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Earlier this month, some Windows 10 users complained that Windows Update stopped working on their PCs and they couldn’t download any new updates. The users were unable to gain access to the Windows Update service and Microsoft Store also failed to download any new updates. The issue was acknowledged by Microsoft earlier this month and the company confirmed that the outage was experienced due to issues with external DNS providers. In an update to its support document, Microsoft has now confirmed that the Windows Update issues have been addressed and everything should be back online. In case Windows Update is still not working for you, Microsoft recommends users to contact their ISPs. “Windows Update customers were recently affected by a network infrastructure event caused by an external DNS service provider’s global outage. A software update to the external provider’s DNS servers resulted in the distribution of corrupted DNS records that affected connectivity to the Windows Update service. The DNS records were restored by January 30, 2019 (00:10 UTC), but downstream effects continued. We believe the issue to be fully mitigated because the majority of local Internet Service Providers (ISP) have refreshed their DNS servers and customer services have been restored. If you are still encountering download failures, please contact your local ISP,” Microsoft explains. More can be found on OUR FORUM.

Microsoft is believed to be working on a Surface Pro model which could be a bit thinner and lighter. While Microsoft is considering making the Surface slimmer, there is a new patent that brings smart fabrics to Surface tablets, 2-in-1 devices, wearables, handheld devices, and more. In the patent application, Microsoft explains various methods to use sensors to create smart fabrics which could be implemented on Surface hardware, wearables, and other handheld devices. The patent titled ‘FORMING TOUCH SENSOR ON FABRIC’ was applied by Microsoft in July 2017 and published by USPTO on January 24, 2019. With this patent application, Microsoft is looking to bring touch sensors to the fabric material of its hardware. For instance, in the case of a handheld device such as a tablet, the fabric used on the front panel and back surface will have touch sensors. In the detailed description section of the patent, Microsoft says that a touch sensor implemented on the fabric of the device could be configured to work with other sensors. For example, smart fabrics will could be configured to detect swipes or other touch gestures. This may allow users to browse through apps, adjust volume, settings and other functions. It may also allow the device to control another device which is paired wirelessly with the computing device, such as a smartphone. The patent further details a method where users will be allowed to interface with the front touch panel without losing the grip of the device. We have the patent posted on OUR FORUM.

Microsoft has joined the OpenChain Project as a platinum member to support standardization in open source compliance. OpenChain project makes open source license compliance simpler and more consistent for organizations. As a member of the OpenChain Project, Microsoft will help create best practices and define standards for open source software compliance. This will allow enterprises to use Microsoft and other open source technologies together in heterogeneous environments. Microsoft will also join the OpenChain Governing Board which already includes members from Adobe, ARM Holdings, Cisco, Comcast, Facebook, GitHub, Google, Harman International, Hitachi, Qualcomm, Siemens, Sony, Toshiba, Toyota, Uber, and Western Digital. “Trust is key to open source, and compliance with open source licenses is an important part of building that trust,” said David Rudin, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft. “By joining the OpenChain Project, we look forward to working alongside the community to define compliance standards that help build confidence in the open source ecosystem and supply chain.” “We’re thrilled that Microsoft has joined the project and welcome their expertise,” said Shane Coughlan, OpenChain General Manager. “Microsoft is a strong addition not only in terms of open source but also in standardization. Their membership provides great balance to our community of enterprise, cloud, automotive and silicon companies, allowing us to ensure the standard is suitable for any size company across any industry.” Follow this thread on OUR FORUM.

AT&T has started to roll out an update to some iPhone and iPad users running the latest iOS 12.2 beta 2 update that changes their LTE service icon to “5G E,” short for 5G Evolution. This controversial move from the US carrier comes after it has done the same for some Android smartphones. As spotted by 9to5Mac readers Jay and @Siddavarapu, the change from AT&T started showing up today after updating to the latest iOS 12.2 beta that includes four new Animoji. The carrier-based change has received some heat as the carrier isn’t actually offering true 5G service, nor does any iPhone have a 5G modem. It looks like users of the latest iPhones (XR, XS, and XS Max) are seeing the change when running the iOS 12.2 beta 2 software. Meanwhile, we would expect the 5G E icon to be seen on the 2018 iPad Pro models as well since they share the same 4×4 MIMO LTE chips as the new iPhones. AT&T has said that it plans to roll out its true 5G service nationwide by 2020, the same year that Apple is expected to include the necessary 5G modems in its iPhones to take advantage of the next-generation cellular network. The carrier currently has its enhanced 5G E service live in over 400 markets and sees it as an important step in moving to standards-based 5G service. There's more posted on OUR FORUM.

The rollout of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has changed the face of privacy and data protection for millions of people across Europe. The regulation not only grants people access to the personal data companies hold about them but also controls how this data can be used and transferred. Apple's Tim Cook has already voiced his support for GDPR and said that the rest of the world should implement similar regulation. Now he has been joined by Cisco in calling for data laws to be embraced by the US as they have been in Europe. Acknowledging the increasing worldwide interest in privacy, Cisco's chief legal officer, Mark Chandler, expressed his belief that the US would benefit from its own GDPR-style laws. Speaking to the Financial Times, he said: "We believe that the GDPR has worked well and that with a few differences, that is what should be brought in in the US as well". While there have been calls from various quarters for the US to adopt some form of regulation for user data, there are concerns that Europe's GDPR is too broad. There have also been warnings that any US version of GDPR needs to take into account how US businesses work -- hence Chandler's mentioning of "a few differences". Follow this thread on OUR FORUM.

Google is adding a new feature to Google Chrome that will warn users about similar, or lookalike, URLs that a user may visit thinking they are going to the normal site. This feature is designed to warn users when they visit typosquatting domains, IDN Homograph Unicode attacks, scams, and phishing sites. In the current Canary builds of Chrome 74, a new experimental feature has been added that will alert users that they are visiting an URL that may be pretending to be or acting as a "lookalike" to a legitimate URL. For example, URLs like appl3.com, tw1tter.com, or m1crosoft.com. When users go to these URLs, Chrome will display a warning under the address bar stating "Did you mean to go to [ url ]?". For example, you can see that when we tried to go to the appl3.com URL it asks "Did you mean to go to apple.com/?". By default, this feature is only available in the Chrome Canary builds for Chrome 74.  To test the lookalike feature, you can download Chrome Canary and enter chrome://flags into the address bar. At the Experiments page, search for lookalike and then change "Navigation suggestions for lookalike URLs" to Enabled. You will then be prompted to relaunch the browser as shown below. A new Chromium Gerrit post indicates that these lookalike warnings may be moved to their very own browser interstitial instead. Chrome uses interstitial pages to display warnings to users before they actually visit the requested site. Read the whole story on OUR FORUM.