Apple reportedly plans to launch a bigger iPad Air and OLED iPad Pro in the spring

Dec 06, 2023 - 7:42 PM - by Reverend
Bloomberg’s Apple reporter, Mark Gurman, says Apple has some big changes coming for 2024 in the form of a bigger iPad Air joining the existing smaller size and the previously rumored iPad Pro with an OLED screen. In addition to that, the company will release an updated MacBook Air using Apple’s new M3 processor that just debuted in the updated 14-inch MacBook Pro and new iMacs.

The new iPad Air will reportedly have a 12.9-inch screen to join the 10.9-inch model, bringing the lineup much closer to the iPad Pro’s 11- and 12.9-inch options. Gurman didn’t provide a specific date, only saying the devices will arrive in “early 2024,” adding that Apple hopes to turn things around for sales of both product lines.

The company will also release a new version of the Apple Pencil, Gurman writes. He says the Pencil will be the third generation of the mainline Pencil device, so it would probably be similar to the one the company released five years ago. Most recently, Apple updated the Pencil lineup with the more budget-friendly — but incompatible with its cheapest iPad — Apple Pencil with USB-C. The company is also expected to release new iPad Magic Keyboards.

Gurman has said in the past that the new iPad Pro coming in 2024 would represent the first major redesign for the tablet since 2018, the year Apple debuted the new flat-sided design language that finally trickled down to the 10th-generation iPad last year.

This year, the company released iPhone 15 series phones that were slightly redesigned to include rounder edges. The Pro models have titanium sides and thinner bezels that shrank the phones’ outer dimensions rather than growing the screens, and it seems likely the new iPads will get at least some of the same design cues. The company is also expected to release its highly anticipated Vision Pro headset in 2024.

The Verge
  0 Replies | 158 Views


Wikipedia releases its top 25 most-viewed pages of 2023

Dec 06, 2023 - 7:27 PM - by Reverend
Wikipedia’s top 25 most viewed pages in 2023, released Tuesday, reflect the world’s interest in innovation in artificial intelligence, people who died this year and the growing power of Indian users to influence trends on the website.

Run by the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia has received more than 84 billion page views so far in 2023, according to data the foundation shared with CNN.

Given its massive surge in popularity, the page about OpenAI’s virtual chatbot ChatGPT was the most viewed page on Wikipedia this year, amassing more than 49.4 million page views. ChatGPT set a record for the fastest-growing user base this past February, amassing 100 million active users in January. Other tech companies have poured billions into developing rival generative AI technology. Related tech companies make semiconductor chips capable of powering future AI innovations and affect geopolitical relationships between the world’s largest superpowers.

“It’s clear that people wanted to better understand the history and the context behind ChatGPT’s technology as they experimented with it,” said Anusha Alikhan, chief communications officer at the Wikimedia Foundation in an interview with CNN.

Alikhan added that ChatGPT is also trained using Wikipedia data, using Wikimedia projects to answer users’ questions or prompts. Wikipedia data and text, which is compiled by human users and editors, play a role in the responses that the chatbot produces to its users.

“Wikipedia plays an essential role in training almost every large language model,” said Alikhan.

She added that because of the foundation’s nonprofit status, they do not charge OpenAi for the use of its content. It’s also the same reason why the company doesn’t have advertisements or track users’ private information.

Joining ChatGPT in the rest of the top five were biographical posts about people who died in 2023, the 2023 Cricket World Cup, the Indian Premier League, which is a Cricket league, and the movie “Oppenheimer.”

India and Southeast Asian audiences made a big impact on 2023’s list, as a fifth of the list consisted of media from that region and the country of India itself.

“Right now we have about 4,700 active English Wikipedia volunteer editors in India,” said Alikhan. “That total puts them behind only the United States and the United Kingdom. India has… a rich media environment and information technology sector.”

CNN
  0 Replies | 107 Views


Windows 10 gets three more years of security updates, if you can afford them

Dec 06, 2023 - 7:24 PM - by Reverend
Windows 10's end-of-support date is October 14, 2025. That's the day that most Windows 10 PCs will receive their last security update and the date when most people should find a way to move to Windows 11 to ensure that they stay secure.

As it has done for other stubbornly popular versions of Windows, though, Microsoft is offering a reprieve for those who want or need to stay on Windows 10: three additional years of security updates, provided to those who can pay for the Extended Security Updates (ESU) program.

The initial announcement, written by Windows Servicing and Delivery Principal Product Manager Jason Leznek, spends most of its time encouraging users and businesses to upgrade to Windows 11 rather than staying on 10, either by updating their current computers, upgrading to new PCs or transitioning to a Windows 365 cloud-based PC instead.

But when Leznek does get to the announcement of the ESU program, the details are broadly similar to the program Microsoft offered for Windows 7 a few years ago: three additional years of monthly security updates and technical support, paid for one year at a time. The company told us that "pricing will be provided at a later date," but for the Windows 7 version of the ESU program, Microsoft upped the cost of the program each year to encourage people to upgrade to a newer Windows version before they absolutely had to; the cost was also per-seat, so what you paid was proportional to the number of PCs you needed updates for.

One difference this time is that Microsoft told us it would be offering Windows 10 ESU updates to individuals, though the company didn't offer particulars. More details should be available on Windows 10's lifecycle support page soon.

Leznek reiterated that Windows 10 22H2 would be the final version of Windows 10 and that the operating system would not receive any additional features during the ESU period. Windows 10 has mostly been in a security-updates-only maintenance mode since the 22H2 update came out late last year, but Microsoft did "revisit" the operating system last month to add the Copilot generative AI assistant and a handful of other tweaks.

Ars Technica
  0 Replies | 113 Views


Google to begin deleting inactive accounts this week

Nov 27, 2023 - 7:29 PM - by Reverend
Beginning Friday, Google is moving ahead with its plan to delete accounts that have been inactive for at least two years.

The company announced the new policy back in May, saying it’s intended to prevent security risks: Internal findings show older accounts are more likely to rely on recycled passwords and less likely to employ up-to-date security measures like two-step-verification, making them far more vulnerable to issues like phishing, hacking and spam.

Google has been sending warnings to affected users since August, with multiple alerts sent to impacted accounts and user-provided backup emails.

In a phased approach, the first accounts to be cut are those that were created and then never revisited by the user, Google said in May.

“We want to protect your private information and prevent any unauthorized access to your account even if you’re no longer using our services,” Google wrote in an August policy update.

Google accounts include everything from Gmail to Docs to Drive to Photos, meaning all content sitting across an inactive user’s Google suite is at risk of erasure.

There are a few exceptions to the deletion move: Accounts with YouTube channels, those with remaining balances on gift cards, those used to purchase a digital item like a book or movie, and those that have published apps that are active on a platform like the Google Play store, the company said in August.

The decision to delete accounts goes a step further than an older policy. In 2020, Google said users would have their content wiped from services they’d stopped using, but the accounts themselves would not be deleted.

Deleting old accounts is a key step to ensure security, according to Oren Koren, CPO and Co-founder of cybersecurity firm Veriti, who says that old accounts are frequently viewed as low risk and, thus, can be an opening for malicious actors. Deleting old accounts might force hackers to create new accounts –- an action that now requires phone number verification. Additionally, the erasure gets rid of older data that may have been leaked in a data breach at some point.

CNN
  0 Replies | 617 Views


Microsoft investigating sudden Windows activation issues in upgraded PCs

Nov 22, 2023 - 7:29 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft is currently investigating a problem that prevents the activation of Windows 10 and Windows 11, as The Verge reports. The issue affects computers on which users have upgraded from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to the newer Windows versions free of charge. If you’ve subsequently replaced essential hardware components (such as the motherboard) on these computers, Microsoft may now suddenly deactivate its Windows 10 or Windows 11 license.

Some affected users have not even replaced hardware components, but only carried out a BIOS update for their motherboard. Even this seems to disable activation on computers that have been updated from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 10 or 11.

And even if you still have the original activation key from Windows 7 or Windows 8, which is of course legal and valid, affected users can no longer reactivate their legally updated Windows 10 or Windows 11 computers.

Microsoft support is now aware of the problem. The affected users have not done anything illegal; they were simply collateral damage from Microsoft’s decision in September 2023 that valid license keys for Windows 7 or Windows 8 no longer can be upgraded to Windows 10 or Windows 11. You can only upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 free of charge.

Microsoft is not yet offering a remedy, but a Windows product manager told The Verge they’re investigating the complaints. The only option currently available to affected users is to purchase Windows 11, even though their computers were running free, valid Windows 10 or 11 licenses until now.

PCWorld
  0 Replies | 709 Views


Google Meet Adds Gesture Recognition To Video Calls

Nov 22, 2023 - 7:25 PM - by Reverend
Google Meet can now recognize when your physical hand is raised on camera during group video calls and alert the host. This means you don’t have to fiddle with clicking the “hand raise” button on the screen and accidentally send a clapping emoji to everyone in the call.

In a blog post published today, Google announced the feature is now rolling out to Google Workspace business and education users. It uses gesture detection to recognize when your hand is raised and alerts the meeting host that you want to speak. A hand-raised icon in your video window will also show to other participants. Essentially, it does the same thing as clicking the hand raise button, but in a more natural way.

For it to work, you’ll need to enable it in your Google Meet settings by going to More options > Reactions > Hand Raise Gesture. Google says your camera will need to be on and your hand needs to be visible to the camera, away from your face and body.

If you’re the active speaker, the gesture detection will not be triggered. However, it will be enabled again when you’re no longer talking, so you can ask another question.

The feature is rolling out now across Google Workspace for business and education.

The Verge
  0 Replies | 548 Views


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