Wayne Williams

Windows 10 Build 10162 ISOs now available to download

win 10 10162

Microsoft has been very busy this week rolling out three new builds to Windows Insiders on the Fast ring. However, Slow ring Insiders haven’t had much to get excited about.

Well, today that changes as Microsoft has released ISOs for the latest build, 10162. The Slow ring release of the build hasn’t happened yet, but it’s safe to say it will be pushed out shortly, possibly later today.

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Intel Compute Stick with Ubuntu finally available from next week

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Forget desktops and laptops, the future of computing appears to be flash drive-sized sticks that you plug into a TV or screen. Quite a few companies are making these now, including ARCHOS, Lenovo and Intel.

Intel's Compute Stick, which comes with either Windows 8.1 or Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on board, was first announced six months ago, with the Windows version going on sale in April. It’s taken a while, but Canonical announces the Ubuntu version will finally be available globally from next week, priced at around $110.

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Reserved your copy of Windows 10? You may not get it on July 29

Windows 10 delay

In a new blog post, Windows chief Terry Myerson has detailed how Microsoft will be rolling out Windows 10 to the world.

The process begins with Microsoft giving a build of the new OS to its OEM partners. If you thought getting the OS ready for a July 29 launch was going to be tight, bear in mind OEMs will have the OS quite a bit before then. After that, retailers around the world will get their copies in order to upgrade customer devices. And then Windows Insiders will get their copies, starting on July 29. Yes, Myerson says "starting" on that date. There’s no guarantee you’ll get the OS at the end of the month.

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How to turn off Apple Music's automatic subscription renewal

Apple music

Apple Music comes with a free three-month trial which, according to some people who haven't been paying proper attention, is something Taylor Swift arranged with Apple. Thanks Taylor. Three months is a good amount of time to try out the service, but Apple automatically signs you up for an auto-renewal payment option. So when the trial comes to an end, you’ll start paying for the service, regardless of whether you're still using it or not.

If you’d rather decide for yourself when (or not) to join up as a paying member, rather than being forced into it, it’s easy enough to turn off the auto renewal, although the process is far from obvious.

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Windows 7 gains significant usage share ahead of Windows 10 launch

Windows runners

Windows 8.x enjoyed a good month in May. The tiled operating system finally overtook Windows XP for the first time in six months -- its gains coming mostly at the expense of Windows 7. But it was all change again in June according to the latest usage stats from web analytics firm NetMarketShare.

The latest figures show Windows 8.x losing share -- or business as usual you might say -- going from 16.63 percent to 16.02 percent. That’s a drop of 0.61 percentage points. Windows 8.1 actually gained 0.24 percentage points, but Windows 8 lost 0.85 percentage points. Still overall it remains comfortably ahead of XP now, so there's that consolation prize.

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Twitter says Apple Music is more hit than miss, but there's a lot to hate

woman listening to music on tablet

Apple Music launched yesterday and Oxford University's TheySay sentiment analysis company monitored Twitter to work out the overall feeling towards the new service. When the firm monitored the sentiment towards Apple’s WWDC keynote three weeks ago, the announcement of Apple Music received an overall 85 percent approval rating from tweeters, but now that it’s here, the actual service is proving far less popular.

Dr Karo Moilanen, Oxford University professor and co-founder of TheySay, observed: "Compared to the sky-high positive sentiment ratings that Apple products and announcements typically reach on Twitter, this time Apple Music invoked a healthy dose of strong negative sentiment (ca. 24 percent) amongst tweeters".

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OpenDNS to be acquired by Cisco -- will you still use it?

DNS

While you can use the DNS servers provided by your Internet Service Provider -- and the majority of web users do -- switching to an alternative DNS can deliver speed and reliability improvements, as well as additional features like phishing protection, parental controls, improved security and more. It might also help you bypass Geoblocked and censored content.

OpenDNS is the go-to DNS service for millions of people around the world. It is, in OpenDNS’s own words, "the world’s most loved and trusted DNS service". Today, however, Cisco announces intent to acquire OpenDNS. Will that change your mind on how you view the service?

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8 years ago today the iPhone went on sale and changed everything -- so why didn't I want one?

iPhone

On January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone at the Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco. It was the usual quality presentation from Apple’s sorely missed boss, with some great moments of humor. Our first glimpse of the phone was in fact actually a mock-up of an iPod with a rotary dial in place of the usual click wheel. The audience clapped and hooted. Jobs then went on to show the real device, and it was pretty mind-blowing.

Here was a phone that looked nothing like a phone. It looked nothing like an iPod, for that matter either. It was pretty much all screen, controlled by touch using your finger -- or fingers, thanks to the power of multi-touch -- and was, according to Jobs, powered by OS X. The device could tell if you were holding it portrait or landscape, and knew when you were holding it up to your ear, and so prevent you prematurely ending a call with the side of your face. It came with a 620MHz processor, 128MB of memory and a 2MP camera. It was a magical device. This was the future, being shown right here. A device to be coveted by all. But I didn’t want one.

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Raspberry Pi Foundation introduces a new print version of its official magazine

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If you’re a big fan of the Raspberry Pi, as we are, there’s a good chance you might have downloaded The MagPi digital magazine before. This is an official magazine packed with builds, hacks and step-by-step tutorials.

It’s always been very popular (partly due to being free of course), with over 100,000 downloads for issue 31 alone. And now the Raspberry Pi Foundation is going to start printing copies of a bigger and better version of the mag and distributing it in the US and UK, starting from 30 July.

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Still not sure if you're eligible for a free copy of Windows 10? Here's how to find out

ok

The path to a free copy of Windows 10 should be very straightforward, but Microsoft has made it more confusing than necessary by making several contradictory statements.

In a nutshell (as it stands at the moment), if you have a valid installation of Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 then you can upgrade to the new OS for free, provided you do so before July 29 2016. If you don’t upgrade in that time frame you’ll need to purchase a license. This will set you back $119 for the Home edition or $199 for the Pro version. If you’re a Windows Insider you can continue getting free beta builds, license free. Still confused? We’ve put together a simple flowchart to help you work out if you’re eligible for the free upgrade or not.

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Microsoft can't stop confusing the hell out of Windows 10 users

confused-confusion

Over the weekend Microsoft had several stabs at explaining who will get Windows 10 for free come July 29. Previously we’d been told users would need a valid Windows 7 or 8.1 license, but three days ago Microsoft said anyone running a Windows Insider build of the new OS would get the final release too -- no license required. Great news for anyone on XP or Vista.

Then Microsoft backtracked a bit, suggesting a license was needed. But Windows Insider chief Gabriel Aul, chipping in on Twitter, seemed to contradict that by suggesting Insiders would get it free, so again no license required. Finally, Microsoft clarified things, but even then it did so in a slightly muddled way. And this isn’t even the first time Microsoft has confused would-be users of its future operating system.

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Microsoft Band is more accurate than Apple Watch at measuring your heart rate

Microsoft Band SDK released to developers

Fitness bands and smartwatches that monitor your activity are notoriously inaccurate. Wear a bunch of them at the same time and they’ll all return entirely different results. And we’re not talking about slight discrepancies either -- the results can differ by several thousand steps. The idea is the trackers provide you with a general ballpark figure, rather than a precise one, so you can see how your activity varies on a daily basis, and take steps -- hah! -- to improve on it.

As a result, comparing the results from two or more fitness trackers isn’t usually very helpful -- each device will measure activity in its own way, and who is to say what’s right or wrong? However, more advanced wearables -- Microsoft Band and Apple Watch, for example -- measure your heart rate, and it’s much easier to check how accurate they are. All you need to do is compare the results they produce with the figures from a reliable source.

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Sond Audio Bookshelf Speakers: Quality Bluetooth speakers for the home [Review]

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We review -- and get asked to review -- a lot of Bluetooth speakers. While the ones we look at might be from different makers, and of varying quality, they all share one thing in common. They’re small, and portable. Not so the Sond Audio Active Bookshelf Speakers.

The twin speakers are large, and designed to sit in the one place. This could be a bookshelf, provided you have one that’s deep enough to accommodate them, or the floor. If you enjoy listening to music, and the sound quality delivered by portable speakers doesn’t cut it for you, then the 180w these speakers offer could well be what you’re looking for.

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How to easily switch from Android to Windows Phone

switch

Once people have made the decision to go with a particular mobile operating system, they tend to stick with it. Moving all of your data from one device to another can be a bit of a pain, and it’s made even harder if you’re also switching operating systems, and have to find and re-buy all of your favorite apps.

If you’re thinking of making the move from Android to Windows Phone -- perhaps in anticipation of Windows 10 Mobile later in the year -- the process doesn’t have to be stressful. Here’s what you need to do.

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Nest refreshes its entire product line -- major redesigns, updates, a new cam and more

nest cam

Nest has been quiet for quite some time, but today it breaks that silence with multiple product announcements.

Alongside the launch of a new Nest Cam, there’s a completely redesigned second-gen Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm that is apparently actually good at detecting fires, and a software update for the Nest Learning Thermostat that adds new features. There’s a new app too.

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