There aren't many people who don’t like the sound of "free", and this was one of the keywords taken away from Microsoft's Windows 10 event earlier in the month. As build 9926 was unleashed on eager upgraders, Microsoft revealed that it will be free to upgrade to Windows 10 in the first year.
At least this is the case for the average consumer; it's something of a different story for enterprise customers. Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise are not versions that will be eligible for a free upgrade -- this is the personification of Windows as a service.
The British army is creating a new battalion of online soldiers in the form of the 77th Brigade. Hundreds of recruits will make up the division and will engage in "non-lethal warfare" on Mark Zuckerberg's social network from April.
The 77th Brigade will engage in psyops (psychological operations) to try to influence the opinions of civilians in certain parts of the world, as well looking to change the behavior of those engaged in various forms of warfare. The activities of groups such as ISIS (Islamic State) have shown the importance of the internet in general, but social networks in particular, to spreading ideas, messages and propaganda, and this is what the army is looking to manage.
Rapper Jay Z is spreading his wings outside of the world of hip hop, and venturing into music streaming territory. The musician's company, Project Panther Bidco Ltd is buying the Swedish company Aspiro, the owner of HD streaming music service Tidal for $56m.
The purchase will also see Jay Z acquiring Aspiro's other streaming service WiMP, but it is the quality-focused Tidal that is of particular interest. It will pit Jay Z against the Apple-owned Beats as well as the likes of Spotify.
We're gradually moving towards the official release of Windows 10, but in the meantime we have the Technical Preview to work with -- Build 9926 specifically. As we're only at the preview stage, it is to be expected that there will be a few issues here and there.
The good news is that Microsoft is working on fixing these problems, not just for the eventual RTM release of Windows 10, but also the preview builds. Surface Pro 2 and Surface Pro 3 owners complained about problems with stability when watching videos, and this has been addressed with a driver update.
There are many potential dangers to using the internet, and most people are familiar with the idea of identity theft, unauthorized access to online accounts and the like. But there's another hazard which has come to prominence recently: doxing. The idea is not new, having its roots back in the 90s, but there have been numerous high profile cases of celebrities who have fallen victim to "document dropping".
This involves releasing personal information about someone to the internet -- information that could be embarrassing, personally revealing, or something that the victim would just rather keep to themselves. Interestingly, doxing is not necessarily illegal, but that doesn't mean that the ramifications are not far-reaching.
For a long time, the official definition of a broadband connection is one that delivers a download speed of at least 4Mbps. Now the FCC has increased the lower limit so any connection that has a download speed of less than 25Mbps and an upload speed below 3Mbps will no longer be considered a broadband connection.
If you look at your line stats and feel a little let down, you're far from being alone, and the FCC feels your pain. The Federal Communications Commission voted to increase the minimum speed as part of an ongoing effort to push ISPs into offering higher speeds. The reason? The modern web demands it.
Technology firms in the US have written to the Chinese government asking for a postponement to the introduction of rules that would oblige companies to hand over source code as well as providing backdoors into hardware and security products sold to Chinese banks. A group of companies wrote to the Communist Party committee on cybersecurity to express disapproval at plans to underrcut the requirements later in the year.
China says that it is concerned solely with cybersecurity and wants foreign technology companies to submit to audits in addition to complying with the other demands. Outside China, the feeling is that the proposed regulations have been designed to either control outside business, or to scare companies out of the market, opening the way for Chinese firms.
Too much content is uploaded to YouTube for Google to be able to effectively police users' videos. This is what the search giant said in response to calls for more to be done to counter terrorism-related content on the video network.
Online censorship versus the right to freedom of speech is a battle that has waged online for some time now. Some parts of the world are more prone to censorship than others, and it's an argument that bubbles up from time to time. The debate usually centers around the moral rights and wrongs of censoring content, but the issue of practicality occasionally rears its head as well.
For too long it was the metaphorical unwanted litter of kittens tied in a sack just waiting for someone to ditch it in the river. Windows RT is dead, having enjoyed a cancer-ridden 'life' for longer than many people expected. Microsoft announced that it is no longer going to manufacture Surface devices, all but signing the death warrant for Windows RT.
Hear that sound? No? That's the sound of everyone caring about it. To be fair, the writing has been on the wall for quite some time. Windows RT was always the sickly twin sibling of Windows 8 and now Microsoft has done the decent thing. It might not quite have delivered the lethal shot to the brain yet, but the gun has been cocked. And not before time.
Despite many reports to the contrary, there is nothing to suggest that downtime experienced by Facebook, Instagram and Tinder was anything to do with Lizard Squad. Earlier today, the three services were inaccessible for a short while and Lizard Squad took to Twitter to announce the outages.
The tweet, which read "Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, AIM, Hipchat #offline #LizardSquad" was taken as an admission of guilt and reported as such by many, many websites. Even when Facebook announced that the downtime came as a result of a system change by Facebook, site after site continued to report that Lizard Squad was to blame.
Mark Zuckerberg is a hypocrite. For all of his spiel about being a proponent of free speech, ultimately he is a man all too willing to bow to the demands of a country. Turkey took umbrage at the existence of pages that insulted or offended the Prophet Mohammad and threatened to completely ban Facebook in the country if they were not blocked.
Facebook has now decided to comply with the Turkish demands. Zuckerberg would have us believe that "we never let one country or group of people dictate what people can share across the world", but this is clearly not the case when it comes to upsetting the Islamic faith. This latest move is a political one and shows a lack of strength and conviction.
Over the weekend a court in Turkey told Facebook to block several pages that had been deemed to insult the Prophet Mohammad. A court order was delivered to the social network with the threat that if Facebook failed to comply, the site would be completely blocked in Turkey.
Turkey's banging of the religious insults drum comes just weeks after satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo was targeted for featuring a cartoon that mocked the prophet. At the time Mark Zuckerberg spoke out in support of the #JeSuisCharlie campaign that followed the tragedy, saying that Facebook had previously refused to ban content about the prophet, but it's not clear whether Turkey's threat could make things different this time.
Windows 10 has been something of a tease so far. There have been hints that it could be a good operating system, protestations that it will be great, but a series of preview builds that have been a little uninspiring. With the release of build 9926, it appears that Microsoft is starting to deliver on its promises. From this release we can see that Windows 10 is actually starting to take shape.
Microsoft is clearly pleased with the progress that has been made because it has simplified the process of upgrading from Windows 7 and Windows 8 -- Windows Update can be used to install the Technical Preview. It might not quite be ready for prime time just yet, but I'm cautiously optimistic even though I've been far from impressed with previous builds. Oh, and before you ask, there's no sign of Spartan just yet. So… what's new and what's improved? Let's take a look.
If you like the idea of trying out the next version of Windows before it is officially launched, Microsoft has made the Windows 10 Technical Preview available for everyone to use. There are various ways to get the preview installed on your computer, but since the release of build 9926, it is possible to upgrade your current Windows 7 or Windows 8 installation to Windows 10 using Windows Update.
This is a much simpler option than downloading the ISO image, but it is an upgrade route that almost encourages people to install the preview build on their everyday computer -- don’t forget that this is not a finished product! We've already looked at how to install Windows 10 in a virtual machine, but if you have a spare machine running Windows 7 or 8, using it as a test bed for Windows 10 just got a whole lot easier.
Yesterday, Microsoft took a lot of people by surprise by releasing Windows 10 Technical Preview build 9926 rather earlier than expected. Here at BetaNews we've installed the latest build on various machines -- virtual and real -- having battled with downloads, and now it's time for testing.
We'll be taking a look at this latest build in more depth in future articles, but before we do, it is probably worth pointing out some of the known problems. From playing with build 9926 just briefly it's easy to see that it's a marked improvement on previous releases, but Microsoft has helpfully forewarned users of issues they might encounter.