Mark Wilson

What is Windows Hello all about?

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Microsoft has talked about a lot of the new features of Windows 10, but something that has only really been mentioned in passing is Windows Hello. A couple of weeks ago we showed you a video of the security feature in action and now a new animated ad has been unearthed that shows the benefits the security feature brings.

Unlike the other videos we've shared in recent days, this video is not one that Microsoft has officially released -- not yet at least. If you're still in the dark about Windows Hello, check it out to find out more.

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Upgrade to Windows 10 build 10240 or lose access to the Windows Store and app updates

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If you haven't yet upgraded to build 10240 of Windows 10, now is the time to do so. Anyone sticking with an earlier build of the preview will no longer be able to use the Windows Store, and this in turn means they will not be able to update any of the apps they have installed.

Microsoft has been busy promoting Windows 10 this week, providing a number of reasons for people to upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8 after July 29, but even before this date the company is keen to move people away from older builds.

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Windows 10 is the most secure version of Windows ever

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If you're looking for a reason to upgrade to Windows 10 next week -- or whenever the upgrade appears for you -- how about the fact that it is the most secure version of Windows ever released? This is the angle Microsoft takes in its most recent video promoting the up-coming operating system.

We've already been treated to a series of videos showcasing some of the highlights of Windows 10. From gaming to multi-tasking, Microsoft has come out with all guns blazing as it prepares to push its latest baby out of the door. Will security enhancements swing it for you?

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IFTTT joins the open source community

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It's not that we're (necessarily) lazy, but technology entices us all to find quicker ways of doing things. The internet is something of a behemoth and there are plenty of tools out there that aim to tame it -- one of which is automation service IFTTT.

Harnessing the power of apps, devices, and the cloud, IFTTT has just unveiled five open source projects. Now available on GitHub, the projects can be used by anyone to integrate IFTTT automation in their apps and services.

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Huge improvements made to Google Voice transcription accuracy

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If you're a Google Voice user, you'll almost certainly have experienced its frequently insane attempts at voicemail transcriptions. There are times when these offer some hilarious relief in the middle of a dull day, but they also stand in the way of, you know… actually understanding what's been said.

Transcriptions that are not accurate are less than helpful, and Google has taken steps to up its game. Using sample voicemails from volunteers, it has been possible to improve voicemail transcriptions so there are far fewer errors. The new and improved system is available right now, and Google is keen for you to try it out.

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Why should you upgrade to Windows 10? 'Multi-doing' and getting things done

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This time next week many of us will have upgraded to Windows 10. Until that day, Microsoft continues to publish videos pushing the benefits that the latest incarnation has to offer. This time around we are treated to a guide to 'multi-doing'.

Microsoft explains that this is "all about removing the obstacles between you and 'Done'", and the video is essentially a showcase of all of the tools that help with productivity. From Snap Assist to virtual desktop, Microsoft uses its latest video to show just what Windows 10 can do for you.

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HORNET is an encrypted, anonymous web browsing system that destroys Tor's performance

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With the current concerns about surveillance and privacy, more and more people are turning to anonymizing tools. The existence of unknown numbers of spying tools means that increasing numbers of people are turning to the likes of Tor to keep their online activities private.

But encryption systems such as those used by The Onion Relay have a horrible tendency to slow things down. A new encryption system called HORNET could be a solution. Its creators say that data transfer speeds of up to 93GBps are possible, with much of the acceleration coming from a reduction in the number of hops data has to make around the network.

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Microsoft thanks you for using Bing Listens to guide its future

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As shown by the Window Insider program and the development of Windows 10, Microsoft is now all ears. Under Satya Nadella, this is now a company that wants to listen to, and be guided by, its customers. Google may dominate the search arena, but Microsoft is keen for Bing to eat into its market share by giving people what they want.

This is precisely why the Bing Listens program was created, giving people an opportunity to make suggestions about changes and additions they'd like to see made. Today Microsoft not only thanks people for providing feedback, but also reveals some of the suggestions it has acted on. Have your idea been used?

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Microsoft takes steps to tackle revenge porn

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Revenge porn has become quite a problem online, and Microsoft has now made it easier than ever to report cases. Today the company says that it will happily remove links to revenge porn photos and videos from Bing search results, and has set up a dedicated form to make it easier to get in touch.

Like Google's Right to Be Forgotten, there is little that can be done to remove the offending content from the internet, but Microsoft's action should make it easier to prevent the spread of damaging content. The removal process goes further than just obfuscating links in research results as the company does what it can to help stem the flow of privacy-violating photos and videos.

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Microsoft wants you to get your game on in Windows 10

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Over the last few days, Microsoft has released a series of videos highlighting the latest and greatest features of Windows 10. The latest instalment in the series shows off the gaming capabilities of the operating system. There's a strong focus on Windows 10's integration with Xbox, but there's plenty for PC gamers and those with a more casual interest in gaming.

We've already taken a look at Microsoft's screen recording tool and how it can be used to grab on-screen footage. In its most recent video Microsoft shows how it can be used to record gaming brilliance ready to share with others -- but there's more.

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Office gains Google Drive and IFTTT support

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Anyone reliant on Office for their day to day computing just gained two new weapons in their arsenal. Google has created a plugin that adds built in support for Google Drive, and automation fans will be pleased to learn that Office 365 channels have now gone live on IFTTT. But this is not the only new cloud-based tool.

It has long been possible to use Google Drive in conjunction with Office, but it has meant having to use the middleman of a local folder synchronized using the Google Drive app. The new plugin lets you cut straight to the chase and save directly to Google Drive -- handy if you don’t want or need a local copy.

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Kids can now create and customize their own prosthetic arm from Lego

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Lego is something that is most often used to build models. The versatile little bricks have been keeping children (and adults) entertained for generations, and there have also been plenty of instances of the toy being used for more than just playing. Now, thanks to the work of designer Carlos Arturo Torres, children with a missing limb could build their own from Lego.

It's an idea that merges the worlds of play and entertainment with practicality. The Colombian designer has come up with a modular system which can be used by inventive kids to create elaborate arms that are as functional, as advanced, or as silly as they want.

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You can no longer review apps if you're an iOS 9 beta tester

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Apple is letting developers and enthusiasts test out beta versions of iOS 9 ahead of launch. While the company is keen on getting feedback for the next version of its mobile operating system (just as Microsoft is with the preview builds of Windows 10), there have been concerns that problems with apps during beta testing has led to a swathe of negative reviews in the App Store.

Developers have complained that problems with iOS betas can cause problems with their apps, rather than their apps being inherently problematic. To address the issue, Apple is placing a ban on App Store reviews from iOS 9 beta testers.

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Windows 10 in action: Cortana and Microsoft Edge

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It's final countdown! Baba ba baaa, baba baba baaaaa! (</Europe mode>) The July 29 launch of Windows 10 draws ever closer, and Microsoft continues to release videos highlighting what's new in a bid to entice people in. The latest installments cover Cortana and Microsoft Edge.

We've already seen a couple of videos from the Microsoft stables, firstly pointing out that the operating system is familiar, and then indicating that it is a new breed for a new generation. Now the company is choosing to focus on what is new -- Windows 10's digital assistant, and the new web browser. Are these enough to convince you?

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New Facebook video controls let you be sexist, ageist or secretive

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Videos on Facebook are big business. As well as drugged up post-dentist footage, there is also huge advertising potential. Now Facebook has announced a new set of options for video publishers -- including the ability to limit who is able to see videos based on their age and gender.

A social network might not be the first place you would think of to try to keep something private, but a new 'secret video' option makes it possible to restrict access to those people who have a direct link. Other new options include the ability to prevent embedding on other sites, but it is the audience restriction settings that are particularly interesting.

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