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As Huawei takes the initiative to create its own homegrown alternative to the Play Store, Google has reportedly pleaded with the White House to offer it an exemption to again work with the Chinese tech giant. Huawei's inclusion on the Trump administration's Entity List has had dramatic consequences for the company's handset business, preventing it from using Google Mobile Services (GMS) on its latest phones and tablets. According to German wire service Deutsche Press Agentur, Android and Google Play veep Sameer Samat has confirmed that Google has applied for a license to resume working with Huawei. It's not clear when a decision will be made, or indeed if Google will get its wish. Other firms, most notably Microsoft, have been given a pass. This has allowed Huawei to ship its latest crop of laptops, including the freshly updated Matebook X Pro, with Windows 10. Huawei has said that if Google got an exemption, it would promptly update its newest phones to use Google Mobile Services. Earlier this month, Huawei released its latest flagship, the Mate 30 Pro, in the UK. Due to the embargo, this comes with the open-source version of Android, with punters encouraged to download apps from the Huawei AppGallery, or a separate third-party app store like Amazon's. That said, Huawei's strategy has focused on hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. These preparations have seen the firm invest over $1bn on its app ecosystem, with more than 3,000 engineers working on the AppGallery, according to a statement from the company released earlier this week. It has also made deals with Western app developers and content providers, most notably Sunday Times publisher News UK, to make its services appear less barren. Huawei has also introduced the ability to download progressive web apps, dubbed "Quick Apps" by the firm, through the AppGallery, which should bump up the app availability numbers – even if they lack the sophistication of a dedicated native app. It's likely this that has motivated Google to take the initiative. Although losing Huawei as a customer is a significant financial body blow to Mountain View, given its enduring popularity in Europe and Asia, it would pale compared to the damage caused by a new product that starts to loosen its stranglehold on the Android sphere. For more turn to OUR FORUM.

It has been a tough few weeks for online payments giant PayPal. First came the confirmation that an authentication hack would enable an attacker to access an account once credentials had been phished, bypassing the financial firm’s authentication tools. And now another security report claims the entire authentication process can be bypassed, enabling an attacker to gain access to an account with nothing but stolen credentials, available for purchase on the dark web “for as little as $1.50.” The report comes from the research team at CyberNews and includes a complaint that the findings were not taken seriously by PayPal or by the team at HackerOne who field such reports. “When our analysts discovered six vulnerabilities in PayPal,” CyberNews said, “ranging from dangerous exploits that can allow anyone to bypass their two-factor authentication, to being able to send malicious code through their SmartChat system—we were met with non-stop delays, unresponsive staff, and lack of appreciation.” For its part, PayPal told me it always takes such submissions seriously, “and reviews each with an appropriate sense of priority.” I was assured the team had investigated this in detail, but, after review, “found that the submissions did not pose a threat and that the assertions being advanced by CyberNews are inaccurate and misleading.” “We would like PayPal to take this vulnerability more seriously,” CyberNews told me. “At the moment, [PayPal is] writing it off as something ‘out-of-scope’ just because it involves stolen credentials.” The research team went to great lengths to show me the exploit working. While there is no way of knowing the state of the back-end algorithm checking the process, it did appear at face value to bypass the check. To understand the debate between PayPal and CyberNews, it’s critical to understand some of the ways in which PayPal safeguards your account. First, PayPal is in the somewhat unique position of knowing everything about both sides of every transaction, including the behavioral track record, login environment, recent activity, and risk potential that a transaction may be fraudulent. The detail is closely held, but there are numerous data points captured by the company’s systems. That becomes apparent when you log in from a new device or location as identified by the IP address of your connection. PayPal will then seek to ensure it’s you—they have a successful username and password login, but they will run a system check to look for further assurance that it’s you. Once in, the company will then run further checks on each transaction that you attempt, again to determine whether to approve or challenge. Read the full report on OUR FORUM.

Google has finally broken its silence. Almost a year after U.S. President Trump blacklisted Huawei, forcing Google’s software and services from the Chinese giant’s new devices, Google has surprisingly ventured into the public domain with a clarification as to what it now means. “We have continued to receive a number of questions about new Huawei devices,” Tristan Ostrowski, Android’s Legal Director, said in a February 21 post. “We wanted to provide clear guidance to those asking these important questions.” The Google ban has been the headline issue in the Huawei blacklist affair. While the U.S. legal move was actually intended to scupper Huawei’s 5G equipment sales around the world, the impact has been felt more keenly on its consumer products. It turns out it’s easier to replace the supply chain of chips and widgets on a 5G base station than the software millions of customer demand on shiny new smartphones. The 5G battle between the U.S. and Huawei, with China weighing in, has become more a political fight and a battle of influence than anything technical. The latest tug of war between Washington and Shenzhen over the U.K., with Germany and France awaiting their turns, perfectly illustrates this. But consumers have proven inured to political meddling—Huawei has retained its number two spot for global smartphone shipments. That said, behind the headlines Huawei knows it is in for a rougher ride this year. The last new device to ship complete with Google onboard is almost a year old. Its Mate 30 fell flat outside China given the lack of full-fat Android. And the forthcoming P40 has a risk of doing the same. Another “gorgeous” device dashed by politics. When the Mate 30 launched in September, there was initial confusion as to whether there would be an almost official workaround—Huawei’s head of consumer products, Richard Yu, certainly hinted as much. When that was scuppered, there followed a raft of options online, complete with instructional videos, as to how Google’s primary apps could be sideloaded onto a sanctioned device. But that carries serious risk, Google is now warning. “Sideloaded Google apps will not work reliably,” it says. “Sideloading Google’s apps carries a high risk of installing an app that has been altered or tampered with in ways that can compromise user security.” As headlines pile up overexposed compromises on app security, taking such blatant additional risks is a huge gamble for users. Google wants nothing more than a return to business as usual. One can assume that losing access to the world’s number two smartphone maker, putting Samsung in an even more dominant position when it comes to full-fat Android, is not ideal. And in the post, the company confirms “we have continued to work with Huawei, in compliance with government regulations—and we will continue to do so as long as it is permitted.” Follow this thread and included links on OUR FORUM.

Facebook has called out the Singapore government for its use of the country's Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) to block access to a page on the social networking platform. The move goes against an earlier pledge that the legislation will not be used to censor voices, says the US internet giant. Singapore's Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) on Monday instructed Facebook to block access to the States Times Review (STR) page after the latter repeatedly refused to comply with previous directives issued under POFMA. The "disabling" order, outlined under Section 34 of the Act, requires Facebook to disable access for local users. The order came two days after the ministry served a directive for the STR page on Facebook to be tagged a "Declared Online Location" (DOL). This required the author of the page, Alex Tan, to publish a notice on the page stating it had "a history of communicating falsehoods". The order, which was to take effect from February 16, was not complied with, prompting the directive for Facebook to block access to the page. The page is no longer accessible in Singapore. The STR had said on its Facebook page that it was "turning to YouTube for publication", due to a "censorship ban" in the country on its website. In response to ZDNet's queries, a company spokesperson on Tuesday confirmed Facebook was "legally compelled" to restrict access to the page, but expressed concerns about the use of POFMA to quash freedom of speech. The spokesperson said: "We believe orders like this are disproportionate and contradict the government's claim that POFMA would not be used as a censorship tool. We've repeatedly highlighted this law's potential for overreach and we're deeply concerned about the precedent this sets for the stifling of freedom of expression in Singapore." In defending the decision to issue the disabling order against the STR page, Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran said the government needed to "act swiftly" against falsehoods amidst the coronavirus outbreak. "Because if we don't, then these falsehoods can cause anxiety, fear, and even panic," the minister said Tuesday during a media doorstop. When the STR did not comply with any POFMA directives, the government then issued a further direction--the disabling access order--to prevent Singaporeans from access the site, Iswaran said. The POFMA was passed last May, following a brief public debate, and kicked in on October 2 with details on how appeals against directives could be made. The bill had passed amidst strong criticism that it gave the government far-reaching powers over online communication and would be used to stifle free speech as well as quell political opponents. To learn more visit OUR FORUM.

This is a visualization about Most Popular Operating systems (Windows) 2003 - 2020 | Most Popular OS (windows) 2003 - 2020. We have gathered data about the market share of Microsoft Windows and we have tried our best to visualize the most popular operating systems I.e the most popular OS in windows family. The market share of operating systems indirectly shows the popularity of operating systems, so we have sorted out the most popular windows operating systems by a percentage of market share that the particular operating system has. The market share of OS is equivalent to the usage of OS which means the operating system which has the highest percentage of market share is the most used OS worldwide and it is also be considered as the best operating system. Obviously the operating system (OS) which has the highest market share may be considered as the best operating system and most used OS too. Microsoft Windows, commonly referred to as Windows, is a group of several proprietary graphical operating system families, all of which are developed and marketed by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry. Active Microsoft Windows families include Windows NT and Windows IoT; these may encompass subfamilies, e.g. Windows Server or Windows Embedded Compact (Windows CE). Defunct Microsoft Windows families include Windows 9x, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone. Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985, as a graphical operating system shell for MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs). Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal computer (PC) market with over 90% market share, overtaking Mac OS, which had been introduced in 1984. Apple came to see Windows as an unfair encroachment on their innovation in GUI development as implemented on products such as the Lisa and Macintosh (eventually settled in court in Microsoft's favor in 1993). On PCs, Windows is still the most popular operating system. However, in 2014, Microsoft admitted losing the majority of the overall operating system market to Android, because of the massive growth in sales of Android smartphones. In 2014, the number of Windows devices sold was less than 25% that of Android devices sold. This comparison, however, may not be fully relevant, as the two operating systems traditionally target different platforms. Still, numbers for server use of Windows (that are comparable to competitors) show one third market share, similar to that for end-user use. Learn more by visiting OUR FORUM.

Microsoft is officially killing Windows version 1809, better known as the October 2018 Update. The failed release will stop being supported starting May 12, 2020. Of Microsoft's litany of the recent update fails, the October 2018 Update stands out for its long delays and deadly bugs. Microsoft was so far behind with the update that it skipped the Release Preview phase altogether before launching in October 2018. It didn't take long for Microsoft's mistake to catch up to them. Shortly after its release, the update was determined to be permanently deleting users' files. Early adopters found that data had been removed from their Photos and Documents folders upon startup. The bug was so bad that Microsoft stopped rolling out the October update to investigate. A fix was found, but the issues were only getting started. The file deletion bug was the first in a series of headaches that ranged from driver compatibility to Intel processor problems. Microsoft has been patching Version 1809 since it released, with the latest fix arriving just last month. Now Microsoft is getting rid of the baggage it carried around last year by ending security updates for all editions of Windows 1809, including Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro for Education, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations and Windows 10 IoT Core. That shouldn't be a concern for most Windows 10 users considering Microsoft announced that it would start forcing people to upgrade past Windows 10 1809 to the latest Windows 10 November 2019 update. Still, some Windows 10 users are still clinging on to the troublesome update, perhaps out of fear of how bad the sequel could be. If you're one of those people, here are the steps you should take to keep your device safe. It's generally a good idea to keep your system up-to-date. Why? To ensure you're getting the latest security updates that fix any vulnerabilities in the operating system. That said, updates like 1809 show why you should probably wait for any bugs to be ironed out before installing a new update. With the Windows 10 October 2018 losing support, it's more important than ever that you update your system to the latest Nov 2019 version. Microsoft is going to force an update before May, but you should do it manually as soon as possible. Find out what you can do by visiting OUR FORUM.