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February 1st, 2019:

Security – CAPTCHA become more difficult due to AI machine learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI) by computers is why CAPTCHA controls have become more complex & difficult as shared in detailed article by Verge below:

Jason Polakis, a computer science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, takes personal credit for the recent increase in CAPTCHA difficulty. In 2016, he published a paper in which he used off-the-shelf image recognition tools, including Google’s own reverse image search, to solve Google’s image CAPTCHAs with 70 percent accuracy. Other researchers have broken Google’s audio CAPTCHA challenges using Google’s own audio recognition programs.

Machine learning is now about as good as humans at basic text, image, and voice recognition tasks, Polakis says. In fact, algorithms are probably better at it: “We’re at a point where making it harder for software ends up making it too hard for many people. We need some alternative, but there’s not a concrete plan yet.”

Aaron Malenfant, the engineering lead on Google’s CAPTCHA team, says the move away from Turing tests is meant to sidestep the competition humans keep losing. “As people put more and more investment into machine learning, those sorts of challenges will have to get harder and harder for humans, and that’s particularly why we launched CAPTCHA V3, to get ahead of that curve.” Malenfant says that five to ten years from now, CAPTCHA challenges likely won’t be viable at all. Instead, much of the web will have a constant, secret Turing test running in the background.

Apple FaceTime – Privacy bug patched and service will resume next week

This major bug shutting down FaceTime service has been fixed and this app service will resume next week.  It is an amazing story of a 14 year old teen who discovered the issue & Apple support not taking it as seriously as they should (as they thought user instead of system error).  It occurs when using Facetime & you re-add yourself back as a 2nd instance (which is not logical or normal – and connects you to the group secretly, where you can hear everything others are saying even before they connect you in with the group.  There were a few instances of misuse until FaceTime was taken offline by Apple.

Apple has delayed a software update that will restore the use of group FaceTime after the feature was disabled this week because of a bug that allowed callers to eavesdrop on call recipients, reports MacRumors. The bug fix was initially supposed to arrive this week, according to a statement the company gave on Monday.

The bug was apparently reported to Apple days before it was actually addressed, and in a statement, Apple now says it is “committed to improving” how it deals with bug reports in the future. The company is also thanking by name the family of the teenager who first found and reported the bug, only to be unable to get the company’s attention. Apple also apologized to customers and says it is “committed to continuing to earn the trust Apple customers.”


Windows 10 – Improved Setup Error reporting coming

Future versions of WIN10 will included improved & expanded error reporting during SETUP as shared below

If Windows experienced a problem during installation, the user is presented with a KB code that needs to be Googled in order to figure out what it means and how to fix it. It’s frustrating, but now we can look forward to them disappearing in future builds.  The worst cases of this occur during Windows setup when you are presented with a long code and require another computer or your smartphone to Google it to try and figure out what’s going on. Thankfully, those days should soon be over.

The typical setup error you’ll see when installing Windows 10 is a hexadecimal number with examples being 0x800F0923 or 0xC1900101 – 0x20004. The first of those points to a driver or software compatibility problem, while the second relates to a driver error. It’s clear to see why you need a search engine to figure them out. But as Ars Technica reports, Windows 10 April 2019 Update (codenamed 19H1) changes the setup process to be more verbose and helpful.

Rather than just presenting a code accompanied by a less than helpful short description, the updated setup process tells you specifically what is wrong and then proceeds to offer solutions that can be carried out right then and there. For example, if you have incompatible apps installed during an upgrade to Windows 10, those apps will be listed and an uninstall button pops up allowing you to remove them and unblock the installation