Minecraft Pocket Edition will no longer receive updates for Windows mobile devices

We received a tip earlier today that Minecraft Pocket Edition will no longer be supported on Windows mobile devices.

Since receiving the tip, we have confirmed with sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans that Minecraft Pocket Edition will no longer receive updates for Windows Phone 8.1 or 10 Mobile, but it will still be available in the store.

This will come as a considerable blow for Windows mobile fans of the game, but the amount of users spending time in Minecraft PE for Windows 8.1 and 10 Mobile is reportedly very low, making the development hours needed to keep it up to date is simply no longer economically viable.

At this point, I’d say it’s pretty clear that the future of Windows on mobile devices lies with full Windows 10 on ARM, recently announced for future handsets powered by the Snapdragon 835 processor. Microsoft demonstrated World of Tank Blitz running on a Snapdragon 820 with full Windows 10, which implies that the newer 835 would make short work of Minecraft for Windows 10, which already supports touch. I suspect this is where the bulk of Minecraft development will be spent moving forward.

You can still download and play Minecraft Pocket Edition on Windows Phone devices, at least for the time being, using the link below.




[Source:- Windowscentral]

Could this be the Surface Phone? Microsoft awarded patents for a range of foldable mobile devices

Microsoft has been awarded a patent for a foldable mobile devices and other components that could point to something beyond a mere prototype.

I should preface this by saying that patents don’t mean products. This could simply be Microsoft’s way of protecting future ideas or prototypes that are simply too costly or problematic to ever see production. Still, it offers a tantalizing glimpse of what could be on the horizon.

A new patent granted to Microsoft last week shows dual and triple-hinged devices that support multiple configurations. They can be folded into something small and phone-like, placed in a “tent” mode, and even folded out to create a larger tablet. If this is Microsoft’s vision for the Surface Phone, it will have very few comparable devices on the market, and certainly fits the Surface modus operandi of bringing something totally unique to existing form factors.

The patent’s various configurations reveal double, and even triple-screened phones, that the patent describes as both a mini-tablet and a phone. The devices, which also include slide-out models that appear to include different types of housings, are described as supporting several use cases given the varied configurations possible as a result of their hinges.

It’s particularly interesting, as Microsoft was also recently awarded a patent for an electrical hinge that would naturally be essential in any and, perhaps even all of these designs.

Patent filings don’t always translate into products for market, but these recent developments are especially intriguing. Microsoft has long been teasing spiritually Surface-like mobile devices, and those devices, hopefully, are just around the corner.



[Source:- Windowscentral]


Hack-proofing our devices

Image result for Hack-proofing your devices

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags have become almost ubiquitous — look carefully, and you’ll notice them in passports, credit cards, library books, office access passes, and even pet cats.

The technology, which allows fast, automated identification of physical objects, is also a staple for many industries — factories and warehouses use it to track inventory and manage supply chains, pharmaceutical companies deploy it to track drugs, and courier services use it to tag deliveries. But what would happen if RFID technology were compromised?

“A security breach in RFID applications would leak valuable information about physical objects to unauthorised parties,” says Li Yingjiu, Associate Professor at the Singapore Management University (SMU) School of Information Systems. Professor Li, an expert on RFID security and privacy, as well as other aspects of mobile security, is endeavouring to build better safeguards into the technology.

Improving RFID security protocols

Because RFID tags work by broadcasting information to electronic RFID readers, security breaches can occur if hackers eavesdrop on this conversation, and manage to gain access to or tamper with information.

The consequences of such an attack could be serious, says Professor Li. “In the context of supply chain management, for example, this means industrial espionage may obtain sensitive information about inventory levels, trading volumes, trading partners, and even business plans,” he explains.

To protect communications between tags and readers, Professor Li and his team are designing and testing new RFID protocols with enhanced security features, such as those in 2010 study, “Achieving high security and efficiency in RFID-tagged supply chains,” published in the International Journal of Applied Cryptography. These strategies include making the protocol’s output unpredictable, making two tags indistinguishable to the hacker, and preventing hackers from obtaining useful information even if they manage to interact with the tags.

In addition, there are many instances where sharing of RFID information — between suppliers and retailers, for example, or between various components of an Internet of Things — would have obvious benefits, says Professor Li. But without appropriate security controls, however, most companies would be reluctant to make valuable data readily available. To address this problem, Professor Li’s team is also designing improved access control mechanisms that protect RFID information when it is shared on the internet.

Stress-testing smartphone security

We in fact carry RFID around in our pockets — mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet use a specialised form of the technology. Given our increasing reliance on smartphones for everyday functions — banking transactions and contactless payments, for example — mobile security has become an area of critical importance.

Professor Li is particularly adept at sniffing out potential vulnerabilities in smartphone operating systems. In 2012, his team identified a number of attacks which hackers could use to target Apple iPhones. The code to launch these attacks — which included passcode cracking, interference with or control of telephony functionality, and sending tweets without the user’s permission — could be embedded within third-party apps that were available in the iTunes store.

The team reported their findings to Apple’s security team, and the company plugged these loopholes when its new operating system was released the following year. They also wrote up their findings in the 2013 article, “Launching generic attacks on iOS with approved third-party applications,” which was published in the Proceedings of Applied Cryptography and Network Security: 11th International Conference, ACNS 2013.

More recently, Professor Li’s team also reported Android framework vulnerabilities and potential attacks to Google, which went on to acknowledge the SMU group’s findings in its security bulletins. The team has also developed a set of smartphone vulnerability analysis tools in collaboration with Chinese telco Huawei; two patents arising from this project were evaluated as “potentially high value” by the company.

“We see the opportunities to work with industry in this area because it is important for smartphone manufacturers to make their products better in terms of security,” says Professor Li.

Bridging the gap between academia and industry

There are many situations in which data owners may not fully trust service providers — when we store data in cloud services, or exchange it over secure messaging systems, for example. In collaboration with Professor Robert Deng, also at the SMU School of Information Systems, Professor Li is now working to develop new solutions for attribute-based encryption — a form of encryption that gives data owners better control over who can access their data.

The pair’s solutions, says Professor Li, which they shared in an article, “Fully secure key-policy attribute-based encryption with constant-size ciphertexts and fast decryption,” for ASIA CCS’14: Proceedings of the 9th ACM Symposium on Information, Computer and Communications Security, have many applications in real-world scenarios.

Despite its promise, however, getting this research out into the market is still proving to be a challenge. “While we can prove in theory and using proof-of-concept prototypes that our solution is better than the existing solutions in terms of security and flexibility, it is still difficult to convince the industry to adopt it without developing it into a final product,” Professor Li points out.

Indeed, one of the data security field’s biggest challenges is the widening gap between academia and industry, he says. While people in industry are familiar with the market, they are mostly isolated from cutting-edge research; conversely, academics pay too much attention to research and not enough to understanding the market.

“The future of data security, in my vision, is how to narrow the gap and bridge the two communities, which have completely different incentives and evaluation criteria,” says Professor Li. On his part, he adds, he is keen to explore ways to increase the industrial impact of his research.


[Source:- SD]

Windows 10 release date, features, devices and free upgrade: Windows 10 Creators Update ‘scheduled for April’

Windows 10 at-a-glance

Windows 10 launched globally on 29 July 2015 and touted as “the last version of Windows”, marking the end of decades of occasional heavy duty OS updates in favour of a more incremental approach. Available as a free upgrade for a year after launch, Windows 10 became full price on 30 July 2016. Here’s our round-up of everything you need to know about Windows 10.

  • Windows 10 started rolling out on 29 July 2015 as a free upgrade
  • Windows 10 free upgrade ended 29 July 2016 and Anniversary Update launched on 2 August
  • Read our full review of Windows 10 here
  • Enterprise users can manage company-wide rollouts for Windows 10 updates
  • Microsoft Edge replaces Internet Explorer as Windows 10’s default browser
  • Android and iOS apps will run on the new OS


[Source:- ITpro]