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Instagram TikTok Rival “Reels” Takes Center Stage for New UI Layouts

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While TikTok is the social media tool of the moment, and Facebook’s everlasting appeal seems to continue, Instagram remains the go-to of choice for influencers and businesses. Looking to stay on top of the in-fashion crowd, Instagram as some new layouts coming soon.

Adam Mosseri, the company’s chief, provided a look at three home screen layout options that are currently in testing. All the new looks provide separate tabs for Shops and Reels.

The first layout placed Home, Reels, Add, Shops, and Profile tabs in the bottom navigation pane. Explore, Notifications, and Messages will be relocated to the top-right corners. Second places Home, Explore, Reels, Shops, and Profile down below and Notifications and Messages top-right, with Add top-left.

Finally, the third layout would put more tabs at the bottom (Home, Explore, Reels, Shops, Notification, and Profile) with Messages and Add moved top-right.

Instagram clearly wants its new Reels tool to be more front and center of the UI experience. Launched a month ago, Reels is the company’s answer to TikTok. It is a short video tool for users on the app.

Tough Few Months

Instagram has needed to weather some problems in recent months. Back in June, Microsoft and other major companies pulled advertising from Facebook in response to the company’s poor handling of racial tensions following the murder of Floyd George.

Brands like Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Ford Motor Company have all their ads on the platform. Instagram felt the impact as part of Facebook’s group of services.

Last month, the app became a focus of bad actors conducting phishing attacks. The campaigns were interesting because they went directly through Instagram. Phishing attacks are typically associated with email, and that’s how previous campaigns on Instagram have unfolded. However, the latest attack method involves directly messaging people on their IG account.

This is arguably more effective because users would be more willing to blindly believe a seemingly official IG message on the platform itself.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Clarifies Surface Duo Privacy Settings and Data Collection

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Microsoft’s new Surface Duo smartphone is just days away from shipping to early adopters. Despite its imminent arrival, there are still plenty of questions that need answering about the device. One of the most important is how the Android device will handle privacy and security. After-all, Microsoft is pushing the smartphone has an enterprise tool first and foremost.

In a blog post, Microsoft has given more details on how the Surface Duo will manage privacy. While the device running Android has benefits in terms of app availability and general appeal, Google’s platform raises security concerns.

One of the challenges for Microsoft is creating a hugely secure device on a platform that is known for security holes. Working with Google on developing the software for the Duo is a good start. Google often says the stock version of Android is secure. Problems arise when manufacturers tweak the platform with their own software.

In terms of privacy, business users will be eager to know how Microsoft will handle their data. Because of its links to Android, the device comes with Google apps out of the box, such as Gmail, Search, and the Play Store.

Of course, Google’s reputation for maintaining user privacy is hardly stellar. Microsoft says it will collect user data. According to the company, this collecting will be like how it leverages user information on Windows 10. More specifically, in an effort to improve the service the company provides.

Gathering User Data

The Surface Duo will have required diagnostic data that users must give access to, and optional diagnostic data.

Here’s the lost for required information:

  • “Device properties such as the manufacturer, processor type, and memory attributes.
  • Device settings and configurations, such as networking and peripherals data.
  • Basic error reporting, such as whether updates were successfully installed.
  • Reliability data about the health of the apps and services.
  • Operating system version, configuration details, and updates installed.
  • Apps and drivers installed on the device.”

And the list of optional diagnostic data:

  • “Additional data about the device, connectivity, and configuration, beyond that collected under Required diagnostic data.
  • Status and logging information about the health of system components beyond that collected about the update and diagnostics systems under Required diagnostic data.
  • App activity, such as which programs are running on a device and for how long, and how quickly they respond to input.
  • Browser activity in Microsoft Edge, including browsing history and search terms.
  • Enhanced error reporting, including the memory state of the device when a system or app crash occurs (which may unintentionally contain user content, such as parts of a file you were using when the problem occurred).
  • Specific data items collected by Surface Duo diagnostics are subject to change to give Microsoft flexibility to collect the data needed for the purposes described. For example, to ensure Microsoft can troubleshoot the latest performance issue impacting users or update a Surface Duo device, Microsoft may need to collect data items that were not collected previously.”

Microsoft points out neither options compromise the overall security on the Surface Duo.

Source WInbuzzer

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Microsoft, Google, Apple Among Tech Giants Denying Child Labor Lawsuit

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Child labor is a major problem around the world, especially in parts of Asia and Africa. Interestingly, it is in these parts of the world where many tech giants build their devices, through partner manufacturers. However, the likes of Microsoft, Apple, Google, Tesla, and Dell say they are not responsible for child labor in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

I guess by proxy, the companies are also saying they are not responsible in factories in other countries where child labor is used.

A federal court case was brought by parents of children killed in mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that help to produce batteries. All the tech giants argue the case should be dismissed and they “strongly condemn” what’s happening in the mines.

For the likes of Microsoft, Apple, and Google, their argument rests on them not owning the mines. According to the companies, they have no interaction with the mines and use an intermediary supplier.

There is no proof which mines the companies use because the cobalt in their batteries cannot be traced to a specific location. Apple, Dell, Microsoft, Tesla, and Google are defendants in the case, which was filed by International Rights Advocates, a Washington DC-based human rights firm. The company is acting on behalf of 14 parents from the DRC.

Not Good Enough

This case raises one of the most problematic aspects of the tech industry. There is absolutely no doubt that services tech giants use to employ sketchy work practices. From child labor to poor working conditions and low pay, it’s an issue that is happening in Africa, Asia, and parts of South America.

Tech companies distance themselves with similar reasons as those offered in this case. However, it remains a black mark on the industry that trillion dollar companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Google do little to stop their partners engaging in these practices.

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Subsystem for Linux 2.0 Comes to Older Windows 10 Versions

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Microsoft is this week announcing a significant piece of news for Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2). Specifically, the company says the service is now available to users running Windows 10 version 1903 and Windows 10 version 1909.

This is important because it expands the availability and support of Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 across more Windows 10 users. Microsoft says the expansion follows customer feedback requesting support for older Windows 10 builds.

WSL 2 is Microsoft’s latest version of the service that allows Linux distros to function within Windows. Distribution can run the original WSL or the updated second version, and users can switch when they want.

At Build 2020 earlier this year, Microsoft announced some big changes for Windows Subsystem for Linux. Microsoft’s announcements had a focus directly on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) 2. For example, the company showcased hardware acceleration for WSL. This addition means users can now run Linux GUI applications on Windows 10.

Elsewhere at Build, support for GPU compute workflows was brought to the platform. With this ability, Linux tools can tap into GPUs on Windows PCs, allowing hardware acceleration when developing apps. Support for GUI applications also allows users to open a WSL instance and run it like a Linux app in Windows 10.

Expanding Support

With the latest news, users on Windows 10 versions 1903 and 1909 no longer need to use WSL 1, unless they want to. Moving to WSL 2 brings the following benefits to the Windows versions:

  • “File system performance now on par with Mac and Linux speeds
  • Improved System Call Support for all Linux applications notably: Docker, FUSE, rsync, etc.
  • Full Linux kernel built into WSL 2
  • Docker Desktop has added support to use WSL 2 as its engine, giving faster startup speeds and improved resource usage.”

It is worth noting only x64 variants of Windows 10 versions 1903 and 1909 support WSL 2 for the time being.

Source Winbuzzer

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“This include diligence, commitment, integrity and patriotism in our conduct and daily lives. “He was an outstanding figure worthy of emulation by those who aspired to be journalists or otherwise work within the media space. “His death is a loss to Nigeria and to those who believe in the unity of the country,’’ Tinubu stated. He noted that as an ally and associate, Maida was Chief Press Secretary to President Buhari when he was the military Head of State, in the early 1980’s. “His patriotism, commitment and competence were clearly on display when he worked in the early 1980s as Chief Press Secretary to Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari,’’ he said Tinubu also extended his condolences to Gov. Aminu Masari of Kastina State and the people of the state for the loss of their eminent son. The APC leader also commiserated with the media confraternity, the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria and Nigerian Guild of Editors. “I condole with the staff and management of Peoples’ Daily and Nigeria Union of Journalists, all of which he was a prized member. “I mourn with Alhaji Maida’s family and pray that Munificent Allah comfort and grant them strength. “May Almighty Allah forgive Alhaji Maida of his shortcomings, reward his good deeds and grant him Aljanna Firdaus. Amin.’’ Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/08/tinubu-commiserates-with-buhari-over-death-of-nan-board-chairman/

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Minecraft and Jurassic Park are such a match made in heaven that I cannot believe this has not already happened. Of course, I am of the generation that this is Jurassic Park, but for the kids these days, it’s Jurassic World, so I’ll play along.

Microsoft-owned Mojang says Jurassic World is now coming to Minecraft in the form of a new DLC. This is an official partnership that will see the Jurassic World setting of Isla Nublar, including the tourist centers, attractions, and more.

“Have you ever wanted to train a dinosaur? (Yes!) Or create a park filled with awe-inspiring dinosaur exhibits – like the T. Rex or Velociraptor? (Definitely, yes!) Well today’s your lucky day (just 65 million years in the making)… welcome to Jurassic World!”

As this is a movie tie-in, it’s only fitting that the Minecraft Jurassic World DLC gets a high-concept trailer.

Rich Content

Whether you’re a fan of the Jurassic series of not, this looks like an interesting and exciting addition to Minecraft. It’s also a richly stocked DLC with plenty of content for users to enjoy. For example, there are over 60 dinosaurs (more than we ever saw in the Jurassic movies), and 21 skins to choose from.

Minecraft Jurassic World is available now from the Minecraft Marketplace.

In the update, users can control human characters from the movie series. However, I know you’re all on board for controlling a dinosaur, and yes, you can do that. Furthermore, you can become the Park Manager, making this DLC something of a Jurassic Park sim.

As the manager, you can build exhibits, create dinosaurs, train them, find new DNA, and generally explore the game world. Your park will also have workers on hand in the form of NPCs.

Just remember, life finds a way.

Source Winbuzzer

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Android Chief Teases Microsoft’s Surface Duo Ahead of Official Launch

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Microsoft will announce the Surface Duo Android smartphone in the coming days. The company is hosting a virtual event on August 12 to present the device to top executives. Once the internal showcase is done, Microsoft will move to an official launch. That could happen before the end of the week.

As part of the pre-launch buzz, Google’s Android division is getting in on the act. Specifically, Hiroshi Lockheimer, the head of Android has teased the Surface Duo on his Twitter account.

One of the big surprises when Microsoft introduced the Duo last year was that it runs Android. It was thought the handset would run Microsoft’s own Windows platform. Instead, Redmond decided Android provides the best chance of success for the smartphone.

Because of the dual-screen nature of the Duo, Microsoft would have worked closely with Google to ensure Android works optimally on the device. This collaboration was alongside Movial, which helped integrate Android into the handset.

Duo Details

In terms of specs, the Surface Duo will reportedly include Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor. Incidentally, that’s the same CPU used in the Galaxy Fold. Elsewhere, the Duo will have 6GB of RAM with between 64GB and 256GB of non-expandable storage. Both AMOLED screens will have a 4:3 aspect ratio and 1,800 x 1,350 pixel resolution.

Finally, there will be a USB-C port, Surface Pen support, and a 3,450mAh battery.

In terms of the camera, Microsoft has been quiet on the lens it will use in the Duo. Surface chief Panos Panay promised a high-end camera experience and teased the Duo’s snapper with a photo earlier this year.

Any announcement this week will confirm when the Surface Duo will be available to buy. It seems Microsoft will schedule pre-orders to start by the end of the month, with a release during September.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft’s Sticky Notes Gets Bug Fixing Update on Windows 10

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Microsoft has updated its Sticky Notes application on Windows 10. With this week’s release, users are getting a bump to Version 3.7 of the useful native tool. While there are no new features included, this update does include some important fixes.

Leading the way is squashing a bug that had been preventing users from accessing Ink Analysis. Specifically, this feature was off limits because of the big. With this fix, users can once again receive ink insights and handwriting analysis.

Moreover, there is an improvement to Insights in Sticky Notes Version 3.7. Now the app will remember insights across sessions, even if the user goes offline.

Below are the official release notes:

  • “Ink Analysis is back! There was a bad bug preventing you from getting ink insights and handwriting analysis, but we squashed it.
  • Insights is better than ever! We did a bunch of bug fixing and improvements, including remembering insights across sessions and even remembering them when you go offline.
  • Selecting text has never been more colorful! We decided to embrace the rainbow – try it on dark mode for an extra delightful experience.
  • Various bug fixes, accessibility fixes, performance improvements.”

Developing

Microsoft’s Sticky Notes is increasingly becoming one of the company’s fastest growing services. The app was once viewed as a gimmick, but Microsoft has changed that perception with a flurry of features.

The underpinning technology behind Sticky Note has made its way to other Microsoft services. For example, just last week the company’s Whiteboard tool on iOS, Windows 10, and the web got support for Sticky Notes.

If you use Sticky Notes on Windows 10, you can check out the update at the Microsoft Store here.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Teams Gets 20,000 Meeting Participants and Cloud Calling Service

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Microsoft is continuing to rapidly add new tools to Microsoft Teams amid the ongoing communication app wars. In recent months, we have seen Redmond position Teams to not only continue to rival Slack, but to also compete more directly with video communication champion Zoom.

With that in mind, the latest major update brings features that cover both workplace collaboration and direct communication. Like we have seen with other recent update, this Microsoft Teams release is extensive.

“There is a broad spectrum of needs that are required to connect employees from the worksite to the main office to the home office, across locations and time zones,” Microsoft’s Nicole Herskowitz says.  “The spectrum starts with the most basic 1:1 meetings and calls with colleagues, to larger group meetings, all the way to large events and conferences … At the other end of the spectrum, Teams modernizes 1:1 calling with a cloud-based phone system in the same Teams app that keeps you in the communications flow.”

Included in the latest update is the new ability to have up to 20,000 participants in a Microsoft Teams meeting. This is a significant improvement on the previous limit of 1,000 participants. It goes hand in hand with Microsoft’s recent meetings-focused update for Teams.

In that previous release, Microsoft added 49 video participants in a meeting, coming in line with Zoom. Microsoft has been teasing 49 meeting participants on screen at once for some time. Redmond confirmed the feature last month before saying it was likely to arrive in the fall. Instead, it shipped ahead of schedule.

Other Features

Elsewhere in the newest Teams upgrade, users can also add company branding. Microsoft says the tool is coming soon and allows companies to brand their meetings with logos. However, Microsoft says this ability will only be available through a new plan called Advanced Communications. This will arrive as a trial this month.

Microsoft Teams is also receiving a Teams Calling feature. This is a cloud-focused phone service that employees can use with their real phone number to receive and make calls directly in Teams.

Source Winbuzzer

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GitHub Stores 21TB Repository Snapshot in the Arctic Ice

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As time capsules go, the one GitHub has just buried under the ice in the Arctic is massive. Microsoft’s codebase repository has moved its snapshot of all current public projects in a special vault in Norway.

GitHub has been planning this archive since last November. Earlier this year, the company wrote the snapshot to reels of film. Specifically, the archive weighs in at a healthy 21 terabytes and took up 186 reels of film.

When the plans were first announced, we were living in a pre-COVID-19 world and GitHub wanted to send a team to the Artic to escort the open-source code. However, that proved impossible in the current climate and the gesture was cancelled.

“The code landed in Longyearbyen, a town of a few thousand people on Svalbard, where our boxes were met by a local logistics company and taken into intermediate secure storage overnight,” said Julia Metcalf, director of strategic programs at GitHub.

“The next morning, it traveled to the decommissioned coal mine set in the mountain, and then to a chamber deep inside hundreds of meters of permafrost, where the code now resides fulfilling their mission of preserving the world’s open-source code for over 1,000 years.”

Storage

Included within the repository are dormant projects, public code repos, with the HEAD of the default branch without binaries larger than 100kB included. Each repository is placed in a TAR files and stored as a QR code.

There is a human-readable index of all codes that will help people recover the repositories in the future.

Source WINBUZZER

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Windows 10 Optional Updates Arriving This Month

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Back in March, Microsoft said it was halting all optional Windows 10 updates. The company said the move was designed to ease pressure on developers during the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting stay/work-at-home measures. Now, Redmond has confirmed Windows 10 Optional Updates will resume later this month.

It is worth noting that company made a promise last month saying optional updates would return in July. When Microsoft decided to postpone the updates, the company said it would help developers and users during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have been evaluating the public health situation, and we understand this is impacting our customers. In response to these challenges we are prioritizing our focus on security updates,” said Microsoft at the time.

The delay ultimately meant the May and June updates were postponed. While the world is nowhere near clear of the threat of COVID-19, a degree of normalcy has returned for many people. As such, Microsoft feels it’s a good time to resume the updates.

“Starting in July 2020, we will resume non-security releases for Windows 10 and Windows Server, version 1809 and later. There is no change to the cumulative monthly security updates (also referred to as the “B” release or Update Tuesday release),” Microsoft noted.

New Method

As you may know, options updates are not sent out automatically by Microsoft. Instead, users can choose to manually install the updates if they want.

As we noted a month ago, Microsoft’s return to optional updates comes with a new schedule process for releases. Before the postponement, Microsoft used A, B, C, and D releases. These letters simply denote the week of the month:

  • A (1st week of the month) – Microsoft Office updates
  • B (2nd week of the month) – Update Tuesday (Patch Tuesday)
  • C and D (3rd and 4th weeks of the month) – Cumulative optional updates for non-security fixes

When the updates return, Microsoft is changing the C and D week updates. These updates will be called “Preview” updates. Furthermore, they will be available only to users on Windows 10 and Windows Server 1809 and newer. Microsoft adds all Preview updates will arrive on the C week of the month.

Weeks A and B will remain the same, while for the time being there will be no releases on Week D each month.

Source Winbuzzer

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