Struggling for shut-eye in lockdown? Sleep-tracking devices may help | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

Months in covd-19-induced lockdown have for many of us taken a toll on our sleep. From the late-night scrolling through news to the bizarre dreams and midnight wake-ups worrying, the stress of the coronavirus pandemic has been wreaking havoc on our collective sleeping habits.
A recent survey found two in five people in the UK have experienced sleep disturbance. And with a good night’s rest considered an important part of overall health and wellbeing, you may have decided to start tracking yours. But where do you start? Here, with a quick list of good sleepmonitors from free apps to dedicated sleep sensors.
App: Sleep Cycle

Sleep Cycle tracks your sleep on your phone either on your bed or next to it on a bedside table. Photograph: Sleep Cycle
Price: Free (Android | iOS) or £29.99
If you want to get started with sleep tracking, a free app for your smartphone is the cheapest way to go. Sleep Cycle is one of the best for Android or iPhone and works by tracking your movements either using your phone’s accelerometer when placed on your bed next to your pillow or using the microphone to listen to your movements when placed on a bedside table.
You get analysis including a simple graph, an intelligent alarm designed to wake you up in a lighter sleep cycle, and integration with Apple Health or Google Fit for free. A premium upgrade of £29.99 adds various sleep aids through sound, more alarms, sleep history synced to SleepSecure and snore detection.
Verdict
A free app is a good place to try out sleep tracking.
Basic fitness tracker: Xiaomi Mi Band 4

The low-cost Xiaomi Mi Band 4 does a good job of basic sleep tracking, including silent alarms. Photograph: Xiaomi
Price: RRP £34.99 – deals from £25
The Chinese firm Xiaomi is the world’s second largest wearables company behind Apple for good reason: its affordable fitness trackers are feature-packed and great.
The Mi Band 4 is one of the lowest-priced fitness trackers with a heart rate sensor and comprehensive health tracking and lasts up to 20 days between charges. For sleep, it will automatically track the basics, including duration, deep and light sleep, interruptions, how long it took to nod off and to wake up. It will also continuously track your heart rate while you are wearing it and you can set vibrating alarms for the morning.
The companion Mi Fit app is fairly easy to understand, with good, simple presentation, but if you want sleep cycle analysis, you will have to spend a bit more.
Verdict
Good all-round fitness and sleep tracking on a budget – but watch out for sellers flogging fakes.
Advanced fitness tracker: Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit’s latest fitness band, the Charge 4, has comprehensive sleep tracking, including blood oxygen estimation. Photograph: Fitbit
Price: RRP £129.99
The new Charge 4 is Fitbit’s latest comprehensive fitness tracker, with GPS, heart rate and up to seven days’ battery life.
The Charge 4 uses motion and its heart rate sensor to automatically track sleep duration, interruptions and full cycles, including light, deep and REM sleep. It can also monitor your resting heart rate as a metric for fitness and your estimated blood oxygen variability, which is used to detect breathing difficulties that can indicate conditions such as sleep apnoea.
The Fitbit app has comprehensive analysis and tracks trends over weeks and months, including a sleep score each night. There is advice on how to improve your sleep, plus sleep goals and aids to help you get to sleep on time. Silent vibrating alarms help you get up in the morning.
Verdict
Comprehensive sleep tracking, including blood oxygen, in a fairly small fitness bracelet and easy to understand app
Smartwatch: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Most good smartwatches, such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, can track sleep as well as other health metrics. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
Price: RRP £269 – deals from £235
Practically any smartwatch with a heart rate sensor can measure sleep – this will soon include the Apple Watch with the watchOS 7 update due in the autumn. But it helps to have one with a good two-day battery life so it lasts through the day and the night.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is the best smartwatch you can get for Android (it works with an iPhone, too), and lasts up to 48 hours with exercise and sleep tracking. The Samsung Health app automatically tracks your sleep duration, heart rate, calories burned and sleep cycles including REM, with simple to interpret charts and a sleep-efficiency rating.
It also logs your sleep consistency and tracks trends including your average caffeine intake and average bedtime and wake-up time. It can also set silent alarms for the morning.
Verdict
With solid sleep tracking from a multi-purpose device, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is hard to beat.
Bed-mounted: Withings Sleep Analyzer

Slide the Withings Sleep Analyzer mat under your mattress for wearable and maintenance-free sleep tracking. Photograph: Withings
Price: RRP £119.95
The Withings Sleep Analyzer is a mat that slips under your mattress and automatically tracks your sleep without you having to wear or position anything, making it the easiest to live with.
Using pneumatic and sound sensors, it comprehensively handles the basics such as sleep duration, disturbances, consistency and cycles, including REM and heart rate, with aplomb. The mat can also track snoring and the disturbances in breathing associated with sleep apnoea, making it one of the few devices with regulatory approval to do so in Europe.
It syncs via wifi straight to your Withings account with data displayed in the easy-to-interpret companion Health Mate app on your phone or tablet. Each night it gives you a sleep score, a breakdown of each individual stat, a chart and your heart rate, and then it tracks trends across weeks and months.
Verdict
Zero-maintenance, comprehensive sleep tracking – including snoring and sleep apnoea – without having to wear any kind of device.
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What should I do with old electronic devices? | Money – Blog – 10 minute

Every week a Guardian Money reader submits a question, and it’s up to you to help him or her out – a selection of the best answers will appear in next Saturday’s paper.
During my lockdown clearout, I found lots of old electronics such as laptops and cameras. Is the tip the best option for them or can they be put to good use somehow?
Do you have a problem readers could solve? Tempemail your suggestions to [email protected] or write to us at Money, the Guardian, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU.

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Global Spend on IT Devices to Plunge by $108 Billion | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sourced from Finance Monthly.

The global spend on IT devices is forecast to plunge by $108bn year-on-year, falling to $590bn in 2020, according to data gathered by LearnBonds.
This major decrease can be attributed to the COVID-19 outbreak which has caused IT spend to slip by 8% – thousands of companies are cutting their technology and service budgets and financing only essential IT costs. And although the entire sector is forecast to shrink, IT devices and data centre systems are set to witness the most significant drop in consumer spending this year.
Revenue Crashes 15.5% in 2020
In 2012, consumers worldwide spent $676bn on IT devices, including PCs, ultramobiles, tablets, mobile phones and printers – according to Statista and Gartner data. By the end of 2016, this value dropped to $630bn. Over the next two years, global spending on IT devices rose to $712bn, a six-year high.

Statistics show that by the end of 2019, this value slightly decreased to $698bn. However, the COVID-19 pandemic triggered an IT industry recession, with even the largest tech companies like America’s IBM and HP, or China’s Lenovo, witnessing falling sales and tumbling stock prices.
The Gartner data revealed that global consumer spending on IT devices is expected to plummet to $590bn in 2020, down 15.5% in a year.
VP of data firm Gartner, John-David Lovelock says “IT spending recovery will be slow through 2020, with the hardest-hit industries, such as entertainment, air transport and heavy industry, taking over three years to come back to 2019 IT spending levels.”
Computing Revenue to Tumble by $14.3bn This Year
Besides a significant decrease in the IT device consumer spending, statistics forecast a substantial fall in global computing industry revenue in 2020. The market, which includes retail sales of laptops, tablets, desktop PCs, storage units, PC monitors, and keyboards, hit $278.9bn in revenue last year. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this value is expected to slump to $264.6bn in 2020, a $14.3bn drop in a year.
As the largest revenue stream of the entire market, laptops and tablets sales are forecast to decline by 9.7% year-on-year, falling from $171.6bn in 2019 to $161.9bn in 2020. Desktop PCs sales revenue is forecast to plunge by $1.6bn year-on-year, while storage unit revenue is forecast to fall by $1.2bn in 2020.
Statistics indicate that consumers worldwide are expected to reduce their spending on PC monitors and projectors by more than $1bn this year. Keyboards and printers follow with $200m, and $500m drop in revenue, respectively.

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Australia’s Covidsafe coronavirus tracing app works as few as one in four times for some devices | Health – Blog – 10 minute

The federal government’s Covidsafe contact tracing app works as few as one in every four times for some devices, documents tabled in the Senate have revealed.
The evidence for the first time shows the true state of the operation of the app, despite continuous claims from the government services minister, Stuart Robert, and the Digital Transformation Agency over the past two months that the app “works”.
Since the launch of the app in late April, developers have highlighted ongoing problems with the contact tracing app being able to exchange Bluetooth handshakes with iPhones if the iPhone screen is locked.
The handshakes are crucial for recording close contacts in the event that one of the users tests positive for coronavirus, so the other user can be contacted and tested for the virus.
It was only when asked during a Senate committee hearing in May that the DTA CEO, Randall Brugeaud, admitted the app worked less effectively when iPhones were locked.
Documents tabled in the Senate in response to questions from the Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick have shown, as Guardian Australia has been reporting, that communication between two locked iPhones – such as when people are walking in the street with the phone in their pocket – was “poor” when the app initially launched, meaning it picked up between 0% and 25% of all Bluetooth pings.
This came despite protestations from the federal government that reporting suggesting the app did not work properly on iPhones was incorrect.
“The app runs either in the foreground or background,” a spokesman for Robert told Guardian Australia on 4 May.
According to the DTA’s own documentation provided to the Senate Covid-19 committee, communication to locked iPhones from both active iPhones and Android devices on that date was “poor”.

Digital Transformation Agency Covidsafe app testing results. Photograph: Digital Transformation Agency
It was only ranked “moderate” (that is between 25% and 50% of pings) or at best “good” (between 50% and 80% of pings for Android devices and iOS devices communicating with locked iPhones) as of the end of May.
Guardian Australia asked the Digital Transformation Agency for more specific data but did not hear back by publication.
As of last week, approximately 6.31 million people in Australia have downloaded the app, and according to the health minister, Greg Hunt, that meets the government’s target of 40% of the population as he defined it – being 40% of the Australian population with smartphones.
Tempemail cabinet on Friday added a requirement to its stage three framework for easing restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings that people download the Covidsafe app.
So far states and territories have not tied app downloads to the easing of restrictions, and the federal legislation for the app makes it a crime to force people to download the app.
As of last week, state health agencies have only downloaded data from the app around 30 times, and in none of those cases did the app find anyone not already discovered through traditional contact tracing methods.
But as the states move to ease restrictions and increase capacities at entertainment venues and sporting matches, the app could prove useful in cases where close contacts aren’t easily identifiable, putting pressure on the government to resolve outstanding issues with the operation of the app.
Push to fix ongoing issues
There remain several critical issues with the operation of the Covidsafe app beyond the iPhone issue.
One recently patched flaw allowed long-term tracing of phones even if the app was uninstalled. Although a patch fixed the issue, Android users may not be getting the most up-to-date app after developers noticed it would not auto-update if it was already running – a requirement for effective operation.
The Australian Tempemail University professor Dr Alwen Tiu told Guardian Australia that he had discovered “a different bug, unrelated to [the previous vulnerability] that has the same effect of extracting a permanent, trackable identity from an Android device”.
He said that this issue has not yet been addressed despite him reporting it to the DTA on the 2 June along with suggested a fix.
Another recently discovered iPhone issue occurred if your phone was locked for an hour, meaning the ID associated with your phone would expire, and it wouldn’t exchange IDs with other devices in the vicinity, rendering the app useless.
Jim Mussared, one of the developers who has been reporting flaws to the Digital Transformation Agency, expressed his dismay at how the DTA had been “not at all communicative” with developers about the issues.
“It takes them a long time to confirm the issues, many remain unfixed. Many of these issues have been one-line fixes. Additionally there’s been a complete lack of transparency around all aspects of the development of the app,” he said.
Mussared said he would like to see the DTA release the source code for the server that accesses the data in the event a person tests positive for the virus.
He also said the DTA should provide more information on the bugs and how they are discovered and resolved, and should release information on the number of users actively using the app every day, not just the number of people who have downloaded the app.
Guardian Australia had a freedom of information request to the DTA refused, in part, because of the lack of resources the agency has to process it, claiming it would have to consult up to 80 businesses and four government agencies for the request, and there was only one part-time FOI officer working for the agency.
Mussared said the best thing the agency could do is implement the Apple-Google developed version of contact tracing into the app. It would resolve many of the ongoing issues, including the iPhone handshake problem, he said.
“They should just move to [it] ASAP. In fact, they should have abandoned any other plans the moment that the API was announced at the start of April. Any issues with reliability and privacy of the app are entirely as a direct result of this decision.”
The DTA did not respond to specific questions about outstanding issues with the app, but said “the Australian community can have confidence the app is working securely and effectively, despite the lack of community transmission of Covid-19”.
“The DTA continues to improve the app and welcome feedback on COVIDSafe from the developer community,” a spokesman said.
The DTA said it was still testing the Apple-Google framework to see if it can be implemented in Covidsafe. Several countries, including Germany, have already moved to implement the framework.
Singapore, which developed the app Covidsafe is based on, this week decided against using it.
The country’s minister in charge of the smart nation program, Vivian Balakrishnan, said because the decentralised model used by Apple and Google doesn’t allow health authorities to identify close contacts it is “less effective”.
Covidsafe and TraceTogether gives a list of contacts to health authorities to call, while the Apple-Google version alerts those close contacts through the app and asks them to contact authorities for testing.
Additional reporting by Henry McGilchrist

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Network zero-days leave millions of IoT devices open to abuse – Security- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Security researchers analysing a network stack used in hundreds of millions of devices found that it contained serious vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers for remote code execution and data exfiltration.
The software library is made by Treck, which specalises in transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP) networking stacks for embedded devices.
JSOF, which started analysing Treck’s software in September last year, found a total of 19 vulnerabilities.
Of these, four are marked as critical, having ratings over 9 under the Common Vulnerabilities Scoring System version 3 and can be considered as zero-days, JSOF said.
Two critical vulnerabilities that can be triggered by sending multiple malformed internet protocol version 4 and 6 packets to devices can be exploited for remote code execution, and carry the maximum 10 out of 10 severity score under CVSSv3.
Another remote code excution vulnerability rates 9 out of 10 on CVSSv3 but JSOF said that in its opinion, it is the most serious of all as domain name system (DNS) lookups can leave the network in which the device is located, allowing attackers to take over equipment through resolver cache poisoning.
Such a vulnerability can bypass security measures and will likely be difficult for firewalls and similar products to detect, JSOF said.
The software library is found in a large number of applications, ranging from industrial controllers to medical devices, printers, transportation systems, aviation, network equipment, government and national security, enterprise devices and more.
 
JSOF has confirmed that devices from several well-known brands such as HP, Schneider Electric, Intel, Caterpillar and Baxter used vulnerable versions of the Treck TCP/IP stack.
If the vulnerable devices face the internet, attackers could use the vulnerabilities to take them over, or compromise them to lie hidden in networks for years.
Bypassing network address translation (NAT) is also possible from the outside world, JSOF noted.
Apart from applying patches to vulnerable devices, JSOF recommends administrators try to filter out anomalous TCP/IP traffic to mitigate against exploitation.
Products that can’t be updated should not be accessible from the internet unless it’s absolutely necessary, and network exposure for these should be kept to a minimum, JSOF suggested.
Treck has acknowledged the vulnerabilities, issued patches for them and also notified its customers.
JSOF said working with Treck was “initally challenging” as the company appears to have never been the target of independent security research.
Treck also took the information disclosed by JSOF to litigation lawyers, the security vendor said.
After asking vendors that use the TCP/IP stack such as Digi, HP, Intel and Quadros for help, JSOF was able to make contact with Treck and work with the company to address the many vulnerabilities in its software.

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New Critical Flaws Put Billions of Internet-Connected Devices at Risk of Hacking – Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The Department of Homeland Security and CISA ICS-CERT will today issue a critical security advisory warning about over a dozen newly discovered vulnerabilities affecting billions of Internet-connected devices manufactured by over 500 vendors across the globe.
Dubbed “Ripple20,” the set of 19 vulnerabilities reside in a low-level TCP/IP software library developed by Treck, which, if weaponized, could let remote attackers gain complete control over targeted devices—without requiring any user interaction.
According to Israeli cybersecurity company JSOF—who discovered these flaws—the affected devices are in use across various industries, ranging from home/consumer devices to medical, healthcare, data centers, enterprises, telecom, oil, gas, nuclear, transportation, and many others across critical infrastructure.
“Just a few examples: data could be stolen off of a printer, an infusion pump behavior changed, or industrial control devices could be made to malfunction. An attacker could hide malicious code within embedded devices for years,” the researchers said in a report shared with The Hacker News.

“One of the vulnerabilities could enable entry from outside into the network boundaries; this is only a small taste of the potential risks.”
There are four critical vulnerabilities in Treck TCP/IP stack, with CVSS scores over 9, which could let attackers execute arbitrary code on targeted devices remotely, and one critical bug affects the DNS protocol.
“The other 15 vulnerabilities are in ranging degrees of severity with CVSS score ranging from 3.1 to 8.2, and effects ranging from Denial of Service to potential Remote Code Execution,” the report says.

Some Ripple20 flaws were patched by Treck or device manufacturers over the years due to code changes and Stack configurability, and for the same reason, many of the flaws also have several variants that apparently would not be patched anytime soon until vendors perform a comprehensive risk assessment.

CVE-2020-11896 (CVSS v3 base score 10.0): Improper handling of length parameter inconsistency in IPv4/UDP component when handling a packet sent by an unauthorized network attacker. This vulnerability may result in remote code execution.
CVE-2020-11897 (CVSS v3 base score 10.0): Improper handling of length parameter inconsistency in IPv6 component when handling a packet sent by an unauthorized network attacker. This vulnerability may result in possible out-of-bounds write.
CVE-2020-11898 (CVSS v3 base score 9.8): Improper handling of length parameter inconsistency in IPv4/ICMPv4 component when handling a packet sent by an unauthorized network attacker. This vulnerability may result in the exposure of sensitive information.
CVE-2020-11899 (CVSS v3 base score 9.8): Improper input validation in the IPv6 component when handling a packet sent by an unauthorized network attacker. This vulnerability may allow exposure of sensitive information.
CVE-2020-11900 (CVSS v3 base score of 9.3): Possible double free in IPv4 tunneling component when handling a packet sent by a network attacker. This vulnerability may result in remote code execution.
CVE-2020-11901 (CVSS v3 base score 9.0): Improper input validation in the DNS resolver component when handling a packet sent by an unauthorized network attacker. This vulnerability may result in remote code execution.

You can find details for the rest of the vulnerabilities in an advisory released by the U.S. government.
Cybersecurity researchers at JSOF responsibly reported their findings to Treck company, who then patched most of the flaws with the release of TCP/IP stack version 6.0.1.67 or higher.

Researchers also contacted over 500 affected semiconductors and device manufacturing vendors, including—HP, Schneider Electric, Intel, Rockwell Automation, Caterpillar, Baxter, and Quadros—many of which have already acknowledged the flaw and rest are still taking an assessment of their products before going public.
“The disclosure was postponed twice after requests for more time came from some of the participating vendors, with some of the vendors voicing COVID-19-related delays. Out of consideration for these companies, the time period was extended from 90 to over 120 days. Even so, some of the participating companies became difficult to deal with, as they made extra demands, and some, from our perspective, seemed much more concerned with their brand’s image than with patching on the vulnerabilities,” the researchers said.
Since millions of devices would not receive security patch updates to address Ripple20 vulnerabilities anytime soon, researchers and ICS-CERT have recommended consumers and organization to:

Minimize network exposure for all control system devices and/or systems, and ensure that they are not accessible from the Internet.
Locate control system networks and remote devices behind firewalls and isolate them from the business network.

Besides this, it’s also advised to use virtual private networks for securely connecting your devices to Cloud-based services over the Internet.
In its advisory, CISA has also asked affected organizations to perform proper impact analysis and risk assessment before deploying defensive measures.

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Telenor, Sony and Ericsson Join Forces to Develop Smart IoT Healthcare Devices | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sourced from Getty Images.

Ericsson, Sony and Telenor have announced that they are teaming up to make it easy to connect people and things with intelligent tracking and monitoring solutions. Ranging from cargo to IoT healthcare devices for patients, tracking increases mobility and improves reliability and efficiency.
Using Telenor’s network, Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator for global connectivity, and Sony Network Communications Europe’s smart IoT services, the three partners are collaborating to enhance real-time location and tracking solutions for different sectors.
Ericsson IoT Accelerator is the Ericsson’s IoT connectivity and device management platform, providing enterprises with a unified solution that manages IoT operations of any scale, using worldwide mobile network infrastructure.
More than 35 service providers, spanning more than 100 countries, are currently part of the Ericsson IoT Accelerator ecosystem. The service currently enables reliable, scalable, and secure connectivity management of IoT devices to more than 5000 enterprises globally. With more than 50 million devices onboarded on to the platform including over 3 million eSIMs, the Ericsson IoT Accelerator is a truly global platform.

Sony Network Communications Europe focuses on connectivity solutions and offers IoT cellular platforms such as Visilion and mSafety, providing cellular connectivity and wearable tracking devices.
Anders Strömberg, Director and Head of Wearable Platform Department at Sony Network Communications Europe, says “As the use of cellular technology matures, this can have a positive impact on the future of mobile health services and the safety and welfare of end-users.”
Mats Lundquist, CEO of Telenor Connexion, says “We are proud to be a long term partner of forward-thinking companies like Sony Network Communications Europe and to support their business growth and future IoT products and services.”
Kiva Allgood, Head of IoT at Ericsson, says, “This is a great example of how IoT Accelerator can liberate our partners’ IoT solutions and services to scale globally and deliver value to end-users.”
Use cases for Sony’s Visilion platform include the logistics and healthcare sectors where sensors can provide information about the real-time position of anything that is connected. Locating valuable hospital equipment with healthcare IoT tracking devices such as ECG machines and hospital beds, knowing where nursing staff and patients are in the hospital, can save time and improve resource allocation.
Similarly, the mSafety platform comes with a user-friendly wearable (a device that an end-consumer can wear such as a watch) that can be used in the healthcare, wellness or safety sector. Wearables can be used to monitor users and provide information about health data such as body temperature and heart rate, track location and send alert notifications in case of an emergency.
Ericsson projects that the number of IoT connections, including NB-IoT and Cat-M technologies, will reach almost 25 billion by 2025.

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vivo to Launch Two New Devices in South Africa | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

vivo Mobile has announced that it will be extending its offering in South Africa with the introduction of two new handsets. The Y12 and Y30, both evolutions in the Y-series will enter ahead of 5G towards the end of 2020.
vivo CEO, Jeff Cao says that the company plans to sit rank the top tier segment of cell phone brands in the country within the next three years. “vivo plans to provide South African consumers with a user experience beyond expectations through technology and innovative, trendsetting products,” adds Cao.
Here’s a closer look at vivo’s new devices:
vivo Y12
The vivo Y12 is available in Aqua Blue or Burgundy Red and requires just one hand to work as it’s specifically designed for gesture controls. It sports an AI Super-Wide-Angle Camera on the back while the front is fitted with an 8MP selfie camera.

Like the other devices in the Y-series, the Y12 features an industry-leading 5,000mAh battery, supported by intelligent power-saving technologies to further extend battery life. The octa-core processor with a 12nm design and clock speeds of up to 2.0GHz means that users can install all the apps they need and can choose between two variants to ensure the smartphone runs smoothly: 3GB + 64GB or 4GB + 32GB.
vivo Y30
The Y30 is ready in Dazzle Blue or Moonlight White colours and is a stylish and sophisticated device. Sensors on the phone include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, and fingerprint sensor. Plus, the vivo Y30 supports face unlock.
Like the other devices in the Y-series this device also boasts a 5000mAh non-removable battery and a 10W fast charging option to keep up with a fast-paced lifestyle.
8GB of RAM and an octa-core MediaTek Helio P35 (MT6765) processor allows for excellent storage and a device that will run smoothly – it runs Funtouch OS based on Android 10 and packs 128GB of inbuilt storage.
The rear features a 13-megapixel primary camera with an f/2.2 aperture; a second 8-megapixel camera with an f/2.2 aperture; a third 2-megapixel camera with an f/2.4 aperture and a fourth 2 MP camera with an f/2.4 aperture. It also comes with Digital Zoom, Auto Flash, Face detection and Touch to focus. The front camera also sports an 8 MP camera.

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Microsoft to unify app development for 1 billion Windows 10 devices- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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To help developers build apps for modern work using Microsoft 365 and Windows platforms, Microsoft has unveiled Project Reunion to unifying app development across one billion Windows 10 devices.
Project Reunion will make it easier to build great apps that work across all the Windows 10 versions and devices people use.
“For the past couple of years, we have been breaking down the barrier between Win32 (also called the Windows API) and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) APIs. Project Reunion expands this effort to make it easier to build a great Windows app,” the company announced during its ‘Build 2020′ developer conference.
It will unify access to existing Win32 and UWP APIs and make them available decoupled from the OS, via tools like “NuGet”. This will provide a common platform for new apps.
“Plus, it will help you update and modernize your existing apps with the latest functionality, whether they’re C++, .NET (including WPF, Windows Forms, and UWP) or React Native,” said Microsoft.
One of the first components in the Project Reunion journey is WinUI 3 Preview 1, the high performant, Fluent-optimized native UI framework for Windows.
With WinUI developers can build great user experiences that adapt and scale across devices, whether they are starting a new project, or modernizing an existing app, according to the company.
Microsoft also expanded WebView2 (another component in the Project Reunion journey) with a new .NET Preview.
Now, any Windows app can embed web content with the power of Microsoft Edge and Chromium.
As organisations shift to enable remote work, Windows Virtual Desktop, built on Azure, has provided the ability to provision and scale virtual desktops and apps faster than was previously possible.
“Because scalability is so important, we introduced a feature called MSIX App Attach. The MSIX App Attach Preview will optimize people’s experiences by untangling the OS image that organizations deploy in the cloud from the apps that people need to access,” informed Microsoft.
With Microsoft PowerToys (0.18), app developers can customise the Windows 10 shell for personal workflows.
“Today’s updates add two new utilities: Keyboard Remapper and PowerToys Run. You can remap key to key and shortcut to shortcut using Keyboard Remapper,” said Microsoft.

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New Bluetooth Vulnerability Exposes Billions of Devices to Hackers – Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Academics from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) disclosed a security vulnerability in Bluetooth that could potentially allow an attacker to spoof a remotely paired device, exposing over a billion of modern devices to hackers.
The attacks, dubbed Bluetooth Impersonation AttackS or BIAS, concerns Bluetooth Classic, which supports Basic Rate (BR) and Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) for wireless data transfer between devices.
“The Bluetooth specification contains vulnerabilities enabling to perform impersonation attacks during secure connection establishment,” the researchers outlined in the paper. “Such vulnerabilities include the lack of mandatory mutual authentication, overly permissive role switching, and an authentication procedure downgrade.”
Given the widespread impact of the vulnerability, the researchers said they responsibly disclosed the findings to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the organization that oversees the development of Bluetooth standards in December 2019.

The Bluetooth SIG acknowledged the flaw, adding it has made changes to resolve the vulnerability. “These changes will be introduced into a future specification revision,” the SIG said.

The BIAS Attack

For BIAS to be successful, an attacking device would need to be within the wireless range of a vulnerable Bluetooth device that has previously established a BR/EDR connection with another Bluetooth device whose address is known to the attacker.
The flaw stems from how two previously paired devices handle the long term key, also known as link key, that’s used to mutually authenticate the devices and activate a secure connection between them.

The link key also ensures that users don’t have to pair their devices every time a data transfer occurs between, say, a wireless headset and a phone, or between two laptops.
The attacker, then, can exploit the bug to request a connection to a vulnerable device by forging the other end’s Bluetooth address, and vice versa, thus spoofing the identity and gaining full access to another device without actually possessing the long term pairing key that was used to establish a connection.
Put differently, the attack allows a bad actor to impersonate the address of a device previously paired with the target device.

What’s more, BIAS can be combined with other attacks, including the KNOB (Key Negotiation of Bluetooth) attack, which occurs when a third party forces two or more victims to agree on an encryption key with reduced entropy, thus allowing the attacker to brute-force the encryption key and use it to decrypt communications.

Devices Not Updated Since December 2019 Affected

With most standard-compliant Bluetooth devices impacted by the vulnerability, the researchers said they tested the attack against as many as 30 devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, headphones, and single-board computers such as Raspberry Pi. All the devices were found to be vulnerable to BIAS attacks.
The Bluetooth SIG said it’s updating the Bluetooth Core Specification to “avoid a downgrade of secure connections to legacy encryption,” which lets the attacker initiate “a master-slave role switch to place itself into the master role and become the authentication initiator.”
In addition to urging companies to apply the necessary patches, the organization is recommending Bluetooth users to install the latest updates from the device and operating system manufacturers.
“The BIAS attacks are the first uncovering issues related to Bluetooth’s secure connection establishment authentication procedures, adversarial role switches, and Secure Connections downgrades,” the research team concluded. “The BIAS attacks are stealthy, as Bluetooth secure connection establishment does not require user interaction.”

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