The Apple Watch performed strongly in the second quarter this year, research house Canalys reports, with 3.5 million units shipped worldwide.
But while its total shipments were up, Apple lost overall market share because competitors are catching up with their own products.
An analyst said Apple is facing a growing threat from competitors trying to differentiate their products with more hi-tech features.
The Apple Watch's dominance in the nascent smartwatch market is already under threat from the competition.
According to a report from research house Canalys, Apple did have a good second quarter, shipping 3.5 million Apple Watch units globally. That's a 30% bump on the same period last year.
But while shipments are up year on year, Apple's overall share of the market is down. It now stands at 34%, from 43% last year.
Apple's overall shipments are up from Q2 2017, but its market share is down. Canalys
Canalys' analyst Vincent Thielke said this was a sign that Apple's facing tough competition from the likes of Fitbit and Garmin who were broadening out their offerings to attract different types of customers. Features like heart rate tracking and coaching are becoming standard too.
Thielke said: "Apple faces a growing threat from competitors, which have started to pass the million quarterly shipments mark.
"Vendors are trying to differentiate their products with advanced heart-rate metrics, smart coaching and mapping, and consumers now have a much wider range of smartwatches to choose from than they did a year ago."
He added that Apple will have to get creative if it wants to maintain its top spot — especially as its main source of income, the iPhone, begins to level off in developed markets.
"Amid further competition from Samsung and Google, rumored to be launching Galaxy and Pixel watches respectively, Apple needs to work out how to drive refreshes in markets such as the US, where its penetration into the existing iPhone installed base has started to level off."
One source of comfort is that the Apple Watch is selling well in a market Apple has generally struggled with: Asia. Excluding China, Apple's shipments surpassed 250,000 units. Its refreshed Apple Watch 3, with LTE, made up the bulk of shipments, suggesting it's a lot more successful than the predecessor.
Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 in 17 months’ time.
Microsoft have recently announced that Windows 7 is to become ‘end of life’ with effect from 14th January 2020, what this means is that all product updates and more importantly, security updates for Windows 7, will cease from that date.
Without security updates, any vulnerabilities found in the software will be left unpatched and this could in turn lead to anyone using Windows 7 being exposed to potential malicious attack.
This is the Microsoft Statement :
“Microsoft made a commitment to provide 10 years of product support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009. When this 10-year period ends, Microsoft will discontinue Windows 7 support so that they can focus our investment on supporting newer technologies and great new experiences. The specific end of support day for Windows 7 will be January 14, 2020. After that, technical assistance and automatic updates that help protect your PC will no longer be made available for the product. Microsoft strongly recommends that you move to Windows 10 sometime before January 2020 to avoid a situation where you need service or support that is no longer available.”
I would advise you to begin planning your company’s transition to Windows 10 now, well in advance of the 2020 deadline. The sooner you begin these plans the more time you will have to address issues while Windows 7 is still supported.
What do you need to do to prepare?
Upgrading to a new operating system takes time and careful planning, particularly if you have numerous machines and systems to assess. A smooth and successful transition to a new operating system requires you to:
Identify machines that need to be upgraded or replaced
Identify and consider replacing legacy systems using older operating systems and/or software with updated technology
Develop a timeline and budget for upgrades and replacements
Implement security controls to separate critical systems from Windows 7 machines that cannot be upgraded or removed
Plan for employee training to learn the new system
The Windows Product Life Cycle
All Windows products have a lifecycle, beginning with their release and ending with the end of life announcement. Previously, these lifecycles terms could last between five to ten years, depending on the product. Normally this would include two maintenance periods: mainstream support and extended support. Mainstream support includes security patches as well as new features and often covers several years. Extended support begins once Microsoft is no longer actively developing the product, shifting instead to the release of updates to keep the product safe. End of life is the point at which no further support will be extended.
With the introduction of Windows 10, however, Microsoft adopted a new policy for the sustainability and resilience of their products. This model is known as Windows as a Service (WaaS) and incorporates continuous updates and support for current product offerings, like Windows 10.
This is good news for business. From now on businesses using Windows 10 will remain updated with the latest patches and updates. There will be no requirement to upgrade to a new operating system, and there will be no need to be concerned about which one will be the most problematic to use. Windows as a Service (WaaS) will assure a smooth transition between iterations of a single operating system. It’s likely that Windows 10 will look entirely different in the future, but regular updates will take place to the software obviating the need for constant and major upheaval to business systems.
If you’d like help with the above together with more information about Windows 7 and the 2020 deadline please call me us on 0845 4 300 366.
Here’s a clever new twist on an old email scam that could serve to make the con far more believable. The message purports to have been sent from a hacker who’s compromised your computer and used your webcam to record a video of you while you were watching porn. The missive threatens to release the video to all your contacts unless you pay a Bitcoin ransom. The new twist? The email now references a real password previously tied to the recipient’s email address.
The basic elements of this sextortion scam email have been around for some time, and usually the only thing that changes with this particular message is the Bitcoin address that frightened targets can use to pay the amount demanded. But this one begins with an unusual opening salvo:
“I’m aware that <substitute password formerly used by recipient here> is your password,” reads the salutation.
The rest is formulaic:
You don’t know me and you’re thinking why you received this e mail, right?
Well, I actually placed a malware on the porn website and guess what, you visited this web site to have fun (you know what I mean). While you were watching the video, your web browser acted as a RDP (Remote Desktop) and a keylogger which provided me access to your display screen and webcam. Right after that, my software gathered all your contacts from your Messenger, Facebook account, and email account.
What exactly did I do?
I made a split-screen video. First part recorded the video you were viewing (you’ve got a fine taste haha), and next part recorded your webcam (Yep! It’s you doing nasty things!).
What should you do?
Well, I believe, $1400 is a fair price for our little secret. You’ll make the payment via Bitcoin to the below address (if you don’t know this, search “how to buy bitcoin” in Google).
BTC Address: 1Dvd7Wb72JBTbAcfTrxSJCZZuf4tsT8V72
(It is cAsE sensitive, so copy and paste it)
You have 24 hours in order to make the payment. (I have an unique pixel within this email message, and right now I know that you have read this email). If I don’t get the payment, I will send your video to all of your contacts including relatives, coworkers, and so forth. Nonetheless, if I do get paid, I will erase the video immidiately. If you want evidence, reply with “Yes!” and I will send your video recording to your 5 friends. This is a non-negotiable offer, so don’t waste my time and yours by replying to this email.
KrebsOnSecurity heard from three different readers who received a similar email in the past 72 hours. In every case, the recipients said the password referenced in the email’s opening sentence was in fact a password they had previously used at an account online that was tied to their email address.
However, all three recipients said the password was close to ten years old, and that none of the passwords cited in the sextortion email they received had been used anytime on their current computers.
It is likely that this improved sextortion attempt is at least semi-automated: My guess is that the perpetrator has created some kind of script that draws directly from the usernames and passwords from a given data breach at a popular Web site that happened more than a decade ago, and that every victim who had their password compromised as part of that breach is getting this same email at the address used to sign up at that hacked Web site.
I suspect that as this scam gets refined even more, perpetrators will begin using more recent and relevant passwords — and perhaps other personal data that can be found online — to convince people that the hacking threat is real. That’s because there are a number of shady password lookup services online that index billions of usernames (i.e. email addresses) and passwords stolen in some of the biggest data breaches to date.
Alternatively, an industrious scammer could simply execute this scheme using a customer database from a freshly hacked Web site, emailing all users of that hacked site with a similar message and a current, working password. Tech support scammers also may begin latching onto this method as well.
Sextortion — even semi-automated scams like this one with no actual physical leverage to backstop the extortion demand — is a serious crime that can lead to devastating consequences for victims. Sextortion occurs when someone threatens to distribute your private and sensitive material if you don’t provide them with images of a sexual nature, sexual favors, or money.
According to the FBI, here are some things you can do to avoid becoming a victim:
-Never send compromising images of yourself to anyone, no matter who they are — or who they say they are.
-Don’t open attachments from people you don’t know, and in general be wary of opening attachments even from those you do know.
-Turn off [and/or cover] any web cameras when you are not using them.
The FBI says in many sextortion cases, the perpetrator is an adult pretending to be a teenager, and you are just one of the many victims being targeted by the same person. If you believe you’re a victim of sextortion, or know someone else who is, the FBI wants to hear from you: Contact your local FBI office (or toll-free at 1-800-CALL-FBI).
It is not because anything on these sites has changed. It's because today is the day Google updated to Chrome 68 - which has been changed to flag HTTP-only sites.
Google began the process of warning people about sites that use HTTP in early 2017. Initially the "Not secure" warnings were only used on sites that collected passwords or credit cards. Firefox and Safari added similar systems about the same time.
Now all sites that have not switched will be flagged by Chrome. The other big browser makers are expected to follow soon.
In addition, the Let's Encrypt project aims to make it easy for small sites to adopt it by publishing easy-to-follow guides and tools that simplify the process.
Many news and sport websites do not use secure HTTPS connections
Is my data at risk?
Mr Hunt, and many other security experts, have demonstrated ways to hijack and redirect users if they only connect to a site via HTTP.
Without HTTPS, data is effectively broadcast as it travels back and forth across the web. There are circumstances that cyber-criminals can exploit to intercept that information, abuse it to steal data or insert their own code or malicious adverts.
It is not clear how many criminals are using these methods to fool users and steal data, but several successful campaigns have been spotted that use these techniques.
There is no suggestion that the sites currently only using HTTP are subject to attacks targeting insecure data.
Also, many sites are now rapidly adopting HTTPS as a result of a growing consensus around its use. Mr Hunt's list of insecure sites is regularly updated, but some sites on it, such as JustEat and Sage.com, have already adopted HTTPS.
Should I avoid sites that are flagged as not secure?
No, but you should be wary on those that require you to sign in or which let you buy goods and services through them.
To stay safe, pick a hard-to-guess password and ensure your browser and other software on your device are up to date. If there are other methods you can use to secure transactions, such as two-factor authentication, it could be well worth adopting them.
If you run your own website then it has got a lot easier to adopt the technology to help protect visitors.
Britain will witness a spectacular and rare celestial spectacle this week. At dusk on Friday, the full moon will rise and reveal itself coloured a deep red. The nation will then experience a blood moon or, as astronomers term it, a total lunar eclipse.
And this week promises to be a special one, for it will be the longest-lasting total lunar eclipse of the 21st century. After it rises in the south-east – at around 8.50pm in London – the moon’s eclipse will continue until early on Saturday. “Weather permitting, it should give Friday evening a special, exciting edge,” said Sheila Kanani of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Blood moons have only recently been welcomed on Earth. Their deep red colour has usually been seen as an omen of terrible events. The Book of Joel in the Hebrew Bible warns that “the sun will turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.”
Today scientists have a more prosaic explanation for the moon’s crimson transformation. It is caused when the moon passes through the shadow of the Earth. However, its disc does not go completely dark because some sunlight – mainly the longer-wavelength, redder end of the spectrum – passes through our atmosphere and is bent around the edge of our planet so that it falls on to the moon’s surface. In effect, it is the light of sunrise and sunset on the Earth that will give the moon its red glow on Friday.
Unlike total solar eclipses, which occur when the moon’s disc passes in front of the sun and completely blots out sunlight for only a few minutes, a blood moon is a fairly leisurely affair. “It will last several hours – when you get a real feeling of the Earth and moon shifting in space,” said astronomer Tom Kerss, of the Royal Observatory Greenwich, which plans to stream live pictures of the event on Friday. “You get a true sense of the solar system moving – and that in itself is a really dramatic experience.”
For good measure, there is no need to wear goggles or filters to watch a blood moon as is necessary with solar eclipses. “It is safe to watch with the naked eye,” said Kerss. “You could use a telescope but, to be frank, it will be just as dramatic to watch it without aids as the red moon slowly rises in the sky over Britain and the shadow of the Earth passes from its surface.”
Microsoft has previously experimented with a Kinect-based sign language translator
A comprehensive way to automatically translate sign language into text or speech, and vice versa, has remained elusive, however.
Jeffrey Bigham, an expert in human-computer interaction from Carnegie Mellon University, says Mr Singh's project is "a great proof of concept" but a system fully capable of recognising sign language would be hard to design "as it requires both computer vision and language understanding that we don't yet have".
"Alexa doesn't really understand English either, of course," he adds, noting that voice assistants understand only a relatively small set of template phrases.
Aine Jackson, of the British Deaf Association, says that, with the increase in voice-assisted technologies, many developments are leaving deaf sign language users behind.
"Many of these technologies are shaping the world we live in and with exciting new capabilities there is now the scope for some really imaginative solutions to language access for deaf people."
She notes a number of similar projects, from sign language reading gloves to signing avatars, but also the difficulties in communicating the grammar of signed languages - conveyed not just by the hands but by body position and facial movements.
"We would encourage companies to take steps to make their technologies accessible for all, and congratulate individuals such as Abhishek Singh who are turning their minds to the matter," she adds.
Amazon has announced that, as of today, more Alexa users will have the option to turn on captions for Echo devices with a screen.
Alexa Captioning has previously been available for US owners of the Echo Show and Echo Spot. The company is now bringing the feature to users in the UK, as well as Germany, Japan, India, France, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The announcement of the findings of the had been due in June was put back to prevent it from over-shadowing Trump's state visit to Europe earlier this month.
In a tweet, Trump claimed that the fine was proof that the terms of trade between the EU and US were unfair: "I told you so! The European Union just slapped a Five Billion Dollar fine on one of our great companies, Google. They truly have taken advantage of the U.S., but not for long!"
The case will almost certainly come up between President Trump and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in a meeting next week.
The fine on Google was based on what the European union competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager claimed were three trade restrictions exercised by Google:
Requiring device manufacturers to pre-install Google apps on Android as a condition for licensing the Google Play Store;
Striking exclusivity deals with device makers and mobile operators; and,
Preventing manufacturers from making smartphones running forked versions of Android.
"Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine," said Vestager. "These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits. They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere."
The size of the fine reflected "the seriousness and the sustained nature" of Google's actions, she added. Google, which has 90 days to comply fully with the EU order, which would entail abandoning the legal agreements tying the Play Store and Google apps to Android, has said it will appeal.
In a blog posting, CEO Sunder Pichai claimed that the Android business model enabled a wider choice of devices and different brands.
"To be successful, open-source platforms have to painstakingly balance the needs of everyone that uses them. History shows that without rules around baseline compatibility, open-source platforms fragment, which hurts users, developers and phone makers. Android's compatibility rules avoid this, and help make it an attractive long-term proposition for everyone,"?Pichai wrote.
He continued: "Today, because of Android, a typical phone comes preloaded with as many as 40 apps from multiple developers, not just the company you bought the phone from.
"If you prefer other apps - or browsers, or search engines - to the preloaded ones, you can easily disable or delete them, and choose other apps instead, including apps made by some of the 1.6 million Europeans who make a living as app developers."
The data was collected by M-Lab, a partnership between Google Open Source Research and Princeton University's PlantLab, and the results compiled by UK broadband comparison site Cable.
Government statistics suggest only 4% of UK premises have a full-fibre link - compared to 79% in Spain and 95% in Portugal.
"We want everyone in the UK to benefit from world-class connectivity, no matter where they live, work or travel," said DCMS Secretary Jeremy Wright.
"This radical new blueprint for the future of telecommunications in this country will increase competition and investment in full-fibre broadband, create more commercial opportunities and make it easier and cheaper to roll out infrastructure for 5G."
The DCMS said its plans would "drive competition and commercial investment in full-fibre networks across as much of the UK as possible".
However, it acknowledged that in some parts of the country, it was unlikely that the market could deliver by itself.
As a result, the government would support investment in the most difficult-to-reach areas.
"We have already identified around £200m within the existing Superfast broadband programme that can further the delivery of full-fibre networks immediately," it added.
Image captionThe strategy also aims to boost access to 5G mobile services
The chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, Sir John Armitt, welcomed the government's review, which he said echoed his commission's own recommendations.
"As well as broadband, this plan will also leave the UK well-placed to introduce the latest 5G mobile technology," he added
Andrew Ferguson, editor of the Think Broadband site, said the strategy turned visions of full fibre coverage into "slightly firmer targets".
However, he added, there was one "very important caveat" to the strategy which might slow the take up of full-fibre in the UK.
In nations such as Spain, he said, full-fibre was the first decent broadband people were offered which meant people enthusiastically signed up.
"Getting the UK to upgrade to full-fibre if they are getting decent speeds from a VDSL2 or cable broadband connection may be harder," he said, adding that how the packages were priced would be a factor in adoption.
Sailed through the uphill climb with a maximum speed of 75 mph
The Nvidia-powered Roborace robo-car - an autonomous vehicle developed for racing - has become the first driverless car to complete the Goodwood Hillclimb without a human at the wheel.
Powered by the Nvidia Drive autonomous vehicle computing platform, the self-driving racing car successfully navigated trees, hay bales and tight curves in front of 55,000 spectators at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last week, an annual weekend of racing, with vehicles ranging from classic cars to Formula 1 race cars.
The feature event, known as the Hillclimb, is a 1.16-mile course with a twisting, steady uphill grade, climbing more than 150 metres. Competitors must carefully navigate bumpy courses and maintain grip on slippery terrain, all while going as fast as possible.
Because it's driven by AI, the Roborace robo-car, designed by automotive futurist Daniel Simon, has no driving seat, steering wheel or pedals. Instead, it packs four 135kW electric motors power - one for each wheel - for a combined 500-plus horsepower.
The car not only completed the course without human intervention but apparently sailed through the uphill climb with a maximum speed of 75 mph.
"We are ecstatic that the team has been able to achieve this landmark run and we hope that it draws attention to the amazing advances that are being made in the automotive industry," said Rod Chong, deputy CEO of Roborace.
"Robocar is an ambassador for the future technologies we will see on our roads and we hope that inspirational events like this will change public perceptions of autonomous vehicles."
In a blog post, Nvidia described the race completion as an "historical achievement" and "a significant milestone toward Roborace's ultimate goal: establishing a new racing platform without human drivers".