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  1. A large proportion of British businesses are unprepared to deal with the effects of a data breach, new findings have shown. Research from business improvement firm BSI found that as many as one in six companies across Europe, including UK firms have no plans in place for tackling data breaches. The lack of awareness is even more alarming given the report, carried out in support of Cybersecurity Awareness month, found that 39 per cent of organisations have experienced a data breach in the last 12 months. Best internet security suites 2018Data breach plans Overall, the report, which surveyed businesses across Europe, found that 73 percent of companies were concerned about their security protection. Migrating to the cloud was identified as a particular pain point for businesses, with Shadow IT threats named as the biggest concern. 68 percent of companies said that data loss was the main threat facing their organisation, followed by unauthorised applications (15 per cent) and unauthorized devices (nine percent). “Training and education is essential when it comes to achieving information resilience and it’s reassuring to see that organisations are actively implementing awareness programmes in the workplace," said Stephen O’Boyle, global head of cybersecurity and information resilience services at BSI. "However, being proactive about cybersecurity is a company’s best defence and it is unfortunate to see that one in six organisations are unprepared for a breach and that over a third of companies aren’t partaking in cybersecurity testing within their organisation.” The best antivirus software in 2018View the full article
  2. For people with face blindness (also known as prosopagnosia), social events can feel like a medieval gauntlet. "While many people tend to shy away from events that are filled with strangers, the events that prosopagnosics avoid most frequently are those filled with people that they’re expected to know and/or people with whom they should at least be familiar," neuroscientist Dr Barry Sandrew told TechRadar. "To someone with face blindness, people they’ve known for decades may be no more recognizable than a stranger, or they may appear like casual acquaintances that are difficult or impossible to place. It’s the act of bumping into those individuals at events, at work or even at a mall that cause the greatest stress for people with face blindness." To help overcome this debilitating problem, Dr Sandrew is developing an app called SocialRecall, which will use augmented reality and facial recognition technology to identify people and transform the lives of prosopagnosics. Why augmented reality? The move into mixed reality was a natural one for Dr Sandrew, who has a long history working in visual design. He founded visual effects studio Legend3D in 2001, and added a dedicated virtual reality division to the company in 2013. For the last three years he has also organized the mixed reality business summit and expo Magnify World, and the idea for SocialRecall struck while co-ordinating the 2018 event in Australia. "One of the potential speakers on the agenda was Professor Brian Lovell of the University of Queensland and the Queensland Brain Institute," Dr Sandrew said. "He had invented some facial recognition software that appeared to be superior to anything else I’ve seen, and most significantly, was fully adaptable to mobile phone devices." With this technology, one would be able to go up to strangers and greet them by their first name and begin a networking process that might otherwise never happen Dr Barry Sandrew In a pre-conference interview, Dr Sandrew explained that he'd always wanted to create an app that used facial recognition to help people with face blindness. "Dr Lovell had never heard of face blindness, let alone the term prosopagnosia," he said. "He found it fascinating and proceeded to research the condition on his own. He learned that as many as 2.5% of the population suffers from a clinical form of the condition - that’s approximately 8.5 million people in the US alone." Dr Lovell also learned that face recognition is a spectrum. On one side are super-recognizers, who never forget a face no matter how casual or insignificant the meeting, and on the other are those for whom ordinary social situations can be a truly traumatic experience. It's hoped that the app will eventually work discreetly with smart glasses He agreed to work with Dr Sandrew to create a consumer app to help people with various degrees of face blindness, but their ambitions didn't stop there. They sought to produce can app for events such as conferences, weddings, parties or any gathering of people with common interests or for a common cause. "As someone with prosopagnosia I saw a facial recognition event app tied to LinkedIn or Facebook as an amazing way to break down those awkward social mores and traditional introduction protocols," said Dr Sandrew. "With this app, you can scan a room and instantly know who everyone and anyone is. With this technology, one would be able to go up to strangers and greet them by their first name and begin a networking process that might otherwise never happen." Access for all SocialRecall will initially use mobile phones, but the ultimate goal is for the app to work covertly with smart glasses. "Fortunately, the vast majority of adults in the US and most places around the world have at least one smart phone in their possession so the Social Recall app is available to just about everyone without any barrier to its use," said Dr Sandrew. Dr Sandrew says that, as a mobile app, SocialRecall will be accessible to just about anyone However, creating an accessible app isn't a simple process. The development team only had experience working with enterprise clients in the military, transportation and security, and had no frame of reference for consumer software. The app definitely broke down barriers with complete strangers coming up to one another and appearing to know each other on a first name basis Dr Barry Sandrew "I had to help them understand the difference between a utility application and an application that will resonate with the average consumer. The term app friction was a new one to the team. The concept refers to the ease with which a person uses an app. If the app becomes too complicated, or if there are too many pages or hoops to jump through, the consumer will simply turn off the app and never use it. Thus, the app has to be intuitive and effortless to use. "In addition, I wanted the app to become the ultimate contact utility for calls and emails as well as data query. This was beyond the original scope of the initial project, but my desire for the app was to build as compelling of a value proposition within the app as possible." Breaking down barriers Drs Sandrew and Lovell showcased the app last summer at the Magnify World summit, where roughly 1,000 people downloaded it and submitted their face data to the Magnify World database. "The app was a major hit and delivered all of the fun and engagement that it was designed to deliver," said Dr Sandrew. "While admittedly a curiosity, the app definitely broke down barriers with complete strangers coming up to one another and appearing to know each other on a first name basis. "It was remarkable to see, as the technology was breaking down traditional social protocols and mores right in front of our eyes, bringing me back the opening lyrics of the 80s sitcom Cheers, which took place in a bar in Boston: 'You wanna be where everybody knows your name?'" How good is face ID tech? It depends who you're looking forView the full article
  3. The head of the government's top cybersecurity body has warned that a major attack on the UK could be just around the corner. Ciaran Martin, CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) warned that there was "little doubt" that a significant "Category One" attack could occur soon, with life-threatening consequences. "I remain in little doubt we will be tested to the full, as a centre, and as a nation, by a major incident at some point in the years ahead," Martin wrote in the NCSC's second annual review. The best antivirus software to download in 2018NCSC attack warning The warning comes as the NCSC revealed just how many threats it blocks from the UK. The organisation's annual review, also released today, said that it is currently combatting around 10 attacks a week - equivalent to nearly 1,200 attacks over the last two years. The NCSC says the majority of the attacks were state-sponsored attacks carried out by individual hackers, and called out what it said was, "unacceptable behaviour by hostile states". Overall, the NCSC has tackled 1,167 cyber incidents, including 557 over the last 12 months, since it launched in 2016. The organisation's Active Cyber Defence service, launched in 2017, also removed 138,398 phishing sites hosted in the UK, as well as a further 14,116 worldwide that were spoofing the UK government. This all contributed to helping the UK's share of global phishing attacks falling from 5.3 percent to 2.9 percent. Best internet security suites 2018View the full article
  4. After four years in development limbo, classic media player Winamp is getting a major revamp. According to TechCrunch, the software will re-launch as a dedicated audio player for iOS, Android and desktop, which will serve as a portal for songs and podcasts from all sources. Winamp was the creation of two student programmers from the University of Utah, Justin Frankel and Dmitry Boldyrev, who released the first version in 1997. The following year Frankel founded his own software company, Nullsoft, and continued development until 1999, when the company was acquired by AOL. AOL developed Winamp until 2013, when it announced that it would be shutting down the software's website and ending support. However, this closure never happened, and in 2014 Winamp was acquired by online radio platform Radionomy. All your music, anywhere Rumors of a new update have swirled in the years since, but now it seems the software is finally about to receive some love. "There will be a completely new version next year, with the legacy of Winamp but a more complete listening experience," explained Alexandre Saboundjian, CEO of Radionomy. "You can listen to the MP3s you may have at home, but also to the cloud, to podcasts, to streaming radio stations, to a playlist you perhaps have built." The desktop version of Winamp is getting a small update this week to stamp out a few bugs, and the new app is expected to land in 2019. The best free alternative to Windows Media PlayerView the full article
  5. Microsoft has fixed a couple of problems that affect the October 2018 Update, namely an Intel audio driver issue, and the scarier Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) flaw which affected some HP machines. The HP problem was with a keyboard driver, which caused the dreaded blue error screen to pop up, with some PCs becoming unresponsive, or even failing to boot, as we recently reported. This issue was actually caused by a cumulative update for the October 2018 Update, as opposed to the upgrade itself (and it also affected the April 2018 Update, for that matter). As Wccftech reports, the fix for the BSOD issue has now been pushed out via Windows Update, so you should have it applied to your machine automatically. If that hasn’t happened, you can always manually grab it here. Note that you’ll have to reboot your PC afterwards to apply the fix. Audio aggravation As for the Intel audio problem, that occurred thanks to the release of a buggy Intel driver which was errantly delivered by Windows Update, causing sound to fail on affected PCs. Microsoft has now issued a new update to remedy this problem, and again this should be automatically piped to your machine via Windows Update. Obviously this is good news for those who have been hit by these gremlins, of which, unfortunately, the October 2018 Update has certainly suffered a number of, including a major file deletion issue which has actually caused Microsoft to pause the rollout of the upgrade. If you’ve encountered any hitches with the latest dollop of features for Windows 10, be sure to check out our guide on how to fix Windows 10 October 2018 Update problems. Some of the best laptops of 2018 run Windows 10View the full article
  6. When you’re editing video and audio files, you need software that will make it as quick and effortless as possible. VideoProc, a brand-new video processing suite from Digiarty Software, lets you convert, edit, resize, adjust, download and record all kinds of video files in the blink of an eye. Generally speaking, VideoProc accepts almost all media files, including 4K, 8K and 3D videos, high-speed and slow-motion recordings by GoPro, DJI Drone, iPhone and other devices, audios and clips downloaded from YouTube, content from DVDs, and even folders and ISO images. And the full GPU Hardware Acceleration makes the most of your computer’s resources, using Intel QSV, Nvidia CUDA/NVENC and AMD hardware to encode and decode videos incredibly quickly. In addition, you can use VideoProc to convert multimedia to desired formats, convert and backup DVDs, and even record your screen! Plus, to celebrate the release of VideoProc, all TechRadar readers are invited to a sweepstakes with over $1,200 valued prizes, which include the most popular GoPro Hero 7 and its accessories! The sweepstake ends on October 26, so enter now. How to enter, and be in with a chance of winning a GoPro Hero 7 Step 1: Visit GoPro video resize page. Step 2: Enter your name and email, and click ‘Count me in’. Then you'll receive a confirmation and a free license for VideoProc via email. After you download VideoProc and register with the free license key you received, you can see the interface as the following. Let's explore its features to figure out why it is the only video processing software you’ll ever need. Videoprocessing: resize and edit (4K) video GoPro action cams, DJI drones and smartphones are all capable of recording amazing 4K footage, but the size of the generated video files are huge! Typically, one minute of 4K video in H.264 format at 30fpsis approximately 350MB. Not only do they occupy too much space, large files also have slow playback, editing and loading speeds in media players and common video processing programs, and are difficult to share with others due the limitations of the video length and file size of YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, emails, etc. Hence, to solve the problems caused by large 4K videos, an easy-to-use yet powerful video processing software like VideoProc comes in need. Let's see what you can do with VideoProc. Losslessly resize large 4K video 1. Convert video codec to highly compressed MP4, HEVC format, reduce video file size without quality loss. 2. Cut video length or split into several clips. 3. Crop to remove unwanted parts to a different size. For example, you can crop to the most common aspect ratio for videos – 16:9 for widescreen. 4. Adjust video parameters like bit rate, frame rate, resolution, etc. Easily edit and optimize video VideoProc has a complete toolbox for you to process any GoPro, DJI, iPhone videos at ease. You can do basic editing like merge different clips into one; rotate, mirror and flip a video; adjust audio volume/delay; change video playback speed; convert video to GIFs, add subtitles and watermark in image or text; take screenshots and apply effects to videos, etc. Advanced users can process and stabilize shaky videos shot using GoPro action cams, DJI drones, phones and other devices by removing or lessening shakiness and noise. You can also enhance GoPro video quality, correct fisheye lens distortion and turn your video into M3U8 profile for live streaming in simple clicks. Moreover, the video processing is boosted by hardware acceleration, which allows you to process, convert and edit videos at 47x real-time faster with low CPU usage, and no crashes or lags at all! A step-by-step guide to process videos is also available for your reference. Try VideoProc for Free >> If that’s not enough, VideoProc includes a full suite of DVD video processing tools that make it a one-stop multimedia processing suite. With a few simple clicks, you can process and convert videos, audios and DVDs to digital formats, download and record videos without limits. Convert anything to anything With 370+ built-in video audio codecs, VideoProc lets you process and convert nearly any video to any format, such as multi-track MKV to MP4, M4A to MP3, YouTube to MP3, etc. And the 420+ ready-made profiles give you customized playback experience on iPhone, Android, Samsung, tablets, game consoles, HDTV and portable players and more. Plus, VideoProc allows you to convert DVD discs, ISO images and DVD folders to digital formats for further processing and editing, like converting DVD to MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, MOV, MKV, MPEG, H.264, etc. And its six DVD backup modes help you save your data before it’s gone forever. Download and record freely Equipped with a powerful video downloader engine, VideoProc lets you batch download movies, music, live videos, playlists from YouTube, Facebook, Dailymotion, Instagram, SoundCloud and 1,000+ other sites, saving videosoffline with up to 4K/8K resolution. Uniquely, you can also log into your social media account and download private videos and even your personal watch later list. If you love to record your games, tutorials for sharing with others or save some undownloadable videos offline, VideoProc offers you three types of recording modes: record full or part of the screen; record video with your webcam; record with both screen and webcam (picture-in-picture mode). Verdict VideoProc is an easy-to-use yet powerful video processing application for all types of users. Why not get this all-in-one multimedia suite to make your videos stunning now? Discover more about VideoProc >> View the full article
  7. A full quarter of a century into the era of the modern consumer internet and many are still grappling with the fundamental problem that is “digital transformation”. One reason businesses are still faced with this challenge is because it can’t be solved the way most transformations are - with money and management consultants. Instead, it requires the expertise of a new breed of corporate leaders - software developers. As our global economy increasingly comes to run on technology-enabled rails, the demand for high-quality software engineers is at an all-time high. A recent study from Stripe and Harris Poll found that more than half (53%) of executives said that scarcity of developer talent is a greater threat to business growth than access to capital. We've also highlighted the best productivity apps And yet, despite being many corporations’ most precious resource, developer talent is all too often squandered. It is predicted that the time developers spend on maintaining legacy systems or dealing with the ramifications of bad software will cost the UK economy £76 billion over the next 10 years. This is worrisome given the outsized impact developers have on companies’ chances of success. Software developers don’t have a monopoly on good ideas, but their skill set makes them a uniquely deep source of innovation, productivity, and new economic connections. When deployed correctly, developers can be economic multipliers—coefficients that dramatically ratchet up the output of the teams and companies of which they’re a part. Increasing your developers' productivity The key question is therefore how to increase your company’s developers productivity. As a business leader, here are three things to consider to help increase the multiplying impact that developers can have for your company: 1. Understand your current costs and opportunity costs For CFOs, this means considering your allocation of developer time just as carefully as you would consider your allocation of money. 2. Hire leaders with technical backgrounds If not C-suite, then as top lieutenants. Including software developers directly in strategic business decisions will ensure you have the right product roadmap, the right team, and ultimately the right technology strategy for long-term success—and that you’ll avoid the pitfalls of increased technical debt and unnecessarily wasted developer time for years to come. 3. Outsource Fully embrace the cloud. Not just for storage and compute, but for every business function that’s not unique to your business—from messaging, payments and CRM, to planning, accounting, and inventory management. Put your developers on higher-impact projects. If you’re considering buy vs. build, the answer is simple: buy. Unless you're Amazon or Microsoft, you shouldn't be deploying engineers to build data centres. Similarly, your developers should be working on what makes your business unique. As digital transformation remains top-of-mind for every company, it’s critical to empower developers with the tools, infrastructure, and guidance to move more quickly. By increasing the multiplying power of developers—the developer coefficient—you can make better use of the resources you have and ignite steeper business growth. Ian McDougall, Country Manager at Stripe These are the best laptops for programmingView the full article
  8. Cyberattacks against businesses saw a major rise in recent months following a "sleepy" first half of the year, new research has revealed. The latest quarterly report from Malwarebytes saw a 55 percent rise in the last three months as criminals upped their efforts, as well as the number of distinctive attacks. This includes a major rise in the number of ransomware attacks as criminals look for "more bang for their buck", the company said, as well as a slight fall in the amount of such malware targeting consumers. Malwarebytes named both the GandCrab and Maginber ransomware strains as particularly concerning, with both versions widening their target range to more countries as well as adding stronger encryption. The best paid anti-ransomware software of 2018Trojans on the rise Banking trojans were the most common threat to businesses detected by Malwarebytes, with an 84 percent increase compared to the previous quarter. This included both new variants but also stronger versions of older malware strains, with the Emotet modular trojan, which targets financial information, seeing a particularly large boost of 37 percent more detections. "Q3 2018 proved that more and more cybercriminals are willing to put on their big boy pants and put their software to the test in a much larger arena — whether that’s going toe to toe with businesses who have more robust security practices (but much juicer, profitable targets) or spreading out into new geolocations," the report stated. "The big story here is how many different malware authors (and thus different families and categories of threats) turned their attention at once to organizations, leaving their experimentation to the consumer side. However, consumers shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of confidence. Continued evolution for ransomware variants, social engineering scams, and rogue browser extensions spells trouble ahead." The best antivirus to download in 2018View the full article
  9. Scarcely a week goes by at the moment without yet another story about a mega data breach or a crippling virus hitting millions of people. Luckily, the fight against cybercriminals continues to be fought by internet security companies. and protecting your computer and mobile devices is getting even cheaper. That's because Bitdefender - whose Antivirus Plus package currently sits at the top of our best antivirus chart - has just reintroduced its excellent 60% off VIP promotion. For a limited time, you can get formidable protection for as little as $23.99 a year (around £18). That's effectively under $2 a month, so assured online virus protection for less than the cost of a cup of coffee. Click here to take advantage of this 60% off Bitdefender deal The offer includes Bitdefender's three main 2019 consumer plans. The aforementioned Antivirus Plus, the more involved Internet Security, and the big kahuna Total Security that covers Macs, Android and iOS as well as Windows PCs. We have the pricing details of each below. So if your virus protection has just run out or if - shock horror - you don't have any internet security set up at all, then this Bitdefender antivirus deal has come along at just the right time. But you better be quick, this offer won't be around forever and Bitdefender have yet to confirm when it will end. Check out our best antivirus guide to see why Bitdefender is bestView the full article
  10. Super-customizable web browser Vivaldi is testing a new feature for video fans: picture-in-picture playback. This places a small video player in a panel that floats on top of the browser as you browse and scroll through other sites. Picture-in-picture is available in Vivaldi Browser Snapshot 1332.4. To give it a try, download the Snapshot, right-click any HTML5 video and select 'Picture-in-picture' from the context menu. Work in progress 'Snapshot' is Vivaldi's term for a beta release. Early adopters are invited to try new features early and give feedback to the development team. Vivaldi typically releases one new Snapshot a week, and spends several more weeks fixing reported bugs and polishing new features before integrating them into the browser's stable release. It isn't the first developer to experiment with picture-in-picture. Apple added the feature to Safari two years ago with the launch of macOS Sierra, though getting it to work with YouTube requires some sneaky clicking. Google is also testing it for Chrome, though it's still at an early stage of development. You can enable a few experimental settings to try it now. The best web browser 2018 Via Techdows View the full article
  11. Mozilla has released a major update for Pocket that reads saved articles aloud so you can catch up hands-free. The new feature, Listen, effectively turns pages stored in Pocket into a custom podcast. Listen is powered by Amazon Polly - a text-to-speech service that uses machine learning to convert type into lifelike spoken words. It's available now for iOS, Android, and as a beta for web. “At Mozilla, what we love about the web is the ability to freely discover new topics and ideas, outside of the influence of platforms over which you have no control,” said Mark Mayo, chief product officer for Firefox. “Pocket's update adds to Mozilla’s experimentation with content discovery by making it even easier to enjoy great content when you're on the go, in your own focused and uncluttered space.” Mozilla has also given the app a visual redesign, paring back the interface so you can focus on the pages and stories you've saved. There are new dark and sepia themes to make reading more comfortable in different lighting conditions, plus updated typography. Recommended reading Pocket was originally a third-party Firefox extension, and was integrated into the browser in 2015. Mozilla acquired Pocket in 2017, allowing the two companies to work more closely. Pocket presents a list of suggested articles called Pocket Recommendations. when you open a new tab in Firefox, and earlier this year, Mozilla began experimenting with sponsored Recommendations. These are essentially targeted ads, but unlike many web services, all of Pocket's targeting is done within your browser. None of your browsing data is sent back to Mozilla or any third parties. It's possible to disable Pocket Recommendations completely, or turn off sponsored posts through the browser's settings menu. The best web browser of 2018View the full article
  12. While businesses have turned to online collaboration tools for their daily tasks, presentation software has gone mostly unchanged since the 1980s. However, Pitch aims to change this with its upcoming open platform for presentations and content collaboration. We sat down with the company's CEO Christian Reber to learn more about the platform and how it could possibly change the way we make presentations going forward. Also check out the best presentation software Why did you create Pitch? What problems are you trying to solve? Presentations have defined entire industries and architected how organisations work. They impact the lives and businesses of hundreds of millions of users every day. Some of the most important business and economic decisions are based on presentations, yet the tools widely used today have remained more-or-less within the same paradigm since the early 1980s. We believe it’s time for something better - and that's why we are working on Pitch, the next generation presentation software for individuals and teams. What makes Pitch stand-out from its competitors? Existing presentation tools are complex, do not integrate with external data sources, have limited collaboration features, and are generally quite time-consuming to use - and that's before we even start talking about the nightmare that is version control. In fast-paced business environments, we believe that a tool like Pitch will help teams and individuals become more effective, efficient and collaborative. What can we expect Pitch to look like? Our vision is to build an open platform to radically improve the way presentations are crafted and knowledge is shared. Pitch is a presentation tool for the Slack generation, so you can expect thoughtful design and a radically new user experience that empowers true collaboration on all of your devices, both online and offline Users will be able to create beautiful and high-quality slides in just a few clicks, pipe in data in real time from external sources, and publish presentations online to engage with their audiences. You mention other companies, like Slack, that are already revolutionising some aspects of the way we work. A key part of the appeal of such solutions is their ability to integrate with other tools. What integrations will Pitch offer? Pitch - just like Slack - will offer integrations with just about any app that a person might use in the normal course of their working day. We see Pitch presentations as “living documents” that are connected to external data sources and automatically update, in real time. Why are you launching this now? We believe it’s a really transformational time for business software, where innovation and thoughtful design is resetting expectations and reimagining the user experience. In the same way that companies like Slack or Dropbox have transformed the way we approach collaboration and content sharing, we believe that Pitch will make people view the presentation space in a completely new light, namely, as a central hub for content collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and ultimately a platform for better decision-making. When will Pitch be available? The product is currently in Alpha mode and will be available in 2019. Christian Reber, CEO of Pitch These are the best online collaboration toolsView the full article
  13. Last year's WannaCry cyberattack left the NHS facing a bill of nearly £100m, it has revealed. The May 2017 attack cost the NHS around £92m, according to figures from the Department of Health and Social Care. However it added that this was only an estimate as obtaining the real costs would "impose a disproportionate financial burden on the system". WannaCry hit computer systems across the NHS, leaving services severely disrupted and meaning thousands of appointments cancelled. WannaCry security bill The costs included an initial £500,000 spent on IT support during the attack itself, although this figure is dwarfed by the £72m spent on such support in the two months immediately following the attack. A further £19m cost was incurred in the week following the attack due to lost output of patient care caused by reduced access to information and the necessary systems. "We recognise that at the time of the attack the focus would have been on patient care rather than working out what WannaCry was costing the NHS," the NHS public accounts committee said in a statement. "However, an understanding of the financial impact on the NHS is also important to assess the seriousness of the attack and likely to be relevant to informing future investment decisions in cyber security." The news comes days after the NHS's IT governing body said it would not be investing in cybersecurity protection as it does not represent value for money. NHS Digital is ignoring the recommendations laid out in a government-sanctioned report authored by its own CIO due to the costs being too high. Will Smart’s proposals, coming after a review commissioned by the government back in February, would set NHS Digital back between £800 million and £1 billion. The best antivirus to download in 2018View the full article
  14. Microsoft has recently been reorganizing its teams, and it now appears that it has moved responsibility for developing Cortana, its virtual assistant, from the AI and Research team, to its Experiences & Devices and Office team. This is noteworthy, as it could be an indication of Microsoft’s changing attitude to Cortana. Initially, it was pitched as a competitor against the likes of Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, but while those two voice assistants have gone from strength to strength Cortana hasn’t been nearly as successful, despite being built into Windows 10. Instead, it looks like Microsoft is making Cortana less of a standalone product and even more closely integrated into its software, especially on the productivity side of things. Clippy 2.0? Brad Sams of the Petri website reports that for some time now the Office team have been lobbying to move Cortana over to its control. With that now happening it looks like Microsoft wants to position Cortana as a productivity tool, rather than a more general virtual assistant – and one which most people chose to ignore anyway. It certainly doesn’t mean Microsoft is giving up on Cortana, however. This move could actually have quite the opposite effect, with Cortana appearing more consistently across Microsoft’s software and services. Hopefully Cortana will continue to evolve into a genuinely useful tool that can help boost productivity, rather than being an annoying distraction like Microsoft's last attempt to put an assistant into Office: the generally reviled Clippy. Microsoft admits it was late to the virtual assistant game with CortanaVia Windows Central View the full article
  15. Intel has released a new graphics driver for Windows 10 which improves performance for FIFA 19. However, the odd thing is the firm has downgraded the audio driver a previous version that could be incompatible with the October 2018 Update. We reported on this particular bugbear a week ago, with the big Windows 10 update causing trouble on some PCs with Intel Skylake (6th Generation) or newer processors and Intel's Display Audio driver. This gremlin was cured in version 10.25.0.10 of the said audio driver, but now Intel’s new graphics driver (version 25.20.100.6326) has rolled the audio driver back to the problematic version 10.25.0.9 the company just fixed. Why this would happen is a mystery, in short. As Neowin reports, Intel clarifies that the known issues for the new graphics driver include: “When upgrading to Windows 10 October 2018, some installs may fail due to an Intel audio driver.” Of course, the good news on this front (sort of) is that Microsoft halted the Windows 10 October 2018 Update rollout due to a file deletion issue. So nobody will be upgrading to the big update right now. However, if you’ve already installed the October 2018 Update, going with this new Intel graphics driver could potentially cause a gremlin to appear. One again remember that the audio driver flaw only affected certain PCs with Intel 6th Generation Skylake or newer processors with Intel UHD Graphics 620 or better. Hopefully, by the time the October 2018 Update resumes this Intel audio driver-related glitch will also have been solved. Prime problem Another known issue between Intel’s new graphics driver and the October 2018 Update is that Amazon Prime video playback can be choppy and/or have corrupted audio if your machine recently came out of hibernation, As for the good stuff the Intel driver brings forth, as mentioned at the outset, it solves a problem with FIFA 19 when running in DirectX 11. Before the new driver, the issue caused corruption and the incorrect rendering of some in-game graphics. This new Intel driver also added support for a pair of games – Pathfinder: Kingmaker and Battlerite Royale. Meanwhile, if you’ve hit any other snags with the latest update for Windows 10, check out our article on how to fix Windows 10 October 2018 Update problems. Some of the best laptops of 2018 run Windows 10View the full article

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