Here is the latest comic from our Joy of Tech friends at Geek Culture, Nitrozac & Snaggy.
Source: Apple’s Plan for Growth (Comic)
Here is the latest comic from our Joy of Tech friends at Geek Culture, Nitrozac & Snaggy.
Source: Apple’s Plan for Growth (Comic)
Author: Lance Whitney
Microsoft has pushed out a few more updates to Windows 10 as it rushes to prep its new OS for launch next Wednesday.
On Thursday, Gabe Aul, the engineering general manager for Microsoft’s operating systems group, tweeted: “Another update now available on Windows Update for Windows 10 PC build 10240.” Build 10240 is the latest and final build forWindows 10 before the official launch. As such, Microsoft has been focused on pushing out updates for that build to ensure that it’s as solid as possible.
The two updates released late Thursday include a security update with the Microsoft Knowledge Base number of KB3074679 and a new driver for Intel HD graphics. The security update description says little other than the generic: “A security issue that been identified in a Microsoft product that could affect your system.” The one for Intel HD graphics updates the driver for PCs with Intel’s integrated graphics processor. I also caught an update for Windows Defender, Microsoft’s built-in antimalware software, which is updated on a regular basis with new definition files.
Microsoft needs to hit a home run with Windows 10, not just to make up for the debacle of Windows 8 but also to prove that it can still create an OS that generates appeal, excitement and demand among users. The company has been constructing and enhancing Windows 10 since October, with feedback from people who joined the Windows Insider Program to download and test each new build and offer their comments, suggestions and criticisms.
But even if Windows 10 isn’t 100 percent bug-free and rock-solid come next Wednesday, that doesn’t spell doom and gloom for the latest version. With Windows 10, Microsoft has adopted a new rollout approach. Members of the Windows Insider Program will get the upgrade on Wednesday so they can keep testing and offering their feedback. Based on that testing and feedback as well as its own findings, Microsoft will continue to update Windows 10 to address any new issues. It will then start pushing the OS out to Windows 7 and 8.1 users who reserved the free upgrade.
And even after the upgrade is installed by potentially millions of Windows 7 and 8.1 users, Microsoft can continue to update the product as necessary through the Windows Update process. So in some ways, Windows 10 may always be a work in progress. That’s not much different than previous versions of Windows, which continually required updates. Still, the new OS needs to be as stable and user-friendly as possible during the rollout period if it’s to catch on with users, especially those jaded with Microsoft after Windows 8.
The latest Windows 10 updates should download automatically as long as you’ve enabled Automatic Updates. To do so, click the Start button and choose Settings. From the Settings screen, click the category for Update & security. In the Windows Update pane, click the link for Advanced options. And under Advanced Options, make sure the option under Choose how updates are installed is set to Automatic.
You can also check for new updates manually from the Windows Update pane. Click the Check for updates button. If any updates are found, click the View details button and then click the Install button to install them.
Author: MATT WEINBERGER
For: Business Inside
On July 29th, Microsoft will release the most significant overhaul of its operating system in years when it launches the long-awaited Windows 10.
You probably have some questions. So we’ve prepared some answers.
What’s new and cool about Windows 10?
Windows 10 comes with lots of nifty new features: The Cortana digital assistant takes the best parts of Apple’s Siri and Google Now and adds a little more attitude; the new Windows Store promises apps that work exactly the same on your Windows 10 PC as on your Windows 10 tablet. Plus, the new Microsoft Edge Web browser has cool new features (like being able to scribble notes directly on a webpage), and it’s performing better than Google Chrome in some early benchmark tests.
Should I bother with the upgrade to Windows 10? Windows 8.1 was pretty bad.
So far, Windows 10 seems pretty solid.
Microsoft has made a free preview edition available to those brave enough to test early versions of the software, with a program called Windows Insider.
And even in that early form, there’s been a lot to love. At first blush, Windows 10 takes the best parts of Windows 7 (stability, user friendliness) and Windows 8.1 (touchscreen-friendliness) and combines it into something that’s easy to use, both on computers and tablets. It’s familiar, but fresh.
Microsoft is billing this as “The Last Version of Windows,” and promises that it’ll get new features and upgrades on a rolling basis rather than ever releasing a Windows 11 (or 12, or 13).
How much will it cost me to upgrade my Windows 7 or 8 PC?
Nothing. For the next year, any Windows 7 or 8/8.1 computer, tablet, and smartphone gets a free Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft has big plans for Windows 10, but first it needs to have everybody on the same operating system, so it’s willing to take the financial hit.
Which version of Windows 10 will I get for free?
Check out this handy chart:
Can my PC or tablet handle an upgrade to Windows 10?
Microsoft says the basic system requirements to run its new OS are: 1 GHz or faster processor or SoC; 1 GB RAM (for 32-bit version), 2GB RAM (for 64 bit-version); 16 GB hard drive (for 32-bit version), 20 GB hard drive (for 64-bit version); a Directx 9 or later graphics card with WDDM 1.0 driver; 800×600 display.
Most PCs will probably meet these requirements — and the Get Windows 10 app that you probably already have on your computer will tell you for sure.
Cool. So I can get Windows 10 on July 29th?
On July 29th, the first batch of computers with Windows 10 preinstalled will be available for sale. There won’t initially be many of those computers available though, as a lot of PC manufacturers are holding back their new models until the back-to-school shopping or holiday seasons.
What if I don’t want to buy a new computer?
Microsoft is making Windows 10 available for download, starting on July 29th.
So I can download Windows 10 on July 29th?
Sort of. Again.
First, it will go out to the members of the Windows Insider program, to thank them for their service in testing the operating system. Then, it will go out to one group of users at a time over the next few weeks, starting on July 29th — Microsoft doesn’t want to risk a tidal wave of Windows 10 downloads taking its servers down.
You might have already signed up to get in line for the download. Microsoft has been bugging Windows users about the upgrade for the last month or so, via a “Get Windows 10” app in your system tray. That same app will check your computer for compatibility with Windows 10.
What if I don’t want to download Windows 10?
You have two choices: A boxed copy, or a copy that lives on a USB flash drive. Either way, it will run you $119.99 for Windows 10 Home Edition, and $199.99 for Windows 10 Pro Edition.
The big catch here is that neither version will be released in stores until August 30th, 2015, according to the Amazon product listing.
So if I absolutely need to make sure I have Windows 10 on July 29th, I have to buy a new computer?
If I upgrade my existing computer to Windows 10, will I lose my files?
Nope. The actual download and install process is handled through Windows Update, so Windows 10 will still have everything once the process is complete. The only catch is that you’ll lose some programs like Windows Media Center, which doesn’t have a Windows 10 version.
Is Microsoft doing anything special for the Windows 10 launch?
Well, it’s not going to be the mass-market advertising and media blitz of the Windows 95 launch 20 years ago, but Microsoft Stores are having special events all around the country. So if, say, you live in New York and don’t have plans on July 29th, you can meet World Cup soccer champion Abby Wambach at the Garden City Microsoft Store.
Just don’t expect any iPhone-style overnight lines.
What if I have a problem with Windows 10 and need some tech support?
“As with any significant release, we evaluate customer resources and have invested in upgrade support from a variety of resources including Microsoft Answer Desk, Windows.com andsupport.microsoft.com,” says a Microsoft spokesperson.
Plus, those same Microsoft Stores are getting “Answer Desks,” where you can bring in your Windows 10 computer and have them answer questions for you. They’ll even help you install it.
Great. So what’s the catch?
Windows 10 is still very new, so let the buyer beware. Those early testers have already caught lots of flaws and bugs, but there’s going to be some weirdness early on as Microsoft works to patch up the platform. The new Microsoft Edge browser that comes with Windows 10 won’t support browser extensions right away, for example.
If you’re really concerned, maybe take some time before the upgrade.
Yes! Finally. I have been waiting too long for this. I reserved my copy this morning!
Microsoft announced today that it will release Windows 10 on July 29.
The OS will be available as a free upgrade to all licensed Windows 7 and 8.1 users.
Blog post by the Windows Team:
Today, I’m excited to share the availability date for Windows 10. In fact, I thought I’d let Cortana, the world’s most personal digital assistant, share the news. You can ask Cortana for the answer! You can ask Cortana for the answer, or if you don’t have a Windows phone or a PC running the Windows 10 Insider Preview handy – you can hear it for yourself here:
Through the feedback and testing of over four million Windows Insiders, we’ve made great progress on Windows 10 and we’re nearly ready to deliver this free upgrade to all of our Windows customers*.
We designed Windows 10 to create a new generation of Windows for the 1.5 billion people using Windows today in 190 countries around the world. With Windows 10, we start delivering on our vision of more personal computing, defined by trust in how we protect and respect your personal information, mobility of the experience across your devices, and natural interactions with your Windows devices, including speech, touch, ink, and holograms. We designed Windows 10 to run our broadest device family ever, including Windows PCs, Windows tablets, Windows phones, Windows for the Internet of Things, Microsoft Surface Hub, Xbox One and Microsoft HoloLens—all working together to empower you to do great things.
Familiar, yet better than ever, Windows 10 brings back the Start menu you know and love. Windows 10 is faster than ever before, with quick startup and resume. And Windows 10 provides the most secure platform ever, including Windows Defender for free anti-malware protection, and being the only platform with a commitment to deliver free ongoing security updates for the supported lifetime of the device.
We’ve designed Windows 10 to help you be more productive and have more fun, with a range of innovations**:
In addition to these innovations, we will continue to update Windows 10 over time with new innovations to help you be more productive and have more fun. Like Windows 10 itself, these updates will be free for the supported lifetime of your device.
You can see these features in action in this video.
On July 29, you can get Windows 10 for PCs and tablets by taking advantage of the free upgrade offer, or on a new Windows 10 PC from your favorite retailer. If you purchase a new Windows 8.1 device between now and then, the Windows 10 upgrade will be available to you and many retail stores will upgrade your new device for you.
The Windows 10 upgrade is designed to be compatible with your current Windows device and applications*. We are hard at work to make this upgrade process a great experience. You can reserve your free Windows 10 upgrade now through a simple reservation process. Look for this icon in your system tray at the bottom of your screen, simply click on the icon, and then complete the reservation process. You can find more details on how this works at Windows.com.
Thank you for choosing Windows. We are designing it for you, so you can be more secure, more productive, have more fun.
* Initial release will be for PC and tablets. See Windows.com/windows10upgrade for availability and other details.
** Specific features may not be available in certain markets, some features require specified hardware, and Continuum for phone available on select premium models at launch. More details at Windows.com/windows10specs and xbox.com/windows-10.
“Right now we’re releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we’re all still working on Windows 10.” That was the message from Microsoft employee Jerry Nixon, a developer evangelist speaking at the company’s Ignite conference this week. Nixon was explaining how Microsoft was launching Windows 8.1 last year, but in the background it was developing Windows 10. Now, Microsoft employees can talk freely about future updates to Windows 10 because there’s no secret update in the works coming next. It’s all just Windows 10. While it immediately sounds like Microsoft is killing off Windows and not doing future versions, the reality is a little more complex. The future is “Windows as a service.”
IT’S ALL ABOUT WINDOWS AS A SERVICE
Microsoft has been discussing the idea of Windows as a service, but the company hasn’t really explained exactly how that will play out with future versions of Windows. That might be because there won’t really be any future major versions of Windows in the foreseeable future. Microsoft has altered the way it engineers and delivers Windows, and the initial result is Windows 10. Instead of big releases, there will be regular improvements and updates. Part of this is achieved by splitting up operating system components like the Start Menu and built-in apps to be separate parts that can be updated independently to the entire Windows core operating system. It’s a big undertaking, but it’s something Microsoft has been actively working on for Windows 10 to ensure it spans across multiple device types.
While we’ll witness the results in the coming months, Microsoft is already in launch mode for a number of its apps and services that power Windows 10. The software company is testing preview builds of Window 10 with willing participants, and apps like Xbox and Mail have been engineered for regularly monthly updates. Even Office for Windows 10 will also get regular updates, much like a mobile version, instead of the big bang release every few years.
WINDOWS ISN’T DEAD, BUT THE IDEA OF VERSION NUMBERS COULD BE
When I reached out to Microsoft about Nixon’s comments, the company didn’t dismiss them at all. “Recent comments at Ignite about Windows 10 are reflective of the way Windows will be delivered as a service bringing new innovations and updates in an ongoing manner, with continuous value for our consumer and business customers,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “We aren’t speaking to future branding at this time, but customers can be confident Windows 10 will remain up-to-date and power a variety of devices from PCs to phones to Surface Hub to HoloLens and Xbox. We look forward to a long future of Windows innovations.”
With Windows 10, it’s time to start thinking of Windows as something that won’t see a big launch or major upgrade every few years anymore. Much like how Google’s Chrome browser gets updated regularly with version numbers nobody really pays attention to, Microsoft’s approach will likely result in a similar outcome. This is really the idea of Windows as a service, and the notion that Windows 10 could be the last major version of Windows. Microsoft could opt for Windows 11 or Windows 12 in future, but if people upgrade to Windows 10 and the regular updates do the trick then everyone will just settle for just “Windows” without even worrying about the version number.
Among the many fascinating reveals in the opening keynote of the Microsoft Build 2015 developer conference—Android and iOS code running on Windows phones,holograms that can attach themselves to physical robots, and Visual Studio for Mac and Linux—was the Microsoft Edge browser.
Internet Explorer’s more modern and fast successor, previously code-named Project Spartan, is now Edge, and one of its most notable new features is extensions. Edge also maintains Spartan innovations like page markup, reading view, and Cortana integration. It’s also a Universal Windows app, meaning one application runs on PCs, phones, tablets, and whatever other Windows-running devices emerge.
Perhaps Edge’s greatest asset is that it’s not Internet Explorer, which, even after lots of improvements in speed and tightened design, was one of the most reviled pieces of software in history. Though Edge’s icon still sports an “E,” it really isn’t IE. Even underneath, it runs a new page-rendering engine called…wait for it—Edge. Yes, that was the name of Project Spartan’s engine, and it has now been elevated to the full product name. It tops IE’s longtime Trident engine in speed and compatibility with new Web standards such as HTML5.
Windows 10 will still ship with IE11 for legacy compatibility, especially for corporate intranets and other entreprise Web apps, but it won’t get new features and Edge will be the default browser.
Edge Browser Extensions
Extensions are hardly a new capability in Web browsers, and even Internet Explorer had some extensibility, with toolbars, WebSlices, and Accelerators. But Edge brings the promise of full Firefox- and Chrome-style extensions.
An important note about extensions in Edge is that the feature won’t ship with Windows 10 RTM (release to manufacturing) this summer, but will come in a later update.
Windows 10’s voice assistant seems to be popping up everywhere, and Edge is no exception in this regard. When you land on a page for which directions make sense—say you’re on a restaurant’s webpage—Cortana pops up with her familiar blue circle in the browser toolbar proposing relevant information. You can also right-click on selected text to have Cortana find info about the selection.
People hit that bar atop the browser to open a new tab over a billion times a day, and Microsoft wants to make good use of that real estate. IE’s new-tab page was actually one of the more useful among the browsers, all of which let you search and see thumbnails of your most-visited sites, but also let you re-open closed tabs and see site suggestions. In Edge, the new-tab page still shows top sites, but also app suggestions, weather, sports scores, and video suggestions. Interestingly, the page doesn’t show an address bar, but you can type a URL into its search box.
Another feature that’s been available in other browsers for years (particularly in Apple’s Safari) but is making its debut in Microsoft’s new browser is Reading Mode. This lets you strip out all the extra junk on a webpage aside from the main text and images —ads, sidebars, and so on—so you can read undistracted. Very useful for magazine like sites—like PCMag.com!
This one has not appeared on competing browsers from Mozilla, Google, and Apple, though I’ve seen a similar feature in the lesser-known Maxthon browser. Edge lets you mark up webpages with a highlighter or drawing tool and then share them as an image file in email or social apps.
New Coding Support
A Build session on the Edge browser highlighted just how many forward-looking features Edge supports, and noted that the browser doesn’t appear as IE to sites, so they’re more likely to work as they do in Firefox, Chrome, and Safari (mobile and desktop). The browser will support Object RTC, a newer form of WebRTC, the protocol that allows sites access to media communications; think Skype via a Web browser. Here’s a slide showing other new features in Edge:
An Edge Among Browsers
Microsoft’s new browser shows promise, and seems to be moving in all the right directions—faster speed, more standard support, extensions, and even a couple of unique features like page markup and Cortana integration. The fact that it will deliver the same experience on every device size—from Raspberry Pi to HoloLens to Xbox One—is another advantage. To try it out (on a non-critical PC), you can join the Windows Insider program and install Windows 10.
THE University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, planted its first legal ganja (marijuana) plant yesterday, symbolising its position as the pioneer in legally cultivating and researching the benefits of the drug in Jamaica.
Emotive adjectives coloured the presentations from government and university officials at the function marking the event, at the Agora Gardens, Faculty of Medical Sciences Teaching and Research Complex.
Minister of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining Phillip Paulwell suggested that it was “a wonderful day”, while UWI principal, Professor Archibald McDonald, pronounced it a “historic and amazing day”.
“If we can play our cards right, good things can happen for the people of Jamaica,” Minister of Justice, Senator Mark Golding, who piloted the Bill in the Senate decriminalising the drug, commented.
Under the provisions of a ministerial order issued by Paulwell recently, under the Dangerous Drugs Act, the UWI, Mona, as well as the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) are now licensed to grow ganja for research purposes.
Yesterday’s event was to witness the planting of the first legal ganja plant on the UWI campus.
Paulwell explained that he issued the order under Section 7 (d) of the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act, which was passed by Parliament in February.
He said that the order was “absolutely critical” if Jamaica is to be cited as the place for medicinal research and development of the product.
“We now have an opportunity to catch up (and) I want Jamaica to be the centre of excellence for research in medicinal ganja,” Paulwell said.
He stated that the order will also allow the university to contract farming of the weed outside of the Mona campus, but suggested that, when that is done, the university should pay particular attention to the small farmers.
He said that the law also allows him to grant authorisation to other bodies. However, he warned those interested in the commercial aspects of the drug to start by looking at their own research and development capabilities, and the opportunities being created at the university for research and development.
Professor McDonald, noting that the UWI has recently assumed pole position among tertiary institutions in the Caribbean, thanked the Government and the parliament for making the ganja experiment possible.
“Almost two years ago this was the most conservative institution in the Caribbean, and today here we are planting the first legal ganja plant after 102 years,” McDonald said.
He said that ganja had been demonised for economic reasons, and alcohol and cigarettes were never so demonised because they originated in the northern countries.
“Ganja originated from countries in the south, therefore, it was important that the interests of alcohol and cigarettes were protected,” he said.
He said that the UWI will now do the necessary research aimed at providing the scientific basis to show that ganja is a medicine, and is effective against a range of diseases.
Senator Golding, meanwhile, reiterated that the interest of the Rastafarian community would be protected.
He said that there were three areas to protect their interest: (1) entitlement to certain lands designated for cultivation for sacramental purposes; (2) places of worship to be designated as such for the use of ganja as a sacrament; (3) and events primarily for observing the faith to be exempted from the Act.
Golding also said that he will also be setting up an advisory group to give guidance on how the permits are to be issued.
Microsoft has delivered a fresh build (10049) of Windows 10 technical preview, including a first taste of its brand-new browser, code-named Project Spartan. The build is available to those already running the Windows 10 tech preview and enrolled in the fast ring upgrade path (find outhow to turn on the fast ring upgrade). Once you upgrade your Windows 10 preview to the current version, you’ll see Project Spartan’s icon on the Taskbar.
At Microsoft’s January Windows 10 event, the company introduced many features that do not appear in this version of Project Spartan. However, the browser’s slim, simple interface; lightning-fast launch; and modern design make this Internet Explorer successor look very promising, not to mention its cool built-in features.
Microsoft’s digital assistant is making her debut in Project Spartan, but current functionality is quite limited. Calendar syncing is not available in this build, and Microsoft says that the flight information seen in previous demos is coming soon. However, you can use Cortana’s search functionality by highlighting key terms to perform Web searches, find directions on a map, or look up the definition in a dictionary. Useful cases include getting the local forecast right in the address bar by searching for “weather,” and or having Cortana pull up the business hours or location of a restaurant when you visit that restaurant’s main page.
Project Spartan’s Reading View strips pages of distractions to provide a clean reading experience. It removes banner ads and other site elements, while embedded content like images and video are rearranged to reduce reading disruption. Reading View’s functionality is similar to those of the Readability or Clearly extensions for Google Chrome.
Project Spartan’s Web Notes lets you annotate webpages. Jot down ideas, highlight passages, circle important terms, and type up comments. Share notes via email, or upload them to OneDrive or social media. OneNote is also supported, as Microsoft aims to change the way we collaborate and browse the Web.
Check out the official Project Spartan announcement on Microsoft’s blog.
Raised in the Bay Area but educated on the sandy beaches of San Diego, Tuong writes for Download.com specializing in Windows Security and Mobile Apps.