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Ubuntu is the world’s most popular open-source desktop operating system, and we think this is our best release to date. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is an enterprise-grade, secure, cost-effective operating system for organizations and home users. Before I summarise the changes in this release, let’s address something I’ve seen discussed in the wider desktop Linux community; there is a perception that the desktop is no longer a priority for us. Nothing could be farther from the truth, and here’s why; the people who use Ubuntu Desktop are often passionate people making huge waves in their industry. They want to build the next big thing, such as AI/ML, self-driving cars, public cloud services, and container orchestration. These have all emerged while we’ve been working on the Linux desktop, and all of these innovations have driven waves of Ubuntu Desktop adoption in the enterprise. As a consequence, Ubuntu was the first choice in these new domains. So even though Ubuntu is a popular community story, which we still celebrate today with emerging desktop remixes of Ubuntu such as Ubuntu Cinnamon, Ubuntu Deepin, and Ubuntu Lumina, it is also a significant part of how we have moved to the mainstream. By placing the very best of open-source in the hands of Ubuntu Desktop users, the Linux desktop is where all the major waves of tech innovation have come from in recent years. This is why we are committed to delivering a first-class workstation experience to fuel continued innovation and keep Ubuntu at the vanguard.  You can’t miss the refreshed Yaru theme, from boot splash to the desktop. For most operating system vendors, having a distinctive look for the operating system is important in establishing their brand. With that in mind, Canonical hosted a design sprint in January with members of the Yaru community team, Ubuntu desktop, and design teams. Yaru was first introduced in Ubuntu 18.10, so if you’re upgrading from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, this will be the first time you are going to see this bold, new, and unmistakably Ubuntu, look. Ubuntu now defaults to checking the integrity of the medium in use when booting into live sessions. This can be skipped by hitting Ctrl-C. We’ve enabled this because failed installs due to corrupt downloads of installation media are one of the most common error conditions that users encounter. For some years now, each Ubuntu release has received a new animal mascot. The Canonical design team typically furnishes the theme with a freshly crafted creature, and this release is no different. However, this time, she came with a name. Meet Felicity, the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS mascot. Felicity features in the default wallpaper, as is customary on new releases of Ubuntu desktop. However, our enthusiastic and creative users enjoy tweaking the stock experience. We provided SVG files to the community, earlier in the cycle, which gave them the opportunity to create their own remixes. Take a peek at the thread over on Ubuntu Discourse. For more images and a download link, please visit OUR FORUM.

Some users are reporting (Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) errors after installing Windows 10 KB4549951 update, which is the cumulative update that also causes data loss for a group of users. On April 14, Microsoft started rolling out Windows 10 KB4549951 for version 1909 and 1903. This patch was supposed to bring a number of security fixes and it was also supposed to be a minor release with focus entirely security-related fixes, but KB4549951 leads to dreaded Blue Screen of Death and system failure. If you’re getting a blue screen on your PC after applying recent Windows Update, it’s not just you and the issue appears to be widespread. The Blue screen does give users general stop error codes, but these stop errors are complex and there’s no specific pattern, which makes it essentially impossible to understand the cause of the mess. It’s common to see these error codes as a result of damaged installation files, drivers, and third-party security software compatibility issues with Windows 10. Some users are also reporting a loop of Blue Screen of Death and complete system failure. Until Microsoft issues an advisory or a hotfix, your best bet is to uninstall the Windows 10 April 2020 cumulative update and it’s worth doing, even if it means that you won’t have the latest security fixes. If you’re unable to access the desktop, you’ll need to get into Safe Mode to make those changes happen. First and foremost, hold the Shift key while clicking Restart and get around the boot menu, and then go through Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup settings and click on ‘Restart’. If that wasn’t bad enough, the update also appears to delete or move files for some users. In some cases, users are reporting that their documents, pictures, files, and personal settings were removed after updating their devices to Windows 10 KB4549951. This appears to be a return of an old issue where Windows 10 boots with a temporary user profile that removes settings, some files, and icons from the desktop. “This update is a disaster. It deleted my files, pictures, documents saved in system drive, and as well as my apps which I downloaded from Windows Store,” one user wrote in our comments. “Windows 10 is unable to locate system default user account after installation of KB4549951. This failure has occurred for the last 3 cumulative updates so they were each uninstalled and hidden,” another user noted. “Data lost after upgrading [to] KB4549951. All files in Documents more than 1 week old are deleted without notification or moving to the Recycle Bin. No restore available, no help, no live chat, no nothing,” writes a frustrated user. “My system automatically updated on the 19th of April. I lost some important word files from my university. And a folder. I have looked on the temporary folders and I have tried to uninstall the update but they do not appear,” another Windows 10 owner said. Get caught up by visiting OUR FORUM.

Huawei Technologies Co. is emerging as the runaway winner in China’s $170 billion effort to build out its fifth-generation wireless networks, part of a concerted effort by Beijing to seize the lead in a key technology from the U.S. while rebooting a virus-stricken economy. Since the beginning of the year, Huawei has secured 28.4 billion yuan ($4 billion) worth of 5G equipment orders from the country’s largest carrier, China Mobile Ltd., beating out competitors like Ericsson AB and ZTE Corp. to win more than half of the 5G contracts awarded by the operator during the period, according to an analysis of procurement data by Bloomberg News. Huawei is relying on its home market more than ever, at a time its growth has all but evaporated. The 5G contract haul shows Huawei is benefiting from the domestic market and building its telecommunications expertise despite the Trump administration’s blacklisting last year. Beijing has forcefully defended Huawei, and the country’s three wireless operators -- all state-backed -- have added support through network contracts. While China has spent years striving for leadership in 5G, the effort took on greater urgency after the coronavirus led to the nation’s first economic contraction in decades. In a meeting with senior officials in March, Chinese President Xi Jinping singled out the technology’s importance for rebooting the economy. Weeks later, the country’s telecom regulator said China will “make every effort” to hasten the expansion of 5G coverage. “The focus on buildouts, handsets, and other metrics miss the fact that 5G will be a platform where innovative Chinese companies such as Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, and a host of new tech unicorns will be able to build new applications and use cases,” said Paul Triolo, head of global technology policy at Eurasia Group. “Beijing wants Chinese companies to lead in this race to innovate on top of 5G.” China is entrusting Huawei to galvanize 5G tech, a cornerstone of a national “new infrastructure” blueprint that covers nascent technologies from the Internet of Things and autonomous driving to surveillance and factory automation. An early and successful rollout could help solidify Huawei’s position as a world leader in 5G. More deals are on the horizon. China has earmarked 1.2 trillion yuan to build 5G networks in the next five years, directly creating more than 3 million jobs in related sectors, according to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a government thinks tank. IDC telecom analyst Cui Kai said 5G investment will continue to climb and peak in 2022 or 2023. This year, China’s three state-owned telecom carriers will spend a total of 180 billion yuan on 5G-related projects, including base stations and smartphones. China Telecom and China Unicom still have to announce bidding results. Learn more by visiting OUR FORUM.

The stolen records of 20 million users of a popular Android app store have been published online by a hacker who claims to have 19 million more. Not all app stores are the same. Android users have access to the official Google Play Store, complete with nearly three million (2,870,985) apps available for download. Then there are the manufacturer app stores, of which the best known are probably the Samsung Galaxy Store and the Huawei AppGallery. Finally, we arrive at the third-party app stores, the ones not pre-installed by the smartphone vendor nor operated by Google. Among the biggest of these, with a claimed global userbase of 150 million and a million apps, is Aptoide. It is Aptoide that would appear to have been breached by a hacker who claims to have stolen 39 million customer records and has published details of 20 million of them, including login emails and hashed passwords, on a popular hacker forum. Aptoide was founded in 2011 and has quickly grown thanks to using a decentralized app store model where every user can have their own individually managed app store. The Aptoide app itself is open source and generally well-received, acting as an app discovery platform. It is also thriving, as far as third-party app stores go: one million apps and seven billion downloads are claimed by Aptoide. Cybersecurity folk, myself included, often warn against the use of third-party app stores because of the potential for malware distribution. Aptoide, though, has always been keen to emphasize how safe it is. The app description states that "all the apps are checked for viruses, and we perform extra security tests to ensure your Android device is always safe." The Aptoide home page claims that "recent studies prove that Aptoide is the safest Android app store," although I was unable to find any link to those studies. In the research and development section, however, there was mention of the AppSentinel anti-malware system project and a reputation systems knowledgebase called TrustChain. On April 19, the Have I Been Pwned (HIBP) database added an entry for Aptoide. This stated that the app store had suffered a data breach and that 20 million customer records had subsequently been shared online in a popular hacker forum. HIBP states the breach date as being April 13 and gives the precise number of compromised accounts as 20,012,235. You want to know more, stop by OUR FORUM, and we will share the rest with you.

A handful of Windows 10 users are reporting a wide range of issues after installing Windows 10 KB4549951 cumulative update, while others report an error message when they attempt to download and install important security package, which was released on Tuesday. In Microsoft’s forum and Feedback Hub, many users have reported that Windows 10 installation issues are once again back with KB4549951 and this apparent bug is preventing people from keeping their devices up-to-date. Despite the problems updates have caused users, it is still important to ensure you have the latest security patches. Unfortunately, this is another update that fails to install with generic error messages like 0x8007000d, 0x800f081f, 0x80073701, etc. It’s not clear why Windows 10 updates are still failing to install for some users and Microsoft has yet to acknowledge or document the problems. If you have already followed the traditional workarounds available on the internet and nothing seems to work to resolve the issue with Windows Update, you may want to consider performing a clean installation of Windows 10. To perform a clean installation, you’ll need to download ISO images and reinstall Windows 10. KB4549951 issues include broken Bluetooth, WiFi, connectivity problems, BSOD, poor system performance, and even complete system crashes for some users and not everyone. “I wanted to let you know that after installing this update “KB4549951″ my device no longer has a Bluetooth adapter according to Windows (which of course is false since it still worked yesterday before installing this damn update,” one user told us in an email. “I updated (KB4549951) my Windows 10 on 15.04.20. After updating, Bluetooth stops working. Now Bluetooth is not showing in Device Manager. I tried to uninstall Updates but still, it is not showing. What to do now. My Laptop supports Bluetooth,” another user reported the same issue in Microsoft’s forum. It looks like there is a compatibility issue between the Bluetooth driver and Windows 10 update. In this case, you should roll back to the previous version of Windows and reinstall the driver if it doesn’t up. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s patch also causes dreaded error ‘Blue Screen of Death’ to appear on the screen, which signals a complete system crash. One victim wrote that their MSI computer booted with a BSOD after applying this update. “I was hit with the infamous blue screen ( YOUR DEVICE RAN INTO A PROBLEM AND NEEDS TO…..) with each time a different stop code,” the user explained. “I noticed that after installing the KB4549951 update, I get BSODs with the error “KERNEL MODE HEAP CORRUPTION” whenever I try to do something seemingly CPU-heavy (watchin livestreams/conferences, even trying to look at the Event Viewer). I did some experimenting and noticed that the update was seemingly the cause of the BSOD – everything else seems to be fine,” another frustrated documented the bug. There’s usually nothing you can do to fix BSOD errors, but users can roll back to an earlier version of Windows if their devices allow them to, or they can reinstall Windows 10. Read the complete post along with the fix posted on OUR FORUM.

FOR MORE THAN an hour at the beginning of April, major sites like Google and Facebook sputtered for large swaths of people. The culprit wasn't a hack or a bug. It was problems with the internet data routing standard known as the Border Gateway Protocol, which had allowed significant amounts of web traffic to take an unexpected detour through a Russian telecom. For Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince, it was the last straw. BGP disruptions happen frequently, generally by accident. But BGP can also be hijacked for large-scale spying, data interception, or as a sort of denial of service attack. Just last week, United States Executive Branch agencies moved to block China Telecom from offering services in the US, because of allegedly malicious activity that includes BGP attacks. Companies like Cloudflare sit on the front lines of the BGP blowback. And while the company can't fix the problem directly, it can call out those that are slow to contribute defenses. On Friday, the company launched Is BGP Safe Yet​, a site that makes it easier for anyone to check whether their internet service provider has added the security protections and filters that can make BGP more stable. Those improvements are most effective with wide adoption from ISPs, content delivery networks like Cloudflare, and other cloud providers. Cloudflare estimates that so far about half of the internet is more protected thanks to heavy hitters like AT&T, the Swedish telecom Telia, and the Japanese telecom NTT adopting BGP improvements. And while Cloudflare says it doesn't seem like the Rostelecom incident was intentional or malicious, Russian telecoms do have a history of suspicious BGP meddling, and similar problems will keep cropping up until the whole industry is on board. "With that last big route leak from a few weeks ago out of Russia, it was a point at which our engineering team said enough is enough, it’s time for us to start naming and shaming the companies who aren’t doing this right," says Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince. "Anything that goes wrong anywhere on the internet, we get blamed for it, which is right! Our customers pay us to make sure their internet connections are fast and secure and reliable. So BGP is one of these really frustrating areas that we can’t solve ourselves." BGP is like a GPS mapping service for the internet, enabling ISPs to automatically choose what route data should take over the internet's vast landscape of networks. But really BGP is like using a GPS mapping service run by your opinionated relatives. Your cousin's stepfather says "Oh, take this route. It'll be fast and safe and you get to pass the house with the great Halloween decorations," and you just have to trust him. If he doesn't know what he's talking about—like an ISP advertising a bad BGP route—you could end up stuck in endless mall traffic. The cryptographic tools, route filters, and best practices Cloudflare and other organizations have been promoting are like a sixth sense for detecting when you're getting bad advice. They run actual checks on the BGP routes other ISPs are "announcing," or offering, to make sure they're legitimate and that no one is advertising a problematic route. Visit OUR FORUM to test your ISP.