Microsoft brings Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection to macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android

Microsoft has announced that it is teaming up with Bitdefender, Lookout, and Ziften to expand the reach of Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). By partnering with the three major security firms, Microsoft is set to bring ATP to macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android devices.

Bitdefender, Lookout, and Ziften will all feed threat detection information into one central resource, and this can then be used by security teams to keep an eye on all threats in a single location.

While a trio of partnerships has just been announced, Microsoft says that this is just the start. There will be more strategic partnerships in future to help offer enhanced security for networks and install bases. Every device that is connected to Windows Defender ATP is assigned its own timeline, and it is possible to see event history going back six months.

Microsoft explains:

We have been working closely with our partners to ensure the integration of their solutions with Windows Defender ATP is simple and easy to implement with only a few clicks. There are no requirements for any additional infrastructure, and once the integration is set, new events from on boarded macOS, Linux, iOS and Android devices will start surfacing into the Windows Defender ATP console.

The company details each of the three new partnerships:

  • Bitdefender’s GravityZone Cloud enables customers to view comprehensive threat intelligence information on malware and suspicious files, such as threat type, threat category, and many other relevant details.
  • Lookout Mobile Endpoint Security gives customers real-time visibility into incidents on mobile devices and lets them respond quickly and effectively.
  • Ziften’s Zenith systems and security operations platform helps customers to detect attacks and zero-day exploits, to uncover the full scope of a breach, and to quickly respond to contain attacks.

Bitdefender integration is available right now as a public preview, and Lookout and Ziften will be joining Microsoft’s Public Preview Program very soon.

Image credit: Vladimir Arndt / Shutterstock

Overcast 4.0 Brings UI Optimizations for iOS 11 and iPhone X, Drag and Drop, and New Advanced Settings – MacStories

The combination of iOS 11 and iPhone X is pushing developers to reconsider many of their interaction paradigms and interface affordances that predated the Super Retina display and drag and drop. In a span of two months, iOS 11 made custom implementations of multiple item selection and reordering effectively obsolete, while the iPhone X now requires apps to embrace its display and novel status bar design.

Overcast 4.0 is a good example of how Apple’s biggest releases of the year impacted apps that needed a lot of work to be updated for the iPhone X and iOS 11. Released today on the App Store, Overcast 4.0 bears no groundbreaking additions to the experience; instead, developer Marco Arment focused on design refinements and simplifying the app’s navigation, modernizing Overcast’s appearance and flow while bringing smaller enhancements to the listening and browsing experience.

There are some notable changes in this version – drag and drop is present, albeit in a limited fashion – but Overcast 4.0 is primarily aimed at foundational improvements and laying the groundwork for the future. Despite this “Snow Leopard approach”, however, heavy Overcast users should still find the many optimizations as well as the “by popular demand” tweaks more than welcome.

The most visible departure from Overcast 3.0 is the replacement of the “stacked card” visual metaphor (of which I was a fan) with a more traditional horizontal navigation. Show pages and episode details are now always pushed into view from the side of the app; the Now Playing screen has gone back to the Overcast 2.0 style, abandoning the Apple Music-inspired card design of version 3.0.

According to Arment, these were necessary changes to take advantage of the iPhone X’s screen and increase the reachability of all navigation controls throughout the app. It’s hard to tell without an iPhone X in my hands, but I assume that “embracing the notch” with a unified title bar should look better than blocking out the device’s status bar with a black background, which Overcast’s old stacked card UI (pictured in the image above) would have done.

There are plenty of design tweaks in Overcast 4.0 that are relatively small in isolation, but add to the experience over time. An episode’s description page now features a play button in the center of the title bar, which makes it easy to start listening without navigating back to the episode list. The Now Playing widget at the bottom of the screen has been slightly redesigned with the inclusion of a chevron that suggests the UI element can be swiped or tapped to open vertically. Swipe gestures on individual episodes use the new full-swipe iOS 11 API to play a subtle tap via the Taptic Engine when you swipe all the way across the cell to delete or download an episode.

There are dozens of other small optimizations in Overcast, but there are also a couple of new features worth pointing out. In the Nitpicky Details screen in Settings, those who don’t like Overcast’s “episode bar” can turn on a One-Tap Play option that immediately plays an episode in a list when tapped, instead of expanding it to reveal contextual actions. When this setting is enabled, the bar can be opened by tapping a downward-facing arrow on the right side of an episode.

I don’t use One-Tap Play (I listen to podcasts in Overcast by adding them to a catch-all Queue playlist, so having easier access to the bar is more convenient for me), but I know that thousands of users prefer this behavior. It makes sense to make it a Nitpicky Detail in the app for those who want it.

The biggest feature addition to Overcast 4.0 is drag and drop to reorder episodes in a playlist. Thanks to iOS 11’s drag and drop framework, Arment has been able to replace his old custom implementation of episode reordering and adopt a system-wide behavior that is consistent with other iOS 11 apps. On both the iPhone and iPad, you can hold down on an episode in a playlist to lift it up and drop it elsewhere in the current playlist or in another playlist altogether. Native drag and drop means Overcast benefits from all the options Apple baked into the framework: you can pick up multiple episodes at once with multi-select; dragging doesn’t block interactions with the rest of the interface (so you can tap around and open other playlists as you’re holding an episode); and, on the iPad, you can even drag an episode out of Overcast and drop it in another app (this will export the episode title and URL).

As someone who likes Castro’s triage-based system but prefers Overcast’s audio experience, I find drag and drop support in Overcast particularly effective. In my Queue playlist, I can quickly reorder episodes based on what I want to play next, and I can also pick up multiple episodes at once from the All Episodes list and drop them into the Queue without having to tap the ‘Add’ button multiple times in a row.

Unfortunately, as also mentioned in Overcast’s release notes, support for drag and drop is extremely basic at this point, especially when compared to a rich implementation of the technology such as Supertop’s. There’s no haptic feedback when reordering episodes, and no custom item previews for in-progress drags; Overcast doesn’t visually communicate drop areas with UI highlights (something that Castro does well with its queue), and the app doesn’t support spring-loading either. And more importantly, you cannot pick up episodes from every screen in Overcast: right now, only episodes inside playlists support drag and drop. However, Arment is promising “more coming later” for drag and drop in Overcast, which suggests the app’s new foundation should unlock more advanced uses of the feature in the months ahead.

Speaking of drag and drop, Overcast 4.0 turns off 3D Touch by default to avoid possible interference with the long-tap gesture to start dragging episodes. Personally, I never had this kind of problem, but I understand why the difference between a normal long-tap and a 3D Touch press requires fine motor skills that can be an issue for many. There’s a Nitpicky Detail to re-enable 3D Touch to open an episode’s info; I’ve kept it disabled for now as Overcast prominently features an info button to quickly open show notes next to an episode’s title.

Overcast 4.0 may not have a splashy new design or major feature changes, but I believe Arment made a good call in rewriting the app’s UI for iOS 11 and the iPhone X and focusing on refinements and overall polish for now. I’d rather have Overcast look great on my iPhone X this weekend than wait for months and use it in letterboxed mode.

Overcast’s audio experience continues to be unparalleled (I’ve tried other clients’ versions of Smart Speed; they don’t sound nearly as good as Overcast’s) and it feels like, after months of work, Arment has a better foundation to build upon. As I suspected, after my annual stint with Apple’s Podcasts app, Overcast is back on my Home screen, and I’m excited to see where Arment will take it next.

Overcast 4.0 is available on the App Store.

Tina Guo Brings us a Gorgeous Final Fantasy VII Cello Cover

Many gamers would consider Final Fantasy VII to be one of the best, if not THE best, of the entire series. It’s been difficult to really top the story that was told in part VII despite the fact that a few have come awfully close. Tina Guo however manages to nail the feeling of the game with her masterful rendition of this stunning piece. The visuals added in give a very interesting feel to the entire performance, and I really want to know when instruments started taking on the new look that hers has, or if this is just a custom piece.

The cello doesn’t seem like the easiest instrument to play, and there’s no doubt that mastery over it requires hours and hours of dedicated practice. She makes it seem so effortless though that the beauty of the music is allowed to shine through without fail. If one has ever played Final Fantasy VII then they would know the absolute power and mastery of the music and how well it flows with the game, explaining a great deal of emotion and feeling through the music as it rolls on. Many of the Final Fantasy games are like this, but only a few in memory have really stuck out as something truly special.

Part X is another that manages to stand out in memory, as it too was given a great soundtrack. The only trouble with anything that is used for a video game is that if it isn’t already a hit the chances are that it will be ignored by a large amount of people and not even considered as much of anything by even more. Despite being mainstream, video game soundtracks do not tend to enjoy the same distribution as other musical tracks. For gamers they are still a hit and miss kind of thing since many gamers will focus upon the game and not the music.

But for those discerning few that actually enjoy the musical aspect of the game the soundtrack is easy to enjoy since it heightens the experience and gives it more of an emotional touch than might be felt otherwise. Just imagine what might have happened with early video games if their music had been something like this rather than the synthesized noise that became a part of pop culture solely because of its association with the game. It might have been ahead of its time but the earliest gaming experiences would have been far different.

It’s pretty fun to watch and listen to the artists that are coming out nowadays with these wonderful tracks that are either based upon or dedicated to various video games. Many of them are so great that one can stop and listen without much effort and enjoy every last note. You don’t even need to be a music lover to really enjoy the feel and majesty of a song well-played.

Tina Guo is just one of many artists that are currently on the scene creating or re-creating music for video games, but she is one of the best.

Symantec brings out complete security product for the cloud

Symantec has brought out a new security service for the cloud that brings together, in one product, deception technology, Mobile Threat Defense, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) with Hardening and intensive protection through advanced machine learning. The service is built on the Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) platform and is aimed at improving security while simplifying the process and keeping costs down. The system can be used to protect employees across a diverse set of devices. 

With the defenses brought under a single product, CISOs and IT teams can more easily monitor, manage and contain threats while reducing operational complexity. And through its integration framework, additional partner solutions can be integrated with Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) and managed within Symantec’s single agent.

Deception at Scale deceives attackers into believing they have successfully breached an organization, when in reality, attackers are shunted to a false environment, while the security team works to neutralize the attack. 

The launch of Threat Defense through SEP Mobile comes after Symantec’s acquisition of Skycure and will help organisations protect both BYOD and corporate-owned devices, across modern mobile operating systems, including iOS and Android.

In its new product, Symantec also debuted its Advanced Threat Protection 3.0 with major EDR enhancements integrated with SEP 14. This has also been expanded with Symantec Endpoint Detection and Response Cloud, a cloud-based service against cyber attacks that can be deployed in minutes. 

Signatureless Protection comes with SEP 14.1, which applies advanced machine learning techniques and behavioural analysis to the protection of customer environments. 

Symantec Endpoint Protection with Hardening prevents vulnerability exploits including zero-day attacks and mitigates damage from attacks by shielding and isolating suspicious and malicious activity targeted toward commonly used applications.

PlayStation Sale of the Dead brings big game discounts until Halloween

Sony has a major sale going on in the days leading up to Halloween and it is called ‘Sale of the Dead.’ The sale is in its second week, which stays live until October 31 at 8AM PT. The sale covers a huge number of titles, as well as season passes and bundles. PlayStation Plus members doubly benefit from this sale, getting lower prices than non-PS Plus members.

Sony has split its Sale of the Dead up into two segments, one called Week 1 and the other called Week 2, which will be live up through Halloween. The sale primarily covers PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 games, though there are also seven PS Vita games on the list, most of them modest offerings like ‘Grim Fandango Remastered’ and ‘Zombie Tycoon II.’

Some of the games span up to 60-percent off their regular price, assuming you’re getting the lower PS Plus discount. One example of the steep discount is “Grand Theft Audio V” with its “Megalodon Shark Cash Card Bundle,” which has a total retail price of $135.99 USD. If you get the regular discount, the price drops to $67.99; if you’re a PS Plus subscriber, the discount is lower with a price of $54.39 USD.

If you don’t want the bundle, the GTA V price is lower at $35.99 for regular discount and $29.99 USD for the PS Plus discount. Other titles include “Manhunt,” “The Evil Within,” “The Order: 1886,” “Until Dawn,” “Dead Nation,” “Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise,” “Silent Hill,” the Red Dead Redemption games, “Resident Evil Revelations,” and more.

Overall, the second week of sales brings a total of 38 games, as well as 29 PlayStation 3 titles and 7 PS Vita titles. The Sale of the Dead discounts also apply to a bunch of digital download movies, the prices for which vary depending on whether it is SD or HD. You can see the full list of discounted content via the PlayStation Blog link below.

SOURCE: PlayStation Blog