Mark Wyciślik-Wilson

Google unleashes Android 11 for developers to play with

Android 11

Turning it all the way up to 11, Google today launched the Developer Preview of Android 11 -- or Android R, if you prefer. For now, the preview build is only compatible with Pixel devices (no surprises there), but what can you expect to see?

Google has chosen to put privacy and security front and center in Android 11, giving users more control and transparency. The company also says that it has added things such as enhancements for foldables and 5G, call-screening APIs, new media and camera capabilities, and machine learning.

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Coinbase becomes a Visa principal member -- cryptocurrency debit cards and services to spread to more markets

Coinbase Card Visa

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has been made a Visa principal member, making it "the first pure-play cryptocurrency company" to receive such accreditation. The membership was awarded back in December, but the news has only just been made public.

This is not the first time Coinbase has had dealings with Visa. The two companies worked together last year to launch the Coinbase Card ("a Visa debit card, funded by your Coinbase balance") in the UK, but now it will be possible to bring the debit card and additional services to more markets around the world.

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Ring makes two-factor authentication mandatory for all its devices

Please ring the bell

Following a series of privacy-related controversies, smart doorbell maker Ring is making two-factor authentication (2FA) mandatory on all of its devices. In addition, the company is also giving users more control over personalized advertising.

Ring also says that it is temporarily pausing the use of most third-party analytics services in its apps and on its website. The company is working on giving users the ability to limit the sharing of data with third parties.

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RCS messaging lands in Your Phone app for Windows 10

RCS messaging

Microsoft has been making great progress with its Your Phone app recently. The app -- which makes it possible to use an Android smartphone in conjunction with Windows 10 -- has now gained support for RCS messaging.

It has been possible to send regular text messages via Your Phone for some time but now, thanks to a new partnership with Samsung, next-generation RCS messaging is available to some users too.

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Microsoft is dropping support for Windows 10 version 1809

It is a little over a month since Windows 7 reached end of life, and in the coming months Microsoft will stop supporting the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

Also known as Windows 10 version 1809, this edition of the operating system was released in November 2018. When May 12 2020 rolls around, Microsoft will no longer release security updates for it -- something the company refers to as the "end of servicing".

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UK government to spend £1.2 billion on supercomputer to predict weather and model climate change

Weather cloud

The UK government has announced plans to spend £1.2 billion ($1.6 billion) on what it describes as "the world's most powerful weather and climate supercomputer".

The investment will make weather forecasts faster and more accurate, and the computer will make it easier to predict the impact of climate change. It will be managed by the Met Office, and will be used to help communities and government agencies better prepare for severe weather.

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Microsoft claims massive speed boost in preview builds of Edge

Multiple Edge logos

Anyone using the Dev or Canary builds of Microsoft Edge gets to try out all of the latest features and improvements early, and Microsoft says that the latest builds boast huge speed improvements.

The enhanced performance is significant. Microsoft claims improvements of up to 13 percent -- meaning that this is the sort of speed boost that should be noticeable in use, not just measurable in tests.

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Microsoft releases Windows Terminal Preview v0.9 and it's feature-complete

Windows Terminal

Microsoft has released Windows Terminal Preview v0.9 with a glut of new features and options. The company says that this update is the last release that will include new features before v1 launches.

In terms of what's new, there's a lot to explore. The latest version of Windows Terminal will now detect any version of PowerShell and automatically create a profile for you, and the wt execution alias now supports command line arguments.

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Google lets Android 11 Developer Preview page slip online

11

You're very likely still waiting for Android 10 to make its way to your handset, but Google is already working away on Android 11.

The company accidentally (probably) published the Android 11 Developer Preview page online, leading to speculation that a developer build might be in the offing. But it seems that there is no cause to get excited just yet...

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Microsoft pulls Windows 10 KB4524244 update after acknowledging numerous problems

Windows 10 desktop background

Microsoft has removed standalone security update KB4524244 after it was found to be causing problems with various systems. KB4524244 was supposed to fix issues with the UEFI boot manager, but for many people the patch had problems during installation, and for others it led to system freezes.

Acknowledging the latest problematic update for Windows 10, Microsoft has taken the decision to pull KB4524244 and says that it will not be re-offered from Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services or Microsoft Update Catalog.

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Windows 10 users are losing user profiles and desktop files thanks to KB4532693 update bug

Windows 10 boxes

It's been while -- at least a few days -- since Microsoft released a problematic update for Windows 10, so we were probably about due another one. And sure enough, this week's KB4532693 update is causing issues for people.

Released two days ago on February's patch Tuesday, the cumulative update KB4532693 is loading the incorrect profile for users, and hiding files stored on the desktop.

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Reuters will fact-check content on Facebook and Instagram

Facebook magnifying glass

Reuters has teamed up with Facebook to launch a new fact-checking initiative. It is looking to identify misinformation on social media, and will draw on the news agency's history of verifying data.

The partnership will see Reuters fact-checking content on Facebook and Instagram, working with Facebook's Third-Party Fact-Checking Program. The fact-checking program is seen as being particularly important in the run-up to the US presidential election, but it will continue beyond this.

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UK government wants Ofcom to police social media

UK police

The UK government has long wanted to police the internet, and now it has expressed a desire for Ofcom to regulate social media.

The government would like to give the telecoms watchdog greater powers to enable it to serve as regulator for the likes of Facebook, Google, Twitter, Snapchat and TikTok. The aim is to protect internet users from "harmful and illegal content" while maintaining free speech.

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Microsoft releases patch for serious Internet Explorer vulnerability

Internet Explorer icons

Microsoft has released a series of patches for a zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer that was being actively exploited.

The remote code execution flaw was discovered a few weeks ago, and while 0patch released a micropatch to fix the problem, Microsoft only suggested a workaround which ended up breaking printing for many people. But now patches have been made available for Windows 7, Windows 8.x, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012.

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Try out Windows 10X now with Microsoft's new emulator

Windows 10X emulator

Windows 10X is the upcoming operating system from Microsoft, designed for dual-screen devices such as the Surface Duo and Neo. If you thought you would have to wait ages, or spend a fortune on a new device to try it out... think again.

Today, Microsoft releases a Windows 10X emulator, giving anyone who wants a glimpse of the future the chance to take the OS for a test drive. In reality, the Windows 10X emulator is designed with developers in mind, but there's nothing to stop anyone who is curious from trying it out.

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