There’s a lot to rave about with the Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, but their fingerprint scanners are not among those things. Since the Pixel 6 release in October, users have been complaining about its sluggish, unreliable fingerprint scanner that makes the phone a hassle to unlock. Google has finally responded to those complaints, and while it provided an explanation, it didn’t really offer any solid solution (via Engadget).

In a reply on Twitter, Google attributes the issue to the “enhanced security algorithms” that the Pixel 6’s fingerprint scanner uses. Google says that these security measures can make your fingerprint “take longer to verify or require more direct contact with the sensor.” It then provides a link to a Google support page that really doesn’t offer much help, besides suggesting to ensure your fingers are clean and that you’re using a finger that you’ve registered with the phone.

Replies from other Twitter users suggest that it may be a hardware issue. The Pixel 6 uses an under-the-screen optical fingerprint scanner instead of a fast ultrasonic one like the Samsung Galaxy S21, which some users say could be the reason behind the sensor’s poor performance. But as noted by Engadget, other users on Reddit say that the optical fingerprint scanner works fine on their OnePlus phones, possibly indicating a software issue specific to the Pixel 6.

For now, it looks like there’s no clear solution to the Pixel 6’s finicky fingerprint scanner, and Google’s answer is vague at best. There’s no telling whether Google can patch the issue in a software update, or if the scanner’s so-called “enhanced” security system really is picky when it comes to prints.

Until Google decides to resurrect face unlock, which had its own security flaws, you’ll just have to resort to typing in your PIN. Otherwise, the Pixel 6 will test your patience as you try to scan your fingerprint over and over again.

Microsoft’s current version of Windows on the market is Windows 10, which would imply that one day a Windows 11 could launch, right? Microsoft is expected to ship a large update for Windows later this year, codenamed Sun Valley, that is said to bring with it a brand new user experience with a new Start menu, sounds, iconography, and much more.

We understand that this update is a significant change in how Windows looks and operates, and as such, Microsoft may be considering shipping this release as something more than Windows 10. Microsoft is holding a “What’s next for Windows” event on June 24th, and a number of teases appear to imply that the company may call this next release “Windows 11.”

Windows 11 release date

Because Microsoft has committed to treating Windows 10 as a service, there is no current release date or download for a Windows 11 just yet. Instead, Microsoft will continue updating Windows 10 with new features and security patches. The next major Windows update, known widely as Sun Valley, is expected to debut in October 2021. Microsoft is planning to unveil the next generation of Windows, and the teaser appears to suggest that a “Windows 11” could be announced.

Why Windows 11 doesn’t (yet) exist

While there are several reasons why Microsoft hasn’t yet made a, and it all comes back to “Windows as a Service.” This is Microsoft’s way of making sure Windows 10 remains the latest version of Windows. Instead of releasing a fresh version of the OS every three or six years with new features and changes, the company will instead constantly update Windows 10 with those incremental updates instead.

This keeps everything clean and simple but does result in somewhat more boring OS updates, rather than Microsoft launching one big update every few years. The last handful of Windows 10 feature updates have been relatively minor with little changes, tweaking smaller aspects of the experience, rather than changing the look and feel of the OS.

With that in mind, Microsoft could still ship a Windows 11 while maintaining its “Windows as a Service” promise. Windows 11 could just be the name of the next Windows 10 feature update, delivered in the exact same way as previous Windows 10 feature updates have been. It would be free, seamless, and easy to install.

Windows 11: Release date, price, and everything you need to know | Windows Central

Google and Microsoft are at knives drawn. Driven in part by pressure from lawmakers and regulators over the extraordinary power the two technology companies wield over American life, the California-based search engine giant and Washington-based software firm are wrestling to throw each other under the bus.

Tensions between Microsoft Corp and Alphabet-owned Google have been simmering for a while but the rivalry has become unusually public in recent days as executives from both firms have been put on the defensive over competing crises.

Google faces bipartisan complaints – and journalistic ire – over its role in gutting the media industry’s advertisement revenue, the subject of a Congressional antitrust hearing on Friday.

Microsoft, meanwhile, faces scrutiny for its role in back-to-back cybersecurity breaches.

In the first, the same allegedly Russian hackers who compromised the Texas software firm SolarWinds Corp also took advantage of Microsoft’s cloud software to break into some of the company’s clients. The second, disclosed on March 2, saw allegedly Chinese hackers abuse previously unknown vulnerabilities to vacuum up emails from Microsoft customers around the world.

Addressing lawmakers on Friday (12 March) at a House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee on news, Microsoft President Brad Smith was due to fire a shot at Google, telling representatives that media organizations are being forced to “use Google’s tools, operate on Google’s ad exchanges, contribute data to Google’s operations, and pay Google money,” according to excerpts of his testimony published by Axios.

Google fired back, saying that Microsoft’s “newfound interest in attacking us comes on the heels of the SolarWinds attack and at a moment when they’ve allowed tens of thousands of their customers — including government agencies in the U.S., NATO allies, banks, nonprofits, telecommunications providers, public utilities, police, fire and rescue units, hospitals and, presumably, news organizations — to be actively hacked via major Microsoft vulnerabilities.”


(Photo by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Facebook is cracking down on Groups that break company rules. Changes like improved recommendations and restricted reach are rolling out globally over the coming months, in an effort to keep folks safe online.

“It’s important to us that people can discover and engage safely with Facebook groups so that they can connect with others around shared interests and life experiences,” Tom Alison, vice president of engineering at Facebook, wrote in a blog announcement. “That’s why we’ve taken action to curb the spread of harmful content, like hate speech and misinformation, and made it harder for certain groups to operate or be discovered.”

With great power comes great responsibility—particularly when amplifying certain parties on the internet. Facebook toes a fine line between dangerous and non-threatening groups that cover the same topics. “The tension we navigate isn’t between our business interests and removing low-quality groups,” Alison said. “It’s about taking action on potentially harmful groups while still ensuring that community leaders can grow their groups that follow the rules and bring people value.”Changes to keep Facebook Groups safePhoto via Facebook

The social network already removes civic, political, and health groups from US recommendations, as well as newly created collectives and those that repeatedly share misinformation. Moving forward, any group that violates company rules will be pushed down the list, making it more difficult to simply stumble upon. Facebook took a similar approach to posts on the News Feed.

“We believe that groups and members that violate our rules should have reduced privileges and reach,” the blog said. Each offense earns a more severe punishment, until they are kicked off the platform. “And when necessary in cases of severe harm,” Alison explained, “we will outright remove groups and people without these steps in between.”

Thinking of joining a new digital posse? Facebook will let you know if you’re about to enroll in a group that has Community Standards violations, and plans to limit invite notifications and reduce content distribution. The social network will also require admins and moderators to temporarily approve all posts for any group with a substantial number of rule-breaking members or followers who were part of previously removed groups. Repeat offenders will be blocked from posting or commenting for a period in any group.

“These measures are intended to help slow down the reach of those looking to use our platform for harmful purposes and build on existing restrictions we’ve put in place over the last year,” according to Alison. “There is always more to do to keep Facebook Groups safe, and we will continue to build and invest to make sure people can rely on these places for connection and support.”

By Stephanie Mlot March 18, 2021


Google has issued a ban on any software that allows an individual to track the whereabouts of other users without their consent, apps often referred to as ‘stalkerware‘.

As a part of new changes to its Developer Program Policy, Google said that Android apps intending to monitor other users’ behaviour will be obliged to present the tracked user with a persistent notification and unique icon that clearly identifies the app.

They will also be banned from advertising themselves as a “spying or secret surveillance solution” and will be unable to “hide or cloak tracking behavior or attempt to mislead users about such functionality”.

However, the ban, which comes into effect on 1 October, does not apply to apps used by parents to track the whereabouts of their children. Any software that allows companies to track employee devices, such as enterprise management apps, will also be excluded from the ban.

According to David Emms, principal security researcher at Kaspersky, apps which help monitor adults without their permission or knowledge “masquerade as parental control software and call themselves legal that way”.

“The whole category is tricky because we can’t label it as malware and report it as we would a backdoor trojan or similar, because in some jurisdictions it’s legal so it straddles a grey area,” Emms told IT Pro last month.

According to Kaspersky research, the period between January and August 2019 saw over 518,223 cases globally where the company’s protection technologies either registered presence of stalkerware on user devices or detected an attempt to install it – a 373% increase in the same period in 2018.

Apart from the formal ban of stalkerware apps, Google also announced that it would be making changes to its policy in order to tackle the issues of misrepresentation and gambling.

Effective from 21 October, developer accounts will not be allowed to mislead users by impersonating any person or organisation, as well as misrepresenting or concealing their ownership or primary purpose of the app.

Google will also restrict online gambling to the UK, Ireland, France, and Brazil.

For confidential advice, call the National Abuse Helpline on 0808 200 0247 or visit

by: Sabina Weston17 Sep 2020