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TikTok takes over the world. While virtual. In terms of the number of downloads, this network, which appeared just a few years ago, is already ahead of Instagram. Washington really dislikes this. The United States has made various efforts to limit the impact of this network. This application was forbidden to be installed on service phones by employees of the State Department and the military. In a July 6 interview with Fox News U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. leadership is seriously considering completely banning the presence of this social network on American users. There are currently more than 30 million TikTok users in the United States. Pompeo announced that the reason for this is the possible transfer of user data to the Chinese authorities, as well as the propaganda activities of the social network. The Secretary of State emphasized that he would not like to speak on this issue in more detail before President Trump does it. On June 29th, in India, it was decided to block TikTok and another 57 applications developed in China. According to the Indian leadership, they harm the sovereignty, integrity, defense and security of the country. In the near future, this social network will become inaccessible to users in Hong Kong. Everyone understands that this is due to political contradictions in the relations of these countries. This reason can be called in the actions of the United States. I am sure that if everything was okay, then no one would remember TikTok. And now this is another tool to put pressure on Beijing. It remains to wait what will be the response from China. He will. There is no doubt about it. And I’m also wondering what will the US European allies do if Washington bans the TikTok social network? Especially those in whose territory the US military is stationed? Via story & pic

Microsoft is planning a July 23 showcase to highlight new titles for its upcoming console, the Xbox Series X. Last time, the Xbox One had less than half the number of exclusives of its PS4 counterpart, will this run be different?  Owner of 15 game studios – all of which are working on a new title – Microsoft’s showcase announcement will bring hope to fans disappointed by last-gen's lacklustre selection of unique games offered on the Xbox One, which had less than half the number of rival PS4’s 299 exclusives.  Although much is still unknown as to what to expect on the day, previous July showcases have often focused on the company’s first-party unique titles. Among the new medley of games expected to be revealed at the event will be the much-lauded Halo Infinite of the Halo series – a cornerstone in Microsoft’s offering since the launch of the original Xbox in 2001. Additionally, Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 from its Ninja Theory studio, and fantasy game Everwild from Rare, are expected. It’s also likely Microsoft will unveil a new game written by the co-writer of the much-acclaimed Red Dead Redemption series. Microsoft’s Xbox Series X Games showcase event is scheduled for 9am PST and will be broadcast across Twitch, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Via

Twitter’s engineering team will systematically purge a list of offensive terms from its source code and internal documents in the name of political correctness. Terms like “master” and “slave” will go, as will gendered pronouns. “We’re starting with a set of words we want to move away from using in favor of more inclusive language,” Twitter Engineering announced on Wednesday. Among the terms to be terminated are “whitelist” and “blacklist,”“master” and “slave,” which will be replaced with “allowlist” and “denylist,” and “leader” and “follower” respectively. Gendered pronouns such as “guys” will be swapped for gender-neutral terms like “folks” and “y’all,” while the terms “man hours” and “grandfathered” will have their patriarchal connotations expunged, and will be replaced with “person hours” and “legacy status.” Even “dummy value” was deemed offensive. The company is putting some serious muscle behind the effort, and will develop “warning tools” to comb through its source code for offending words. Internal documentation, FAQs, readmes and design manuals will all be sanitized, and Twitter will even develop a browser extension to root out any problematic stragglers. Though the change comes amid a nationwide breakdown on all things racial, the plan has apparently been in the works since January, and is the brainchild of a black programmer who was offended when he read the line “automatic slave rekick” in a page of code. Now, with the higher-ups on his side, the programmer described the new changes as “a small step,” stating that his goal is to “eventually adopt inclusive language across Twitter.” Some of Twitter’s users were aghast, marveling at the list’s Orwelian overtones. Yet the social-media giant is not the only tech firm to embrace a new, woke lexicon. The developers of the Python programming language removed the terms “master” and “slave” in 2018, while programmers at Apple, Google, and Microsoft have recently brought in similar changes. Twitter, however, has committed itself in earnest to the progressive cause since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. The company has promised donations and free advertising to Black Lives Matter, instructed brands on how to tweet about racism, and compiled an instruction guide for white users, telling them how to leverage their “voice and privilege to amplify Black and Brown communities.”
Via story & pic

Microsoft has announced that its Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) enterprise endpoint security platform is now capable of detecting and protecting customers from Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) malware with the help of a new UEFI scanner. This built-in protection against firmware attacks is already included Windows 10 Secured-core PCs since October 2019 and it protects the users of such devices against attackers who abuse security flaws affecting both firmware and drivers. "Windows Defender System Guard helps defend against firmware attacks by providing guarantees for secure boot through hardware-backed security features like hypervisor-level attestation and Secure Launch, also known as Dynamic Root of Trust (DRTM), which are enabled by default in Secured-core PCs," Microsoft said. One threat actor known for abusing firmware vulnerabilities is the Russian-backed APT28 threat group (also tracked as Tsar Team, Sednit, Fancy Bear, Strontium, and Sofacy) who used a UEFI rootkit known as LoJax as part of some of its 2018 operations. The new UEFI scanner, built with insights from partner chipset manufacturers, is a component of the Windows 10 built-in antivirus solution capable of performing security assessments after scanning inside the firmware filesystem. Microsoft Defender ATP's UEFI scanner works by reading "the firmware file system at runtime by interacting with the motherboard chipset" and it gets triggered automatically through periodic scans or on runtime events such as suspicious driver loads. To spot firmware malicious code, the UEFI scanner uses multiple components including a UEFI anti-rootkit which scans the firmware through the Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) flash, a full filesystem scanner for analyzing content inside the firmware, as well as a dedicated detection engine for identifying firmware exploits and malicious behavior... read more

Microsoft yesterday released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 20150 to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel (previously knowns as Fast ring). Microsoft has now released ISO for this build. You can download the Windows 10 Build 20150 ISO here from Microsoft. This Windows 10 Build 20150 is part of the RS_PRERELEASE branch and it comes with three new features for Windows Subsystem for Linux and several bug fixes. Find the full change log below.
What’s new in Windows 10 Build 20150:
Three new Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) features: GPU compute, WSL install, and WSL update
This build contains three new exciting WSL features. The first is GPU compute: a feature that allows your Linux binaries to leverage your GPU, which makes it possible to do more machine learning development and data science workflows directly in WSL. Secondly, we’ve added a new command: `wsl –install` which allows you to install WSL with just one command. Lastly, we’ve added `wsl –update` which gives you the ability to easily manage the Linux kernel version used by WSL 2 distros. To view a summary of these announcements please read this post on the Windows Command line blog, and for in-depth details on GPU compute in WSL please read this post on the Windows Developer blog. Other updates for Insiders: Updating the map data in the Maps app Earlier this month, the Bing Maps Team announced they’ve started gradually rolling out the new TomTom base map data to Bing Maps and Microsoft first party products. As part of this process, we’re slowly updating the Maps app for Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel (Fast ring) to use the new map data from TomTom. We’re asking Insiders to submit feedback on any issues they see as a result of this change directly from the Maps app by selecting Suggest a change at the lower right corner of the app. General changes & improvements.. read more here

The European Commission has opened formal antitrust investigations to assess whether Apple's rules for app developers on the distribution of apps via the App Store violate EU competition rules. The investigations concern in particular the mandatory use of Apple's own proprietary in-app purchase system and restrictions on the ability of developers to inform iPhone and iPad users of alternative cheaper purchasing possibilities outside of apps. The investigations concern the application of these rules to all apps, which compete with Apple's own apps and services in the European Economic Area (EEA). The investigations follow-up on separate complaints by Spotify and by an e-book/audiobook distributor on the impact of the App Store rules on competition in music streaming and e-books/audiobooks. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "Mobile applications have fundamentally changed the way we access the content. Apple sets the rules for the distribution of apps to users of iPhones and iPads. It appears that Apple obtained a “gatekeeper” role when it comes to the distribution of apps and content to users of Apple's popular devices. We need to ensure that Apple's rules do not distort competition in markets where Apple is competing with other app developers, for example with its music streaming service Apple Music or with Apple Books. I have therefore decided to take a close look at Apple's App Store rules and their compliance with EU competition rules.”  iPhone and iPad users can only download native (non-web-based) apps via the App Store.
The Commission will investigate in particular two restrictions imposed by Apple in its agreements with companies that wish to distribute apps to users of Apple devices: (i)   The mandatory use of Apple's own proprietary in-app purchase system “IAP” for the distribution of paid digital content. Apple charges app developers a 30% commission on all subscription fees through more by visiting our Forum.