Sofia Wyciślik-Wilson

Windows 10 will block Potentially Unwanted Applications by default

Laptop security

Microsoft is making a change to the way so-called Potentially Unwanted Apps (PUAs) are handled by Defender and Edge in Windows 10.

Starting this month, Microsoft Defender and Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 will default to blocking PUAs. Users who want greater control over the apps that can be run on their computer have the option of disabling the setting, but this does mean missing out on an important protective measure.

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How to enable Hyper-V in Windows 10 or Windows 11 Home so you can run virtual machines

Windows keys

With the release of the first beta build of Windows 11, increasing numbers of people are keen to try out the operating system. You could install Windows 11 as your primary OS, you could opt to dual boot with Windows 10, or you could just use an old computer (assuming it meets the minimum system requirements).

But perhaps the least disruptive option is to go down the route of virtualization. There are various tools you could use for this, but Windows offers Hyper-V, an optional component that can be used to create virtual machines. Technically, it is exclusive to the Pro editions of Windows 10 and Windows 11, but with a little tweaking, it's also available in the Home editions. Here's how to enable Hyper-V.

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New variant of PrintNightmare exploit lets any user gain admin privileges in Windows

Printer

The PrintNightmare vulnerability has indeed proved to be something of a nightmare for Microsoft, and it's one that shows no signs of coming to an end. Security researchers have unearthed yet another method of exploiting the Windows print spooler vulnerability, making it possible for anyone to gain administrator privileges.

The latest method involves creating a remote print server and connecting to it. This causes Windows to install a driver which requires loading a DLL with System privileges -- a fact that can be exploited to launch an elevated Command Prompt. Even on a fully patched and updated copy of Windows 10 21H1, the attack works.

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Is graphics card maker 3dfx staging a comeback?

3dfx Interactive

Some names transport you back to the past, and this is certainly true of 3dfx. It is now two decades since the graphics card maker went bankrupt and was swallowed by NVIDIA.

But now it seems that the company is rising from the dead. Over the weekend, a Twitter account for 3dfx Interactive appeared and started posting some interesting tweets. First, there is at the promise of a "major announcement regarding our return this Thursday" (August 5), followed by a poll asking people if they'd like to see a new 3dfx Voodoo card. So, what's going on?

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Microsoft just made it even easier to install Windows Subsystem for Linux in Windows 11 (and 10)

Windows 11 Ubuntu

Windows Subsystem For Linux has evolved hugely over the years, and with WSL2 things have become really impressive. But in order to enjoy everything the WSL2 has to offer, you have to have it installed, and this is something that Microsoft has acknowledged as being unnecessarily complicated.

So the company has done something about it. In the latest preview builds of Windows 11 and Windows 10, you do not need to jump through endless hoops to get WSL2 installed; a single command is now all it takes.

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Linspire-based Linux distro Freespire embraces cloud apps with 'an entirely new direction'

Freespire

Freespire is a Linux distro with an interesting history. It draws heavily on Linspire, the distro that started life as Lindows until Microsoft took exception to the name, unsuccessfully tried to sue, and then came to a licensing arrangement and acquired the moniker for itself.

Nearly two decades later, Linspire is still going strong and the development team behind it --PC/OpenSystems LLC Open Source Development team -- has announced a move in "an entirely new direction". This sounds like a bold statement. In practice this will involve "incorporating a cloud app approach" and coincides with the launch of Freespire 7.7.

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Users already have problems with the Windows 11 beta

Windows 11 magnifying glass

Although it is a little while since Microsoft announced Windows 11 -- and there have already been several Dev builds released -- it is just days since the first Beta build was made available.

On the face of things, the availability of a Beta build should mean a more stable version of the operating system, but that's not to say there aren't problems. Of course, being beta software means that bugs and issues are to be expected, but it is the switch from the Dev to the Beta channel that is causing some people trouble. And the issue? Windows 11's system requirements, of course.

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Microsoft releases KB5004296 update for Windows 10 to fix game performance problems and more

Windows key on keyboard

It's time for Windows 10 users to gamble with another update. With the release of the KB5004296 update, Microsoft addresses a longstanding problem with game performance under Windows 10.

KB5004296 does not include any security fixes but the promise of boosting game performance is a major highlight. Microsoft says that the update "addresses an issue that prevents power plans and Game Mode from working as expected", pointing out that this has been causing "lower frame rates and reduced performance while gaming".

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How to switch from the Insider Dev channel to the Beta channel to get stable builds of Windows 11

Windows 11

There has been great interest in the release of Windows 11, and in their eagerness to try out the operating system, lots of people are taking advantage of the Windows Insider program to test out preview builds. Many people have got involved with the Insider program for the first time, and with only comparatively unstable Dev builds available initially, lots of keen testers jumped on the Dev channel, even if this is something they would not normally be comfortable doing.

After releasing a handful of Windows 11 preview builds to the Dev channel, Microsoft has now started to push out more stable beta builds of the software. If you have been trying the Dev builds out of curiosity and now feel ready to stick with more stable builds, here's how to switch to the Beta channel.

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Dell cancels some Alienware shipments to six states because the gaming rigs are too powerful

Alienware denied

Gamers looking to get their hands on certain Alienware gaming systems may find that they are out of luck depending on where they live in the US.

Residents of six states -- California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont and Washington -- are having their purchasing options limited by power regulations. Legislation that came into force at the beginning of the month means that certain versions of the Alienware Aurora R10 and R12 are simply too powerful to be sold in these six states and Dell is unable to ship them there.

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Startpage launches its privacy-centric Google Translate alternative, Private Language Translator

Startpage translation

As a search engine for people looking to avoid Google -- or for anyone with privacy concerns in general -- Startpage has earned itself a strong following and a solid reputation. Building on the popularity of its private search tool, the company is continuing the expansion of its privacy-focused services.

Having already launched Private Shopping, Private Currency Converter and Private Stocks this year, Startpage has now added Private Language Translator to its rostrum.

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Windows 11 already accounts for more Windows installations than you might expect

Laptop running Windows 11

Windows 11 has not even been officially released, but it is already installed on a surprising number of PCs.

The level of interest in the latest version of Microsoft's operating system is such that large numbers of people are taking advantage of the Windows Insider program to try out the preview builds ahead of the launch. The latest Windows usage figures from AdDuplex include Windows 11, and they make for interesting reading.

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Microsoft releases KB5005392 and KB5005394 emergency patches for Windows printer and scanner problems

Microsoft headquarters

There have been a spate of problems with printing in Windows recently, including issues introduced by updates from Microsoft.

The most recent problems came for people who installed updates released this Patch Tuesday. Some found they were unable to print or scan after installing the updates, and now Microsoft has released a couple of out-of-band patches -- KB5005394 for Windows 10 and KB5005392 for Windows 7.

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Microsoft says it will not be possible to bypass Windows 11 system requirements

Windows 11 laptop

Windows 11 is now just a matter of months away, and system requirements are a concern. While this is not going to be a problem for anyone buying a new computer with the operating system pre-installed, it is a major consideration for anyone upgrading to Windows 11 from Windows 10.

The requirement for TPM 2.0 is something that has attracted particular attention. While Microsoft has made it clear that for OEM customers with special requirements the TPM need can be eliminated with a custom Windows 11 image, the same is not true for the average user. Although a registry hack currently exists that makes it possible to bypass the need for TPM 2.0, Microsoft has stressed that it will not be possible to use Group Policy to get around hardware requirements -- possibly meaning that the registry hack will also not work once Windows 11 is released.

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Amazon denies cryptocurrency rumors, and Bitcoin drops in value

Amazon Bitcoin

The ever-volatile price of Bitcoin took another turn as Amazon denied recent rumors that it is looking to accept the cryptocurrency as a form of payment.

Speculation about the online retailer's embrace of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as well as rumors of tokenization, caused a Bitcoin surge at the weekend. But now the company has spoken out to deny the suggestions, the value has tumbled again.

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