Computing

Microsoft will make Cortana mandatory in Anniversary Update

Microsoft will make Cortana mandatory in Anniversary Update

Virtual personal assistants and chatbots are all the rage these days. But while some of them, like Siri, Alexa, or even Cortana, are interesting and at times even useful, they aren't exactly suited for all situations and all devices. And yet, that is the message that Microsoft is trying to get across by forcing Cortana on all Windows 10 users, whether they like to or not. Come August 2nd, when the Anniversary Update rolls out, users will no longer be able to disable Cortana like before, ensuring that she becomes the center of all your desktop, and online, searches.

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Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air wants to compete with Apple

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air wants to compete with Apple

Xiaomi is a Chinese maker of smartphones that we talk about often enough and the last time we talked about the company there were some rumors floating around about a notebook. That rumor has turned out to be true with Xiaomi officially unveiled a pair of notebook models with a Mi Notebook Air 13.3" and a Mi Notebook Air 12.5" notebook. Both of the machines are impressively thin and have nice hardware inside.

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SMS-based two-factor authentication may soon be deemed unsafe

SMS-based two-factor authentication may soon be deemed unsafe

The rise of high-profile hacking of Internet services, like the iCloudgate of recent memory, has put an emphasis on stronger security measures, like, for example, two-factor or two-step authentication. It seems, however, that not all two-factor systems are considered equal. A draft of an upcoming Digital Authentication Guideline to be published by the US National Institute for Standards and Technology or NIST may very well declare two-factor authentication that uses SMS as the second factor to be inherently insecure and, therefore, obsolete.

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Microsoft Researcher, Editor for Word set to replace Clippy

Microsoft Researcher, Editor for Word set to replace Clippy

There is perhaps no Microsoft feature as ridiculed and as reviled as Clippy, the not so helpful, overzealous, and obnoxious "Assistant" that Microsoft introduced in its Office suite. Although Clippy has long been buried, its legacy continues, albeit in split features. Part of its mission now lives on in the Researcher and Editor features for Microsoft Word, which, as the names say, help users in their research and editing tasks. Thankfully, they are less unsavory and even less visible than Clippy.

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VAIO C15 laptop combines bold colors and high price tags

VAIO C15 laptop combines bold colors and high price tags

VAIO has introduced its new C15 laptop, and while it looks like it is only available in Japan right now, it's a model to keep an eye on. The C15 laptops feature an unusual color design, with multiple colors being paired together in bold, large stripes across the keyboards and lids. The company bids these as premium laptop offerings, and the price matches that notion: the model costs a little more than $900 USD.

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Remix OS for PC moves to Android 6.0, new features in tow

Remix OS for PC moves to Android 6.0, new features in tow

Android Nougat is around the corner and with it comes split windows. But while Google is still adjusting to having more than one app window on the screen at the same time, Jide is already perfecting its craft. With Remix OS for PC, it has brought desktop-like Android computing to PCs and Macs running on Intel and AMD chips. Now with the latest update, the giving those same computers a taste of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, as well as improvements to its window management features.

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NVIDIA Quadro P6000 packs 3840 cores

NVIDIA Quadro P6000 packs 3840 cores

NVIDIA has rolled out a new and impressively powerful graphics card for the designers and scientist out there who need graphics with serious oomph. The card is called the NVIDIA Quadro P6000 and NVIDIA Pascal, what the company claims is its most powerful GPU architecture ever, fuels it. The top of the line in the family is the P6000 and it has 3840 CUDA parallel-processing cores.

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Xbox One, Surface Pro 4 get summer discounts pre-Anniversary update

Xbox One, Surface Pro 4 get summer discounts pre-Anniversary update

Summer is here, at least for those in the US, so naturally it's an opportune time to get some sales rolling. It isn't surprising to see Microsoft slash the price of its Xbox One flagship console, though it is somewhat curious that it is also offering a discount for the Surface Pro 4 as well. But with a new $249 price tag and just days before August 2nd, the Xbox One has just stolen the Xbox One S' thunder to become the cheapest Xbox console. At least for now.

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HTC, HP said to be working on a Vive PC for VR

HTC, HP said to be working on a Vive PC for VR

HTC is entering into the PC market, but not in the way that you might think. According to sources, the company, famous for its smartphones and, more recently, the Vive VR headset, is partnering with HP to sell Vive-branded PCs. This move, both expected and not, is supposedly aimed to spread HTC's virtual reality business to more markets by selling a bundle that includes the headset as well as a PC that is powerful enough to drive a VR experience.

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New NVIDIA Titan X promises even more “irresponsible peformance”

New NVIDIA Titan X promises even more “irresponsible peformance”

Back in early 2015, NVIDIA unveiled what it billed was the biggest jump in supercomputing. But while it poised the Titan X as the world's fastest GPU, it quickly dethroned that itself when it introduced the GTX 1080 a year later. Now the Titan X is back with a vengeance. It still has the same name, albeit with a "new" prepended to it, but now packs even more cores and more transistors than either the GTX 1080 or its predecessor. Naturally, it also packs a higher price tag.

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Superbook blasts through Kickstarter to turn phones into laptops

Superbook blasts through Kickstarter to turn phones into laptops

That went by really quick. Superbook, the "thin" shell that practically converts your Android smartphone into a laptop has zoomed past its crowdfunding goal in less than 12 hours. Unsurprising given its $99 base pledge. Not so small a feat either in comparison to the team's previous crowdfunding attempt with almost the same goals, albeit with a dock limited to certain smartphone models. With funding now secured and more still coming in, all that's left is to see if they will be able to deliver, on time or not, unlike so many other failed similar promises.

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France chides Microsoft over Windows 10 privacy flaws

France chides Microsoft over Windows 10 privacy flaws

Microsoft is no stranger to being accused or even formally charged for violating consumer privacy protection laws or related regulations. Especially within the European Union, where American companies like Google and Facebook are facing increasing scrutiny over citizens' data. This formal notice from France's national data protection agency, or Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), is yet another chapter. But the issues the CNIL brought up also touch at the heart of an ongoing negotiation between the US and EU over the transfer of data across the ocean.

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