Friday, September 23, 2016

Microsoft Edge browser now comes with support for extensions thanks to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update launched on August 2, and it was clearly just a matter of time until more developers starting working on bringing their add-ons in the Windows Store.

Turn Off the Lights is one of the extensions that were already available on Windows 10 thanks to an early version posted on GitHub, but it turns out that its release is approaching and users will be allowed to get it from the store very soon.

The extension is already listed in the Windows Store, but it cannot be downloaded for the time being. And yet, everyone expects the download links to go live in the coming days, possibly when Microsoft ships the next Windows 10 build for insiders in order to collect some last-minute feedback.

What it does
In case you’ve never heard of this browser extension, Turn Off the Lights was developed to make it easier to watch online videos by fading to dark the rest of the website and always keeping the clip the key point of the entire experience. The extension works with the majority of online video services out there, including YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Hulu, Metacafe, and others.

“The entire page will be fading to dark, so you can watch the videos as if you were in the cinema. With a single click on the lamp button, the page will fade to dark. And automatically focus on the video. By clicking on it again, the page will return to normal. Turn Off the Lights is a lightweight and useful add-in designed for a more comfortable watching experience,” the description posted in the store reads.

The same extension is also available on other browsers, including Google Chrome, so this is an important step forward for Microsoft Edge as it’s struggling to become a more successful browser.

Ardit Ferizi, aka Th3Dir3ctorY, 20, a citizen of Kosovo, will spend 20 years in a US prison for providing material support to ISIS hackers by handing over data for 1,351 US government employees.

Ferizi obtained the data by hacking into a US retail company on June 13, 2015. The hacker then filtered the stolen information, put aside records related to government officials, which he later handed over to Junaid Hussain, at that time, the leader of the Islamic State Hacking Division (ISHD).

Ferizi provided data for one of the ISIS kill lists
Hussain then uploaded this information online, asking fellow ISIS members to seek out these individuals and execute lone wolf attacks. Some of Hussain's statements included:

“ We are in your emails and computer systems, watching and recording your every move, we have your names and addresses, we are in your emails and social media accounts, we are extracting confidential data and passing on your personal information to the soldiers of the khilafah, who soon with the permission of Allah will strike at your necks in your own lands! ”

Because of this leak, the US Army targeted and killed Hussain in a drone strike in Syria in August 2015.

The US also tracked down Ferizi and issued an arrest warrant in his name. He was arrested on October 6, 2015, at the international airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, while trying to catch a flight back to Kosovo. Ferizi was in Kuala Lumpur studying computer science.

Ferizi was very well-known in hacker circles
Before helping ISIS, Ferizi had a prodigious hacking career as the leader of the Kosova Hacker's Security (KHS) hacking crew.

As a member of KHS, Ferizi's previous targets included government websites belonging to the Presidency of Macedonia, the Greek Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace (DAMT), and the Greek Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religion. Besides defacements, KHS also stole data from IBM and Greek mobile telecoms firm OTE.

The hacker pleaded guilty to all charges on June 15, 2016. He faced a sentence of up to 35 years in prison, which was reduced to a maximum of 25 years after agreeing to plead guilty.

Monday, May 9, 2016

After reporting more than satisfactory sales with the J series in India, South Korean multinational conglomerate company, Samsung, decided to launch the Galaxy J5 and J7 2016 edition.

Indian Express website reported that Manu Sharma, vice president, Mobile Business, Samsung India Electronics said at the launch event that the “Galaxy J7 and Galaxy J5 2016 will elevate consumer experience to the next level.”

The two smartphones differ in display size, but the design is the same, with a metal finish plastic back. The Galaxy J5 2016 edition comes with a 5.2-inch display with 720 x 1280 pixels and Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen. It packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 chipset clocked at 1.2 GHz.

Total storage capacity reaches 16GB, with the option to expand to 128GB using a microSD card. It also comes with 2GB of RAM and 3100 mAh battery. 13MP with f/1.9 aperture is a satisfactory rear camera performance for a mid-range phone, considering that it also has autofocus and LED flash. Both Galaxy S5 and S7 come with a 5MP front camera.

The Galaxy J7 has a larger display size of 5.5 inches and the same resolution of 720p. It’s a bit more powerful than the J5, with an octa-core processor of 1.6 GHz. Storage capacity is the same, as a microSD card can be used on the J7 to expand to 128GB of space. Camera capacity doesn’t differ, but the J7 has a more lasting battery of 3300 mAh.

The S-Bike feature is available
Both phones come in four different colors, white, black, gold and rose gold. The newly launched smartphones in the Galaxy J series, support Dual SIM, as well as 4G network connectivity. Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 will be available and they come with some India specific features like the S-Bike mode and Ultra Data Saving mode.

Specs and prices place these phones in the mid-range series of smartphones, the Galaxy J5 is sold for the equivalent of $210, while the price for J7 is a bit higher, of $240. They’re available exclusively through Flipkart and while one of India’s leading telecom companies, Airtel offers its subscribers double data for up to six months.

galaxy j7

galaxy j5

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A new research reveals that smartphone customers are eager to purchase the iPhone 7 when it launches later this year even though very little is known about this model.

The slow demand for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is one of the reasons for Apple’s declining overall iPhone sales, so many see the upcoming iPhone 7 as a critical product for Cupertino in its attempt to go back to an ascending trend in terms of iPhone revenue.

And the research conducted by UBS Evidence Lab shows that the iPhone 7 is already generating more excitement than its predecessor, which could be a sign that sales can only go up once it hits the shelves in the fall.

The survey involved 6,336 smartphone users in some of Apple’s biggest markets, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, and Japan, in an attempt to help predict whether the iPhone 7 can be more successful than the 6 and the 6s.

And it appears that more smartphone owners are willing to the iPhone 7 than in the case of the iPhone 6s, though the survey shows that interest in the upcoming model is smaller than it was in the case of the standard 6 launched in 2014.

Early iPhone 7 specs
It’s clearly way too early to tell whether the iPhone 7 will be successful or not, but at this point, the existing leaks and specifications coming from sources with knowledge of the matter point to a product that might not generate as much excitement as this survey suggests.

The iPhone 7 is very likely to be similar in design with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, coming with only small appearance tweaks, including antenna lines placed at the top and the bottom and camera moved closer to the edge of the device.

As far as hardware is concerned, the iPhone 7 will undoubtedly feature Apple’s next-generation A10 and M10 processors, at least 2 GB of RAM, and improved camera – speculation in this regard points to a dual-camera configuration, but there are sources who claim that Apple might either hold it back until the 2017 model or launch it exclusively on the Plus model.

Apple is also planning to remove the traditional audio jack and replace it with an all-purpose Lightning connector in an attempt to make the iPhone thinner, so while the device will look similar to the 6s front and back, it’ll actually be thinner.

These are obviously just rumors at this point, so take them with a healthy pinch of salt until September when the official unveiling is supposed to take place.

Apple’s iPhone 7 Already Generating More Excitement than the 6s
Apple is working on setting up its next-generation store design and new patents granted in China provide us with a glimpse into how the new locations could look like.

As spotted by PatentlyApple, the iPhone maker has been granted no less than 8 design patents in China, confirming that the company is indeed planning an overhaul of its retail network in the country. Recently, CEO Tim Cook revealed that opening five new stores in China this year is a priority for the firm, so this new design could be used for at least some of them, if not for all.

First and foremost, it’s worth noting that these patents do not come with a description, so all we got were these drawings indicating how the new stores could look like.

All-glass design
But as you can see, Apple’s aiming for a modern look with large pane swing doors, a large display placed on the back wall right in the center, plus the newest products placed right in front, so they’ll be the first things every visitor sees when stepping inside.

While this sounds a lot like the current approach that Apple is using for its stores, it’s worth noting that the back gigantic display will play a key role in the new design, as it’ll be used for promoting the company’s latest products, but also to show ads and videos that could help entice visitors to buy devices.

For the moment, it’s not yet clear whether this design is exclusive to China or Apple wants to use it in other locations across the world as well, but more information should be provided in the coming months as the company is likely to open the first one very soon.

Also, Apple could share more on this approach at the WWDC conference in June, although the focus is likely to be on new products, such as the next versions of iOS and Mac OS X.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Everything is getting smarter these days and Apple just wants to keep the pace with the evolving tech world, so it’s preparing changes that will allow iOS 10 users to better control their smart worlds.

An Amazon reviewer who claims to work for Apple revealed that the Cupertino-based company is working to add iOS HomeKit integration in the next version of iOS. Although it’s very difficult to verify the identity of the poster, MacRumors claims that the name of the reviewer is the same as the one of an Apple marketing employee, which could be a sign that there is indeed some truth behind his message.

“As I work in marketing for Apple, we test many Smart Home devices, especially for iOS HomeKit integration,” he said in his post.

“Some advice, there are many third party applications, most free, that offer more control and customization(s) with many Smart Home devices. ‘Yonomi’ is a free app that I often use, ‘Home’ is another which cost $14.99. Both offer support for many devices with more added daily (including Amazon ‘Echo’). The next version of iOS due this fall will have a standalone ‘HomeKit’ app as well.”

Apple aiming for the smart home
But even if his claims are false, Apple is anyway expected to go for its own HomeKit app, as the company has already trademarked an app icon that could be used for such a project.

HomeKit was first announced by Apple in September 2014 and it launched as a development framework specifically aimed at app creators and hardware companies that wanted to add support for smart devices in iOS. But with iOS 10, Apple is trying to offer its own app in this regard, thus making smart home control an essential feature of the operating system.

It’s believed that Apple is also working with some device manufacturers for this new feature and some compatible devices with various partners might also be in the works.

Certainly, more information in this regard will be provided by Apple itself at the WWDC conference in June when the company is also expected to offer us a preview of iOS 10.

Apple Will Let iPhone Users Control Their Smart Homes with iOS 10

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