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Google Chrome won’t be allowed on Windows 10 S

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Microsoft’s newest Windows 10 edition is designed to allow desktop apps that have been converted to packages for the Windows Store. But a provision in the store’s policies blocks desktop browsers like Chrome. Is it about security, or something else?

The desktop version of Google Chrome will not be coming to Windows 10 S.

Windows 10 S, announced last week, allows users to install only apps that are distributed through the Windows Store.

That lineup includes some desktop apps, but only if they’ve been converted to a package that can be delivered through the Windows Store, using a toolset called the Desktop Bridge (previously code-named Project Centennial).

Microsoft knows Windows is obsolete. Here’s a sneak peek at its replacement.

The lineup of converted desktop apps already includes Evernote and Slack, and by the time Windows 10 S begins shipping on new PCs this summer, the store will also offer converted versions of the Office 2016 desktop apps and Spotify.

Microsoft is busy evangelizing other developers of desktop software to bring their apps to the store as well.

In theory, Google could use those tools to turn the desktop version of its Chrome browser into an app package. For that matter, so could Mozilla with Firefox, or Opera, or any of dozens of small, independent browser makers. Several developers tell me they have successfully converted desktop browsers based on the Chromium code base using the Desktop Bridge.

But if Google or Mozilla or any of those smaller developers submitted one of those packages to the Store for distribution, the submission would be rejected.

The restriction is spelled out in the latest revision of the Windows Store Policies. This section is from version 7.3, last revised on March 29, 2017:

10.2 Security

Your app must not jeopardize or compromise user security, or the security or functionality of the device, system or related systems.

10.2.1

Apps that browse the web must use the appropriate HTML and JavaScript engines provided by the Windows Platform.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that policy in a statement on May 9:

Windows Store apps that browse the web must use HTML and JavaScript engines provided by the Windows Platform. All Windows Store content is certified by Microsoft to help ensure a quality experience and keep your devices safer. With this policy, instated early this year, the browser a customer chooses in the Store will ensure the protections and safeguards of our Windows platform. If people would like to access apps from other stores and services, they can switch to Windows 10 Pro at any time.

Last week, I heard from a developer who had converted his Chromium-based desktop browser to an Appx package and submitted it to Microsoft in February. It was rejected.

The polite, personal reply from the Microsoft “ambassador” who handled his submission explained that desktop browsers pose a special security risk:

Desktop Browsers installed from the Store aren’t more secured by default. They are secure only if, like Edge, they’re true UWP apps, so they run in a sandbox environment and they don’t have access to the overall system. Converted apps, instead, have some components which are virtualized (like the registry or file system redirection) but, except for that, they have the “runFullTrust” capability, so [they] can go out from the sandbox and perform operations that can be malicious.

This restriction isn’t unique to Windows 10 S, of course. Other modern operating systems, including iOS and ChromeOS, require browsers to use their built-in rendering engines and JavaScript interpreters instead of allowing the third-party browsers to supply their own.

So, Chrome on iOS is just a wrapper for Apple’s Webkit-based browser components. Google has made the UI look comfortingly Chrome-like, with the ability to sync bookmarks, history, passwords, and other data, but it’s not the same browser as on other platforms.

Likewise, you can’t install a third-party browser on a Chromebook, which is restricted to the Chrome browser.

When Windows 8 launched in 2012, Microsoft included the capability for third-party developers to build weird hybrid browsers that could run in both the Metro interface (as the full-screen touch-based user interface was then known) and in regular desktop mode. Both Google and Firefox experimented with this feature, but it never took off, and Microsoft killed the feature in Windows 10.

Google could, of course, write a UWP browser app from scratch, replicating the desktop Chrome UI while hooking into the Windows rendering and JavaScript engine. Given Google’s history with apps for Windows (there’s only one Google app in the Windows Store, a bare-bones search app first released for Windows 8), I’d give very long odds against this happening.

There is indeed a compelling security case for tightly controlling the core components of a browser. Flaws in those components are popular vectors for malicious code, and installing multiple browsers just increases the attack surface.

There’s also a compelling business case to be made for not allowing an archival’s browsing engine onto the platform lest you lose control of that platform.

In the very early days of the web, Netscape founder Marc Andreesen famously joked that his browser would reduce Windows to “a poorly debugged set of device drivers.” That, in essence, has been Google’s business strategy on Windows for the past few years, and it’s been successful enough that Chrome has a dominant share on Windows. More than half of Windows users browse with Chrome, while fewer than one in four Windows 10 users choose the default browser, Microsoft Edge, for day-to-day browsing.

Most of the executives who were running Microsoft during the first browser wars in the 1990s are long gone, but the institutional memory lives on. Microsoft might be gambling that the most effective way to blunt Google’s dominance is to boot them from Windows completely. Think of Windows 10 S as a trial for that strategy.

source:http://www.zdnet.com/article/google-chrome-wont-be-allowed-on-windows-10-s/

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Innovations

INNOVATION HUB: EDO YOUTHS HAIL OSINBAJO, OBASEKI FOR FACILITIES, TRAINING

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Youths in Edo State have hailed Governor Godwin Obaseki and the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for the initiative in setting up the South-South Innovation Hub and Edo Innovates, the two facilities launched recently at the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE), in Benin City, as a platform for youths to get trained and proffer digital solutions to everyday problem.

Cross section of youths at one of the labs in Edo Innovates, which houses the South South Innovation Hub, at Institute of Continuing Education (ICE), Benin City, Edo State, during the launch of the hub by Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

Recall that the Vice President during his two-day visit to the state, launched the South-South Innovation Hub and performed groundbreaking of the 1800-Emotan Gardens project.

A number of the youths at the launch expressed appreciation to the governor and the Vice President for setting up the hub, noting that it was gratifying to know that youths in the state would now have equal opportunity as their colleagues elsewhere to get trained and be engaged in a vibrant digital ecosystem that is supported by the state and federal government.

Mr. Sunday Olufemi, from Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the state, said that he was most excited about the one-stop shop for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) clinic, where young people can now have access to relevant federal government agencies to ease business registration, product certification, and access to finance and mentoring.

According to him, “I can confidently say that this is the best thing to have happened to youths in Edo State. Now, we no longer have to go to Lagos before we get training to become full-fledged start-ups. The expertise and support structures are now available for us in Edo State.”

Mr. Fred Omoregie, an undergraduate at the University of Benin (UNIBEN), said the hub is a dream come true to many tech-savvy young residents in the state, noting that they now have a viable, well-structured facility to express themselves.

He said, “I believe this will revolutionalise this state. Young people have been looking for where to express themselves for years but didn’t have such a facility that can give them a sense of direction. With this, Engineering, Computer Science graduates and others from different disciplines can now have a go at tech solutions to problems.”

 

 

 

Source:  Vanguard

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Industry

WWDC: WHEN APPLE WATCH BECAME A PLATFORM

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Many incremental improvements mean Apple Watch is becoming more effective for communication, augmentation and more.

Apple’s watchOS 5 plays to the strengths of Apple Watch and opens up some new and interesting ways to develop for and make use of the device.

The enterprise case for Apple Watch

Apple always says its goal with the Apple Watch is to deliver brief and meaningful interactions at exactly the right time.

This dedication to context and convenience means that when the company ships the next iteration of the OS, it will make its solution much more essential to anyone who needs to stay up to date while remaining focused on the matter at hand, or who needs to stay in touch while leaving the phone behind.

Communications boost

Apple Watch is becoming a viable alternative to an iPhone. watchOS 5 builds on the built-in SIM the company put inside the device last year with a series of enhancements:

  • The most immediately useful improvement for most of us will be the ability to connect to a Wi-Fi network straight from the Apple Watch.
  • Walkie-talkie lets you contact friends and family just by pushing a button on your device, once you set them up. This works over Wi-Fi and cellular connections, and it can connect people worldwide.
  • You can answer FaceTime and Group FaceTime calls as audio calls on your watch.

In combination with the device’s existing ability to dictate notes and messages, and the new addition of support for looking at websites (see below), Apple Watch has become a powerful communications tool in its own right.

Take notifications

There was a huge cheer at WWDC when Apple announced the introduction of Grouped Notifications on iPhone. This extends to Apple Watch, making it far easier to manage and control the alerts you receive.

The newly introduced Dynamic Notifications feature is something that both public-facing business offering front-end app support to customers and enterprise firms deploying their own proprietary iOS apps will want to explore.

This lets developers add additional steps to a notification — a restaurant may remind you of your booking and ask you to confirm (or change) your arrival time or the number of guests that should be expected. Or a ride sharing app may let you pay, rate, and tip for your ride — all from within the notification.

Finally, Critical Alerts are a new kind of notification intended for extremely urgent alerts. These need to be given explicit user permission to work and are intended to alert wearers to things such as heart rate anomalies or diabetes-related blood sugar warnings.

Siri gets lots better

The updated Siri watch face is a great illustration to show how much smarter Siri has become across all Apple platforms.

Siri will use the watch to provide the wearer with a host of additional predictive and proactive shortcuts throughout the day “… based on routines, locations and information such as heart rate after a workout, commute time with Maps at the appropriate time of day, or sports scores for a favorite team.”

What makes this even more interesting is that it will now show actionable content from third-party apps, which is great for consumer and specialized enterprise apps.

Siri Shortcuts also makes it to the new Apple Watch OS.

Apple is pushing developers to ensure the Apple Watch shortcuts they provide are to the most relevant tasks. The basis for deciding this might be time, location, or app utility (a recipe app may provide a recipe of the day, for example).

What Apple sees as critical is that these notifications are interacted with and truly represent what Apple Watch users need.

App developers need to note that when Siri decides which Shortcuts it will offer on the Siri Watchface, Siri will pay particular attention to how the user has interacted with your app in the past.

Also, you don’t need to say “Hey, Siri” to activate the assistant. All you need to do is start speaking to Siri as you raise the Watch towards you.

The intention is that you will be able to use Siri to get essential tasks done from your Watch, and you will be able to explore new ways to enhance customer and employee experiences when using your app.

The tiny web

Do you remember how Steve Jobs — when announcing the original iPhone — boasted that the iPhone offered people access to the real internet, rather than some stripped-down version?

watchOS 5 brings a little of that same delight and now integrates WebKit support, which means you can use your watch to glance at things such as web links or other items sent to you.

You can control the content, too:

  • Turn the Digitial Crown to scroll the page.
  • Double-tap to zoom in and out.
  • Use Force Touch (a firm press) to invoke back and forward buttons you can use to navigate through your viewing history.

It’s not perfect — you can’t access video playback or web fonts, though you can use your Watch to fill in HTML-based forms. Apple will render pages in Reader Mode when that mode is available.

All the same, some people will wonder if web designers will now need to figure out how to design websites that scale all the way from a Watch to a 30-inch display.

Health and wellness

There are lots of workout improvements in Apple Watch, including auto-workout detection. Not only does your Watch figure out when you are exercising, but it will also terminate a workout once it detects the activity is over. New yoga and hiking workouts and helpful tools for runners makes the device even more useful as part of your general scheme to stay well. And Activity Sharing competitions let you invite others to compete in meeting those activity challenges.

Additional improvements

Control Center lets you put all your toggles in the order you most prefer. You can also get to Notifications and/or Control Center while in any app.

Apple Watch users will gain a new Podcasts app. This will sync with shows, as well as stream any new shows Siri can find on your behalf. Enterprise users and developers will need to know that Apple will now allow audio from third-party apps to sync to the watch for offline playback.

 

 

 

 

Source: Computer World

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Hardwares

THIS GIANT CASE TRANSFORMS A 35MM CAMERA INTO AN INSTANT CAMERA

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NINM Lab, a new company based out of Hong Kong, has debuted a product on Kickstarter that turns your 35mm camera into an instant camera, as spotted by PetaPixel.

The attachment, called a Magny 35, is comprised of three parts: an enlarging optics film back, an aluminum lens barrel, and the film ejection unit. To use it, detach your camera’s original back, and replace it with the assembled Magny 35. When you snap a photo, it will take the image from your camera and project the light onto the instant film surface, enlarging it to 62 x 62mm in the process. Everything connects with bayonet mounts for ease and speed.

The Magny 35 has a maximum effective aperture of f/4, uses a power supply of four AAA batteries, and it has an LED film counter, a tripod socket, and a dark slide. The film ejects only when a button is pressed, so there’s the opportunity to take multiple exposure shots. NINM Lab says it should fit SLR and Rangefinder cameras made by Leica, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, and Pentax.

Right now on Kickstarter, the Magny 35 costs $99, and the actual cost, once it hits the market in January 2019, will be $199. While buying an Instax Mini is around $50, a model that takes square photos is more costly, so you could save a few dollars by getting a Magny 35 if you’re invested in taking instant pics. While the Kickstarter says company members have been involved in creating products in the past, none are specified. This is also the company’s first venture, so buyer beware.

 

 

 

 

Source: The Verge

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