Category: Featured

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Microsoft will fix KB3194496 update loop

For well over a year, Microsoft has tried to position Windows 10 as a new type of operating system — one that’s continually updated without allowing for meaningful customer intervention, with security, driver, and software updates combined together by default and updated on Microsoft’s timeline. Pro customers can delay updates for a period of time, but non-enterprise users aren’t allowed to push them off...

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Chromecast Ultra features 4K streaming coming November

During Google’s Pixel event today, Google announced the Chromecast Ultra, a 4K version of its very popular streaming device. The Chromecast Ultra will be able to stream 4K content from YouTube  Netflix, and Vudu at launch, with films from Google Play Movies gaining support in November. HDR content — both HDR10 and Dolby Vision formats — is also supported by the Ultra. Google says the...

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Amazon bans reviews tied to free or discounted products

Amazon is making a significant change to its Community Guidelines, announced today, which will eliminate any incentivized reviews, except for those that emerge from within its own Amazon Vine program. This program allows Amazon – not the seller or vendor – to identify trusted reviewers, and has a number of controls in place in order to keep bias out of the review process. Amazon has historically...

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Netflix catalog shrinks by 50% over the past few years

If you’ve felt like Netflix’s US catalog has shrunk dramatically since the company started making its own shows and movies, you’re absolutely right. Since 2012, Netflix’s selection of titles has dropped over 50%, from roughly 11,000 titles to about 5,300, according to streaming blog Exstreamist, which cites multiple former Netflix employees. Extreamist’s sources estimate the height of Netflix’s catalog size was in 2012, before the...

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Microsoft pushes out a faulty Windows 10 update again

This week, Microsoft pushed out another cumulative update and reports of installation problems are widespread. While I don’t know how many users are impacted, based on comments sent to me, it’s certainly widespread enough that this is well beyond an isolated issue. The update that is causing the problem, KB3194496, is not installing correctly for users. The update, when it does fail, is causing...

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The Keyword is Google’s new central company blog

If you click the source links at most of our posts about Google products, you might notice there is a lot of Google blogs. Almost every Google product has its own blog – Android, Gmail, YouTube, Chrome, Google Fiber, you name it. I think Google finally realized the need to consolidate, and has created ‘The Keyword’. The Keyword replaces the former Google company blog (googleblog.blogspot.com), which has...

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HP apologizes for ink blocking update

HP has backtracked on a software update that blocked some ink cartridges made by third parties. A controversial firmware change made earlier this month meant HP printer owners using unofficial, usually cheaper, cartridges discovered they would no longer work. A campaign calling on HP to reverse the move was launched, backed by rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). In a blog post, HP...

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“Patents are bull” says Newegg’s CLO Lee Cheng

Lee Cheng is one of the few attorneys to fight back against patent trolls and prevail. And at the latest Ars Live event, we talked to him about his most famous case, how people can fight patent trolls today, and what the future of patent abuse will look like in coming decades. His answers, as expected, were incredibly candid and hilarious. In 2007, a...

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Amazon delivery service may become their next big thing

Amazon is already in the business of delivering packages to your door as quickly as possible, but now the company seems intent on cutting out shipping middlemen. A report by The Wall Street Journal claims that Amazon is building its own shipping service to replace FedEx and UPS, giving it more control over its packages and possibly allowing it to ship packages from other retailers....

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Spotify in talks of purchasing SoundCloud

Spotify is reportedly in advanced talks of purchasing SoundCloud, according to a report from the Financial Times. The move would give Spotify a larger library of content  — SoundCloud has over 125 million songs — and remove a competitor from the streaming music landscape after SoundCloud launched its own paid service earlier this year. But outside of that the benefits of the acquisition seem limited for...