How to Enhance code on Visual Studio Code with the help of Extensions

You must be aware of Visual Studio Code already by now. This is so because we already talked about it in an article a while ago. Now, in this article, we are going to talk about how to make the programs that you write better. For me, ‘better’ refers to the notion of error-free, optimized code which will lead to smoother deployment and execution of the respective project. We will be covering everything about writing some code on the IDE in this article. But before that, we should cover what all languages and technologies are supported better by Visual Studio Code.

How to write & enhance your first program on Visual Studio Code

This Visual Studio Code tutorial for beginners will show you how to compile or write your first program or code. Microsoft added support for extensions in Visual Studio Code. These extensions help to enhance and optimize your code for languages like PHP, C, C++ and more!

Languages supported by Visual Studio Code

According to the webpage published on the official website of Visual Studio Code, the following are the main languages supported by the IDE. They include C++, C#, CSS, Dockerfile, Go, HTML, Java, JavaScript, JSON, Less, Markdown, PHP, Python, Sass, T-SQL, and TypeScript.
Now with this, you get some language features that help you write better code. This better code is similar in the track of what we talked about above. So, with support for numerous extensions, we get the rich support for the following:
Syntax highlighting and bracket matching, Smart completions (IntelliSense), Linting and corrections, Code navigation (Go to Definition, Find All References), Debugging and
When the language or the file extension is supported by the IDE, you will see the name of that particular language in the Status Bar on the bottom right corner. Else, it will show you markdown or plaintext written.
For example:

The above image is when the IDE identifies the file as a known type (HTML).
The above image is when the IDE does not identify the file as a known type. Hence, it is mentioned as Plain Text.
Now, let us take a look at how to install and use these extensions to leverage the full advantage of their capabilities.

How to install Extensions on Visual Studio Code

So, in the first step when you open Visual Studio Code, you might see a screen somewhat similar as shown in the snippet below.
After that, click on the Extensions button on the left side vertical menu as shown in the screenshot below.
Then you will see a new panel sliding from the left side itself. In the Search bar of the panel, search for the language or service you want an extension for. I will be searching for an extension for PHP because I will be demoing it.
From the list that you get as search results, select the one that is most suitable to fulfill your needs. If you click on the listing of the extension, you will get more details like description, developer’s name, features, size, compatibility, and more.
Once you hit on the Install button, you are good to go!
Now as I installed the PHP IntelliSense Extension on Visual Studio Code, it starts displaying smart suggestions and auto-completion for different syntax. Hence, this will decrease the chances of an error and will make the execution and deployment of your application smooth.
The real-time example of IntelliSense working with a PHP file is inserted here.
Bonus: What did I do to demo?
If you are curious to try out what I did now, just follow these quick steps.
Install Visual Studio Code and then, search or get the extension for PHP as instructed in the steps above or follow this link
Now create a new file and save it in .php extension for the file.
    echo "This is Ayush from";
Save and then move the files to the htdocs folder of XAMPP or WWW folder of WAMP.
Now, finally open your favorite web browser and enter the local URL for your file. Then you will see an output like this.
So, this is how extensions help you to enhance and optimize your code on Visual Studio Code.
Hope you find it easy to understand.

U.S. Department of Justice Investigating Claims AT&T, Verizon and GSMA Colluded to Prevent Customers From Easily Switching Carriers

The United States Department of Justice today launched an antitrust investigation to determine whether U.S. carriers, including Verizon and AT&T, have coordinated to prevent consumers from easily switching wireless carriers, reports The New York Times

AT&T, Verizon, and GSMA, an industry group that sets mobile standards, were asked in February for documents related to their efforts to hinder the implementation of eSIMs. An embedded SIM, or eSIM, is a standardized chip that's designed to replace a physical SIM card. 

A physical SIM card slot in an iPhone, via iFixit

With eSIM technology, there is no need to swap out SIM cards when switching carriers, making it easier to make a switch from one carrier to another. eSIMs are designed to be compatible with all major carriers, regardless of network type. 

eSIMs are a major change from physical SIM cards, which require customers who wish to switch carriers to obtain a new SIM card when changing providers. eSIMs make it simpler for customers to swap carriers while traveling, and, of interest to device makers, they free up space currently taken up by a SIM card. 

AT&T and Verizon are accused of colluding with the GSMA to create standards that would allow devices with eSIM technology to be locked to their networks. Representatives from the two carriers attended a meeting for a private task force called GSMA North America earlier this year and advocated for the ability to keep eSIM devices tied to a single carrier.

Verizon reportedly claimed that phones needed to be locked to its network in order to prevent theft and fraud. 

At the heart of the investigation is whether the nation's biggest wireless carriers, working with the G.S.M.A., secretly tried to influence mobile technology to unfairly maintain their dominance, in a way that hurt competition and consumers and hindered innovation in the wider mobile industry. 

AT&T and Verizon together control about 70 percent of all wireless subscriptions in the United States. A technology that made it easy to switch carriers could lead to more churn and fewer subscribers for them.
The Department of Justice launched began the probe several months ago following formal complaints from at least one device maker and one wireless carrier. The investigation may include other carriers beyond Verizon and AT&T. 

AT&T, Verizon, and other U.S. carriers have long resisted features that would make it easier for customers to switch carriers at will without being tied to a specific network. Verizon, for example, refused to allow Apple to offer Verizon service through the Apple SIM built into newer iPads. The Apple SIM, a multi-carrier SIM card, is designed to make it easier for customers to choose a carrier after an iPad purchase and switch to a new carrier when traveling. 

Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other wireless carriers in the United States are proponents of the eSIM. Apple, for example, is said to want to use eSIM technology in its 2018 iPhones, but may instead opt for dual-SIM technology because "some carriers are resistant to the idea." 

Apple has already implemented eSIM technology in the Apple Watch Series 3 models equipped with LTE connectivity. The eSIM is also a feature of the Google Pixel 2 smartphone and the Microsoft Surface. 

Update: According to CNBC, all four major U.S. carriers received requests from the U.S. Justice Department.

Featured Apps in Revamped iOS 11 App Store Can experience a 800% Download Boost

Earning a featured spot in the revamped iOS App Store can increase app downloads by up to 800 percent, according to new data sourced from app analytics site Sensor Tower and shared by TechCrunch

The data, collected from September 2017 to the present, suggests an app that's highlighted using either the "App of the Day" or "Game of the Day" feature in the U.S. sees the greatest increase in downloads. 

Specifically, "Game of the Day" apps have seen a median download increase of 802 percent for the week following the feature, while "App of the Day" apps have seen a boost of 685 percent. 

Other features, such as a developer story or an app list can increase downloads by up to 240 percent. Stories resulted in a 222 percent boost in downloads, while app lists increased downloads by 240 percent. A theme feature had the lowest impact at a 164 percent increase in downloads. 

Sensor Tower has also outlined what kind of data Apple has chosen to highlight through the new App Store design. Many of the top publishers that have been featured are larger companies, like Electronic Arts, Warner Bros., Square Enix, Gameloft, Noodlecake Studios, and King, which is unsurprising as these companies have put out some of the most popular apps in the App Store. 

13 of the top 15 featured publishers had at least one million U.S. iPhone downloads since the launch of the new App Store. 

Apple has, however, also focused on highlighting indie apps. 29 percent of apps featured since the launch of the new App Store have been from publishers who had fewer than 10,000 downloads at the time.

"While it's clearly the case that big publishers are more likely to receive the largest number of features, small publishers still very much have their chance to benefit from a feature on the App Store," said Sensor Tower's Mobile Insights Analyst, Jonathan Briskman.
Apple introduced the redesigned App Store in iOS 11 to offer additional opportunities for exposure to app developers. The new App Store includes a "Today" section that's updated daily with app suggestions, featured spots, app lists, developer features, and more, and it splits apps and games into two distinct categories. 

Content featured in the new App Store is chosen and curated by Apple's App Store editorial team, which ensures high-quality recommendations that don't rely solely on popularity rankings. 

As noted by TechCrunch, Sensor Tower's data suggests that Apple's goal of increasing developer exposure through the new App Store design has largely been a successful venture.

Apple Notifying WWDC 2018 Scholarship Winners

Each year, Apple offers free WWDC scholarships to students and STEM organization members who don't have the $1,599 necessary to purchase a ticket to the company's annual developer conference. 

For the upcoming 2018 event, Apple accepted scholarship applications from March 26 to April 1, and since then, Apple has been going through the submissions and choosing winners. As of today, all scholarship applicants who are being awarded with free WWDC attendance are receiving emails from Apple. 

Apple is awarding up to 350 scholarships, all of which include a free WWDC ticket, free lodging, and a free one year Apple developer membership. 

Scholarship applicants were asked to create a short, three-minute interactive scene in Swift Playground. Apple judged applications based on technical accomplishment, creativity of ideas, and content of written responses on the accompanying application. 

All applicants were required to be enrolled part-time or full-time in an accredited course of study or were required to be members of a STEM organization. Apple held its developer ticket lottery back in March and notified developers who won a full-price ticket on March 23

This year's Worldwide Developers Conference will kick off on Monday, June 4 and it will last through Friday, June 8 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. Apple is expected to hold a keynote on June 4 where new software and perhaps new hardware products will be unveiled. 

Scholarship students and developers who were not chose to attend the event will be able to follow along with the conference using the WWDC app.

Microsoft to kill off OneNote's desktop app in Office 2019 to focus on OneNote for Windows 10

When Microsoft releases Office 2019 later this year, it will be killing off the desktop version of OneNote. At the moment there are desktop and UWP (Universal Windows Platform) versions available, but soon Microsoft will only offer OneNote for Windows 10.
While the killing off of OneNote 2016 coincides with the launch of Office 2019, OneNote for Windows 10 will also become the "default OneNote experience" for Office 365 users.  But because the desktop version of the app has a dedicated userbase, it will continue to be supported for a number of years.
Microsoft says that OneNote 2016 will continue to receive bug fixes until October 2020, and will get security patches until October 2025. New features, however, will be reserved for OneNote for Windows 10. Writing on the Office 365 blog, Microsoft's William Devereux explains: "Beginning with the launch of Office 2019 later this year, OneNote for Windows 10 will replace OneNote 2016 as the default OneNote experience for both Office 365 and Office 2019."
Users of the two different versions of OneNote have made their particular choice for a variety of reasons, but the selection of available features is high on the list. While there is a lot of crossover in features between the desktop and UWP versions, there are still a few differences, and this is something Microsoft aims to address, promising a number of new additions to OneNote for Windows 10. The company says the following will be added this summer:
  • Insert and search for tags: OneNote 2016's popular tags feature is coming to OneNote for Windows 10! Soon you'll be able to insert, create, and search for custom tags, making it easy to mark key information and find it later. Tags you create will now roam with you to across your devices, and OneNote will even show you tags other people have used in a shared notebook so you don’t have to recreate them yourself. The new tags experience was designed based on your feedback, and it will be available later this summer.
  • View and edit files: See live previews of Office files in OneNote, work together on attached documents, and save space in your notebooks with cloud files. You’ll get all the benefits of saving a file on OneDrive with the context and convenience of an attachment or preview on a OneNote page.
  • Additional Class Notebook features: The full slate of Class Notebook features available in the add-on for OneNote 2016 will be available in OneNote for Windows 10 this summer. Best of all, you no longer need to install a separate add-in -- it's all built-in!
Microsoft also says that synchronization and overall user experience are in line for improvements.

Microsoft releases Windows 10 Redstone 5 Build 17650 for Skip Ahead

Microsoft is busy trying to kill the last remaining -- but problematic -- bugs in the Spring Creators Update (or whatever it ends up being called) but work is still continuing apace on its successor.
Build 17650 for the Redstone 5 branch introduces a number of changes and fixes, including a Fluent Design refresh for the Windows Defender Security Center.

This refresh includes adjustments to the spacing and padding around the Windows Defender Security Center app, and categories on the main page will dynamically resize if needed. The title bar of the app will now use your accent color if you’ve enabled that option.
Also in this build, Windows Defender Firewall now supports Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) processes. Microsoft explains "when a Linux tool wants to allow access to a port from the outside (like SSH or a web server like nginx), the Windows Defender Firewall will prompt to allow access just like it would for a Windows process when the port starts accepting connections."
Other general changes, improvements, and fixes in this build include:
  • Fixed an issue where File Explorer would always open with the ribbon minimized, rather than remembering how you’d left it.
  • Fixed an issue where elements on the main page of the Windows Defender Security Center app would slightly change size on mouse hover.
  • Fixed an issue where non-default languages might unexpectedly have the option to remove in Settings greyed out.
  • Fixed an issue where the Color Filters and High Contrast icons were switched in Settings.
  • Fixed an issue where clicking links in Settings that launched other apps would result in Settings crashing and nothing else happening.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in some people experiencing a Settings crash when navigating to Apps > Default Apps > Set defaults by App.
Known issues include:
  • On resuming from sleep, the desktop may be momentarily visible before the Lock screen displays as expected.
  • When Movies & TV user denies access to its videos library (through the "Let Movies & TV access your videos library?" popup window or through Windows privacy settings), Movies & TV crashes when the user navigates to the "Personal" tab.
  • Tiling and cascading windows, including features like "View Side by Side" in Word, will not work for inactive tabs.
  • The Office Visual Basic Editor window will currently be tabbed but is not intended to be in the future.
  • Opening an Office document while the same app has an existing document open may cause an unintended switch to the last active document. This will also happen when closing a sheet in Excel while other sheets remain open.
  • Local files or non-Microsoft cloud files will not be automatically restored and no error message will be provided to alert the user to that fact.
  • Sets UX for Office Win32 desktop apps is not final.  The experience will be refined over time based on feedback.
  • The top of some Win32 desktop app windows may appear slightly underneath the tab bar when created maximized. To work around the issue, restore and re-maximize the window.
  • Closing one tab may sometimes minimize the entire set.
  • Microsoft is aware of an issue that causes Narrator to read extra text when invoking Alt + Tab, and is working on a fix.
  • Using arrow and Page Up / Page Down keys doesn’t work to scroll webpages in Microsoft Edge. You’ll need to use another input method (mouse, touch, or touchpad).
  • If you complete the setup for a Windows Mixed Reality headset on this build, the headset will remain black until it is unplugged and reconnected to the PC.

Best Windows 10 apps the Last 7 Days

Two-hundred-and-seventy-nine in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on the Windows Store in the past seven days.
Microsoft released another potential RTM candidate for the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update recently; the company postponed the launch of the update due to a reliability bug that was discovered before release.

As always, if I've missed an app or game that has been released this week that you believe is particularly good, let me know in the comments below or notify me via email.
Discounts this week
The following list is a selection of the best deals. Make sure you check out the Store for all offers.
New apps and games
Easy Writer is a distraction-free writing application for Windows that syncs data with Microsoft Azure automatically.
The app requires that you sign in to a Microsoft account to get started using it. There is a free and a subscription-based version. The core difference between the two is that the free version is limited to three "ideas" that you can work on in the app and it does not support version control.
Ideas may be divided into sections; the easiest way to think about this is that sections are like chapters of a book and ideas the titles.
Money Goal is a savings calculator that you may use to set up goals to save money. All that is required is to set the amount of money you plan to save, the frequency of saving the amount, and the overall time period. The app calculates how much you get out in the end.
You may add multiple saving goals, and add an amount that you have already saved as well.
Penguin Memory is a memory game for children that is all about matching penguins to beat the clock in six different levels.
The game comes with two additional memory sets, monsters and fish, but these need to be purchased.
XYZ Anime Player EX is a media player for anime shows and movies. The player ships with support for hundreds of anime, many subbed or dubbed, so that you can start streaming shows right away.
The interface is a bit noisy but you can play anime in fullscreen to limit that.
The player supports a watchlist to add anime to, reviews and ratings, and more.
Notable Updates
Microsoft Photos update introduces Timeline slider.
Netflix update introduces picture in picture support.

Google's Project Zero reveals security flaw in Windows 10 S after Microsoft fails to fix it

Details of a security flaw in Windows 10 S have been revealed by Google's Project Zero after Microsoft failed to issue a patch within the 90-day disclosure deadline.
The "WLDP CLSID policy .NET COM Instantiation UMCI Bypass" vulnerability is described as being of medium severity, and it allows for the execution of arbitrary code on systems with Device Guard enabled.

That the problem affects Windows 10 S is something of an embarrassment for Microsoft; this particular version of its operating system is pitched as being "streamlined for security and superior performance".
It was initially reported to Microsoft back in January, and after indicating that it would not -- or could not -- be fixed in April's Patch Tuesday, Microsoft asked for a 14-day extension, but this was denied. The company asked once again for an extension, noting that Redstone 4 will fix the issue, but Project Zero pointed out that this "wouldn't be considered a broadly available patch per the disclosure conditions", hence the disclosure.
The Project Zero entry for the security flaw explains the problem:
The WLDP COM Class lockdown policy contains a hardcoded list of 8 to 50 COM objects which enlightened scripting engines can instantiate. Excluding issues related to the looking up of the correct CLSID (such as previously reported abuse of TreatAs case 40189). This shouldn’t be a major issue even if you can write to the registry to register an existing DLL under one of the allowed COM CLSIDs as a well behaved COM implementation should compare the CLSID passed to DllGetObject against its internal list of known objects.
Turns out .NET is not one of these well behaved COM implementations. When a .NET COM object is instantiated the CLSID passed to mscoree's DllGetClassObject is only used to look up the registration information in HKCR. At this point, at least based on testing, the CLSID is thrown away and the .NET object created. This has a direct impact on the class policy as it allows an attacker to add registry keys (including to HKCU) that would load an arbitrary COM visible class under one of the allowed CLSIDs. As .NET then doesn’t care about whether the .NET Type has that specific GUID you can use this to bootstrap arbitrary code execution by abusing something like DotNetToJScript (
A proof of concept is available, but there are mitigating factors. As the discoverer -- a user called Forshaw -- explains: "It's not an issue which can be exploited remotely, nor is it a privilege escalation. An attacker would have to already have code running on the machine to install the registry entries necessary to exploit this issue, although this could be through an RCE such as a vulnerability in Edge".

Huawei launches Honor MagicBook laptop with 8th-gen Intel chips and Nvidia graphics

When we think about Huawei, laptops aren't the first things that cross our mind. The company's presence in this market is limited to a handful of models, though the lineup is slowly growing.
The MagicBook, which is introduced under its Honor brand, is Huawei's latest entry in the laptop scene, featuring some pretty attractive specs, like 8th-generation Intel Core i7 and Core i5 processors and dedicated Nvidia graphics in a 15-inch body.
The laptop is aimed at consumers valuing portability over performance. The processor options are low-power -- namely, the Core i7 8550U and Core i5 8250U -- and so is the GeForce MX150 GPU.
The graphics card will not impress any gamers, but it is significantly faster than the built-in options that typically ship with Windows 10 PCs. Based on some benchmarks I've seen, it should handle some modern titles on low details and resolutions.
The combination works pretty well in terms of battery life, with an estimated 12 hours of runtime. Whether that's accurate remains to be seen, but, on paper, it looks pretty good for the segment it's playing in.
What else should you know? Well, on top of the aforementioned specs, it's got 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD on board, which are fairly standard. The touchpad appears to be pretty large and the bezels pretty slim, which makes it look much more expensive than it is.
According to Engadget, the MagicBook will be offered at around $900 for the Core i7 configuration and $800 for the Core i5 version in China. There's no word about other markets, but, if you're interested, it should be easily available from local retailers.

New iPhone SE Could Launch in May With Touch ID and A10 Fusion, Without 3.5mm Headphone Jack

Apple will release an updated iPhone SE in May, according to case makers who spoke with Japanese website Mac Otakara at the Global Sources Mobile Electronics trade show in Hong Kong this week. 

The case makers said the second-generation model will retain the same physical size as the current iPhone SE, and Touch ID is expected to remain, suggesting the device will continue to have a four-inch display sandwiched between top and bottom bezels for the home button, camera, and earpiece. 

Following in the footsteps of the iPhone 7 and beyond, the case makers do not expect the new iPhone SE to have a 3.5mm headphone jack. If accurate, and with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus likely to be discontinued in September, Apple would no longer sell any iPhone model with a headphone jack. 

Also like the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, the new iPhone SE will supposedly be powered by Apple's last-generation A10 Fusion chip, up to 40 percent faster than the A9 processor in the current iPhone SE. The chip will likely enable support for the HEIF image format and HEVC video compression standard

The report speculates that the new iPhone SE may have a glass back with wireless charging capabilities, like the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, but evidence is said to be inconclusive at this time. 

It's unclear how and where the case makers obtained this information, but they are likely compelled to dig up details from the supply chain in order to be first to the market with properly fitting cases and accessories. 

Earlier this week, Apple filed several unreleased iPhone models with the Eurasian Economic Commission, as legally required, and this action has often foreshadowed product launches. Apple submitted a new tablet to the database in February, for example, and the new 9.7-inch iPad debuted in March. 

If history repeats itself, the regulatory filings in April do lend credence to a new iPhone SE debuting next month. DigiTimes also predicted May or June. Apple has only debuted new products in May twice in the past five years, including the fifth-generation iPod touch in 2013 and a refreshed 15-inch MacBook Pro in 2015. 

WWDC 2018 in June could also provide Apple with stage time to introduce the new iPhone SE, but that hasn't happened since the iPhone 4 in 2010. A press release in May could be more fitting if the update is insignificant. 

iPhone SE rumors have been all over the map in recent months. A sketchy report from Chinese website, for example, claimed the second-generation model will have a larger 4.2-inch display, Touch ID, A10 Fusion chip, 2GB of RAM, and metal back and frame, available with 32GB or 128GB of storage. 

Apple is likely most focused on making under-the-hood improvements to the iPhone SE, as the device is now outdated by a few years. At its $349 price point, its new design is unlikely to resemble the iPhone X. 

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who relays information from Apple's supply chain in Asia, recently cast some doubt on rumors about a second-generation iPhone SE launching in the second quarter of 2018. 

If there really is a so-called iPhone SE 2 on Apple's roadmap, Kuo expects it will have few outward-facing changes. He predicts the device would likely have a faster processor and a lower price, rather than iPhone X-like features like a nearly full screen design, 3D sensing for Face ID, or wireless charging. 

The current iPhone SE looks much like the iPhone 5s, including its smaller four-inch display preferred by a subset of customers. The device is powered by Apple's A9 chip, like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and it has 2GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and Touch ID. 

Apple hasn't fully refreshed the iPhone SE since it launched in March 2016, but it did double its available storage capacities to 64GB and 128GB in March 2017. It also dropped the device's starting price to $349 last September.