Top 5: Moments in iPhone history

10years2The iPhone went on sale 10 years ago this week. Here’s a look back at five defining moments for the device that changed the way we use, and think about, phones.

Ten years ago, George W. Bush was president, mortgages were cheap, and Apple’s iPhone went on sale for the first time. That’s right, July 29 marks a decade since the iPhone came out.

 

Steve Jobs announcing the first iPhone in 2007.

Let’s look back at the top five moments in iPhone’s first decade:

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1. The announcement. This happened in January 2007, but the iPhone announcement was an example of Steve Jobs at his best. With rumors flying about Apple doing a phone, Steve Jobs announced three new devices: an iPod, a mobile phone and an internet communications device. Those three devices were the iPhone.

2. Antennagate. Every iPhone is greeted with some kind of controversy over the inevitable bugs and quirks of a brand new model of a product, but the iPhone 4 in 2010 set the template with people demonstrating that holding the phone a certain way reduced the cellular connection. After telling people they were holding it wrong, Apple eventually gave free rubber bumpers out to customers.

3. The imitators. Before the iPhone, smartphone makers designed everything to look like the Palm Treo. Afterwards, they all became black boxes with touchscreens. Android has become the largest mobile operating system in the world following up, and some say improving on, the trail blazed by the iPhone.

4. Siri. Love it or hate it, Siri sparked the imagination when it launched with celebrities in commercials talking to their phones. And just as Google has become a synonym for search, Siri has become the archetype for talking to your phone.

5. The App Store. When the iPhone launched, Steve Jobs said that web apps would be the future and give you everything you need. A year later, in 2008, the App Store was launched and “there’s an app for that” entered the lexicon.

The iPhone is praised, derided, often declared perfect, often declared dead, but no matter what you think of it, it not only changed smartphones, but the way we connect with one another. So happy birthday iPhone.

Enjoy!

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Nokia Makes A Comeback With Nokia 3, 5, 6; Prices Starting at Rs. 9499

The new series 3, 5, & 6 marks the comeback of the Finnish multinational communications and information technology company – NOKIA. All the new smartphones will be manufactured in India with stock Android operating systems instead of Windows, which eventually was huge let down for the Lumia series. Earlier we saw Nokia launching the old classic 3310 which was a much-awaited feature phone of all times and with this new launch they are really making it up to their absence for so long.

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Below are the details about all the newly launched Nokia smartphones, i.e. Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 6.

Nokia 3

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  • Features 5″ IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 720 x 1280 pixels producing 294 PPI as pixel density with the thickness measuring at 8.5 mm.
  • Will be shipped with Android 7.0 (Nougat) out of the box.
  • Inside the phone you get Mediatek MT6737 chipset on a Quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU clocked at 1.4 GHz coupled with Mali-T720MP2
  • Memory options at 16 GB internal with 2 GB RAM
  • Rear sensor is an 8 MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture, autofocus & LED flash & 1.12 µm pixel size.
  • Front sensor is a 8 MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture & autofocus
  • Connectivity options include 3.5 mm jack, WLAN, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, Radio, microUSB 2.0. Comes with Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass sensor along with a Non-removable Li-Ion 2650 mAh battery.
  • Color options available are Silver White, Matte Black, Tempered Blue, Copper White
  • Price in India Rs.9499.

Nokia 5

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  • Featuring a 5.2 ” IPS LCD capacitive display with 720 x 1280 pixels producing 282 ppi as pixel density). Will be coming with Android 7.1.1 (Nougat) out of the box.
  • Inside the smartphone resides the Qualcomm MSM8937 Snapdragon 430 chipset on Octa-core Cortex-A53 CPU clocked at 1.4 GHz coupled with Adreno 505
  • microSD, up to 256 GB
  • For storage, the phone comes with 16 GB of internal memory which is further expandable up to 256 GB via microSD card & 2 GB RAM
  • Rear sensor is a 13 MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED flash. The rear camera also features a1/3″ sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size, and various other pictures improvement tweaks inbuilt. Front sensor is a 8 MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture having 1.12 µm pixel size
  • Connectivity options include 3.5 mm jack, WLAN, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, Radio, microUSB 2.0 along with front mounted fingerprint sensor, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, and compass.
  • Nokia 5 is powered by a Nonremovable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery and will have tempered blue, silver, matte black & copper colors to choose from.
  • Price in India Rs. 12899.

Nokia 6

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  • Measure 7.9 mm in thickness with the overall weighing of 169 g the Nokia 6 features a 5.5″ IPS LCD capacitive display sporting a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels producing 403 ppi as pixel density & corning gorilla glass 3 protection on top of it.
  • As usual, will be shipped with Android 7.1.1 (Nougat) out of the box.
  • Chipset inside is the Qualcomm MSM8937 Snapdragon 430 on an octa core cortex-A53 CPU clocked at 1.4 GHz coupled with Adreno 505 GPU.
  • MicroSD card support is available on a hybrid slot up to 256 GB.
  • Memory & storage features variant of 32 GB, 3 GB RAM  & 64 GB, 4 GB RAM.
  • Rear sensor is a 16 MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture & dual LED flash with 1.0 µm pixel size whereas the front sensor is a 8 MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture & 1.12 µm pixel size.
  • Connectivity options include 3.5 mm jack, WLAN, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, Radio, microUSB 2.0. Features front mounted fingerprint sensor, accelerometer, gyro, and proximity, compass. Fast charging is supportive on a nonremovable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery.
  • Color available is Arte Black, Matte Black, Tempered Blue, Silver, and Copper.
  • Price in India Rs. 14,999

We are pretty much excited with Nokia’s comeback but if specs are to be considered you are still getting better devices out there with improved specs on a cheaper price rate.

Nokia!

Enjoy!

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The quickest, simplest way to speed up an old, tired PC

It’s a fact of life that PCs get slower and more sluggish over time, as we expect aging hardware to rise to the challenges of newer operating systems and applications.

But eventually, PCs get to the point where they need some care and feeding. The method of rejuvenation I used to recommend was to add more RAM.

But not any more.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working on upgrading some of the aging systems. These systems average about three to five years old, but all were already kitted out with lots of RAM — ranging from 2GB all the way to 16GB — and what would have at the time of purchase been considered high-end processors.

But these systems had grown to the point where they were slow and sluggish.

So where was the speed bump?

I figured it would be the hard drives. And I was right.

I just happened to have some old solid state drive laying about the place — some a 256GB Integral drive, a couple of 128GB Intel drives, so I decided to see what effect upgrading the primary drive would have on the systems.

It was like night and day.

Doing nothing other than migrating the operating system over from the hard drive to the SSD unit — more on how I did this in a moment — boot times went from the 30 to 60 second mark to under 10 seconds, and the responsiveness of Windows 10 on initially logging into the system went from awful to awesome, with the systems being immediately usable.

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And all this was accomplished without removing a megabyte of Data or detritus Media that had accumulated on the systems.

SO YOU WANT TO TRY THIS AT HOME?

If you want to do this yourself you’ll need the following:

  • An SSD.
  • Depending on your PC, you may need a 5.25-inch or 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch slim or standard tray to fit in a bay designed for a hard drive or optical drive (some SSD kits come with these parts).
  • A #1 Phillips screwdriver.
  • A tool for carrying out the migration (I used the free MiniTool PartitionWizard Free Edition, which performed flawlessly).
  • A basic understanding of how to fit and remove storage drives.
  • A knowledge of how your BIOS works, specifically setting which drive the system boots up from (there are so many different kinds that I can’t help, so find do a web search for the manual for your motherboard).

Tip: A quick way to find out what your motherboard is to fire up a Command Prompt and use the Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line tool. To do that, type:

wmic baseboard get product,manufacturer,version

image

The process is pretty simple:

  • Open up the PC and fit the new drive.
  • Fire up the Windows Disk Management tool (press Windows Key+R on your keyboard to launch the Run dialog box and then type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter).
  • Find the new drive, which will be marked as “unknown” and “Not initialized” in the listing of drives at the bottom of the Disk Management window, and then right-click on where it says “unknown” and choose Initialize Disk and then follow the prompts.
  • Download, install, and then launch MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition.
  • Click on Migrate OS to SSD/HD in toolbar and follow the prompts.

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  • When the migration process is done — this will take some time, maybe as much as a few hours — then you will need to set the system BIOS to boot up off the SSD.
  • You can, if you want, remove the old drive, or keep it in the system, wipe it, and use it for storage.
SO WILL THIS WORK FOR YOU?

NVMe vs SSD vs HDD Performance

Having tried it with a range of SSDs (ranging in performance from basic to high-end), and across a range of systems (from dual-core to dual-socket), I’m pretty confident that anyone moving from a hard drive to an SSD will see serious performance gains, even when RAM is down at the 2GB levels (below that and RAM does become quite a limiting factor, but if you’re running Windows 10 then you ideally need 2GB).

Enjoy the Speed!

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Newly identified ransomware ‘EternalRocks’ is more dangerous than ‘WannaCry’

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After a host of different ransomware attacks that hit enterprises across the globe, security researchers have now identified a new strain of malware “EternalRocks” that is more dangerous than WannaCry and is potentially tougher to fight.

According to the researchers, “EternalRocks” exploits the same vulnerability in Windows that helped WannaCry spread to computers. It also uses a NSA tool known as “EternalBlue” for proliferation, Fortune reported on Sunday.

You will be shocked to know that the ‘EternalRocks’ ransomware is more dangerous than WannaCry and it is potentially tougher to fight. The new ransomware leaves computers vulnerable to remote commands that could ‘weaponise’ the infection anytime.

EternalRocks /Doomsday worm uses six/seven NSA exploits (WannaCry used two).

“…it also uses six other NSA tools, with names like EternalChampion, EternalRomance, and DoublePulsar (which is also part of WannaCry),” the report said. In its current form, “EternalRocks” does not have any malicious elements — it does not lock or corrupt files, or use compromised machines to build a botnet, but leaves infected computers vulnerable to remote commands that could ‘weaponise’ the infection at any time.

“EternalRocks” is stronger that WannaCry because it does not have any weaknesses, including the kill switch that a researcher used to help contain the ransomware. EternalBlue also uses a 24-hour activation delay to try to frustrate efforts to study it, the report noted.The last 10 days have seen a wave of cyber attacks that have rendered companies helpless around the globe.

First it was WannaCrypt or WannaCry that spread by taking advantage of a Windows vulnerability that Microsoft released a security patch for in March. It encrypted files on infected machines and demanded payment for unlocking them.

WannaCry had some loopholes that made it easier to slow and circumvent. After facing a massive “WannaCrypt” ransomware attack, another type of malware quietly started generating digital cash from machines it infected.

Tens of thousands of computers were affected globally by the “Adylkuzz attack” that targeted machines, let them operate and only slowed them down to generate digital cash or “Monero” cryptocurrency in the background. “Monero” being popularised by North Korea-linked hackers — is an open-source cryptocurrency created in April 2014 that focuses on privacy, decentralisation and scalability.

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How to disable SMBv1 in Windows 10 and Windows Server

The WannaCry/WanaCrypt0r worm exploits a vulnerability in Windows Server Message Block (SMB) version 1 (SMBv1), and it spreads like wildfire. It is urged to disable SMBv1 in your Windows variant (Windows 10, 8.1, Server 2016, 2012 R2), and here is how if you haven’t done so yet.

What is Server Message Block (SMB) in Windows?

The Server Message Block (SMB) Protocol is a network file sharing protocol, and as implemented in Microsoft Windows is known as Microsoft SMB Protocol. The set of message packets that defines a particular version of the protocol is called a dialect. The Common Internet File System (CIFS) Protocol is a dialect of SMB. Both SMB and CIFS are also available on VMS, several versions of Unix, and other operating systems.

The technical reference to CIFS is available from Microsoft Corporation at Common Internet File System (CIFS) File Access Protocol.

SMB1 is used in Windows XP and earlier (it’s nearly 30 years old!). The SMBv2 protocol was introduced in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, while the SMBv3 protocol was introduced in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. To be blunt: SMB1 is old, not efficient, and now also vulnerable. Disable it now, stop using SMB1!

Windows 10 is not vulnerable to the WannaCry ransomware, but it’s still recommended to disable SMB1 if it’s enabled on your system.

The exploit code used by WannaCrypt was designed to work only against unpatched Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 (or earlier OS) systems, so Windows 10 PCs are not affected by this attack.

Disable SMBv1 using PowerShell

Remember, you have the SMB Server (or service), for creating a file share, and you have a SMB Client for accessing it. Here you’ll find more than one way to disable the services on both SMB server and SMB client.

Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 introduce the new Set-SMBServerConfigurationWindows PowerShell cmdlet.

The cmdlet enables you to enable or disable the SMBv1, SMBv2, and SMBv3 protocols on the server component.

Note: When you enable or disable SMBv2 in Windows 8 or in Windows Server 2012, SMBv3 is also enabled or disabled. This behavior occurs because these protocols share the same stack. Warning: Do not disable SMBv2 or SMBv3. Disable SMBv2 or SMBv3 only as a temporary troubleshooting measure. Do not leave SMBv2 or SMBv3 disabled, just SMBv1.

You do not have to restart the computer after you run the Set-SMBServerConfiguration cmdlet.

To obtain the current state of the SMB server protocol configuration, run the following cmdlet in Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016 and up:

Get-SmbServerConfiguration | Select EnableSMB1Protocol

2008 R2 and below:

Get-ItemProperty -path "HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters" SMB1

To disable SMBv1 on the SMB server, run the following cmdlet:

Set-SmbServerConfiguration -EnableSMB1Protocol $false

To disable SMB protocols on an SMB Server that is running Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, or Windows Server 2008, use Windows PowerShell or Registry Editor.

Windows PowerShell 2.0 or a later version of PowerShell:

Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters" SMB1 -Type DWORD -Value 0 -Force

Or in the Registry Editor: set the following registry key SMB1 entry from 1 to 0:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters

Set SMB1 to 0 (disabled, the default is 1 )

SMB client:
You can use the SC tool to disable the SMB v1 client:

sc.exe config lanmanworkstation depend= bowser/mrxsmb20/nsi
sc.exe config mrxsmb10 start= disabled

To disable, and gracefully remove, SMBv1 in Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (client), use the Disable-WindowsOptionalFeature cmdlet:

Disable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName smb1protocol

SMB

More information can be found on Microsoft Support and The Deprecation of SMB1 – You should be planning to get rid of this old SMB dialect.

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Despite security risks, older Windows versions plague thousands of businesses.

A map showing where WannaCry ransomware was installed

After the global cyberattacks on Friday that infected hundreds of thousands of computer with the WannaCry ransomware, the blame game has begun.

Who was behind the attack? How did the NSA lose control of its hacking tools used as part of this huge ransomware attack? Should we blame Microsoft for not patching older versions of Windows that were left vulnerable to the attack?

As it happens, thousands of businesses may only have themselves to blame.

According to recently released data from IT networking site Spiceworks, about half of all businesses still have at least one computer running Windows XP, despite the aging operating system losing Microsoft security support after more than a decade since its release in early-2014.

That means for over three years, these machines haven’t been patched with the latest security updates, including the fix released in March that could’ve prevented machines from getting infected. (Following the outbreak, Microsoft released a rare, emergency out-of-support patch.)

Granted, some companies will have more machines running Windows XP and Vista, which lost support earlier this year, than others. Some businesses may rely on the aging operating system for their entire fleet of computers, whereas others may rely on one or two machines running custom-built machines, like MRI or X-ray scanners in hospitals, for example, which aren’t always connected to the internet, making them less vulnerable to malware and ransomware.

The data shows that newer operating systems that were patched prior to last week’s ransomware attacks, including Windows 7 and Windows 10, make up a 83 percent share of all business computers.

But despite the risks, Windows XP and Vista still take up a 15 percent share across the corporate world — representing hundreds of thousands of computers.

It’s worth noting that not one single set of data offers a perfectly accurate figure of how many devices are vulnerable to these kinds of mass ransomware events or other kinds of cyberattacks. Spiceworks, which has a commercial stake in the security space, says it uses inventory data to see computers that may be networked but not connected to the internet. Other sources rely on different methodologies, such as the US government’s own digital analytics service, which bases its data on visitors directly accessing government sites. It said just over 1 percent of all visitors in the past three months were running Windows XP or Vista.

The question remains: for all the benefits that software updates provide, why the apathy?

“Many companies subscribe to the theory that if it’s ‘not broke, don’t fix it,’ especially those that aren’t prioritizing IT,” said Peter Tsai, a senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. “As a result, many IT departments lack the resources and budget needed to upgrade to newer operating systems like Windows 10. It takes time to upgrade all systems in an organization and train end users on the new features and functionality.”

In all, just over half of all businesses say that there’s no need to update because the current system still works. Others cite IT pressures and lack of time, investments, or budget constraints.

Those barriers can translate into real losses. Take what happened with last week’s cyberattack. Dozens of hospitals around the UK were affected, with some forced to turn patients away. But unlike NHS trusts and hospitals in England and Scotland which suffered significantly at the hands of the ransomware attack late last week, NHS Wales wasn’t affected by the ransomware attack at all, a feat largely attributed to the fact the health system recently updated its entire network.

wannacry-2-ransomware-attack (1)

“Now more than ever, it’s critical for IT professionals to make a business case for more resources,” said Tsai.

If this ransomware attack has proven anything, investing in security isn’t just a good idea, it’s mission critical.

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Ransomware: Researchers find evidence linking WannaCry worm to North Korean hackers

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Cybersecurity researchers have found evidence they say could link North Korea with the WannaCry cyber attack that has infected more than 300,000 computers worldwide as global authorities scrambled to prevent hackers from spreading new versions of the virus.

A researcher from South Korea’s Hauri Labs said on Tuesday their own findings matched those of Symantec (SYMC.O) and Kaspersky Lab, who said on Monday that some code in an earlier version of the WannaCry software had also appeared in programs used by the Lazarus Group, identified by some researchers as a North Korea-run hacking operation.

“It is similar to North Korea’s backdoor malicious codes,” Simon Choi, a senior researcher with Hauri who has done extensive research into North Korea’s hacking capabilities and advises South Korean police and National Intelligence Service.

Both Symantec and Kaspersky said it was too early to tell whether North Korea was involved in the attacks, based on the evidence that was published on Twitter by Google security researcher Neel Mehta. The attacks, which slowed on Monday, are among the fastest-spreading extortion campaigns on record.

Damage in Asia, however, has been limited.

Vietnam’s state media said on Tuesday more than 200 computers had been affected. Taiwan Power Co. said that nearly 800 of its computers were affected, although these were used for administration, not for systems involved in electricity generation.

FireEye Inc (FEYE.O), another large cyber security firm, said it was also investigating but cautious about drawing a link to North Korea.

“The similarities we see between malware linked to that group and WannaCry are not unique enough to be strongly suggestive of a common operator,” FireEye researcher John Miller said.

U.S. and European security officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity that it was too early to say who might be behind the attacks, but they did not rule out North Korea as a suspect.

The Lazarus hackers, acting for impoverished North Korea, have been more brazen in their pursuit of financial gain than others, and have been blamed for the theft of $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank, according to some cyber security firms. The United States accused it of being behind a cyber attack on Sony Pictures in 2014.

An official at South Korea’s Korea Internet & Security Agency said on Tuesday the agency was sharing information with intelligence officials on recent cases reported for damages but was not in position to investigate the source of the attack. The official declined to comment on intelligence-related matters.

A South Korean police official that handles investigations into hacking and cyber breaches said he was aware of reports on North Korea link but said the police were not investigating yet.

Victims haven’t requested investigations but they want their systems to be restored, the official said.

North Korea has denied being behind the Sony and banking attacks. North Korean officials were not immediately available for comment and its state media has been quiet about the matter.

Hauri researcher Choi said the code bore similarities with those allegedly used by North Korean hackers in the Sony and bank heists. He said based on his conversations with North Korean hackers, the reclusive state had been developing and testing ransomware programs since August.

In one case, alleged hackers from North Korea demanded bitcoin in exchange for client information they had stolen from a South Korean shopping mall, Choi added.

The North Korean mission to the United Nations was not immediately available for comment on Monday.

While the attacks have raised concerns for cyber authorities and end-users worldwide, they have helped cybersecurity stocks as investors bet governments and corporations will spend more to upgrade their defenses.

Cisco Systems (CSCO.O) closed up 2.3 percent on Monday and was the second-biggest gainer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

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