Spectre and Meltdown variant 4: Microsoft, Google and Intel reveal new Speculative Store Bypass chip vulnerability

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Just when you thought you could forget about the Spectre and Meltdown chip vulnerabilities, yet another variant has been discovered. Known as Speculative Store Bypass, the vulnerability affects chips from AMD and Intel, as well as Power 8, Power 9 and System z processors. The vulnerability has been assigned CVE-2018-3639, and successful exploitation would mean that an attacker could gain access to data. The attack can be carried out through a “language-based runtime environment” such as JavaScript. Some patches exist while others are in development, and they include the same performance hit associated with patches for the previous vulnerabilities. See… …Continue reading on BetaNews

Microsoft unveils SharePoint spaces to help anyone create mixed reality experiences

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At its SharePoint Virtual Summit, Microsoft today unveiled SharePoint spaces, a way to bring SharePoint into virtual reality and mixed reality environments. Microsoft says that SharePoint spaces adds a third dimension to company intranets, and allows people to engage and interact with documents, data, and video in new and more immersive ways. The company envisions the technology being used by businesses to create interactive welcome environments for new employees, interactive product databases, training experiences, and much more. See also: Microsoft acquires AI startup Semantic Machines to help boost Cortana Microsoft is said to be working on a cheap Surface …Continue reading on BetaNews

Watch Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to the EU in a livestream

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Having previously refused to answer questions in the UK, last week Mark Zuckerberg agreed to appear in front of the EU parliament to speak about Facebook’s use of data. The Facebook chief is due to appear in front of MEPs tomorrow, Tuesday, and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani has announced that the appearance will be livestreamed. So, if you fancy tuning in to see what Zuckerberg has to say and how he is able to “clarify issues related to the use of personal data”, you will be able to do just that. See also: Mark Zuckerberg agrees to appear in… …Continue reading on BetaNews

Apple removes apps using the CallKit framework because of Chinese regulations

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Apple has bowed to pressure from China and started to remove apps from the App Store that use the CallKit framework. There are strict cybersecurity laws in place in China which has already see VPN tools banned and led to a brief suspension of the popular WeChat app. While no specific reason has been given for the crack down on the CallKit framework, it is suspected to be related to VoIP functionality. See also: Apple clamps down on apps that share location data with third parties Apple tells developers that apps must support iPhone X notch from July Apple’s purchase… …Continue reading on BetaNews

Microsoft acquires AI startup Semantic Machines to help boost Cortana

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Microsoft has announced plans to acquire Semantic Machines, a startup based in Berkley, California, that specializes in conversational artificial intelligence. The acquisition makes a great deal of sense because of Microsoft’s desire to push Cortana forward, and the general increased interest in voice-powered digital assistants and chatbots — and products such as Google Duplex. The Semantic Machines team includes members who have worked on Siri and with speech-recognition firm Nuance. See also: Microsoft is said to be working on a cheap Surface tablet to compete with the iPad Microsoft blocks the rollout of Windows 10 April 2018 Update to computers… …Continue reading on BetaNews

Google quietly relegates ‘Don’t be evil’ from its Code of Conduct

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For a long time, the words “don’t be evil” were associated with Google. While not an official motto as such, the words were heavily ingrained in the company. Google’s method of operating has caused many people over the years to question the phrase, and when the company was re-organized under Alphabet the motto became “do the right thing”. Nonetheless, in the Google Code of Conduct which is given to employees, “don’t be evil” remained — until just a few weeks ago when it was quietly relegated. See also: Google will require OEMs to provide regular Android security updates Google explains… …Continue reading on BetaNews

FCC investigates LocationSmart website for leaking location data for users of major US mobile carriers

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LocationSmart, a company based in Southern California, is under investigation by the FCC after it was discovered that its website made it possible for just about anyone to access location data for the majority of US cell phones. Security expert Brian Krebs reported that a bug on the LocationSmart website made it possible for anyone to check on the location of any AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon phone in the US. Even more worryingly, the data is said to be accurate to a few hundred yards. See also: Google will require OEMs to provide regular Android security updates Chrome will… …Continue reading on BetaNews

Fortnite for Android is coming very soon

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The phenomenon that is Fortnite will be making its way to Android, Epic Games has revealed. An Android version of the game is something that mobile gamers have been begging for for some time now, and it seems it will not be long until these pleas are answered. While an exact release date has not been revealed, Fortnite for Android will be happening in the next few months. See also: Meltdown patches are slowing down games such as Fortnite Fortnite has proved massively popular over the last year on Mac, PC and game consoles. There’s an iOS version that has… …Continue reading on BetaNews

PayPal buys Swedish fintech company iZettle

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PayPal has announced that it is to buy the mobile payment company iZettle. The announcement came as something of a surprise, as less than two weeks ago iZettle had said that it planned to go public. iZettle is a Swedish fintech company whose mobile card readers have proved popular with small businesses, as has its ecommerce platform. The $2.2 billion purchase is PayPal’s biggest acquisition to date. The purchase will give PayPal the opportunity to expand into the retail payment terminals business in international markets, thanks to iZettle’s card readers. The company currently operates in 11 countries in Europe and… …Continue reading on BetaNews

Chrome will stop highlighting HTTPS sites as secure

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Later this year, Chrome will adopt a new approach to indicating site security. Starting in September, the browser will no longer use a security indicator to highlight the fact that you’re visiting an HTTPS page. Instead, Google will simply issue a warning when a website is not secure. As the company puts it, “users should expect that the web is safe by default, and they’ll be warned when there’s an issue”. The change is coming in Chrome 69. See also: Google will require OEMs to provide regular Android security updates Google explains its handling of user data ahead of GDPR… …Continue reading on BetaNews

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