Microsoft ends Windows 7 support: What should you do?

Cyber-security experts are urging Windows 7 users to upgrade their operating system.

Microsoft is going to stop supporting Windows 7 from Tuesday so that it can focus on “newer technologies”.

As a result, Windows 7 users will no longer receive the all-important security updates and patches that keep their machines safe.

One in four Windows users is running Windows 7, according to statistics website StatCounter.

What does this all mean?

It means that Microsoft is ending the cat-and-mouse game with hackers seeking to exploit software bugs in the Windows 7 operating system.

If perpetrators find a flaw in Windows 7, Microsoft will not fix it.

Without continued software and security updates, Windows 7 machines are more likely to be infected with viruses and malware, Microsoft wrote on its website.

“Running an unpatched machine means that the flaws in the code will never be fixed and as exploits for those flaws become known and widespread, your chances of being successfully attacked grow very rapidly,” said Rik Ferguson, vice-president of security research at Trend Micro.

David Emm, a senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, added that people need to move to a supported operating system as soon as possible.

What are the risks?

Hackers use malware to invade, damage or disable computers.

It can be used to steal personal and financial data, spy on other users without them knowing, and to hold companies to ransom until a payment is made.

In May 2017, the NHS was hit by the WannaCry ransomware attack.

A government report in 2018 concluded that the attack could have been avoided if NHS Trusts had updated their computers and applied the necessary security patches.

Hackers exploited weaknesses in unpatched versions of Windows 7, as well as to a lesser extent the earlier Windows XP, which Microsoft had stopped supporting.

What should you do with your Windows 7 PC?

Computers running Windows 7 will still function after Tuesday but they will become less and less secure.

Microsoft is urging people to move to Windows 10, a newer operating system that it sells for £120.

“Going forward, the best way for you to stay secure is on Windows 10,” it said. “And the best way to experience Windows 10 is on a new PC.”

It is possible to install Windows 10 on old PCs but Microsoft warns that it may not run smoothly.

In order to run Windows 10, PCs must have a 1GHz processor, 16GB of hard drive space, and 1GB of RAM memory.

“While it is possible to install Windows 10 on your older device, it is not recommended,” Microsoft said.

That said, Windows 7 users do not need to upgrade if they use their PC offline.

What do UK officials say?

UK authorities have warned Windows 7 users not to do internet banking or send emails after Tuesday.

The warning was issued by the National Cyber Security Centre, which is part of Britain’s intelligence agency GCHQ, and first reported by The Telegraph,.

“We would urge those using the software after the deadline to replace unsupported devices as soon as possible, to move sensitive data to a supported device and not to use them for tasks like accessing bank and other sensitive accounts,” an NCSC spokesperson told the BBC.

“They should also consider accessing email from a different device.”

What about for businesses?

Some companies rely heavily on applications that only work with Windows 7.

Businesses can pay Microsoft if they want to continue getting updates for Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Enterprise.

The Windows 7 Extended Security Updates will be available until 2023 for businesses of all sizes.

Charges range from $ 25 (£19) per device to $ 200 per device and increase each year. The costs will mount quickly for organisations with lots of computers.

For businesses, it is not always easy to upgrade to a newer operating system, Mr Ferguson said.

“There may be business-critical applications that will not run on newer operating systems, or there may be significant costs associated with upgrading those applications,” he said.

Places like hospitals and factories may have equipment that is designed to run exclusively on Windows 7.

“The user is not always able to upgrade without voiding the warranty,” said Mr Ferguson.

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Pound Hit as Johnson ‘Honeymoon’ Ends on Brexit Deadline Pledge

(Bloomberg) — The slumped more than 1% after U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to change the law to guarantee the Brexit transition phase isn’t extended beyond the end of next year, reviving the threat of a no-deal split.

dropped by the most since July as traders reacted to the news. Johnson’s planned legislation will include legal text to prevent the government from delaying the day Britain stops being subject to European Union laws, even if no new trade terms have been secured in time, an official said.

“The honeymoon of the election is now over and the risks of a potential hard Brexit have been brought forward,” said Kyle Rodda, analyst at IG Markets Ltd. in Melbourne. “Johnson is taking an assertive stance on Brexit and although a hard divorce may still be in the margins for now, there are increasing risk premiums priced into the pound.”

The pound was 1.1% weaker for the day at $ 1.3186 as of 8:26 a.m. in London. The currency had climbed to as high as $ 1.3514 on Friday as the Conservative Party swept to victory in the U.K. general election, fueling optimism there would be a speedy resolution to the Brexit deadlock.

EU leaders have warned it’s highly unlikely that negotiators will be able to complete the kind of deal Johnson wants, which he’s modeled on Canada’s agreement with the EU, in the 11 months between Brexit day Jan. 31 and the December deadline. This sets up a fresh cliff-edge for a no-deal split with the EU at the end of 2020.

“In practice it would erode all the positives of a large Tory majority and bring us back to previous position of pound uncertainty rising rather than falling next year,” wrote Elsa Lignos, global head of currency strategy at Royal Bank of Canada, in a research note. “If passed, it would mean further pound downside that should be apparent by January.”

Still, the U.K. currency has already recovered significant ground since the election result. A Citigroup Inc (NYSE:). index indicates that currency funds have almost completely unwound their bearish bets on sterling. Asset managers have also switched to a net long position position in the pound from a net short before the vote, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.

Currency strategists at HSBC Holdings Plc (LON:) see the biggest surge in the pound since 2017 as only the start of the rally. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to boost spending should give the economy a shot in the arm and help the pound to $ 1.45 by the fourth quarter of 2020, the strategists said in a note dated Thursday.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Forexlive Americas FX news wrap: The USD ends the week as the strongest

Forex news for NA trading on November 8, 2019.

For the week, the dollar moved higher, yields moved higher, gold moved lower.  

The dollar was the strongest of major currencies with solid gains vs all the major currencies. The biggest gain for the dollar was vs the NZD.  The NZD was the weakest of the majors.  

Forex news for NA trading on November 8, 2019.

The market is pricing in at 64% chance that the RBNZ will cut rates by 25 basis points when they announce their latest decision on November 13. The NZDUSD fell to the lowest level since October 17th and closed near the week’s lows.

Menwhile, the US Federal Reserve members this week, repeated that the US economy is in a good place and so are rates after 3 cuts in 2019.  In the new week, the Chair of the Federal Reserve Jay Powell will testify on Capitol Hill starting on Wednesday (and will be grilled more on Thursday).    

Also, helping the greenback this week was the hope that Phase I of the US/China deal would be signed soon.  Having said that, the Pres. said today that he has not yet decided to rollback tariffs with China.  It is an evergreen story that seems to go around and around and around, but it does help the stock market.

Today the major indices all closed at record high levels:

  • The S&P rose 7.9 points or 0.26% to 3093.08
  • The NASDAQ index rose 40.797 points or 0.48% to 8475.31 
  • The Dow rose 6.44 points or 0.02% to 27681.24.

For the week the Dow outperformed the other major indices with a gain of 1.22%. The NASDAQ at of 1.06% and the S&P advanced by 0.85%.  

Although the US stocks were mostly higehr, the European indices closed mostly lower  with Italy and Portugal bucking that trend.  

Despite the declines in the European stocks today, the broad Euro Stoxx index did trade to the highest level since the 2015 in trading this week. Looking at the percentage change leaders for the major global stock indices for the week, Portugal Italy France and Germany all showed gains of over 2% and led the way for the European markets.

The weekly global stock market changes

Below is a look at the changes of the major stock indices today.

The major European indices mostly fell in trading today Another major theme for the markets this week was the move higher in yields.  The benchmark 10 year yields saw strong advances in the US and Europe from last Friday’s close.

  • US yields moved from 1.71% to 1.94%
  • German yields moved from -0.382% to -0.26%
  • France yields moved from -0.108% to +0.023%
  • Italy yields went from 0.993% to 1.193%

Those are pretty good moves to the upside for the benchmark yields. 

Finally, gold fell sharply on hopes for a deal, the higher dollar and higher rates.  The price of the precious metal fell from $ 1514 last Friday to $ 1459 near the close of trading today.  

On the economic front today, the Canadian employment statistics were touch weaker than expectations but given the sharp rise in that job gains of the last 2 months, we can expect. Nevertheless, the Canadian dollar fell versus all the major currencies with the exception of the New Zealand and Australian dollar.  Below is a snapshot of the strongest and weakest currencies today. The JPY and USD were the strongest while the CAD, AUD and NZD were the weakest. 

The JPY and USD were the strongest, while the Cad, AUD and NZD were the weakest in trading today

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Young maestro takes baton as Israel Philharmonic’s Zubin Mehta ends 50-year tenure

By Rami Ayyub

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Zubin Mehta was only 25 years old when he first conducted the Israel Philharmonic. Over half a century later, he’s passing the baton to a fast-rising Israeli maestro some 53 years his junior.

The 83-year-old Indian conductor capped off thousands of performances as music director of the renowned symphony orchestra in a series of farewell concerts in Tel Aviv this week, making way for Lahav Shani, 30, to take the reins.

Shani has dazzled audiences for over a decade as both conductor and pianist, building an enviable portfolio of podium appointments in Europe and debasing questions about his youth with his virtuosic musical bravado.

“There’s no way any conductor could have done all 104 symphonies of Haydn, so there’s lots left for Lahav,” Mehta told Reuters in an interview with the duo, where he gave advice to and talked repertoire with Shani, who becomes music director in 2020.

Shani began piano studies while growing up in Tel Aviv, and with Mehta’s encouragement, later expanded his training to orchestral conducting at Berlin’s esteemed Academy of Music Hanns Eisler.

“I (listened) to the orchestra with the maestro (Mehta) many times as a child,” Shani said. “When I was a student, I learned from the musicians in the orchestra. They were my teachers for chamber music (and) double bass.”

Shani first performed with the 100-member orchestra when he was 18, playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concert No. 1. His active schedule as a pianist this season includes performances of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Staatskapelle Berlin.

He concurrently serves as chief conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic — its youngest ever — and principal guest conductor of the Vienna Symphony.

Israeli classical music fans celebrate Shani’s appointment but say Mehta’s retirement marks the end of an era.

The Mumbai-born conductor’s tenure with the ensemble, founded in 1936 as the Palestine Orchestra when the region was under British rule, has spanned much of Israel’s dramatic history since the country’s founding in 1948.

Mehta’s storied six-decade career also saw him lead the philharmonic orchestras of New York and Los Angeles and the main opera houses of Munich and Florence.

But Israel’s orchestra was a mainstay throughout. Mehta says he stayed on as music adviser and director since 1969, in part out of admiration for an Israeli audience that cherishes the arts during times of conflict.

Mehta recalled a Tel Aviv performance during the height of a war with Gaza’s Hamas militant group, where rocket sirens forced him to pause the concert.

“Twenty minutes later, we continue. Audience never left,” he said. “In times of crisis, the audience never stays home.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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The end of a trend: Rally in EUR/GBP ends after 14 consecutive days

EUR/GBP has risen in every day since May 6

The beautiful streak of gains in EUR/GBP looks like it will end today. The pair was higher earlier in the day but a late rally in the pound after May’s resignation has put the pair 18 pips below its opening level. Barring a sudden reversal in the next hour, today will end the winning streak.

What a beautiful series of green candles:

EUR/GBP has risen in every day since May 6

This is an interesting technical one because it started at almost precisely the March low and has now rallied to just shy of the 61.8% retracement. We might see some consolidation here and then a fresh push back to the January high.

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Argentine peso ends rollercoaster week with record low close

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man shows Argentine pesos outside a bank in Buenos Aires' financial district © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man shows Argentine pesos outside a bank in Buenos Aires’ financial district

By Walter Bianchi and Adam Jourdan

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina’s peso fell back on Friday afternoon to post a record low close, giving up earlier gains after a tumultuous week that saw the currency battered to its weakest ever level and local debt pummeled as anxious investors fled.

The peso closed at 45.95 to the dollar, traders told Reuters, down around 1.85 percent on the day though still up on Thursday’s intraday low of 46.5. Markets had been somewhat salved by official interventions in the market and higher interest rates on short-term “Leliq” notes, they said.

Argentine bonds and the peso have been hammered this week as uncertainty over a biting recession and high inflation frayed investor nerves about political upheaval in Latin America’s No. 3 economy ahead of elections in October.

“Investors will remain worried until you see the elections happen. Unfortunately that’s a recipe for further volatility,” said Ilya Gofshteyn, New York-based senior emerging markets strategist at Standard Chartered (LON:) Bank.

He said President Mauricio Macri still had a decent chance of re-election, the country was in better shape than in the past to counter the crisis, and that inflation should gradually slow. However, investors would demand high returns to stay in the market given the risks, he added.

The yield of Argentine government bonds due in 2021 have shot up above 18 percent and credit default swaps (CDS) of Argentine five-year debt rose to 1,229.25 points, a reflection of a rising chance of default.

The turmoil has raised the heat on Macri after a week in which domestic media ran blanket coverage about a renewed crisis, threatening to derail his plans for re-election and bolstering his political rivals.

The recession-hit country spiraled into a currency crisis last year that forced Macri to take a $ 56 billion credit line from the International Monetary Fund. In 2018 the peso lost half its value against the dollar and inflation was close to 50 percent.

The peso fell 2.48 percent on Thursday after a 3.53 percent slide the day before. It was down 8.81 percent for the week.

Most economists said the market turmoil had been linked to a poll earlier in the week that suggested Macri’s arch rival, populist ex-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, could beat the pro-market leader in an election run-off.

MACRI VS MARKET

Macri defended the government’s economic reforms on Thursday, saying they had established an independent central bank and a balanced budget. He added change took time and volatility was to be expected.

“The markets are different, they are types who are behind a computer in a faraway place, who buy, sell and have a short-term, opportunistic vision,” he said in comments made to local radio and circulated by his office.

“There is a huge majority of Argentines who do not want to go backwards and who want to go into the future.”

Macri’s fortunes are likely to rest on what happens in the economy in coming months, including whether he is successful in bringing down inflation that was 4.7 percent in March and is running at a 12-month rate of close to 55 percent – driving investors out of the peso.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:) said in a research note it thought the market price of the peso was “too pessimistic,” but it preferred to “wait on the sidelines” given the stubbornly high inflation and hard-to-call election race.

That may leave little upside for the peso.

“With inflation continuing to rise and the domestic economy still suffering it is hard to paint a picture where ARS (Argentine peso) rallies significantly,” Rabobank strategist Christian Lawrence said in written comments.

“The elections are of course key but there are concerns that Macri is essentially trying to fight ‘kirch with kirch’ by adopting populist policies in an attempt to woo voters tempted to return to the days of pre-Macri.”

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Forex – Dollar Rides Sterling’s Slump as Brexit Threequel Vote Ends in Defeat

© Reuters. © Reuters.

Investing.com – The dollar inched higher Friday as mostly downbeat economic data did little to drown out the narrative of slowing economic growth. But a slump in the pound underpinned the greenback as Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal tasted defeat for the third-straight time.

The , which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.05% to 96.81.

A trio of reports showing a rebound in new home sales, subdued inflation and weaker consumer spending, added somewhat to expectations the Federal Reserve could soon cut interest rates, which would likely exert pressure on the greenback.

The Fed’s preferred inflation measure, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, excluding food and energy, in the 12 months through January, missing the economists’ forecast of 1.9%.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, in January, the Commerce Department said.

The Commerce Department also said new home sales to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of . That beat economists’ forecasts.

“Clearly the recent drops in mortgage rates have fed through into some increased buying appetite,” BMO said in a note clients.

Average 30-year fixed-rate mortgages declined by 22 basis points from 4.28% to 4.06%, resulting in the biggest single-week decline in rates since 2008, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Survey released on Thursday.

Downside in the dollar, however, was limited by a plunge in sterling as the Withdrawal Agreement, a part of the Brexit deal, was reject by U.K. lawmakers.

Lawmakers voted 344 to 286 to reject the government’s withdrawal agreement.

The result of the vote will have “grave” implications, May said. She added: The “legal default” was that the U.K. would leave the EU on April 12.

That raised concerns that a no-deal Brexit could be on the horizon.

But the lawmakers will gather again on Monday to vote on series of options to find a way out of the current political quagmire. The possible Brexit scenarios include a new referendum, revoking Article 50, a no-deal Brexit and a general election.

fell 0.29% to $ 1.3006 and rose 0.035 to $ 1.1217.

rose 0.18% to 110.82 as Wall Street rallied amid improved risk sentiment as the S&P nears its biggest quarterly win since the third quarter of 2009.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Japan Olympic Committee chief Takeda stepping down after term ends

© Reuters. Japanese Olympic Committee President Takeda attends JOC board of directors meeting in Tokyo © Reuters. Japanese Olympic Committee President Takeda attends JOC board of directors meeting in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – The head of Japan’s Olympic Committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, said on Tuesday he will step down from his position when his current term ends in June.

French prosecutors placed Takeda under formal investigation in December for suspected corruption in Japan’s successful bid to host the 2020 Summer Games.

Takeda, who was president of the 2020 bid committee, said during a JOC board of directors meeting in Tokyo that he would step down from his position when his term ends and not seek re-election.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Dollar ends strongest year since 2015 on defensive note

© Reuters. Illustration photo of a U.S. Dollar note © Reuters. Illustration photo of a U.S. Dollar note

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar fell against the yen and euro in thin year-end trading on Monday as optimism about progress in the U.S.-China trade dispute hurt its safe-haven allure, but the greenback stayed on track to log its strongest annual performance in three years.

The (), which tracks the greenback versus six peers, was down 0.22 percent on Monday.

"The U.S. dollar is heading into the end of the calendar year on the defensive as global stocks — bearing in mind that some markets are done for the year already — perk up following positive comments on U.S.-China trade from President Trump," Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto, said in a note.

Equities around the world rose on Monday as hints of progress on the Sino-U.S. trade standoff provided optimism in what has been a punishing end of year for markets globally.

Risk sentiment brightened slightly when U.S. President Donald Trump said he held a "very good call" with China’s President Xi Jinping on Saturday to discuss trade and claimed "big progress" was being made.

The two nations have engaged in a trade war for much of 2018, shaking world financial markets as punitive tariffs disrupted the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods between the world’s two largest economies.

The yen which tends to benefit during geopolitical or financial stress as Japan is the world’s biggest creditor nation, remained in demand and the greenback hit a fresh six-month low against the Japanese currency .=>

"We’ve heard this all before and are still awaiting concrete details, of course," said Osborne.

The persistent tensions have boosted safe-haven demand for the greenback this year as investors bet that the United States is in better shape than its rivals to weather a trade war.

For the year, the index was up 4.4 percent, its best yearly percentage gain since 2015.

While the dollar has been relatively stable going into the end of 2018, expensive valuation, a flagging equity boom, waning cash repatriation by U.S. companies, and the possibility that the U.S. Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates as many times as previously signaled pose a challenge for the greenback.

"We still rather think the U.S. dollar may be peaking after spending much of the past year on the offense," said Osborne.

On Monday, the euro () EBS was 0.08 percent higher against the greenback. Although the single currency has gained versus the dollar in recent weeks, economic growth and inflation in Europe remain much weaker than the European Central Bank’s expectations.

The euro is set to lose nearly 5 percent versus the dollar in 2018.

Sterling, which has been battered this year by Brexit woes, rose 0.31 percent to a three-week high . The British pound has lost about 6 percent of its value versus the dollar this year.=>

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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