WhatsApp wants to turn your group chats into 'Communities'

Apr 14, 2022 - 6:43 PM - by Reverend
WhatsApp will start experimenting with Communities, an update that represents a “major evolution” for the messaging app, according to Mark Zuckerberg. An unreleased version of the feature was first spotted last year, but the company hadn’t confirmed its existence until now.

Communities will allow people to combine separate group chats “under one umbrella with a structure that works for them,” WhatsApp wrote in a blog post. “That way people can receive updates sent to the entire Community and easily organize smaller discussion groups on what matters to them.”

The company hasn’t shared details around exactly how these groups will be formed, but a spokesperson said the idea is to give “close-knit groups” more ways to communicate beyond the chat features currently offered by WhatsApp. The company will start testing the feature later this year in “select countries,” but will eventually make it available globally.

In a post on Facebook, Zuckerberg said that Communities would be a major shift for WhatsApp and Meta, one that emphasizes “feeds” and traditional social networking features less than “community messaging.”

“In the same way that social feeds took the basic technology behind the internet and made it so anyone could find people and content online, I think community messaging will take the basic protocols behind one-to-one messaging and extend them so you can communicate more easily with groups of people to get things done together,” he wrote. He added that Meta was working on similar features for Messenger, WhatsApp and Facebook as well.

engadget
  0 Replies | 715 Views


Windows 10, version 20H2 end of servicing

Apr 11, 2022 - 7:38 PM - by Reverend
Windows 10, version 20H2 will reach the end of servicing on May 10, 2022. This applies to the following editions of Windows 10 released in October of 2020:

  • Windows 10 Home, version 20H2
  • Windows 10 Pro, version 20H2
  • Windows 10 Pro Education, version 20H2
  • Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, version 20H2

These editions will no longer receive security updates after May 10, 2022. Customers who contact Microsoft Support after this date will be directed to update their device to the latest version of Windows 10 to remain supported.

For more information, see the Windows Lifecycle FAQ or our Windows 10 Servicing Frequently Asked Questions.

* Note that Windows 10, version 20H2 for Enterprise, Education, and IoT Enterprise will reach end of servicing on May 9, 2023.

Microsoft
  0 Replies | 765 Views


Microsoft ends support for .NET 5.0

Apr 11, 2022 - 7:30 PM - by Reverend
Support will end for Microsoft’s .NET 5.0 software platform on May 8, despite its being officially released fewer than 17 months ago.

Following the .NET May updates, Microsoft will no longer provide .NET 5.0 servicing updates, including security fixes and technical support, the company said in a bulletin published March 24.

Microsoft noted that .NET 5.0, introduced in November 2020, was not a long-term support (LTS) release and thus was due to be supported for only 18 months or six months after the subsequent release. To continue receiving updates, developers will need to update to a supported version of .NET, such as .NET Core 3.1 or NET 6.0, which is an LTS release, before the expiration date. .NET 6.0 was released in November 2021.

Applications using .NET 5.0 will continue to run following the end of support, but may potentially become insecure without security updates. Microsoft also warned: “Additionally, if you run into any issues and need technical support, we may not be able to help you.”

Developers and software vendors using .NET 5.0 are advised to migrate applications to .NET 6.0, which can be downloaded from the dotnet website. Microsoft recommends that users reach out to the vendors managing their software to confirm if an updated version of the software is needed and available. Microsoft recommends that users reach out to the vendors managing their software to confirm if an updated version of the software is needed and available.

InfoWorld
  0 Replies | 703 Views


Don’t hold your breath for Windows 11 taskbar improvements

Apr 11, 2022 - 7:23 PM - by Reverend
There are a lot of reasons to hold off on upgrading from Windows 10 to 11, but the downgrades Microsoft made to the taskbar seem to be a particular sticking point for many users. If you’re waiting for the ability to move the taskbar around to the side or top of your screen… well, you’ll have to keep waiting. Microsoft engineers have confirmed that this longstanding Windows feature won’t be back in the next major build of Windows 11.

Windows Latest dug into the company’s Windows Insider webcast, covering the upcoming changes in build 22H2, this year’s big annual Windows 11 feature update. The Windows update will re-add the ability to drag and drop items on the taskbar, as well as adding app folders and resizable pinned items in the Start menu. But moving the taskbar around isn’t a top priority for Microsoft’s development team at the time of writing. With build 22H2 expected in the second half of this year, it seems unlikely that this particular feature will be available in 2022.

PCWorld
  0 Replies | 806 Views


Samsung will now let Galaxy users repair their own devices

Apr 01, 2022 - 7:17 PM - by Reverend
Samsung is the latest tech company giving customers the ability to repair their own mobile devices amid pressure from consumers, regulators and even US President Joe Biden to ease restrictions on fixing products.

The company announced on Thursday a new program that will allow users of some of its flagship Galaxy devices to repair their own products, giving them and third-party fixit companies access to genuine parts, repair tools and visual step-by-step repair guides for the first time. Previously, Samsung users had to rely on the company's in-house repair service to fix devices.

The new program will first be available starting this summer to users of the Galaxy S20 and S21 family of products, and the Galaxy Tab S7+, but not to owners of its S22 lineup. The company said it is collaborating with iFixit, an online repair community that's worked with Motorola on a similar self-repair program.

In November, Apple announced a program, called Self Repair Service, that will make spare parts for Apple products, such as displays, batteries and camera modules, available to purchase and give anyone access to repair manuals. The program, which has not yet officially launched, will be limited to iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 users to start. Apple previously said the service will later expand to Mac computers that use Apple's new in-house M1 chip.

Companies such as Samsung and Apple have been criticized for using tactics that make it harder for independent repair businesses to access devices, such as using non-removable memory or batteries, or sealing devices with special glue. The companies argue that this is done to ensure the products are properly repaired through authorized repair services.

Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, told CNN Business that Samsung's latest announcement is "part of a sea change where manufacturers are moving to support your right to repair."

"Extending the lifespan of electronics is essential for the future of the planet, and providing consumers with self-repair options is an essential step to making that happen," he added.

Last summer, President Biden urged the Federal Trade Commission to set rules preventing manufacturers from imposing restrictions on independent device repair shops and DIY repairs, a principle known as "right to repair." A week later, the FTC vowed to "root out" illegal repair restrictions on various products, including phones. This push has also gained traction among regulators in Europe.

New regulations could prohibit this practice and require all smartphone manufacturers to make parts, tools, repair manuals, and diagnostics for out-of-warranty repairs more readily available to third-party businesses.

"In many cases, the price to fix a smartphone or computer is close to, if not more than, replacing it all together — a strategy that encourages... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 1,196 Views


Microsoft quietly reverses one of the most outrageous Windows 11 changes

Mar 31, 2022 - 6:51 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft has quietly walked back a change pushed out with Windows 11 that caused anger and frustration among a large section of users.

With the latest Windows 11 update, which is currently in the process of rolling out, changing the operating system’s default web browser is as simple as a single button press.

The new system is a far cry from the previous arrangement, which required users to manually register their browser preference for each and every file extension (.HTML, .HTM, .PDF so forth).

Since Windows 11 went live last year, Microsoft has taken a large amount of flak for its attempts to weaponize the new OS in an effort to turn Microsoft Edge into a genuine competitor in the browser market.

In addition to deliberately making it harder to change the default web browser in Windows 11, Microsoft also took steps to funnel all links housed within its own products (e.g. the Start Menu) into Edge, no matter which browser was recorded as the preferred option.

Given the size of the Windows install base, you’d think efforts of this kind would have a dramatic effect on the Microsoft Edge market share. But in reality, the browser has still struggled to make up ground on Chrome or Safari, which hold a combined 82% of the market, the latest data suggests.

To Microsoft’s credit, however, the company appears to have taken on board the howls of anger from the community. With the latest Windows 11 update, switching the default browser is a single-click process, performed from within the default apps menu under Settings.

Instead of strong-arming Windows users into embracing Edge, Microsoft will instead rely on a steady stream of feature updates to entice people organically. In recent months, for example, the browser has received upgrades that allow users to debug performance issues, shield against novel cyberattacks and switch freely between multiple profiles.

TechRadar
  0 Replies | 872 Views


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