If your Windows 10 PC says it’s having activation problems today, here’s why

Microsoft does seem to be working on the problem, though. If you go to Settings > Update & Security > Activation, you’ll see a blue Troubleshooter link at the bottom of the page. Click it, and Microsoft will attempt to discover the source of the problem.  This is working and fixed my problem.

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I returned the new iPad Pro less than 24 hours after buying it — here’s why

(AAPL) Dave Smith Business InsiderNovember 8, 2018

iPad Pro

iPad Pro

  • Apple’s new iPad Pro went on sale Wednesday, and I stood in line to buy one.

 

  • I returned my iPad Pro on Thursday, less than 24 hours after buying it.
  • I was extremely excited about the new iPad Pro for its beautiful new design, innovative new accessories, and potential to be a great portable computer for traveling.
  • But after trying to do some actual work with the iPad Pro, I found myself needing a Mac to finish the job.
  • Ultimately, I don’t recommend the iPad Pro if you need to do work.
  • I was so excited about — and so let down by — the new iPad Pro.

    On Wednesday morning, I paid over $1,300 to get the new 11-inch iPad Pro with the new Apple Pencil, the new Smart Keyboard, and, of course, AppleCare Plus to insure everything.

    On Thursday morning, I was at the Apple Store once again — to return everything I had purchased less than 24 hours ago.

    Given the steep price of the iPad Pro — it starts at $800 but quickly gets into laptop or desktop territory — you would expect it to be able to do laptop or even desktop things. Nope.

    This is still an iPad, like the one you bought years ago. Yes, it’s faster and prettier than before. But it should not be mistaken for a work computer. You would be a less efficient worker if you chose an iPad Pro for work instead of the many standard laptops and desktops.

    The iPad Pro fails at basic tasks

    The very first thing I did with the iPad Pro — aside from taking photos of it — was try to write a story with it. I know it can do movies and books, but I wanted to see how much of a “pro” item it was.

    I ended up writing this first-impressions story about the iPad Pro on said device. But I immediately ran into roadblocks.

    Selecting text was a major pain. The first red flag for me was when I tried highlighting a sentence to bold it. I couldn’t select the sentence. I was pointing at the right area with my finger, but the highlighted area kept shooting around the screen, highlighting entire paragraphs.

    I couldn’t believe how long I spent trying to select a single sentence. I’ve never had so much trouble selecting text on a laptop, because mice and trackpads are still vastly more precise than fingers and touchscreens.

    Multitasking on the iPad Pro was inconsistent and less efficient than on a normal computer. One of the most common things I do when writing a story for Business Insider is add a photo. Like on most websites, you press an “upload” button and either browse for it among your files or drag and drop it into a highlighted area.

    On a Mac, adding a photo to a website is a three-step process: open the browser, open Finder, and drag and drop the file from Finder into the browser.

    On the iPad Pro, I needed to open Safari, swipe from the bottom of the screen to activate the dock, open the Photos app from the dock to activate Split View, and then drag and drop the photo I wanted from one app to the other.

    An extra step, whatever. But dragging and dropping didn’t always work. I’d hold my finger to a photo to select it, but when I dragged it to the second app, it changed to a different one that I didn’t select. This behavior could be a bug, but it happened every time I tried adding a photo.

    Uploading a photo to the website was also slower than on my 4-year-old MacBook Pro. And some photos I uploaded automatically rotated 180 degrees. No problem; that’s happened on my Mac before. But altering and saving the photo in the correct orientation, which usually does the trick on the Mac, didn’t work on the iPad Pro.

    Nothing would work, and I had no way of correcting the photo unless I did it on my Mac. So that’s what I did: I put my brand-new iPad Pro away and finished my work on my MacBook.

 

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How to download movies from Netflix for offline viewing

Got a long plane ride ahead? Here’s how to download movies from Netflix

Netflix is great for when you want to spend the night on the couch using a steady Wi-Fi connection from your awesome new router, but what if you have the world’s longest plane ride ahead of you? Thankfully, you can download a heck of a lot of content from the popular on-demand streaming service for offline viewing.


For now, downloading titles for offline playback is limited to the Netflix app, which is currently available for both iOS and Android. If you’ve got a laptop or other Windows computer, the functionality is also built into the Netflix app for Windows 10, assuming you’re running Windows 10 Anniversary Update or later.

The process is straightforward: Just open Netflix, choose download quality, and select the download option (when available) for offline viewing. Read on for more specific details on how to download movies from Netflix onto all of your devices.

The following instructions should work for iOS, Android, and Windows 10, despite being specific to the latter.

Getting your download on

Step 1: Get up-to-date

First things first, you’ll need to make sure your Netflix app is up-to-date. If you don’t have your device set to auto update, simply click on the app in the App Store (you’ll need version 9.0 or later) for iOS devices, or do the same in the Google Play Store for Android devices. If you plan on using the Netflix app for Windows 10, select Store in the taskbar or Start menu, click your user icon, and select Downloads or Updates. Finally, select Check for Updates and the Netflix app will begin updating.

Step 2: Choose your download quality

how to download movies and tv shows from netflix settings

Netflix offers two quality levels for downloads: Standard and High. The latter seems to be high definition — somewhere between 720p and 1080p resolution — though Netflix doesn’t specify. Standard uses less space on your device and allows you to download content quicker, whereas High takes a bit more space and patience. Which one you’ll want to use will depend on how much free space you have on your device, and what kind of device you’re using. Standard mode may look fine on your new phone, for instance, whereas a higher resolution may be preferable for your tablet or laptop.

To choose, select the menu icon on the left and scroll down to App Settings. From there, under the Downloads heading, click or tap Video Quality and select your preferred quality. We’ll get into more details on how much space Netflix downloads take up later in this article.

Step 3: Pick your poison

how to download movies and tv shows from netflix available for Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Not everything on Netflix is available for download, but the company has made downloadable titles easy to find by arranging them in a special section called simply Available for Download. To get there, click or tap the Menu button in the upper-left corner — it will be the first option below the Home section. If you’re searching for specific titles, simply  make sure theyb have  the download icon, which is a downward arrow with a horizontal line beneath it.

Step 4: Start downloading

how to download movies and tv shows from netflix downloading

To begin downloading a title, select the Download icon affixed to the show or movie you want to watch. There is one thing Android users will need to be aware of here: You can only download titles to the same storage device on which the Netflix app is stored. This means that, if you want to download content to an SD card, you’ll need to install the Netflix app there as well.

Step 5: Watch your downloaded titles

Once downloaded, all Netflix content will appear in the My Downloads section, which can be found by selecting the menu button in the app’s upper-left corner. The My Downloads folder is located just above the Home section. The title’s running time, as well as how much space it uses, is listed directly beside it. To play an episode, simply click or tap the video thumbnail.

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how to download movies and tv shows from netflix my downloads Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

how to download movies and tv shows from netflix my downloads list Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

How much space do I need?

Just how much space a download takes up depends on how long the title is and, of course, the playback quality. As an example, we downloaded the Netflix original The Ritual, as well as the first episode of Stranger Things, in both Standard and High quality.

The Ritual has a runtime of 94 minutes. The Standard version of the film used 542MB of space, while the higher-quality iteration took up 1.8GB. Stranger Things‘ first episode is 48 minutes long and takes up 197.1MB of space in Standard quality and 310.1MB in High. As mentioned above, Standard should be fine for most phones, but if you’re picky — or watching on a bigger screen — you’ll want to use the higher resolution.

What’s available?

As noted previously, not all of Netflix’s library of streaming titles is available for download. One group of titles you can always count on being available, however, are Netflix Originals. Every Netflix title we looked at was immediately available for download, including episodes of Stranger Things, The Punisher, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Narcos, Jessica Jones, and The Crown.

The Crown

Other titles available at the time of writing included TV shows like Breaking Bad, Colony, The Office, Arrow, and Grey’s Anatomy. Movies available for download included Anon, Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell, Bright, The Imitation Game, and Moon.

Some titles are only available for a limited time, and so you’ll want to grab a title sooner rather than later. Of course, once a title is gone from the service, you won’t be able to access its downloaded iterations.

How do I delete titles?

Whether you’ve already watched downloaded titles or simply want to make room for other things, you’ll eventually want to get rid of them. Thankfully, there are two ways to go about this, depending on how much content you want to delete at once.

Step 1: Deleting a single title

If you only want to delete a single title at a time, you can do so via the My Downloads section. In Windows 10, for example, just open the title, click on the Downloaded button, and select Delete Download. You can also click on the pencil edit icon and select the titles to delete. Titles will be deleted without a second confirmation, however, so be careful.

how to download movies and tv shows from netflix delete Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 2: Deleting all titles

You could delete everything in the My Downloads section individually, but if you’re looking to clear everything all at once, there’s an easier way. Go to Settings, then simply click on Delete All Downloads.

how to download movies and tv shows from netflix delete Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

how to download movies and tv shows from netflix delete all 2

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iPad Pro reviews are starting to come in, and Apple’s new tablet apparently won’t replace your laptop

Has no trackpad

Can’t use a mouse

Has no file system

It’s a phone OS without the phone

Can’t use external storage

Terrible browser

VERY EXPENSIVE

IT’S NOT A LAPTOP COMPUTER, IT’S AN IPHONE.

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Typing In Hell: A Laptop Lover’s Guide to the New MacBook Air and iPad Pro

By Aaron Pressman

October 31, 2018

“The quck brosn fox…”

That’s the gibberish I ended up typing on Tuesday when I tried Apple’s brand new MacBook Air. I had intended to produce the usual typing test phrase “the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs.” But as an admittedly poor typist, I was having some problems with the Air’s new keyboard.

The update to one of the most popular laptops of all time made its long overdue debut at an Apple event minutes earlier. And on stage before a crowd of a couple of thousand of (mostly) Apple employees and guests, the new laptop looked brilliant.

“Our customers…especially love one Mac in particular, one that they take with them everywhere they go, and use for everything they do–and that is the MacBook Air,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told the audience. “It’s time for a new MacBook Air.”

Last updated way back in 2015, the new MacBook Air starts at almost $1,200 and added faster Intel processors and more memory, as expected. It also finally got a high-resolution 13-inch retina screen, a couple of modern USB-C ports, and now comes in two additional colors (gold and “space gray”). Meanwhile, Apple eliminated the SD card slot, USB-3 ports, and the delightful MagSafe charging port, which detaches the cord if someone stumbles across it to avoid yanking the laptop off a desk. All of the changes were in line with what Apple has done over the past few years with its MacBook Pro laptops, the more expensive line that’s been updated more frequently.

Thinner Keyboard

After the keynote and a couple of delightful songs from Lana Del Rey, I waited in a long line to get into Apple’s hand’s-on area. And that’s where a big disappointment quickly became obvious. The prior version of the MacBook Air, which I use for work, has one of the best keyboards available. Fast and accurate with a firm feeling as each key noticeably depresses upon being struck, it’s always a joy to type on. I’ve had many, many laptops since starting with a unit called the NEC Ultralight in the 1990s, ranging from some cute purple Sony Vaio models to most of Apple’s offerings over the past decade or two. And the old Air’s keyboard was among the very best.

As I approached the new Air, sitting on a beautiful white display table in the gorgeous six-story atrium that was once a grand lobby of the Williamsburgh Bank, my fingers reached for the keyboard. And in place of the great version on the old Air was a new thinner keyboard, the third generation of the one that Apple first introduced three years ago on its MacBook laptop and has since migrated to the MacBook Pro as well. So it’s not a surprise, but surely a disappointment, that perhaps the most important feature of the laptop after the screen is now so degraded, in my view (Outside of Apple, the design has been widely panned from the outset, though my teenage kids tells me it’s just fine–your mileage may vary).

Still, Apple kept the Air’s iconic wedge shape even as it lightened the laptop by about 7%—it’s now 2.75 lb.—and the new screen is gorgeous and bright, as advertised. And…drum roll please…Apple kept the headphone jack (which it’s taken out of the iPhone and new iPads).

The new MacBook Air still has an escape key.

The new MacBook Air still has an escape key.

The new MacBook Air also still has an escape key, forgoing the touch-friendly screen of virtual buttons dubbed the Touch Bar that Apple added to some other models. The new Air does get a small fingerprint sensor for biometric unlocking, though.

Typing for a bit, I found the flatter, wider keys somewhat easier to hit accurately but I didn’t always register a letter when I thought I had hit the correct key and sometimes got my fingers misaligned. The new keyboard design has also been more prone to keys failing from crumbs or other detritus getting inside, though the third generation update may have fixed that issue.

Unhappy with the overall feel, I found myself wishing that Apple’s autocorrect feature, which fixes common typos automatically while you type, was even better than it is, intervening more often when my fingers went astray. Then I wished that some crazy hacker, like Scotty Allen who re-added a headphone jack to his iPhone 7 after Apple debuted the phone without one in 2016, could somehow tweak the new Air to add the keyboard from the older model.

Combined with the fantastic new features like the retina screen and lighter weight, it would make one of the killer laptops of all time.

New iPads

Later, when I tried Apple’s updated iPad Pro models and the new snap on keyboard cover, called the Smart Keyboard Folio, I was even more disappointed. The new iPad Pro starts at almost $800 and the cover costs another $180 to $200, depending on size. For the record, the old Smart Keyboard that Apple made for prior iPads was not so great. But the new one seemed to have even less travel distance in the keys, in addition to a little too much resistance pushing back each time I struck a key. That made it even harder for me to type quickly and accurately.

The new iPads, however, are a joy to hold and look at. The new 12.9 inch model is noticeably lighter and smaller than its predecessor, even as the screen stayed the same overall size. The screen seemed, if anything, even brighter and crisper than on older models. Storage now goes up to a whopping 1 TB. And though Apple eliminated the headphone jack, the switch from Apple’s proprietary lightning port to an industry standard USB-C port means it’s easier to connect all kinds of different devices to the iPad without using a crazy array of dongles and adapters, including cameras and large 4K external displays.

An Apple expert demonstrates the features of the new iPad Pro.

An Apple expert demonstrates the features of the new iPad Pro.

As an Apple (aapl) iPad expert demonstrated the improved feature to connect to a desktop display made possible by the USB-C port, another shortcoming in the device’s design became obvious. While Microsoft (msft) and Google (googl) make software for tablets that can incorporate input from a trackpad in addition to just finger touches, Apple is sticking with touch only.

That means, first of all, that there’s no way for users to manipulate directly whatever is on the second screen connected to the iPad. My demo expert showed off how Adobe Lightroom could display a picture on the large, external screen while editing controls were shown on the iPad’s own screen.

But there was no way to touch or zoom in or out or manipulate the photo like you could if it was displayed on the iPad’s screen. And forget about using the external screen to display a different app, say by putting your email program on one screen and a web browser on the other for reference, as you might when connecting a laptop to a second monitor. For now, the feature only lets you use both displays to show different parts of the same app, like video footage being edited on one screen and the editing controls on the other.

And the limitations of typing and moving the cursor with no trackpad for the iPad create a bit of a quandary for Apple’s marketing pitch. There’s no touch screen on its laptops because, Apple says, people don’t want to interrupt their workflow and have to reach up from the keyboard and trackpad to touch the screen (I agree). And there’s no trackpad for the iPad because it doesn’t fit with the all-touch stance of Apple’s software for the iPad. So then how can Apple pitch the iPad as a true replacement for a laptop if it’s not great for writing and other apps where you’d like to move the cursor around?

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Who the Hell Needs a Fancy iPad Anyway?

Who the Hell Needs a Fancy iPad Anyway?

Mario Aguilar


Photo: Alex Cranz (Gizmodo)

The iPad has always been a fantasy, and even as the device is more powerful and beautiful than it’s ever been before, I can’t bring myself to understand why most people would ever want one.

I remember sitting in a newsroom nearly a decade ago as extremely smart and well-meaning editorial executives told a group of magazine staff about their plans to launch for a yet-unannounced iPad. This was the solution to declining print circulation! We would make magazines for the iPad!

I don’t need to tell you that magazine apps for the iPad didn’t exactly pan out. Depending on the user, for most, the iPad is basically either a large phone you use to browse the web extra big or a minimally productive laptop replacement you poke at on the go. But I think that moment in 2009 is reflective of how stoked people were about the possibilities of the tablet computer. Perhaps the enthusiasm was partially residual excitement about the iPhone, which just years before the introduction of the iPad had entered the world and set in motion a complete revolution. Jobs and friends did it once, maybe they could do it again.

When Apple announced the new iPad Pros this week, the excitement was once again all about potential and possibility more than reality. Here’s what I can say for sure: These are for sure the most beautiful and advanced iPads that have ever existed. With its nearly edge-to-edge display, the iPad Pro is a marvel of industrial design. Aesthetically, it’s everything we’ve come expect from an Apple product, down to the lofty descriptions of its materials and contours from company design deity Jony Ive. Though Ive didn’t do the customary video narration during the announcement event this week, he did say his piece in an interview with The Independent in which, among other things, he went on and on about how the new iPad was great because the screen doesn’t have square corners. “If you look at the iPad Pro, though, you can see how the radius, the curve in the corner of the display, is concentric with and sympathetic to the actual enclosure,” he said. “You feel it’s authentic, and you have the sense that it’s not an assembly of a whole bag of different components: it’s a single, clear product.”

Now I’m all about nerding out on design, especially when we’re talking about real functional, utilitarian considerations, but here we’re talking about the corners of a damn display. This is an irritating thing designers do, especially when it comes to touch devices. They stray from the ways design improves how you use things to effusive monologues about the immediacy and intimacy of experiencing them. It’s not just Jony Ive—a few years ago I ribbed Microsoft hardware chief Panos Panay for a similarly feverish description of Surface hardware.

The trouble is, I think, that it’s very hard to explain the largely niche utility improvements of devices like the iPad Pro (and, yes, the Surface Studio Panay was on about) to regular people. The Apple presentation introducing the iPads earlier this week was targeted at “creative” people who have demanding needs when it comes to things like stylus performance, CAD rendering speeds, and sharper more vibrant displays. DJs, architects, graphic designers, and other rarefied iPad users should be very excited. Most of us are not these people! But maybe selling the devices to regular folks is contingent on convincing us that we’ve got a deep well of creativity hiding within that will be unleashed thanks to the latest processor upgrade; or that the design of the new iPad is so perfect, you’ll experience transcendence while checking email in an airport lounge.

It’s not that the rest of us can’t benefit from the even more beautiful display that is each year more glorious—it’s that what we’re probably going to do with it is watch Netflix. If you have an iPad from 2014, it’s probably just as good at doing that. So is your computer. And if you don’t have an iPad, maybe all you really need is Apple’s much cheaper basic model. But you’re not just a basic user, right? You’re a special creative person! If that’s the case, go ahead, spend $800 or $1000 on the very best glass slab Cupertino can engineer. (From a long-term utility point of view, it does make some sense to buy the latest device if you are going to buy an iPad.)

For my continued skepticism about the utility of the iPad, Apple indisputably sells millions of these things. For better or worse, there are millions of people who will rush to buy the latest product Apple releases, even if it will only be a very fancy couch companion. And though I’m annoyed by the aspirational creativity that drives many people to buy expensive products they won’t fully utilize, I fully acknowledge that there are thousands and possibly millions of people who really get the most out the iPad.

I guess what I’m saying is I just don’t know how I would use one. Maybe I’m just lame?

What do you use your iPad for?

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What’s New in Microsoft 365 in October

Microsoft this week documented the new tools, functionality, and enhancements it announced for its Microsoft 365 offerings this past month.

“This month, we released new features in Microsoft 365 that help teams enhance the look and feel of their content with ease, plus new tools and resources to help you transition to the cloud,” Microsoft corporate vice president Kirk Koenigsbauer explains.

Key enhancements include:

Embedded 3D animations. Starting in November, users will be able to insert embedded 3D animations in Word and PowerPoint.

Ink to text and shapes. Also starting in November, those with Office 365 or Microsoft 365 subscriptions will be able to convert digital pen ink into text or shapes on a slide.

Curated slide recommendations in PowerPoint. Designer in PowerPoint uses artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing to convert text into curated slide recommendations. This feature is now available to Microsoft 365 and Office 365 subscribers.

Document editing with digital pen. New gestures in the Ink Editor in Word allows those with a Microsoft 365 or Office 365 subscription to edit documents using familiar shorthand with a digital pen while in tablet mode.

Transform to Web. Beginning November 2018, Office 365 subscribers can transform Word documents into interactive, easy-to-share webpages with just three clicks using Word Online.

SharePoint Migration Tool. Now available to Microsoft 365 subscribers, this free tool helps commercial customers migrate existing SharePoint, OneDrive, and File Share content to SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Microsoft Teams.

Desktop App Assure. Available in FastTrack now and more broadly by February 2019, this tool assists customers who encounter app compatibility issues when deploying Windows 10, Office 365 ProPlus, and feature updates.

Office.com Help. The new help and support pane for Office.com will provide you access to the latest support information and support articles, and give you help with the common issues for the app you’re using without leaving the app. It will roll out across Office 365 web apps over the next six months.

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