Computing

VRidge lets you play Oculus, Vive games on Cardboard

VRidge lets you play Oculus, Vive games on Cardboard

Virtual reality might be great and all, but the current generation practically sets up their own walled gardens. You have, for example, somewhat incompatible platforms from Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. That's not to mention the rift (no pun intended) that exists between PC-based VR and mobile. The gap is harder to bridge considering the drastically different requirements for PC and mobile games. Things, however, don't have to be so bleak. Thanks to VRidge from developer Riftcat, you now at least have the chance to get a taste of an Oculus Rift or even an HTC Vive, even if all that you have is a Google Cardboard.

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Too late the hero: Windows 10 upgrade nag ends July 29

Too late the hero: Windows 10 upgrade nag ends July 29

While Microsoft's rollout of Windows 10 has generally been successful, it hasn't been without its fair share of controversy. From upgrades that change users' previously selected defaults to ones that quietly change security and privacy settings. But perhaps the most reviled part of the Windows 10 upgrade process is the nagware notifications that have plagued and irritated users to no end. Good news: Microsoft will be putting an end to that in about two months. But not because they've finally listened but because Windows 10's free upgrade is ending anyway.

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The free Windows 10 upgrade gravy train is ending soon

The free Windows 10 upgrade gravy train is ending soon

The days of a free Windows 10 upgrade are numbered, with Microsoft confirming that, after July 29, you'll be expected to open your wallet if you want to bring an older Windows PC up to the cutting edge. As part of its efforts to get Windows 10 on as many PCs as possible, as soon as possible, Microsoft had launched the OS with a year-long free upgrade offer.

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Viv, from Siri’s makers, aims to be a better conversationalist

Viv, from Siri’s makers, aims to be a better conversationalist

Siri may be known for her (possibly even his) sometimes amusing, sometimes cheeky responses, but when it comes doing useful things, she/he/it turns out to be a less capable conversation partner. Sure, she can do some things but only if you ask Siri the right way. And even then, she/he/it can only carry a dialogue only so far, refusing to continue listening even when you're not yet done talking. And at times all that she does is bring up a web search result. These are the limitations that Viv, an up and coming personal assistant, is promised to overcome. And its creators are no other than Siri's creators as well.

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Microsoft HoloLens specs include “walking dead” Atom CPU

Microsoft HoloLens specs include “walking dead” Atom CPU

When Intel suddenly revealed that it was discontinuing the Atom line of processors, the Internet was ablaze with questions about the future of devices. As underpowered and disappointing as the chips might be compared to the ARM processors they are competing against, Atoms do power a good number of current devices as well as some that are still in development. Apparently, one of those is Microsoft's HoloLens. Windows Central took a peek inside the mixed reality headset to find an Intel Atom x5, which raises the question of the device's future iterations.

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MacBook 2016 Review – Still controversial

MacBook 2016 Review – Still controversial

More than a year after it first launched, the MacBook Retina is still one of the most divisive of Apple's products. Now, in its 2016 refresh, it finds itself in a replay of many of those initial complaints: just one port; a processor chosen for being humble; and a variety of other compromises in the name of keeping a waif-like form factor. Has Apple's stubbornness damned its premium ultraportable in the process?

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Microsoft Flow to be an IFTTT for very serious business

Microsoft Flow to be an IFTTT for very serious business

Although not exactly a household name among consumers, IFTTT has become the darling of power users of all shapes and sizes, platforms, and devices. The web-based service basically takes inputs, triggers, and other events that can send a sort of signal and ties it with any other action. Taking a page from that strategy, Microsoft has silently launched Flow, a service that sounds and looks almost like IFTTT. But, as they say, looks can be deceiving, and that's because Flow is only available for Microsoft's business and education customers.

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Microsoft locks Cortana down to using Edge browser only

Microsoft locks Cortana down to using Edge browser only

Back in the early days of the Windows 10 upgrade rollout, Microsoft was put on the hot seat for silently changing previously configured user settings. Specifically for changing the default web browser to the new Microsoft Edge, even if the user previously had a different browser, like Chrome or Firefox, set in Windows 7 or 8. Now it seems that Microsoft will once again be unpopular for a somewhat related move. It is now locking down Cortana to only use Microsoft Edge and Bing, to the exclusion of other browsers and search engines, especially Google's.

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The PC isn’t dead, we just don’t know what it means anymore

The PC isn’t dead, we just don’t know what it means anymore

Apple has positioned the iPad Pro, both sizes, to be the tablet that replaces your laptop, ruffling the features of both PC and Mac users. Microsoft has also been singing that song, though less harshly, about its Surface Pro tablets. And a good number of tablet, sometimes even smartphone, users have testified how they're able to not only live but even work out of their mobile devices. All of these different tunes seem to have similar chorus: "The PC is dead". That, however, is quite far from the truth, especially considering we might not really know what the word "PC" means anymore, let alone what qualifies as "dead".

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Microsoft just bought 10m synthetic DNA molecules for data storage

Microsoft just bought 10m synthetic DNA molecules for data storage

In the future, when you need to store more than what your 100 terabyte storage drive can handle, you wouldn't be looking to the cloud for answers, you'll be looking inside yourself. Sort of. This almost zen-like idea isn't just science fiction anymore. It is very well the future of computing. Or at least Microsoft believes so, to the point that it just purchases 10 million long oligonucleotides, a.k.a. DNA molecules, from San Francisco startup Twist Bioscience. These DNA molecules will be used in Microsoft's own research into making synthetic DNA a viable commercial data storage solution.

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Dropbox Infinite puts your entire cloud on your desktop

Dropbox Infinite puts your entire cloud on your desktop

Although there are terabytes of storage space available in large boxes, severs, and contraptions, most consumer computers still come with at most 1 TB of space, especially in laptops and 2-in-1 tablets. Cloud storage services like Dropbox expands that almost infinitely and also solves the problem of collaboration as well. But accessing those files in the cloud is still cumbersome and can pretty much break your flow. With Dropbox Infinite, the most popular cloud provider aims to answer that problem as well, allowing any user full access to their 10 TB online storage as if they were installed on their 1 TB desktop.

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ZOTAC puts a ZBOX in a backpack so you can VR anywhere

ZOTAC puts a ZBOX in a backpack so you can VR anywhere

Some products seem meant to be paradoxes. On the one hand, the idea is so ingenious you wonder why no one has thought of it before. On the other hand, it also sounds, more often looks, ridiculous that you wonder if it's just an elaborate and very late April Fools' joke. ZOTAC's newly revealed Mobile VR is one such product. It creatively solves the problem high-powered VR headsets have with wires. But it also does so by simply stuffing a mini PC inside a backpack, shortening the wires needed to connect headset to PC.

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