Windows 10 has landed, Windows updates begone, LinkedIn stops spamming, Twitch tackles trolling, Metal Captcha battles bots, and drone racing takes off.
Windows 10 Released & Reviewed
Windows 10 has been released, with Microsoft having begun the mammoth task of delivering upgrades to millions of users. Anyone with a legit copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 is eligible for the free upgrade to the last version of Windows ever.
Several prominent technology blogs have already delivered their verdicts on Windows 10 in the form of reviews. Windows 10 will keep evolving in the months and years ahead, but let’s take a look at just some of the judgments being made at this early stage:
The Verge is rather impressed with Windows 10, calling it “hugely exciting” and a “joy to use”. However, “Windows 10 is a work in progress, and it’s at the early part of its life right now,” which suggests you should “hold off until everything is a little more polished”.
Re/code describes Windows 10 as “a solid, evolutionary operating system that’s likely to be a good bet for people who like Windows.” Walt Mossberg, who is an Apple fanboy of some repute, likes some elements of the new Microsoft OS, but remains unimpressed by others. His final advice is, “don’t upgrade until more of the bugs have been worked out”.
Engadget calls Windows 10, “simply Windows, through and through” and suggests it “proves that Microsoft’s dream of delivering a single OS that can work across computers, tablets and phones might actually come true”. However, while Cortana and Edge make it worth upgrading, the lack of apps is a major disappointment.
Ars Technica describes Windows 10 as “the best version of Windows yet,” that is “once everything’s working”. To reiterate the point the site suggests that while “almost everyone upgrading from both Windows 7 and Windows 8 will be upgrading to a better operating system that is less annoying and more effective,” they should “wait a few weeks, maybe even a couple of months, before making the move”.
To summarize: Windows 10 is great, but it’s not quite ready for public consumption.
Hide Unwanted Windows Updates
What does it say when you need to build a tool to block your own software updates? http://t.co/lt0pqAPzBF
— Chris Maddern (@chrismaddern) July 27, 2015
Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs all available updates, and this is not open to negotiation. While this enables Microsoft to keep everybody up-to-date and secure, it means you run the risk of encountering a dodgy driver update which nukes your computer.
You can uninstall a defective driver using the Device Manager, or uninstall an unwanted Windows update using View Installed Updates. However, to prevent these from simply being reinstalled, you need to use Microsoft’s dedicated troubleshooting tool, as discovered by ZDNet.
This lets you hide and/or block particular updates that you know are going to cause problems. At least until either Microsoft or the device manufacturer issues a fix. It’s not pretty, but it will do the job until Microsoft figures out a more user-friendly option.
LinkedIn Cuts Spam In Half
LinkedIn has long had a reputation for spamming its users with more emails than anyone either needs or wants. The social network for professionals emails users every time someone views their profile, every time someone wants to connect, every time someone posts to a group, and sometimes just randomly suggesting potential connections. But no more.
Aatif Awan, senior director of product management at LinkedIn, admitted in a blog post, “Many of you have told us that you receive too many emails from LinkedIn. We get it. And we’ve recently begun to make changes so that the emails you receive are more infrequent and more relevant”. LinkedIn has cut its email spam by 40 percent, with a promise that “this is just the beginning”. And about time too.
Twitch Tackles Trolling
Twitch is tackling trolling, or at least one (minor) form of it. Twitch streamers can now enable “Broadcaster Language Mode,” setting it to their native tongue, whether that’s English, Chinese, French, etc. Thus, on paper at least, only viewers who speak the same language as the streamer can chat.
Unfortunately, as pointed out by Engadget, viewers can easily sidestep this feature by indicating they can speak in the streamer’s native tongue, even if they can’t. Which, correct us if we’re wrong, makes the whole thing absolutely pointless. Because (shock! horror!) trolls lie.
Bots Battle Metal Bands
While having to prove you’re not a bot by completing a Captcha can be annoying, it’s just one of those elements of the Web we have come to accept. But why do Captchas have to be so damn boring? The answer? They don’t, as proven by MetalCaptcha, a free service from HeavyGifts.
MetalCaptcha works in the same way as any ol’ regular Captcha, except it uses the stylized names of metal bands to fool bots. Metal bands have a penchant for using Gothic fonts and names which contort into otherworldly shapes. Which make them perfect for this kind of work. Heavy.
Drone Racing Drama
And finally, drone racing is fast becoming a legitimate sport, with the 2015 U.S. National Drone Racing Championships having been held in California last week. This event saw 120 pilots racing their drones around a course littered with obstacles designed to test their skills.
Plenty of drones were harmed in the making of this video, but the event proved that there’s a real sport hiding behind the fun and frivolity of this hobby. Will drone racing ever make it into the Olympic Games? Probably not, but only because it’s far too much fun for that nonsense. [H/T The Next Web]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Have you got Windows 10 already? Have you ever needed to hide some Windows updates? Should LinkedIn stop spamming users completely? How should Twitch tackle the trolls? Would you pay to see drones racing around a track?
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.