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Valve changes Steam's auto-update system to help relieve the pressure

Mar 31, 2020 - 11:09 AM - by Reverend
The coronavirus outbreak has, understandably, put considerable pressure on the online services we use to keep ourselves amused while we're stuck at home. Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon have all made changes to their services to help keep the data flowing smoothly, and starting this week Valve will adjust Steam's auto-update feature to help better manage its bandwidth usage.

Steam already schedules updates for games that haven't been played recently for local off-peak hours, but those updates will be now spread out over several more days.

"Only games played within the last 3 days will be updated immediately. As always, the game will begin updating immediately if you request to play it, and you can always initiate an update (or pause it indefinitely) through the Download Manager," Valve said. "We’re also looking into additional solutions to help on our side."

The update also makes notes of user-controllable options that can help cut back on data usage:

  • Schedule auto-update windows! This will ensure that Steam doesn’t start updating a game while you’re in the middle of your work day.
  • If you don’t play a game in your library often, you can keep it installed but choose to no longer download automatic updates.
  • You can self-throttle your own connection to Steam. This might ease the load on your network connection, and may help ease bandwidth loads if network traffic in your area needs to be reduced.
  • Take advantage of Library Folders settings, so you can move infrequently-played games from an SSD to a storage HDD. This is usually better for you (and your bandwidth) rather than uninstalling the game and needing to re-download it later.

... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 164 Views

Broadband providers to lift data caps during Covid-19 lockdown

Mar 30, 2020 - 7:55 PM - by Reverend
All data allowance caps on current fixed broadband services will be removed in a deal struck by the government and telecommunications companies to help vulnerable people stay connected through the pandemic.

It is among a range of immediately effective measures agreed by major internet service and mobile providers including BT/EE, Openreach, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk, O2, Vodafone, Three, Hyperoptic, Gigaclear, and KCOM.

The companies have pledged that anyone who is struggling to pay their bill due to the pandemic will be treated fairly and appropriately supported, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said.

The firms have also agreed to offer generous new mobile and landline packages to ensure people are connected and the most vulnerable continue to be supported. These could put users in line for packages featuring data boosts at low prices and free calls from their landline or mobile.

Vulnerable customers or those who are self-isolating, who are faced with priority repairs to fixed broadband and landlines which cannot be carried out, should be given alternative methods of communication wherever possible, the companies said.

The digital secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “It’s fantastic to see mobile and broadband providers pulling together to do their bit for the national effort by helping customers, particularly the most vulnerable, who may be struggling with bills at this difficult time. It is essential that people stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. This package helps people to stay connected whilst they stay home.”

Watchdog Ofcom’s chief executive, Melanie Dawes, said: “We recognise providers are dealing with unprecedented challenges at the moment. So we welcome them stepping up to protect vulnerable customers, at a time when keeping in touch with our friends and families has never been more important.”

... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 205 Views

Microsoft renaming Office 365 to Microsoft 365, bringing Teams to everyone

Mar 30, 2020 - 7:51 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft is making some big changes to its Office software Monday, with the announcement that the company is changing the suite’s name and adding major chat features for the average consumer. The changes come at a time when such apps are more important than ever as the coronavirus outbreak forces people to remain in their homes and away from family and friends.

Starting April 21, Office 365 will be called Microsoft 365, a move that illustrates the company’s desire to shed the stuffy image of the Office branding, and position it as a people first suite of apps.

And the most significant change in that respect is the inclusion of Microsoft’s (MSFT) Teams software for everyday consumers. Until now, Teams has been primarily designed as a communication app for large and small organizations, similar to Slack (WORK).

Pricing for the service will remain the same: $6.99 a month for a single subscription, and $9.99 for a family subscription for up to 6 people.

Teams has seen significant growth over the last year, with Microsoft announcing the app had exploded in popularity from 20 million business users in November to 44 million in April. Part of that bump, about 12 million users, joined the service between March 11 and March 18 as more people around the world began working from home due to coronavirus lockdowns.

Microsoft’s move to bring more functionality to its productivity suite of apps comes as the company’s software is forced to contend with ever more rivals from across the spectrum ranging from Google to Slack.

Those rivals, like Microsoft, have seen similar increases in use as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Liat Ben-Zur, Microsoft CVP of consumer and Edge and Bing marketing, told Yahoo Finance that the company’s decision to make Teams more broadly available came after consumers said they wanted a single app to be able to chat with family and friends, make... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 193 Views


Mar 27, 2020 - 8:03 PM - by Reverend
AnyDVD HD works in the background to automatically and transparently enable read access of the contents of a movie DVD or Blu-ray as soon as it's inserted into the drive.



(For RedFox AnyDVD HD you need to purchase a RedFox license key, SlySoft licenses are not supported.)

AnyDVD HD homepage
  0 Replies | 270 Views

Google to resume regular Chrome updates after brief pause

Mar 27, 2020 - 7:52 PM - by Reverend
Google says it’s now ready to resume work on Chrome, after briefly halting upcoming releases of the browser in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Daily canary builds of the browser, dev, and beta versions “have or will resume this week,” according to Google. The next stable channel update that rolls out broadly to Chrome users will arrive the week of April 7th, with the release of Chrome 81.

Google canceled its Chrome 82 release, but all the work and features involved will roll into Chrome 83 which “will be released three weeks earlier than previously planned” in roughly mid-May. Google halted work on Chrome to prioritize the stability of Chrome OS and the Chrome browser just as millions started working from home earlier this month.

Google now says it will “continue to closely monitor that Chrome and Chrome OS are stable, secure, and work reliably” during this pandemic period.

Microsoft also followed Google by pausing the release of Edge 81 last week. The software giant is also pausing optional Windows 10 cumulative updates beginning in May, but crucial security updates will still be available for Windows.

The Verge
  0 Replies | 294 Views

Apple works with White House to release 'COVID-19' app, website

Mar 27, 2020 - 7:50 PM - by Reverend
Apple and the White House said on Friday that the iPhone maker worked with the Trump administration and federal agencies to release an app and website that will direct users to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control on the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The app, which will be available in the app store as “COVID-19,” will ask users questions about symptoms, location and risk factors and then provide the appropriate up-to-date guidance from the CDC, White House officials said.

The app will also answer frequently asked questions about the coronavirus disease with official information from the CDC. The same information will be available at a website https://www.apple.com/covid19 that will be accessible to the users of Windows PCs, Android phones and other non-Apple devices.

Apple said that it will not collect the answers users give to the app and website's questions and that the answers will not be sent to either Apple or any government entity.

Based in northern California, Apple's headquarters have been under lockdown orders for more than a week. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook earlier this week said that the company had donated 10 million protective masks to U.S. health care groups after using Apple's supply chain team to locate and buy the masks.

Yahoo Finance
  0 Replies | 343 Views

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