Tech News

Multiple Versions of Windows 10, People Still Pay for AOL Internet, & More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 14-05-2015

Windows 10 versions, AOL Internet subscribers, Wal-Mart copies Amazon, Wolfram identifies images, Type Drummer makes music, and if social networks started dating.


Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Versions

Microsoft has officially revealed all of the various versions of Windows 10 that will be available to purchase. And while there aren’t quite 10 SKUs, as would befit the name, there are at least seven different versions (or editions), which is six more than absolutely necessary.

Desktop users can choose between Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro, with Windows 10 Mobile (Goodbye, Windows Phone! MakeUseOf Says Goodbye To Windows Phone This is going to be a tearful goodbye, buddy, but it has to happen. MakeUseOf will soon be parting ways with Windows Phone. Read More ) aimed at phones, tablets, and other touchscreen devices. Then there is Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise for larger businesses and organizations. Finishing up with Windows Education for schools, and Windows 10 IoT Core for low-cost devices.

Microsoft reiterated, “For the first time ever, we are offering the full versions of Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 Pro as a free and easy upgrade for qualifying Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices that upgrade in the first year after launch. Once you upgrade, you have Windows 10 for free on that device.”

Windows 10 is meant to be the one operating system to rule them all Windows 10 Is Microsoft's Last Stand, The NSA Runs Skynet, & More... [Tech News Digest] Windows 10 is IT, Skynet exists, Amazon drones on about patents, posting negative reviews online, Harry Potter author tackles trolls, and an honest game trailer for Mortal Kombat X. Read More , working across a full range of devices Windows 10: The Dream Of A Cross-Device Operating System Is Becoming Reality & It's Free Microsoft is boldly stepping into the future with innovative software and hardware. Windows as a service and mobility of experience were the major keywords from the recent Windows 10 briefing. Most importantly, Windows 10 will... Read More . However, while all of these versions will share the same core and access to universal apps, there are still distinct differences depending on individuals’ requirements. Having said that, seven versions (plus a few more minor variants) seems a little OTT.

People Still Pay for AOL Internet Access

In the week that Verizon has announced it’s buying AOL Verizon Buys AOL, Facebook Launches Instant Articles, & More... [Tech News Digest] Verizon buys AOL, Facebook starts publishing, Microsoft starts translating, TunnelBear extends to Chrome, Domino's delivers via emoji, and Conan O'Brien plays The Witcher 3. Read More , it has been revealed that over 2 million people still pay AOL for old-school Internet access. As revealed by the most recent quarterly earnings call, 2.15 million people still pay AOL an average of $20.83 every month for dial-up.


This is less than it used to be, with 233,000 people having come to their senses over the past year, but it’s still a shockingly sizable number of people. Even worse, The Consumerist suggests that 75 percent of these people don’t even use it for Internet access, instead paying the fee to keep an old email address alive. Or, more likely, they’ve simply forgotten to ever cancel.

For those in rural parts of the United States who are still reliant on dial-up for Internet access, you have our sympathy. Not that you’ll be reading this anytime soon because of loading times. But the rest of you really need to move on, and please upgrade from Windows XP while you’re at it.

Wal-Mart Copies Amazon Prime

Wal-Mart is planning to challenge Amazon with its own version of Prime. According to Reuters, the American big-box retailer will charge regular customer $50-per-year for unlimited online shipping. Selected products will reach customers within three days.


The retailer will be testing its version of Amazon Prime with selected invitees this summer, evolving the service “depending on customer feedback.” While Wal-Mart is undercutting Amazon by a significant margin, Amazon Prime customers get a lot more than free shipping 10 Awesome Amazon Prime Benefits You've Probably Overlooked Free two-day shipping is just the beginning. Here are some notable Amazon Prime subscription benefits you may not know about. Read More .

Wolfram Website Identifies Images

Stephen Wolfram, the genius behind Wolfram Alpha and other amazing technologies, has launched ImageIdentify, a new website which can automagically identify objects from images. You simply add an image of something you need to identify, and the Wolfram Language does the hard work.

Millions of images were used to train ImageIdentify, and while it still doesn’t get it right 100 percent of the time, it learns every time you use it. So, right now it’s more fun that useful, but in time it could become an essential tool for anyone seeking to identify anything or anyone in an image How Image Search Engines Work [MakeUseOf Explains] These days you don’t have to limit your search to just websites. Many other forms of content are easy to find, including images. No matter what you’re looking for, an image is (for better or... Read More .


Type Drummer Turns Words Into Music

Type Drummer turns your words into music, quite literally. In this simple writing tool, each letter of the alphabet has been assigned a percussion sound. So, whatever you write creates a unique drum beat that repeats once you reach the end of your sentence.

It’s definitely fun for five minutes 20 Fun Things to Do Online When You're Bored at Work These websites are guaranteed to ease your boredom at work. Because we know that even the best jobs have their bad points and those moments when boredom sets in. Read More , but it could also be used to beat writer’s block 5 Websites For Writers To Cure Writer's Block With Freewriting Exercises Read More by giving you a reason to write. You can also share beats with friends, so if you stumble across a particularly funky groove, you can save it for posterity.

If Social Networks Started Dating

(Video is NSFW)


And finally, YouTube star Emma Blackery, most famous for her very sweary Thoughts on Google+ video (NSFW), has imagined what kind of dates various social media sites would make. And, whether or not you agree with her conclusions, she has clearly picked up on the vibe at each of these sites.

Instagram is obsessed with food, Facebook is obsessed with babies, Snapchat is in a hurry, Tumblr is full of people getting offended by everything, Twitter wants you to follow it around everywhere, and Google+ is just a pitiful wreck OK, Google: We Get It. Just Go Ahead And Add Google+ To Everything. [Opinion] Don't worry Google, I think you can get everyone onto your network in just a few months if you really push. Here are my suggestions. Read More . See? Scarily accurate. [H/T Reddit]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

What version of Windows 10 will you be buying? Do you know anyone who still pays for AOL dial-up? Would you use Wal-Mart’s Prime-style shipping service? Which social networking site would you most like to date?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Explore more about: Microsoft, Online Dating, Windows 10, Wolfram Alpha.

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  1. George Fish
    May 30, 2015 at 12:13 am

    At one point I was going to dump the paid version of AOL after being with them since the beginning. But they started adding value to the subscription in the form of McAfee virus protection, LifeLock protection, and a host of other benefits included in the monthly fee. So I happily "Make Use Of" as many of the perks as I can.

  2. Tony
    May 15, 2015 at 2:34 am

    Dial In Free is the one I use here in MI. It's operated by a local ISP here in the Grand Rapids, MI area.

  3. Tony
    May 15, 2015 at 2:33 am

    Stopped paying for aol years ago. I still do use dial from home as unable too afford Comcast or the other broadband provider near me, If could at least get dsl agian I would do that as have my own modems.

  4. James Johnston
    May 14, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    I pay for AOL because one day I will be in the sticks with only dial up and will need help and I will not have to pay a per incident fee while I'm near broke.

  5. DonGateley
    May 14, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    I've found that Type Drummer is an excellent means for generating a meditation focal point. The variety of repeating sequences you can easily get which are interesting to mentally attend to makes that attention more compelling. As your mind works at finding the structure of a sequence, which it will, thoughts and distractions seem to melt away.

    Put on headphones, type "type something!" (no quotes) close your eyes, attend to the sequence it makes and see where it takes you.

    Worthy of some study methinks. Shamans have been using repeating percussion sequences to induce trance states since forever.

  6. Alison
    May 14, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    I have not paid for my AOL for about ten years. I just still use the AOL browser and address (because so many people know my AOL address), and use my Comcast broadband access.

  7. Bruce E
    May 14, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    I won't be buying any version of Windows 10. I'll get it free.

    Sorry, just had to do that.