Wayne Williams

Windows 10 makes big usage share gains on the back of forced upgrades

Disgusted PC

Last month, NetMarketShare’s initial desktop operating system usage share figures made it look as if Windows 10’s growth was badly stalling, gaining just 0.2 percentage points in April to put it on 14.35 percent. However, revised figures showed it had in fact gained 1.19 percentage points, and was sitting on 15.34 percent. That’s very much in keeping with the new operating system’s growth in previous months.

For May, Windows 10 really packed on the users, thanks in no small part to Microsoft going all out on forcing the operating system on to users of Windows 7 and 8.1. Let's give Microsoft a nice big slow handclap for the achievement.

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Outlook.com users currently experiencing excessive spam, but don't worry -- there's a good reason


If you’re an Outlook.com user you may have noticed a lot more spam arriving in your inbox over the past day or so.

BetaNews writers have reported suddenly receiving a lot more junk messages in their Outlook.com accounts, and we’re not alone -- it’s a problem affecting users globally. But don’t panic, it’s nothing to do with the mega-breach affecting Tumblr and MySpace users, but rather something far more innocuous.

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How to zoom into infinity in any photo in iOS


Occasionally in the past I’ve tried to zoom further into a photo on my phone than is allowed by iOS. It’s usually to try and read some text, or identify a particular object in the background.

I’ve often wished there was a way to go beyond the fixed zoom set in the Photos app, and it turns out there is. It’s not a feature, but rather a bug that gives you the ability to zoom into infinity (and beyond!), but it works well and it's easy to do.

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Windows 7 and 8.1 users turning off critical updates to avoid Windows 10 'malware'

Windows 10 malware

When Windows 10 was first offered to users of Windows 7 and 8.1 it was via a pleasant upgrade tool that allowed users to 'reserve' their copy of the new OS. However, as time has gone by, Microsoft has employed more and more insidious methods to get people to upgrade, including tricking them into doing so.

The sneaky behavior has gotten so bad, that growing numbers of users of the older operating systems have taken to disabling critical updates in order to completely avoid Windows 10.

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Windows 10's new Limited Periodic Scanning mode will keep your PC extra safe from malware -- here's how to use it


While there’s a lot of negativity surrounding Windows 10 at the moment, thanks mostly to Microsoft’s shady upgrade tactics, it is actually a very good operating system.

The upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update, out at the end of July, improves the OS significantly, introducing a wealth of new features, and one of the latest inclusions to be made available for Windows Insiders to try is Limited Periodic Scanning. This sets Windows Defender to scan your PC at intervals, even if you have another anti-virus program installed.

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Microsoft to tweak its sneaky Windows 10 popup, but it's far from a u-turn


Windows 10 has been described as being like malware by a lot of people due to the way Microsoft forces it on to users’ computers without express permission. The software giant has engaged in all manner of sneaky and underhand tricks to fool users into agreeing to an upgrade they don’t want.

The latest, and possibly evillest move (to date) involves making closing an unwanted upgrade popup -- by clicking the x in the top right corner -- the same as agreeing to the upgrade.

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Even if you like Windows 10, you should be angry at Microsoft

Sad girl Windows 10 laptop

As I’ve said numerous times in the past, I actually like Windows 10. It’s still rough around the edges -- and the Anniversary Update, out in July, won’t fully change that -- but what I don’t like is Microsoft’s aggressive, relentless pushing of the OS on to people who not only don’t want it but have expressly rejected it.

It’s scummy behavior, totally unbefitting of a company of Microsoft’s size and reputation. The latest trick, making closing an unwanted upgrade popup the same as agreeing to the upgrade, should have people brandishing pitchforks and flaming torches and marching on Redmond, but it doesn’t. Why? Because Microsoft’s shitty tricks are now what we expect from the company which doesn’t care in the slightest about its customers.

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The Pilot earpiece translates foreign languages in real time

the pilot

Having a conversation with someone who doesn’t speak the same language as you can be difficult and often embarrassing. You may be able to bridge the gap with some rephrasing and lots of mime, but it will likely take a lot of time to communicate even the simplest of sentences.

Enter the Pilot from Waverly Labs. These smart earbuds allow real-time translations in French, Spanish, Italian, and English, with more languages to follow.

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How to hide your name and email address on the Windows 10 lock screen


You may have noticed that the Windows 10 lock screen displays your real name and email address just above the password/PIN box.

This is obviously there to show you which Microsoft account you’re logging into, but it’s personal information you might not want visible to just anyone if you use your PC in a busy environment or public place (if you lock your device when in a coffee shop, for example). Fortunately, hiding these details is easy.

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UDOO X86 is 10x more powerful than Raspberry Pi 3, and can run Windows, Android, and Linux


If you’re looking for an uncased maker board for a project, then the Raspberry Pi is usually the first choice, not least because it’s inexpensive, and powerful enough for most purposes.

However, if you need something with a lot more muscle, then the UDOO X86 certainly fits the bill. Based around an Intel X86 64-bit Quad Core processor, coupled with an onboard Intel Curie Arduino 101-compatible micro-controller, it’s got enough oomph to drive three 4K screens at the same time.

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Google by the numbers: All the stats you need to know

Google 65b

Google’s I/O event revealed some interesting new products yesterday, including Google Home, the search giant’s Amazon Echo rival, and communication apps Allo and Duo.

As is always the case at these kind of events, Google also revealed lots of impressive numbers during the keynote, showing just how hugely popular its products and services are. These stats include:

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Nerds McNerdsface -- Google wants you to choose the official name for Android N


While a lot of people assume Android N will be crowned Nutella, following Google’s trend for naming each flavor of the mobile operating system after something sweet, that may not prove to be the case after all.

Nutella is still definitely in the running, but Google is opening up the naming process to the general public. Yes, that’s right. For the first time you can suggest a name for the next version of Android.

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Bitly to generate HTTPS links for all its branded domains


Bitly is one of the best URL shorteners and link management platforms around, processing more than 12 billion clicks every month globally.

Today, the company announces that it is partnering with LetsEncrypt to generate SSL certificates for more than 40,000 Bitly branded domains used by marketers to create links and share content. All links created through the platform will now be secure HTTPS ones.

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Watch the Google I/O 2016 keynote here LIVE, and in 360 degrees


Google’s annual developer conference kicks off at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California today, starting with a keynote which the search giant traditionally uses to make big announcements. Last year Google showcased Android "M" (which later became Marshmallow), Google Photos, Google Cardboard, and Android Pay.

So what does the Google I/O 2016 keynote have in store? During past Google I/O conferences Google has unveiled the next version of Android, and there’s every reason to expect we’ll see details regarding Android "N" this year, but that’s just for starters.

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Microsoft brings Windows 7 fully up-to-date with new convenience rollup package, simplifies future updates for Win 7 and 8.1

windows update

While Microsoft is desperate to get as many users as possible on to Windows 10 before the free period expires at the end of July, it hasn’t entirely forgotten about its previous operating systems.

The software giant today announces it has created a convenience rollup package for Windows 7 that will bring that operating system up to the newest patched version without users having to install all previous updates one by one. It’s also making monthly update rollups available for that OS and Windows 8.1 (as well as Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2).

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