Windows 10 later this year: Microsoft’s new test build shows more of what’s coming

New Windows 10 preview brings Sets tabbing to Office 365, revealing more of what’s due after Spring update.


Microsoft’s third Windows 10 Redstone 5 test build brings its new Sets tabbing productivity feature to Office 365.

Windows 10 preview build 17643 is for Windows Insiders who’ve opted for the Skip Ahead preview version, which contains the latest features that Microsoft will be delivering after the upcoming Spring Windows 10 release, known as Redstone 4.

Microsoft rolled out the Sets windows management tool in the March RS5 test build, which worked with Mail, Calendar, OneNote, MSN News, Windows, and Edge.

Sets, as it’s called now, is a tabs-based windows system that works in a similar way to browser tabs. With Sets, a person working on a Word document can open new Sets tabs and integrate information from other data sources, such as OneNote, apps, and websites.

With Windows 10 build 17643 bringing Sets to Office 365, you can now flesh out a Word document with Sets tabs containing data from Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and so on.

“Whether updating your Excel budget each month with stock prices and credit-card expenses, incorporating data from multiple reports and websites into a PowerPoint, or managing citations for your book report in Word, Sets with Office 365 helps you get more done, faster,” writes Dona Sarkar, head of the Windows Insider program.

The integration is only available to Windows Insiders who are also Office Insiders. Windows Insiders also need to be an Office 365 subscriber to try the feature and must have the latest version of Office 365 desktop apps. Windows Insiders can sign up to be an Office Insider.

Microsoft has rolled out two improvements to Sets. Now it’s enabled Sets for most Win32 desktops that use a default and non-customized title bar. Paint.exe doesn’t have Sets support for this reason.

Edge now has better Sets support too. “If you’ve opened a Microsoft Edge window within Sets, you can now drag that tab around within the set, as well as drop it in another Sets window. Dragging between a Sets window and a standalone Microsoft Edge window does not yet work,” explained Sarkar.

Microsoft has made Edge’s WebDriver a Feature on Demand, a move that addresses the problem of binary mismatches between software versions and different devices.

The update also brings roaming data usage for Windows 10 devices with a SIM card to show how much data has been used while roaming. This feature could come in handy for the new range of ‘always-connected’ Windows 10 laptops and convertibles coming to market.

And Microsoft has acquiesced to Insider calls for a way to keep the mouse centered on the screen in Full-Screen mode. Users can configure this feature in Settings under Ease of Access.

There’s a long list of known issues in this build, but also a few fixes for the Windows Reveal effect, a screen flicker problem, and persistent spellchecking menu on multi-screen setups.

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Sets is coming to Office 365 later this year.

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How to upgrade to Windows 10 Spring Creators Update right now

It’s only a week since Microsoft released Windows 10 Spring Creators Update Build 17133 first to the Fast ring and then the Slow ring, and it’s clear that it’s not going to be long until the latest big update is pushed out to everyone via Windows Update.

But what about if you want to upgrade right now? There’s no need to be a Windows Insider as the RTM version of Windows 10 Spring Creators Update is already available to download directly from Microsoft’s servers. So, if you’re interested in keeping one step ahead of the game, here’s what you need to do.


We already know that Windows 10 1803 build 17133 is the RTM (i.e. complete and final) version of Windows 10 Spring Creators Update. The bits are sitting on Microsoft servers (thanks to Ghacks for sharing the news!) and if you want to upgrade without having to wait for the official launch; you might as well jump the queue.

There are multiple versions of Windows 10 to choose from (consumer, business, 32- and 64-bit, for instance, as well as Home, Pro and Education editions), and it’s important that you download the right one. Rather than list all of the download links here copy and paste into you browser and you will be prompted to save.– once you factor in all of the languages that are available, there are literally dozens of versions — you will find a handy list on PasteBin, as helpfully shared on Twitter by ‘november_ra1n’:

The files are provided in ESD format, and you will need to download the one you need, decrypt it, and turn it into an ISO file. A handy tool for this is ESD Decrypter by adguard — links to this and an alternative ESD decrypter are included in the PasteBin file.

You’ll need to extract the ESD decryptor itself before you can use it (this can be done with a tool such as WinZip , 7-Zip or PowerArchiver) and you can then run this command line tool as administrator and gain access to the ISO image you need.

This ISO can then be burned to disc, and you can then use it to install Windows 10 Spring Creators Update.

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Microsoft discovers blocking bug and delays the release of Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

The next big update for Windows 10 has been delayed while Microsoft rushes to fix a newly-discovered bug.

Known variously as Windows 10 version 1803, Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version Next, Redstone 4 and Windows 10 Spring Creators Update, it was widely thought that the update had reached RTM and was on the verge of rolling out. However, this last-minute discovery means there will be a little longer to wait.


Technically speaking, there’s not actually a delay as Microsoft has never publicly committed to a particular release date — but it still means that users will have to wait longer than expected for the update. While exact details of the problem have not been revealed, sources are referring to it as a “blocking bug” and it is said to have been discovered over the weekend.

The bug is expected to delay the release by a couple of weeks. While frustrating for those eagerly awaiting the update, it highlights the value of the preview rings in identifying problems before they reach too large an audience.

Microsoft is yet to say anything about the matter, but we’ll update this story if that changes.

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New iPhone Update Is Breaking Phones

Apple’s upcoming release of a red iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus is being overshadowed by a newly-found fault in the iOS 11.3 update.

Released on March 29, the software update is allegedly making screens unresponsive if they have been replaced by third party repairers. Anyone who broke their phone and did not get it fixed by Apple could be at risk of their devices bricking—a slang term in the smartphone industry that refers to phones having the same functionality as a brick.

According to a report by Motherboard, independent repair shops are bearing the brunt of consumer anger: Injured Gadgets CEO Aakshay Kripalani said his company has already shipped over two thousand replacements.

“Customers are annoyed and it seems like Apple is doing this to prevent customers from doing 3rd party repair,” Kripalani told Motherboard.

a close up of a red wall © Provided by IBT Media

Fixing the screens now requires a small chip to be upgraded, rather just the screen itself. Independent repairers are slowly discovering the fault but customers still require a follow-up appointment.

One business, iOutlet in Ohio, made a conscious decision to not add the iPhone 8, 8 Plus or X to its list of reparable items. Owner Michael Oberdick told Motherboard he “he had a really good feeling something like this was going to happen again.”

Apple has long been possessive of its repair process. Any third-party business who offers iPhone repairs have to do so with off-brand parts since Apple refuses to sell them on. “They’re the manufacturers,” Oberdick said. “Ultimately, they hold all the cards.”

The tech giant announced on Monday (April 9) that it would be releasing a red version of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus as part of its (PRODUCT)RED campaign. Apple donates a portion of profits to AIDS and HIV treatment and counseling.

The iPhone 7 received the same treatment last year with a red version being released around six months (March 21) after the initial launch.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus red models go on sale this Friday (April 13). The iPhone X will be getting a new (PRODUCT)RED leather case.

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FTC warns phone makers: It’s illegal to void warranties over third-party parts

The Federal Trade Commission has warned six major companies that sell smartphones, video game systems, and vehicles about warranty conditions that require customers to use specified parts or service providers.

The FTC says claims by manufacturers that a warranty can only be intact if a consumer buys specified parts are prohibited under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a law setting out the rules for consumer product warranties.

The only conditions a firm can apply to restrict warranties in this way are if they receive a waiver from the FTC or provide the specified parts or services for free.

“Provisions that tie warranty coverage to the use of particular products or services harm consumers who pay more for them, as well as the small businesses who offer competing products and services,” said Thomas B Pahl, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The FTC hasn’t named the firms but a company that has been criticized over the years for restrictions on third-party screen replacements is Apple. However, the iPhone maker argued that its 2016 ‘error 53’ debacle was a security measure.

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Arianna Huffington: Tech Addiction Is a Bigger Problem Than People Realize

Image: People use their smartphone to take photosThrough the looking glass.© Provided by NBCU News Group, a division of NBCUniversal Media LLC Image: People use their smartphone to take photosThrough the looking glass.

We are at an inflection point in our relationship with technology. Technology allows us to do amazing things that have immeasurably improved our lives. But at the same time, it’s accelerated the pace of our lives beyond our ability to keep up. And it’s getting worse. We’re being controlled by something we should be controlling. And it’s consuming our attention and crippling our ability to focus, think, be present, and truly connect with ourselves and the world around us.

The numbers only confirm what we all know to be true — we’re addicted. A 2015 Bank of America report found that over 70 percent of Americans sleep next to or with their phone. This addiction comes at a cost. A Pew study from the same year found that 89 percent of phone owners said they’d used their phones in their last social gathering, and 82 percent felt that when they do this it damages the interaction.

It’s gotten so bad that the phone doesn’t even need to be turned on for it to negatively affect our relationships. One study found that when two people are in a conversation, the mere presence of a phone can have, as the authors write, “negative effects on closeness, connection, and conversation quality,” leading them to conclude that the mere presence of mobile phones can create a psychological hindrance.

There’s also plenty of research suggesting a link between heavy social media use and depression, especially in young people.

The%20problem%20lies%20not%20with%20our%20desire%20to%20connect,%20but%20with%20our%20form%20of%20connection.

The problem lies not with our desire to connect, but with our form of connection. Our technology gives us a form of connection with the whole world, but at the same time it can limit the depth of our connection to the world around us, to those closest to us, and to ourselves. Technology has been very good at giving us what we want, but less good at giving us what we need.

And what we need is to re-calibrate our relationship our technology. This is one of the most important conversations of our time. And ironically, conversation is the very thing our addiction to our screens prevents. We’re so busy scheduling our lives, documenting them, logging them, tracking them, memorializing and sharing them that we’re not actually living them.

Importantly, our ability to have this conversation won’t last forever. The rise of AI, and the increasing hyper-connectivity of our daily lives, has the potential to erode our humanity even further.

Isaac Asimov saw this coming back in 1988. “The saddest aspect of life right now,” he wrote, “is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” And right now, we’re drowning in data, but starved for wisdom.

Wisdom would require thinking about the qualities we consider essentially and uniquely human – about what is sacred and irreducible about our humanity — and then thinking about how can we redraw and protect the borders of that humanity as technology is mounting a full-scale invasion.

And the answer isn’t to stop technology or go backwards. That ship has sailed — and mostly for the better. The answer is smarter and better technology. In fact, I think this is going to be one of the next frontiers in technology — and it’s one of the things we’re doing at Thrive Global with our technology platform — creating apps and tools and even AI that helps rebuild those barriers around our humanity, and reclaim the time and space needed for real connection.

The increase in automation and AI, what some are calling the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is obviously going to bring profound changes. In the workplace, it’s going to put a premium on essential human qualities like creativity, intuition, decision-making, and wisdom.

The paradox is that these are the exact qualities that are impaired by our addiction to technology. So our ability to succeed in the technology-dominated workplace of the future depends, in no small measure, on our ability to — right now — take back control of our technology, and our lives.

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Why The New York Times Tesla Model 3 Review Is Nonsense

a close up of a logo© Alex Roy

Remember back in 2016 when Elon Musk suggested that critics of self-driving cars were killing people? He may yet be right, but not until self-driving cars are both commercially available and demonstrably safer than humans. Between now and then we have a deeper problem, which is that the majority of self-driving media coverage is absolute nonsense. The stench of clickbait around self-driving is so thick, it’s almost impossible to find a story burdened with accurate information. Between Business Insider, the fools, and the shills grasping for the 40% of global automotive media traffic with “Tesla” in the headline, I thought the toilet bowl of coverage was full.

I was wrong. The latest offender? The New York Times’ absurd Tesla Model 3 review.

What is happening at the New York Times? One would expect the paper of record to have people with basic knowledge of their topic areas, if not expertise. Sadly, when it comes to automotive coverage, there’s no there there. They fired everyone with sector knowledge last year, including The Drive’s very own expert Lawrence Ulrich. That error became glaringly clear with the Times’ October 2017 outrage, “Driverless Cars Made Me Nervous. Then I Tried One“, in which the esteemed David Leonhardt contradicted the headline in the first sentence, calling the Volvo S90 “semi-driverless”, a term that exists nowhere except in the pages of publications too cheap to keep experts on the masthead.

a screenshot of a video camera© Provided by TIME Inc.

A car is self-driving, or it isn’t.

A car is driverless, or it isn’t.

A car has semi-autonomous features, or it doesn’t.

That the widely recognized Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) automation levels are vague and need revamping is no excuse; Leonhardt doesn’t even cite them. The headline and article are so misleading as to make the New York Times complicit in the very storm of self-driving disinformation they would seek to clear.

Musk might yet be half-right, but he was also half wrong. It’s not just the critics of self-driving that are killing people. It’s also the supporters. When the Times is foolish enough to conflate “driverless”, “self-driving”, “semi-autonomous” and “semi-driverless”, people who don’t know better might start believing Tesla Autopilot actually is an autonomous system.

Despite a flurry of Twitter criticism, the New York Times didn’t resolve its total of automotive expertise, it doubled down with the most irresponsible and inaccurate Tesla Autopilot article yet from a mainstream publication, “With Tesla in a Danger Zone, Can Model 3 Carry It to Safety?

This is a really bad article.© Provided by TIME Inc. This is a really bad article.

Let’s deconstruct the offending paragraphs:

© Provided by TIME Inc.

What is author James B. Stewart trying to suggest? That “Autopilot” is a feature set that can be transferred from aviation to cars? Tesla Autopilot is a brand, not a technology, and as 793,000 news stories pointed out in a .54 second Google search, it isn’t the same thing as an aviation “autopilot” for the ground.

a screenshot of a cell phone© Provided by TIME Inc.

Huh? I searched the Tesla website and couldn’t find any reference to them claiming Autopilot is “an autonomous driving system.” It isn’t. It’s semi-autonomous, at best. That second sentence about full self-driving capabilities adds context, but not the good kind.

a screenshot of a cell phone© Provided by TIME Inc.

At least the author uses “semi-autonomous” this time, but then he makes a factual error. Gripping the wheel doesn’t disable Autopilot and transfer control back to the driver. Neither does laying your hand on it. Torque does. There is no capacitive sensor on the wheel that senses human touch. You have to apply approximately 1 Newton meter of torque to disable Autopilot.

Bad New York Times. Bad.

And then things go from uninformed to inaccurate.

a screenshot of a cell phone© Provided by TIME Inc.

If I knew nothing, I would assume that the author told the Tesla Model 3 where to go, it drove there, and then it parked, all without his intervention. He actually uses the phrase “without my intervention.” That sounds like a voice-activated self-driving car. A car that can do everything door-to-door. There is nothing in that paragraph that suggests the Tesla Model 3 is anything but a self-driving car.

Newsflash: there are no self-driving cars for sale today. Not one.

What the author describes is not what actually happened.

Here’s what actually happened:

  1. The author pressed a button on the steering wheel to activate Voice Command.
  2. The author said “Navigate to Garden State Plaza”.
  3. The navigation system listed the Garden State Plaza on the center screen.
  4. The author tapped on the correct destination on the center screen.
  5. The author began driving under human control.
  6. Using a stalk left of the steering wheel, the author set the radar cruise control distance to 3 car lengths. Unless it was already set there.
  7. When conditions permitted, the author pulled twice on the same stalk to engage Autopilot, which remained engaged for some length of time, one or more times.
  8. When the author approached the a light/exit/intersection, he disengaged Autopilot by tapping on the brakes, applying force to the steering wheel, and/or using the same stalk.
  9. The author then manually drove into the parking lot.
  10. Upon finding a spot, the author stopped the car, then engaged the Automatic Parking functionality, which parked the car.

Almost everything in that paragraph is wrong. That is not a fully self-driving car. That is a car in which a person has a lot of choices to make, and has to make, or the car isn’t going anywhere. If it is, and the driver doesn’t make some real decisions, it’s going into a ditch, or worse.

a screenshot of a cell phone© Provided by TIME Inc.

Does the author understand what he’s saying? The Tesla does not eliminate the danger of a blind spot. That would require sensors the Model 3 lacks, like a rear radar. Strangely, he points out that he’s had problems in other cars with blind spots, then says this:

a screenshot of a cell phone© Provided by TIME Inc.

So what’s his conclusion?

a screenshot of a cell phone© Provided by TIME Inc.

Tesla’s wireless over-the-air (OTA) updates are brilliant, but they can’t magically conjure up the necessary hardware to resolve the problem he describes.

The author isn’t familiar with the most basic concepts of automation or autonomous systems, or the difference between series and parallel semi-autonomy. #WouldYouLikeToKnowMore? Here’s an article about it from last year which explains the difference, and how misguided Stewart is when he claims Autopilot “enhances (rather than supplants) human performance.”

Virtually everyone, from car companies to Silicon Valley to the Department of Transportation and NHTSA, has failed to educate consumers about the realities of automation and autonomy, which are not the same thing. If safety is a desired goal of self-driving cars, it’s not being served by misinformation.

This is the legacy of cost cutting in newsrooms.

When one of the most respected papers in the country is publishing drivel of this level, what does that suggest about their other coverage?

Signed,

A lifelong New York Times fan and reader.

P.S. if you want to read a serious Model 3 review, read Tesla Model 3, The First Serious Review.

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