Wayne Williams

Adblock Plus brings its ad-blocker to Samsung Galaxy S7

Adblock plus

Blocking adverts, both on the web and on smartphones, is becoming increasingly popular. Just today, Opera announced it would be introducing a native ad-blocker in its desktop browser.

Tomorrow, March 11, Samsung will start shipping its new Galaxy S7 and S7 edge smartphones to pre-orderers and they’ll be able to block ads while browsing the web immediately, thanks to Adblock Plus.

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Microsoft hits a new low -- sneaks Windows 10 advertising into an Internet Explorer security patch

Angry PC user

It seems there are no depths that Microsoft will not sink to in its relentless quest to get the world using Windows 10. It’s already made the new OS a 'recommended' update for Windows 7 and 8.x, which will see the update download and install automatically on some systems.

But the company's latest sneaky trick is beyond the pale. According to Microsoft’s own documentation, a new security patch for Internet Explorer also "adds functionality to Internet Explorer 11 on some computers that lets users learn about Windows 10 or start an upgrade to Windows 10". In other words, as well as fixing vulnerabilities with Internet Explorer, the security patch will also advertise the new OS to customers. In what world is that acceptable?

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GPD Win is a pocket-sized Windows 10 laptop

GPD Win featured

Lugging around a full-size laptop so you can do a spot of work from anywhere can be a pain. Even using a Windows 10 slate, like the Surface Pro 4, doesn’t really lessen the load as you’ll likely need to include a keyboard cover and maybe a mouse.

GPD Win is an interesting solution. It’s a 5.5 inch handheld PC/Gaming console running Windows 10 and it’s clear a lot of thought has gone into the design.

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How Anonymous helps the homeless survive winter

opsafewinter

Hacker collective Anonymous mostly gets press for its big campaigns, including fighting Islamic State, and tackling pedophiles and Scientologists, but it also has smaller campaigns that just exist for the greater good.

#OpSafeWinter was launched back in 2013 to help care for the invisible community, providing the homeless with clothing, blankets, food and clean water. Although a global campaign, it is most active in the UK, with teams in all of the major cities.

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Microsoft delays Windows 10 'Redstone 2', now expected spring 2017

Calendar delay

Microsoft is currently working on the next version of Windows 10, codenamed Redstone, and we’ve been seeing the results of this labor in the form of new Insider Preview builds arriving on the Fast ring at a rate of around one a week now.

The updated OS will include new features, tweaks and general improvements and should, finally, introduce extension support to the Edge browser. It will also bring the different Windows 10 devices -- PC, Xbox, Mobile -- closer together.

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Swap Facebook's default Reactions for alternative emojis -- including Donald Trump and Pokémon

Donald trump angry

For years, the only choice Facebook gave us was to Like a post, or ignore it. Now, however, the social network has expanded its options, with a new set of reactions -- Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry.

While this is definitely a move in the right direction, for a lot of people these choices don’t really go far enough -- and where’s the dislike button we all wanted, eh? Still, you don’t need to stick with the official Reactions, you can swap them for ones of your choosing -- including replacing the default selection with amusing images of Donald Trump showing off a range of emotions.

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Redstone Build 14279 arrives on the Fast ring, with a few noteworthy changes

Windows-10 key

After tweeting that Microsoft tends to avoid releasing new Insider Preview builds on a Friday so the team doesn’t have to work over the weekend dealing with potential issues, Microsoft’s Gabe Aul pushed the button to release a new Windows 10 build on a Friday.

Fast ring releases sometimes have a lot of new features and changes, but can often just deliver a few internal tweaks. Insider Preview Redstone Build 14279 falls into the former camp, with improvements to Cortana, logon, and apps.

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popSLATE 2 adds a smart second screen to your iPhone -- and it looks amazing

Popslate2

At BetaNews we get bombarded with Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaigns on a daily basis, the vast majority of which we never cover. Occasionally though, we see something that really makes us sit up and pay attention. popSLATE 2 is such a project.

popSLATE 2 puts a second shatterproof E-Ink screen on the back of your phone, so you can view the time, news headlines, sports scores, stock quotes and the like without having to unlock your phone. You can read a book on it, use the screen to display discount, loyalty and gift cards, and although it’s always-on it won’t drain your battery life because the case also doubles as a battery pack.

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How to fix Windows 10's most annoying problems

win10 fire

Windows 10 has been out for seven months now, and while it’s still not the perfect, most polished operating system there is, Microsoft has at least fixed a lot of the problems users originally encountered with it.

However, our original two guides to fixing Windows 10’s worst problems remain hugely popular, suggesting that users are still having issues and looking for workarounds to try. For that reason, we’ve decide to revisit the topic, with some new problems and solutions.

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Windows 10 deleting some user apps without permission isn't news

newspaper seller

I’ve seen a news story doing the rounds today, about Windows 10 removing some third-party user apps following a big update. It’s understandable that people this has happened to are upset, and obviously it's not something that you want your operating system to be doing.

But it’s also not a new phenomenon -- far from it.

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Windows 10 overtakes Windows 8.x, but its growth is slow despite Microsoft forcing it on users

Forced PC

In January, according to figures from NetMarketShare, Windows 10 managed to best Windows 8.1 in terms of usage share. In February, it overtook both flavors of the tiled OS -- Windows 8 and 8.1 combined.

That’s hardly surprising, as Windows 8.x is losing share at almost the same rate that Windows 10 is gaining it. In a month when Windows 10 became a recommended update, meaning on some machines the installation of the OS could start automatically, you might expect growth to be strong, but you’d be wrong.

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Transform Windows 10 into the operating system it should be

Improve Windows 10

Windows 10 is a decent operating system, but there are a lot of niggles with it that I find frustrating, and I know I’m not alone in this. I’m not too worried about the new operating system "spying" on me, but there are plenty of other areas where, frankly, Microsoft could -- and should -- be doing better.

In the main, I find Windows 10 to still be rather half-baked. It’s very much a work in progress rather than a finished, and polished operating system. Fortunately if you take matters into your own hands, you can improve the OS in myriad ways and fix all of the issues that Microsoft can't, or won't.

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Apple takes its FBI fight to Congress -- read the company's powerful opening statement

apple_logo_glass_building

As you know, the FBI wants Apple to help unlock an iPhone linked to one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apple is resisting the request, and tomorrow will testify at a Congressional encryption hearing.

Apple’s General Counsel, Bruce Sewell, will make the company’s case before the house Judiciary Committee and his opening statement was sent to Apple employees earlier today. It’s an interesting read:

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Microsoft announces HoloLens Development Edition, available for pre-order now

MSHoloLens_GroupShot_wAcc_WhtBG_V2_RGB-1024x444

HoloLens is unquestionably one of the most exciting pieces of hardware being developed by Microsoft at the moment. The augmented reality system, or "untethered holographic computer" as the software giant refers to it, was first announced a year ago, but since then there’s been no word on when we can actually expect to see it.

Today, however, Microsoft announces a Development Edition which is now open for pre-orders, with shipping starting on March 30. This is the first step towards a consumer version.

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How to activate Windows Defender Offline in Windows 10

robot security shield

Windows Defender, Windows 10’s built in antivirus tool, will keep your PC safe from numerous threats, but it’s not on a par with dedicated third-party anti-malware solutions.

Microsoft is working to make it more useful however, including adding offline capabilities that will allow you to run a system scan at bootup, and without an internet connection. That will make the tool much better at detecting and removing malicious software. Windows Defender Offline is not available to all at the moment, but you can still try it out.

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