This is iPhone 8

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The hardware that allows the iPhone 8's rumored facial recognition capability could consist of a "revolutionary" new camera system for its front-facing camera.

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The report follows related rumors of Apple augmenting or ditching its Touch ID fingerprint scanner in favor of iris or facial recognition technology, fueled by its acquisition of Israeli facial recognition startup RealFace. Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 -- yep, that Galaxy Note 7 -- was among the first phones to come equipped with an iris scanner.

99.6 percent of new smartphones run Android or iOS

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The latest smartphone figures from Gartner are out, and they paint an extremely familiar picture. Between them, Android and iOS accounted for 99.6 percent of all smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2016. This duopoly has been the norm for a while now (in the second quarter of 2015 this figure was 96.8 percent), but it’s always impressive — and slightly terrifying — to see how Google and Apple continue to wring the last decimal point drops of market share from global smartphone users.

Of the 432 million smartphones sold in the last quarter, 352 million ran Android (81.7 percent) and 77 million ran iOS (17.9 percent), but what happened to the other players? Well, in the same quarter, Windows Phone managed to round up 0.3 percent of the market, while BlackBerry was reduced to a rounding error. The once-great firm sold just over 200,000 units, amounting to 0.0 percent market share.

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Microsoft warns iOS isn't as secure as you think

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Microsoft has warned customers that iOS is no more secure than Android, contradicting commonly held beliefs about the relative security of the two platforms. The company said that recent attacks targeting iOS prove it's as vulnerable as Android.

Brad Anderson, Microsoft's corporate vice president for enterprise and client mobility, set out his views in a company blog post last week. He used the Pegasus iOS spyware, revealed last month, as an example of severe vulnerabilities present in iOS. Pegasus is capable of monitoring everything a user does on their device, leaving them vulnerable to further attack.

The malware was analysed by Lookout Security, a Microsoft partner. In its report, Lookout described Pegasus as "the most sophisticated attack we've seen on any endpoint." Since it originates from a leading iOS security firm, Anderson said the statement reveals a lot about the state of security on Apple's platform.

Anderson is attempting to challenge the trust that consumers typically place in Apple. Android threats are far more numerous and gain more widespread attention than attacks on iOS. iOS is not immune to potentially devastating malware though, in contradiction of the views of some customers. Anderson said Pegasus should be a "pretty startling wake-up call" that everyone is "under constant persistent attack" on every platform.

Microsoft executives have reportedly indicated "unwavering implicit trust" in Apple's iOS "countless times," revealing how strong the association between Apple and security has become. The belief that Apple's platform is stronger than Android appears to derive from iOS' closed nature. Because it's a more controlled ecosystem, the attack surface is lower than for Android malware.

This view is dangerous, according to Anderson. Every mobile device is at constant risk of attack, regardless of the platform it runs. "I know for a fact that all the providers of mobile operating systems go to superhuman lengths to harden their platforms and do everything they can to deliver the most secure operating system possible," said Anderson.

However, iOS, Android and Windows all have vulnerabilities that expose them to potentially devastating attacks. Some platforms are targeted more frequently than others but this shouldn't influence people to make assumptions about a platform's security. Pegasus demonstrates that even a closed ecosystem can be infiltrated by some of the most complex mobile malware ever observed.

Coming from Microsoft, Anderson's argument represents a powerful message to businesses and consumers that iOS may not be all it seems. Pegasus has proven iOS presents a viable attack vector to cybercriminals. It has also demonstrated that malware has been commercialised to the point that it's an off-the-shelf product, available for purchase from the secretive NSO Group. According to Microsoft, the idea of a single platform being more secure than others is an urban myth. In real-world terms, any device can be hacked and every user is a target.

Tim Cook defended Apple's approach to security: 'Encryption is inherently great'

Apple CEO Tim Cook has robustly defended his company's strident approach to security in a new on-stage Q&A, declaring: "Encryption is inherently great."

The Cupertino tech exec spoke in Salt Lake City, Utah, as part of the US state's "Utah Tech Tour" event

Microsoft has hit $1 trillion in all-time revenue, and with more profit than Apple

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Last quarter, Microsoft hit a major milestone: $1 trillion in all-time cumulative revenue reports technology consultant Jeff Reifman.

He noticed the milestone while researching a post about Microsoft's tax breaks in the state of Washington.

Microsoft hit the milestone in its last quarter, according to the spreadsheet posted by Reifman.

Apple hit $1 trillion in revenue earlier, in 2015, his research shows.

On the other hand, when it comes to profits, Microsoft has come out slightly ahead of Apple: $261.6 billion in cumulative profits for Apple, and slightly more, $265.2 billion for Microsoft.

Amazon and Google, younger companies than Microsoft and Apple, have not yet hit the $1 trillion revenue mark, but are about half-way there, Reifman reports. Amazon, for instance, came in at $545 billion in all time revenue but only $3.31 billion in profit.

As for Google, Reifman's research shows it has so far earned $417.3 billion in all-time revenue with $96.3 billion, cumulatively, in profit.

Microsoft open sources Xamarin's software development kit

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Two months after being acquired by Microsoft, cross-platform development-tool vendor Xamarin is continuing to push the open-source envelope.

On April 27 at Xamarin's Evolve developer conference in Orlando, officials announced Microsoft has open-sourced the Xamarin software development kit (SDK).

At Microsoft's Build 2016 developers conference last month, Microsoft announced intentions to open source the Xamarin SDK, runtime, libraries and command line tools. Microsoft also announced it would make Xamarin part of the various Visual Studio releases at no additional cost.

Today, company officials said Microsoft has open sourced and contributed to the .NET Foundation the Xamarin SDK for Android, iOS and Mac under the same MIT license used for the Mono project. The native application program interface (API) bindings for iOS, Android and Mac, the command-line tools necessary to build for these platforms, and the cross-platform UI framework Xamarin.Forms are all part of what's now open sourced.

Microsoft also is working to help Xamarin developers more easily connect Visual Studio to Mac so they can create iOS apps natively in C#. Xamarin's iOS Simulator remoting allows developers to simulate and interact with their iOS apps in Visual Studio, with support for touch screens. And its iOS USB remoting allows devs to deploy and debug apps from Visual Studio to an iPad or iPhone plugged into their Windows PCs.

Microsoft also unveiled some new Xamarin.Forms features; enhancements to the Xamarin Studio IDE to bring it closer to Visual Studio; and a Test Recorder Visual Studio plug-in at Evolve.

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Face Off

For a different Sunday morning, this is a best way to spend your two hours.

In this video Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are speaking about their companies, their and our life, the future of the world with different point of view.

To make crashes 'friendlier', Microsoft adds QR codes to Windows 10 BSOD

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Windows users will no longer be forced to manually Google error messages to figure out why their computer crashed, as development builds of Windows 10 now include a QR code on the Blue Screen of Death.

The QR codes appeared in build 14316 of the Windows 10 Insider Preview. Though it currently points to a generic help page, the QR code will presumably eventually direct users to specific Windows support articles.

Microsoft's Blue Screen of Death was long a spartan, utilitarian affair. It displayed a generic message and an often unintelligible crash code in a monospaced font.

That changed with Windows 8, when the BSOD was redesigned to add a sad emoticon and more nuanced error instructions.

Apple's modern equivalent — the OS X kernel panic screen — has always been somewhat more refined, though less helpful. Until OS X 10.8, rather than providing a reason, the kernel panic screen simply instructed users to perform a hard reset of their system; more recent revisions perform the reboot automatically.

Apple Pay Has Officially Launched In The U.K.

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The Eagle has landed. An accidental tweet told us that the U.K. wouldn’t have to wait for Apple Pay much longer, and that tweet was right. Apple Pay has officially launched in the U.K.

Finally! It has been available to customers here in the US since last October, so your time has finally come, U.K.

Hopefully your bank is one of the launch participants: American Express, First Direct, HSBC, Nationwide, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster Bank. I use Simple as my bank and had to wait until like a month ago to try Apple Pay out. It was worth the wait.

As far as where you can do your shopping? Here’s a partial list of stores that kinda sound familiar to me, but not really: Boots, BP, Costa, Liberty, Lidl, M&S, McDonalds, Starbucks and my fav, Wagamama.

According to Apple, the service will be available in 250,000 locations.

Apple creates 'Move to iOS' app to pull Android users away from Google

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The iPhone 6 has been more successful than previous versions of the smartphone at drawing Android users away from Google’s mobile platform, and Apple wants to capitalize on that with a new app that makes it easier for them to make the switch.

The switching process will also suggest that they install free apps from their Android device that are also available on Apple’s App Store, so switchers can quickly get back on their feet with their favorite apps like Facebook and Twitter. Paid apps that they have on Android with iOS versions available will be added to a user’s wish list in the iOS App Store.

According to Apple, the whole process will be handled “securely” so that a user’s personal information doesn’t get exposed. It’s not clear exactly how the process works yet, and how aggressive Apple will be when it comes to migrating users away from Google’s services. For example, it’s possible that the process will move all of the contacts a user has stored with Google over to iCloud—Apple hasn’t said one way or another.

Once the process is done, the Android app will helpfully prompt users to recycle their Android phone, just to keep them from going back to Google’s mobile platform unless they buy a new phone.

The app wasn’t announced on stage Monday morning during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, but it appeared on the promotional page the company created to show off its new mobile operating system ahead of its launch later this year.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts during the company’s January financial results conference call that the current iPhone lineup “experienced the highest Android switcher rate in any of the last three launches in any of the three previous years.” This app should help accelerate that trend by making it even easier for people to switch over.

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