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By Usman Khan Lodhi
Here's how to set up animated desktop wallpapers on Windows 10
by Usman Khan Lodhi
Windows offers three choices to users when setting up desktop wallpapers. The wallpaper can be changed from the Background settings, which lets users choose between a picture, a color, or a slideshow containing photos that change at preset intervals. Users that are tired of these options can now set up animated desktop wallpapers, thanks to Lively Wallpaper, a free and open-source software.
Using Lively Wallpaper, users can make desktop wallpapers out of videos, GIFs, emulators, web addresses, and more. The installation process is pretty straightforward. Once the setup file is downloaded, one simply needs to run it. While installing, it's possible that the software is flagged as a virus, but GitHub user rocksdanister, the developer of Lively Wallpaper, noted that this is a false positive, and encouraged users to inspect the code of the open-source software.
When installed, Lively Wallpaper can be accessed from the icon tray at the right-bottom of the screen. It features a total of 12 wallpapers that come preloaded, and there is also an option to add more. Doing so simply requires dragging and dropping files or webpages that users would like to set as the desktop wallpaper. Additionally, users can also set up video streams as wallpapers by following the same steps. Video quality can be adjusted to one's preference.
When I ran Lively Wallpaper on my PC, I set up Eternal Light, which is a render of a beautiful sunset, as the background. On average, it utilized around 25 percent of the GPU (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER) and had a negligible impact on the CPU. Upon switching to any full-screen application, the wallpaper playback is paused, which means I don't have to worry while playing GPU-intensive games like Red Dead Redemption 2. There are additional settings that let users set wallpaper playback rules based on running foreground applications.
Lively Wallpaper also comes with multiple monitor support, which means users can span a wallpaper across all screens, duplicate the same wallpaper across all screens, or set up different wallpapers for each screen.
The developer admits that Lively is still in development, so it is possible that users may encounter bugs. He encourages users to create a GitHub issue along with a log file.
To get Lively Wallpaper, head over to its GitHub repository, and download the latest version (v188.8.131.52) of the software. The software requires you to have Windows 10 version 1903 or above, so if you haven't updated Windows in a while, now would be a good time to do so.
Snapchat wants to pay users for their Spotlight content
by Paul Hill
Snapchat has announced a new feature on its platform called Spotlight where creators can submit content and earn money from a daily $1 million pot. The firm said that Spotlight content has been designed to entertain its community and has well-being as a top priority.
To meet its well-being aims, the firm has restricted the service so that content must follow the firm’s content guidelines and Terms, additionally, Spotlight content is moderated and doesn’t allow for public comments.
Initially, Spotlight will be available in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and France. Snapchat did mention that other countries will be added to the roster soon but it didn’t say exactly when or which countries would be added.
Snapchat users that watch Spotlight content can heart their favourite content or send it to their contacts. According to Snap’s payment terms, all of the users that favourite content will be contributing to the amount content creators finally receive from Snap, so be sure to press the heart on the content you like.
If you are in the launch countries, just update Snapchat and select Spotlight on the right-hand side of the bottom navigation bar. If you're looking to earn from your Spotlight content, you must be 16 or over.
By Abhay V
Google extends support for Chrome on Windows 7 by six months, to now end in 2022
by Abhay Venkatesh
Google today announced that it is extending support for the Chrome browser on Windows 7 by another six months, with the end-of-support now set for January 15, 2022, moved from the earlier July 15, 2021 timeline. The new date makes it exactly two years since Windows 7 reached its end of life. The company says that the decision was based on the feedback received from its enterprise customers and data about companies’ migration plans to Windows 10.
The search giant adds that many organizations were slated to migrate to Windows 10 this year. However, the challenges brought about by the pandemic resulting in differing priorities for enterprise IT teams have delayed the migration. The firm also cites a Kantar study that it commissioned that notes that 21% of organizations are still in the process of migrating from the legacy OS to the Redmond firm’s latest offering.
Additionally, Windows 7 is still being supported for some users that have opted for Extended Security Updates, the price of which doubles every year. The Mountain View company says that such users can “benefit from Chrome’s security and productivity” features since the browser will not only receive security updates but also new features. It also touts the upcoming enterprise features that Windows 7 users will be able to leverage thanks to the extended support period.
Lastly, Google says that it will “continue to evaluate the conditions [its] enterprise customers are facing” and will communicate any other changes in the future.
YouTube Music could soon let you share songs as Instagram and Snapchat stories
by Rajesh Pandey
YouTube is working on allowing YouTube Music users to share the song they are currently listening to as a story on Instagram or Snapchat. This is a feature that Apple Music and Spotify already offer in which they post a story with the song you are listening to along with the album artwork and the artist's name. There should presumably be a link to the song you are listening to in the story that you share on Instagram as well.
As pointed out by 9to5Google, if you have Snapchat or Instagram installed on your phone, the share menu will show two options under YouTube Music: Instagram stories and Snapchat stories. Tapping on any of the options leads to YouTube Music crashing, though this is a clear sign that Google is working on this feature. It is likely that this feature will roll out to YouTube Music users within the next few weeks.
Google really seems to be working hard on adding more features to YouTube Music, especially after the shutting down Play Music. As things stand right now, YouTube Music lacks a number of features compared to Spotify and other streaming services but Google is catching up to its competition fast by adding new features to its music streaming service almost every other week.
By Abhay V
A host of anti-virus engines are flagging recent Dell printer drivers as unsafe
by Abhay Venkatesh
Recent releases of Dell printer drivers for various versions of Windows are being flagged by a number of anti-virus programs as malware, as spotted and reported by journalist Brian Krebs on Twitter (via WindowsCentral). A few examples of such reports can be viewed on Virus Total that provides logs of malware detection by various anti-virus programs.
The drivers in question seem to include releases from Dell in the past few months, including one from September 24, detailed here. Krebs posted the results of the file in the logs on Virus Total, which show the file being flagged as “Malware” or “Trojans” by a number of programs including the likes of Avast, McAfee, Microsoft, Fortinet, and more. The logs suggest that at least 29 anti-virus engines detected the file as unsafe.
It is currently not clear what is triggering these detections, and if the said files are safe for installation or have been compromised. Krebs suggests that users that are looking to download the latest drivers hold off on downloading them for the time being. It is possible that the computer maker re-releases the drivers after scrutiny or provides an update at the least about the reports and the validity of its driver offerings.