Windows 10 Notepad app is not coming to Microsoft Store

In early 2018, Microsoft said Windows 10 20H1 update replaces the built-in Notepad app with a Microsoft Store version that would allow the company to update Notepad at a faster pace.

It looks like Microsoft has changed its mind and it won’t bring Notepad to the Windows Store after all. Notepad will still receive new features and improvements through Windows 10 feature updates, and the update distribution via Store isn’t happening anytime soon.

With latest preview build, Microsoft has decided to focus on the native version of Notepad for Windows 10 that’s already bundled into the OS and Microsoft Store project has been put on hold.

It’s not clear why Microsoft has decided to step back from the development of Store-based Notepad, but one of the reasons could be the problems when distributing Notepad updates to users who don’t use the store in the first place.

“Thank you for all the feedback you provided on the Store version of Notepad. At this time, we’ve decided not to roll this out to customers,” Microsoft said in a blog post.

It’s worth noting that Notepad could still come back to the Windows Store at some point, but for now, Microsoft will stick with the classic way of updating the app.


A Linux distro can now go ‘undercover’ and pretend to be Windows 10

Kali is a popular security-focused Linux distro, and with its latest version, the OS has gained a surprising new feature – the ability to look like Windows 10.

This comes courtesy of an ‘undercover’ mode, essentially a theme which turns the desktop into a mock version of Windows 10, complete with a taskbar, windows with a ‘file manager’, and so forth.

So why would you want a fake Windows 10 desktop? As the developers explain, if you’re using Kali in a public place on your laptop – and “hacking away” happily – you “might not want the distinctive Kali dragon for everyone to see and wonder what it is you are doing.”

So this way, those sitting nearby, or casual passers-by who might have glanced at your screen will likely think you’re running Windows 10, and not a specialist Linux security distro.

Note that Kali is aimed at the good guys of the hacking world, in other words ethical or white hat hackers, not the malicious types. The OS facilitates penetration testing – in other words, it aims to strengthen systems against potential avenues of attack – and is one of our best Linux distros for privacy and security.

Of course, if you really want to simulate the real Windows 10 experience and try to persuade folks that you’re using Microsoft’s OS, and not a flavor of Linux, you might just need to curse occasionally about how the update you just installed to solve a bug has caused your Wi-Fi / Start menu / VPN (delete as appropriate) to fall over.


Extreme C book extract: Exploring structures and user-defined types in C

The growth and popularity of C continues. The most recent TIOBE index of most popular programming languages saw C in a virtual dead heat with Java, knocking the latter off its perch for the first time in five years.

In his new book, Extreme C (left), Kamran Amini outlines the essential features of the language before moving onto encapsulation and composition, synchronisation, as well as advanced programming – with code samples – and integration with other languages, including C++, Java, and Python.

This extract, exclusive to Developer, explores structures within C, as well as touching on the reasons behind the almost 50-year-old language’s continued longevity.

From the design perspective, structures are one of the most fundamental concepts in C. Nowadays, they are not unique to C, and you can find their twin concepts nearly in every modern programming language.

But we should discuss them in the history of computation when there were no other programming languages offering such a concept. Among many efforts to move away from machine-level programming languages, introducing structures was a great step toward having encapsulation in a programming language. For thousands of years, the way we think hasn’t changed a lot, and encapsulation has been a centric means for our logical reasoning.

But it was just after C that we finally had some tool – in this case, a programming language – which was able to understand the way we think and could store and process the building blocks of our reasoning. Finally, we got a language that resembles our thoughts and ideas, and all of this happened when we got structures. C structures weren’t perfect in comparison to the encapsulation mechanisms found in modern languages, but they were enough for us to build a platform upon which to create our finest tools.


Split or Merge PDFs with PDFsam Basic, an open source program for Windows, Linux and macOS

PDFs have long been a commonly used format for eBooks, digital manuals or documents thanks to how content is presented regardless of operating system that is used and great support for PDF reading applications.

Editing PDF documents on the other hand has never been great, especially if you limited your search to free solutions.

Most free PDF tools are online based, which means you’re uploading your document to a third-party server. While that is okay for generic files, it may be an issue for anything else.

If you just want to perform some basic operations such as splitting a PDF or merging multiple files into a single document, you can use PDFsam Basic. It’s a free, open source program that’s available for Windows, Linux and macOS.

The main screen of PDF Split and Merge is where you select what you want to do. The application provides the following options:

  • Merge
  • Split
  • Rotate
  • Extract
  • Split by bookmarks
  • Mix
  • Split by Size

Clicking on one of the options takes you to the editor interface which may look different as it depends on the selected action. The left side-bar can be used to switch between the tools. You can drag and drop files on to the interface or use the add button to select the PDFs that you wish to use. Right-clicking on the added files allows you to rearrange the order of the documents, remove them, or view the PDF’s properties.


WhatsApp latest iOS update: Call waiting support, chat screen redesign, and more

WhatsApp constantly keeps updating its software to include new features to provide smooth messaging and call experience to its users. The latest update version 2.19.120 comes with some exciting new features for iPhone users.

To begin with, the new WhatsApp version packs a useful update to support call waiting options. This means that users will now be able to receive another WhatsApp call while they are already on one call. The feature is rolling out on iPhones right now and you be able to update the app on App Store for iPhones. Earlier, the receivers didn’t get a call waiting notification if they were already on another call and instead, it would notify the user of a ‘Missed call’ once they disconnected the current call. On the other hand, the caller got to know that the receiver is busy as the app flashed the message ‘on another call’ when the caller would try calling.

Apart from this, the Facebook-owned messaging app also redesigned the chat screen to make it easier to quickly scan through chat messages. The app also tweaked the recently updated splash screen feature. Once you open the app, the splash screen now comes with the app icon as well as small message “From Facebook” at the bottom. The splash screen essentially shows up on the phone initially when the app loads for the first time, with the WhatsApp logo splashing on a white background.

The updated version also provides the users with the ability to quickly send messages directly from the Braille keyboard when using VoiceOver mode.

Earlier this month, WhatsApp also added new features for its group privacy option. Under the new privacy settings, users can choose on which group he/she wants to get added to, thus, avoiding spam invites.

However, the much-awaited dark mode feature is still not rolled out. But there’s a good news. According to WABetaInfo, a fan website that tracks the app’s updates, the Facebook-owned company may soon roll out the ‘Dark Mode’ feature on phones starting with iOS 13 users, according to WABetaInfo, a fan website that tracks the app’s updates. WhatsApp has not officially confirmed any details as to when the feature will be live.


Facebook is building an Instagram-style Close Friends feature

Facebook is developing a new feature for Messenger which would allow you to share content to a limited circle of close friends. The feature, currently under development under the name “Favorites,” was first discovered by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, before its existence was confirmed to TechCrunch by Facebook directly. It’s a similar approach to Instagram’s “Close Friends” feature, which the Facebook owned network rolled out last year.

Facebook’s Favorites would let you manually designate certain friends to be in your inner circle. Then, whenever you have a Story or camera post you’d like to share using Messenger, you could send it to this list. It’s a middle ground between letting all your friends see content that’s posted on your Facebook Story, or else sending it privately to individuals via direct message. However, unlike Instagram, Facebook says the feature isn’t a way of restricting who sees your actual Facebook Story.

Favorites appears to be an attempt to encourage people to share more on Facebook, without worrying about a ballooning list of casual acquaintances accumulated over the years. It’s a problem that we were writing about way back in 2014 and, if my own Facebook friends list is any indication, the problem has only gotten worse in the years since.

The feature also aligns with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s attempts to pivot the company’s social networks into a more privacy-focused communications platform that’s the digital equivalent of a living room rather than a town square.

Facebook already has a similar feature called Friend Lists, that lets you sort your Facebook friends into Close Friends, Acquaintances, and Restricted. However, Favorites looks like it could offer a simpler approach, with just a single list of preferred friends to cultivate, similar to Instagram’s approach.

Facebook’s new Favorites feature is currently in the prototyping stage, and it’s early enough that the company hasn’t even officially started testing it internally. That means it could change a lot before it sees an official release, if it ever gets released at all.


New Aadhaar app launched: Here are the top features to keep in mind

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched a new version of its mAadhaar app for iOS and Android. UIDAI is recommending everybody to delete any previous versions of the app and to download the new one as they will now stop working or are third party versions not supported by the organisation.

The app is meant to carry your Aadhaar number and demographic data like Name, Date of Birth, Gender, Address and Photograph. Today we will be providing you with five tips and tricks, which will make using the new mAadhaar app much easier.

Setting up the mAadhaar app

To use the new app first you will have to log in to the app and verify your mobile number. After that, you need to register your Aadhaar card and then verify it. To do so you can click on the top banner stating, “Register your Aadaar.” Clicking that will take you t a new page where you need to input your Aadhaar number and then wait for the OTP to come to your registered mobile. After the OTP comes, just enter it into the app. With this you are done with the process of linking your app to your Aadhaar card, you now have a valid copy of your Aadhaar card on your smartphone.

Requesting a new print

If you are one that tends to lose stuff often or have simply misplaced your Aadhaar card. You can simply to request to get a new one printed from within the new mAadhaar app. You can do so after registering yourself on the app.

On the first page of the app itself, there is an ‘Order Aadhaar Reprint’ option, which you can click on to get a new print of your Aadhaar card. Inside of the option, the app will ask if you have a registered mobile number or not. When selected the app will take you to a new page where you enter your Aadhaar details. After which you need to enter the rest of your details, make the payment and wait for your card to arrive.

Keep in mind, this service is chargeable and not free of cost. The user will be charged Rs 50, which is inclusive of the speed post charge and GST, at the time of placing the order. UIDAI will take five days to print and hand over the card to Speed Post.

Sharing Aadhaar details anonymously

There are times when you need to provide your Aadhaar number at places. Some users are a bit sceptical and would not want their Aadhaar card details getting into the wrong hands. So they do not like sharing their Aadhaar details with people. The app consists of a nice option where you can share your Aadhaar details via a QR code or via a virtual ID generated for a short time.

The option to do the same are present inside of the My Aadhaar option, present in the lower bar of the app. After clicking the option the app will ask you to input your password, and then take you to your Aadhaar details page, there you can find both the options ‘Show QR Code’ or ‘Generate VID’.

Getting the Aadhaar OTP via the app

Sometimes OTP message services simply do not work, or would send you an OTP after it has expired. If you are facing these issues, you might not be able to get yourself verified via Aadhaar. To solve this the app provides you with temporary OTPs, which are valid for a few seconds but can get you verified,

To get to this feature you will have to go into the My Aadhaar option present in the lower bar of the app. After clicking the option the app will ask you to input your password, and then take you to your Aadhaar details page, there you can find the option to create TOTP’s.

Lock/Unlock biometrics

If you are concerned about your privacy and do not want anyone to get a hold of you Aadhaar details with the help of biometrics. You can simply temporarily lock and unlock your biometrics from the My Aadhaar section of the app. However, keep in mind that you will have to unlock the biometrics when you want to verify your Aadhaar via biometrics, or you would not be recognised.

Authentication History

If you think your Aadhaar details have been illegally accessed, you can go into the mAadhaar app and open the MyAadhaar section. There you will find an option to access your ‘Authentication History’. When you tap that you will be taken to a new verification screen which will send an OTP to your registered mobile number to verify. Then it will provide you with a screen where you need to input the dates you want to check the history for and the types of details enquired.


Twitter Rolls Out ‘Hide Replies’ Feature Globally

Twitter on Thursday began letting users “hide” tweeted replies that could be seen as abusive or harassing in the latest effort by the online platform to create a more welcoming environment. The move is part of an effort to help users “feel safe and comfortable while talking on Twitter,” head of product management Suzanne Xie said in a statement announcing the feature. Hidden replies can still be peeked at and engaged with by tapping a gray icon that will appear, but they will no longer be active parts of the main exchange that sprang from a tweet, according to Twitter.

“This way, you have more control over the conversations you start, but people can still see the entire conversation,” Xie said.

The San Francisco-based company earlier this year introduced the option to hide replies to tweets in some countries, an option that promised to help foster more reasonable online conversations.

Testing showed that it is a useful tool for managing the back-and-forth exchanges tweets can inspire, according to Twitter.

During testing, hidden tweets were typically considered “irrelevant, off-topic, or annoying,” Xie said.

“We’re exploring more options around who can reply to or see specific conversations, and are testing engagement changes to see if these lead to healthier discussions,” Twitter said.

The hide-away feature is rolling out globally at and in updates to the Twitter mobile app.

Twitter separately in September began letting users hide away unwanted direct messages, providing a new tool to stymie abuse.

Twitter users who receive direct messages from people they don’t follow on the platform are able to have such missives automatically routed to a secondary folder.

In 2016, the platform began allowing users to eliminate, or mute, notifications based on keywords, phrases or entire conversations they are not interested in seeing in the effort to stem abusive comments.


Microsoft testing Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar integration with Outlook web client

It appears Microsoft has been busy working on a way to fully integrate Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar with its Outlook webmail client. A Twitter user reported receiving an invite to test out the new features. Although there were some rough edges, he successfully linked his Google account and got access to Gmail, Drive, and Calendar data inside Outlook.

As popular as Gmail is, Microsoft’s Outlook email client also has a large following of happy users. Currently, Outlook offers a limited option for users to import or sync their Gmail account. The integration, however, is not complete in that the Gmail emails you delete from inside Outlook won’t actually delete them — they just get hidden. It appears that Microsoft plans to truly integrate not only Gmail but also Google Drive and Google Calendar into its web client.

He reports that the integration is similar to how Outlook works on mobile devices with separate inboxes and side-by-side integration in the calendar. With Google Drive integration, you can attach documents and files from Drive to both Gmail and Outlook emails. This still looks like an early test as he wasn’t able to add more than one Gmail account, and switching between Outlook and Gmail accounts caused the entire page to refresh.

As of this writing, there haven’t been any public announcements from Microsoft about this new feature or when it is expected to roll out for more users. We’ll update this post when and if Microsoft makes this feature official.


Attackers using WhatsApp MP4 video files vulnerability can remotely execute code

Facebook has disclosed the existence of a severe vulnerability leading to remote code execution attacks in WhatsApp messaging software.

Last week, the technology giant said in a security advisory that the WhatsApp bug, tracked as CVE-2019-11931, is a stack-based buffer overflow issue which can be triggered by attackers sending crafted .MP4 video files to victims. 

While there are not many technical details available, Facebook said that the problem was caused by how the encrypted messaging app parses .MP4 elementary stream metadata. 

If exploited, the vulnerability can lead to denial-of-service (DoS) or remote code execution (RCE) attacks. 

See also: WhatsApp vulnerabilities ‘put words in your mouth,’ lets hackers take over conversations

WhatsApp versions prior to 2.19.274 on Android and iOS versions prior to 2.19.100 are affected. Business users of WhatsApp prior to 2.19.104 on Android and 2.19.100 on iOS are also susceptible to attack.

Enterprise Client versions prior to 2.25.3 and Windows Phone versions of WhatsApp including 2.18.368 and below are also impacted.

It is recommended that users update their software builds to mitigate the risk of exploit. However, there does not appear to be any reports of the vulnerability being actively exploited in the wild.

“WhatsApp is constantly working to improve the security of our service,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “We make public reports on potential issues we have fixed consistent with industry best practices. In this instance, there is no reason to believe that users were impacted.”

CNET: Android users beware: 146 bugs found in preinstalled apps

WhatsApp has previously been central to a controversy relating to the Israeli company NSO Group, the makers of the Pegasus “lawful intercept” tool. In May, the WhatsApp team was made aware of a vulnerability used to deploy the spyware on the handsets of WhatsApp users. 

TechRepublic: How can you protect yourself from hackers? An IBM social engineer offers advice

In October, a cybersecurity researcher uncovered a double-free vulnerability, CVE-2019-11932, which could be used in attacks for compromising chat sessions, files, and messages. 

The security flaw could be triggered through a malicious application already installed on a target device or through the sending of a crafted, malicious .GIF file. If exploited, the bug could result in the remote execution of code and was patched in WhatsApp version 2.19.244. 

Another set of interesting vulnerabilities in the messaging app was disclosed by Check Point a month prior. The set of bugs “could allow threat actors to intercept and manipulate messages sent in both private and group conversations,” the researchers said, and could be weaponized to exploit group “quote” features, replies, and private messages.