Sept. 10 launch date confirmed for ‘Gears 5’ at E3 2019 | Windows Experience Blog

On Sunday during the 2019 Xbox E3 Briefing, The Coalition studio announced that “Gears 5” will launch worldwide on Sept. 10. Gamers can play the game four days early with Ultimate Edition or their Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership.
“As excited as we are to confirm the date, I wanted to show you how ‘Gears 5’ is bigger than ever, with five thrilling modes and the deepest campaign yet,” Studio Head Rod Fergusson wrote in an Xbox Wire blog post. “And this summer, we’ll tell you all about it.”
Head over to Xbox Wire for Fergusson’s preview, complete with images and how to stay informed about “Gears 5” between now and Sept. 10.

Announcing E2 2020 |

Every day, I’m inspired by educators who innovate in the classroom to provide the best learning opportunities for their students and by leaders who continue to pursue new ways to expand access for all, adopt technology and grow economies through education.

Building on the momentum from a fantastic event in Paris earlier this year, today, live from EduTech in Sydney, Australia, I am thrilled to announce that we are hosting our 6th annual Education Exchange (E2) down under for the very first time—in Sydney, March 23-26, 2020.

Bringing the event to Australia allows us to highlight the incredible innovations in education happening across the country, while showcasing how the education system is taking proactive steps to provide technology access to students from the cities to the outback. When I think of the best examples of leaders supporting education and educators doing amazing things in the classroom, those in Australia often come to mind. Microsoft is extremely proud to partner with this system that, according to OECD, is one of the highest performers in education.

With a core focus on computer science, STEM and Minecraft: Education Edition as well as productivity tools, Teams and Artificial Intelligence, schools across the nation are encouraged to dream big and expect more. They leverage technology to achieve more and strive for equity and inclusion. As a nod to their excellence, I see no better place to host Microsoft’s E2 | Education Exchange in 2020.

“I cannot wait to see the amazing achievements of Education leaders from across the world on our shores next year,” said Steven Worrall, Area Vice President, Microsoft Australia.

If you’re not familiar with E2, the event brings together selected Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts to immerse themselves in what many prior attendees have called a “life changing experience.” E2 inspires educators from around the world by offering them the chance to work through problems and collaborate on projects with peers who are equally enthusiastic and ambitious in their use of technology for learning.

Leaders will come together and participate in hands-on workshops and discussions on key topics surrounding education transformation, skilling and technology to help transform today’s teaching systems into learning organizations. They will also gain fresh insight into technology for teaching, learning and administration and share proven strategies to drive more effective learning outcomes across their systems.

Save the date for live, online events during E2 

E2 features a number of renowned speakers and education changemakers, so we want to make sure all our audiences around the world can watch live from their homes or schools. To support this, many of the plenary session keynotes will be streamed live on the Microsoft Education Facebook page. Details will be announced on the Microsoft Education Facebook page and on the Microsoft Education Blog as we get closer to the event.

Become a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert

We invite all educators to join the Microsoft Educator Community—there you’ll find on-demand professional development and training courses that can lead you to your certification as a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE). After becoming an MIE, you can continue your journey towards becoming a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE). Nominations are open from April 15, 2019 through July 15, 2019, and you can apply here.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

NSA issues BlueKeep warning as new PoC exploit demos

The National Security Agency issued an alert warning the public about the potential threat of the BlueKeep vulnerability on the same day as a full system exploit was demoed.

The NSA warning comes just over three weeks after Microsoft patched both supported and unsupported Windows systems against BlueKeep, which affects the Remote Desktop Protocol. Microsoft had issued two of its own alerts urging customers to patch, but the NSA noted “potentially millions of systems are still vulnerable.” The alert itself drew attention because it is more common for the Department of Homeland Security to issue cybersecurity warnings than the NSA.

The NSA referenced “growing threats” and noted that BlueKeep “is the type of vulnerability that malicious cyber actors frequently exploit through the use of software code that specifically targets the vulnerability.”

“For example, the vulnerability could be exploited to conduct denial-of-service attacks. It is likely only a matter of time before remote exploitation code is widely available for this vulnerability,” NSA wrote in the advisory. “NSA is concerned that malicious cyber actors will use the vulnerability in ransomware and exploit kits containing other known exploits, increasing capabilities against other unpatched systems. NSA urges everyone to invest the time and resources to know your network and run supported operating systems with the latest patches.”

Although there were no specifics given, NSA added that it has “seen devastating computer worms inflict damage on unpatched systems with wide-ranging impact, and are seeking to motivate increased protections against this flaw.” A wormable exploit similar to BlueKeep, called EternalBlue, was stolen from the NSA and enabled ransomware attacks like WannaCry and NotPetya to spread to new systems.

The advisory offered the same mitigation methods suggested to combat other potential BlueKeep exploits, including blocking port 3389, disabling remote desktop services if possible and enabling Network Level Authentication (NLA).

However, the author of a new BlueKeep exploit demoed the same day as the NSA alert — Twitter user “zerosum0x0” — noted that NLA is only a partial mitigation. Kevin Beaumont, a security researcher based in the U.K. who named BlueKeep, confirmed that if an attacker has account credentials, they can bypass NLA.

BlueKeep exploits have been demoed by various researchers both on Twitter and from research firms such as McAfee, Zerodium and Kaspersky, but so far the demos have been for denial-of-service attacks and limited remote code execution. Zerosum0x0 wrote on Twitter that the exploit chain he’s been working on is specific to Windows XP “but confirm the RCE threat is real.”

A worm is coming in weeks at the most, not months.
Jake WilliamsFounder and CEO, Rendition Infosec

While zerosum0x0 showed a video of his BlueKeep exploit gaining full system access, he said it was “still too dangerous to release.” Multiple infosec professionals, including Beaumont, praised zerosum0x0 for the work and for delaying the release of any actual code.

Jake Williams, founder and CEO of Rendition Infosec in Augusta, Ga., told SearchSecurity he was surprised there hasn’t been a public exploit yet and predicted “a worm is coming in weeks at the most, not months.”

“This exploit is an odd one in that it can be easily reverse engineered from the patch to create a trigger that exercises the vulnerability (but does not yet gain code execution). Most vulnerabilities require more work than this to generate a trigger file,” Williams wrote via Twitter direct message. “The [proof of concept] for BlueKeep appears to be very real. The source of the demo is reliable and has the knowledge to create one. I know of at least one nonpublic PoC as well, so a publicly available weaponized exploit is definitely around the corner.”

Marcus “MalwareTech” Hutchins told SearchSecurity there was nothing inherently special about the latest exploit, because there have been RCE demos “for weeks now,” and “RCE is at kernel level [where] by default you have the highest privileges possible.”

Williams agreed, but added that “the video plus the discussion of it being put in metasploit” could make businesses consider “pulling the trigger on a Windows outage to patch.”

“The reality is that some people aren’t going to patch until there’s an active exploit in the wild,” Williams said. “There’s another subset that will continue to do business as usual (60- to 90-day patch window) unless they assess that an exploit is imminent. For those folks who want to stand on the train tracks and play chicken with the train, I think this video PoC might be the thing that tips the balance.”

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For Sale – Ryzen 7 1700 gaming PC

Device Type Graphics card
Bus Type PCI Express 3.0 x16
Graphics Engine NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
Core Clock 1582 MHz
Boost Clock 1771 MHz
Process Technology 16 nm
VR Ready Yes
Max Resolution 7680 x 4320 at 60 Hz
Max Monitors Supported 4
Interfaces DVI-D (dual link) ¦ 3 x DisplayPort ¦ HDMI
API Supported DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5
Features Ultra Durable VGA, GIGABYTE WindForce 2x, Dual Fan Design, NVIDIA G-Sync ready, NVIDIA GameWorks, Heat Pipe Direct Touch technology, Nvidia GeForce GTX VR Ready

Memory

Size 8 GB
Technology GDDR5 SDRAM
Effective Clock Speed 8.008 GHz
Bus Width 256-bit

System Requirements

Required Power Supply 500 W
Additional Requirements 8 pin PCI Express power connector

Miscellaneous

Width 3.7 cm
Depth 28.5 cm
Height 13 cm

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Author:

Announcing E2 2020 |

Every day, I’m inspired by educators who innovate in the classroom to provide the best learning opportunities for their students and by leaders who continue to pursue new ways to expand access for all, adopt technology and grow economies through education.

Building on the momentum from a fantastic event in Paris earlier this year, today, live from EduTech in Sydney, Australia, I am thrilled to announce that we are hosting our 6th annual Education Exchange (E2) down under for the very first time—in Sydney, March 23-26, 2020.

Bringing the event to Australia allows us to highlight the incredible innovations in education happening across the country, while showcasing how the education system is taking proactive steps to provide technology access to students from the cities to the outback. When I think of the best examples of leaders supporting education and educators doing amazing things in the classroom, those in Australia often come to mind. Microsoft is extremely proud to partner with this system that, according to OECD, is one of the highest performers in education.

With a core focus on computer science, STEM and Minecraft: Education Edition as well as productivity tools, Teams and Artificial Intelligence, schools across the nation are encouraged to dream big and expect more. They leverage technology to achieve more and strive for equity and inclusion. As a nod to their excellence, I see no better place to host Microsoft’s E2 | Education Exchange in 2020.

“I cannot wait to see the amazing achievements of Education leaders from across the world on our shores next year,” said Steven Worrall, Area Vice President, Microsoft Australia.

If you’re not familiar with E2, the event brings together selected Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts to immerse themselves in what many prior attendees have called a “life changing experience.” E2 inspires educators from around the world by offering them the chance to work through problems and collaborate on projects with peers who are equally enthusiastic and ambitious in their use of technology for learning.

Leaders will come together and participate in hands-on workshops and discussions on key topics surrounding education transformation, skilling and technology to help transform today’s teaching systems into learning organizations. They will also gain fresh insight into technology for teaching, learning and administration and share proven strategies to drive more effective learning outcomes across their systems.

Save the date for live, online events during E2 

E2 features a number of renowned speakers and education changemakers, so we want to make sure all our audiences around the world can watch live from their homes or schools. To support this, many of the plenary session keynotes will be streamed live on the Microsoft Education Facebook page. Details will be announced on the Microsoft Education Facebook page and on the Microsoft Education Blog as we get closer to the event.

Become a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert

We invite all educators to join the Microsoft Educator Community—there you’ll find on-demand professional development and training courses that can lead you to your certification as a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE). After becoming an MIE, you can continue your journey towards becoming a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE). Nominations are open from April 15, 2019 through July 15, 2019, and you can apply here.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Tech communities offer more than just a quick fix

As an IT professional, your time is limited. Is it worth your while to get involved with IT communities, both online and offline?

There is no shortage of technical groups on the internet and in real life on almost any topic and technology that matter to IT pros. Vendors big and small provide specialist forums for their software and hardware products for customers to discuss problems and find resolutions.

We’ve all been there. We have a problem that needs a quick fix, so we jump to Google and run a search and eventually stumble across a discussion that fixes for your exact scenario. But it’s worth considering looking at more long-term engagements in these groups. We’ll look at why you should, but where do you start, and how do you decide where to get involved in the seemingly endless communities that exist?

Different types of tech communities have their pros and cons

Because free time is not a luxury for many of us, connecting with an online group is an easier task than going to a user group in person, but they also meet different needs.

For online communities, you can choose to be anonymous, which can help people feel a bit more confident. You won’t hold back when you need to ask that basic question you might be otherwise afraid to ask. You might have an easier time sharing your opinion that will only exist in a bubble and not connected to your real identity. You’re also much more likely to find a group that works for you due to the scope of options, which are available to use at any time.

Meetups or user groups have different benefits that online groups can’t provide. As long as you can find one in your area that aligns with your interests, you can actually talk to like-minded individuals, as well as listen to a talk or demo on something you’ll likely learn more about.

Online groups also have their catches. Just like most interactions on the internet, you have trolls, arguments and personality clashes.

Meeting people brings more of a participatory feeling and a sense of belonging when you go to an event where the community that has the same interests as you. Meetup and Eventbrite are among of the most common online booking systems for user groups.

Contacts, acquaintances and friends can be made in either type of environment. It’s great to find others who have similar goals and challenges to yourself, as well as being able to bounce ideas and problems off each other for suggestions and guidance.

Of course, there are also drawbacks to joining a community. For in-person meetups, there’s a much bigger demand on your time. At a set time on a set day, you need to travel somewhere and hopefully get value out of the event, whereas online you’re free to contribute as little or as much as you like whenever you want, which for many is a better choice.

Online groups also have their catches. Just like most interactions on the internet, you have to deal with trolls, petty arguments and personality clashes. Once otherwise normal people find they can mask their identity and voice their opinions without any real-world consequences, they can lose all common sense and courtesy and ruin an online IT community. This can be an easy trap to get caught up in or difficult to handle when you are on the receiving end of someone’s attack.

An investment of your time can present opportunities

You can make a lot of personal and professional progress when you take a chance and put yourself out there by giving back to your communities.

Take Sonia Cuff, a longtime systems administrator who is now employed by Microsoft as a cloud advocate. I recently asked her what she thought about tech communities. She told me the feedback helps Microsoft improve documentation and make product owners aware of issues. She also said her participation in tech meetups got her a Microsoft MVP award and played a role in getting her hired at the company. 

IT pros have a number of areas to give and find help

Personally, I run a local user group. Although it requires some of my time, it’s given me a platform to improve my speaking skills, access to many knowledgeable people who want to share the things they’ve learnt, and a bunch of great contacts where we can call upon each other for advice and assistance.

I’m also involved in a few online communities, such as the Windows Admins Slack group where there’s a bunch of very helpful people in different channels that are broken down by product, such as Exchange Server or Office 365. It’s a tremendous resource to find people who can give you advice and answers in real time, some of which are not easily found with a Google search.

Finally, there’s social media that I spend time on, specifically Twitter. Most IT pros are all over this platform now, and if you invest some time into following the right people, you can have a constant feed of news, tips and discussions on trending topics, such as the latest problems with certain patches. I even created a Twitter bot that automatically tweets items it finds based on Microsoft related RSS news feeds to make this information easier to find.

If you don’t have the time to give, you will get very little back from communities online and in person. But if you do make it a part of your job to invest in them, you’ll hopefully get back even more than you put in.

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Honeywell launches enterprise performance management product

Honeywell has launched Honeywell Forge — the first in a new category of software the company is calling Enterprise Performance Management for Operations Technology.

According to Honeywell, the hope for Enterprise Performance Management for Operations Technology software is to improve the way a variety of companies collect, analyze and act on data from their operations. Honeywell Forge will use asset and process control technology to aid in getting work done by owners and operators of buildings, airlines, industrial facilities, and other assets and infrastructure.

Honeywell Forge will convert large amounts of data from equipment, processes and people into intuitive, actionable insights that enable monitoring of enterprise operations from a single screen, according to Honeywell. The hope is that this will help users optimize the efficiency, effectiveness and safety of their businesses.

In an effort to simplify implementation, Honeywell Forge has a hardware- and software-agnostic approach that enables use of a business’s existing system. It uses predictive analytics to help identify maintenance issues before they happen and, Honeywell claims, enables workers to be more productive, proficient and safe while reducing costs and increasing productivity. Honeywell Forge will also incorporate the latest cybersecurity protections.

Honeywell Forge for Buildings is available this week and is intended to reshape the management of building portfolios by helping to decrease operating expenses, improve energy consumption and manage space optimization, according to Honeywell.

The idea behind Honeywell Forge for Buildings is to create a holistic approach to building management and eliminate the need to have multiple, unconnected systems in each building. According to a survey it conducted, Honeywell claims more than 90% of building managers said having a better management system would help improve resource management, avoid unplanned downtime and provide enhanced predictive information to make facilities safer and more secure.

Honeywell Forge will continue to expand and roll out products across a range of industries in the coming months, including:

  • Honeywell Forge for Industrials: Launching in June, this will monitor process performance and use digital twins to optimize production and increase throughput.
  • Honeywell Forge for Airlines: Also launching in June, this product will provide insights and analytics in an effort to save airlines money.
  • Honeywell Forge for Inspection Rounds: The final product launching in June, this will digitize the deskless worker and aim to improve efficiency, productivity and compliance;
  • Honeywell Forge Cybersecurity: Launching sometime in this year’s fourth quarter, this product will help protect critical operations from ever-evolving cyberthreats.

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For Sale – Ryzen 7 1700 gaming PC

Device Type Graphics card
Bus Type PCI Express 3.0 x16
Graphics Engine NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
Core Clock 1582 MHz
Boost Clock 1771 MHz
Process Technology 16 nm
VR Ready Yes
Max Resolution 7680 x 4320 at 60 Hz
Max Monitors Supported 4
Interfaces DVI-D (dual link) ¦ 3 x DisplayPort ¦ HDMI
API Supported DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5
Features Ultra Durable VGA, GIGABYTE WindForce 2x, Dual Fan Design, NVIDIA G-Sync ready, NVIDIA GameWorks, Heat Pipe Direct Touch technology, Nvidia GeForce GTX VR Ready

Memory

Size 8 GB
Technology GDDR5 SDRAM
Effective Clock Speed 8.008 GHz
Bus Width 256-bit

System Requirements

Required Power Supply 500 W
Additional Requirements 8 pin PCI Express power connector

Miscellaneous

Width 3.7 cm
Depth 28.5 cm
Height 13 cm

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