rocket League supports cross-platform multiplayer between PlayStation 4 and PC players. It’s unclear how developers are supposed to deal with duplicated PlayStation Network and Xbox Live screen names.

If developers and console makers get behind Microsoft’s support of cross-network play then it will change the shape of games in the future. Currently, console gamers are restricted to playing titles on the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live, and many pick an Xbox One or PS4 based on what their friends purchased. Opening up online multiplayer gaming across different platforms will remove a big restriction in console gaming, but it will also create a conversation around which titles should allow PC gamers to play against consoles. A mouse and keyboard can still have many advantages over a gamepad for first-person shooters, so it’s a new challenge that game developers will have to balance for cross-network play. For PC games that were using Microsoft’s online framework, these games will also work with other operating systems, such as OS X. And finally, Xbox players will be able to restrict multiplayer modes to other Xbox players only, but it’s unclear why you’d do that .

Easiest way to speed up your PC – Upgrade to an SSD Hard Drive

Why ? Here are the main reasons that SSD drives are a great way to speed up you PC for a relatively cheap cost.

1 SSD’s are ridiculously faster than HDDs

Several brands of SSDs claim to run almost 8 times faster than your standard HDD. This speed is much more significantly noticeable in usage as compared to your regular RAM upgrade. Especially noticable when you open applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel

2 Boots and logs in much quicker

Faster storage means faster boot-up times. Even heavy graphic/sound processing software’s load in a blink of an eye. Faster loading, faster saving and faster processing means performance you can measure.

3 Far more reliable

Anyone that has had its hard disk crashing knows the heartache of data loss or trying to recover it. Hard Disks are extremely unreliable – they can completely crash after a jolt, or for no apparent reason. This can result the loss of important data when you least expect it. SSD have significantly more life and longer read-write cycles. They have no moving parts where as a standard hard drive has spinning disks with read/write heads micromillimeters above the disk

4 Damage protection

SSDs can sustain significantly more vibrations and shock absorption before crashing because they have no moving parts. This means if you drop your company laptop you will not risk data loss, which is the most significant part of any computer. Accidental drops, magnetic exposures or electricity short-circuit, rust, header damage is all encient issues you’d never have to deal with using an SSD.

5 Lighter
SSDs are significantly lighter – meaning they can significantly reduce weight of your laptop despite being high in storage capacity.

6 Say goodbye to defragmentation
SSDs are not impacted by defragmentation. You’d never have to defragment. All data is easily accessible by your OS and even searches are super fast .

7 Heat, electricity and noise
Since SSDs have no moving parts, no magnets, no rotation is needed and thus uses significantly lesser power, generate much less heat and noise. In a laptop this transforms into a much cooler laptop, which doesn’t produce as much noise and increases your battery life.

Average SSD Prices :

120GB Around £35
240GB Around £55
480GB Around £90

Mac SSD’s are significantly more expensive. POA.

PR PC Support would be happy to quote you for a SSD Upgrade – please use the contact page to request a quote – specify which computer you have (make & model) and which size SSD you want.

Outlook 2016 – POP3 Issues on latest update

The latest windows update for Outlook 2016 causes issues if you are using it for POP3 accounts. Build 16.0.6568.2025 is causing problems for people who have Outlook set to leave mail on the server for a period of time. Instead of deleting the aged mail from the server, it deletes all of the mail. However, if  users uncheck the option to delete mail after a period of days, while leaving the “leave on server’ setting checked, this will leave all email on the server. To do this, go to File, Account Settings, double click on the POP account then click More Settings. The leave on server setting is on the Advanced tab.

The second issue with this update is that POP3 mail left on the server keeps downloading, over and over, casuing multiple copies of the same email to appear in your Inbox.

The Fix : (temporary!)

First, go to File, Office Account, Update Options and Disable updates then create an appointment on your calendar to re-enable updates next month.

To revert to the February 9 2016 build 16.0.6366.2068, open a command prompt as Administrator and type or paste this command line in the Command Prompt window:

“C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRunofficec2rclient.exe” /update user updatetoversion=16.0.6366.2068″

(Don’t forget the inverted commas )