Items tagged with Windows

Philips heavily invested into tech that it integrated with some of its higher-end TVs years back called Ambiglow or Ambilight. That tech put a backlight behind the TV that would glow to match the action on screen with light that filled the room. Watch a flick with the Incredible Hulk and your room would glow green. It is slick technology that not only improved immersion in a movie, but the light also helped to bias the eye to prevent flicker from the screen from straining your eyes in a dark room. Philips is now doing something similar for owners of its Hue lightbulbs with a new app called "Philips... Read more...
Microsoft issued the Windows 10 April 2018 on Monday after holding off on the launch due to a last-minute bug. Although the release brought some new productivity-minded features for users, it has also introduced some incompatibilities with popular apps that users are now reporting. Such is the case with a bug that is causing random freezes in Google Chrome. A reddit discussion thread is currently filled with multiple Windows 10 users that have experienced freezes in Chrome after installing the April 2018 Update. For one particular user (the thread's OP), his computer completely froze... Read more...
Microsoft has added new features to Outlook on Windows, Mac, web, and mobile devices. The software giant says that the changes are meant to help users manage their time and keep important stuff up front where it is easy to find. There are new features coming to Outlook for iOS and Android devices soon to help connect users to people, apps, and tech that improve productivity in the business environment. Among the changes are bill pay reminders in Outlook Calendar with the addition of bill payments to events that the calendar already tracks for users like travel reservations and package deliveries.... Read more...
Microsoft has stepped out to explain its side of a recent story here that made headlines and it underscores that it's never wise to jump to conclusions in legal cases unless you have a firm grasp on the particulars. This week, we reported on an e-waste recycler who was sentenced to prison for 15 months for selling unofficial Windows install disks. At first glance, it may have been easy to consider Microsoft the bad guy for its overzealous prosecution. In the company's recent blog post, Corporate VP of Communications Frank X. Shaw gives great detail on the case, based entirely on publicly available... Read more...
Microsoft decided to file criminal charges against an e-waste recycler named Eric Lundgren. The case against Lundgren originally went to court months ago, but the man remained free as his appeal worked its way through the court system. A federal appeals court has now upheld the original ruling, meaning that Lundgren will serve a 15-month prison sentence and will be forced to pay a $50,000 fine. What led to this harsh prison sentence? Lundgren had taken to downloading free software that Microsoft offers to Windows users commonly called restore disks. Lundgren's idea was to make these discs available... Read more...
Microsoft has done something that might surprise a bunch of people out there, it has open sourced the WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) to make it easier for Windows users to run Linux distributions. The WSL sample that is now open source allows distro maintainers to build WSL packages for the Microsoft Store and to create custom Linux distro packages for sideloading. The distro launcher repo is on GitHub right now. Microsoft says that the open source WSL will enable: Linux distribution maintainers to package and submit a Linux distribution as an appx that runs on WSL Developers to create custom... Read more...
PC users out there who are part of the Skip Ahead program have an updated version of Windows 10 they can grab and try out. The new version is Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17623 and it has some cool bits in it, and one not so cool feature. The major new introduction comes in the form of support for the High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) in Windows 10. Support for that format has been rolled into the Windows 10 Photos app. If you are unfamiliar with HEIF, it is an image container that uses modern codecs like HEVC to improve image quality, compression, and capabilities compared to older... Read more...
Microsoft's Windows Defender was working hard this week, and according to Microsoft, just before noon on March 6 the AV suite put the brakes on 80,000 instances of several sophisticated trojans. These trojans were especially dastardly because they had advanced cross-process injection techniques, persistence mechanisms, and evasion methods. All the trojans are new versions of Dofoil (also known as Smoke Loader) and they carry a coin miner payload. Microsoft wrote, "Within the next 12 hours, more than 400,000 instances were recorded, 73% of which were in Russia. Turkey accounted for 18% and Ukraine... Read more...
Microsoft is making it easier for businesses and IT administrators to tell if their PCs are protected from Spectre and Meltdown. Along with yesterday's collection of Patch Tuesday security updates, Microsoft upgraded its Windows Analytics service to specifically look for various mitigations against Spectre and Meltdown, including antivirus, operating system patches, and appropriate firmware. Unless you manage several PCs deployed at your workplace, you might not be familiar with Windows Analytics, a free tool that Microsoft provides to businesses. It's a cloud-based service designed to provide... Read more...
In some ways, Microsoft's Windows Phone platform feels like a missed opportunity. Had things been executed differently, it might have been big, giving Android and iOS a run for their money. Instead, it struggled to gain any kind of real traction in the marketplace, and Microsoft moved on. The potential of Windows Phone could have been, however, might be realized by the long anticipated Surface Phone, and some recent rumors suggest the device might support Win32 apps if and when it shows up. Microsoft has proven it can compete in hardware with its Surface products, despite a rocky start that saw... Read more...
Microsoft this week announced that it has integrated some new tricks into Windows Defender to help prevent users from being bullied to buy upgraded versions of free software. According to Microsoft, there has been a big uptick in free versions of programs that claim to scan a user's computer and find a litany of errors. The software then uses coercive messaging to scare users into buying upgrades to license premium versions of the software to fix the errors. Microsoft notes that the premium version of these programs are often called cleaner or optimizer applications and claim to fix the... Read more...
The two most worrisome vulnerabilities in computers to have surfaced in recent months are Spectre and Meltdown, which were first first disclosed earlier this month. These flaws collectively affect processors from Intel, AMD, and ARM. The problem for some people, including Linus Torvalds, was that Intel's initial response was lackluster. After Intel finally got around to giving PC users a fix for the Meltdown and Spectre flaws, the updates caused unexpected rebooting of some machines -- a new bug that Intel eventually confirmed. Microsoft has decided to step in and help users who... Read more...
If you've been following the tech or security news for the past few days, then you no doubt know of a security vulnerability that reportedly affects all Intel processors. OS vendors have been working to mitigate the issue with kernel patches, but those software Band-Aids can come with some performance handicaps as a side effect. Today, we're learning more about what exactly is going on, and that there are not one, but actually two vulnerabilities that have been disclosed. It's bad enough that one of them targets Intel processors, but the second affects ALL modern processors as well -- including... Read more...
If the reports are accurate, it appears that Intel might have a pretty severe chip-level security bug on its hands that cannot be simply swatted away with a microcode update. The bug affects all modern Intel processors dating back at least a decade. We should note that squashing the bug requires a patch at the OS level; and Linux patches have already been distributed (with redacted comments). Microsoft is expected to address the bug in its monthly Patch Tuesday update. The circumstances surrounding the exploit are currently under embargo, but some details are starting to make their way to the public... Read more...
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