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  2. HP Chromebook 14 review: It's not made for multitasking by Rich Woods About a month ago, HP sent me two of its newest Chromebooks, the Chromebook 14 and the Chromebook x360 14 G1. While the names sound similar (I'm guessing it's a requirement to call it "Chromebook" if you're licensing Chrome OS), they're very different. The x360 14 G1 is a business device with high-end specs, while the Chromebook 14 is for consumers and the educational market, and it's much more budget-friendly. It's also HP's first AMD-powered Chromebook, using an A4 processor (A6 is optional). That comes alongside of 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC storage, and a 14-inch 1080p display that includes multitouch. This particular model costs $329.99, although it starts at $269.99 with an HD display. Specs CPU AMD A4-9120C APU (1.6 GHz base clock, up to 2.4 GHz max boost clock, 1 MB cache, 2 cores) Graphics Radeon R4 Display 14" diagonal FHD IPS BrightView WLED-backlit touch screen, 220 cd/m², 100% sRGB (1920 x 1080) Body 13.26x8.93x0.72 inches, 3.48 pounds Ports 2 USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1 (Power delivery, DisplayPort); 2 USB 2.0; 1 Stereo headphone/microphone combo jack; MicroSD card reader RAM 4GB DDR4-1866 SDRAM Storage 32GB eMMC Battery HP Long Life 2-cell, 47.36Wh Li-ion polymer Color Ink Blue OS Chrome OS Price $329.99 Day one Design The HP Chromebook 14 is made out of a polycarbonate material, although none of HP's materials are specific about that. It comes in three colors: Ink Blue, Snow White, and Chalkboard Gray, the former of which is what HP sent me. And I have to say that for a plastic laptop, it seems pretty slick. It has a textured body, and it feels really solid. It's MIL-STD-810G tested, so it's durable, and it's IP41 rated, which means that it can deal with some spills. It's also 18.35mm thick, weighing in at 3.48 pounds, so it's pretty easy to carry around. It's not the lightest PC in the world, but it gets the job done. It has a 180-degree hinge, which is meant to make it a bit more flexible. It also adds the ability to interact with the touchscreen in different ways than with a more standard hinge. As far as ports go, you'll find a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port and a USB 2.0 Type-A port on each side. The nice thing about the placement of the two Type-C ports is that you can charge it from either side. Many laptops put both of them on one side, which always gets in the way sooner or later. The bad news is that both of the Type-A ports are USB 2.0, meaning that they get speeds of around 480Mbps, much slower than the 5Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports. It's not a huge deal, since with a machine like this, you're probably not plugging in anything that needs more than that anyway. Still, USB 2.0 is just something that I'd prefer left in the past. On the right side of the device, there's a slot for a microSD card and a 3.5mm combo audio jack. The addition of the microSD slot is nice, allowing for an extra avenue of external storage. Moving to the inside of the device, the bezels around the display are a pretty standard size, something that you'd probably expect at this price point. Above the keyboard, there's a speaker bar with Bang & Olufsen speakers, and that's good news. The audio quality from this PC is pretty good, something that HP always seems to deliver through its B&O partnership. Display The model that HP sent me includes a 14-inch 1080p touchscreen, although it's also offered in non-touch and touch HD. For a laptop that's priced at $329.99, the screen is pretty good. It doesn't have the 178-degree viewing angle that you'll find on premium devices, but the viewing angle is way better than any Windows PC that you'll find at this price point. All of the screen configurations are 100% sRGB, so they have a good color gamut. It gets the job done, as it's not like you're going to be doing any high-end photo editing where you'd need the full Adobe RGB color gamut. The screen is very glossy, and it's a bit hard to use outdoors. The image that you see above is taken with the screen at full brightness. Again, it's better than I'd expect given the price point, but it's disappointing that there's no anti-glare option. The bezels on the sides are pretty standard, but once again, they're probably slimmer than other devices in the price range. The top and bottom bezels are a bit larger, fitting in a webcam at the top. Also, I think that touch is a key feature these days, with Android app support on Chrome OS. A lot of the apps that you'll be using are built for touchscreens, so it's nice to be able to use it that way. Keyboard and trackpad The keyboard is full-size with chiclet-style keys, and it's really nothing to get excited about. Like most other parts of this machine, it gets the job done, but it's not exactly top of the line. For one thing, the keyboard is pretty noisy. It makes loud clacking sounds when you type, and I can only imagine a classroom full of these things. It's accurate though, and HP also offers a backlight as an option. My unit, unfortunately, does not have the backlit keyboard, so I was unable to test that out. It's also designed to be spill-resistant, which does make this better suited for students, although that's a common feature of Chromebooks for education. Like all Chromebooks, it has the standard lowercase keys, something that takes a bit of getting used to if you're coming from Windows. Other differences include a search key instead of Caps Lock, no function keys, and if it's not obvious, no Windows key. The clickable trackpad is actually quite nice. It's large, which is a really good thing, and I haven't had any problems with it. But again, I just really appreciate its large size, with HP maximizing the space on the deck below the keyboard. Performance Performance is where the HP Chromebook 14 really starts to suffer. It uses AMD's A4-9120C chipset, which includes Radeon R4 graphics. The dual-core APU was first announced at CES as AMD's first chips designed for Chrome OS. Alongside of that, you get 4GB DDR4-1866 SDRAM and 32GB eMMC storage. In short, you get a mediocre dual-core chip, slow RAM, and slow storage. What this adds up to is a PC that's pretty bad at multitasking. If you're just browsing the web in Chrome, you're pretty good to go with a few tabs open. On the other hand, if you have a dozen tabs open at a time and you're running Android apps at the same time, this probably isn't the machine for you. In fact, you might want to check out the Chromebook x360 14 G1, which is a much higher end unit. But that's what I tried to do. In my testing of the Chromebook 14, I ran it with my normal workflow. That includes using a bunch of tabs in Chrome, and then I ran separate Android apps like Skype, OneNote, Slack, Microsoft To-Do, and some others at the time. This machine choked up really quick, and performance was incredibly sluggish. The best way to boost performance in this situation was to use web apps wherever possible, something that was easy to do with most of the Android apps that I had open. Battery life is great though, and what's interesting is that if you leave it powered on but asleep for a few days, the battery doesn't seem to drain, something that I've had trouble with on many HP laptops. When you wake it up, it takes little time to get right back to work, since Chrome OS doesn't take as long to wake as Windows does; it doesn't take nearly as long to boot either. Installing updates is a breeze. You'll rarely have to restart, but when you do, you're back at the desktop within a few seconds. I think that the main group of people that would appreciate a device like this are students at a younger age. If you're not trying to do a million things at once, it works pretty well. It can handle several tabs in Chrome, but probably only one Android app at a time before you'll notice significant lag. Conclusion As is the case with many devices around this price point, it's all about value. For $329.99, you're not expecting top-end performance and a bunch of bells and whistles. I do, however, wish that the performance was better. It was way too easy to get this PC to slow down to a snail's pace. This is something that's good for K-6 students, before they get a bit older and start having to handle some heavier tasks. I wouldn't send someone off to college with it though, although it's possible that the model with the A6 processor brings a much-needed performance boost. At the end of the day, the Chromebook 14 is a Chromebook with a solid display, a decent but loud keyboard, great battery life, and sluggish performance, all for $329.99. If you're looking to buy something for a student, or if you're looking to buy something for yourself and your needs are few, then it's not a bad choice. Make sure to check back soon for when I review the Chromebook x360 14 G1, which is a far more premium device.
  3. Scary article. First, where do the perpetrators find such stuff? Second, how exactly "those who come forward to police to report a crime are not given anonymity"? Does the police in the UK sell crime reportings?
  4. Fuelhandler

    Microsoft is offering a $100 discount on the Surface Headphones

    But they’re just so... ugly. Good to see Zune style discounts on these cans already. Lol
  5. Today
  6. DevTech

    HP - New monitor or graphics card?

    Nothing about your photo suggests a super-tight space. You need to plant the computer on the desk next to the monitor and then throw a plastic sheet on both when not using it. The frequency of Acidic Liquid Spray from cats must be limited to exactly ZERO occurrences.
  7. This browser will make a good dent in Chrome when it comes out. Its Chrome like enough for people to just use it. That depends, if the UI starts to look like the original Edge, then people will not bother with it. A lot of people may just use chrome because they think that the strange E icon is for IE and not for a different browser, so they may never have even tried the original edge, so why would they try the new one? Some people use chrome because it links into their google account. I think the main reason why MS is changing to chromium is more to do with business, some sites will not work with the original edge. Myself i will stay with cent, I see now reason to change and other people i have talked to say they will stay with the browser they use. Just been to the cent website, and it looks like adware. I am sure its not, but its the impression that the site gives me. Installed it and played With Cent for about 20 minutes. Settings for asking to run flash first didn't work. Switched it back and forth and restarted Cent several times. Made no difference. It was set to ask first by default even! After messing with that for a few minutes, tried getting back to the Cent website or forums. Site was down as it couldn't connect due to Cloudfare issue. That was all it took for me to remove it. Nothing spectacular about it!
  8. This browser will make a good dent in Chrome when it comes out. Its Chrome like enough for people to just use it. That depends, if the UI starts to look like the original Edge, then people will not bother with it. A lot of people may just use chrome because they think that the strange E icon is for IE and not for a different browser, so they may never have even tried the original edge, so why would they try the new one? Some people use chrome because it links into their google account. I think the main reason why MS is changing to chromium is more to do with business, some sites will not work with the original edge. Myself i will stay with cent, I see now reason to change and other people i have talked to say they will stay with the browser they use. This is the second or third time I've seen you mention cent. Never heard of it before but just did a search for it. May have to give it a try. What is it you like about it more than Chrome or Edge? As far as this version of Edge, I like it on my Windows 10 machines and wish they'd hurry up with the Windows 7 version to try on this computer. You can install the Windows 10 version on Windows 7 without any problems... Ya, I had it on the Windows 7 machine but it kept telling me I was running it in administrator mode. Couldn't find a way to not do that, so removed it.
  9. Should have waited for the Beta. (Sorry it had to be said)
  10. I think the voice used by them hasn't got anything to do with gender. It's easier for smaller speakers to project higher pitched tones, you can obviously use stronger materials and some smart engineering but size always matters. Someone may point out that they could use a high pitched male voice. There you are going to struggle to get the correct emotional tone and frequency range. The emotional tone is a massive factor in speech synthesis. You could use a larger speaker and a lower pitched male voice, but then privacy becomes a concern. Lower frequencies will travel further, especially when they have more energy. The people across the cafe will hear it, your neighbour downstairs might hear it etc. Also "Q The First Genderless Voice" has a terrible emotional tone and is a painful mix of voices, not a voice. I'm sure a better voice can be created but Q is a bad attempt.
  11. nubia Alpha review: A cool vision of the future plagued by too many missteps by João Carrasqueira When I first saw the nubia Alpha at this year's Mobile World Congress, I was immediately drawn to it. The huge display made so much sense to me, and it was one of my favorite visions for what could be done with flexible displays. So, naturally, when nubia gave me the chance to review it, I was stoked, and the company had a lot to live up to. nubia touts the Alpha as a wearable phone, which is in no small part thanks to its big display. But the version that's available worldwide doesn't have cellular connectivity, so that vision is immediately thrown out of the window. So, for the past two weeks, I've used it as a smartwatch, and the first I've ever used. It's actually the first wristwatch of any kind that I've used in a long time, so this review may come from a somewhat unusual perspective. Specs Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 Display 4.01 inches, 192x960, AMOLED Body 51.33mm x 47.1mm x 13.8mm Storage 8GB RAM 1GB Camera 5MP, 82º field of view Battery 500mAh Water resistance Yes (IPX5) Material Stainless steel (Black) Price $450 Design The design of the nubia Alpha is mostly marked by its tall 4.01-inch display, which comes in a whopping 1:5 aspect ratio. Not only does it face you, but it also wraps around the sides of your wrist. This is one of the few devices you can buy that has a screen that can actually be bent, and it seems to handle that just fine. There's no significant color distortion as far as I can tell, and despite the seemingly low pixel density, it actually looks great. It's an AMOLED, so you know you get true blacks and very vibrant colors, which I love. Looking closer at the display, it seems to have a protective film on top, which I didn't try to remove because it reminds me of the problems that come about with review units of the Samsung Galaxy Fold. It seems that this thin film might actually be necessary to help with the integrity of flexible displays, though I'm not sure why that is, or why it can't be merged into the panel itself. On the left side of the display, there's an infrared sensor, which is used for air gestures to control the watch without touching the screen. These work alright, but they're not perfect, and they're especially ineffective under sunlight, which messes with the sensor. I think the feature is cool as a gimmick, but its usefulness is questionable, and I think it could have been removed to make the watch a little lighter and smaller. Also on the same side is a side-firing speaker, which is loud and clear enough for my expectations from a watch. On the opposite side of the IR sensor is a 5MP camera, which can be used to take photos and record short videos in a pinch. I'll talk more about that later. There are also two buttons, one that serves as the home and power button, and another one to go back to the previous screen, though this can also be done using a pinch gesture. The rest of the watch is made of stainless steel, which is coated in a black paint job. The watch feels pretty significant on your wrist, especially in terms of weight. For someone who doesn't usually wear a watch at all, it takes some getting used to. Also, the all-metal wrist band makes me feel very uncomfortable when it's rubbing against the metal body of my laptop, so I almost always end up taking it off when I'm writing. I wish nubia had found a way to use a leather band while retaining the flexible display, because of the weight as well as that problem with my laptop. Another problem I had was setting it up to fit my wrist, which I felt was just a little too hard to do. It was manageable, though, and you only have to do it once, so I'm not too upset about the metal build. Software This is, in my opinion, nubia's greatest shortfall with the Alpha. The watch runs nubia Wear OS, which, for one thing, sounds too similar to Google's platform for wearables, and for another, lacks any kind of support from third-parties. There are some things I like about it, to be clear. The home screen features your clock, with a variety of watch faces to choose from, and below that, you'll have your currently running background apps, such as when you're tracking a workout or listening to music. Further below you have your six most recent apps. Above the watch face, you have quick actions to turn Wi-Fi or Bluetooth on and off, toggle between ringer modes, adjust the screen brightness, and so on. When you have notifications, you'll see them here, too, but that's also when problems start to arise with the Alpha. Notifications almost always show up twice on the watch, sometimes in two different variants. You also can't interact with notifications from your watch, unless they're SMS notifications. Dismissing notifications on either of your devices also doesn't affect the other end, so you'll always have duplicate notifications. In general, there's a lot I like about the UI, and I feel like it uses the big screen well. All of the menus are colorful and look great on the AMOLED display, and they're laid out vertically across the big screen, so you usually know where to go pretty easily. Almost all of the apps give you some freedom thanks to that tall screen. When an app only uses a portion of it, you can move the app along the height of the screen to look at it from whichever angle you prefer. But just as there is good, there is a lot of bad. nubia decided to build its own platform for the Alpha, and that makes some sense since no other wearable OS is known for its support for this kind of display. However, it results in an absolute lack of apps from other companies, and there's just not much that you can do with it that would make it a "wearable phone" or even a good smartwatch. The unit I tested at MWC had a WeChat app, and while I don't use the service, I was excited to try it just to see what it would be like to make video calls on the watch. Unfortunately, it looks like the international version doesn't include that app. I can't imagine nubia will be able to attract western developers to make dedicated apps for the Alpha, either. The watch also has fitness tracking capabilities, but even there, it's very limited. It has a heart rate monitor, and it offers four exercise tracking modes (even though its store page mentions five): indoor running, outdoor running, outdoor walking, and free workout. While tracking your workout, the watch will constantly track your heart rate, and it can also use GPS to draw the trace your outdoor runs and walks. There are, however, many limitations here. The GPS tracking produces a nice graph of the path you took, and it seems accurate enough, but it doesn't overlay it on top of a map. It ends up being just a drawing. The watch also doesn't save your health data over time, even if you use the nubia Wear app. I'm assuming this is a bug, because the app has arrows that indicate you should be able to go back to previous days, but it's still insane to me. And, for whatever reason, I've been in more than one situation where the watch thinks I've taken thousands of "negative" steps in one workout, and I'll have something like -50,000 recorded. I reached out to nubia and this will apparently be fixed in an update later this month. When that doesn't happen, the tracking works well enough, though the step count and distance measured are significantly lower than the numbers I get on Google Fit using my phone. Additionally, the limited number of workout modes means this isn't a great choice if fitness tracking is your focus. I do want to mention the Marquee feature because I think it's kind of cool, even if it's not useful in any way. Basically, you can write a short message on the nubia Wear app on your phone, and it'll be available to display on your watch, turning your wrist into a kind of billboard. It looks pretty nice, but the only reason I see for turning it on is bragging rights for having an expensive smartwatch. Also, even this has caused me problems - when I reached my target number of steps for the day with this enabled, I got a notification that froze the entire system, and I was forced to reboot. Camera The presence of a camera is another standout feature of the nubia Alpha when you compare it to other smartwatches. You'd probably expect such a small device to pack a pretty poor camera, and you wouldn't be wrong to think so. At 5MP, the camera on the Alpha isn't breaking any records, but I do have to say I was pleasantly surprised. While the resolution and detail are very much lacking, pictures from the Alpha do have some nice colors, which I liked more than I expected. I was also surprised to find that the camera app goes as far as offering built-in filters, which makes it seem like nubia wants this watch to be used by the general public, even though it fails in so many other aspects. The camera app can also record videos up to 10 seconds in length, and the filters work in video mode, too. It also pulls off what I still think is one of the coolest tricks of this watch. Just like other apps, you can drag the interface along the height of the screen, but in this case, that means you can take pictures at a variety of different angles while still looking at the viewfinder without any significant discomfort. If you drag the app all the way to the bottom of the screen, you can make the camera face forward, and the image will flip vertically so the photo comes out looking the way it should instead of upside down. In the samples below, there are a couple of sets where I test the included filters. Gallery: Nubia Alpha camera samples Unfortunately, while the watch connects to your phone via Bluetooth, transferring images requires Wi-Fi, so if you try to take photos or videos in a pinch, you can't share them until you're connected. Many times, I ended up just using my phone, even though I'd rather not, just because I could share those pictures in the moment. I also had a big problem when I was finishing up this review - I wanted to transfer some more photos from the Alpha to my phone, and the connection kept failing, even though other features were working fine. It worked eventually, but I couldn't figure out why. Battery life and performance Nubia made the unfortunate decision to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 instead of the newer Wear 3100, which would have provided improved battery consumption. There's a relatively big 500mAh battery in the Alpha, so it still manages to make it through most days, but it's nearly impossible for it to last two days if you use any of its features throughout the day. Of course, without much in the way of apps, there's not a lot that can drain the battery, but the workout tracking can take a toll, since it turns on the heart rate monitor at all times and uses GPS to draw the path you take. Using the Marquee feature also affects battery life significantly, despite the fact that only a few pixels have to be backlit in an AMOLED display. As for performance, there's not much that can be said, considering how little you can do with the Alpha. In my time with it, I haven't experienced any visible slowdowns or very long waiting times, and everything seems to flow mostly fine. There have been times where I can't get the watch to turn on the display when I lift it, but that could have more to do with its recognition of my arm gestures. Conclusion I really wanted to love the nubia Alpha, and in many ways, I do. The look and feel of the watch, despite being a little bulky, are still great, and I absolutely love the tall display. The software on its own is also pretty decent, and I like its overall design and the attention to some of the little details, such as moving the interface up and down along the screen, the filters in the camera app, and some other things. But it's that kind of attention that makes it especially frustrating that nubia failed to nail down many of the basics of the functionality of a smartwatch. The duplicate notifications, the buggy and limited fitness tracking, and the lack of any kind of software ecosystem for developers make it very hard to recommend the Alpha to just about anyone, especially at the very high asking price of $450. At the end of the day, the nubia Alpha makes me feel like the future will be full of devices with flexible displays - just not this particular device. It makes me hopeful that someone -maybe even Nubia itself - can pick up this concept and deliver on it with a user experience that's actually good and more capable. As it stands, I can only recommend the Alpha to deep-pocketed enthusiasts who want to own what I believe is one of the coolest concepts in modern tech. If you're one of those people, you can buy it from nubia's online store.
  12. Theresa Ramseyer

    HP - New monitor or graphics card?

    Good morning I picked the monitor up yesterday. Haven't put it up yet, we had bad weather and warnings for worse. I'm not sure how I'm going to fit everything, and am also considering a new printer. I'll post later how things turn out. Just wanted to give a quick update. Have a good day / evening.
  13. I would venture that the law passed is based upon a prior existing law, as such it carries the baggage, potentially including the lack of clause relating to victim anonymity. Many laws work this way, they are created quickly to address a current issue, and then revisited to tidy-up later. Most of them are not revisited, and are left so vague. It left like that on purpose, so you can be charged with anything. Should you say something hurty on twitter.
  14. Apple charges less in the US! ($9) Oh how long OnePlus has come... #neversettle
  15. I would venture that the law passed is based upon a prior existing law, as such it carries the baggage, potentially including the lack of clause relating to victim anonymity. Many laws work this way, they are created quickly to address a current issue, and then revisited to tidy-up later.
  16. OnePlus quietly increases price of USB Type-C stereo audio and OTG adapters by Boyd Chan Earlier this week, the OnePlus 7 Pro was announced and our own Rich Woods shared his first impressions of the flagship device in an unboxing video. However, this iteration from OnePlus has seen the company cease the inclusion of a USB Type-C to 3.5mm stereo adapter in the box, leaving prospective buyers having to fork over extra to use their traditional wired headphones and earphones. Unfortunately, for those that need to invest in such an adapter, OnePlus has raised the price on the peripheral. When the OnePlus 6T was the new kid on the block, the dongle cost $8 plus applicable taxes and freight charges in the United States, but is now going for $12.95. While pricing has also been increased elsewhere around the world, it has not necessarily been uniform, as evidenced by costs in the UK (£6.99/~$8.89), India (₹390/~$5.54), and Germany (€7.95/~$8.88). it also appears that OnePlus has nudged up the cost of its USB OTG adapter by 30% to $13 in the U.S. While ditching the traditional 3.5mm audio port for USB Type-C and Bluetooth has become a growing trend in the smartphone space, you might be able to minimize your outlay to enjoy a wired audio experience by looking at similar adapters from other vendors. Source: Android Police
  17. Microsoft Weekly: An unlikely partnership, 1903's impending GA, and patches for all by Florin Bodnarescu Another week’s gone by, so let us once more look back at what’s happened with various Microsoft-related things these past seven days. Beyond the expected Patch Tuesday updates and the relatively minor May 2019 Update cumulative update, there was also an unexpected partnership with Sony that got unveiled. Be sure to find all that, and the usual bit extra, in your Microsoft digest for the week of May 11-17. An unlikely partnership While the May 2019 Update for PC hasn’t yet been made generally available, as we’ll see below (spoilers), folks with an Xbox One have been luckier. Though minor, the update does now allow you to see which platform your friends are playing on, brings message requests, and better sorting with “a”, “an”, as well as “the” not being taken into consideration in titles. As such, games like The Witcher will appear under W, not T. If you’ve managed to get into the Skip Ahead subsection of the Alpha ring, you should now be getting a new 19H2 build, specifically 18362.7113 which brings improvements to the download queue. Now, you’ll be able to see how much time is left until the download finishes, as well as gaining the ability to move items up and down the queue. In case you have an Xbox Live Gold subscription – which is likely if you game on Microsoft’s console -, you may want to check out The Golf Club 2019 featuring PGA Tour and Comic Jumper, both of which are free as part of Games with Gold. As far as unreleased games are concerned, Gears 5 may be coming out in September, according to a leak. The anticipated release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on PC, which was supposed to begin testing in April initially, now seems to potentially be headed for testing after E3, if 343 Industries community director Brian Jarrard’s comments on Reddit are any indication. Adding to the pile of as of yet unreleased games, Mojang decided to celebrate Minecraft’s tenth anniversary with its own announcement of Minecraft Earth, a free-to-play, mobile augmented reality (AR) title. Available for iOS and Android, it’s supposed to kick off the closed beta sometime this summer. Finally, I’ve left arguably the best for last, as reports have come in that pigs have started flying. And why is that, you ask? Well, Microsoft and Sony announced a “strategic partnership” whereby the two companies would jointly develop “future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure”, with Sony, in particular, exploring the use of “Azure datacenter-based solutions” for its own streaming offers. These streaming offers don’t just include entertainment like TV shows and movies, but also, most interesting in this case, games. The partnership even extends to AI solutions, imaging sensors, and semiconductors, which is arguably the less interesting bit given the upcoming release of the Xbox Scarlett family of consoles and the PlayStation 5, all of which are expected to drop next year. As Sony is absent from this year’s E3, and Microsoft’s Xbox Briefing is a little over three weeks away, this is definitely a surprising announcement. 1903’s impending GA The May 2019 Update (or 19H1, or version 1903 if you prefer) has been in testing in the Release Preview ring for over a month, an approach which Microsoft took in light of the horrendous initial rollout of 1809. Nevertheless, both the company and third-party partners are prepping for the imminent general availability of 1903, with AMD pushing out version 19.5.1 of its driver, and Intel releasing version of its DCH driver for Windows 10. Besides AMD and Intel, Microsoft itself issued a cumulative update, as build 18362.113 made its way to both Insiders in the Slow and Release Preview rings. This one includes protections for MDS vulnerabilities, patches for the issue that caused IE’s performance to decrease when using roaming profiles, as well as a fix for the cell size bug with MS UI Gothic and MS PGothic fonts. This build also comes with a known issue in regards to Windows Defender Application Guard and Windows Sandbox, both of which may spit out error "0x800705b4" upon launch after installing this update. Since 1903 was not made generally available on Patch Tuesday this past week, it’s likely that either the 21st or the 28th are the most likely candidate dates, with the 28th, in particular, being very probable. This is due to Microsoft’s “late May” phrasing on availability. Until then, you may want to check out our spotlight of the features that 1903 brings to the table. Patches for all As this week was the second Tuesday of the month, all supported versions of Windows received patches. Starting with Windows 10, these are: October 2018 Update (1809): KB4494441, build 17763.503 – enables “Retpoline” by default if protections for Spectre V2 are present; adds protections against Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS) vulnerabilities; adds “” to the HTTP Top Level Domains (HSTS TLD) in Edge and IE; patches issue which caused “Error 1309” when installing certain .msi or .msp files on a virtual drive; fixes the issue which prevented Visual Studio Simulator from starting; provides security updates for Edge, IE, the Scripting Engine, App Platform and Frameworks, Graphics, Storage and Filesystems, JET Database Engine, and more. Known issues: PXE boot issues on devices with WDS servers configured to use Variable Window Extension; Operations like rename may fail when performed on files or folders within a Cluster Shared Volume (STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL 0xC00000A5); Some Asian language packs installed may receive error 0x800f0982 after installing KB4493509; Attempting to print from Edge or a UWP app will give you this error: “Your printer has experienced an unexpected configuration problem. 0x80070007e”. April 2018 Update (1803): KB4499167, build 17134.765 – broadly the same changelog as 1809, save for enabling Retpoline. Known issues: PXE boot issues on devices with WDS servers configured to use Variable Window Extension; Operations like rename may fail when performed on files or folders within a Cluster Shared Volume (STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL 0xC00000A5). Fall Creators Update (1709): KB4499179, build 16299.1146 – same changelog as 1803. Known issues: Operations like rename may fail when performed on files or folders within a Cluster Shared Volume (STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL 0xC00000A5). Creators Update (1703): KB4499181, build 15063.1805 – same changelog as 1803 and 1709. Known issues: Operations like rename may fail when performed on files or folders within a Cluster Shared Volume (STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL 0xC00000A5); Some sites that don’t support HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) may not be accessible through IE11 or Edge after this update. Creators Update Mobile (1703): KB4500154, build 15254.566 – identical changelog to the desktop equivalent. Anniversary Update LTSC (1607), Server 2016: KB4494440, build 14393.2969 – the same changelog as versions 1803, 1709, and 1703. Known issues: PXE boot issues on devices with WDS servers configured to use Variable Window Extension; Operations like rename may fail when performed on files or folders within a Cluster Shared Volume (STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL 0xC00000A5); In addition, there are two other ones: one relates to the ‘2245 (NERR_PasswordTooShort)’ error after installing KB4467684, while the other relates to SCVMM being unable to enumerate and manage local switches on the host post-update. Windows 10 RTM LTSC (1507): KB4499154, build 10240.18215 – broadly the same changelog as the ones above, with the exception of the fixes in Excel for cell size when using MS UI Gothic or MS PGothic, as well as improving performance for case-insensitive string comparison functions like as_stricmp(). Known issues: Operations like rename may fail when performed on files or folders within a Cluster Shared Volume (STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL 0xC00000A5). Folks on Windows 7 and 8.1 were treated to some updates as well, and these are: Windows 8.1, Server 2012 R2: KB4499151 – essentially identical to the 1607 and up changelogs. The security-only updates is KB4499165. Known issues: PXE boot issues on devices with WDS servers configured to use Variable Window Extension ; Operations like rename may fail when performed on files or folders within a Cluster Shared Volume (STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL 0xC00000A5); Microsoft and McAfee have identified an issue on devices with McAfee Endpoint Security (ENS) Threat Prevention 10.x or Host Intrusion Prevention 8.0, or VirusScan Enterprise 8.8 which causes the system to start up slowly or become unresponsive at restart. Windows 7 SP1, Server 2008 R2: KB4499164 – along with the patches for MDS vulnerabilities, the cell size fix in Excel, the patch for Visual Studio Simulator, as well as a number of security updates, there’s also a fix for an issue which prevented applications that rely on unconstrained delegation from authenticating after the expiration of the Kerberos ticket-granting ticket. The security-only update is KB4499175. Known issues: Microsoft and McAfee have identified an issue on devices with McAfee Endpoint Security (ENS) Threat Prevention 10.x or Host Intrusion Prevention 8.0, or VirusScan Enterprise 8.8 which causes the system to start up slowly or become unresponsive at restart. Besides the regular versions of Windows, Insiders in the Fast ring picked up an update too, with build 18898 of the 20H1 branch dropping last Wednesday. It includes a small, though reasonably useful change which now makes Task Manager’s Performance Tab display the type of storage you have, be it SSD or HDD. The number of fixes amounts to three, with issues causing high hitting DWM crashes and high hitting explorer.exe crashes due to pcshell.dll, as well as those which caused updated Japanese IME settings to never be applied to certain apps now being a thing of the past. Unfortunately, the list of known issues is longer, and it includes the perennial favorites like anti-cheat software causing problems and the Realtek SD card readers not functioning properly, while also adding things like search results not being visible in an enhanced session remote desktop VM, or Night Light not turning on if the device has fast startup enabled. Again, this update is slated to arrive early next year, so there’s plenty of time for these things to be ironed out. Devs may want to check out the new SDK preview which dropped, namely build 18894. Despite not bringing much to the table besides a few API additions, it’s worth having a gander at for those interested. The Fast ring Teams on iOS now lets you remove chat participants, and more. Web Template Studio is now available in preview. A 15-inch Surface Book 2 with Core i5 and no dGPU may launch soon. Edge Dev build is now available with a bunch of fixes. Microsoft and General Assembly have announced a partnership around AI, ML, and more. Hot corner Hot corner is a section of The Fast ring dedicated to highlighting five Microsoft-related stories that haven’t been covered over here, but might be of interest. If you were experiencing a Data Gaps issue in Azure Portal, it should now be resolved. Data Migration Assistant v4.3 is now available. Windows Server containers are now supported in preview in Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). The Azure Portal May 2019 update is available, bringing tabbed browsing support for more portal links, new integration with AKS, and more. The Premium Files performance tier is now available in preview to everyone. Logging off Ending this column is a bit of news concerning Windows 10 on Chromebooks, something which seemed to be close to reality, but is apparently not happening. Developed under the Project Campfire codename, the feature would’ve been called Alt OS and would’ve required about 40GB of storage to enable dual boot. Changes the Chromium Gerritt – the code collaboration tool in use – have indicated that Alt OS has been deprecated, so it’s unlikely that Google is completely dedicated to it. The lack of mention during even the company’s I/O 2019 conference further cements that the likelihood of this surfacing is very low. That said, it could be that the firm may be working on a different implementation. Missed any of the previous columns? Be sure to have a look right here.
  18. Black Shark 2 coming to India on May 27, price may start at around ₹33,000 by Jay Bonggolto The Black Shark 2, which officially debuted in China earlier this year, is set for launch in India on May 27. The gaming smartphone is also expected to ship with additional accessories including the Gamepad 2.0 controller. The device naturally packs an upgraded set of specs compared to its predecessor including the Snapdragon 855 SoC, more RAM, and storage capacities, and a pressure-sensitive system that's been added to its screen. The Black Shark 2 sports a 6.39-inch OLED display with reduced touch latency, lower screen flicker, and enhanced color accuracy. It supports an in-display fingerprint sensor and includes a vapor chamber cooling system to keep its temperature low. The gaming device also has a 4,000mAh battery with support for 27W fast charging. For the 6GB/128GB variant, the phone could cost around ₹33,000 (~$470) in India while the 12GB/256GB variant may set consumers back somewhere in the vicinity of ₹43,000 (~$610) based off the Chinese pricing. The phone's upcoming Indian launch comes more than a month after its European release. It also makes sense for the Black Shark 2 to arrive in a huge smartphone market such as India given that Xiaomi, which once backed the Black Shark brand, has a vast presence in the country. Of course, it remains to be seen how Black Shark will fare against the competition now that it has drifted away from the Chinese phone maker's fold. Source: BGR India
  19. One would think it is a no-brainer that the victim's identity is kept private. How come they didn't think of that when they passed the bill?
  20. UK: Campaigners call for anonymity in revenge porn cases and better police training by Paul Hill Calls have been made to give victims of revenge porn anonymity when they go to report their case. Campaigners have also suggested that just being threatened with revenge porn should also be a crime. In England and Wales, sharing private or sexual images of a person without consent has been a crime since April 2015, similar laws were introduced later in Scotland and Northern Ireland. As it stands now, those who come forward to police to report a crime are not given anonymity because it’s categorised as a communications crime. Sophie Mortimer from the Revenge Porn helpline has said that revenge porn cases should be classified as sexual offences so that anonymity can be given to victims. As smartphones have become more widespread in society, the number of revenge porn cases has increased dramatically. Figures from 19 police forces in England and Wales reveal that the number of cases being investigated had jumped from 852 in 2015-16 to 1,853 in 2018-19. In the same timeframe, the police forces that were asked for data revealed that the number of people charged under revenge porn laws had decreased by 23% from 207 to 158. Campaigners say that police need more training on the issue. Research by the University of Suffolk suggests that just 5% of police officers asked were properly informed on revenge porn laws. Speaking to the BBC, Mortimer said: “It's all very well changing the law and making these things illegal, but if the frontline services don't understand what the law actually means then you've only done half the job.” The legislation around revenge porn is continually evolving around the world as lawmakers come to terms with what can be done with technology. Proposals for changes to these laws such as the ones outlined above will likely become more frequent in order to better address the issue. Source: BBC News
  21. Google brings refreshed Smart Display UI to the Nest Hub by Jay Bonggolto Image via 9to5Google Google unveiled a refreshed Smart Display user interface (UI) earlier this month at its I/O conference, with the new design having been initially demonstrated on the Nest Hub Max. The fresh UI is now reportedly rolling out to other smart display devices including Google's Nest Hub (formerly the Home Hub). The latest change introduces a more personal feel to how the background looks when users begin to swipe through the cards for various apps like YouTube and Google News. For example, the bright wallpaper is now being replaced with a blurred version of whatever is on the Ambient Mode, including your photos or the clock. It should be noted that this applies only when the first tap is made; the white background returns as users swipe through the succeeding cards. While the Ambient Mode or Photo Frame remains the default home screen, the dedicated weather forecast is now gone. Thankfully, the detailed forecast can still be accessed in full-screen view by tapping the weather icon. The time and date have become noticeably larger than before, though they have been relocated to the bottom-left corner. In addition to the Nest Hub, the update is also expected to hit other Smart Displays manufactured by Lenovo and JBL as part of the new Google Home firmware version 1.39154941. The update is said to be part of Google's groundwork for the Nest Hub Max, which will display Duo messages and reminders on the home screen using facial recognition. Source: 9to5Google
  22. Kashaar

    TidyTabs 1.4.1 [Update]

    I use this app daily at work. I never tried the Stardock's one thus I cannot compare. This one has a tiny memory footprint and no performance impact. It seems to me to does not pollute your system with anything special. The free version allows you to use up to 3 tabs per window on a single screen/desktop. Every time you start the app, you can use it as if it was registered for one hour if I recall. Lately I spent my days on apps which do not require such tool such as Visual Studio, VS Code and ConEmu. I still use it to dock PuTTY windows and some File Explorer windows most notably. (You can tell it to group some app windows systematically). Here is my one and only catch with this app though: you cannot drag'n'drop to another tab, which kind of defies the purpose with File Explorer windows (at least, I did not find how to) ; I would have expected a tab to activate when I was waiting with my cursor over it for some time so I could finish my drag'n'drop operation in the newly activated window, which does not happen. You can still do that through the task bar though. EDIT: added task bar comment.
  23. Can you remind me last time this motto had a real life scenario? I'm quite sure was after Christ, but I can't remember the exact year. Azure vs Amazon. Anyways, Microsoft is still a patent-troll company but right now it is using a paper-company to do that. For example, Microsoft is still committed to screwing Linux and it is still collecting royalties from Linux partners. what about? and again what exactly about?
  24. LOL you're funny one ... so go to google cloud F. no AWS? F. that too. I do not bite into cloud. Don't get me wrong, I don't judge anyone going Cloud. I see no reason to. On premise is the best way to go about. For example...I don't use One Drive or similar. I have my local NAS. Is there a chance I lose that, yes there is but I am willing to take that risk rather than paying $9.99 to Microsoft or anyone else. I have NAS and its backup, good enough for me. My idea of computing is that at any point I can disconnect Internet and my computer will still be usable and all my files accessible. I have a control and not someone else. I still believe in physical media and still use VHS, DVD, Bluray. ok so suggest worldwide services companies to go on premise, I'm sure they'll appreciate your idea
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