Microsoft is Making A Foldable Phone And It Might Change Phones For Forever

It is no doubt that Windows Phone has been a big disappointment for Microsoft. So much so that even Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates uses Android Phones now. In a situation like this, it makes sense that Microsoft will try something completely new in the mobile space, and it looks like Microsoft is trying to do exactly that.

David Breyer

A new patent filing in the US revealed many details about Microsoft’s upcoming phone. The project is codenamed Andromeda and the patent shows that Microsoft’s phone will be foldable, similar to ZTE’s new foldable phone. The screen will be made of two separate AMOLED panels. The patent discusses many ‘modes’ of the phone including tent, laptop, and flat configuration.

There is a USB-C port and with references to a Sirlink connector for external connectivity. A Reddit user who claimed to e a former employee claimed that the phone won’t be launched for at least another year and added “Nobody knows what they are working on right now, but they don’t seem to be giving up,” the user added.

“Some special phone-PC-like Windows 10 ARM device will probably arrive in late 2018 or 2019. I have no more info on that, but I think Windows 10 ARM is much further away than some of us hope.”

These are not the first details coming about Microsoft making a foldable phone either, we covered another patent filing almost a year ago.

NEXT STORY: Meet Zanco, World’s Smallest Mobile Phone

6 Best Classic Shell Alternatives You Must Try

Death of Classic Shell will leave you looking for new tools to replace the beloved app. But worry not, there are many replacements to the Windows Start Menu and in this post, we will be looking at 6 best Classic Shell Alternatives.

Classic Shell was a popular application to get the classic Start Menu back in Windows 8,8.1 and Windows 10 until its development was stopped in December 2017. If you don’t like Windows’s new take on Start Menu and Star Screen, Death of Classic Shell will leave you looking for new tools to replace the beloved app. But worry not, there are many replacements to the Windows Start Menu and in this post, we will be looking at 6 best Classic Shell Alternatives.

Best Classic Shell Alternatives

IOBit Start Menu 8

For a cheap price of Free, Start Menu 8 is probably one of the best Classic Shell replacements around. As the name suggests, it replaces the new touch start screen with a very familiar Start Menu very similar to Windows 7. It supports both Windows 8 and Windows 10, and it is very flexible, allowing you to customize the start menu to your liking. At the bottom of the menu, there is a search box too, which works very similar to Windows 7.

Start Menu 8 looks almost identical to Start Menu in Windows 7

While there are no ads on the menu itself, be careful during Installations, as the setup may try to install bundled apps which as to be unchecked before installation.

Start8

Developed by the same folks that work on well-known Fences, Start8 is designed to replicate Windows 7 style start menu for Windows 8. The application allows you to bypass the start screen of Windows 8 altogether by directly booting you to desktop and has support for pinning desktop and modern Windows Store apps to the start menu.

Start 8
Start 8 is one of the best Classic Shell Alternatives

Apart from these, Start8 supports multiple skins for start button and start menu and it has a very powerful search box directly in the Start Menu.

After a 30 day trial, Start8 is costs $5 at the time of writing. If you are on Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012, Start8 is one of the best alternatives for Classic Shell.

Start Menu Reviver 2.0

While above two apps in our Classic Shell Alternatives rundown focus on bringing the old Start Menu back, Start Menu Reviver tries to blend usability and features with a touch of modern Windows aesthetics. Start Menu Reviver certainly looks better compared to other offerings and apart from the looks, it includes some neat personalization tweaks including letting you pin any files, videos and tasks right to the start menu.

If needed, the menu can be resized very easily and because it is inspired by modern UI of Windows 8 and 10, it should be very touch friendly if you are on a computer with a touch screen.

The application is free and has a 22 MB installation footprint. It supports Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10.

Start Menu X

Start Menu X claims to be the “Replacement of the system menu for professionals”. To live up to its claims, it has a very flexible UI and it supports Virtual Groups where a user can add together similar programs to get them quickly. The Start Menu X looks similar to the classic Start Menu’s that you could enable in Windows XP, only with a facelift and some much-needed additional features such as a search box at the bottom and separate buttons for Log-off and Shut down.

The base version of Start Menu X is free, You can also buy a Pro version to get Single-click launch and tabs to easily sort groups. The free version includes shut down times and internal document searching by default.

It is one of very few Classic Shell replacements that support from Windows XP up to Windows 10. Be sure to check the free version before buying the pro version, because it may not be suitable for everyone.

Power 8

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Power 8 is a powerful, open source start menu replacement for Windows 8 and Windows 10. The lightweight application looks very similar to the start menu in Windows 7 with some changes in pinning and app listing.  Apps are listed in the left half of the menu and the right half of the menu is for quick access to important folders and power buttons.

What I liked about Power 8 are its no-frills approach to installation and its simplicity. There is no need to install anything, as long as you have a recent .NET framework installed (In most cases, it should already be) it works without needing any restart or replacing system files.

The application is actively in development and its a very good Classic Shell Alternative if you need a simple and lightweight solution.

StartIsBack

While the application is not free, it looks and feels a lot like Start Menu from Windows 7 and Windows Vista

StartIsBack is a Start Menu replacement that is completely focused on replicating the start menu experience from Windows 7. The layout is almost identical with a powerful and fast enough search bar on the bottom, a list of frequently used apps on the left and system locations on the right.

Aesthetically, it tries to blend in with the OS in use. And, it has many skins that can either look like Modern UI or look just like how Start menu looks on Windows 7. StartIsBack also lets users customize the start button with some built-in options. If needed additional buttons can be added easily.

StarIsBack supports Windows 8, 8.1 and Windows 10 and there is a free trial available. Keep in mind that there are 3 different versions of the applications and you will have to pick the one that is compatible with your computer.

Which one is your favorite?

Do you know about any other Classic Shell Alternatives? Which one do you prefer? Share with us in the comments below…

NEXT STORY: 8 Best CMD Commands Used In Hacking That You Should Know About

Microsoft Adds Much Awaited Timeline And More Fluent Visual Updates To Windows 10 Insider Builds

After announcing it a few months ago, Microsoft has finally launched its much-awaited Timeline features in the latest insider preview build of Windows 10. These features are currently in the fast ring for users who have opted to skip ahead, here is the complete changelog:

What’s new in Build 17063

Introducing Timeline

Timeline is here! We know that it can be difficult to get back to stuff you were working on in the past. If you’re like us, you might sometimes forget which site or app you were using or where you saved a file. Now you can finally close apps without worrying—with Timeline, you can get right back to where you left off.

Timeline introduces a new way to resume past activities you started on this PC, other Windows PCs, and iOS/Android devices. Timeline enhances Task View, allowing you to switch between currently running apps and past activities.

The default view of Timeline shows snapshots of the most relevant activities from earlier in the day or a specific past date. A new annotated scrollbar makes it easy to get back to past activities.

Task view has been enhanced to include a Timeline of past activities.

Figure 1. Task view has been enhanced to include a Timeline of past activities.

There’s also a way to see all the activities that happened in a single day—just select See all next to the date header. Your activities will be organized into groups by hour to help you find tasks you know you worked on that morning, or whenever.

Browse all your activities for a single day.

Figure 2. Browse all your activities for a single day.

And if you can’t find the activity you’re looking for in the default view, search for it.

Search Timeline to find exactly what you are looking for.

Figure 3. Search Timeline to find exactly what you are looking for.

Activities

In Timeline, a user activity is the combination of a specific app and a specific piece of content you were working on at a specific time. Each activity links right back to a webpage, document, article, playlist, or task, saving you time when you want to resume that activity later.

App developers are working hard to enhance their apps by creating high-quality activity cards to appear in Timeline. In this Preview release, you can see and resume web-browsing activities in Microsoft Edge, files you opened in apps like Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, and updated UWP versions of Maps, News, Money, Sports, and Weather.

We encourage app developers to update their apps to support timeline.

The new activity history settings page allows you to control which accounts appear in Timeline. This is most relevant for users with multiple accounts, such as a personal Microsoft account, and a work or school account. Settings here also let you disable activity collection and clear your activity history.

The activity history settings page lets you choose which accounts you want to appear in your timeline.

Figure 4. The activity history settings page lets you choose which accounts you want to appear in your timeline.

Cortana

In addition to resuming past activities through Timeline, your personal digital assistant Cortana will suggest activities you might want to resume to help you stay productive as you switch between your phone, laptop, and other Cortana-enabled devices. This experience is powered by the same activities that appear in Timeline.

Cortana helps you resume activities when switching between devices.

Figure 5. Cortana helps you resume activities when switching between devices.

Getting started

Use your PC normally. After a while, select the new Task view icon in the task bar. (You can also open Task view by pressing Windows logo key Tab.) Below your running apps, you’ll see past activities in Timeline.

The Task view icon has been updated to reflect new timeline capabilities.

Figure 6. The Task view icon has been updated to reflect new timeline capabilities.

If you have more than one PC, try using Timeline on all of them—you’ll see the same activities no matter which PC you’re using. And if an activity from one PC used a modern app that you don’t have installed on another PC, Windows will help you install that app.

We’d love to hear your feedback, so please press the feedback button in the upper-right corner of Timeline if you have any problems or suggestions.

Microsoft Edge Improvements

Fluent updates in Microsoft Edge: Microsoft Edge now supports an updated Dark theme, with darker blacks, and much better contrast with all colors, text, and icons. This addresses many accessibility contrast issues, making the Microsoft Edge UI easy to navigate and more visually pleasing. As well, Microsoft Edge now supports Reveal on our navigation buttons, action buttons, buttons in the tab bar, as well as on lists throughout Microsoft Edge (such as in the HUB: Favorites, Reading, History, Downloads), making navigating Edge UI even easier. We’ve heard your feedback and have also updated the Acrylic in the tab bar and in-active tabs, allowing more color to show through.

Bookmark button and flyout become one: With this build, Microsoft Edge has also simplified adding and managing bookmarks for EPUB and PDF books. Based on your feedback we now allow you to add bookmarks and manage your list of bookmarks from the same location. This provides a very consistent experience across the different book formats and makes it really easy for users to manage their bookmarks from one location.

Offline web sites and push notifications: Microsoft Edge now supports Service Workers and the Push and Cache APIs. These new web standards allow web pages to send push notifications to your Action Center or refresh data in the background, even when the browser is closed. In addition, certain web pages can now work offline or improve performance, by using locally cached data when the cache is up to date, or when your device has a poor connection. You can learn more about these features in our post Service Workers: Going beyond the page. These features lay the technical foundation for Progressive Web Apps on Windows 10 – we’ll have lots more to share about this topic soon on the Microsoft Edge Dev Blog!

Web Media Extensions Package: This build installs the Web Media Extensions package for Microsoft Edge, which extends Microsoft Edge and Windows 10 to support open-source formats (OGG Vorbis and Theora) commonly found on the web. Try out your favorite OGG content (such as Wikipedia videos or audio)! We will be monitoring feedback from this feature in Insider flights to eventually expand to broader availability to Microsoft Edge customers in the Current Branch.

Gesture Improvements for Precision Touch Pads: This build introduces a new gesture experience for Precision Touch Pads (found on Surface and other modern Windows 10 devices). You can now use gestures like pinch and zoom, or two-finger panning, to achieve the same interactions on web sites that you can do with a touch screen today. For example, you can now pinch-to-zoom on a map in Bing Maps to zoom in the map without zooming the entire page. Developers can learn more about how this change is implemented and how to make sure your sites are ready for modern input experiences over at our blog post, Building a great touchpad experience for the web with Pointer Events.

Sets

A few weeks ago, we announced a new Windows 10 feature called “Sets” (we may end up calling it something else by the time it ships) which would be coming to Windows Insiders as a controlled study. The concept behind Sets is to make sure that everything related to your task: relevant webpages, research documents, necessary files and applications, is connected and available to you in one click. Office (starting with Mail & Calendar and OneNote), Windows, and Edge become more integrated to create a seamless experience, so you can get back to what’s important and be productive, recapturing that moment, saving time – we believe that’s the true value of Sets. Starting with today’s build, Sets will be available to Insiders however because it is being introduced as a controlled study, not all Insiders will see Sets. For more on this – see my blog post here.

Cortana Improvements

Cortana’s Notebook has a new look: Notebook has undergone a UX transformation to be more responsive to Cortana’s evolving capabilities and allow users to easily complete their tasks.

  • Your content has a new home called Organizer that lets you access your lists and reminders with ease. And all Skills are together, so you can easily configure Cortana to suit your needs. Configuration experience has also been significantly simplified.
  • Tabbed view to cleanly segregate your content and configuration and single page to manage Cortana’s Skills and easy way to discover more.
  • Simplified configuration experience page with easy interest management.
  • This is a server side change currently rolling out for those using English (United States) and will be rolled out to other markets with time.

Account entry point in the navigation menu: To improve discoverability and consistency, we’re moving the account entry point out of Cortana’s Notebook and into the navigation menu (that’s the side bar that contains elements like Home, Notebook, and Collections).

Lists and Collections – better together! Cortana Collections have been merged with Lists, so you get personalized suggestions and help with List creation – all in a rich, attractive interface. Cortana helps you track your To-Do’s and manage Grocery lists. She also suggests items of interest –  restaurants to try out, recipes to make, books to read, movies & shows to watch, things to shop for – and makes it easy to add them to your lists.  See and use your Lists and suggestions in the List home:

You can access it from Notebook:

For now, this feature is only available for Insiders using English (United States), who are logged into both Windows and Cortana with their Microsoft Account.

A note about Collections: We’ve made an underlying breaking change to how Cortana’s Collection works – if you’ve been using this feature in previous builds we need to migrate your data to our new collection APIs. Because of this, once you upgrade to this build you’ll notice all of your existing saved list items have moved under suggestions. If you want to keep these suggestions, please drag and drop them back into the list. Thank you everyone who’s given us feedback so far about the Collections experience – please continue doing so!

Cortana loves music: You can now use Cortana to control music playback on more of your favorite music apps (EN-US only). Starting with this build, we are enabling natural language compatibility for Spotify just like the Harman Kardon Invoke! This will work on both, above the lock screen (PC is locked) as well as below! You can try queries like…

  • Play Christmas music on Spotify
  • Play my discover weekly playlist on Spotify
  • Play <Artist/Track/Title/Genre/Mood> on <AppName>
  • Play some Drake
  • Play focus music
  • Play rock music
  • Play my tracks

Once music is playing you can ask Cortana what’s playing like this:

  • Hey Cortana, what’s playing?

Cortana will keep you posted on your tracks.

To start rocking to your favorite tracks just get the latest app update and sign into Spotify in the notebook under the music section.

NOTE: For the above to work, you need to have a Spotify account (free or premium).

Windows Shell Improvements

Bring on the Fluent! Today, Start and Action Center support acrylic to align with Fluent design principles. And now we’re bringing the next wave of Shell UI to the party by applying acrylic to the taskbar, Share UI, Clock & Calendar flyout, Network flyout, Volume flyout, and Input flyout. Try it out and let us know what you think!

Note: The acrylic background is disabled if you enter battery saver mode. We’re also investigating an issue where if you have scaling > 100% the blurred background may appear distorted.

Save notification drafts: Notifications are inherently transient – one thing we’ve heard from you is how it can be frustrating to have started writing a response into a notification (such as one from Skype), only to have the response disappear if you didn’t submit it before the notification went away. Well, no more! If a toast gets dismissed with unsubmitted text, we will now save the draft; open the action center and your text will now be saved with the notification.

Simplified letter grouping in Start for East Asian languages: One of the top feedback items from our users is that it’s too hard and takes too long to find apps in the all apps list because of the way the apps are grouped when using East Asian languages. We hear you, and we’re happy to announce that with this build we’ve simplified the grouping of apps in the all apps list for Chinese (Simplified), Japanese, and Korean. This change is most noticeable for Chinese (Simplified) and Japanese, where we’ve reduced the number of groups by 29 and 36, respectively. If you use Windows in these languages, please take a moment to check it out once you get the build and let us know how it feels.

Chinese (Simplified) previous and new all apps list sections

Japanese previous and new all apps list sections

Cloud states for the Navigation Pane: In an effort to further keep you informed about the state of your OneDrive files and folders on demand, we’re looking at adding a state icon to use in File Explorer’s Navigation Pane. If you’d like to turn this off, there’s an option in the File Explorer ribbon View tab – click the Options button, then in the dialog that appears go to the Navigation Pane section of the View tab and uncheck “Always show availability status”.

A consistent Network flyout on the login screen: Continuing our work to modernize all the elements of Windows 10, we’ve now updated the network flyout on the login screen to use the same familiar network flyout you’ve grown to love in the taskbar.

Improving your update experience: In an effort to keep you informed about the state of your PC, if Windows Update Settings shows a warning or alert, we will now echo that via a new Windows Update system tray icon. If you right click the icon, you will see options relevant to the current state, such as restart, schedule the restart, or go to Windows Update settings. If visible, this icon can be turned off from within Taskbar Settings.

An improved My People experience

Based on your feedback we’ve been working on evolving the My People experience and taking it to the next level. This build brings with it a number of requested features, improvements and changes including:

  • Drag and drop rearrange: Checking off one of our top feedback requests – you can now drag and drop contacts to rearrange them in the taskbar! You can also drop contacts into and out of the People flyout. Note: as part of this feature change, when you upgrade, if you have multiple contacts pinned to taskbar you will notice that their order will reverse direction on the taskbar

  • You decide how many contacts to show in the taskbar: With the Fall Creators Update you could have a maximum of 3 people pinned to the taskbar, with any additional pins appearing in the People flyout. We’ve heard your feedback and today’s build brings a new setting so you can decide how many you’d like to show – from one to ten, or you can choose to show them all in the overflow. You can find the setting with the other People settings under Settings > Personalization > Taskbar.
  • Animations for people in overflow: To improve discoverability you’ll now see an animation across the People icon to let you know when someone is pinned to the overflow list in the flyout. In addition, previously you could only receive emotive notifications from contacts that were directly on your taskbar – with today’s flight this experience is now available for people pinned within the People flyout as well! Here’s a glimpse of how it looks (showcased using our favorite “windows10” Skype emoji). Want to try it? Get one of your pinned contacts to send you a “(poke)”, or add, pin, and ping our emoji bot.

  • Fluent in the flyout: As part of our larger ongoing effort to reach our Fluent Design goals, you’ll notice that the People flyout now makes use of acrylic, reveal, and light effects.
  • Improving app discoverability: As developers work to integrate My People support into their apps, we’ll now suggest apps that you might be interested in. There’s an option to turn this on or off in the People settings under Settings > Personalization > Taskbar.

Add a new dimension to what you capture in Snipping tool

This build brings a new “edit in Paint 3D” button to the Snipping Tool so you can take your snip to the next level via Paint 3D.  Move (or remove) objects with Magic select, augment and annotate with a variety of options, bring in 3D objects from Remix 3D, and more!

Windows Settings Improvements

Settings gets a new look: You’ve already seen we say “bring on the Fluent!” in other areas of Shell, and Settings is no different. With today’s build you’ll find not only have we refreshed the Settings UI leveraging Fluent Design principles, but we’ve also taken a look at the Settings homepage and redesigned it with an eye for visual acuity. As you explore the plethora of new and improved settings below, take a moment to get a feel for the updated design as a whole and let us know what you think.

Security questions for local accountsWith the Fall Creators Update, we started working on self help solutions for password recovery from the Lock screenToday, we’re adding this functionality to local accounts as well, through the newly available use of security questions for local accounts. If you already have a local account, you can add security questions by going to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in Options > “Update your security questions”. If you’re installing a new PC using a local account, setup will walk you through adding these questions and answers right there in the workflow. Once your security questions are set up, if you find yourself unable to remember your password on the lock screen, you will see a link to reset your password, whereupon clicking you’ll be prompted to enter the answers to your security questions.

View your display info in one convenient location: Beginning with Build 17060, you can now view detailed information about your display by visiting the new “Advanced display settings” page linked at the bottom of Settings > System > Display.

Most of the information should be self-explanatory, but here are a couple of pieces that you might want more detail on:

  • Desktop resolution vs active signal resolution. Typically, your desktop resolution and your active signal resolution will be identical. To provide a smoother experience, Windows prefers to keep your display running at its native signal resolution. If you change your display resolution under Settings > System > Display > Scale and layout > Resolution, you may see a difference between your desktop resolution and your active signal resolution.
  • The mysterious 59 Hz refresh rate. Display enthusiasts may remember this conversation from the Windows 7 days. You may see 59 Hz listed as your refresh rate even though you have set it to 60 Hz, but rest assured that this is by design for monitors and TVs that report only 59.94 Hz but not 60 Hz. Learn more about it here.

Stay tuned for more improvements to display settings! Your feedback is important to us – if there are new features you would like to see in display settings in the coming releases, please let us know through the Feedback Hub. Search for and upvote your favorite features, or file your suggestion under the Desktop Environment > Settings.

Improving your scaling experience: In this flight we’ve made it easier for you to fix apps that become blurry if you dock/undock, RDP, or change display settings. Some desktop apps can become blurry in these scenarios. When this happens, you have to log out and back in to Windows to have these apps render properly. In this flight, you can turn on a feature that will enable these apps to be fixed simply by re-launching them. There are three components to this feature:

  • A new setting in the Display Settings page: Under Settings > System > Display > Advanced scaling, you’ll find a new section called “Fix scaling for apps” where you can enable a setting to let Windows try and fix apps so they’re not blurry.

  • A toast that pops up when we detect that you might have blurry apps on your main display.

  • A per-app override of the global setting. By right clicking on the exe for a desktop apps and choosing properties, you can select “Change High DPI Settings”, then “Override System DPI”, then configure the behavior.

NOTE: This won’t work for all desktop apps and it only improves blurry desktop apps while they’re on the main display. If you’re using multiple displays with different scale factors and running in “Extend” display mode, these apps might still be blurry on secondary displays.

A new Keyboard Settings page: We’re introducing a new Keyboard Settings experience on PC! Now found under the Time & Language Settings, you’ll be able to easily add new keyboard layouts, switch between Japanese 106/109 and English 101/102 keyboard layouts, turn on and off settings like key sounds and autocorrect, and other advanced keyboard-related settings. Additionally you can now change the default keyboard independently of the display language, for example using the French display language and having English as the default keyboard (this option was previously available in Control Panel, but has now been moved to Settings). Duplicate settings from Control Panel have been removed.

A new and improved Region & Language Settings page: As part of our ongoing effort to converge Settings and Control Panel, as well as improve Settings usability, you’ll find with today’s build that we have reimagined the Region & Language Settings. We’ve added icons to each language entry to indicate when language support is installed for display language, text-to-speech, speech recognition, and/or handwriting. We’ve also added an entirely new language selection experience – enabling you to quickly identify available language features per language. This also marks the initial integration of Local Experience Packs, native AppX packages, that with Microsoft Store to enable us to regularly update language resources with translation improvements collected from Windows Insiders and other feedback channels. We’re still fine-tuning the UI, so expect some small changes over the next few flights.

Set data settings to prefer cellular usage: In Cellular Settings you can now choose to use cellular instead of Wi-Fi always or when Wi-Fi is poor. This updated Windows feature allows people with fast LTE connections and large/unlimited data plans to favor cellular whenever available and avoid being stuck on poor Wi-Fi connections.

NOTE: The Cellular Settings page will only be visible for people using PCs with cellular connections.

Improved Data Usage Management: You can now configure data limits and/or place background data restrictions to Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections, in addition to cellular connections, in the Data usage page. The updated settings page aims to support a diverse set of devices and users. Whether you have a PC with cellular connectivity or a metered ethernet network connection, tailor your data usage to your budget and needs. Want to see your data usage at a glance? Right click on the Data usage tab in Settings and pin it to the Start menu to see a data usage live tile.

Reset your Game Mode Settings: Under Settings > Gaming > Game Mode there is a new option called ”Reset Game Mode Settings” that allows you to restore Game Mode settings for their PC back to the default values for the feature.

Improved Per-app Settings: When we added a new context menu option to go straight from the app in Start to the per-app settings in Settings, we mentioned turning this page into a one stop shop for settings related to each app. In today’s build you’ll notice that we now bubble up any permissions the app has asked for, along with an easy option for you to toggle them. We’ve also added links to check background usage, lock screen notifications, and defaults, and options to terminate and/or uninstall the app.

Windows Defender Improvements

Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) update: You spoke, and we listened. Microsoft is bringing Windows Defender Application Guard to Windows 10 Professional in the next feature update of Windows 10. Now, like Windows 10 Enterprise users, Windows 10 Pro Users can navigate the Internet in Application Guard knowing their systems are protected from even the most sophisticated browser attacks.

Windows Defender Application Guard provides unprecedented protection against targeted threats using Microsoft’s industry leading Hyper-V virtualization technology. Check out this recent RSA talk on Window Defender Application Guard if you’d like to understand this feature in some more detail.


You can read rest of the changelog on Microsoft’s blog.

NEXT STORY: It Looks Like Nokia 9 Just Can’t Stop Leaking

8 Best CMD Commands Used In Hacking That You Should Know About

Windows CMD packs many commands that a hacker should know. In this post, we will take a look at some of the best CMD commands used in hacking.

Learning to hack needs a user to have good knowledge of tools and options related to networking and understanding how most things related to networking and internet actually work. While Windows CMD is not the most powerful command terminal, it packs many commands that an aspiring ethical hacker should know. In this post, we will take a look at some of the best CMD commands used in hacking.

Keep in mind that after learning these commands, I am not claiming that you will become a hacker, instead, you will have a better knowledge of networking tools and terms that will help you in learning to become a good hacker. After all, I don’t want you to become a script kiddie.

Before we start taking a look at best CMD commands used in hacking, you will need to open the Windows Command Prompt with administrator privileges first. To do this, make sure that you are using an Administrator Windows profile and search for “cmd.exe” in the Start Menu.

Next right click on the first result and select Run as Administrator.

Now that Command Prompt is ready, we can take a look at some hacking commands for CMD.

Launching Command prompt with administrator privileges
Launching Command prompt with administrator privileges

 

nslookup

nslookup is a command that can find you the IP address of any website. For example, to get the IP address of Microsoft.com, you will have to enter the following in the CMD prompt:

nslookup www.microsoft.com

Aside from domain names of a website, nslookup can be used to find the IP address of an email server too, for example, to get the IP address of example.com, you will have to enter the following:

nslookup (press enter)

set type=mx (press enter)

example.com (press enter)

Once you have entered the above in the command prompt, you should see the IP address of website’s mail server on your screen.

Ping

One of the most common CMD command used in hacking, Ping simply checks if your computer can reach a specified computer or not. It works by sending an ICMP echo request to the destination computer. If there is no response from ping or there is an error, it is likely that either the destination computer is offline/malfunctioned or there is some problem with your network.

To use ping in the command prompt you use the following syntax:

Ping x.x.x.x

Here, x.x.x.x is the IP address of destination computer. This can also be replaced with a domain name, such as

Ping www.example.com

IPconig

It is one of the best CMD commands used in hacking. IPconfig shows you important information about your computer and your network, including DNS in use, your IP address, and your gateway etc.

ipconfig

Also, if you are using a dynamic IP address, you can change your IP address with following commands:

ipconfig/release

Ipconfig/renew

Route

Route is an important command that shows you a routing table, gateway interfaces, and other important metrics. To see the routing table, enter the following in your command prompt:

route print

Tracert

tracert command lets you know how a packet will reach its destination. In addition to letting you know the hops, tracert also shows you exactly how much time it took at every hop when reaching the destination IP address. For example, to see the hop table of an IP address enter the following:

tracert x.x.x.x

If you don’t know the IP address of destination website, you can also use its domain name.

tracert example.com

arp

The arp command lets you simply know the arp table. Using ARP command you can also detect if someone has poisoned your LAN. To get the ARP table, you should enter the following in the command prompt and then press enter key:

arp -a

Netstat

Netstat is useful in knowing some crucial information about your connection. With netstat, you can easily get your listening ports, open connections, and information above all available sharing folders. To get different types of stats, all you have to do is a use a different switch, for example:

netstat -a

will show you a list of all listening ports.

netstat -n

The above shows you a list of all open connections and the IP addresses.

To get all information at once, just use the switch -an with the command.

Netstat -an

net user

Windows PCs have the ability to let every user have a different user account with their personal folders, application data, and wallpapers. Net user command on CMD prompt lets you make changes to any account as long as you know their passwords. Additionally, net user lets you create and remove user accounts too. For example, to delete a user, you will have to enter the following:

net user (username) /delete

Do you know About other DOS commands used in Hacking?

Aside from some of these best CMD commands used in hacking, do you know about any other command that may come in handy for people learning to hack? share with us in the comments below…

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These Are The 6 Best Free Stardock Fences Alternatives That You Need To Try

Fences make your desktop feel minimal and clean but it’s not free. Here are 5 Best Free Stardock Fences Alternatives that you should defiantly try.

In case you have never seen, Stardock Fences is an excellent desktop organization application for Windows. Fences help you in managing your cluttered desktop by letting you organize and store your icons and folders in “Fences”. As much as it helps in finding right application and files on desktop easily, Fences’ biggest benefit is that it makes your desktop feel minimal and clean without you having to do all the dirty work. The caveat of Stardock Fences? It’s price. Here are 5 Best Free Stardock Fences Alternatives that you should defiantly try.

Nimi Places

The first on our Stardock Fences Alternative list is a lightweight and free desktop organizer Nimi Places. It lets you organize your icons and files into customizable containers. Once you have made a container, you can change its name, add colored labels and create different rules to automatically do some tasks at predefined times.

NImi Places let's you easlily label files and shortcuts
NImi Places lets you easily label files and shortcuts

Apart from these features, you can change icon side, see thumbnails and even change container themes if you want to. If all you want is a minimal, no-frills alternative to Stardock fences, Nimi Places is defiantly worth checking out.

Virtual Desktops

It’s not exactly a Stardock Fences Alternative, but for many people, Virtua Desktops are very helpful in managing a cluttered desktop. Windows 10 is the first Windows version to have built-in support for Virtual Desktops and with just a few clicks, you can start organizing all your open Windows into different desktops. For example, I keep all my social websites and tools open in a virtual desktop while I work on OneNote and Google Scholar in another one.

Virtual desktop as Fences alternatives
Virtual desktop are built in onto Windows 10

To create a Virtual Desktop on Windows 10, just click on Task View icon on the taskbar and then click on New Desktop button.

If you are on an older version of Windows, you can try Dexpot, it is a bit complex, but this free app is much more powerful.

Fences

Well, no list of Free Stardock Fences Alternatives should be complete without mentioning Fences. Yes, the latest version of Fences costs $10 after a 30-day trial. But, you can still download the first version of Fences for free. Sure, the new versions some more features and a bit better user interfaces. But if you don’t need these features, the free version of Fences should be perfectly serviceable for you.

Fences 1.0.1
Fences 1.0.1

As an added bonus, this version of Fences should be less resource hungry.

RocketDock

RocketDock is not exactly a desktop icon manager, instead, RocketDock is a powerful icon dock that mimics most features from macOS’ dock. You can add shortcuts to files, folder, and programs just by dragging them into the dock. RocketDock also has many useful extensions that can increase its functionality, for example, you can easily add a real-time analog clock to the dock. Heck, if you want, you can directly minimize your window to the dock, freeing you from using Windows taskbar most of the time.

RocketDock is free and there is a good community of users who have made skins and icon pack compatible with the dock. If you want a Stardock Fences alternative to just organize your desktop in a better way, RocketDock is definitely worth a download.

ViPad

Just like Nimi and Fences, ViPad is also a container based organization system. The difference is that Vipad only uses a single container. To further let you organize icons and files, you can create tabs inside the container.

You can store files, web links, music and even video files inside these tabs if you want to. These tabs can be searched easily too, and you just need to drag and drop to make any changes. Aside from these features, ViPad has deep customization options, you can change the icon size as you need, and you can also download many custom icon pack from its official website.

ViPad is completely free and open source.

Sideslide

Available only for Windows, Sideslide is one of the popular Free Stardock Fences alternatives. Unlike Fences and Virtual Desktops, Sideslide’s working is completely focused on creating and organizing “Workplaces”. Once you have made one, you can easily add shortcuts, documents and even RSS news feeds within.

Sideslide is very customizable
Sideslide is very customizable

You can make as many workplaces as you like. Whenever you need all data in a workplace is easily available with a click. Sideslice is a very powerful and flexible application. You can add tags to links, add multiple RSS feeds and custom themes to these workplaces easily. Additionally, you can run it as a portable application meaning you don’t need to install it, just open the .exe file whenever you need and will launch.

What are your Best Free Stardock Fences Alternatives?

Which of the Free Stardock Fences Alternatives do you use? Do you know about some other good app that I forgot to mention? Share with me in the comments below…


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Here is Everything New in Windows 10’s Latest Preview Build

On November 8th, the Redmond Giant released another new build for Windows Insiders, the number of the build is 17035 and the new version adds many new features to the operating system including apps like Microsoft Edge, Settings app, Keyboard improvements and more. Due to some reported bugs, Microsoft is blocking the Preview on AMD based systems so if you are running Ryzen, you will have to wait a bit.

Here is the complete changelog from Microsoft’s Official Blog post:

What’s new in Build 17035

Microsoft Edge Improvements

Mute-a-Tab! This build introduces a new experience for muting a tab playing audio. The audio icon that displays when a tab is playing media is now clickable and will mute the audio streams that tab is playing when clicked. The tabs audio will unmute when clicked again. This feature is also available from the context menu via the right click action on the tab. Thanks everyone who shared feedback requesting this! Have an opinion on what we should implement next? Please log feedback!

The audio icon that displays when a tab is playing media is now clickable and will mute the audio streams that tab is playing when clicked. The tabs audio will unmute when clicked again.

Save free EPUB books: If you’re reading a free EPUB book from the web in Microsoft Edge and want to save it, you can now do that.

If you’re reading a free EPUB book from the web in Microsoft Edge and want to save it, you can now do that.

New context menu options for books: For your convenience, we’ve added a few new options when you right-click books in the Book pane, including View in Microsoft Store, Pin to Start, and Refresh books. Remove from here has been renamed Remove from device.

For your convenience, we’ve added a few new options when you right-click books in the Book pane, including View in Microsoft Store, Pin to Start, and Refresh books.

 Introducing Near Share

Say you’re in a meeting with your boss and need to quickly send them the report you’re looking at on your screen? Or you and a sibling are hanging out on the couch using your laptops, and you want to send him a screenshot of your latest Minecraft creation? You can now wirelessly share files and URLs to nearby PCs using the new Near Share feature.

You can now wirelessly share files and URLs to nearby PCs using the new Near Share feature.

So how do you use it? If your PC supports Bluetooth:

  1. Ensure that Near Share is turned on for your PC (and the PC you are trying to Share with – that means both PCs will need to be on RS4 Build 17035+) – there’s a new quick action in the Action Center that will need to be set to ON. If the quick action isn’t immediately visible and your PC has Bluetooth, check if it’s enabled under Settings > Notifications & Actions > “Add or remove quick actions”.
    Near share quick action.
  2. Look for the Share icon in any of your favorite apps – e.g. Photos, Microsoft Edge, and or even File Explorer (right-click a file and choose Share).
  3. Click on Share! You will now see a list of devices at the top – select the one you want to share to, any nearby PCs in Bluetooth range with the feature enabled should show up.
  4. Once the recipient accepts (they will get a notification via Action Center to accept or decline), watch your file magically transfer wirelessly!

Shop Surface hardware using the Microsoft Store app

Navigate to this page in the Store: http://aka.ms/ShopSurfaceOnWin10. This feature is available on Windows 10 PCs running version 11709.1001.7 or newer version of the Store app. Try it out and make sure to do this quest!

Note: Currently only available for U.S., U.K. and Australia markets, and looking to expand to more markets soon.

Settings Improvements

Windows Update Improvements: You can now limit the download bandwidth that is used in foreground downloads. Foreground downloads take place when you interactively start a download, for example – you click on “Check for updates” or start downloading an App from Windows Store.

Sound Settings are moving to Settings: You can now change some of your common sound settings, such as switching devices and troubleshooting, in Settings > System > Sound. Head on over for a preview of how sound settings are moving out of the legacy Control Panel and into the Settings app. We still have some things to add and fix on this page, so stay tuned!

Updated Ease of Access Settings: This build adds additional Ease of Access settings to further round out the revamping of settings which flighted for the first time with Build 17025. New sections on Display, Audio, Speech Recognition and Eye control (beta) have been added to group related settings. (NOTE: Eye control settings are not yet in this flight but coming soon.)

Screenshot of updated Ease of Access settings home page showing addition of new Display, Audio, Speech Recognition and Eye control (beta) sections in left-nav

Also updated were Narrator settings to include a setting to control verbosity of text characteristics. And the layout in Color filters settings has been revised to provide filter descriptions.

Touch keyboard Improvements

Now with Acrylic! With this build we’ve updated the touch keyboard to now have an acrylic background. This change is reflected in all keyboard layouts hosted in the XAML touch keyboard, including the wide layout, the one-handed layout, and the handwriting panel. Thanks everyone who logged feedback about this!

With this build we’ve updated the touch keyboard to now have an acrylic background.

The standard touch keyboard layout option comes to 190+ more keyboards: We’ve been hard at work addressing your feedback, and we’re happy to announce the touch keyboard now supports the standard keyboard layout for all languages except Korean, Japanese, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese (which we’re still working on). If you want to switch between wide, onehanded, and the standard touch keyboard layouts, just tap the button in the top left of the keyboard. This includes adding the standard keyboard layout to the following keyboards and more: English (United Kingdom), Irish, Czech, Danish, Greek, Canadian French, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Latvian, Dutch, and Polish. More details about touch keyboard usage here if you need it.

Handwriting panel Improvements

Streamlined text insertion: In this release, we’ve added some slick new animations and changed the button layout of the handwriting panel based on your feedback. Ink some words in the panel and watch them appear in your selected text field!

In this release, we’ve added some slick new animations and changed the button layout of the handwriting panel based on your feedback. Ink some words in the panel and watch them appear in your selected text field!

Improved re-recognition of words: Write a letter on top of another, and the handwriting panel will recognize your corrections more accurately than ever before.

Use a gesture to create more space between words: Draw a “split” gesture between two words in the handwriting panel by drawing a vertical line between them. More space will be created where you drew the line so that you can write more in the newly-created space. As a reminder you can also draw a split gesture inside a word to break apart the word and ink more characters in the new space.

Japanese Input Method Editor (IME) Improvements

Text suggestions from AI chatbot Rinna: Microsoft AI chatbot Rinna has more than 6 million friends (users) on LINE, which is the most popular messaging service in Japan. Starting with Build 17030, the Japanese IME can now leverage her strong communication skills to suggest possible phrases as you’re typing. Her suggestions are indicated by a Rinna icon next to the candidate. This feature is off by default, however you can enable it in the Japanese IME settings (right-click the IME mode icon “A” or “あ” in systray, select “Properties”, then “Advanced” – on the “Predictive Input” tab you will find a new checkbox to enabled “Rinna – AI Chatbot” under Suggestion Providers). Please try it out and share your feedback!

Microsoft AI chatbot Rinna has more than 6 million friends (users) on LINE, which is the most popular messaging service in Japan. Starting with Build 17030, the Japanese IME can now leverage her strong communication skills to suggest possible phrases as you’re typing.

Bringing inclusive design to the hardware keyboard

We’re introducing the ability to see text suggestions while typing on a hardware keyboard. You can see three text suggestions near caret while typing and choose candidates in text suggestions if you find a word you want to insert. Set focus to the first suggestion by tapping the up arrow key on your keyboard and using the left/right arrow keys to change focus. To select the desired candidate, tap space or enter.

We’re introducing the ability to see text suggestions while typing on a hardware keyboard. You can see three text suggestions near caret while typing and choose candidates in text suggestions if you find a word you want to insert.

This is an opt-in feature targeting English language learners, education and accessibility. We only support en-US at this time. To enable the feature, make sure English (United States) language is added in Settings > Time & languages > Region & languages, then set this feature to On by enabling the “Show text suggestions as I type on hardware keyboard” setting under Settings > Devices > Typing.


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Here is Everything New in Windows 10 Build 16362

New week, new Windows built. The Redmond Giant rolled out Windows 10 build 16362 on 13th September. The new build is only available for users who have opted for “Skip Ahead” option in their Windows Insider accounts and it focuses on improved booting experience and Narrator experiences mainly. Apart from that the new build also adds improvements to Window shell and Microsoft Edge web browser.

Here is the complete changelog from Microsoft’s Blog:

What’s new in Build 16362

Improved Boot Experience

Use sign-in info to apply settings after a restart or update: Building on our work seen in Build 16251, if you stay on the lock screen for a few seconds before signing in, you will now see your lock screen personalization (such as Windows Spotlight, and/or status information from Cortana, Calendar, Mail, and more). As always, you can customize your lock screen experience using the settings listed under Settings > Personalization > Lock screen.

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:

Under the Privacy section of the Sign-in options page of your Settings, you can disable and re-enable using this option.

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.

Narrator Improvements:

You can now select the desired audio channel for Narrator speech output! Simply go to Settings > Ease of Access > Narrator and you’ll find a new option to do this at the top of the “Sounds you hear” section

You can now select the desired audio channel for Narrator speech output!

Windows Shell Improvements

  • We fixed an issue where minimized app windows on mixed-DPI monitor setups might end up drawing offscreen after your PC resumed from sleep.
  • We fixed an issue where if you changed your display language preference to something other than the machine’s default then any app which did not take an update while also getting the updated language resource package from the Store would end up continuing to display its tile in Start in that default language rather than the new language displayed within the app and other system UI.
  • We’ve updated the Action Center to now use “AM” / “PM” when indicating timestamp with the 12hr clock format, rather than “a” / “p”.
  • We fixed an issue where using the letters in Start to jump to different locations in the alphabet wasn’t consistently working in the last few flights.
  • We fixed an issue where when the People button was present in taskbar, and toast-only banners (for example from Outlook 2016) were sent, the Action Center badge counter would become inaccurate.

Microsoft Edge Improvements

  • We fixed an issue resulting in multiple apps crashing in the previous flight if you tried to log into the app using Facebook.
  • We fixed an issue where pasting an image to Imgur.com from your clipboard wouldn’t work.
  • We fixed an issue which could result in uploads failing on some sites, such as Behance.net.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in drag and drop onto websites intermittently not working.
  • We fixed an issue where Microsoft Edge would crash after choosing to pin certain websites to Start.
  • We fixed an issue where a tab could get in a state where it displayed a tab preview thumbnail even though your mouse wasn’t hovering over the tab.
  • We fixed an issue where website tooltips could end up displaying behind the Microsoft Edge window after opening a link in new tab in the background.
  • We fixed an issue for certain websites where after watching an embedded video full screen then using Esc to return to the page would result in the video controller no longer being visible.
  • We’ve updated editable fields in PDFs to now have a subtle color to help indicate that they’re editable.

Gaming Improvements

  • We fixed an issue resulting in Ghost Recon: Wildlands not starting in recent flights since the Easy anti-cheat component wouldn’t load.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in Train Simulator 2017 failing to launch on recent flights.

Input Improvements

  • We fixed an issue where the Pinyin IME’s emoji picker wouldn’t load in recent flights.
  • We fixed an issue where the Emoji Panel’s tooltips could become mixed up.
  • We fixed an issue from recent flights resulting in precision touchpads potentially dropping gestures after coming out of sleep.
  • We’ve made some adjustments to address an issue resulting in sudden and brief CPU spikes where you couldn’t move your mouse. If you’ve encountered this, please try it in this new build and let us know if your experience has improved.
  • We fixed an issue where when using the Chinese (Simplified) handwriting panel InputPersonalization.exe could get into a state where it would unexpectedly have a continually high CPU usage.

General changes, improvements, and fixes for PC

  • We’ve updated the Run dialog so when hold Ctrl + Shift then click OK or press enter, it will run that task or program elevated, just like how it works in Cortana.
  • We fixed an issue where the Windows Defender Security Center app icon was missing in taskbar when the app was open, as well in Start’s all apps list. You will also notice that the icon is now un-plated in the taskbar.
  • We fixed the issue where USBhub.sys was causing spontaneous reboots due to bugchecks (GSOD).
  • We fixed an issue where the battery flyout might incorrectly show “PC not charging” while the device was changing in recent builds.
  • We fixed an issue where fonts using shortcuts would become unusable and disappear from the Fonts folder.
  • We fixed an issue where upgrading to recent flights would fail if you had a speech for a secondary language installed.
  • We fixed an issue from recent flights resulting in some Insiders experiencing an issue where Store apps would begin to fail to activate after being launched a few times.
  • We fixed an issue where your PC might not go to sleep automatically after remoting into it and signing out of the remote session.

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HP Launches Z8 Workstation Desktops With 3TB RAM and 48TB of Storage

Sure, Razor Blade, Dell’s XPS and Apple MacBooks are aiming to provide as much as performance per liter as possible while also trying to be as small as possible, still, there are some works that these tine computers just won’t cut. If you are into these things, HP’s latest offering may be of your interest.

Recently, HP launched Z8 series of desktop workstations that are powered by dual Xeon CPUs with up to 56 procession cores (and double amount of threads) and the computers support up to 3 terabytes of RAM  (in case you forgot, 1024 GB = 1 TB). Apart from that, the computers also support up to 48 terabytes of storage all inside the case and to crush almost all tasks that someone may need, Z8 can be equipped with as many as three Nvidia Quadro P6000 graphics cards.

To actually make sure that those cores can be utilized, the Z8 series will feature 9 PICe slots, seven of which are full size and it has support for dual M.2 SSDs for blazing fast storage. It also has dual GiG-E ports, ten USB 3.1 ports, and an optional thunderbolt 3 port. The monster of a workstation is powered by a 17,00 (yes, seventeen hundred) watt power supply and it will be cooled by invective decting.

The performance will, as you can guess, not come cheap, the Z8 will start at $2,439 for base models and you can expect it to reach tens of thousands of dollars for fully equipped versions. Unlike the recently launched $9000 Acer Predator laptop that was aimed at gaming, this one is made for serious data crunching, graphics work, or simulations. If you need it for work or you just hate your money, pre-orders will be starting soon.

In case you want a more reasonable and cheap computer, here is our laptop buying guide that may come in handy. 

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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

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?

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