Wayne Williams

BBC trials 4K Planet Earth II in HDR on iPlayer -- but you probably can't watch it


There are a growing number of ways to enjoy Ultra HD content on your 4K TV or monitor. Just a couple of days ago, Google added 4K movies to Google Play.

Now the BBC announces it is trialing 4K high dynamic range (HDR) video on its iPlayer streaming platform, and I can confirm, having watched it, it's absolutely stunning stuff. However, you shouldn’t get too excited about it, yet -- there are a couple of big catches that will mean you probably won't be able to watch it.

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Microsoft and Intel’s Project Evo will 'raise the bar for what’s possible with Windows PCs'

Project Evo

At the Windows Hardware Engineering Community event (WinHEC) in Shenzhen, China, Microsoft made several announcements, including news that it is working with Intel on a new venture, called "Project Evo".

The aim of this, according to Microsoft, is to "deliver all-new ways for devices to light up with the latest in advanced security, artificial intelligence and Cortana, mixed reality, and gaming".

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14986 for PC arrives on the Fast ring, introduces many new features

Windows-10 key

New Insider Preview builds of the forthcoming Windows 10 Creators Update have been arriving on the Fast ring on a weekly basis. There was a gap over thanksgiving (naturally), and last week a blocking bug on the PC version meant that Build 14977 was only made available for Mobile.

This week it’s back to normal, with a new build for PC rolling out on the Fast ring, and the wait has definitely been worth it as Build 14986 comes packed with lots of new features and improvements. This is the most exciting new build in quite some time. Windows Insider Chief Dona Sarkar uses her Twitter account to tease new build numbers, and this week our very own Brian Fagioli provided the all important clue.

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Google Play now offering 4K movies -- but there's a catch


If you have a 4K TV or monitor, you can enjoy Ultra HD content from the likes of YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon. You can get 4K Blu-rays, but you’ll need a compatible player, and they aren’t that cheap.

Starting today, Google is offering a new way to get your hands on the latest 4K resolution movies.

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Windows 10 Creators Update will offer more advanced security features

Security Lock

Mostly everything that Microsoft has revealed about the forthcoming Windows 10 Creators Update to date has focused on the "creator" side of things, and 3D in particular.

Not wishing to completely alienate users with no interest in 3D and mixed reality, the company today reveals how the update will improve security and better "protect, defend and respond to threats".

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How to change Windows 10's taskbar color, but leave the Start menu and Action Center untouched

Colorful hands

Windows 10 offers a lot of personalization options. Go to Settings > Personalization and you can change the background, alter the color scheme, pick a different Lock screen background, and apply themes.

If you want Windows 10 to show a splash of color, go to the Colors section and toggle the 'Show color on Start, taskbar and Action Center' setting to On. There’s not an option to only change the taskbar’s color unfortunately, but it is possible to do this.

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Defeat ransomware with Avast's free decryptors


Ransomware is probably the most malicious form of malware, and if you’ve been hit by it, the effects can be devastating.

You have two choices -- either pay the ransom in the hope your files will be released (not a given by any means), or try to find a way around the problem. If you have a backup of your personal files then you can simply wipe your system, and start over. If you don’t then, a ransomware decryption tool might save the day.

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How to stop Facebook eating through your mobile data allowance

If you have an unlimited mobile data plan -- or a very generous one at least -- then you don’t have to worry about apps going crazy, and gobbling up data when you’re out and about.

If, however, you’re on a more limited plan, you probably want to save data where you can. Facebook is one of the worst apps for consuming data rather unnecessarily, but you can rein it in.

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14977 arrives on the Fast ring -- but it's for Mobile only

Windows-10 key

It’s been a while since we had a new Windows 10 Insider build -- Thanksgiving got in the way of Microsoft’s usual weekly schedule.

Today, the software giant releases Build 14977 to the fast ring, but it’s for Mobile only. The PC build has a blocking bug that results in broken apps on an upgrade, so we’ll have until next week for a new build for that platform.

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How to reliably disable Windows 10 updates

Happy PC user

Windows 10’s mandatory updates are designed to keep your system safe and always up to date. You do have limited control over the update process, but not as much as in Windows 7, for example.

You can stop updates in Windows 10, but it requires you to disable the Windows Update service in the Services manager, and most people won’t know how to do that. Thankfully there is an easier solution.

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WD introduces a range of affordable storage devices designed for Raspberry Pi

WD Labs Raspberry PiDrive Foundation

The Raspberry Pi has been an incredible success. Originally aimed at teaching kids to code, it has found an appreciative audience outside of the education system.

You can do lots with a Pi, but some projects require more storage than you might have on your SD/microSD card. WD has introduced a new series of storage devices designed specifically for use with the Raspberry Pi, which combine microSD card and USB drive functionality with operating system installation software.

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Windows 10 share picks up again, after two disastrous months

Windows relief

According to NetMarketShare’s desktop operating system usage share figures, in September Windows 10, on the back of no longer being free, went into reverse gear and managed to lose market share. It was only a drop of 0.46 percentage points, but even so.

October didn’t show much of an improvement for the new OS either. In that month it managed a minuscule rise of just 0.06 percentage points. Some good news for Microsoft in November then, as Windows 10 finally returns to actual growth.

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Free online test can tell if you're 'pre-disposed' to negative or bad behavior

minority report

In the 2002 movie Minority Report, a law enforcement squad called "Precrime" arrests future criminals before they commit their act. Imagine if businesses could predict the future behavior of potential employees before hiring (or not hiring) them? That’s what Veris Benchmarks’ products aim to achieve.

The company also offers Veris Prime, is a free online test that you can take for yourself, and which measures your personal trustworthiness and shows how your results compare to white collar criminals.

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Turn your Raspberry Pi into a 3D Christmas tree with this new board

Christmas Tree Pi 3D

If you need help to get into the festive spirit, and an Eggnog Latte from Starbucks isn’t quite cutting it, perhaps transforming a Raspberry Pi into an illuminated 3D Christmas tree will do the trick.

The Pi Hut has created a Christmas tree board kit that you simply assemble and plug into your Pi. Once done, sit back and feel the joys of the holiday season as they come rushing towards you. Ho, ho, and indeed ho.

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You can now play classic arcade games in Facebook Messenger -- Here's how


You’ve been able to play basic games in Facebook Messenger for a while -- things like chess, soccer and basketball -- but from now you’ll be able to play classic arcade games too.

So, if in a middle of a chat with a friend you’re suddenly overcome with the need to challenge them to a game of Pac-Man, Galaga, Space Invaders, Puzzle Bobble, or Track & Field, you can.

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