Here is Everything You Wanted To Know About Deep Web And Tor

Tor and Deep web have never been more relevant than today, we have touched the matter of privacy in Windows 10 and talked about dark web before. Today let’s take a look at what Tor is and how to use it in the infographic below which was made by the folks at WIHT.

Click on the infographic to see in enlarged.

(source)


NEXT STORY: Which Browser is Most Secure? Chrome vs Edge vs Firefox

The Latest Windows 10 Preview Adds Phone Linking, Better Cortana and Performance Improvements

While the last Windows Insider build did not add any new notable feature, it looks like the Redmond Giant was preparing to add changes in a bulk, on 26th July, the company rolled out Windows 10’s insider build 16251 for PC and a built numbered 15235 for Windows Mobiles. The Windows update contains some improvements to Cortana which can now show results without opening Microsoft Edge web browser, another important addition is that now Windows 10 will play better with Android and iOS phones as it will have some linking features built into the OS. For other changes, here is the changelog:


What’s New in Build 16251 For PC

Windows lets you link your phone and PC

You may remember at Build we talked about PCs and phones working better together. With Build 16251, we are introducing the first set of features that enable “linking” your phone to your PC. This build’s scenario is focused on cross-device web-browsing. Today, we’re asking for you Windows Insiders to help us test this experience out using your Android phones.  Support for iPhone is coming very soon, stay tuned.

To get started, after installing today’s new build on your PC, go to Settings > Phone and link your phone. Having you link your phone ensures that your sessions from your phone are continued only on to the PC that you’ve chosen. After adding your phone to be linked, you will receive an SMS from us directing you to install a test application called “Microsoft Apps” for Android that completes the link between your phone and PC and enables one of our first cross device browsing scenarios.

New Phones settings page

After you’ve linked your phone, just go to your phone and start browsing the web. When you are at a website you want to view on your PC, simply invoke the native share experience on your phone and share the website to the “Continue on PC” option. You might need to click the “…” or more to add this test app to your share menu.  Once invoked, it will first ask you to sign in with your Microsoft Account.  It is important you use the same account you are using on your PC.  Next it will ask you if you want to “Continue now” or “Continue later”. If you choose “Continue now”, the website will magically open on the linked PC.  If you choose to “Continue later”, the website will show up under Action Center for you to get to later when you’re ready. Try it out and let us to know of any issues you run into!

Sharing to PC Step 1. Sharing to PC Step 2. Sharing to PC Step 3.

Get web search results in Cortana without opening your browser

Now you can view the results that Cortana has for you without launching the web browser. For some questions, the Cortana pane will expand automatically, quickly showing you exactly what you need to know.  It works with movies, celebrities, stock prices, weather, flight status – you name it! If Cortana doesn’t have a quick answer for your query, the pane won’t automatically expand. No worries! Just click the arrow next to the relevant web suggestion (or press the right arrow key) to see what the web has for you. We look forward to hearing your feedback, which you can file using the in-Cortana feedback button.

Get web search results in Cortana without opening your browser.

 

Use Cortana voice commands to lock, sign-out, shutdown, or turn off your PC

We have now enabled the ability for you to use Cortana to turn off, restart, lock, or sign-out of Windows. While previously announced, we haven’t fully enabled it via the cloud until now. So, in case your hands are busy at the moment, you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to turn off or lock your PC. Instead, you can say “Hey Cortana, turn off my PC” and Cortana will take care of it. In a similar fashion, you can use Cortana to restart your computer, sign-out, or lock your PC. Just use your voice and try out the following commands:

  • “Hey Cortana, restart PC.”
  • “Hey Cortana, turn off PC.”
  • “Hey Cortana, sign out.”
  • “Hey Cortana, lock PC.”

For some of these voice commands, such as the one for turning off your PC, Cortana may ask you for a verbal confirmation. You’ll have to respond to Cortana with a “Yes” for Cortana to complete the voice command.

In addition, you can also ask Cortana to execute the commands above on the Lock screen, but first you should enable Cortana on the Lock screen if you have not done so already.

You can enable Cortana on your Lock screen by opening Cortana’s settings and turning on this option:

If you have any feedback, be sure to send it our way via Feedback Hub!

NOTE: This is available only in English* (EN-US, EN-AU, EN-CA, EN-GB and EN-IN) markets.

Improved Boot Up Experience

Use sign-in info to apply settings after a restart or update: The advanced Windows Update feature to use your sign-in info to automatically finish setting your device after an update has been extended to regular reboots and shutdowns. When you log in and initiate a reboot or a shutdown through power options available on the Start Menu and various other locations, Windows will automatically setup your account after it has booted back up. 

This will help you sign-in faster and will restore your accessibility applications and any other application that has registered for application restart.

Command-line options:

  • shutdown /sg

Shutdown the computer. On the next boot, restart any registered applications.

  • shutdown /g

Full shutdown and restart the computer. After the system is rebooted, restart any registered applications.

Opt-out: Under the Privacy section of the Sign-in options page of your Settings, you can disable and re-enable using the option show below:

Note: The feature is only available on PCs that are not managed by enterprises. This includes home PCs that are sync’d to enterprise (work, school, etc.) email.

PC Gaming Improvements

  • Some users may see Game Mode enabled in the Game Bar by default for some of their games.

What’s New in Build 15235 for Mobile

Switch to portrait mode orientation in Continuum

Are you an Windows Insider who is loving the convenience of Continuum by carrying your PC in your pocket? We have heard your VERY PASSIONATE feedback and just made it better. We’re excited to introduce portrait mode support for Continuum starting with this build of Windows 10 Mobile.

Without portrait mode support, the landscape rendering of Continuum from your phone on a portrait oriented monitor would look like this:

Continuum used to look like this.

Now, it will look like this:

Now Continuum looks like this.

To enable this,  go to Settings > System > Display on your device and change the display orientation to “Portrait” and press apply.

To enable this,  go to Settings > System > Display on your device and change the display orientation to “Portrait” and press apply.

If your phone is connected to a monitor via cable, your phone will ask you to disconnect and reconnect the cable to the external display and press ok to change the orientation to portrait. If your phone is connected to a monitor via Wi-Fi, your phone will ask you to disconnect and reconnect to your wireless display. Once this is done, your phone will remember the orientation and you will not have to repeat the setup process when connecting again to the same monitor.


For more details, you can see Microsoft’s announcement post.

NEXT STORY: Feast Your Eyes on These Google Pixel 2 Renders (And Rage About The Lack of 3.5mm Jack)

5KPlayer Review: A Worthy Alternative to Movies & TV app

5KPlayer prides itself by saying it is more than a media player, to its credit, the app has built in support for downloading online videos, AirPlay support and it also supports playing Online radio. Let’s take a look and find if it’s worth your time or not.

Every operating system should cover some basic requirements: it should be easy to use, it should be secure and it should have great apps for general work. While the first is true and second is debatable for Windows 10, I don’t think the default Movies & TV app for Windows 10 is worth using. File format support is not strong, UI is not great and it is not customizable at all. We have talked about some alternatives that you can use in past, today, let’s take a look at 5KPlayer, a Windows and Mac supported media player that I have been using since last few days.

Made by a firm named DearMob, 5KPlayer prides itself by saying it is more than a media player, to its credit, the app has built in support for downloading online videos, AirPlay and it also supports playing Online radio. Let’s take a look and find if it’s worth your time or not in our 5KPlayer review.

Installation and configuration

Installation was pretty straightforward, you need to go to the 5KPlayer’s website and pick what OS do you use, after that, download around 40-megabyte offline installer and you are good to go. Unlike many apps for Windows, 5KPlayer did not try to sneak-in any adware or bloatware which is great too.

5kplayer review
Installation screen

The startup times are quick too and I found 5KPlayer to be responsive on both my computers, one running Skylake quad core i7 and the other one on a fifth generation dual core i3 processor.

Right after the first launch, the app asked me if I wanted to register, if you want AirPlay support you can register, I skipped and 5K Player did not ask about that anytime later.

UI and Navigation

5KPlayer Review: Library UI

Once you open it, you will find that app is divided into 2 tabs, first one is labeled 5KPlayer, which works just like a Now-Playing screen and the second one called the library. The first one is simple and works just like it should and the second one is where most organization and playlist management can be done.

The library is divided into many sections each for categorizing Music, Videos, YouTube downloads, and Playlists. There is a straight forward search bar at the top right corner and a button to toggle list and grid view. The UI is easy enough to navigate around without any trouble, and I liked how you can mark a media file “Favorite” just by one click.  This marked music and video files can then be quickly accessed from the Favorites section from the navigation pane. I would like to have an option to change the skin to light colors though, maybe it will come in future with an update.

Features of the app

The player window is fairly simple and straightforward to understand, if you are playing some videos and also working on some other window, 5KPlayer hides the title and menu bar unless you move your mouse over to it again, which makes it a lot like the Picture-in-picture mode in iOS 11. The player has YouTube downloading support too, to download a video, you will have to paste the video URL on the library’s YouTube section, after pasting the URL, you can pick what resolution you want and whether you just want audio or you want the complete video. While YouTube download component is not as full featured as paid tools such as KeepVid Pro or YouTube By Click, it should be enough to serve casual users very well.

Selecting any file in library brings some details about file and a handy conversion option, which works just as it should. For audio files, 5KPlayer converting to MP3 and ACC and in the case of video, I found H.264 MP4 conversion present.

The Player also supports AirPlay. Because I have an HTPC connected to my TV, I did not test the feature but a quick search on Google revealed that the function works just as advertised. 5KPlayer has online radio as well, where you can either enter the URL of stream yourself or you can pick from a handful of already added shortcuts. Once you have entered correct URL, Radio kicks in and if you need, it supports pausing the stream too.

Using 5KPlayer

5KPlayer has responsive launch times and I liked how despite being free, it did not show any obtrusive ad to me. If you are adding a ton of videos to the library, it may take some time to process files for the first time, but once it’s done once, the library navigation is quick and easy.  I threw some ripped MKVs and downloaded 4K mp4 videos to the app and the performance was smooth on my laptop that ran on i7 6700HQ and Geforce 960M graphics card.

It supports almost all common media formats including mp3, mp4, mkv, wmv, wma and flv. I tried playing some DVDs and ISO files which also worked very well.  When playing a 1080p video, 5KPlayer takes around 140 MB footprint on RAM which is definitely impressive compared to other heavyweight media players.

5KPlayer Reivew: Playing music on 5KPlayer
Playing music on 5KPlayer

Conclusion

5KPlayer is a good alternative if you are still using default Movies and TV app. The UI leaves some room for improvements, but using the app is simple and straightforward. The app is free and it has some interesting and unique features that VLC and others don’t have. If you are looking for a lightweight media player that should also come with Radio support and AirPlay support, 5KPlayer is worth a look.

Recommended: 6 Best Music Players for Windows 10

Which Browser is Most Secure? Chrome vs Edge vs Firefox

Web browsers are some of the most important apps that we use on a daily basis. To be a great choice, a browser should not only be feature rich, it should also focus on privacy as much as possible. The browser needs to be efficient as well as safe with regular updates and it should be aware of any phishing or malware that can potentially infect the PC. Folks at WhoIsHostingThis have made this interesting infographic that compares modern web browsers and tries to figure out which one is the most secure.

Click on the infographic to enlarge.

Which Browser is Most Secure?

NEXT STORY: Planning To Watch Pirated Game of Thrones? HBO is coming

Here is Everything New in Windows 10’s Latest Insider Version

On July 7th, Microsoft released a new build of Windows 10 for Insiders in the fast ring. Unlike the last build, the latest version is all about refining new features rather than adding new ones. Following are some important changes, for more details, here is the complete changelog.

What’s New in Build 16237 For PC

Microsoft Edge Improvements:

Read aloud with word and line highlighting for all websites: With the read out loud feature for web, users will be able to read aloud any webpage with word and line highlighting.

PDF read aloud:  With the read out loud feature for PDF, users will be able to read aloud any PDF document with word and line highlighting.

Other improvements to address your feedback including:

  • If you click Share in Microsoft Edge, the Share UI will now match the Microsoft Edge theme if it is different from the rest of the system. Share UI will also now launch under the Share button, rather than in the center of Microsoft Edge.
  • When you add a favorite, you will get a delightful animation now that indicates where users can find their most important websites in the future.
  • We fixed an issue where copying double byte characters (for example Japanese or Chinese) out of Microsoft Edge and pasting into another app wouldn’t show the characters correctly in the second app.
  • We fixed a Microsoft Edge issue from the previous flight where opening links in a new tab might cause a new window to open with the link instead.
  • We fixed an issue from recent flights where the Print dialog in Microsoft Edge would show a blank preview page and lead to printing a blank page.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in the Microsoft Edge context menu not showing up on pen barrel button tap.
  • We fixed an issue when returning to Edge after a crash. Your tabs will be automatically restored for you.

Windows Shell Improvements:

No more logging out to fix blurry desktop apps: Hey, do you hate having to log out and back in to Windows to fix blurry desktop apps after docking, undocking, or remoting? We do too! In this flight, you only have to relaunch these apps in order to have them render crisply. If you have a high DPI display (a 4K display or other high dots-per-inch (DPI) display, such as Surface displays) and change the display scaling value in any way (this can happen when you dock/undock, remote from a device with a high DPI display, or otherwise change the display scaling setting) most desktop apps become blurry. This is due to 1) the apps don’t respond to a DPI change notification, because they haven’t been updated and 2) Windows keeps the display scaling/DPI data that it reports to apps constant until you log out and back in.

In this flight we’ve changed the way that Windows provides DPI-related information to these applications such that each time one of these applications starts, they’ll get updated data from Windows. This means that for these applications, you simply re-launch them in order for them to render correctly if they’re blurry. While this isn’t what we all want: having these applications render crisply all the time, we feel that it’s a lot less painful to relaunch apps instead of having to close out of all apps and going through a log-out/log-in cycles.

Some things to note: this won’t work for all desktop apps (and doesn’t apply to UWP apps). Also, this only helps apps that become blurry after a change to the display scale factor of the main/primary display. This change, unfortunately, doesn’t improve apps that are blurry on secondary displays when in “extend” display mode. Please give this change a try and let us know if you hit any bugs.

Notification and Action Center improvements:

• We’ve adjusted our notification buttons to now span across the bottom of the notification, rather than being right-justified.

  • We’ve adjusted our notification buttons to now span across the bottom of the notification, rather than being right-justified.
  • We just made it easier for you to take action on your notifications by auto-expanding the first notification in each notification group in the Action Center. Now you can quickly triage your emails, snooze your reminders, reply to your texts, etc. without the need to expand every single one of them.
  • In response to feedback about the X to “dismiss” notifications being confusing, we’ve adjusted it to now be an arrow to make it more clear that the notification is actually being pushed to the Action Center to be reviewed later.
  • We fixed an issue from recent flights where if you received 20 notifications from a specific app, then received more (without ever clearing them from the Action Center), ShellExperienceHost would start crashing repeatedly in the background.
  • We fixed a recent issue where tapping on the chevron of an expanded notification in the Action Center wouldn’t collapse the notification.
  • We fixed an issue from recent flights where opening the Action Center might not clear the badge on the Action Center icon, leading one to later believe there were new notifications when there weren’t any.
  • We fixed an issue where Notifications and Actions Settings might have unexpectedly had a number of unnamed apps listed at the top in recent flights.
  • We fixed an issue where Windows Defender notifications might include unparsed parameters (showing a % sign).

My People improvements:

  • Notification badges for people pinned to the taskbar will now be consistent with the color of your theme if you’ve opted into showing color in Start, Action Center, and other places on the system.
  • When you receive emoji from people pinned to the taskbar, we now refer to this as a “pop”. You’ll see this terminology reflected under Settings > Personalization > Taskbar.

Input Improvements:

Emoji Panel turns it up a notch:

  • Type to search with the new Emoji Panel now supports emoji 5.0! We also added a bunch more keywords along the way.

Type to search with the new Emoji Panel now supports emoji 5.0! We also added a bunch more keywords along the way.

  • Have you ever wondered “What the heck is this emoji supposed to be”? Wonder no more! If you hover your mouse over any of the emoji in the Emoji Panel, you’ll now see a handy showing you the exact Unicode character name. Bonus: we’ve added tooltips to the categories so they’re no longer a mystery.
  • We fixed an issue for our dark theme lovers where the X to close out the Emoji Panel was black on black.

Improved touch keyboard experience:

  • We fixed an issue where the touch keyboard was passing the wrong window size information when shapewriting with the one-handed keyboard, leading to accuracy issues. Please try it again in today’s build and let us know if it seems improved.
  • As you type with the touch keyboard, you will now hear a sound with each key press – much as you did with the previous version of the keyboard before we introduced our new one.
  • We fixed some issues in learning your typing style, so you should find text predictions improved now the more you type and correct using the touch keyboard.
  • Since we now will relaunch the keyboard where you left it, we’ve decided to remove the left and right docked modes from the one-handed keyboard. As a refresher, if you want to move the keyboard, simply drag the candidate bar.
  • We improved the reliability of the Japanese one-handed 10-key Kana touch keyboard.
  • We fixed an issue from recent flights where the touch keyboard and handwriting panel would unexpectedly appear sometimes.
  • We fixed an issue where the text candidates would appear using unexpectedly small font.
  • We fixed an issue where only the one-handed keyboard was available on PCs with small screens.

Handwriting panel improvements:

  • We fixed an issue where if the text in the handwriting panel shifted while you were inking, it could result in an unintentional ink stroke across the panel.
  • We fixed an issue where a word might be inserted twice if you dismissed the panel by changing focus to somewhere else on the screen.

PC Gaming Improvements:

  • We have updated the Game Mode icon on the Game bar.

• We have updated the Game Mode icon on the Game bar.

Task Manager Improvements:

With Build 16226, we added GPU support to the Task Manager. We’ve made some improvements to the Performance tab, and in today’s build you’ll find:

  • GPU performance updates: We’ve made a few small changes in this build to the GPU performance tracker in Task Manager. We’ve updated the UI layout, and added more details like DirectX version and the physical location of your GPU. Only hardware GPUs show up in the list, and the software-only basic display adapter is hidden. More improvements coming soon!

We’ve made a few small changes in this build to the GPU performance tracker in Task Manager.

Next Story: Someone Made A Battery-Free Cell Phone That Sucks Power From Air

Windows 10’s Latest Build is All About Security And Windows Defender

After some terrifying ransomware attacks, the Redmond Giant is trying its best to make Windows as secure as possible. In its attempts, the company released another Windows built on Wednesday. The latest Windows build includes many new and added features around security, most notably an added Exploit Protection and some improvements in Windows Defender Application Guard. The build is numbered 16232 and at the time of writing, it is only available for Windows Insiders in the fast ring.

If you are interested, following are some important changes:


What’s New in Build 16232 For PC

Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) Improvements:

Giving you access to all the rich features in Microsoft Edge while using Application Guard: Building on our work in Build 16188, we have added support for Microsoft Edge data persistence while using Application Guard. Once enabled, data such as your favorites, cookies, and saved passwords will be persisted across Application Guard sessions. The persisted data will be not be shared or surfaced on the host, but it will be available for future Microsoft Edge in Application Guard sessions.

How to take advantage of Data Persistence when using Microsoft Edge with Application Guard: You enable Data Persistence for Microsoft Edge in Application Guard using Group Policy. Note that Data Persistence for Application Guard with Microsoft Edge sessions is not enabled by default. To enable data persistence, close all Microsoft Edge windows and update the Windows Components > Windows Defender Application Guard policy to turn on data persistence:

To enable data persistence, close all Microsoft Edge windows and update the Windows Components > Windows Defender Application Guard policy to turn on data persistence.

After the Group Policy settings are set, next launch New Application Guard Window from the Microsoft Edge menu:

Launching a New Application Guard Window from the Microsoft Edge menu.

New Application Guard window.

Then browse to your favorite web site and add it to Favorites in Microsoft Edge as shown here:

Browse to your favorite web site and add it to Favorites in Microsoft Edge.

How to find your Favorites after you close Edge with Application Guard: Since you have enabled Data Persistence using Group Policy for Application Guard, the site you saved to your Favorites will be available for later use, with Microsoft Edge in Application Guard, even after reboots as well as build to build upgrades of Windows.

The site you saved to your Favorites will be available for later use, with Microsoft Edge in Application Guard, even after reboots as well as build to build upgrades of Windows.

Exploit Protection:

We’re excited to announce that starting with this build you can now audit, configure, and manage Windows system and application exploit mitigation settings right from the Windows Defender Security Center! You don’t need to be using Windows Defender Antivirus to take advantage of these settings.

After upgrading to this build, you can find these settings by opening the Windows Defender Security Center and going to the App & browser control page:

  • Either right-click the icon in the notification area on the taskbar and click Open, or search via the Start menu for Windows Defender Security Center
  • From Windows Defender Security Center, click on App & browser control and then scroll to the bottom of the resulting screen to find Exploit Protection

Introducing Exploit Protection.

Introducing Controlled folder access in Windows Defender Antivirus:

In this build, we’re making it easier for you to protect valuable data from malicious apps and threats, such as ransomware. To enable the feature, search for and open the Windows Defender Security Center from Start, go to the Virus & threat protection settings section, and set the switch to On:

Enable Controlled folder access.

Controlled folder access monitors the changes that apps make to files in certain protected folders. If an app attempts to make a change to these files, and the app is blacklisted by the feature, you’ll get a notification about the attempt. You can complement the protected folders with additional locations, and add the apps that you want to allow access to those folders.

Allowing apps can be useful if you’re finding a particular app that you know and trust is being blocked by the Controlled folder access feature. Click Allow an app through Controlled folder access and locate and add the app you want to allow.

Allowing apps can be useful if you’re finding a particular app that you know and trust is being blocked by the Controlled folder access feature.

You can add additional folders to the list of protected folders, but you cannot alter the default list, which includes folders such as Documents, Pictures, Movies, and Desktop. Adding other folders to Controlled folder access can be handy, for example, if you don’t store files in the default Windows libraries or you’ve changed the location of the libraries away from the defaults.

Click Protected folders in the Controlled folder access area and enter the full path of the folder you want to monitor. You can also enter network shares and mapped drives, but environment variables and wildcards are not supported (for right now).

Click Protected folders in the Controlled folder access area and enter the full path of the folder you want to monitor.

There are some other changes too, you can see the complete changelog here.


NEXT STORY: Everything We Know About The Upcoming Nokia 9

Windows 10 Build 16226 is Now Released, Here is Everything You Need To Know.

A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft released the build 16215 for insiders in the fast ring, just yesterday, the Redmond giant pushed another new build for Windows Insiders. The build is numbered 16226 and it is only for the PC version of Windows 10. Also, just like the last one, the latest build adds some interesting new features to the Windows OS.

There are improvements in Windows Shell, Gaming Mode, Microsoft Edge and OneDrive. Microsoft posted a complete changelog on its blog, here some of the important changes:

What’s New in Build 16226 For PC

New features in Microsoft Edge

Giving you more control over closing tabs: Building on our work in Build 16199, we’ve updated Microsoft Edge to ensure the X in the tab band is always available to close a tab, even when a JavaScript (i.e. alert, prompt, etc.) dialog is showing within Microsoft Edge. Additionally, closing the Edge window always remains an available option. You can also access many browser capabilities (i.e. favorites bar, settings, etc.) while a dialog is showing.

Making it easier to move from another browser: Users can now migrate Cookies and Settings from Chrome to Microsoft Edge, which will make it easier for users to make the move to Microsoft Edge as their primary browser.

More EPUB improvements in Microsoft Edge

Copy and Ask Cortana: Now, when you select your text, you can Copy and Ask Cortana in addition to adding notes, highlighting and underlining. Cortana can help you do a little research while you’re reading an EPUB book!

Now, when you select your text, you can Copy and Ask Cortana in addition to adding notes, highlighting and underlining.

Ink Notes: Got ink? Add a note and write or draw on it with your pen.

Got ink? Add a note and write or draw on it with your pen.

Books roamed across devices: Your books from the Windows Store are available on your Windows 10 devices, and your reading progress, bookmarks, and notes are kept in sync.

Improved Favorites experience in Microsoft Edge:

New experience when saving new favorites: You can now view your favorites as a directory tree when you save new favorites, and collapse or expand folders from within the “Add to favorites” dialog. Just click the “Save in” folder list to get started!

You can now view your favorites as a directory tree when you save new favorites, and collapse or expand folders from within the “Add to favorites” dialog.


Edit URL for Favorites:
You can now edit the URL of any favorite in the Favorites menu or the Favorites Bar. You can use this to update the location of a site that has moved, or to create Bookmarklets in the favorites bar.

You can now edit the URL of any favorite in the Favorites menu or the Favorites Bar.

Favorite manageability for Enterprise: IT admins can now configure favorites via group policy and mobile device management, including the ability to define and lock pre-configured favorites in addition to the user’s favorites.

Emoji Updates

Emoji 5.0! We have added support for the latest Unicode updates – including new snacks, actions, dinosaurs, and even fantasy characters like genies, fairies and zombies!

They’re all accessible via both the touch keyboard and the Emoji Panel. Bonus: Along the way, we also updated our emoji pickers to now make it possible to access the profession emoji and gender diverse options for some of our people actions (for example, you can now select male or female face palm).

Finally, we’ve tweaked some of our original emoji designs based on your feedback and to improve consistency with how the emoji is displayed on other platforms (while maintaining our Windows style).

New emoji include:

New emoji included in this build!

Examples of updated emoji – before:

Examples of updated emoji – before.

And after:

Examples of updated emoji – after.

 

Dark theme for Emoji Panel: Do you love dark theme? Because we do ????. If you have dark theme enabled (via Settings > Personalization > Colors), you’ll now see the Emoji Panel background display using dark colors instead of light.

OneDrive Files On-Demand

Last week, we released OneDrive Files On-Demand to Windows Insiders running Build 16215 and higher. This is essentially like OneDrive placeholders – but better. This was a highly requested feature from Insiders so be sure to check it out!

Additionally, we wanted to make sure that our customers are in control of all file downloads from the cloud. When they use OneDrive Files On-Demand (or another cloud provider), and an app (like a photo editor) tries to download files that the customer has stored only in the cloud, we’ll show a message displaying: what’s being downloaded, which app is requesting the download, and options to dismiss the message, cancel the download, or block the app from downloading. (We also added a way to unblock apps in Settings > Privacy > App-requested downloads, in case you change your mind.)

 App-requested downloads with OneDrive Files On-Demand.

 

 

 

Windows Sonic spatial sound on PC

Windows Sonic, available in the Windows 10 Creators Update, is now even easier to enable with this update. Plug in a pair of headphones, right-click the sound icon in the notification area, and select Spatial sound to choose your preferred format. You can also configure your 5.1, 7.1, or Dolby Atmos for home theater from this menu if it’s your currently selected default endpoint. You can learn more about Windows Sonic here.

Gaming Improvements

New help options: We have added a new “Xbox Networking” section under Settings > Gaming. Here, we’ll help you attempt to identify and resolve issues preventing you from using voice chatting and playing multiplayer games with other Xbox Live users.

Xbox Networking settings page.

Track your GPU performance: For the Task Manager fans out there, we’re happy to share that we’ve heard your feedback and we’ve updated Task Manager to now include GPU info. Our engineering team used the feedback you gave us that is part of this Feedback Collection https://aka.ms/olx5pn to prioritize and to design the feature – thank you! The Performance tab shows GPU utilization information for each separate GPU component (such as 3D and Video encode/decode), as well as graphics memory usage stats. The Details tab shows you GPU utilization info for each process. Please note that this feature is still under construction and you will find issues and bugs, as always please send us feedback in Feedback Hub under Desktop Environment > Task manager.

Track your GPU performance in Task Manager.

 

Shell Improvements

Reveal: The new Reveal Highlight  behavior is an interaction visualization that helps guide users. Reveal is now enabled by default on ListView and other XAML collection controls in experiences that target the Fall Creators Update.

The new Reveal Highlight behavior is an interaction visualization that helps guide users.

Note: This gif is from our UWP Style Guide, and showcases both the use of Acrylic material, and the use of Reveal. With this update, we are only enabling Reveal by default.

Updated File Explorer context menu: You can now Share a file in File Explorer via the right-click context menu! Right-click on a file in File Explorer or on the Desktop to bring up the context menu, then share away. NOTE: “Share with” in the context menu has been changed to “Give access to”.

Updated File Explorer context menu.

My People Improvements:

  • We’ve added text to the overflow area in the People flyout to make it more clear the people listed there are pinned.
  • We’ve updated the “Switch apps” button in the People flyout to now use the a hamburger icon, to make it more visually distinct from the back button.
  • If you right-click the taskbar, you’ll now find an option to easily turn on or off People.
  • We fixed an issue from the last flight where the People flyout would crash if you tapped “Find and pin contacts”.

 

 

Improved bitmap scaling for Magnifier: Text will now appear smoother when magnified using Magnifier. To enable or disable this, go to Settings > Ease of Access > Magnifier > “Enable bitmap smoothing”.


Currently, the update is only available for Windows Insiders in the fast ring, if you want this feature, you will need to sign-up for Windows Insiders program. But, be careful as these updates are often too buggy and in my opinion, you should not try theses on your main computer.

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Windows 10’s Insider Build 16215 is Out, Here is Everything You Need To Know

After the last build update a couple weeks ago, Microsoft announced the rollout of a new build of Windows for its insider program. The build number 16215 is currently released to Insiders in the fast ring and older builds, this one is more focused on adding Microsoft’s new Fluent Design and Microsoft Edge improvements.

Aside from that Microsoft has made some improvements to Cortana, PDF reader and Handwriting experience too. The company posted a detailed Changelog on its blog, following are some of the most notable new features:

Start & Action Center bring elements of Fluent Design

This build introduces new UI for Start and Action Center that includes elements of our new Fluent Design System which was announced at Build 2017.

Start improvements include:

  • Acrylic: If you have transparency enabled for Start, you’ll notice it’s now been updated to use the new acrylic design.
  • Vertical resize: No more glitches at the bottom of the frame.
  • Horizontal resize: The frame now starts resizing horizontally immediately (like vertical resize), as opposed to only “snapping” to certain widths.
  • Diagonal resize: The frame can be resized diagonally!
  • Resize grips: It’s now easier to “grip” the edge of the frame to start resizing.
  • Tablet mode transition: Smoother transition into tablet mode.

A new look for Action Center: Action Center has been redesigned based on your feedback to provide much clearer information separation and hierarchy. And the new design for Action Center also includes elements of our Fluent Design System such as acrylic! (and in case you were wondering, we’ve also added acrylic to our notification toasts!). As a reminder, you can customize the visible quick actions by going to Settings > System > Notifications & actions.

Microsoft Edge Improvements

Pin your favorite websites to your taskbar: Pinned sites are back! We heard your feedback, and are in this build you can now pin a website to the taskbar from Microsoft Edge! We’ll use the site’s icon to give you quick access to your favorite sites right from the taskbar. Simply select “Pin this page to the taskbar” from the settings menu in Microsoft Edge.

Pin websites to your taskbar with Microsoft Edge!

Full screen mode (F11) in Microsoft Edge: This build introduces a new Full Screen experience in Microsoft Edge. Simply press F11 or choose the new Full Screen icon in the Settings menu to take your websites full-screen. You can exit Full-Screen view by pressing F11 again, or by clicking the Restore icon in the top-right corner.

Cortana Improvements

Taking Cortana reminders to the next level through vision intelligence: Most of us have experienced taking a picture of upcoming event poster or bookmarking an event site for future reference, only to forget about it later. With this build, we’re rolling out two new features starting with the en-us market to help you never again miss an event you’re interested in!

Cortana camera roll insights: With your permission, Cortana will now prompt you to create a reminder when she notices event posters in your camera roll! To try it out, make sure you’re signed into Cortana with your MSA or work account, and then give Cortana permission to access your camera roll via Settings > Cortana > Permissions & history > “Manage the information Cortana can access from this device”. The next time you take a picture of a flier for an upcoming event, Cortana will reach out asking if you want to create a reminder for that time.

Cortana Lasso: Are you a pen user? If so, Cortana can now help keep track of future events on your screen! Use the new lasso tool to circle the relevant information and Cortana will recognize the time, and offer suggested follow-ups through a context menu. Keeping track of upcoming events has never been easier! To try it out, go to Settings > Device > Pen & Windows Ink > Press and hold, and select Cortana Lasso in the dropdown picker. Find a website with upcoming event info, or an event poster someone shared in social media – once you have the event on your screen, just press and hold the pen back button, circle the time information, and watch Cortana do her magic. That easy!

Hardware keyboard Improvements

Entering emoji on your hardware keyboard just got easier: We’ve heard your feedback, and today we’re happy to announce the new Emoji Panel! Press Win + period (.) or Win + semicolon (;) while focus is in a text box and the Emoji Panel will pop up for you to quickly scroll through and pick the emoji you want.

The new Emoji Panel!

In the “People” emoji category, you can change the skin tone of the emoji by clicking the button on the top-right:

In the "People" emoji category, you can change the skin tone of the emoji.

To get the update, you need to opt-in to Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program, because Insider builds (especially the Fast Ring ones) can be buggy, I wouldn’t recommend you to run in on a PC that you use for work.

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Wondershare Video Converter Review

While folks at Wondershare have named their app A video converter, I think its name hides some great features that it has. Sure, it is good at converting videos, but the app also has some other great features that are definitely worth your attention.

The Wondershre Video Converter is a PC and Mac supported video converter that costs $60 at the time of writing. We will discuss if it’s worth your money or not in our review.

Installation, Configuration, and First Impressions

Installation is pretty straight forward, grab the free to download installer, run the file and then you are good to go. Installation did not take much time, although the speed of installation will depend on your internet speed. The App has a reasonable footprint on the storage (almost 200MB) and the installer did not try to install any adware or bloatware on PC which is always great.

Once the installation is done, all you have to do is open the app and register using your license key and then you will be good to go.

From here, I did not need to download and install any additional codecs, you may want to change the output folder for converted files though, which I always prefer to be same as the input folder.

UI And navigation

Wondersahre Video converter’s UI is divided into 4 tabs, which are for converting, burning, downloading and media streaming respectively. Below the tabs, you can find two panes, the large one is devoted to listing the files that are to be processed and the narrow one is for changing settings for outputs.

Wondershare Video Converter is an x86 legacy app, so it will probably won’t work with new Windows 10 S, but on Windows 10 and Windows 10 Pro, startup time and UI response both were quick.

Convert

The first tab is labeled “Convert” and here, all the media conversion is done. To convert a file, simply drag it to the main area and then from the Right side pane, pick the conversion format, choose the output format and output quality, once you are done, just hit the big Convert button on the bottom Right corner and you will be good to go.

I was impressed with the editing tools and output formats, once you have added a media file, you can trim the video, add filters, crop the frame and even embed subtitles to the file before exporting it. Apart from having a ton of output formats (it includes support for VR videos and 3D videos too), it has presets for common smartphones and tablets which came in handy for converting media for my trips where I wanted to see some ripped movies on my phone.

There are a lot of output formats to choose from and they are arranged well.

You can also add watermarks on Videos, but I didn’t use that feature much.

Burn

The second tab is about burning media files to blank writable DVDs. In past, Microsoft included a DVD maker with Windows but starting from Windows 8, the company has removed the utility, if you need to burn and watch DVDs, the features of Wondershare Video converter should be more than enough.

Burning DVDs on Wondershare Video Converter

It supports both DVD5 and DVD9 and you can record the output on an ISO file of you need to, The process of burning a disk is fairly straightforward and similar to converting files. The app has 11 templates for creating menus (if you need to create one) and if you want you can customize the menu by adding your own pictures, music, and titles.

Download

Wondershare Video Converter’s third tab is dedicated to features around downloading videos from websites, while it is not as full featured as KeepVid Pro or YouTube By Click, for most users, it should cover all their needs.

Available video formats when downloading from a supported website

All you need is to copy the URL of Video from any supported website (YouTube is supported and so are most other major ones) then click on the Add URL button and then pick the resolution and format of the video. The download speed will obviously depend on your bandwidth, and then having conversion options to other formats makes it quite convenient to just grab some videos, converting them and then syncing them to your device for traveling.

It also supports recording videos straight from your desktop if a website is not supported.

Media Server

Wondershare Video Converter also has in-home streaming very similar to Plax, you can scan your media library and then stream it to any of your network-connected TV, that supports DLNA/UPnP.

Media Server

The app mentioned that it works with Xbox, Apple TV, PS3, Roku and Chromecast among other devices, but I did not use the Media Server features, so I can comment on its performance.

Performance and Usability

I installed and tested the Video Converter on two devices, the first one was a Skylake i3 Laptop paired with 4 GB or RAM and Intel HD Graphics, the second device was a Skylake Quad Core i7 6700HQ Laptop paired with 8GB of DDR4 RAM and Nvidia Geforce 960M Graphics card with 4GB of frame buffer.

The app worked well on both PCs, conversion on the first device was more time-consuming compared to the core i7 PC (which is to be expected considering the difference in core count and clock speed, but the time taken for Downloading and burning on both devices was almost same. Here is a screen shot of CPU utilization when I was converting a 720pMKV video to 720p MP4:

Usability wise, the app worked fine and during my a couple weeks of testing, I did not witness any crash or bugs that are worth mentioning. Understanding the UI and navigating around it was easy too, though I think it can be improved.

Conclusion

As a DVD burning or Video Downloading application alone, Wondershare’s utility would not be able to justify the price but considering it is primarily a video conversion application, Wondershare Video Converter is worth the price because it is easy to use and it performs well.

The idea of downloading some media off the internet, converting it to the desired format and then burning or streaming to directly is impressive and Wondershare Video Converter achieves it without any added complexity.

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5 of the Microsoft’s Biggest Flops of All Time

In recent months, Microsoft has enjoyed great success by building impressive hardware such as The Surface Tablets and it has also won a lot of praise with Windows 10, however, the Redmond giant has not always been as good in building products as it is today and over past few years, the company has failed miserably in making and marketing products. Let’s take a look at Microsoft’s biggest flops in recent years.

Zune

Microsoft Zune

When the Zune was  launched in 2006, it was supposed to give a head-on competition to the iPod. However, it could not match up to Apple’s music player and thus became one of the most disappointing products that Microsoft made. It did not live up to any expectation in terms of sales and popularity.

Windows Me

Windows ME desktop
Windows ME desktop

Often referred as Windows Mistake Edition, Windows ME was released as Microsoft’s major OS upgrade after the popular Windows 98 but did not live up to the expectation. Which is why it wan not supported for more than a year. ME failed because of being too buggy and unstable.

Microsoft Kin

Microsoft Kin
Microsoft Kin

It was launched as social networking phone and Microsoft had invested two years and nearly $1 billion in terms of engieering time and money.
Microsoft promised to provide a revolution for younger cell phone users with the launch of this Microsoft Kin, but it failed miserably. It couldn’t last more than 2 months. It went through bad criticism and poor sales. Users were not even able to upload a photo on Twitter with the phone and lack of a proper app store only made the problems worse.

Windows Vista

Windows Vista Desktop
Windows Vista Desktop

It was launched after Window XP. It got mix response from the users, but alongside, it got negative reviews in terms of security, privacy, performance and product activation. Vista was too resource hungry for computers at that time and most new featurees could only run on new PCs.

MSN Messenger

This messenger was launched after huge investment done by Microsoft as it was targeted internationally. But, it has also come as a failure. It could not be as popular as pre-release AOL’s AIM. However, it could prove itself as a great IM client for beginners.

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