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Those huge CPU vulnerabilities, Meltdown and Spectre, explained

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By now you’ve probably heard. A large portion of the world’s computer processors are vulnerable to at least one of two exploits that render them susceptible to hackers. But what, exactly, is going on — and what can you do to protect yourself?

While the answer to the first question is complicated, thankfully the answer to the second isn’t. It turns out that companies like Google and Microsoft have been working behind the scenes to create patches for what the security community has named Meltdown and Spectre. 

But we’re not out of the woods yet, and, depending on your operating system, you still need to take some proactive measures to make sure your data is safe.  Read more…

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Africa Roundup: MEST, Airbus and Microsoft expand in Africa, while Afrostream shutters

 MEST appointed Aaron Fu as its new Managing Director, as the Accra based incubator scales up its presence across Sub-Saharan Africa. Founded in 2008, MEST operates as a training program and seed fund for African innovators to build successful commercial tech companies. Fu told TechCrunch he plans to focus on the incubator’s continued expansion. The organization currently has offices or… Read More

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Microsoft's Bing wants you to chat with search results

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Microsoft is testing developer tools that allow chatbots directly in Bing’s search resultsReports of the tests in Seattle and surrounding areas have been around for at least a month. The bots are powered by Skype.

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The bots are currently limited to a handful of locations. Searching for a participating location reveals an option to ask the bot for help directly in the browser, as with El Gaucho (pictured above). The bots can answer basic queries about the location’s parking info, hours, and more via both buttons as well as natural language input. 

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Microsoft’s killer feature for its Chromebook competitor is Office

 Microsoft just unveiled a new operating system at a press event this morning. Windows 10 S is a streamlined and more secure version of Windows 10. But it still looks and feels like a normal PC. And it runs essential apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. While I haven’t used Office apps for years, I spent most of my days using them back when I was in a student. I used Word to write… Read More

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Microsoft HoloLens delivers first ever augmented reality Easter Egg hunt

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Easter Sunday is just hours away, and since it’s 2017, and we’re apparently living in the future, Microsoft has unveiled the first ever augmented reality Easter Egg hunt. 

The game was unveiled this weekend in Los Angeles at the VRLA conference where Microsoft and a team of AR developers allowed me to enter a surrealist forest construct where holographic eggs could be found using the HoloLens headset. 

While the rest of the world can only see the physical environment of the forest room space, using the HoloLens I was immediately presented with a living landscape, filled with the sounds of birds, animated flowers and rabbits furtively scurrying around the space. And when I discovered my first Easter Egg, the egg responded to my gaze by exploding open into a Disney-like flourish of color and sound.  Read more…

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Microsoft is closing the social network you forgot it ever launched

 So.cl, the little-known and probably much-forgotten social network project from Microsoft Research’s FUSE Labs division, is closing down. The service was launched in late 2011 as a social community where the objective was “collaborative consumption, not communication.” Initially for students, So.cl opened up to anyone once it had gotten going and subsequently added support… Read More

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HP embraces 'lapability' with new Pro x2 detachable PC

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It’s been four years since Microsoft introduced its first Surface tablet and at least two since they coined the term “lapability,” which is another way of saying, “This device is really comfortable on your lap.”

In that time, Windows system manufacturers have slowly but surely adopted Microsoft’s strategy of stuffing full-blown Windows PCs into tablets that can marry with keyboards and turn into lap-friendly ultra-portable devices. In general, Microsoft’s designs for the Surface Pro 3 and 4 have been the range’s apex, and most partners have offered only pale imitations. Read more…

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Microsoft launches Skype Lite Android app for India and other emerging markets

screenshot-2017-02-22-14-08-23 Microsoft has retooled Skype, the messaging service synonymous with business users, for people living in emerging markets. Today, at its Future Decoded event in India, Microsoft took the wraps off Skype Lite. The service is an Android app that mains the core video and voice calling functionalities, but is optimized for those on limited internet connections such as 2G data. It… Read More

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Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and other tech firms donated cash and services to Trump inauguration

Technology companies including Amazon, Google and Microsoft donated considerable amounts of both cash and technical services for the ceremonies and events around the inauguration and swearing in of President Donald Trump, according to reports making the internet rounds on Tuesday night.

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Google Cloud takes aim at Microsoft customers with new Windows VMs

disrupt_sf16_diane_greene-3758 Google announced several new products today aimed at luring IT pros who are using Windows in their data centers to the Google Cloud Platform. With that in mind, Google introduced support for Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise and Windows Server Core on the Cloud Platform. In addition, the company announced support for SQL Server Always-On Availability Group for customers who are concerned about… Read More

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Google Cloud takes aim at Microsoft customers with new Windows VMs

disrupt_sf16_diane_greene-3758 Google announced several new products today aimed at luring IT pros who are using Windows in their data centers to the Google Cloud Platform. With that in mind, Google introduced support for Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise and Windows Server Core on the Cloud Platform. In addition, the company announced support for SQL Server Always-On Availability Group for customers who are concerned about… Read More

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With Windows 10, Microsoft doubles down on forced updates and reboots (save your work!)

Windows 10 takes one of the most hated aspects of Microsoft operating systems — forced, sudden software updates and reboots — and elevates them to a sadistic art, with Win 10 machines suddenly announcing that it’s update time and rendering themselves inoperable for up to an hour, wiping out unsaved work and locking users out of their computers while they’re onstage, or in the middle of large file uploads, or livecasting, or completing a live test for college admission, taking notes during an interview, etc.
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Top Microsoft execs weigh in on Trump’s immigration ban

satya-nadella Slowly but surely, the tech world is reacting to a sweeping executive order signed by Trump on Friday that closes the United States’ borders to refugees and citizens from a number of countries. Some have shared personal stories or reflected on the ways in which such policy will negatively impact the Silicon Valley, where so much of the work force has immigrated from around the… Read More

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is joining the Starbucks board

satya nadella Satya Nadella is set to join the board of Starbucks. The Microsoft CEO was announced as one of a trio of nominees who, if approved by shareholders, will increase the size of the coffee brand’s board to 14 people. Starbucks said Nadella was put forward for his “invaluable insight in international operations and distribution” and, of course, his potential to strengthen… Read More

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Microsoft partners with Trimble, University of Cambridge to make HoloLens a better tool for the construction industry

2017-01-24_2120 Microsoft has long positioned its HoloLens augmented reality (AR) helmet as a tool for the enterprise. One of the verticals the company has been especially interested in is construction and late last year, Trimble’s $1,499 SketchUp Viewer became the first commercial HoloLens application for the construction industry in the Windows Store. Since then, Microsoft has partnered with Trimble… Read More

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Crunch Report | Nintendo Switch Hits the Market on March 3

Nintendo Switch to hit the market on March 3, San Francisco District Attorney brings lawsuit against Lily, Moon Express is going to the Moon and Microsoft buys AI startup Maluuba. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Nokia finally returns to the smartphone market

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After years of anticipation, Nokia is finally back in the smartphone game. 

To little fanfare, the Finnish technology company HMD Global (HMD) Sunday unveiled the Nokia 6, a mid-range Android smartphone for the Chinese market. HMD owns the rights to use Nokia’s brand on mobile phones. 

The Nokia 6, which runs the newest version of Google’s mobile operating system, Android Nougat, sports a 5.5-inch full HD (1920×1080 pixels) display. With metal on the sides and a rounded rectangular fingerprint scanner housed on the front, the Nokia 6 seems reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy S7Read more…

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