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  1. How Stellar Data Recovery Can Save Your iPhone Memories

    Fri, 21 Jun 2024 12:13:35 -0000

    Imagine waking up one day to find that all your cherished memories—those candid photos from your last vacation, messages from family, and vital work conversations—have vanished into thin air. This is the […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post How Stellar Data Recovery Can Save Your iPhone Memories appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Imagine waking up one day to find that all your </span><b>cherished memories</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">—those candid photos from your last vacation, messages from family, and vital work conversations—have vanished into thin air. This is the reality of </span><b>losing data</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">, a real nightmare that can turn into reality without warning.</span></p> <p><b>Data loss</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> scenarios are as varied as they are unpredictable. Perhaps you accidentally deleted an important chat while clearing out your inbox, or maybe a software update went awry, erasing precious photos. Sometimes, it’s a simple mishap like</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">dropping your iPhone in water, or more insidious issues like a sudden system crash. Regardless of the cause,</span><b> the impact is immediate and often catastrophic</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But there’s a silver lining in this digital cloud era. Enter </span><a href="https://www.stellarinfo.com/media-tools/iphone-data-recovery.php" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer"><b>Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone</b></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, a </span><b>powerful </b><span style="font-weight: 400;">and </span><b>user-friendly tool</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> designed to rescue you from the despair of lost data. Whether it’s recovering critical chats or salvaging your media files, Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone offers a robust solution to ensure your data is safe and retrievable, even in the most dire of situations.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Understanding iPhone Data Recovery: A Lifesaver for Your Digital Life</span></h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">iPhone data recovery refers to the process of</span><b> retrieving lost or deleted data from your iPhone</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">. This can include a wide array of data types such as </span><b>photos</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">, </span><b>videos</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">, </span><b>messages</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">, </span><b>contacts</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and even </span><b>app data</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> from platforms like </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">WhatsApp</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> or </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Viber</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Utilizing specialized software, such as Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone, this process digs deep into your device’s storage, sifting through the digital remnants to piece back your lost files.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But why do we lose data in the first place? The reasons are as varied as they are unpredictable. Here are some of the most common culprits:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>Accidental Deletion</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: A slip of the finger can lead to the unintentional deletion of important files.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>System Crashes</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: Software glitches or failed updates can result in the loss of data.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>Water Damage</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: Dropping your iPhone in water can lead to significant data loss if the device becomes inoperable.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>Physical Damage</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: A cracked screen or damaged internal components from drops can render data inaccessible.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>Jailbreaking</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: Altering your iPhone’s software can sometimes lead to data corruption or loss.</span></li> </ul> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Why Choose Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone?</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When it comes to safeguarding your digital memories and crucial data, not all recovery tools are created equal. Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone stands out as a </span><b>premier solution</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and here's why:</span></p> <h3><span style="font-weight: 400;">Stellar Reputation and Expertise</span></h3> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Stellar Data Recovery is a trusted name in the world of data recovery. With decades of experience and a global presence, Stellar has built a reputation for delivering </span><b>reliable </b><span style="font-weight: 400;">and </span><b>effective solutions</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> for </span><b>recovering lost data</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> across various devices and platforms. Their expertise ensures that you’re not just getting a tool, but a robust solution backed by extensive research and a commitment to excellence.</span></p> <h3><span style="font-weight: 400;">Unique Selling Points</span></h3> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What sets Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone apart from the competition? Here are some standout features:</span></p> <ul> <li style="list-style-type: none;"> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>User-Friendly Interface:</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Navigating the complexities of data recovery can be daunting, but Stellar makes it straightforward. The software boasts an intuitive interface that guides you through each step of the recovery process with ease. Whether you're tech-savvy or a novice, you'll find the user experience smooth and hassle-free.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>High Recovery Success Rate</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: One of the critical measures of any data recovery tool is its success rate, and Stellar excels in this area. The software’s advanced algorithms and scanning techniques ensure a high rate of data retrieval, bringing back everything from text messages to multimedia files, often when other tools have failed.</span></li> </ul> </li> </ul> <ul> <li aria-level="1"><b>Compatibility with Various Data Loss Scenarios: </b><span style="font-weight: 400;">Data can be lost in numerous ways, and Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone is equipped to handle them all. Whether it’s accidental deletion, a failed iOS update, a factory reset, or damage to the device, Stellar can recover your data. It supports a wide range of data types including messages, contacts, photos, videos, call history, Safari bookmarks, and app data from popular apps like WhatsApp, Line, and Viber.</span></li> </ul> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Key Features of Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone: Safeguarding Your Conversations and Memories</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><a href="https://www.stellarinfo.com/media-tools/android-data-recovery.php" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone</a> excels in its ability to retrieve not just any data, but the data that matters most. These are the key features that make this tool indispensable: Chat Recovery and Media Recovery.</span></p> <h3><span style="font-weight: 400;">Chat Recovery: Your Conversations, Restored</span></h3> <h4><span style="font-weight: 400;">Importance of Chat Recovery</span></h4> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Chats are the threads that weave together our daily lives, capturing everything from heartfelt messages to critical business details. Losing these conversations can feel like losing a part of your history. Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone recognizes the significance of these digital dialogues and offers robust solutions to bring your conversations back to life.</span></p> <h4><span style="font-weight: 400;">Supported Chat Apps</span></h4> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whether you're sharing updates on WhatsApp, coordinating projects on Line, or catching up with loved ones on Viber, Stellar Data Recovery has you covered. The software supports a wide range of chat apps, ensuring comprehensive recovery options for your essential communications.</span></p> <h4><span style="font-weight: 400;">Detailed Process of Recovering Chat Data</span></h4> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Recovering chat data with Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone is a straightforward process:</span></p> <ol> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>Launch the Software</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: Start by launching Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone on your computer.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>Connect Your Device</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: Connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB cable.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>Select the Chat App</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: Choose the specific chat app you wish to recover data from.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>Scan Your Device</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: Initiate the scan to locate deleted or lost chat data.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>Preview and Recover</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: Preview the recoverable chat history and select the messages you want to restore. Click 'Recover' to retrieve your data and save it to your desired location.</span></li> </ol> <h3><span style="font-weight: 400;">Media Recovery: Recapturing Your Memories</span></h3> <h4><span style="font-weight: 400;">Significance of Media Recovery</span></h4> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Our phones are digital scrapbooks, holding precious photos, videos, and audio recordings that document our lives. Losing this media can be heart-wrenching, but Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone specializes in retrieving these treasured files, ensuring your memories are preserved.</span></p> <h4><span style="font-weight: 400;">Supported Media Types and File Formats</span></h4> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone supports a wide range of media types and file formats, including:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Photos: JPEG, PNG, GIF, and more.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Videos: MP4, MOV, AVI, and other popular formats.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Audio files: MP3, M4A, WAV, and more.</span></li> </ul> <h4><span style="font-weight: 400;">Step-by-Step Guide to Recovering Media Files</span></h4> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Recovering media files with Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone is designed to be user-friendly:</span></p> <ol> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>Launch the Software</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: Open Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone on your computer.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>Connect Your Device</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: Use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to the computer.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>Select Media Types</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: Choose the type of media you wish to recover—photos, videos, or audio files.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>Scan Your Device</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: Start the scan to search for lost or deleted media files.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>Preview and Recover</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: After the scan completes, preview the recoverable media files. Select the ones you want to recover and click 'Recover' to save them to your computer.</span></li> </ol> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tips for Preventing Future Data Loss</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Data loss can be a devastating experience, but with proactive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk. Here are some </span><b>best practices</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to help you safeguard your data and ensure you’re prepared for any unexpected mishaps.</span></p> <h3><span style="font-weight: 400;">Regular Backups</span></h3> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One of the most effective ways to prevent data loss is by </span><b>regularly backing up your iPhone</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Here are some methods to consider:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>iCloud Backup</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: Enable automatic backups in your iPhone settings to ensure your data is backed up to iCloud daily, as long as your device is connected to Wi-Fi and plugged into a power source.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>iTunes Backup</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: For a more comprehensive backup, use iTunes to back up your iPhone to your computer. This method captures more data than an iCloud backup and can be stored securely offline.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>Third-Party Backup Solutions</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: Consider using third-party apps that offer additional features and flexibility for backing up your data.</span></li> </ul> <h3><span style="font-weight: 400;">Multiple Backup Locations</span></h3> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To further protect your data,</span><b> use multiple backup locations</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Combine iCloud with an external hard drive or another cloud service to ensure you have copies of your data in various places.</span></p> <h3><span style="font-weight: 400;">Keep Your iOS Updated</span></h3> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Regularly</span><b> updating your iPhone’s operating system</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> can help prevent data loss caused by software bugs and security vulnerabilities. Ensure you have the latest iOS version installed to benefit from the latest security patches and performance improvements.</span></p> <h3><span style="font-weight: 400;">Regularly Clean Your Device</span></h3> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Periodically </span><b>cleaning up your iPhone</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> can prevent data clutter and enhance performance. Delete unnecessary files, apps, and media to free up space and reduce the risk of corruption.</span></p> <h3><span style="font-weight: 400;">Monitor Your Battery Health</span></h3> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A failing battery can lead to unexpected shutdowns and data loss. Keep an eye on your iPhone’s battery health and replace it if necessary to ensure reliable performance.</span></p> <h3><span style="font-weight: 400;">Using Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone as a Preventative Tool</span></h3> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>Regular Scans</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: Even if you haven’t lost any data, running regular scans with Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone can help identify potential issues before they become major problems. This proactive approach can detect early signs of data corruption or other issues.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>Cloning and Disk Testing</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: Stellar Data Recovery offers advanced features like cloning and disk testing, which can be used to create a complete copy of your iPhone’s data and check for disk errors. These features can help you identify and address potential problems early, ensuring your data remains safe.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><b>Educate Yourself</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: Understanding how Stellar Data Recovery works and familiarizing yourself with its features can make it easier to respond quickly in the event of data loss. Keep the software updated and learn how to use it effectively to maximize your chances of successful recovery.</span></li> </ul> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Protecting Your Digital Treasures: A Smart Choice</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Losing data can feel like losing a part of your life, but with the right tools and practices, you can </span><b>protect your valuable information</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Regular backups and proactive maintenance are crucial, but when the unexpected happens, </span><b>Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> is your reliable ally. It offers a seamless, effective solution to </span><b>recover lost chats</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">, </span><b>photos</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">, </span><b>videos</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">, </span><b>and more</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">, ensuring your memories and important data are never truly lost.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Don't wait for disaster to strike. </span><b>Download Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone today</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and take the first step towards protecting your digital treasures. Safeguard your memories, secure your information, and enjoy peace of mind knowing that Stellar Data Recovery has your back.</span></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/21/how-stellar-data-recovery-can-save-your-iphone-memories/" data-wpel-link="internal">How Stellar Data Recovery Can Save Your iPhone Memories</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  2. With Kaspersky banned in the US, what should customers do?

    Fri, 21 Jun 2024 06:04:56 -0000

    The United States are banning Kaspersky products. Starting July 20, Kaspersky is no longer allowed to sell its products to new customers. Software updates remain available until September 29, 2024. Customers who […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post With Kaspersky banned in the US, what should customers do? appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>The United States are banning Kaspersky products. Starting July 20, Kaspersky is no longer allowed to sell its products to new customers. Software updates remain available until September 29, 2024.</p> <p>Customers who use Kaspersky products in the United States need to find different security solutions, as Kaspersky products will not be updated after September 29 anymore.</p> <p>The <a href="https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2024-13532.pdf" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">reason</a> given is the following: "he Department finds that Kaspersky’s provision of cybersecurity and anti-virus software to U.S. persons, including through third-party entities that integrate Kaspersky cybersecurity or anti-virus software into commercial hardware or software, poses undue and unacceptable risks to U.S. national security and to the security and safety of U.S. persons"</p> <p>You can check out the <a href="https://www.wired.com/story/us-bans-kaspersky-software/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Wired</a> article for details.</p> <h2>Here are your options if you use Kaspersky products</h2> <p>There is no need to rush, as the products will receive updates until September 29. The security products, including antivirus solutions, will become less effective after that date. While they will continue to work, they won't detect new or updated threats anymore because of the lack of updates.</p> <p>The first step is to uninstall Kaspersky products from PCs and mobile devices. This does not have to be rushed, but should happen before September 29.</p> <p>Uninstalling Kaspersky products on Windows will make Microsoft Defender Antivirus the default security solution on the device again. This keeps the device protected. On Android, Google Play protection is available, but it is not offering the same level of security as third-party security apps.</p> <p>Several third-party security solutions are available that may be installed as alternatives.</p> <p>Based on tests by <a href="https://www.av-test.org/de/antivirus/privat-windows/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">AV-Test</a> and <a href="https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/real-world-protection-test-february-may-2024/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">AV-Comparatives</a>, here are the products that have received the highest ratings in the latest tests.</p> <ul> <li>Avast Free Antivirus</li> <li>ESET Security Ultimate</li> <li>McAfee Total Protection</li> </ul> <p><strong>Note</strong>: these tests try to replicate real-world scenarios, but they are limited.</p> <ul> <li>Only Avast Free Antivirus is available free of charge.</li> <li>ESET Security Ultimate is expensive, at $179.99 per year. It includes features such as access to a VPN. Cheaper plans are available that bring down the price considerable. ESET Security Essential is available for $59.99 per year and includes all basic protections.</li> <li>McAfee Total Protection has different plans. The cheapest option, Basic, includes antivirus protection as well as some other features.</li> </ul> <p>Kaspersky apps are also available for mobile devices. You can check the tests at <a href="https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/mobile-security-review-2024/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">AV-Comparatives</a> and <a href="https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/mobile-devices/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">AV-Test</a> to find alternatives.</p> <p><strong>Closing Words</strong></p> <p>Switching from one security solution to another may or may not be a simple undertaking for home users. Those who have not customized the installed security solution much may find it easy to move to another solution, especially since one is available right away on Windows when uninstalling the Kaspersky product.</p> <p>Those who have customized the product, e.g., with custom firewall rules, need to find ways to export these and integrate them into another solution. It is essential then to find a product that supports the same set of features.</p> <p>It will be interesting to see how Kaspersky customers in other regions will react to the ban. It is possible that a percentage of customers will uninstall Kaspersky products as a response.</p> <p><em>What about you? Have you installed Kaspersky products? Will you replace them with different products?</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/21/with-kaspersky-banned-in-the-us-what-should-customers-do/" data-wpel-link="internal">With Kaspersky banned in the US, what should customers do?</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  3. Vivaldi Browser 6.8 launches with updated Mail client and Chrome extension imports

    Thu, 20 Jun 2024 10:33:31 -0000

    Vivaldi Technologies released a new version of its Vivaldi web browser to the public. Vivaldi 6.8 improves the built-in email client significantly, but this is not the only change. The new browser […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Vivaldi Browser 6.8 launches with updated Mail client and Chrome extension imports appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Vivaldi Technologies <a href="https://vivaldi.com/blog/vivaldi-on-desktop-6-8/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">released</a> a new version of its Vivaldi web browser to the public. Vivaldi 6.8 improves the built-in email client significantly, but this is not the only change.</p> <p>The new browser version is available for all supported desktop clients already. Existing Vivaldi users will be upgraded to the new version automatically. Those who do not want to wait this long may select Vivaldi Menu &gt; Help &gt; Check for updates to run a manual check to install the update.</p> <figure id="attachment_205726" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-205726" style="width: 1232px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><img fetchpriority="high" decoding="async" class="wp-image-205726 size-full" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/vivaldi-6.8.png" alt="Vivaldi 6.8" width="1232" height="753" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/vivaldi-6.8.png 1232w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/vivaldi-6.8-768x469.png 768w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/vivaldi-6.8-1200x733.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1232px) 100vw, 1232px" /><figcaption id="caption-attachment-205726" class="wp-caption-text">Vivaldi 6.8 user interface</figcaption></figure> <p><strong>Release highlights:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Vivaldi Mail 2.0 included -- new behavior downloads 30 days of mails and retrieves all visible messages automatically. Also new is a quick reply feature, undo actions, and more.</li> <li>Tab memory usage -- Vivaldi displays the memory usage of each tab now on hover.</li> <li>Break Mode -- the mode puts the entire browser in hiatus. It mutes audio and hides everything on screen.</li> <li>New quick commands.</li> <li>New tab switching option when typing in the address bar.</li> <li>Option to import Chrome extensions.</li> </ul> <h2>Vivaldi 6.8: the details</h2> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205727" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/vivaldi-import-chrome-extensions.png" alt="Vivaldi Import Chrome Extensions" width="1232" height="753" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/vivaldi-import-chrome-extensions.png 1232w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/vivaldi-import-chrome-extensions-768x469.png 768w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/vivaldi-import-chrome-extensions-1200x733.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1232px) 100vw, 1232px" /></p> <p>One of the highlights of Vivaldi 6.8 is the ability to import extensions from other Chromium-based browsers. This includes Google Chrome, but also Brave, Opera, or Microsoft Edge.</p> <ol> <li>Select Vivaldi Menu &gt; File &gt; Import from Applications or Files to start the process.</li> <li>Pick the right browser under "From".</li> <li>Check or uncheck options, and make sure Extensions is checked.</li> <li>Activate the start import button.</li> </ol> <p>All imported extensions are turned off by default. Load vivaldi://extensions/ to enable them individually on the page. This improves the migration from Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers to Vivaldi for users with extensions.</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: check out my <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/06/08/vivaldi-web-browser-review/" data-wpel-link="internal">Vivaldi web browser review</a> for the full review of the browser.</p> <h2>Break Mode</h2> <p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205728" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/break-mode-vivaldi.png" alt="Vivaldi Break Mode" width="1232" height="753" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/break-mode-vivaldi.png 1232w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/break-mode-vivaldi-768x469.png 768w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/break-mode-vivaldi-1200x733.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1232px) 100vw, 1232px" /></p> <p>Another unique feature is Break Mode. Click on the break mode icon to launch it. You find the icon in the leftmost location on the status bar of the browser.</p> <p>Vivaldi pauses media playback and fades all website content while in break mode. You can exit it at any time with a click on the button in the middle of the Vivaldi window.</p> <h2>Mail 2.0 Improvements</h2> <p>Vivaldi 6.8 launches with an updated mail client. It is one of the few browsers with a built-in client. Here are the main changes:</p> <ol> <li>Vivaldi downloads the last 30 days of mails by default.  All visible emails on the screen are retrieved automatically as well. You find options in the settings to change the default behavior.</li> <li>New quick reply feature to reply to emails directly from the mail view.</li> <li>Undo tracks the last 200 changes now, giving users options to correct accidental errors. A click on the undo icon displays these.</li> </ol> <h2>Smaller changes</h2> <ul> <li>When you type in the address bar, Vivaldi will show a "switch to the tab" option if it finds a matching tab. Useful to quickly jump to a tab without having to use the tab bar.</li> <li>New Workspaces quick commands to create workspaces.</li> <li>Hovering over a tab shows the site's memory usage.</li> </ul> <h3>Closing Words</h3> <p>Vivaldi Technologies continues to innovate and introduce new customization options and features in the Vivaldi browser. The option to improve extensions from other browsers might attract more users to the browser, as it makes the migration comfortable.</p> <p><em>Have you tried Vivaldi recently? What is your take on the browser?</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/20/vivaldi-browser-6-8-launches-with-updated-mail-client-and-chrome-extension-imports/" data-wpel-link="internal">Vivaldi Browser 6.8 launches with updated Mail client and Chrome extension imports</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  4. Reports say that Qualcomm Snapdragon X Series laptops offer poor performance in games

    Thu, 20 Jun 2024 06:59:06 -0000

    The first reviews of Qualcomm's first Snapdragon X Series laptops have been published. But things are looking less than impressive in the gaming department. Microsoft has partnered with Qualcomm, granting the chip-maker […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Reports say that Qualcomm Snapdragon X Series laptops offer poor performance in games appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>The first reviews of Qualcomm's first Snapdragon X Series laptops have been published. But things are looking less than impressive in the gaming department.</p> <p>Microsoft has <a href="https://www.qualcomm.com/news/releases/2024/05/snapdragon-x-series-is-the-exclusive-platform-to-power-the-next-" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">partnered</a> with Qualcomm, granting the chip-maker an exclusivity deal for Copilot+ PC. Though laptops featuring the new Snapdragon X chipsets: the Snapdragon X Elite and the Snapdragon X Plus were revealed last month, the devices were under a review embargo. This was due to Microsoft's decision to <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/14/the-end-of-windows-11s-recall-ai-feature-microsoft-postpones-launch/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">postpone Recall</a>. As Zac Bowden from Windows Central noted, the Redmond company had instructed its OEM partners to not ship review units to outlets until June 18th, until it removed Recall from the devices.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205722" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Qualcomm-Snapdragon-X-laptops-copilot-PC.jpg" alt="Qualcomm Snapdragon X laptops copilot+ PC" width="814" height="458" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Qualcomm-Snapdragon-X-laptops-copilot-PC.jpg 814w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Qualcomm-Snapdragon-X-laptops-copilot-PC-768x432.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 814px) 100vw, 814px" /></p> <p>Now that the embargo has been lifted, reviews of the new Snapdragon X Series laptops are available on major blogs and YouTube channels. Here is a quick rundown of the chipset's technical specifications.</p> <h3><strong>Qualcomm Snapdragon X key specs</strong></h3> <ul> <li>CPU: Qualcomm Oryon CPU 10 or 12 cores, up to 3.8GHz Multi-Thread, up to 4.3GHz Dual Core Boost, 42MB Total Cache</li> <li>GPU: Qualcomm Adreno, up to 4.6 TFLOPS</li> <li>NPU: Qualcomm Hexagon, 45 TOPS</li> <li>Memory: Up to 64GB LPDDR5x, 135 GB/s, 8448 MT/s, 8 Channels, Shared System Level Cache</li> </ul> <p>The Qualcomm Snapdragon X is built on a 4nm process, and has up to 12 Oryon CPU cores clocked up to 3.8GHz (Multi-Thread) and can be boosted up to 4.3GHz. The SoC features an Adreno graphics processing unit capable of 4.6 Teraflops. Qualcomm has its own app called Adreno Control Panel, which will keep GPU drivers up-to-date, and automatically optimize game settings.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205724" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Qualcomm-Snapdragon-X-Adreno-Control-Panel-app.jpg" alt="Qualcomm Snapdragon X Adreno Control Panel app" width="1200" height="669" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Qualcomm-Snapdragon-X-Adreno-Control-Panel-app.jpg 1200w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Qualcomm-Snapdragon-X-Adreno-Control-Panel-app-768x428.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px" /></p> <h3><strong>Reviewers are unimpressed by Snapdragon X gaming performance</strong></h3> <p>That sounds impressive on paper, and real-world tests seem to suggest the same. Reviewers who tested the ASUS Vivobook S 15 say that the device has very good performance for day-to-day tasks, and an impressive battery life. The SoC could give Intel Lunar Lake and AMD Strix Point some good competition. But, Qualcomm's Snapdragon X chipset seems to have fared poorly in gaming tests, according to benchmarks of various games that the reviewers played on the laptops. <a href="https://www.notebookcheck.com/Asus-Vivobook-S-15-OLED-im-Test-Mit-dem-Snapdragon-X-Elite-in-ein-neues-Notebook-Zeitalter.847338.0.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Notebookcheck </a>compared the chipset with other ARM chips, and the Snapdragon X ranked lowest in the test.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205723" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Qualcomm-Snapdragon-X-gaming-performance-rating.jpg" alt="Qualcomm Snapdragon X gaming performance rating" width="779" height="437" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Qualcomm-Snapdragon-X-gaming-performance-rating.jpg 779w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Qualcomm-Snapdragon-X-gaming-performance-rating-768x431.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 779px) 100vw, 779px" /></p> <p>Other reviewers have also pointed out that the Snapdragon X chipsets don't deliver optimal frame rates. <a href="https://videocardz.com/newz/first-qualcomm-snapdragon-x-series-laptops-tested-in-gaming-3d-performance-is-disappointing" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Videocardz</a> reports that Cyberpunk 2077 ran at 34 fps, while Baldur's Gate 3 ran at 35 fps at 1080p low graphics settings. And this seems to be the case even when upscaling technologies like AMD's FSR or Intel's XESS were used. Some games reportedly didn't run at all, but that's probably because of emulation issues on the ARM chipset. Another issue that reviewers highlighted was that some games were locked to a different resolution than the laptop's screen.</p> <p>You could ask why use it for gaming, well, Qualcomm did market the chipset as a gaming chipset, saying that it "generates game-changing performance and efficiency". The company had even <a href="https://www.theverge.com/24107331/qualcomm-gdc-2024-snapdragon-on-windows-games" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">claimed</a> that most Windows games should just work fine on devices powered by its ARM chipset.</p> <p>Despite having a powerful NPU, the laptop cannot use it for Copilot+ PC, because it is not designed for on-device assistance. The app uses Microsoft's servers for providing online responses. Samsung launched the Galaxy Book4Edge a few days ago, and the Snapdragon X Elite powered laptop likely suffers from the same flaws in gaming performance like the other devices did.</p> <p>On a sidenote, Microsoft is <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/18/microsoft-is-testing-new-features-in-windows-recall-screenray-and-topics/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">adding new features</a> to Windows Recall, despite criticism from security experts who have questioned the privacy issues and risks that could arise due to the automatic-screenshot capturing system of the A.I. tool.</p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/20/reports-say-that-qualcomm-snapdragon-x-series-laptops-offer-poor-performance-in-games/" data-wpel-link="internal">Reports say that Qualcomm Snapdragon X Series laptops offer poor performance in games</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  5. Google disrupted YouTube video playback on Firefox, again

    Wed, 19 Jun 2024 10:53:34 -0000

    Being a Firefox user can be quite difficult these days. Besides getting regular prompts to switch to the browser of a mega-corpo, excuse the Cyberpunk slang, it is predominantly issues with certain […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Google disrupted YouTube video playback on Firefox, again appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Being a Firefox user can be quite difficult these days. Besides getting regular prompts to switch to the browser of a mega-corpo, excuse the Cyberpunk slang, it is predominantly issues with certain websites and services that Firefox users have to battle against.</p> <p>One of the latest examples comes from Google-owned YouTube. Some Firefox users noticed playback issues on YouTube for several months. These affected high resolution videos only, from 1080p and up. To make matters worse, no clear pattern could be identified.</p> <p>Some videos played fine, others would stop abruptly when they ran out of buffer. The issue affected Firefox only (and maybe Firefox forks). All Chromium-based browsers were not affected by it.</p> <h2>Investigation points at YouTube as the culprit</h2> <p>After months of investigating the issue, Mozilla finally found a fix for the issue. This fix will be released as Firefox 127.0.2 later this month, as it did not make it into the Firefox 127.0.1 release of today.</p> <p>The fixing took longer than expected, as it was difficult to reproduce the issue.</p> <p>According to Mozilla engineer Alastor Wu, the issues was caused by Google's YouTube service and not by a regression in Firefox.</p> <p>He writes on <a href="https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1878510" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Bugzilla</a>: "This problem is triggered by bad muxed VP9 bytestream served by Youtube, so it's not a regression on our side, this issue can also be reproduced on old versions Firefox".</p> <p>In other words: Google introduced the issue on YouTube. While there is no evidence that Google did so deliberately, it is clear that the outcome is catastrophic for affected Firefox users and Mozilla.</p> <p>Affected users might have blamed Firefox for the issue. Some may even have switched to a Chromium-based browser, as these worked without any issue.</p> <h2>Not the first time, likely not the last</h2> <p>Back in 2018, <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2018/07/25/google-making-youtube-slower-for-non-chromium-browsers/" data-wpel-link="internal">Firefox engineers complained</a> on Twitter (now-X), that YouTube was loading five times slower in non-Chromium browsers. The issue affected Firefox and the old version of Microsoft Edge back then.</p> <p>Google was using a deprecated API on YouTube that only Chromium supported. This left Firefox, Edge, and other non-Chromium browsers standing in the rain.</p> <p>In 2023, Firefox users started to notice <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/11/20/youtube-video-loading-delayed-fix-inside/" data-wpel-link="internal">another issue on YouTube</a>. Videos would take longer to load, which only affected the browser and not Chromium-based browsers. Microsoft, having switched Edge to a Chromium-base by then, was not affected by the issue.</p> <h2>One potential explanation</h2> <p>While some may cry foul-play immediately, there are other explanations. Here is one:</p> <p>Google may test changes only in Chrome / Chromium, and not in Firefox. Or it may test changes only cursory in other browsers. This could lead to bugs that are not noticed when new changes are implemented.</p> <h3>Closing Words</h3> <p>The issue that some Firefox users experienced for the past couple of months is likely not the last issue that is going to affect Firefox on YouTube.</p> <p><em>Are you using Firefox? Did you experience any issues on YouTube lately?</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/19/google-disrupted-youtube-video-playback-on-firefox-again/" data-wpel-link="internal">Google disrupted YouTube video playback on Firefox, again</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  6. If you use an adblocker, you need to read this!

    Tue, 18 Jun 2024 17:20:40 -0000

    A fundamental shift that concerns adblockers will happen in the next twelve months. You may have heard about Google ending support for the old ruleset for extensions in favor of a new […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post If you use an adblocker, you need to read this! appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>A fundamental shift that concerns adblockers will happen in the next twelve months. You may have heard about Google ending support for the old ruleset for extensions in favor of a new one. Google, citing security, privacy, and performance for the change, has been heavily criticized for it.</p> <p>One of the main objections is that content blockers will lose effectiveness once the change goes live. While Google did make adjustments to the new ruleset, it never addressed the main point of criticism that developers of adblockers had.</p> <p>In short: while adblockers continue to remain available for Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers, they won't be the most effective tools anymore.</p> <p>It is possible that some users won't notice a difference to before. If you do not use advanced options and keep most settings set to the defaults, you may be fine. This is however not the case for users who use advanced options.</p> <p>In fact, the only browser that retains full content blocking capabilities for extensions is Firefox (and any Firefox fork also).</p> <p>All Chromium-based browsers, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Brave, Opera, or Vivaldi, won't support best in class adblockers anymore. An extension like <a href="https://ublock-origin.en.softonic.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">uBlock Origin</a>, which is the adblocker that is regarded to be the cream of the crop, will be superior on Firefox going forward.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205713" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/chrome-adblocker.png" alt="Chrome Adblocker" width="1913" height="1546" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/chrome-adblocker.png 1913w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/chrome-adblocker-768x621.png 768w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/chrome-adblocker-1536x1241.png 1536w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/chrome-adblocker-1200x970.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1913px) 100vw, 1913px" /></p> <p>Many developers of Chromium-based browsers are not too happy about the change. <a href="https://vivaldi-browser.en.softonic.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Vivaldi</a>, for instance, <a href="https://vivaldi.com/blog/manifest-v3-update-vivaldi-is-future-proofed-with-its-built-in-functionality/#new_tab" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">released</a> a statement this week regarding the change. The team appears to be genuinely displeased by Google's decision and plans to keep on supporting the old ruleset for as long as possible.</p> <p>The makers of Brave Browser also said that they will <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2022/09/29/brave-browser-manifest-v2-extensions-after-v3-update/" data-wpel-link="internal">continue to support extensions</a> that use the old ruleset.</p> <p>Come mid-2025, it is very likely that all Chromium-based browser developers are forced to end support though. While it is theoretically possible that some find a way to keep on supporting old extensions, it would likely require dedicating development resources for that task.</p> <p>Another thing to consider is that Google will remove all old extensions from the official Chrome Web Store eventually. Since it is the main source for extensions for all Chromium-based browsers, once has to wonder how well continued support would work anyway.</p> <p>This change won't affect built-in content blockers. Some of these are quite good for the majority of tasks, but they are still not as good as uBlock Origin.</p> <p>Vivaldi, <a href="https://brave-browser.en.softonic.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Brave</a>, or Opera support internal adblockers. You may need to enable them in the browser, but you do get a level of content blocking without having to install an extension.</p> <h3>What you may do</h3> <p>Your next action depends largely on the adblocker and browser that you are using:</p> <ul> <li>If you use an adblocker extension in a Chromium-based browser, check if it supports the new ruleset (also known as Manifest V3). If it does, check if it supports all the features you need. <ul> <li>If the answer is no, you may consider switching to a browser that continues to support the extension (which is Firefox or one of its forks).</li> <li>You may notice this automatically at one point, as Google will disable old extensions that do not support the new ruleset.</li> </ul> </li> <li>If you use an adblocker extension in Firefox, you do not have to do anything.</li> <li>If you use a built-in adblocker in any browser, you do not have to do anything.</li> </ul> <p><em>What about you? Are you worried about the upcoming change?</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/18/if-you-use-an-adblocker-you-need-to-read-this/" data-wpel-link="internal">If you use an adblocker, you need to read this!</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  7. Microsoft is testing new features in Windows Recall: Screenray and Topics

    Tue, 18 Jun 2024 09:21:10 -0000

    It appears that Microsoft is not yet done with Recall. The A.I. tool, which was postponed due to some concerns regarding the quality and security, is getting some new features. You could […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Microsoft is testing new features in Windows Recall: Screenray and Topics appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>It appears that Microsoft is not yet done with Recall. The A.I. tool, which was <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/14/the-end-of-windows-11s-recall-ai-feature-microsoft-postpones-launch/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">postponed</a> due to some concerns regarding the quality and security, is getting some new features.</p> <p>You could say that Recall was, you know, recalled. For those unaware, Recall is a tool that was designed to capture the screen of Windows devices, once every five seconds. These are essentially screenshots of everything you do on your computer, except private mode in browsers and DRM-protected data. The data the tool saves is then processed by A.I. which the user can interact with using natural language, to search for their activity. If that doesn't raise privacy concerns, I don't know what will.</p> <p>And it did, security experts and users criticized Microsoft for hastily bringing Recall to Windows PCs, calling it unnecessary and intrusive. The complaints pointed out the fact that it was an opt-out feature, i.e. it was enabled by default on Copilot+ PCs. Martin pointed out several concerns about Windows 11 Recall on <a href="https://chipp.in/software/windows/windows-11-recall-data-is-not-secured-properly/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Chipp.in</a>.</p> <p>Now, you would think that Microsoft would at least try to make some efforts to improve the security of the app, or better yet, toss it in the bin. But that's not happening, we got to have A.I. in everything.</p> <h3><strong>Windows Recall adds two new features: Screenray and Topics</strong></h3> <p>According to Albacore on<a href="https://www.tomshardware.com/software/windows/despite-controversy-recall-adds-new-screenray-feature-which-analyzes-current-desktop-contents" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external"> Tom's Hardware</a>, the most recent Canary Build (26236.5000) of Windows 11 in the Insider Preview Program, brings two new features to the controversial tool. The first of these is called Screenray. As the name suggests, Screenray instantly analyses the content on the screen. Since it works in real-time, so you could ask questions about the content immediately, and Recall will provide the information. The app allows you to select text, links and images. It could be used to translate text from one language to another. Screenray can be accessed by the Win + Shift + D hotkey, and it opens a tool that works independently, i.e. it does not require you to open Recall.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205707" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Windows-Recall-Screenray-and-Topics.jpg" alt="Windows Recall - Screenray and Topics" width="1200" height="633" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Windows-Recall-Screenray-and-Topics.jpg 1200w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Windows-Recall-Screenray-and-Topics-768x405.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px" /></p> <p>Topics is the other feature that is coming to the Recall app. It changes the way how the tool works. Instead of creating a new snapshot when it is run, Recall will display existing snapshots in a grid format. While the A.I. tool will take screenshots in the background, users can manually capture a snapshot with the Now button, that has been placed in the top right corner of the window. Recall automatically adds tags to snapshots, to make it easier to search for text or visual content, which will then let you search for a specific tag. You can create Topics manually. Topics are collections of a set of results that are tagged under the same name. Saving a Topic will display a grid of relevant results, a search filter. Users will be able to access Topics from the home page in the Recall app.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205708" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Windows-Recall-adds-two-new-features-Screenray-and-Topics.jpg" alt="Windows Recall adds two new features Screenray and Topics" width="970" height="512" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Windows-Recall-adds-two-new-features-Screenray-and-Topics.jpg 970w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Windows-Recall-adds-two-new-features-Screenray-and-Topics-768x405.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 970px) 100vw, 970px" /></p> <p>The report also mentions that Copilot support has been added to Recall. The menu that appears when you click on content in a snapshot now has an option that lets you ask Copilot about it, e.g. to describe an image, find similar images, or even create a similar image.</p> <p>On a side note, Samsung is the latest to join the Copilot+ bandwagon. The electronics giant has launched the Galaxy Book4 Edge, and the laptop which is powered by a Snapdragon X Elite processor, ships with Windows 11 and Copilot+.</p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/18/microsoft-is-testing-new-features-in-windows-recall-screenray-and-topics/" data-wpel-link="internal">Microsoft is testing new features in Windows Recall: Screenray and Topics</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  8. Chrome sends AI history search data to Google

    Mon, 17 Jun 2024 11:04:00 -0000

    Google is working on a new feature in Chrome that gives artificial intelligence control over a user's browsing history. Chrome users may then interact with the AI when they run searches in […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Chrome sends AI history search data to Google appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Google is working on a new feature in Chrome that gives artificial intelligence control over a user's browsing history. Chrome users may then interact with the AI when they run searches in their browsing history.</p> <p><strong>Here are the highlights:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Chrome users may soon search the browsing history using natural language.</li> <li>The browser stores contents of visited pages locally in encrypted form.</li> <li>The feature submits search data to Google.</li> </ul> <p>Google notes that search includes "general page content" as well as page titles and URLs. The feature returns "improved results" and works from the address bar and the history page according to Google.</p> <p>Since it uses AI, it supports using "everyday language to search", according to Google.</p> <p>Word of warning: Google displays a warning to users who manage the feature in Chrome. Under "things to consider", Google writes that data is always sent to Google when the feature is used.</p> <p>Data includes the "history search terms, page content of best matches, and generated model outputs". Furthermore, Google confirms that the data may be accessed by human reviewers "to improve the feature".  Chrome saves the content of pages "in an encrypted form" on the device.</p> <p>This does not mean that Chrome reviewers do not get access to page contents, as <a href="https://mspoweruser.com/google-chromes-ai-on-browsing-history-may-still-use-human-reviewers-for-training-purposes/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">MSPoweruser</a> author Rafly Gilang suggested. Google even states that reviewers gain access to "page content of best matches".</p> <p>There is no word about anonymization of personal data. It is possible that Google does that, but there is no evidence on the current "History search, powered by AI" page in the Chrome settings.</p> <p>In other words, Google may gain access to personal information. A very simple example is a personal website or social media profile.</p> <p>Good news is that the feature can be turned off or on in Chrome. Whether it is enabled by default or not remains to be seen. It would probably go against GDPR in the EU, if it would be turned on automatically.</p> <h3>Closing Words</h3> <p>Running searches across URLs, page titles, and content is certainly a desirable feature, provided that data stays local and users have full control over the feature.</p> <p>The current history feature may only return matching URLs or titles. Extensions such as <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2019/10/28/https-github-com-worldbrain-memex/" data-wpel-link="internal">Memex</a> were created in the past to allow users to search page contents as well.</p> <p>Google's work on the AI-powered history search feature is ongoing. It is possible that things will change in future releases or that the entire feature is scrapped before official release.</p> <p><em>Would you use an AI-powered history search feature? </em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/17/chrome-sends-ai-history-search-data-to-google/" data-wpel-link="internal">Chrome sends AI history search data to Google</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  9. Bitwarden Authenticator now lets you import TOTP tokens from other authenticator apps

    Fri, 14 Jun 2024 04:59:02 -0000

    Bitwarden Authenticator has added support for exporting and importing Time-based One-Time Passwords (TOTPs) tokens from other apps. The news was shared by a Bitwarden employee on the company's Reddit community. In case […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Bitwarden Authenticator now lets you import TOTP tokens from other authenticator apps appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Bitwarden Authenticator has added support for exporting and importing Time-based One-Time Passwords (TOTPs) tokens from other apps. The news was shared by a Bitwarden employee on the company's Reddit community.</p> <p>In case you missed it, Bitwarden Authenticator was <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/02/bitwarden-launches-standalone-bitwarden-authenticator-app/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">launched</a> about a month ago, as a standalone app. Currently, the app allows you to import your 2FA (2-factor authentication) security tokens from Bitwarden Password Manager, Google Authenticator, LastPass, 2FAS, Aegis (for Android), and Raivo (for iOS). Just a reminder, <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/12/19/psa-raivo-otp-for-ios-was-acquired-by-mobime-a-few-months-ago/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">Raivo was sold</a> to a third-party last year, and according to recent reports an update for the app <a href="https://old.reddit.com/r/Bitwarden/comments/1d48s1c/raivootp_iphone_2fa_app_sold_latest_update/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">deleted all TOTPs</a> without any prior warning, so you may want to switch to a different authenticator app.</p> <h3><strong>How to import TOTP tokens from other apps to Bitwarden Authenticator</strong></h3> <p>1. Aegis, Raivo, LastPass users will need to export a .JSON file from their app's settings, while 2FAS users will need to get a .2FAS file from the app. Google Authenticator users can use the Transfer accounts section in the app to generate a QR Code, and bring their tokens over to Bitwarden. You can refer to the <a href="https://bitwarden.com/help/authenticator-import-export/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">official guide</a> for more details.</p> <p>2. Open Bitwarden Authenticator, and tap on the settings tab at the bottom of the screen.</p> <p>3. Tap on Import.</p> <p>4. Select the app that you want to import from, and select the file saved on your device.</p> <p>5. That's it. You should see a message at the bottom of the screen that says "verification codes imported".</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205701" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/How-to-import-TOTP-tokens-from-other-apps-to-Bitwarden-Authenticator.jpg" alt="How to import TOTP tokens from other apps to Bitwarden Authenticator" width="1200" height="865" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/How-to-import-TOTP-tokens-from-other-apps-to-Bitwarden-Authenticator.jpg 1200w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/How-to-import-TOTP-tokens-from-other-apps-to-Bitwarden-Authenticator-768x554.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px" /></p> <p>Bitwarden Authenticator also allows you to export your tokens to a .JSON file, which you can get from the Settings &gt; Export section. You may use it to save a backup of your credentials, which is important, considering that the app does not sync the data to the cloud. I recommend enabling the "Unlock with Biometrics / Face ID" option in the app's settings to prevent other users from accessing your codes, and protect your online accounts from unauthorized usage.</p> <p>Note: Some Reddit users reported that Bitwarden fails to import the tokens from 2FAS. But it worked fine for me. I did notice a second update for Bitwarden Authenticator, which may have contained a patch that fixed the bug.</p> <p>There is no official way to import TOTPs from Microsoft Authenticator or Authy, but it's not Bitwarden's fault. Those apps don't allow the tokens to be exported easily. That said, there is an unofficial method to export your tokens from Authy, you will need to follow <a href="https://gist.github.com/gboudreau/94bb0c11a6209c82418d01a59d958c93" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">this guide</a> on GitHub. I used a similar method to get my security tokens from Authy and imported them to Authy a few years ago.</p> <p>Personally, I don't want my passwords and TOTP tokens in the same app, which is why I don't use Bitwarden's Password Manager's built-in feature for managing my TOTPs. But I can see why others may prefer to have them in the same place. Some people may want to sync their TOTPs between multiple devices, and it can also be useful if you were switching to a new mobile phone. The new method to import/export the data can help with backing up or moving to new devices easier.</p> <p>Bitwarden Authenticator is free, open source, and works offline. It is available for <a href="https://apps.apple.com/us/app/bitwarden-authenticator/id6497335175" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">iOS</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bitwarden.authenticator" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Android</a> devices. You don't need an account to use the app. 2FAS (<a href="https://apps.apple.com/us/app/2fas-auth/id1217793794" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">iOS</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.twofasapp" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Android</a>) and ente Authenticator (<a href="https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ente-auth/id6444121398" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">iOS</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.ente.auth" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Android</a>) are similar open source authenticator apps, which I can recommend if you don't want to use Bitwarden Authenticator.</p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/14/bitwarden-authenticator-now-lets-you-import-totp-tokens-from-other-authenticator-apps/" data-wpel-link="internal">Bitwarden Authenticator now lets you import TOTP tokens from other authenticator apps</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  10. The end of Windows 11's Recall AI feature? Microsoft postpones launch

    Fri, 14 Jun 2024 04:56:31 -0000

    When Copilot Plus PCs launch next week, it will be without the controversial Recall feature. Recall was unveiled by Microsoft in May 2024 as the core feature of Copilot+ PCs. This new […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post The end of Windows 11's Recall AI feature? Microsoft postpones launch appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>When Copilot Plus PCs launch next week, it will be without the controversial Recall feature.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/21/microsoft-announces-copilot-pcs-and-ai-powered-recall-feature/" data-wpel-link="internal">Recall was unveiled by Microsoft in May 2024</a> as the core feature of Copilot+ PCs. This new PC type comes equipped with a neural processing unit to process AI tasks on the device faster.</p> <p>Microsoft, swimming on a wave of positive AI feedback and a stock price that gained nearly 100% since December 2023, was confident that Recall would give the new PC type a much needed boost.</p> <p>In the higher-up offices at Microsoft, Recall must have sounded like a great idea. The feature captures the screen of the Windows device every five seconds to let AI process it. This allows users to search their entire activity using natural language.</p> <p>The wave of criticism caught Microsoft by surprise. It can be broken down to the following points:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/03/microsoft-needs-to-make-windows-11s-recall-feature-opt-in/" data-wpel-link="internal">Microsoft configured Recall to run automatically on Copilot+ PCs</a>. Users had to opt-out of it manually.</li> <li><a href="https://chipp.in/software/windows/windows-11-recall-data-is-not-secured-properly/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Recall's database was not protected</a> while the system was up and running.</li> <li>The database would reveal a user's entire activity on the PC, including malware actors and law enforcement.</li> </ul> <p>About two weeks later, Microsoft came forward to announce <a href="https://chipp.in/software/windows/microsoft-announces-changes-to-recall-in-windows-11-after-backlash/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">major changes to the Recall AI feature</a>. The company announced that it would add an option to disable Recall during the initial setup, and add improved security around the feature.</p> <h2>Recall is being postponed</h2> <p>Microsoft <a href="https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2024/06/07/update-on-the-recall-preview-feature-for-copilot-pcs/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">published</a> an update on its website. It has been added to the post about the upcoming security and usability changes of Recall.</p> <p>In it, Microsoft says that Recall will not be available as a preview on Copilot+ PCs starting June 18, 2024. Instead, Microsoft has made the decision to preview Recall in the Windows Insider Program first.</p> <p>It still plans to make Recall available for al Copilot+ PCs soon, according to the post.</p> <p>The decision to postpone the launch of Recall on regular devices, Copilot+ PCs are not test devices for the most part, was made to "ensure the experience meets our high standards for quality and security", writes Microsoft in the post.</p> <p>These standards were seemingly ignored during the initial Copilot+ PCs and Recall rush.</p> <p>It is possible that Microsoft needs more time to implement the security and usability changes that it promised for June 18th.</p> <p>Microsoft decided against testing Recall in the Windows Insider Program. One likely explanation is that the company wanted to come out with a bang when it announced the new Copilot+ PCs.</p> <h2>Recall: Dead on Arrival?</h2> <p>For Microsoft, Recall is the main feature that makes Copilot+ PCs worth buying. The company has not revealed lots of other exclusive features that make these PCs special.</p> <p>The only other feature that comes to mind is <a href="https://martinbrinkmann.substack.com/p/tech-news-weekly-issue-89" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Automatic Super Resolution</a>, which aims to improve the quality of media.</p> <p>There is also a question that no one has answered yet. Who is going to benefit from Recall? The feature is very broad, capturing nearly everything by default that happens on a PC.</p> <p>I cannot see many home or business users making use of it on a regular basis. Yes, it has a novelty factor and there are likely individual use cases that get a productivity boost out of it.</p> <p>I think that Microsoft should reconsider its approach with Recall. Instead of using it to broadly capture everything, it could make Recall a feature that captures only content that is picked by the user or system administrator.</p> <p>Recall could be configured to capture content of specific apps or folders only, for instance Office programs. This would give users control over the feature.</p> <p><em>What about you? Do you think that Microsoft will launch Recall later this year in the updated state?</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/14/the-end-of-windows-11s-recall-ai-feature-microsoft-postpones-launch/" data-wpel-link="internal">The end of Windows 11&#039;s Recall AI feature? Microsoft postpones launch</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  11. Seeing Ads on YouTube? Google is testing server-side ads that break adblockers

    Thu, 13 Jun 2024 05:02:54 -0000

    If you run an adblocker in your browser of choice and still see ads on YouTube, then you have been selected for an experiment on the popular streaming website. Yesterday, the official […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Seeing Ads on YouTube? Google is testing server-side ads that break adblockers appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>If you run an adblocker in your browser of choice and still see ads on YouTube, then you have been selected for an experiment on the popular streaming website.</p> <p>Yesterday, the official X account of <a href="https://x.com/Jome666999/status/1801025390418211283" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">SponsorBlock</a> revealed that Google is testing server-side ads on YouTube. The new ad delivery technique injects ads into the video stream. The makers of the popular service noticed that it is breaking it, as the timestamps were not correct anymore.</p> <p>At about the same time, users started to report issues with ads on YouTube on sites like <a href="https://old.reddit.com/r/uBlockOrigin/comments/1de9kv5/youtube_is_currently_experimenting_with/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Reddit</a>. Most said that they were now seeing unskippable ads on YouTube, even while they were using adblockers like uBlock Origin.</p> <p>Reports suggest that Google is blocking controls of the video on top of that, so that features such as skipping ahead are not active while the ad is playing.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205697" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/ads-on-youtube.png" alt="YouTube server-side ads" width="1200" height="700" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/ads-on-youtube.png 1200w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/ads-on-youtube-768x448.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px" /></p> <p>Extension developers are scrambling to gain access to this new form of ad delivery on YouTube to test their extensions against it and find ways around it.</p> <p>It is too early to say if there will be workarounds.</p> <p>Some users have suggested that checking for yt.config_.EXPERIMENT_FLAGS.html5_enable_ssap_entity_id in the browser's Web Developer console reveals if the experiment is running currently. The return of "undefined" means that it is not currently.</p> <h2>The future of content blocking on YouTube</h2> <p>Google is experimenting all the time to deliver ads to content blocking users of the service. To mention just a few:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/05/18/bad-news-for-youtube-tv-unskippable-ads-are-coming/" data-wpel-link="internal">Bringing unskippable ads to YouTube TV</a>.</li> <li><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2022/09/16/youtube-is-testing-up-to-10-unskippable-ads-before-videos/" data-wpel-link="internal">Google is testing up to 10 unskippable ads on YouTube</a>.</li> <li><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/10/10/youtube-is-cracking-down-on-ad-blockers-more-aggressively-heres-how-to-bypass-it/" data-wpel-link="internal">Showing Ad blockers not allowed messages</a>.</li> </ul> <p>The latest experiment adds a new dimension, as it introduces server-side ad injections.</p> <p>While it breaks timestamps for now, that would be fixable easily by Google, as the company knows the playtime of ads.</p> <p>It is too early to say if server-side ad injections will be Google's trump card against content blockers. Once extension creators get to experience the new system first-hand, they may find ways to deal with it again.</p> <p>It is also unclear if extensions like <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/11/19/ad-accelerator-mutes-and-speeds-up-youtube-ads/" data-wpel-link="internal">Ad Accelerator</a> or <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/12/03/ad-speedup-mute-skip-and-fast-forward-ads-on-youtube/" data-wpel-link="internal">Ad Speedup</a> that speed up or skip ads will continue to work.</p> <p>It is a cat and mouse game that seemingly neve ends.</p> <p>It will be interesting to see how ad-blocking uses react when advertisement cannot be blocked anymore on YouTube. Will they bite in the apple and endure ads? Will they subscribe to YouTube Premium? Or will they reduce their consumption of videos on YouTube?</p> <p><em>Do you watch videos on YouTube? What would you do if ads cannot be blocked anymore on the site, if you block them of course?</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/13/seeing-ads-on-youtube-google-is-testing-server-side-ads-that-break-adblockers/" data-wpel-link="internal">Seeing Ads on YouTube? Google is testing server-side ads that break adblockers</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  12. macOS 15 Sequoia announced with Window Tiling, iPhone Mirroring, Passwords app and more

    Thu, 13 Jun 2024 04:16:53 -0000

    Apple has announced the next version of macOS. Here are the best features in macOS 15 Sequoia. What's new in macOS 15 Sequoia Continuity - iPhone Mirroring The Continuity feature in macOS […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post macOS 15 Sequoia announced with Window Tiling, iPhone Mirroring, Passwords app and more appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Apple has announced the next version of macOS. Here are the best features in macOS 15 Sequoia.</p> <h2><strong>What's new in macOS 15 Sequoia</strong></h2> <h3><strong>Continuity - iPhone Mirroring</strong></h3> <p>The Continuity feature in macOS 15 now lets you view your iPhone screen on your Mac. Apple calls this iPhone Mirroring. You can use your Mac's trackpad or mouse, keyboard, to interact with all apps and notifications on your iPhone. As for your phone, it stays locked even when you access it via your Mac.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205688" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Continuity-iPhone-Mirroring-in-macOS-15-Sequoia.jpg" alt="Continuity - iPhone Mirroring in macOS 15 Sequoia" width="1017" height="631" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Continuity-iPhone-Mirroring-in-macOS-15-Sequoia.jpg 1017w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Continuity-iPhone-Mirroring-in-macOS-15-Sequoia-768x477.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1017px) 100vw, 1017px" /></p> <p>Android has supported this feature for a long time, but it's good to see Apple add it for iOS/macOS. iPhone Mirroring will also allow users to drag and drop files between devices easily.</p> <h3><strong>Live audio transcription, Math expressions in Notes</strong></h3> <p>The Notes app can now be used to record audio sessions. It generates live audio transcriptions for the notes, which you can use to search for content, or add it to other documents.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205689" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Live-audio-transcription-Math-expressions-in-Notes-macOS-15-Sequoia.jpg" alt="Live audio transcription, Math expressions in Notes macOS 15 Sequoia" width="1200" height="601" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Live-audio-transcription-Math-expressions-in-Notes-macOS-15-Sequoia.jpg 1200w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Live-audio-transcription-Math-expressions-in-Notes-macOS-15-Sequoia-768x385.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px" /></p> <p>Notes will solve math expressions inline when you type an equals sign. It can be used to assign variables and evaluate expressions. Section headers can be collapsed to make notes easier to read, and you can highlight important sentences with colors.</p> <h3><strong>Window Tiling</strong></h3> <p>Apple has added support for Window Tiling in macOS 15 Sequoia . This allows you to snap app windows in different places on your screen, such as snapping a window to the left or right side of the screen. When you place an app on a location, macOS will automatically suggest a tile location for other apps. This will let you use multiple apps simultaneously. You can also use keyboard shortcuts to arrange your app windows.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205687" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Window-Tiling-in-macOS-15-Sequoia.jpg" alt="Window Tiling in macOS 15 Sequoia" width="815" height="516" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Window-Tiling-in-macOS-15-Sequoia.jpg 815w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Window-Tiling-in-macOS-15-Sequoia-768x486.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 815px) 100vw, 815px" /></p> <p>Window Tiling could potentially disrupt third-party apps like Rectangle, Magnet. But such apps offer more functionality. Besides, these apps are the only way to get window tiling on older Macs that cannot run Sequoia, so I think they may continue to be developed.</p> <h3><strong>Safari - Highlights, Reader, Viewer</strong></h3> <p>The new Highlights feature in Apple's Safari browser uses machine learning to automatically detect relevant information on a page, and highlight it in a pop-up panel. It can display information like directions, summaries, quick links to learn more about people, music, movies, and TV shows.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205692" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Apple-Safari-browser-features-in-macOS-15-Sequoia.jpg" alt="Apple Safari browser features in macOS 15 Sequoia" width="908" height="624" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Apple-Safari-browser-features-in-macOS-15-Sequoia.jpg 908w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Apple-Safari-browser-features-in-macOS-15-Sequoia-768x528.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 908px) 100vw, 908px" /></p> <p>The new Reader mode not only removes distractions on a web page, but also places a table of contents and high-level summary of the article on the page. Safari's Video Viewer lets you switch to a video mode quickly to watch content without distractions. Clicking away from the Viewer automatically switches to picture-in-picture mode.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205693" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Apple-Safari-Highlights-Reader-Viewer.jpg" alt="Apple Safari - Highlights, Reader, Viewer" width="1200" height="544" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Apple-Safari-Highlights-Reader-Viewer.jpg 1200w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Apple-Safari-Highlights-Reader-Viewer-768x348.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px" /></p> <h3><strong>Passwords app</strong></h3> <p>The new Passwords app allows you to create secure passwords for your accounts, store existing credentials, verification codes, Passkeys, and use them to login quickly on websites. Passwords are synchronized across your devices. It supports Autofill. The Passwords app is available on macOS, iOS, iPadOS, Vision OS, and even on Windows with the iCloud for Windows app.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205668" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Password-app-in-iOS-18-iPadOS-18-mac-OS-15.jpg" alt="Password app in iOS 18 iPadOS 18 mac OS 15" width="668" height="499" /></p> <p>macOS 15 Sequoia also supports Text Effects, Emoji Tapbacks, Send Later in Messages, Apple Intelligence, topographic maps in the Maps app, Reminders in Calendar, the redesigned Photos app and more. These features are also available in <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/11/here-are-the-new-features-in-ios-18/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">iOS 18,</a> so don't forget to read our previous coverage of the new stuff.</p> <h3><strong>List of Macs compatible with macOS Sequoia</strong></h3> <p>macOS 15 Sequoia is compatible with the following devices.</p> <ul> <li>iMac 2019 and later</li> <li>iMac Pro 2017 and later</li> <li>Mac Studio 2022</li> <li>MacBook Air 2020 and later</li> <li>Mac mini 2018 and later</li> <li>MacBook Pro 2018 and later</li> <li>Mac Pro 2019 and later</li> </ul> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205690" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/List-of-devices-compatible-with-macOS-15-Sequoia.jpg" alt="List of devices compatible with macOS 15 Sequoia" width="1016" height="581" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/List-of-devices-compatible-with-macOS-15-Sequoia.jpg 1016w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/List-of-devices-compatible-with-macOS-15-Sequoia-768x439.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1016px) 100vw, 1016px" /></p> <p>Learn more about macOS 15 on Apple's <a href="https://www.apple.com/macos/macos-sequoia-preview/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">website</a>. The final release will be available for users this fall.</p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/13/macos-15-sequoia-announced-with-window-tiling-iphone-mirroring-passwords-app-and-more/" data-wpel-link="internal">macOS 15 Sequoia announced with Window Tiling, iPhone Mirroring, Passwords app and more</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  13. The Windows Security Updates of June 2024 are now available

    Tue, 11 Jun 2024 17:48:37 -0000

    The June 2024 security updates for Windows are now available. Microsoft released security updates for other company products as well on the June 2024 Patch Tuesday. Our overview provides system administrators and […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post The Windows Security Updates of June 2024 are now available appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>The June 2024 security updates for Windows are now available. Microsoft released security updates for other company products as well on the June 2024 Patch Tuesday.</p> <p>Our overview provides system administrators and home users with actionable information. It lists known issues for each operating system, links to support pages and other resources, and lists the main changes of each of the updates.</p> <p>Click here to access the <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/14/microsoft-releases-the-may-2024-security-updates-for-windows/" data-wpel-link="internal">Windows security updates overview for May 2024</a> here in case you missed it or need to look at it again.</p> <h2>Microsoft Windows Security Updates: June 2024</h2> <p>You may download the following Excel spreadsheet to get a list of released updates. Click on the following link to download the archive to the local device: <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/windows-security-updates-june-2024.zip" data-wpel-link="internal">Windows Security Updates June 2024 Excel</a></p> <p><strong>Executive Summary</strong></p> <ul> <li>Microsoft released security patches for 49 unique vulnerabilities and republished 9 non-Microsoft CVEs.</li> <li>Windows clients with issues are: Windows 10 version 21H2 and 22H2, Windows 11 version 21H2</li> <li>Windows Server clients with issues: Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2022</li> </ul> <h2>Product overview</h2> <p>Each supported version of Windows and their critical vulnerabilities are listed below.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Windows 10 version 22H2: </strong>27 vulnerabilities, 1 critical, 27 important <ul> <li>Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ) Remote Code Execution Vulnerability -- <a href="https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2024-30080" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">CVE-2024-30080</a></li> </ul> </li> <li><strong>Windows 11 version 22H2</strong>: 28 vulnerabilities, 1 critical, 27 important <ul> <li>Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ) Remote Code Execution Vulnerability -- <a href="https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2024-30080" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">CVE-2024-30080</a></li> </ul> </li> <li><strong>Windows 11 version 23H2</strong>: 28 vulnerabilities, 1 critical, 27 important <ul> <li>Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ) Remote Code Execution Vulnerability -- <a href="https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2024-30080" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">CVE-2024-30080</a></li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Windows Server products</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Windows Server 2008 R2 (extended support only):</strong> 15 vulnerabilities: 1 critical,  14 important <ul> <li>Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ) Remote Code Execution Vulnerability -- <a href="https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2024-30080" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">CVE-2024-30080</a></li> </ul> </li> <li><strong>Windows Server 2012 R2 (extended support only)</strong>:  vulnerabilities:  critical and  important <ul> <li>unknown</li> </ul> </li> <li><strong>Win</strong><strong>dows Server 2016</strong>: 27 vulnerabilities: 1 critical, 27 important <ul> <li>Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ) Remote Code Execution Vulnerability -- <a href="https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2024-30080" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">CVE-2024-30080</a></li> </ul> </li> <li><strong>Windows Server 2019</strong>: 31 vulnerabilities: 1 critical, 30 important <ul> <li>Same as Windows Server 2016</li> </ul> </li> <li><strong> Windows Server 2022:</strong> 30 vulnerabilities: 1 critical, 29 important <ul> <li>Same as Windows Server 2016</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <h2>Windows Security Updates</h2> <p><strong>Windows 10 version 22H2</strong></p> <ul> <li>Support Page: <a href="https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/june-11-2024-kb5039211-os-builds-19044-4529-and-19045-4529-f7e528c9-5e9f-4cd8-9161-704708448517" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039211 </a></li> </ul> <p>Updates and improvements:</p> <ul> <li>Security updates.</li> <li>New: Snipping Tool feature. When an Android mobile is connected to the PC and you take a photo or screenshot with the Android device, a PC prompt is displayed to open the Snipping Tool. This can be turned on or off under Settings &gt; Mobile Devices. Rolls out gradually.</li> <li>Number of fixes listed <a href="https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/may-29-2024-kb5037849-os-build-19045-4474-preview-cda7ed71-6202-45ed-a649-63b11fedabfe" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">here</a>.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Windows 11 version 22H2 and 23H2</strong></p> <ul> <li>Support Page: <a href="https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/june-11-2024-kb5039212-os-builds-22621-3737-and-22631-3737-d7f574c0-2b13-48ca-a9fc-a63093b1a2c2" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039212</a></li> </ul> <p>Updates and improvements:</p> <ul> <li>Security updates.</li> <li>New: Stops users from accidentally closing the Windows share windows.</li> <li>New: Drag &amp; Drop support for breadcrumbs in File Explorer to move files.</li> <li>New: New Linked devices page under Settings &gt; Accounts to manage Xbox consoles and PCs (only Home or Pro).</li> <li>New: Roll out of account manager on the Start menu.</li> <li>New: Windows Share menu supports creating QR codes for webpage URLs and cloud files.</li> <li>New: Windows will back up sound settings and schemes when Remember my preferences is turned on under Settings &gt; Accounts &gt; Windows backup.</li> <li>New: Option to sign-in to a Microsoft account in the Windows Backup app to save backups to the account.</li> <li>New: Option to send emails to yourself from the Windows Share interface.</li> <li>New: Option to add a recovery email under Settings &gt; Account.</li> <li>Fix: This update addresses an issue that affects lsass.exe. It stops responding</li> <li>Fix: This update addresses an issue that might stop your system from resuming from hibernate.</li> <li>Fix: This update addresses an issue that affects lsass.exe. It leaks memory.</li> <li>Other fixes listed <a href="https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/may-29-2024-kb5037853-os-builds-22621-3672-and-22631-3672-preview-dcf14fd8-84d6-4234-9d5b-784c319cd7cf" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">here</a>.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Windows Security updates</strong></p> <ul> <li>2024-06 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1507 (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039225" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039225</a>)</li> <li>2024-06 Cumulative Update for Windows 11 (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039213" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039213</a>)</li> <li>2024-06 Cumulative Update for Microsoft server operating system, version 22H2 for x64-based Systems (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039227" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039227</a>)</li> <li>2024-06 Dynamic Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 22H2 and Windows 10 Version 21H2 (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039211" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039211</a>)</li> </ul> <p>Servicing Stack Update:</p> <ul> <li>2024-06 Servicing Stack Update for Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10 Version 1607 (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039334" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039334</a>)</li> <li>2024-06 Servicing Stack Update for Windows 10 Version 1507 (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039337" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039337</a>)</li> <li>2024-06 Servicing Stack Update for Windows Embedded Standard 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039339" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039339</a>)</li> <li>2024-06 Servicing Stack Update for Windows Server 2012 R2 for x64-based Systems (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039340" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039340</a>)</li> <li>2024-06 Servicing Stack Update for Windows Server 2008 (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039341" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039341</a>)</li> <li>2024-06 Servicing Stack Update for Windows Server 2012 for x64-based Systems (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039342" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039342</a>)</li> </ul> <p>Windows Server:</p> <ul> <li>2024-06 Security Only Quality Update for Windows Embedded Standard 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039274" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039274</a>)</li> <li>2024-06 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows Embedded Standard 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039289" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039289</a>)</li> <li>2024-06 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows Server 2008 (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039245" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039245</a>)</li> <li>2024-06 Security Only Quality Update for Windows Server 2008 (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039266" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039266</a>)</li> <li>2024-06 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows Server 2012 (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039260" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039260</a>)</li> <li>2024-06 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows Server 2012 R2 (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039294" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039294</a>)</li> <li>2024-06 Cumulative Update for Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10 Version 1607 (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039214" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039214</a>)</li> <li>2024-06 Cumulative Update for Windows Server 2019 and Windows 10 Version 1809 (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039217" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039217</a>)</li> <li>2024-06 Cumulative security Hotpatch for Azure Stack HCI, version 21H2 and Windows Server 2022 Datacenter: Azure Edition for x64-based Systems (<a href="https://support.microsoft.com/help/5039330" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039330</a>)</li> </ul> <p><strong>Non-Security updates</strong></p> <h3>Known Issues</h3> <p><strong>Windows 10 version 22H2</strong></p> <p><strong>(OLD) Description</strong>: After installation of the update, users may be unable to change their account profile picture.</p> <p>Workaround: none available at the time.</p> <p><strong>(OLD) Description</strong>: Devices that use Microsoft Connected Cache (MCC) may download updates or apps from the public Internet instead, if they use DHCP Option 235 and have a recent update installed.</p> <p>Workaround: Configure Microsoft Connected Cache endpoint in DOCacheHost policy as indicated in Cache hostname. Additionally, DOCacheHostSourcehas to be set to 1or removed as indicated in Cache hostname source. By default, the DOCacheHost and DOCacheHostSource policies have no value.</p> <p><strong>(OLD) Description: </strong>Desktop icons may be moved around unexpectedly between monitors when using Copilot on more than one monitor. Users may also experience "other alignment issues" according to Microsoft.</p> <p>Workaround: none. Microsoft may disable Copilot on multimonitor devices.</p> <p><strong>(OLD) Description:</strong> Copilot in Windows is not supported if the taskbar is located vertically on the right or left side of the screen.</p> <p>Workaround: align the taskbar horizontally, either at the top or bottom of the screen.</p> <p><strong>Windows 11 version 22H2 and 23H2</strong></p> <p><strong>Description</strong>: After installation of the update, users may be unable to change their account profile picture.</p> <p>Workaround: none available at the time.</p> <h3>Security advisories and updates</h3> <ul> <li><a href="https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-us/vulnerability/ADV990001" target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer nofollow" data-wpel-link="external" data-mrf-link="https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-us/vulnerability/ADV990001">ADV 990001</a> -- Latest Servicing Stack Updates</li> </ul> <p><strong>Microsoft Office Updates</strong></p> <p>You find Office update information <a href="https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdates/office-updates-msi" target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer nofollow" data-wpel-link="external" data-mrf-link="https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdates/office-updates-msi">here</a>.</p> <h3>How to download and install the June 2024 security updates</h3> <p>The updates are installed on most non-managed systems automatically via Windows Update. This does not happen in real-time and may be accelerated in the following way:</p> <ol> <li>Select Start, type Windows Update and load the Windows Update item that is displayed.</li> <li>Select check for updates to run a manual check for updates.</li> </ol> <p>Other options include downloading the updates manually or using update management systems such as WSUS to distribute updates to devices.</p> <h4>Direct update downloads</h4> <p>Below are resource pages with direct download links, if you prefer to download the updates to install them manually.</p> <p><strong>Windows 10 version 22H2</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB%205039211" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039211</a> -- 2024-6 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 21H2</li> </ul> <p><strong>Windows 11 version 22H2</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB5039212" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039212</a> -- 2024-6 Cumulative Update for Windows 11 version 22H2</li> </ul> <section class="entry"><strong>Windows 11 version 23H2</strong></section> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB5039212" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">KB5039212</a> -- 2024-6 Cumulative Update for Windows 11 version 23H2</li> </ul> <h4 class="entry"><strong>Additional resources</strong></h4> <section class="entry"> <ul> <li><a href="https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/releaseNote/2024-Jun" target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer nofollow" data-wpel-link="external" data-mrf-link="https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/releaseNote/2023-Jul">June 2024 Security Updates release notes</a></li> <li><a class="ext-link" title="" href="https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/description-of-software-update-services-and-windows-server-update-services-changes-in-content-for-2021-kb894199-0c540f4f-60c8-7dc2-23c9-48153749966d" target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer nofollow" data-wpel-link="external" data-mrf-link="https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/description-of-software-update-services-and-windows-server-update-services-changes-in-content-for-2021-kb894199-0c540f4f-60c8-7dc2-23c9-48153749966d">List of software updates for Microsoft products</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2017/01/16/latest-windows-updates-and-service-packs-overview/" data-wpel-link="internal" data-mrf-link="https://www.ghacks.net/2017/01/16/latest-windows-updates-and-service-packs-overview/">List of the latest Windows Updates and Services Packs</a></li> <li><a href="https://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en-us/security-guidance" target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer nofollow" data-wpel-link="external" data-mrf-link="https://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en-us/security-guidance">Security Updates Guide</a></li> <li><a href="https://catalog.update.microsoft.com/" target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer nofollow" data-wpel-link="external" data-mrf-link="https://catalog.update.microsoft.com/">Microsoft Update Catalog site</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2010/12/20/microsoft-windows-update-overview-all-you-need-to-know/" data-wpel-link="internal" data-mrf-link="https://www.ghacks.net/2010/12/20/microsoft-windows-update-overview-all-you-need-to-know/">Our in-depth Windows update guide</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2018/02/15/how-to-install-optional-updates-on-windows-10/" data-wpel-link="internal" data-mrf-link="https://www.ghacks.net/2018/02/15/how-to-install-optional-updates-on-windows-10/">How to install optional updates on Windows 10</a></li> <li><a href="https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/windows-11-update-history-a19cd327-b57f-44b9-84e0-26ced7109ba9" target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer nofollow" data-wpel-link="external" data-mrf-link="https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/windows-11-update-history-a19cd327-b57f-44b9-84e0-26ced7109ba9">Windows 11 Update History</a></li> <li><a href="https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/windows-10-update-history-857b8ccb-71e4-49e5-b3f6-7073197d98fb" target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer nofollow" data-wpel-link="external" data-mrf-link="https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/windows-10-update-history-857b8ccb-71e4-49e5-b3f6-7073197d98fb">Windows 10 Update History</a></li> </ul> </section> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/11/the-windows-security-updates-of-june-2024-are-now-available/" data-wpel-link="internal">The Windows Security Updates of June 2024 are now available</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  14. Firefox 127 out with DNS Prefetching, security updates, and more

    Tue, 11 Jun 2024 13:10:05 -0000

    Mozilla has released a new stable version of the organizations' Firefox web browser. Firefox 127.0 introduces several new features and important security fixes. It may also break media playback on certain sites. […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Firefox 127 out with DNS Prefetching, security updates, and more appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Mozilla has released a new stable version of the organizations' Firefox web browser. Firefox 127.0 introduces several new features and important security fixes. It may also break media playback on certain sites.</p> <p>All Firefox editions are updated as well to the following versions:</p> <ul> <li>Firefox 127 for Android</li> <li>Firefox ESR 115.12</li> <li>Firefox 128 Beta</li> <li>Firefox 128 Dev</li> <li>Firefox 129 Nightly</li> </ul> <p><strong>Executive Summary</strong></p> <ul> <li>Firefox 127 addresses several security issues in the browser.</li> <li>Firefox ESR 128 will be released on July 9. 2024</li> <li>Option to add additional protections to the Firefox Password Manager on macOS and Windows devices.</li> <li>The browser supports a new DNS prefetching instruction now.</li> <li>Media elements on HTTPS websites that use HTTP will be upgraded. If that fails, they won't be loaded anymore.</li> </ul> <h2>Firefox 127.0 download and update</h2> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205680" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/mozilla-firefox-127.0.png" alt="Mozilla Firefox 127.0" width="2109" height="1094" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/mozilla-firefox-127.0.png 2109w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/mozilla-firefox-127.0-768x398.png 768w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/mozilla-firefox-127.0-1536x797.png 1536w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/mozilla-firefox-127.0-2048x1062.png 2048w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/mozilla-firefox-127.0-1200x622.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 2109px) 100vw, 2109px" /></p> <p>Firefox is updated automatically by default. Desktop users may check the installed version at any time by selecting Menu &gt; Help &gt; About Firefox. Doing so displays the current version and runs a check for updates. Any new version found is installed at this point.</p> <p>Here are the official download locations:</p> <ul> <li><a class="ext-link" title="" href="https://www.mozilla.org/firefox/new/" target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer nofollow" data-wpel-link="external" data-mrf-link="https://www.mozilla.org/firefox/new/">Firefox Stable download</a></li> <li><a class="ext-link" title="" href="https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/channel/" target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer nofollow" data-wpel-link="external" data-mrf-link="https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/channel/">Firefox Beta download</a></li> <li><a class="ext-link" title="" href="https://nightly.mozilla.org/" target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer nofollow" data-wpel-link="external" data-mrf-link="https://nightly.mozilla.org/">Nightly download</a></li> <li><a class="ext-link" title="" href="https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/all/" target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer nofollow" data-wpel-link="external" data-mrf-link="https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/all/">Firefox ESR download</a></li> <li><a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.mozilla.firefox" target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer nofollow" data-wpel-link="external" data-mrf-link="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.mozilla.firefox">Firefox for Android on Google Play</a></li> </ul> <h2>Firefox 127.0 changes</h2> <p><strong>Security and privacy improvements</strong></p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205681" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/firefox-require-device-password.png" alt="Firefox Device Password" width="2109" height="1094" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/firefox-require-device-password.png 2109w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/firefox-require-device-password-768x398.png 768w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/firefox-require-device-password-1536x797.png 1536w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/firefox-require-device-password-2048x1062.png 2048w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/firefox-require-device-password-1200x622.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 2109px) 100vw, 2109px" /></p> <p>Firefox 127.0 ships with security and privacy improvements. Windows and macOS users may configure the browser to prompt for authentication when the built-in password manager is accessed.</p> <p>The new option is called "Request device sign in to fill and manage passwords". It is located in the Preferences of the browser under Privacy. You can load about:preferences#privacy to jump there directly. Check the option, which is disabled by default, to add the protective feature.</p> <p>The new release improves privacy on Linux by reducing fingerprinting information. Firefox will report 32-bit x86 Linux systems as  x86_64 in Firefox's User-Agent string and a Web API.</p> <p><strong>HTTP Media upgrades on HTTPS pages</strong></p> <p>Firefox won't play HTTP media -- image, video, or audio files -- on HTTPS pages anymore, if it cannot upgrade the protocol to HTTPS. Files that cannot be upgraded will not be loaded by the browser anymore.</p> <p>This can be undone by changing the following preferences:</p> <ul> <li>security.mixed_content.block_display_content to FALSE (this was on false on the test system)</li> <li>security.mixed_content.upgrade_display_content to FALSE</li> </ul> <p>The console highlights whenever mixed-content has been upgraded. Firefox does not display an icon anymore to indicate mixed-content on a page.</p> <h3>Other changes and fixes</h3> <ul> <li>New option to launch Firefox on Windows automatically when the operating system starts. The option is found in the Preferences under General. It is called Open Firefox automatically when your computer starts up.</li> <li>Support for rel="dns-prefetch" link hints. This allows developers to suggest domain names that should be looked up preemptively by the browser.</li> <li>The List all tabs widget has a new Close duplicate tabs action.</li> <li>On macOS, links and other focusable elements are not "tab-navigable". Users may restore the previous default in the settings.</li> <li>Firefox's built-in screenshot tool can now take screenshots of certain file types, including SVG and XML, as well as several internal about: pages. Performance was also improved.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Developer changes</strong></p> <ul> <li>data: and javascript: URLs are now forbidden in the href attribute of the &lt;base&gt; element</li> <li>Using a &lt;color-interpolation-method&gt; is now supported in gradients created with certain methods.</li> <li>Firefox supports a number of new JavaScript "Set" methods.</li> <li>The lh and rlh line height units are supported in SVG.</li> <li>The asynchronous Clipboard API is supported fully.</li> <li>All HTML character references are now supported in Web Video Text Tracks Format (WebVTT).</li> </ul> <p><strong>Enterprise changes</strong></p> <div id="td-incontent-1708102800845" class="rvloader-container mb--10">The following policies have been added or updated:</div> <ul> <li>Added: DisableEncryptedClientHello to control Encrypted Client Hello.</li> <li>Added: PostQuantumKeyAgreementEnabled to control post-quantum key agreement for TLS.</li> <li>Added: HttpsOnlyMode to control HTTPS-Only Mode.</li> <li>Added: HttpAllowlist to add exceptions to <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2020/07/11/firefox-80-https-only-mode-in-settings/" data-wpel-link="internal">HTTPS-Only Mode</a>.</li> <li>Updated: Preferences policy to allow setting <ul> <li>security.mixed_content.block_display_content</li> <li>security.mixed_content.upgrade_display_content</li> </ul> </li> <li>Updated: UserMessaging policy no longer supports the WhatsNew option.</li> <li>Updated: ExtensionSettings policy was updated to add temporarily_allow_weak_signatures to allow installing extensions signed using deprecated signature algorithms.</li> </ul> <div> <p><strong>Security updates / fixes</strong></p> <p>Mozilla <a href="https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/security/advisories/mfsa2024-25/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">fixed</a> 15 unique security issues in Firefox 127. The aggregate severity rating is high and exploits in the wild are not mentioned.</p> </div> <p><strong>Outlook</strong></p> <p>Firefox 128 will be released on June 9. 2024. It marks the beginning of a new ESR base, which will replace Firefox ESR 115.x eventually.</p> <p><strong>Recent Firefox news and tips</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/30/mozilla-is-investigating-huge-telemetry-performance-issues-in-firefox-for-android/" data-wpel-link="internal">Mozilla is investigating huge Telemetry performance issues in Firefox for Android</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/23/mozilla-confirms-it-will-add-tab-groups-vertical-tabs-profile-management-to-firefox/" data-wpel-link="internal">Mozilla confirms it will add Tab Groups, Vertical Tabs, Profile Management to Firefox</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Additional information / resources</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/127.0/releasenotes/" target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer nofollow" data-wpel-link="external">Firefox 127 release notes</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/Firefox/Releases/127" target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer nofollow" data-wpel-link="external">Firefox 127 for Developers</a></li> <li><a href="https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/firefox-enterprise-127-release-notes" target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer nofollow" data-wpel-link="external">Firefox 127 for Enterprise</a></li> <li><a class="ext-link" title="" href="https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/security/advisories/" target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer nofollow" data-wpel-link="external" data-mrf-link="https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/security/advisories/">Firefox Security Advisories</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2012/08/16/mozilla-firefox-release-schedule/" data-wpel-link="internal" data-mrf-link="https://www.ghacks.net/2012/08/16/mozilla-firefox-release-schedule/">Firefox Release Schedule</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Closing Words</strong></p> <p>Firefox 127 makes a few privacy and security changes. The option to protect saved passwords with the operating system's password or biometrics is a welcome option. The remaining changes are smaller. The next version will be a major release.</p> <p><em>Have you tried Firefox recently? What is your take on the current state of the browser?</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/11/firefox-127-out-with-dns-prefetching-security-updates-and-more/" data-wpel-link="internal">Firefox 127 out with DNS Prefetching, security updates, and more</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  15. iOS 18 announced with Apple Intelligence, ChatGPT in Siri, Passwords app, Photos and Messages improvements

    Tue, 11 Jun 2024 09:02:03 -0000

    Apple has officially announced iOS 18 beta, along with the beta versions of iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia. Here are the biggest improvements and new features for iPhone. What's new in iOS […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post iOS 18 announced with Apple Intelligence, ChatGPT in Siri, Passwords app, Photos and Messages improvements appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Apple has officially announced iOS 18 beta, along with the beta versions of iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia. Here are the biggest improvements and new features for iPhone.</p> <h2><strong>What's new in iOS 18</strong></h2> <h3><strong>New Customization options</strong></h3> <p>iOS 18 allows users to personalize the Home Screen and Lock Screen with the same wallpaper, and it switches between the two screens seamlessly. You can place app icons or widgets anywhere on the home screen. App icons will automatically become darker when your iPhone switches to Dark Mode. You can manually edit the tint color of the icons, or use let iOS pick the tint based on your wallpaper.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205675" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/New-Customization-options-in-iOS-18.jpg" alt="New Customization options in iOS 18" width="821" height="658" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/New-Customization-options-in-iOS-18.jpg 821w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/New-Customization-options-in-iOS-18-768x616.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 821px) 100vw, 821px" /></p> <p>Control Center now supports multiple screens that you can access with a swipe gesture, allowing you to manage media playback, Home Controls, etc. Users may customize the options that are available on the Control Center, using the new Control Center Gallery. The controls can be resized, just like widgets. You can also access the controls from the lock screen, by replacing the camera and flashlight controls. Apple has extended these options to third-party apps, so you can place controls for your favorite apps on the control Center. iPhone 15 Pro users can access the controls by clicking on the Action button.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205674" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Control-Center-options-in-iOS-18.jpg" alt="Control Center options in iOS 18" width="394" height="549" /></p> <h3><strong>Privacy controls</strong></h3> <p>Apple has introduced an option in iOS 18 that lets you lock an app with your Face ID, Touch ID or pass code. This will prevent other users from accessing the app, when you hand over your phone to them for sharing a video, photo, or to play a game. The new privacy controls prevent sensitive data from locked apps from appearing in search, notifications, Siri and Spotlight, Call History, and Maps routing suggestions. Users can use the hide app feature, which moves a selected app to a hidden app folder that only they can access.</p> <p>Apps can now be granted restricted access to your contacts, i.e. you can choose which contacts an app will be able to see. Apple is also allowing you to control the way how apps connect to your accessories such as Bluetooth devices, which will prevent the apps from discovering or connecting to other devices, aka secure Bluetooth pairing.</p> <h3><strong>Schedule Messages, Format Text, Add Text Effects, react with new Tapbacks, and use Satellite Messaging</strong></h3> <p>The Messages app in iOS 18 has an improved Tapbacks panel, which lets you react to messages using any emoji or sticker. You can schedule messages to be sent later in the Messages app, for example, to wish someone on their birthday.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205672" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Schedule-messages-to-be-sent-later-in-ios-18.jpg" alt="Schedule messages to be sent later in ios 18" width="716" height="616" /></p> <p>iOS 18's Messages app supports text formatting options such as bold, italics, underlined or strike through in any text. There are some new animations in the app, called Text Effects, that you can use to express your emotions in messages. Some text effects examples include shake, nod, explode.</p> <p>Apple has improved upon its Satellite communication feature which it introduced in iOS 16' <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/11/16/apple-extends-free-emergency-sos-via-satellite-service-for-iphone-14-users/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">Emergency SOS Satellite</a>. Messages in iOS 18 lets you send and receive text messages, emoji and tapbacks via Satellite, when you are not connected to a mobile signal or Wi-Fi network. The messages are end-to-end encrypted. Satellite messaging also works for SMS texting, when you are communicating with people who don't have iMessage. This feature is supported on iPhone 14 or later.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205671" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/RCS-messaging-in-iOS-18.jpg" alt="RCS messaging in iOS 18" width="424" height="551" /></p> <p>RCS support is being added in iOS 18, which will finally allow iPhone users to send higher quality images and videos to Android devices, as well as support other RCS functions like typing indicator, delivery and read receipts, etc. On a side note, the Calendar app now supports Reminders.</p> <h3><strong>Mail app</strong></h3> <p>The Mail app supports automatic incoming email categorization, which organizes your messages into different categories like Primary, transactions, updates, and promotions. The organization of your messages takes place on-device.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205670" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Mail-app-categorization-in-iOS-18.jpg" alt="Mail app categorization in iOS 18" width="653" height="580" /></p> <p>The Primary category is quite similar to the Focused Inbox in Microsoft Outlook or Gmail's Priority Inbox. Apple Mail will place important messages under the Primary tab. The Mail app can create digest views to gather all important information from a sender, e.g. an airline, and lets you view/interact with them more easily. Tapping the All Mail button displays all messages on a single page.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205669" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Mail-app-digest-view-ios-18.jpg" alt="Mail app digest view ios 18" width="531" height="569" /></p> <h3><strong>Redesigned Photos app</strong></h3> <p>The Photos app has received a complete makeover. The new design displays a Photo grid at the top of the screen, while your library's contents are categorized into different themes, which Apple calls Collections. These include topics like People and Pets, Trips, Memories, etc. Collections are customizable, can be rearranged and pinned. The recent days section filters receipts, screenshots, to display photos and videos that you took recently. Images are displayed in a grid view, with an autoplaying slide at the top of the collection. The bottom of the app's UI is home to timeline options such as months and year views, that lets you relive memories as they happened. The filter button on the bottom left can be used to narrow down your photo library, for example, you can toggle screenshots to hide them, and only view photos and videos in your library.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205673" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/redesigned-photos-app-in-ios-18.jpg" alt="redesigned photos app in ios 18" width="598" height="588" /></p> <p>iOS 18 also improves Maps with topographic maps, adds Tap to Cash in Apple Wallet without sharing phone numbers or emails. Gamers can toggle Game Mode for a more immersive experience similar to that on macOS.</p> <h3><strong>Apple Passwords app debuts</strong></h3> <p>Apple has announced its Passwords app for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Vision Pro and Windows. The app allows users to create secure passwords for online accounts and stores them securely in the cloud. The data is end-to-end encrypted and syncs across your devices.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205668" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Password-app-in-iOS-18-iPadOS-18-mac-OS-15.jpg" alt="Password app in iOS 18 iPadOS 18 mac OS 15" width="668" height="499" /></p> <p>You can also use it to store passkeys, Wi-Fi passwords, verification codes. Apple says that the Passwords app will alert users when it discovers weak passwords, reused passwords, and those that have been found in data leaks.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205678" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Apple-Passwords-app-debuts.jpg" alt="Apple Passwords app debuts" width="653" height="914" /></p> <p>This could prove to be a solid contender that could disrupt third-party password managers like Bitwarden, 1Password, etc.</p> <h3><strong>Meet the new AI - Apple Intelligence</strong></h3> <p>And now for the most debated topic, A.I. on Apple devices. Apple has announced its own artificial intelligence feature, called Apple Intelligence. An A.I. called AI? I see what you did there, Apple. The Cupertino company says that this is a personal intelligence, that focuses on your needs, for example to prioritize important notifications at the top of the lock screen.</p> <p>Apple Intelligence can be used to generate text, rewrite, proofread, and summarize text. The tool is available systemwide across iOS 18, macOS 18, and iPadOS 18, in many apps including Mail, Safari, Notes, Keynote. Apple says that its A.I. is also compatible with third-party apps.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205676" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Meet-the-new-AI-Apple-Intelligence.jpg" alt="Meet the new AI - Apple Intelligence" width="1200" height="692" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Meet-the-new-AI-Apple-Intelligence.jpg 1200w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Meet-the-new-AI-Apple-Intelligence-768x443.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px" /></p> <p>Users can use Apple Intelligence to create unique photos, emojis, GIFs. The tool supports three styles: Sketch, Illustration and Animation. It can even recognize photos of people in your library, and lets you create personalized photos such a birthday card. The image capabilities of the A.I. will be available across Notes, Keynote, Freeform, and Pages.</p> <p>Apple Intelligence supports app actions, you can ask it to do things like open the camera or a specific file, record and transcribe audio, and it will perform the tasks for you. The AI can also create custom emojis using GenMoji.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205677" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Apple-Intelligence-privacy.jpg" alt="Apple Intelligence privacy" width="949" height="561" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Apple-Intelligence-privacy.jpg 949w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Apple-Intelligence-privacy-768x454.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 949px) 100vw, 949px" /></p> <p>Apple has highlighted its AI capabilities to use personal context, and its deep integration in the operating system and apps allows it to aggregate data to perform tasks that you want it to do. The tool has been designed in a privacy-centric way, all Apple Intelligence tasks are handled using on-device processing on A17 and Apple M Silicon chips. The company says that data is never stored or shared with Apple, you can learn more about it <a href="https://www.apple.com/apple-intelligence/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">here</a>.</p> <h3><strong>ChatGPT in Siri, Type to Siri</strong></h3> <p>Apple's personal digital assistant, Siri, has been reworked. Siri can now understand natural language more accurately, including corrections that you make after speaking. It can also understand the context, and is capable of on-screen awareness to understand the content on the screen. Siri offers step-by-step guidance when you ask it to help with a feature that you don't know, e.g. how to schedule a message to be sent later? Users can now type to Siri by double tapping the bottom of the screen, and type in a task, like setting an alarm. This works similar to how you may interact with chatbots.</p> <p>Apple has partnered with OpenAI to integrate <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/04/02/chatgpt-no-longer-requires-an-account-to-use-but-there-are-some-limitations/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">ChatGPT</a> in Siri, powered by GPT-4o. You can ask questions to Siri, and it will offer to connect to ChatGPT to answer your queries, you can choose to cancel the action. ChatGPT is also able in writing tools to compose text. Apple says that the data is not logged, to protect the privacy of users. Users with a ChatGPT subscription will be able to access the paid features of the chatbot right within the operating system.</p> <p>And now for the bad news, Apple Intelligence is only supported on the iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, and iPad and Mac with M1 and later. So, even the <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/13/apple-announces-iphone-15-series-with-usb-c-port-dynamic-island/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">iPhone 15</a> won't get it, only the most expensive models will have access to the AI.</p> <p>Apple says that Apple Intelligence features will debut this fall, and will be available for users who have their Siri and device language set to U.S. English. Apple Intelligence will compete head on with the likes of Microsoft Copilot and Google Gemini.</p> <h3><strong>Which devices are eligible for iOS 18?</strong></h3> <p>iOS 18 is compatible with the following devices.</p> <ul> <li>iPhone 15</li> <li>iPhone 15 Plus</li> <li>iPhone 15 Pro</li> <li>iPhone 15 Pro Max</li> <li>iPhone 14</li> <li>iPhone 14 Plus</li> <li>iPhone 14 Pro</li> <li>iPhone 14 Pro Max</li> <li>iPhone 13</li> <li>iPhone 13 mini</li> <li>iPhone 13 Pro</li> <li>iPhone 13 Pro Max</li> <li>iPhone 12</li> <li>iPhone 12 mini</li> <li>iPhone 12 Pro</li> <li>iPhone 12 Pro Max</li> <li>iPhone 11</li> <li>iPhone 11 Pro</li> <li>iPhone 11 Pro Max</li> <li>iPhone XS</li> <li>iPhone XS Max</li> <li>iPhone XR</li> <li>iPhone SE (2nd generation or later)</li> </ul> <p>Refer to the <a href="https://www.apple.com/ios/ios-18-preview/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">official preview page</a> for further information.</p> <h3><strong>iPadOS is getting a Calculator app</strong></h3> <p>iPadOS 18 brings a much requested feature to Apple's tablet devices, yes it's true, you can now use the Calculator app on your iPad. The new operating system comes with redesigned apps and an animated tab bar. I'm running out of room here, so please refer to the <a href="https://www.apple.com/ipados/ipados-18-preview/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">official website</a> for more details about iPadOS 18.</p> <p>iPadOS 18 is compatible with these devices:</p> <ul> <li>iPad Pro (M4)</li> <li>iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later)</li> <li>iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later)</li> <li>iPad Air (M2)</li> <li>iPad Air (3rd generation and later)</li> <li>iPad (7th generation and later)</li> <li>iPad mini (5th generation and later)</li> </ul> <p>(Images via Apple)</p> <p>Which feature do you like in iOS 18?</p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/11/here-are-the-new-features-in-ios-18/" data-wpel-link="internal">iOS 18 announced with Apple Intelligence, ChatGPT in Siri, Passwords app, Photos and Messages improvements</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  16. Report: HP released faulty ProBook BIOS update that bricked machines

    Mon, 10 Jun 2024 13:29:41 -0000

    HP released a BIOS update for its ProBook 455 G7 laptop in May 2024. This update appears to have been faulty, as users started to flock the HP Support forum to request […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Report: HP released faulty ProBook BIOS update that bricked machines appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>HP released a BIOS update for its ProBook 455 G7 laptop in May 2024. This update appears to have been faulty, as users started to flock the <a href="https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebook-Operating-System-and-Recovery/HP-Probook-BIOS-Upgrade-1-17-failed/td-p/9081096" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">HP Support forum</a> to request assistance.</p> <p><strong>Update</strong>: HP released a statement this week. It acknowledged the issue and provided a list of devices that could have received the faulty BIOS update: HP ProBook x360 435 G7, HP ProBook 445 G7, HP ProBook 455 G7, HP EliteBook 835 G7, HP EliteBook 845 G7 , and HP EliteBook 855 G7. The company says that it is working on the issue. <strong>End</strong></p> <p>HP has not yet responded to the thread, and user comments suggest that it is asking customers to pay for motherboard replacements, if the devices is no longer under warranty. ProBook devices are widely used by business customers, but may also be purchased by consumers. This particular device was released in 2020 initially, which means that most devices do not fall under warranty.</p> <p><strong>Good to know:</strong> BIOS updates may be installed via Windows Update, via support tools, or through manual installations. These may include fixes, updates, and sometimes also new features.</p> <p>On May 26th, 2024, HP Support forum member ProBookUser61 published a new support thread on the forum. The user claimed that HP did release a faulty BIOS update for the HP ProBook 455 G7 device. Installation of the update via HP's Support Assistant software had the result that the computer was showing a black screen on start with loud fan noise.</p> <p>Attempts to enter the BIOS did not work. Analysis of the BIOS file revealed to the user that it was faulty. It was too large for the integrated BIOS chip and also not a standard UEFI BIOS file according to the user.</p> <p>Soon thereafter, other users chimed in. Some downloaded the BIOS file from HP's Support website, others received it via Windows Update. All who replied stated that the update bricked the device.</p> <p>HP did not reply to the support thread. Customers who contacted HP Support were told that the motherboard had to be replaced and that it would cost €400 if the device was not under warranty anymore.</p> <h3>Closing Words</h3> <p>If the reports are true, and there is no evidence that they are not, then it paints a bad light on release control over at HP. Did no one at HP test install the new BIOS file on ProBook laptops? If it is true that the size of the file is too large and that the file itself is not a standard UEFI Bios file, then this would have certainly flagged it to the tester.</p> <p>HP has not responded to the support thread yet, which leaves customers hanging. It does not paint a good picture on the quality of the support forum. Disgruntled customers -- they appear to have every right to feel that way-- have a tendency to become ex-customers quickly.</p> <p><strong>Word of advice</strong>: if you break it, you should do everything in your power to correct the issue.</p> <p><em>Have a similar horror story to share? Or something pleasant regarding customer support? Feel free to share it in the comments below.</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/10/report-hp-released-faulty-probook-bios-update-that-bricked-machines/" data-wpel-link="internal">Report: HP released faulty ProBook BIOS update that bricked machines</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  17. Windows 11 is getting a native profile picture editor

    Fri, 07 Jun 2024 12:35:29 -0000

    Microsoft is working on integrating a new profile picture editor in its Windows 11 operating system. This editor helps users change and edit the profile icon of a user account. The feature […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Windows 11 is getting a native profile picture editor appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Microsoft is working on integrating a new profile picture editor in its Windows 11 operating system. This editor helps users change and edit the profile icon of a user account.</p> <p>The feature was introduced in Windows 11 build 26231, but it is disabled by default. Interested testers may enable it with the help of the ViVeTool.</p> <p>Here, they need to run the command <strong>vivetool /enable /id:45189370,47364920</strong> to enable the functionality.</p> <p>Once done, the new option becomes available under Settings &gt; Your Info.</p> <figure id="attachment_205659" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-205659" style="width: 1200px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="size-full wp-image-205659" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/windows-11-profile-picture-editor-scaled.jpg" alt="Windows 11 Profile Photo Editor" width="1200" height="810" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/windows-11-profile-picture-editor-scaled.jpg 1200w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/windows-11-profile-picture-editor-768x518.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px" /><figcaption id="caption-attachment-205659" class="wp-caption-text">Via <a href="https://x.com/PhantomOfEarth/status/1798808335757492429" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">PhantomOcean3</a></figcaption></figure> <p>A click on "change profile photo" opens the editor. Users have the following options there:</p> <ul> <li>Take a photo using built-in cameras.</li> <li>Select an image from the local system.</li> <li>Remove a photo.</li> <li>Apply effects (blur background, portrait lighting, upscale resolution)</li> <li>Filters (apply filters).</li> <li>Apply Zoom.</li> <li>Rotate the image.</li> </ul> <p>Our colleagues over at <a href="https://www.deskmodder.de/blog/2024/06/07/windows-11-profilbild-mit-dem-profilbild-editor-in-den-einstellungen-aendern/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Deskmodder</a> have enabled the functionality and revealed the names of the filters: Style1977, Nashville, Sutro, Walden, Xpro2 und AutoFocus. Not much to go by</p> <p>The selected image is synced with the Microsoft account, if a Microsoft account is used. The functionality is also available for local accounts. It is unclear if images are uploaded for processing, or if the processing happens on the local device.</p> <p>Microsoft refers to the feature as AIProfileImage. This indicates that some features, likely effects and filters, are applied using artificial intelligence. Microsoft makes no mention of this in the current dialog though.</p> <p>Currently, users may go to Settings &gt; Accounts &gt; Your info to change the profile icon. The only provided options are to take a photo or to select an image from the local system.</p> <p>The new feature adds editing options to the process, which require the use of third-party apps right now.</p> <h3>Closing Words</h3> <p>The new profile photo editor improves adding and changing the profile icon on Windows 11 devices. The editing options are the main improvements, as it may no longer be necessary to use a third-party app to apply effects or rotate the image.</p> <p>All in all, it appears to be a useful change for the majority of Windows users.</p> <p><em>Do you use profile photos on your systems, or do you keep the default icons?</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/07/windows-11-is-getting-a-native-profile-picture-editor/" data-wpel-link="internal">Windows 11 is getting a native profile picture editor</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  18. PSA: Mac app Bartender has been acquired silently by a company

    Fri, 07 Jun 2024 05:08:28 -0000

    The popular Mac app Bartender has changed hands. The app has been acquired silently by a company, which has raised some questions. For those unaware, Bartender is tool that lets you organize […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post PSA: Mac app Bartender has been acquired silently by a company appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>The popular Mac app Bartender has changed hands. The app has been acquired silently by a company, which has raised some questions.</p> <p>For those unaware, Bartender is tool that lets you organize the macOS Menu Bar. It hides the icons of other apps to allow for a cleaner look.</p> <p>Well, this isn't the first time an app has been sold by a developer without prior warning to users. It happened with <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2022/07/19/nova-launcher-and-sesame-search-have-been-acquired-by-branch/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">Nova Launcher</a>, <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/12/05/warning-simple-mobile-tools-sold-to-controversial-zipoapps-publisher/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">Simple Mobile Tools</a>, and <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/12/19/psa-raivo-otp-for-ios-was-acquired-by-mobime-a-few-months-ago/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">Raivo OTP</a>. Speaking of which, some users on Bitwarden's <a href="https://old.reddit.com/r/Bitwarden/comments/1d48s1c/raivootp_iphone_2fa_app_sold_latest_update/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">subreddit</a> said that a recent update to Raivo OTP deleted all tokens in the app.</p> <h3><strong>Bartender Mac app acquired silently by new company</strong></h3> <p>Let's get back on topic. As <a href="https://www.macrumors.com/2024/06/04/bartender-mac-app-new-owner/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Macrumors</a> reports, some <a href="https://old.reddit.com/r/macapps/comments/1d7zjv8/bartender_5_not_safe_anymore_warning_from/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">reddit</a> users noticed a warning from MacUpdater (a tool that tracks if updates are available for your apps). The warning mentioned that Bartender had been sold to a company in a "silent and dubious manner". The note also mentioned that Bartender 5.0.52 and newer versions should be used at "your own risk and responsibility".</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205654" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Bartender-Mac-app-acquired-silently-by-new-company.jpg" alt="Bartender Mac app acquired silently by new company" width="652" height="170" /></p> <p>(image via reddit)</p> <p>But, there had not been an official announcement from the original developer and the new owner about the acquisition. As soon as the reports began getting noticed, a reddit user called "<a href="https://old.reddit.com/r/macapps/comments/1d7zjv8/bartender_5_not_safe_anymore_warning_from/l73h9gv/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Ordinary_Delivery_79</a>" who claimed that they were the new owners of Bartender, explained that the acquisition was a normal process. They also said it had been completed two months ago. The company's representative clarified they had to re-sign the app with Apple to include their company's information. This had let to the certificate being changed.</p> <p>As expected, the news was met with criticism and concern from users. One user discovered that the app had been sold to <a href="https://www.applause.dev/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Applause</a>. CoreCode, the developer of MacUpdater, posted a <a href="https://old.reddit.com/r/macapps/comments/1d7zjv8/bartender_5_not_safe_anymore_warning_from/l76r88g/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">comment</a> on reddit, detailing the discoveries into the matter. They discovered that the style of Bartender's blog posts changed from being informational, to a SEO-optimized style that could have been generated by an AI. The 5.0.52 beta release app's code signature changed in April, to App Sub 1 LLC. This company has <a href="https://apps.apple.com/us/developer/app-sub-1-llc/id1667982354" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">published</a> some random apps for iPadOS.</p> <p>When Bartender 5.0.52 exited beta, the release was signed by a 'Bartender App LLC'. The change in the developer's certificate was the first red flag. AppleInsider notes that security researcher Patrick Wardle (and creator of the LuLu firewall app) confirmed to their blog that contrary to claims, he was not examining the app for malicious code. Another user who investigated the app's binary discovered that Bartender 5.0.52 contained code related to a new analytics framework from Amplitude, and this is used to report a ton of analytics data, aka telemetry. Here is another <a href="https://github.com/orgs/Homebrew/discussions/5427" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">discussion</a> about the controversy on Homebrew's Github.</p> <p>Ben Surtees, the developer of Bartender, has published a <a href="https://surteesstudios.com/a-new-chapter/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">statement</a> on his website to shed some light on the situation. He clarified that users need not be worried as the app is signed by a verified Apple ID developer and notarized by Apple, so it does not contain malware.  The post also confirms that Bartender had been sold to Applause three months ago. Wait, didn't the owner say it was sold two months ago? Regardless of that, I don't think the statement is reassuring. As a matter of fact, the same statement is now available on Bartender's <a href="https://www.macbartender.com/b5blog/A-New-Chapter-for-Bartender/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">website</a>.</p> <p>App developers need to be more responsible and transparent. They never announce an app's acquisition before handing over the reins to the new company. I get the fact that indie developers need the money, that is fair. But you need to be open about the situation, and announce it publicly. If a company fails to do so, its intentions are malicious. I think this particular case is actually worse, because Bartender is a paid app. This is a poor way to thank the loyal users who had paid for the app, and supported its development over the years.</p> <p>According to some users, Bartender has been <a href="https://old.reddit.com/r/macapps/comments/1d9tbm9/bartender_5053_released/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">updated</a> to 5.0.53, and the change log reportedly mentions that it removes the Amplitude product analytics that was added in the previous update. The developers have said that the telemetry data was only used to count the number of users who were running into some permissions issue.</p> <h3><strong>Alternatives for Bartender Mac app</strong></h3> <p>So, what are some good alternatives for Bartender? I have been using <a href="https://github.com/dwarvesf/hidden" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Hidden Bar</a> on my MacBook for a couple of years. You may have seen a small vertical line on the Apple Bar in my previous macOS articles, that's the Hidden Bar's icon. The app is open source. It has not been updated in over 2 years, but it does work on macOS Sonoma. If it ain't broke, you can continue using it.</p> <p>Several reddit users have recommended an alternative app called <a href="https://github.com/jordanbaird/Ice" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Ice</a>. It's also open source, and seems pretty good. I have not tested it extensively, but it's free, open source, and is updated on a regular basis. While you can use <a href="https://www.corecode.io/macupdater/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">MacUpdater</a> for free, for just scanning for updates. But in case you want an alternative, check out <a href="https://github.com/mangerlahn/Latest" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Latest</a>, it's free and open source.</p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/07/psa-mac-app-bartender-has-been-acquired-silently-by-a-company/" data-wpel-link="internal">PSA: Mac app Bartender has been acquired silently by a company</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  19. Microsoft reopens Windows 10 Beta channel to "test new features"

    Thu, 06 Jun 2024 09:56:14 -0000

    Microsoft has reopened the Windows 10 Beta channel this week to test new features before they roll out to current stable versions of Windows 10. The move comes as a surprise to […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Microsoft reopens Windows 10 Beta channel to "test new features" appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Microsoft has <a href="https://blogs.windows.com/windows-insider/2024/06/04/opening-the-beta-channel-for-windows-insiders-on-windows-10/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">reopened</a> the Windows 10 Beta channel this week to test new features before they roll out to current stable versions of Windows 10.</p> <p>The move comes as a surprise to many. Microsoft released the <a href="https://blogs.windows.com/windows-insider/2021/06/17/releasing-windows-10-build-19043-1081-21h1-to-beta-release-preview-channels/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">last build</a> to the Windows 10 Beta channel in June 2021. Since then, the company released only Release Preview builds to Insiders on Windows 10 devices.</p> <p>Microsoft published a blog post to inform beta users about the upcoming change. According to Microsoft, the Beta channel is reopened to "try out new features for Windows 10, version 22H2".</p> <p>Microsoft released new features sporadically to Windows 10 ever since it focused development on Windows 11. One of these features <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/04/25/windows-10-updates-download-faster-now/" data-wpel-link="internal">reduced the size of Windows updates significantly</a>, another brought <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/03/15/next-windows-10-update-brings-windows-spotlight-lock-screen-content-and-another-windows-11-upgrade-offer/" data-wpel-link="internal">content to the lock screen and desktop</a>, and a third <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/04/19/windows-10-sign-in-to-your-microsoft-account-messages-roll-out/" data-wpel-link="internal">advertised the benefits of using a Microsoft account in Settings</a>.</p> <p>The new features that Microsoft plans to integrate in Windows 10 may require more testing. The release to the beta channel gives Microsoft more time to collect Telemetry and fix bugs or issues that are uncovered from the data.</p> <p>Microsoft does not reveal any of the features that it plans to introduce to Windows 10. Judging from past releases, these are likely features that are already available on Windows 11 or also planned for the operating system. Another possibility is the testing of features that get customers to upgrade their devices to Windows 11.</p> <p>Windows 10 support ends in October 2025 officially. <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/04/03/microsoft-reveals-windows-10-esu-pricing-starts-at-61/" data-wpel-link="internal">Customers may extend support</a> by up to three years through Microsoft's Extended Security Updates program for Windows 10 for a price, however.</p> <p>The following rules apply:</p> <ul> <li>The Windows 10 system is not automatically upgraded to Windows 11 when the Beta channel is joined.</li> <li>If the PC meets Windows 11's system requirements, it will be upgraded to Windows 11 if the admin switches to the Dev or Canary channel.</li> <li>Rollback to Windows 10 is then allowed for a "small window" before this option is blocked. The only way to go back then is to clean install Windows 10 on the device.</li> </ul> <p>Many of the features that Microsoft plans to test in the Beta channel will roll out gradually. Some of these features may not get released at all, as Microsoft is trying "out different concepts".</p> <p>The first beta build will be released in the coming weeks according to Microsoft.</p> <h2>Joining the Windows 10 Beta channel</h2> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205656" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/windows-10-beta-channel.webp" alt="Windows 10 Beta Channel" width="1024" height="812" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/windows-10-beta-channel.webp 1024w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/windows-10-beta-channel-768x609.webp 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <p><strong>Note</strong>: Insider builds are released for testing purposes. It is best to run these in virtual machines or separate devices designed for testing.</p> <ol> <li>Open Start and then the Settings app (or press Windows-I on the keyboard).</li> <li>Go to Update &amp; Security &gt; Windows Insider Program.</li> <li>Click on the current Insider channel selection.</li> <li>Select Beta Channel (Recommended).</li> </ol> <h3>Closing Words</h3> <p>Microsoft has not revealed any feature that it plans to test. The first beta build release should be a good indicator what users can expect here. Cautious users may want to wait for the official release announcement before making a decision to join the beta channel.</p> <p><em>What is your take on the reopening of the Beta channel?</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/06/microsoft-reopens-windows-10-beta-channel-to-test-new-features/" data-wpel-link="internal">Microsoft reopens Windows 10 Beta channel to &quot;test new features&quot;</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  20. How to Stop Automatic Google Chrome Updates on Windows

    Wed, 05 Jun 2024 10:03:12 -0000

    Google Chrome Updates are configured to run automatically on non-managed Windows devices. This guide provides step by step instructions to disable automatic updates of Google Chrome. Most web browsers are configured to […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post How to Stop Automatic Google Chrome Updates on Windows appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Google Chrome Updates are configured to run automatically on non-managed Windows devices. This guide provides step by step instructions to disable automatic updates of Google Chrome.</p> <p>Most web browsers are configured to update automatically. This happens in the background. While that can be a good thing, especially for security, it can also slow down the start of the system. Some users may also want full control over the updating process.</p> <p><strong>Word of caution</strong>: It is generally a good idea to install updates, especially when they fix security issues. This guide is intended for advanced users.</p> <p>A quick check of the Windows Task Manager after system start may reveal reveal an abundance of Google Updater processes.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205476" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-updater-processes.png" alt="Google Updater Processes" width="793" height="488" /></p> <p>The screenshot was captured on a system with two Chrome installations: Chrome Stable and Chrome Canary.</p> <p>If Chrome is not your main browser, you may consider disabling automatic updates for a number of reasons.</p> <p>You can check for updater.exe processes on your device in the following way:</p> <ol> <li>Press Ctrl-Shift-Esc at the same time directly after system boot.</li> <li>Switch to the details tab in the Task Manager Window.</li> <li>Scroll down until you come to the letter "u".</li> <li>Check for updater.exe processes there.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Note</strong>: some of the processes may be run under a user account, others under a system account.</p> <h2>Updating Chrome manually</h2> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205478" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/winget-update-chrome.png" alt="winget update Google Chrome manually" width="1113" height="626" /></p> <p>It is important to keep the web browser updated. Updates include security fixes and bug fixes. Outdated browsers have a higher risk of being successfully attacked.</p> <p>This can be done manually after disabling Chrome automatic updates. To do so, it is necessary to download the latest Chrome release from Google's official download server.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205479" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/update-chrome.png" alt="update Google Chrome" width="1113" height="626" /></p> <p>The best option is to use winget for that. Here is how that works:</p> <ol> <li>Open the <strong>Start</strong> menu.</li> <li>Type <strong>cmd</strong> and select <strong>Command Prompt</strong> from the results.</li> <li>Type the command <strong>winget list chrome</strong> and press the <strong>Enter-key</strong> to run it.</li> <li>Winget returns all installed Chrome versions.</li> <li>To update Chrome, type <strong>winget upgrade ID</strong> and press the <strong>Enter-key</strong>.<strong> Note</strong>: Replace ID with the ID value listed in the table, e.g. Google.Chrome.EXE.</li> <li>Repeat the steps for any other Chrome installation that you want to update to the latest version.</li> </ol> <h2>Best option for managed devices</h2> <p>System administrators <a href="https://support.google.com/chrome/a/answer/6350036?hl=en#zippy=%2Cget-the-google-update-policy-template" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">may download</a> the official Google Update policy template for Windows to configure the browser's automatic update behavior.</p> <p><strong>Important to know</strong>: while this method disables automatic updates, Google says that Chrome will continue to check for updates (but neither download or install them).</p> <ol> <li>Download the latest version of the administrative template file from <a href="https://support.google.com/chrome/a/answer/6350036?hl=en#zippy=%2Cget-the-google-update-policy-template%2Cturn-off-chrome-browser-updates%2Cturn-off-all-app-updates" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">this website</a>.</li> <li>Extract the archive on the local system.</li> <li>Copy google.admx and GoogleUpdate.admx from the extracted archive to the Policy Definitions directory, usually C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions.</li> <li>Open the en-US folder (or another locale folder) and copy the files google.adml and GoogleUpdate.adml to the same folder under Policy Definitions, e.g. C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\en-US.</li> <li>Open Start.</li> <li>Type gpedit.msc and select Edit group policy to launch the Group Policy Editor.</li> <li>Navigate to Computer Configuration &gt; Policies &gt; Administrative Template &gt; Google &gt; Google Update &gt; Applications &gt; Google Chrome.</li> <li>Double-click on Update policy override.</li> <li>Enable the policy in the window that opens.</li> <li>Under Options, select the Disable updates option.</li> <li>Restart the PC.</li> </ol> <p>You can verify the correctness of the setting by launching Chrome and opening Menu &gt; Help &gt; About Google Chrome.</p> <h2>Disable automatic Google Chrome Updates in Services</h2> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205480" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-updater.png" alt="Google Updater" width="973" height="542" /></p> <p>Google adds several services on Windows during installation of Chrome. These are configured to run automatically and need to be stopped.</p> <p>Here is how that is done:</p> <ol> <li>Open the Start menu.</li> <li>Type services.msc and press the Enter-key to open the Services manager.</li> <li>Scroll down to the letter G under names. You should find several Google entries there.</li> <li>Double-click on any GoogleUpdater service and repeat the following steps: <ol> <li>Click on Stop to stop the Service from running.</li> <li>Set the Startup type to Disabled.</li> <li>Select OK to go back to the main window.</li> </ol> </li> </ol> <p>Disabled means that the Services won't start during Windows start or afterwards.</p> <h2>Stop Google Chrome updates in the Task Scheduler</h2> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205477" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-updater-task-scheduler-windows.png" alt="Google Updater in Task Scheduler" width="1271" height="563" /></p> <p>You find one or multiple Google related tasks in the Task Scheduler. The screenshot above shows two GoogleUpdater tasks. These are configured to run once per hour to check for updates.</p> <p>Here is how you disable them:</p> <ol> <li>Open Start on the Windows device.</li> <li>Type Task Scheduler and select the result.</li> <li>Expand Task Scheduler and Task Scheduler Library.</li> <li>Check for Google folders there.</li> <li>Expand GoogleSystem or GoogleUser folders, if they exist.</li> <li>Select the subfolder GoogleUpdater. This should reveal the update task.</li> <li>Right-click on the task and select Disable.</li> <li>Repeat the steps for any other GoogleUpdater task.</li> </ol> <h3>Closing Words</h3> <p>This takes care of automatic updates of the Chrome web browser on Windows machines. This should not be a problem security-wise, if you run updates manually regularly.</p> <p><em>What about you? Do you use Google Chrome? Do you allow it to update automatically? Feel free to leave a comment below!</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/05/how-to-stop-automatic-google-chrome-updates-on-windows/" data-wpel-link="internal">How to Stop Automatic Google Chrome Updates on Windows</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  21. Brave reports record month for Browser and Search

    Tue, 04 Jun 2024 15:53:09 -0000

    When it comes to the market share of browsers on the desktop, things may appear static. There is Google Chrome at the top with an almost monopolistic lead over every other browser. […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Brave reports record month for Browser and Search appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>When it comes to the market share of browsers on the desktop, things may appear static. There is Google Chrome at the top with an almost monopolistic lead over every other browser.</p> <p><a href="https://gs.statcounter.com/browser-market-share/desktop/worldwide" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Statcounter</a> sees Chrome at about 65 percent of the desktop market. Only three other browsers have a market share above 5 percent. Edge sits at 14 percent, Safari at 8 percent and Firefox at about 6 percent. The only other browser that Statcounter tracks is Opera, which is at about 3%</p> <p>Market share has not changed all that much in the past 12 months. Google Chrome dropped less than 1 percent in that time, and the only movement saw Edge going up and Safari going down a bit.</p> <p>Smaller browsers that may have a dedicated base of users are not listed. This makes it difficult to determine whether they are doing well or not.</p> <h2>Brave's record quarter</h2> <p>Brave CEO Brendan Eich publishes Brave browser and search stats on X regularly. Judging by the numbers, Brave's usage is going up. According to Eich, Brave saw the "biggest growth month on record" in May 2024.</p> <p>Here are the stats for the browser:</p> <ul> <li>Monthly active users rose from 73.55M to 78.95M.</li> <li>Daily active users rose from 27.46M to 28.64M.</li> <li>Mean daily active users rose from  26.1M to 27.27M.</li> </ul> <p>Eich <a href="https://x.com/BrendanEich/status/1787630470060278172" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">notes</a> that <a href="https://brave.com/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Brave Browser</a> did particularly well in Latin America in regards to new user acquisitions. The browser managed to get to the top of the Google Play Store in some countries as well, which also helped according to Eich.</p> <p>Last year, Eich <a href="https://x.com/BrendanEich/status/1667235089208725506" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">reported</a> 56.22M monthly active users and 22.13M daily active users for Brave Browser.</p> <p>While usage is still relatively low when compared to the top 5 browsers on the desktop, it is clear that Brave Browser is increasing significantly.</p> <p>Brave Search stats improved as well:</p> <ul> <li>Monthly search queries rose form 818.67M to 843.02M.</li> <li>7-day mean rose from 26.31M to 28.05M.</li> <li>28-day mean rose from 26.30 to 27.25M.</li> </ul> <p>One year ago, Eich reported 617.3M monthly search queries and peaks of 19.46M and 19.8M respectively.</p> <h3>Closing Words</h3> <p>It is clear that Brave is doing something right. While it is difficult to compare the company's momentum with others, as others are not publishing usage data, it is fair to say that more and more users are taking note of Brave Browser and Search, and sticking with these products.</p> <p>It is too early to say if Google's decision to migrate the extensions system of the Chrome browser to a newer version will have an impact on usage numbers. While it may persuade some users to give other browsers a try, once they realize that one or multiple of their favorite extensions stop working, it seems unlikely that this will result in a major shift away from Chrome.</p> <p><em>What about you? Do you use Brave Browser or Search, or do you favor another browser? </em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/04/brave-reports-record-month-for-browser-and-search/" data-wpel-link="internal">Brave reports record month for Browser and Search</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  22. Spotify Premium prices have increased again in the U.S.

    Tue, 04 Jun 2024 04:56:38 -0000

    Spotify has announced that it has increased the prices of its Premium plans, again. This is not really surprising because most streaming services have raised the costs of their subscriptions in the […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Spotify Premium prices have increased again in the U.S. appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Spotify has announced that it has increased the prices of its Premium plans, again. This is not really surprising because most streaming services have raised the costs of their subscriptions in the recent times.</p> <p>This is the second time <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/11/29/how-to-get-spotfiy-wrapped-2023/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">Spotify</a> has hiked its price in less than a year. To recap, the music streaming service announced a price increase for its services in July last year. To be fair, it was the first time the price of Spotify Premium had been hiked in 12 years. The Premium subscription, which debuted at $9.99/month in 2011, saw a $1 increase, to $10.99. But now, eleven months later, the company has announced that the prices are going up again.</p> <h3><strong>New Spotify Premium pricing in the U.S.</strong></h3> <p>The new Spotify Premium plan starts at $11.99 for an Individual account. The Spotify Duo Plan now costs $16.99 per month, up from $14.99. The Spotify Family plan, which allows six members in a household to share the subscription, has seen a $3 price increase, up from $16.99 to $19.99. The Spotify Student plan continues to be available for $5.99 a month.</p> <p>Users will receive an email notifying them about the change in their subscription's prices in the coming month.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205645" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/New-Spotify-Premium-pricing-in-the-U.S.jpg" alt="New Spotify Premium pricing in the U.S." width="480" height="396" /></p> <p>An <a href="https://newsroom.spotify.com/2024-06-03/adjusting-spotify-premium-prices-in-the-us/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">announcement</a> on the company's website says that the prices were increased so Spotify can "continue to invest in and innovate on our product features and bring users the best experience". Spotify had increased the prices in the UK from £10.99 to £11.99 per month, and similarly from AU$12.99 per month to AU$13.99 in Australia. It is unclear whether Spotify will increase its Premium prices in other Countries.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-06-03/spotify-shares-jump-on-us-price-increase" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Bloomberg report</a> says that Spotify increased its prices to cover the costs of audiobook streaming, which was introduced last year. It also hints that Spotify is preparing a new Basic Tier, which will offer music and podcasts, but that plan will not offer the audiobook library. The company is supposedly working on a Supremium Plan which will offer Lossless Audio, something which users have been requesting for a long time.</p> <p>Interestingly, Spotify only saw about 1.5% of users canceling their subscription in April. Evidently, the company's business seems to be prospering despite the increase in the subscription plans. The streaming service boasted 615 million monthly active users at the end of March this year, of which 239 million were Premium subscribers.</p> <p>An $11.99 price tag for streaming music seems a little too steep to me. Apple Music and YouTube Music cost $10.99 per month, but it is possible that those prices could go up too.</p> <p>Now that every streaming service have been increasing their prices, what are some good alternatives for Spotify? Personally, I think Amazon Prime offers the best bang for your buck. It costs $14.99 per month in the U.S. but it gives you access to faster shipping on your orders. You can watch a lot of TV shows and movies on Amazon Prime Video, listen to music via Prime Music, read Kindle books on Prime Reading, claim free PC Games, and you also get some discounts and deals. That's more economical than paying for Netflix + Spotify, at least for my needs.</p> <p>Do you use Spotify Premium?</p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/04/spotify-premium-prices-have-increased-again-in-the-u-s/" data-wpel-link="internal">Spotify Premium prices have increased again in the U.S.</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  23. Microsoft needs to make Windows 11's Recall feature opt-in

    Mon, 03 Jun 2024 12:03:22 -0000

    As it stands right now, the new Recall AI feature of Windows 11 will be enabled by default when it launches officially later this year. While limited to PCs that sport the […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Microsoft needs to make Windows 11's Recall feature opt-in appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>As it stands right now, the new <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/21/microsoft-announces-copilot-pcs-and-ai-powered-recall-feature/" data-wpel-link="internal">Recall AI feature of Windows 11</a> will be enabled by default when it launches officially later this year. While limited to PCs that sport the <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/21/microsoft-announces-copilot-pcs-and-ai-powered-recall-feature/" data-wpel-link="internal">Copilot+ PCs</a> label, it will capture the screen of those PCs in five second intervals from the get-go.</p> <p>The AI will capture almost everything on the screen by default. The only exception is activity in private browsing sessions of several popular browsers. Users may block access to certain apps, but this needs to be done manually.</p> <p>The captures are stored locally only according to Microsoft. Furthermore, they are protected when the user is not logged in. However, when the user is logged in, the data is accessible by system and administrator accounts.</p> <p>This makes Recall data the most lucrative target on Windows systems. Here is why:</p> <p>It captures every activity, except for private browsing activity by default. This may include:</p> <ul> <li>Financial documents, e.g., assets listed on a bank's website.</li> <li>All emails in dedicated email programs, apps or regular browsing sessions.</li> <li>All visited websites, except for those in private browsing modes.</li> <li>Anything done in Tor Browser.</li> <li>All activity on the computer, e.g., watched videos, opened documents, games played, webcam chats, messages, including self-destroying ones, emails, contacts, and more.</li> <li>Accounts on the Web and elsewhere.</li> <li>VPN activity.</li> <li>P2P activity.</li> </ul> <p>The information is highly lucrative for malicious actors. It is also lucrative for others, including law enforcement, customs, foreign agents, employers, or even friends and family.</p> <h2>What Microsoft reveals about Recall during Setup</h2> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205642" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/windows-11-recall-setup.png" alt="Windows 11 Recall Setup" width="1441" height="916" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/windows-11-recall-setup.png 1441w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/windows-11-recall-setup-768x488.png 768w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/windows-11-recall-setup-1200x763.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1441px) 100vw, 1441px" /></p> <p>Currently, Windows 11 informs the user that Recall is enabled on the device. This happens during the out-of-box experience. The page does not include an option to disable Recall.</p> <p>There is a checkbox to open the settings after setup completes, but it needs to be checked specifically. Many users will likely ignore it as they want to complete setup and start using the computer.</p> <p>In any event, those who check the box are taken to Settings where they may configure Recall. This includes an <a href="https://chipp.in/software/windows/how-to-disable-recall-taking-snapshots-of-the-screen-in-windows-11/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">option to turn off Recall completely</a>.</p> <p>While there is a chance that Microsoft will change the experience, for instance by adding an opt-out option during setup, nothing has been confirmed at this point. Even then, it is likely that many users will keep the feature turned on.</p> <h2>Recall needs to be opt-int</h2> <p>Windows users need to be aware of Recall, what it does, and the consequences of running it on the system. While it may be useful to some, it is such an invasive feature that it should be opt-in.</p> <p>Malware will certainly target Recall data. This data reveals the entire activity of a user of the past three months on the device by default. It allows for intimate views into a user's life.</p> <p>With that said, it seems unlikely that Microsoft is going to make the one major AI feature that it showcased opt-in. Lack of use would certainly turn it into a feature that is dead on arrival.</p> <p><em>What about you? Would you use a feature like Recall on your devices?</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/06/03/microsoft-needs-to-make-windows-11s-recall-feature-opt-in/" data-wpel-link="internal">Microsoft needs to make Windows 11&#039;s Recall feature opt-in</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  24. Google will disable classic extensions in Chrome in the coming months

    Fri, 31 May 2024 05:40:16 -0000

    Google published an update on the deprecation timeline of so-called Manifest V2 extensions in the Chrome web browser. Starting this June, Chrome will inform users with classic extensions about the deprecation. Manifests […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Google will disable classic extensions in Chrome in the coming months appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Google <a href="https://blog.chromium.org/2024/05/manifest-v2-phase-out-begins.html?m=1" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">published</a> an update on the deprecation timeline of so-called Manifest V2 extensions in the Chrome web browser. Starting this June, Chrome will inform users with classic extensions about the deprecation.</p> <p>Manifests are rulesets for extensions. They define the capabilities of extensions. When Google published the initial Manifest V3 draft, it was criticized heavily for it.</p> <p>This initial draft had significant impact on content blockers, privacy extensions, and many other extension types. Many called it the <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2019/01/22/chrome-extension-manifest-v3-could-end-ublock-origin-for-chrome/" data-wpel-link="internal">end of adblockers in Chrome</a> because of that. In the years that followed, Google <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/04/06/google-is-postponing-the-end-of-manifest-v2-extensions-in-chrome-again/" data-wpel-link="internal">postponed</a> <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2021/09/24/manifest-v2-chrome-extensions-will-stop-working-in-june-2023/" data-wpel-link="internal">the</a> <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2022/09/29/google-delays-the-death-of-manifest-v2-extensions-to-2024/" data-wpel-link="internal">introduction</a> and updated the draft several times to address some of these concerns.</p> <p>Despite all the changes, Manifest V3 is still limiting certain capabilities. The developer of uBlock Origin <a href="https://github.com/uBlockOrigin/uBOL-home/wiki/Frequently-asked-questions-(FAQ)" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">listed</a> some of these on GitHub. According to the information, current uBlock Origin capabilities such as dynamic filtering, certain per-site switches, or regex-based filters are not supported by Manifest V3.</p> <p>The release of <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2022/09/09/ublock-origin-minus-an-experimental-manifest-v3-compatible-extension/" data-wpel-link="internal">uBlock Origin Minus</a> highlights this. It is a Manifest V3 extension, but limited in comparison to the Manifest V2-based uBlock Origin.</p> <h2>Google's Manifest V2 deprecation timeline</h2> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205637" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/chrome-extensions-support.png" alt="Chrome Extensions Support" width="2560" height="1493" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/chrome-extensions-support.png 2560w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/chrome-extensions-support-768x448.png 768w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/chrome-extensions-support-1536x896.png 1536w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/chrome-extensions-support-2048x1194.png 2048w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/chrome-extensions-support-1200x700.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 2560px) 100vw, 2560px" /></p> <p>Google plans to show a banner to Chrome users who run Manifest V2 extensions in their browser. This starts on June 3 for development editions -- Beta, Dev, and Canary -- of the browser.</p> <p>Manifest V2 extensions that have the Feature badge will lose that badge on that day.</p> <p>The extensions management page in Chrome lists the soon-unsupported extensions. It provides a link to read up on the change and "find alternative" buttons next to each extension.</p> <p>Then, in the months that follow, Manifest V2 extensions will be disabled automatically by Chrome. Google says that users may enable the extensions again for a short period of time. This option will be removed eventually, leaving users with no option to re-enable their extensions.</p> <p>The change rolls out to development builds first, but in the coming months, will also hit Chrome Stable users.</p> <p>Enterprise customers get a one year extensions. They need to set the policy <a href="https://chromeenterprise.google/policies/#ExtensionManifestV2Availability" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">ExtensionManifestV2Availability</a> for that. Google plans to deprecate the policy in June 2025.</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: set chrome://flags/#extension-manifest-v2-deprecation-warning to Enabled in Chrome to see which of the installed extensions still use Manifest V2.</p> <h3>Closing Words</h3> <p>Most Chromium-based browsers will follow Google. Some may <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2022/09/29/brave-browser-manifest-v2-extensions-after-v3-update/" data-wpel-link="internal">extend support for Manifest V2 extensions</a>, but in the end, it is likely that support will be dropped.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/01/07/will-firefox-rise-like-phoenix-from-the-ashes-in-2024/" data-wpel-link="internal">This leaves Firefox as an alternative</a>, as it will continue to support Manifest V2 next to Manifest V3.</p> <p>It is still unclear how many extensions are affected by Google's decision. Some cannot be upgraded to Manifest V3, at least not without introducing limitations or removing features.</p> <p>Extensions that are no longer maintained may also stop working, provided that they have not been updated to Manifest V3.</p> <p>All in all, content blockers will no longer be as effective as they were previously in Chromium-based browsers. The majority of users may not notice the change. Content blockers continue to work, but with limitations.</p> <p>Integrated content blockers continue to work. This is the case for Brave, Vivaldi, or Opera, which all include options to block ads and tracking without installation of extensions.</p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/31/google-will-disable-classic-extensions-in-chrome-in-the-coming-months/" data-wpel-link="internal">Google will disable classic extensions in Chrome in the coming months</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  25. YouTube is automatically skipping videos if you use Adblock Plus

    Thu, 30 May 2024 06:00:20 -0000

    Google's tug of war with ad blockers continues. This time, Adblock Plus users are reporting that videos are automatically skipping to the end. This is not the first time YouTube has annoyed […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post YouTube is automatically skipping videos if you use Adblock Plus appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/04/16/google-intensifies-fight-against-youtube-adblockers/" data-wpel-link="internal">Google's tug of war with ad blockers continues</a>. This time, Adblock Plus users are reporting that videos are automatically skipping to the end.</p> <p>This is not the first time <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/01/14/is-google-deliberately-slowing-down-youtube-video-buffering-for-adblock-users/" data-wpel-link="internal">YouTube has annoyed</a> users who use a content blocker, the <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/04/16/google-intensifies-fight-against-youtube-adblockers/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">shenanigans</a> began about a year ago, before Google officially announced its crackdown on ad blockers. The issues were soon sorted out by ad blockers, who blocked the prompts that were displayed by the streaming service, allowing users to protect their privacy and use YouTube ad-free.</p> <h3><strong>Are YouTube videos skipping to the end automatically if you use an ad blocker?</strong></h3> <p>The new video-skipping behavior was reported by users on <a href="https://old.reddit.com/r/youtube/comments/1d1pgng/new_youtube_adblock_weird_behaviour_video/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Reddit</a>, who said that videos that they loaded ended automatically without playing. A few comments mentioned that videos were skipping forward ahead before the playback resumed. Some users also said that YouTube is automatically muting their videos. But, I couldn't help noticing that most of these complaints were from users who were using the Adblock Plus extension. It is unclear if the issue impacts other ad blockers.</p> <p>A statement sent by a Google spokesperson to <a href="https://9to5google.com/2024/05/28/youtube-skipping-to-end-adblockers/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">9to5Google</a> says the following: "Ad blockers violate YouTube’s Terms of Service, and we’ve been urging users for some time to support their favorite creators and allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience. An unrelated push to improve YouTube’s performance and reliability may be resulting in suboptimal viewing experiences for ad blocker users."</p> <p>That does seem a little confusing, since only Adblock Plus users have been experiencing issues. How do you fix this problem? Use <a href="https://chromewebstore.google.com/detail/ublock-origin/cjpalhdlnbpafiamejdnhcphjbkeiagm" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">uBlock Origin</a>, as the extension is not impacted by this. If you still face any problems with ads on YouTube, just restart your browser, or update the filters manually from the add-on's settings.</p> <p>You may or may not have experienced the issue on YouTube, as it depends entirely on the adblocker that you are using.</p> <h2>FreeTube alternative</h2> <p>I prefer using <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2022/12/01/freetube-is-an-open-source-private-youtube-client/" data-wpel-link="internal">FreeTube</a>. It's an open-source front end for YouTube that has a built-in ad blocker, SponsorBlock, and lets you subscribe to channels without an account. You may also use it to download videos. The app was updated recently to support user playlists, which was the only thing I was missing. This allows you to create, save, export/import playlists within the app.</p> <p>The only issue I have faced with FreeTube is that closed captions may not work in some Invidious instances, sometimes the button does not appear at all, even though it did work when I tried accessing the instance through a web browser, so it wasn't a question of too many users accessing the service from a specific API. If you're facing this bug, you may have to change the API Backend under General Settings to use Local API to get captions to work. Speaking of which, if you prefer accessing YouTube from a browser, you can use Invidious directly.</p> <p>Google is likely to intensify its strategies in the battle against content blockers, fortunately uBlock Origin or other ad blockers will always find a way around these restrictions.</p> <p><em>Have you faced similar issues on YouTube?</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/30/youtube-is-automatically-skipping-videos-if-you-use-adblock-plus/" data-wpel-link="internal">YouTube is automatically skipping videos if you use Adblock Plus</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  26. Mozilla is investigating huge Telemetry performance issues in Firefox for Android

    Thu, 30 May 2024 05:38:58 -0000

    Mozilla, maker of the open source Firefox web browser, has launched an investigation to analyze the impact of Telemetry on the browser's performance on Android. According to the initial report, Telemetry is […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Mozilla is investigating huge Telemetry performance issues in Firefox for Android appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Mozilla, maker of the open source Firefox web browser, has launched an investigation to analyze the impact of Telemetry on the browser's performance on Android.</p> <p><a href="https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1898810" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">According</a> to the initial report, Telemetry is causing huge overhead in Firefox for Android. This impacts the loading of websites, but also the browser's startup.</p> <p>A test on CNN, for instance, concluded that Telemetry was adding 16.5 seconds of extra CPU time to the loading of the site.</p> <p>Mozilla writes: "This means that device disks are getting hammered with writes on all occasions: page load, scrolling, video playback, startup. For example, we have observed hundreds of writes per second during scrolling (before bug 1898515 turned off the metric that was causing most of these updates) and ~32000 writes while loading cnn.com. On the Pixel 6 we were testing on, each write took around 0.5ms of CPU time, so that comes out to 16.5 seconds of extra CPU time for loading cnn.com."</p> <p>On browser start, Firefox would use 40% more CPU time when compared to a version of Firefox with Telemetry set to off (35 seconds of CPU time compared to 25 seconds of CPU time).</p> <p>This happens in Firefox Nightly as well as the release version of the web browser.</p> <p>Mozilla discovered why Telemetry is adding the overhead to the browser. The core reasons are that writes to the Telemetry database are not grouped and that the entire database gets "serialized to disk" whenever it is updated.</p> <p>In short, whenever new metrics come in, they are written to the database and the database is serialized to disk.</p> <p>In other words, whenever Telemetry is updated, it is written to disk immediately. Since Telemetry is collected widely when enabled, it impacts the browser's startup, the loading and use of websites, media playback and other areas significantly.</p> <p>While Mozilla is investigating the issue, Firefox users on Android may want to disable Telemetry in the browser to speed it up significantly.</p> <h2>How to turn off Telemetry in Firefox for Android</h2> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205628" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/firefox-telemetry-android-disable.png" alt="Disable telemetry in Firefox for Android" width="1600" height="1156" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/firefox-telemetry-android-disable.png 1600w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/firefox-telemetry-android-disable-768x555.png 768w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/firefox-telemetry-android-disable-1536x1110.png 1536w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/firefox-telemetry-android-disable-1200x867.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1600px) 100vw, 1600px" /></p> <ol> <li>Open the Firefox web browser on the Android device.</li> <li>Select <strong>Menu</strong> &gt; <strong>Settings</strong>.</li> <li>Open <strong>Data collection</strong> under Privacy and security.</li> <li>Set <strong>Usage and technical data</strong> to Off.</li> <li>Set <strong>Marketing data</strong> to Off.</li> <li>Set <strong>Studies</strong> to Off.</li> <li>Firefox displays a prompt to restart the browser.</li> </ol> <p>Recheck the menu to make sure that Telemetry is turned off. Note that Firefox is one of the few browsers that lets users turn off Telemetry comfortably in the settings.</p> <p><em>Do you use Firefox on Android? </em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/30/mozilla-is-investigating-huge-telemetry-performance-issues-in-firefox-for-android/" data-wpel-link="internal">Mozilla is investigating huge Telemetry performance issues in Firefox for Android</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  27. Microsoft drops AC-3 (Dolby Digital) Codec support in Windows 11 version 24H2

    Wed, 29 May 2024 08:12:50 -0000

    Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system will not support the Ac-3 codec by default going forward. In a somewhat surprising and sneaky move, Microsoft announced the end of support on a support page. […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Microsoft drops AC-3 (Dolby Digital) Codec support in Windows 11 version 24H2 appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system will not support the Ac-3 codec by default going forward. In a somewhat surprising and sneaky move, Microsoft announced the end of support on a <a href="https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/codecs-in-media-player-d5c2cdcd-83a2-4805-abb0-c6888138e456" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">support page</a>.</p> <p>There, Microsoft writes that "beginning with Windows 11, version 24H2, the AC-3 codec is no longer included with Windows".  The removal of the code means that users may not play media content that relies on the codec on their devices using built-in players or some external players.</p> <p>Microsoft does note that device manufacturers pre-install the AC-3 codec on their devices often. If that is the case, AC-3 support is available on these devices. The support page offers no explanation on the removal.</p> <p>Third-party media players such as VLC Media Player support AC-3 out of the box. They do not rely on codecs integrated in Windows for playback. Integrated media players, such as Windows Media Player and Windows Media Player Legacy, only play media formats if codes are installed on the system.</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: you can check if your favorite media player supports AC3 by downloading a sample file <a href="https://getsamplefiles.com/sample-audio-files/ac3" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">from this</a> website. Try to launch the audio file in the media player to see if it supports it.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205619" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ac-3-playback-vlc-media-player.png" alt="AC-3 Codec playback VLC" width="1752" height="974" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ac-3-playback-vlc-media-player.png 1752w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ac-3-playback-vlc-media-player-768x427.png 768w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ac-3-playback-vlc-media-player-1536x854.png 1536w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ac-3-playback-vlc-media-player-1200x667.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1752px) 100vw, 1752px" /></p> <p>Windows Media Player and Windows Media Player Legacy should play the file as well, provided that the installed version of Windows is not 24H2.</p> <p><strong>Note</strong>: it is unclear if the codec remains installed for users who upgrade from older versions of Windows 11 to the new release.</p> <h2>How to add system-wide support for AC-3 in Windows 11 version 24H2</h2> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205620" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ac3-audio.png" alt="Install AC-3 codec" width="998" height="742" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ac3-audio.png 998w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ac3-audio-768x571.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 998px) 100vw, 998px" /></p> <p>If you use a media player that relies on codes installed on the system, and does not come with its own pack of binary codecs, then you may install the missing AC-3 codec on the Windows 11 version 24H2 system to add support for it.</p> <p>One of the best options is to install LAVFilters. It is an open source project that allows Windows users "to play virtually any format in a DirectShow player".</p> <ol> <li>Download the latest "installer.exe" version from the official project site at GitHub.</li> <li>Run the downloaded file to install the filters and add support for playing AC-3 files and many other formats.</li> <li>Keep the installation directory, or change it, and click on Next.</li> <li>Keep everything checked under "Select Components". You may also add H.264 MVC 3D Decoder, but this needs to be checked manually.</li> <li>Select Next.</li> <li>Select Next again when asked to pick a Start Menu folder, or check the "Don't create a Start Menu folder" box to prevent the creation.</li> <li>Click Next.</li> <li>Click Next again.</li> <li>Keep all supported formats checked and click Next.</li> <li>Select install finally to start the installation.</li> </ol> <p>You may open the configurations of the filters after installation, but this is not required for functionality.</p> <p>All Windows media players and other apps that rely on Windows-functionality to play media should now support AC-3 again.</p> <p><em>Are you affected by the change? Which media player is your favorite on Windows?</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/29/microsoft-drops-ac-3-dolby-digital-codec-support-in-windows-11-version-24h2/" data-wpel-link="internal">Microsoft drops AC-3 (Dolby Digital) Codec support in Windows 11 version 24H2</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  28. Thunderbird Appointment promises to make scheduling easier

    Tue, 28 May 2024 13:28:06 -0000

    The team behind the open source email client Thunderbird has unveiled its latest side-project. Thunderbird Appointment is an online service designed to help everyone schedule meetings and make appointments. The project is […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Thunderbird Appointment promises to make scheduling easier appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>The team behind the open source email client Thunderbird has unveiled its latest side-project. Thunderbird Appointment is an online service designed to help everyone schedule meetings and make appointments.</p> <p>The project is in a prototype stage currently. It is the second project of the Thunderbird team that is not linked directly to the email client. The first aims to revive <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/19/thunderbird-developers-plan-to-revive-firefox-send/" data-wpel-link="internal">Firefox Send</a>, a file sending service that Mozilla disabled years ago because of abuse.</p> <p>It is a good fit for an email client, considering that emails are still severely limited by size. With a service like Thunderbird Send integrated into Thunderbird, it would allow users to send larger files through the service.</p> <h2>Thunderbird Appointment</h2> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205614" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/thunderbird-appointment.png" alt="Thunderbird Appointment" width="3600" height="1934" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/thunderbird-appointment.png 3600w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/thunderbird-appointment-768x413.png 768w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/thunderbird-appointment-1536x825.png 1536w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/thunderbird-appointment-2048x1100.png 2048w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/thunderbird-appointment-1200x645.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 3600px) 100vw, 3600px" /></p> <p>Thunderbird Appointment offers the following main features according to the <a href="https://appointment.day/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">official website</a>:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Plan an event</strong> -- with multiple ways of organizing and setting up meetings.</li> <li><strong>Set your availability</strong> -- choose when and how people can book time with you.</li> <li><strong>Share with others</strong> -- send your personal link via email, or add it to your website.</li> <li><strong>Connect your calendar</strong> and see all your meetings in one place.</li> <li><strong>Book one-off or recurring events</strong> and invite people to join you.</li> </ul> <p>Users may link third-party calendars from Google, Apple, or Microsoft to Thunderbird Appointment. The source code of the service is available on <a href="https://github.com/thunderbird/appointment" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">GitHub</a>.</p> <p>Quite a few features are unknown at this point:</p> <ul> <li>Is Thunderbird Appointment an online-only service, or does it support email client integrations, e.g., in Thunderbird?</li> <li>Will it be a free or a commercial service, or both?</li> <li>When will it launch?</li> </ul> <h3>Closing Words</h3> <p>Thunderbird Send and Thunderbird Appointment serve multiple purposes. While one could argue that they take away resources from Thunderbird development, they may also help finance development of Thunderbird and increase the reach and brand recognition.</p> <p>Thunderbird Appointment looks like a service aimed at businesses on first glance, but there is clearly also potential for home use. If you have ever tried to get a get-together organized, you may know how difficult this can be.</p> <p>This new service could improve that as well, especially since you can generate links or embed functionality on third-party websites.</p> <p>A first release of the service will give everyone a better understanding of what it does and how useful it will be.</p> <p><em>What about you? Would you use Thunderbird Appointment? (via <a href="https://www.soeren-hentzschel.at/thunderbird/terminplanung-einfach-gemacht-vorschau-auf-thunderbird-appointment/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Sören Hentzschel</a>)</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/28/thunderbird-appointment-promises-to-make-scheduling-easier/" data-wpel-link="internal">Thunderbird Appointment promises to make scheduling easier</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  29. Microsoft Phone Link will soon let you extract text from images

    Tue, 28 May 2024 06:32:39 -0000

    Microsoft is testing a new feature in its Phone Link app. The PC app will soon allow users to extract text from images that are stored on your Android Phone. The feature […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Microsoft Phone Link will soon let you extract text from images appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Microsoft is testing a new feature in its Phone Link app. The PC app will soon allow users to extract text from images that are stored on your Android Phone.</p> <p>The feature uses optical character recognition (OCR), to scan for text in images and saves it to the clipboard. You can then paste it into a text editor or another app of your choice. As you may know, the OCR option is already available in Windows 11's Snipping tool, it was added to the app <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/15/windows-11s-snipping-tool-is-getting-a-text-recognition-feature-called-text-actions/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">last year</a>. It is particularly handy when you take a screenshot of an image, and want to copy the text content in the picture.</p> <h3><strong>Phone Link will let you copy text from images</strong></h3> <p>The Phone Link app is useful for interacting with notifications and messages that you receive on your mobile phone. The addition of the OCR feature to the Phone Link will likely make it even more useful, as it can be used to copy content quickly from photos that you shot with your phone's camera, or from screenshots that you took, or even from images that you downloaded. This can be handy if you want to edit some information, or save something on your PC.</p> <p><a href="https://www.windowscentral.com/software-apps/windows-11/microsoft-phone-link-just-copied-this-great-feature-from-the-windows-11-snipping-tool" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Windows Central</a> reports that the OCR feature is now available for users in the Release Preview Channel of the Windows Insider Program. Switch to the Photos tab in the Phone Link app, and click on the icon that says "Text". This will automatically highlight the text within an image, you will be able to select the text manually, or copy all the text from the image. The feature only works with Android phones at the moment.</p> <p>Reports say that users will need to use Phone Link version 1.24051.91.0 to access the new option. I tried downloading the latest version of the app from https://store.rg-adguard.net/, but I couldn't get the OCR feature to show up in the app. If you are on the Release Preview Channel of Windows 11, you can download the Phone Link app to see how the OCR text capture works.</p> <p>Apple's OCR is quite brilliant too, it captures the text in images with incredible accuracy. I use it with different types of images, from signs, to menus at restaurants, receipts, and documents. Text capture is available on iOS, iPadOS, and is also supported on macOS in the Preview app. Google Lens is the most popular OCR tool for Android users, though Samsung does offer a tool of its own for its Galaxy phones. Windows users who are not interested in the Phone Link app, but want the OCR feature can use the Snipping Tool, or if you want something more advanced, you may want to consider using the open source screenshot tool, <a href="https://getsharex.com/downloads" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">ShareX</a>, which comes with an arsenal of tools including an OCR tool, though it does not work offline.</p> <p>In case you missed it, Microsoft recently released Windows 11 version 24H2 to the Release Preview Channel. This is otherwise known as the 2024 feature update. It adds a handful of features, but removes the following apps: Cortana, WordPad and Tips. You can read <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/23/microsoft-releases-windows-11-24h2-to-the-release-preview-channel/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">Martin's article</a> to learn more about the changes in the upcoming version. The OCR feature in Phone Link will likely be available for users in Windows 11 24H2.</p> <p>Which OCR app do you use?</p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/28/microsoft-phone-link-will-soon-let-you-extract-text-from-images/" data-wpel-link="internal">Microsoft Phone Link will soon let you extract text from images</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  30. Microsoft lists reasons why Windows 11 is better than Windows 10 but forgets to mention this

    Mon, 27 May 2024 07:01:49 -0000

    Windows 10 is a dying operating system. Microsoft plans to end support for Windows 10 in October 2025. While customers may extend support by up to three years, they have to pay […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Microsoft lists reasons why Windows 11 is better than Windows 10 but forgets to mention this appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Windows 10 is a dying operating system. Microsoft plans to <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/04/12/a-new-journey-with-windows-microsofts-end-of-support-notice-for-windows-10-users/" data-wpel-link="internal">end support for Windows 10</a> in October 2025. While customers may extend support by up to three years, they have to <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/04/03/microsoft-reveals-windows-10-esu-pricing-starts-at-61/" data-wpel-link="internal">pay Microsoft for that privilege</a>.</p> <p>It should not come as a surprise that Microsoft's primary goal is to get customers to migrate to Windows 11. Existing PCs may be upgraded to Windows 11, and if that is not possible, Microsoft recommends to buy a new PC with Windows 11 instead.</p> <p>Microsoft published a comparison table to highlight the advantages that Windows 11 has over Windows 10. The list compares Windows features and lists several that are Windows 11 exclusive. It is a biased list, as Microsoft's intention is to get customers on Windows 11.</p> <h2>Windows 11 exclusive features</h2> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-202305" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/windows-11-suggestions.jpg" alt="" width="1200" height="675" /></p> <p>Microsoft lists the following features that are exclusive to Windows 11:</p> <ul> <li>New user interface that "is easier on the eyes and easier to use".</li> <li>The Widgets interface that displays news and other information.</li> <li>Smart recommendations in the Start menu and File Explorer.</li> <li>File Explorer tabs.</li> <li>Energy recommendations to track energy efficiency.</li> <li>Passkeys integrated with Windows Hello.</li> <li>Wake on approach. Lock on leave.</li> <li>Smart App Control by limiting application installs to those "with good reputations".</li> <li>Seamless redocking.</li> <li><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/02/16/microsoft-expands-windows-11-live-captions-to-more-languages/" data-wpel-link="internal">Live captions</a>.</li> <li>Narrator supports natural voices.</li> <li>Windows Studio Effects for video calls (only on certain Qualcomm devices).</li> <li>Auto HDR.</li> <li>Dynamic Lighting.</li> <li>Cross Adapter Scan Out to "reduce latency and increase frame rates on gaming laptops".</li> <li>Windows games optimizations.</li> <li>Controller bar to jump back into games.</li> </ul> <p>You can check out the full list <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/compare-windows-11-home-vs-pro-versions" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">here</a>.</p> <p>The list is surprisingly small. The usefulness of many depends largely on how the Windows PC is used. Non-gamers may find all gaming related exclusive features not appealing.</p> <p>Some features may also appeal less to certain users. <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/07/25/microsoft-still-desperately-trying-to-make-windows-11-start-menu-recommendations-more-useful/" data-wpel-link="internal">Smart recommendations</a> or Widgets, for example, are not liked by all Windows 11 users.</p> <h2>Here is what is missing</h2> <p>Microsoft does not list a single feature that is exclusive to Windows 10. This is understandable, as the company wants to convince customers to use Windows 11, not to stick to Windows 10.</p> <p>This Microsoft support page <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11-specifications?r=1#table3" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">lists</a> features that are deprecated or removed in Windows 11.</p> <p>Here are the highlights:</p> <ul> <li>Start Menu Live Tiles.</li> <li>Taskbar cannot be moved to the side or top anymore.</li> <li>File Explorer lacks option to <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2010/04/15/how-to-save-searches-in-windows-to-access-files-faster/" data-wpel-link="internal">save searches</a>.</li> <li>Desktop wallpapers do not sync anymore.</li> <li>Internet Explorer replaced by Microsoft Edge with IE Mode.</li> </ul> <p>Not everyone likes or uses these features.</p> <p>There are other developments in Windows 11, and to a lesser degree in Windows 10, that may make Windows 10 look favorable to some. One of the main issues is the introduction and <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/04/10/microsoft-continues-push-to-turn-windows-into-an-advertising-space/" data-wpel-link="internal">acceleration of advertisement under Windows 11</a>.</p> <p>Microsoft is using Windows 11 to advertise its own products and services, and is also trying to promote apps from other developers.</p> <p>Here is an incomplete list:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/10/14/how-to-disable-lock-screen-ads-on-windows-11/" data-wpel-link="internal">The Lock Screen may show advertisement.</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/05/08/another-area-in-windows-11-may-show-ads-in-the-future/" data-wpel-link="internal">Settings Home shows ads</a> for Microsoft 365 and other subscription services, such as <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/13/microsoft-is-testing-game-pass-ads-on-the-settings-homepage/" data-wpel-link="internal">Game Pass</a>.</li> <li><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/06/02/windows-11s-get-help-support-app-is-showing-ads-as-well-now/" data-wpel-link="internal">The Get Help shows ads</a>.</li> <li><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/05/15/microsoft-removes-msn-and-most-ads-from-windows-11s-weather-app/" data-wpel-link="internal">Weather app showed ads and MSN content</a>; was removed again.</li> <li>App promotions in the Start menu under Recommended. Find out <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/04/24/how-to-turn-off-app-promotions-in-windows-11s-start-menu/" data-wpel-link="internal">how to turn off App Promotions</a> here.</li> <li><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/03/18/microsoft-shows-another-bing-popup-advertisement-to-windows-users/" data-wpel-link="internal">Popup ads</a>, for instance to advertise Bing.</li> </ul> <h2>The elephant in the room</h2> <p>Millions of Windows 10 PCs cannot be upgraded to Windows 11. New or missing features do not matter for these, as the PCs will never get the offer via Windows Update to upgrade to Windows 11.</p> <p>While most can be upgraded by bypassing the Windows 11 system requirements checks, some cannot. Microsoft introduces stricter restrictions in Windows 11 version 24H2, which will come out later this year.</p> <p>It is possible that future updates will introduce new requirements or enforce them. Affected devices are then stuck on a particular version of Windows 11, which will run out of support eventually.</p> <p>This leaves just two options to keep on using the devices:</p> <ul> <li>Stay on the unsupported version of Windows 10 or 11.</li> <li>Migrate the device to Linux.</li> </ul> <p>The first option is not recommended, as it leaves the system open to potential attacks. While some of this can be mitigated, for instance by cutting any connection to the Internet, it is not practicable for most use cases.</p> <p>Migrating to Linux is the second option. It is a daunting task, as it requires getting to know a new operating system from scratch.</p> <p><em>What about you? Do you run Windows 10 on your devices? What will you do in October 2025?</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/27/microsoft-lists-reasons-why-windows-11-is-better-than-windows-10-but-forgets-to-mention-this/" data-wpel-link="internal">Microsoft lists reasons why Windows 11 is better than Windows 10 but forgets to mention this</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  31. How to use Google Search entirely AI-free automatically

    Thu, 23 May 2024 16:03:12 -0000

    Google is integrating AI information into Google Search. Called AI Overviews, it is a feature that is rolling out to users from specific regions already. The feature adds an AI response to […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post How to use Google Search entirely AI-free automatically appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Google is integrating AI information into Google Search. Called <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/22/google-begins-integrating-ads-into-ai-overviews-on-google-search/" data-wpel-link="internal">AI Overviews</a>, it is a feature that is rolling out to users from specific regions already. The feature adds an AI response to the very top of the search results. Below that, you find the regular web links.</p> <p>There are good reasons to skip AI output. From hallucinations, which means made-up information, to returning the wrong or even dangerous information. Add ads to that, which Google is now also rolling out in the United States, and you may not be super interested into these results at the time of writing.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205602" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-ai-result.png" alt="Google AI results" width="2086" height="1174" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-ai-result.png 2086w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-ai-result-768x432.png 768w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-ai-result-1536x864.png 1536w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-ai-result-2048x1153.png 2048w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-ai-result-1200x675.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 2086px) 100vw, 2086px" /></p> <p>If you prefer to search without any AI, then you may do so. Google integrated the option into Google Search, but it is buried under the "more" option there. Good news is that you may use it directly, without having to pick the option manually each time.</p> <p>This guide walks you through the steps of running searches on Google entirely AI-free again. It includes information on adding an AI-free Google search engine to your favorite web browser.</p> <h2>Google Search without AI</h2> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205599" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-search-without-ai.png" alt="Google Search AI-Free" width="1922" height="1187" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-search-without-ai.png 1922w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-search-without-ai-768x474.png 768w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-search-without-ai-1536x949.png 1536w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-search-without-ai-1200x741.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1922px) 100vw, 1922px" /></p> <p>Google uses a parameter to determine output. If you use a special parameter in the URL, Google will show web links only. You won't get an AI Overview at the top, nor any other AI-related content.</p> <p><strong>What you need to know</strong>: the parameter <strong>&amp;udm=14 </strong>returns web-only links without AI content.</p> <p>While you can append the parameter to any Google Search URL manually, doing so is cumbersome. One option that you have at your disposal is to add a custom search engine to your browser of choice that uses the parameter.</p> <p>Whenever you run searches, the parameter is added automatically and you get AI-free search results.</p> <p>How that is done differs slightly depending on the browser that you use.</p> <p><strong>Chromium-based browsers (including Google Chrome, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera and more more)</strong></p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205601" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-ai-free-search-brave.png" alt="Google AI Free Search engine" width="1922" height="1187" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-ai-free-search-brave.png 1922w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-ai-free-search-brave-768x474.png 768w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-ai-free-search-brave-1536x949.png 1536w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-ai-free-search-brave-1200x741.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1922px) 100vw, 1922px" /></p> <ol> <li>Load chrome://settings/searchEngines in the address bar.</li> <li>Click on the add button under Site search.</li> <li>Type any name.</li> <li>Type a shortcut, e.g. <strong>:go</strong></li> <li>Paste https://www.google.com/search?q=%s&amp;udm=14 into the URL field.</li> <li>Click on Add.</li> <li>Left-click on the three dots next to the newly created search engine and select "make default".</li> <li>Run a test search from the address bar to see if it works.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Microsoft Edge</strong></p> <ol> <li>Load edge://settings/searchEngines in the address bar.</li> <li>Select Add next to Address bar search engines.</li> <li>Type a custom name for the search engine.</li> <li>Add a shortcut, e.g. :go.</li> <li>Paste https://www.google.com/search?q=%s&amp;udm=14 into the URL field.</li> <li>Click on Add.</li> <li>Left-click on the three dots next to the newly created search engine and select "make default".</li> <li>Run a test search from the address bar to see if it works.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Mozilla Firefox and Firefox-based browsers such as Mullvad Browser or Tor Browser</strong></p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205600" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-ai-free-search.png" alt="Google AI Free Search Firefox" width="2109" height="1094" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-ai-free-search.png 2109w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-ai-free-search-768x398.png 768w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-ai-free-search-1536x797.png 1536w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-ai-free-search-2048x1062.png 2048w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-ai-free-search-1200x622.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 2109px) 100vw, 2109px" /></p> <ol> <li>Load about:config in the address bar.</li> <li>Confirm that you will be careful.</li> <li>Search for browser.urlbar.update2.engineAliasRefresh.</li> <li>Create a new Boolean value and make sure it is set to True.</li> <li>Restart the browser.</li> <li>Load about:preferences#search in the Firefox address bar.</li> <li>Click on the Add button.</li> <li>Type any name for the search engine.</li> <li>Paste https://www.google.com/search?q=%s&amp;udm=14 into the Engine URL field.</li> <li>Type any alias, e.g. @go</li> <li>Click on Add Engine.</li> <li>Scroll to the top of the page.</li> <li>Select the newly created search engine as the default search engine.</li> <li>Run a test search to find out if it works.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Tip:</strong> In case you do not want to make Google Search the default, you may run searches from the address bar manually using it. Just type the shortcut / alias in the address bar first followed by pressing the Tab-key and then typing the search term.</p> <h3>Closing Words</h3> <p>If you use Google Search but do not want AI Overviews or any other AI content returned, this is the best option to do so. You could also try search engines that use Google's index, such as Startpage, which does not have AI results at the time.</p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/23/how-to-use-google-search-entirely-ai-free-automatically/" data-wpel-link="internal">How to use Google Search entirely AI-free automatically</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  32. Mozilla confirms it will add Tab Groups, Vertical Tabs, Profile Management to Firefox

    Thu, 23 May 2024 05:18:14 -0000

    Mozilla has officially announced a roadmap that outlines some important features which will be added to Firefox. Notable additions will include support for Tab Groups, Vertical Tabs, and a better Profile Management […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Mozilla confirms it will add Tab Groups, Vertical Tabs, Profile Management to Firefox appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Mozilla has officially announced a roadmap that outlines some important features which will be added to Firefox. Notable additions will include support for Tab Groups, Vertical Tabs, and a better Profile Management system.</p> <h3><strong>Vertical Tabs are coming to Firefox</strong></h3> <p>Mozilla's Tweet poked fun at itself, saying that it heard users who had been asking for a vertical tab bar in the browser. The feature is already available in the Larch channel of Firefox, which Martin tested <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/04/02/mozilla-released-a-firefox-nightly-test-build-with-vertical-tabs/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">last month</a>.</p> <p>Vertical tabs aren't new, Brave browser has the feature, as do Vivaldi, and Microsoft Edge. Firefox users have relied on extensions like <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2017/09/27/tree-style-tab-is-a-webextension-now/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">Tree Style Tab</a> and <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2018/12/15/manage-firefox-tabs-bookmarks-and-containers-in-the-sidebar/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">Sidebery</a> for a similar experience. <a href="https://www.waterfox.net/blog/waterfox-x-treestyletab/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Waterfox</a> collaborated with Tree Style Tab to add Vertical Tabs by default. It is easier to scroll a list of tabs listed vertically on a sidebar than to scroll the tab bar horizontally. Vertical tabs can be particularly useful on multi-monitor setups, and ultrawide screens.  You can test the vertical tab bar in Firefox in the latest larch version, which is available on <a href="https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/nightly/latest-larch/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Mozilla's FTP</a> portal. The feature is still in a pretty bare-bones state, but it's a start.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205589" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Vertical-Tabs-are-coming-to-Firefox.jpg" alt="Vertical Tabs are coming to Firefox" width="1200" height="645" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Vertical-Tabs-are-coming-to-Firefox.jpg 1200w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Vertical-Tabs-are-coming-to-Firefox-768x413.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px" /></p> <p>I would prefer having a vertical tab bar that doesn't take up space on the edge of the screen, i.e. if the bar is hidden automatically, and reappears when you hover the mouse over the edge, or perhaps with a hotkey. A search bar to filter the list of tabs would be cool, but I'm not sure if Mozilla plans to add one.</p> <h3><strong>Tab Groups in Firefox</strong></h3> <p>Another feature that Mozilla is working on is <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2020/02/22/simple-tab-groups-is-a-firefox-extension-for-organizing-your-tabs/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">Tab Groups</a>. Once again, this is already available in all Chromium browsers. The feature lets you stack tabs together, sort of like putting tabs in a folder. It is <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2022/06/03/opinion-i-love-the-tab-grouping-feature-of-web-browsers/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">very useful</a> to organize tabs based on your usage. This is a feature that many users who have switched over from Chrome miss in Firefox. So it is good to see that it will be officially added to the browser. I have a number of pinned tabs in Firefox for work/personal use, grouping them together would not only save some space, but also help keep it tidy.</p> <h3><strong>New Profile Management System in Firefox</strong></h3> <p>Firefox is getting a new Profile Management System that will allow you to keep your school, work, and personal browsing separate. Google Chrome (and Chromium based browsers), and Apple Safari already have a similar Profile Switcher, all you need to do is click on a profile name, and the browser opens a new window dedicated to that profile. The data from each profile is saved separately. The new system will allow users to switch between different profiles quickly.</p> <p>Firefox does support <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2020/02/24/what-are-firefox-containers/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">Containers</a>, which allows you to isolate sites, but I think the proposed Profiles Management System will be even more useful, especially if you use multiple accounts with a service provider (e.g. multiple Google or Microsoft accounts).</p> <h3><strong>Tab Wallpapers, Streamlined Menus</strong></h3> <p>Users who wish to personalize their browser will love this news. Firefox will add support for tab wallpapers that are customizable. It appears that Mozilla will offer a catalog of backgrounds such as photography, colors, and abstract images.  The menus in Firefox are also getting a makeover. Mozilla says it will streamline the menus to reduce clutter. The new design will prioritize top user actions to allow them to be accessed quickly. If I'm understanding it correctly, it sounds like users would be able to add/remove items from the right-click menu, or at least rearrange them.</p> <p>The <a href="https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/discussions/here-s-what-we-re-working-on-in-firefox/td-p/57694" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">announcement</a> on Mozilla Connect also mentions some intuitive privacy settings that will help users enable anti-tracking technologies in a more simplified, easy-to-understand way.</p> <h3><strong>AI in Firefox</strong></h3> <p>As we have <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/02/14/breaking-mozilla-changes-strategy-focuses-on-firefox-and-ai/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">previously reported</a>, Mozilla is working on bringing AI features to Firefox which will use local, on-device AI models for privacy. One of these features will allow the AI to generate alt-text for images inserted into PDFs, to make them more to visually impaired users and people with learning disabilities. The browser will process the content on your device, instead of using cloud services.</p> <p>Mozilla says it will add Vertical Tabs, Tab Groups, and the other features in the coming year. Which feature are you most excited for?</p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/23/mozilla-confirms-it-will-add-tab-groups-vertical-tabs-profile-management-to-firefox/" data-wpel-link="internal">Mozilla confirms it will add Tab Groups, Vertical Tabs, Profile Management to Firefox</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  33. Microsoft releases Windows 11 24H2 to the Release Preview channel

    Thu, 23 May 2024 04:47:51 -0000

    Microsoft has released the upcoming 2024 feature update for Windows 11 to the Release Preview channel. The update is available for testing ahead of its final release later this year. The final […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Microsoft releases Windows 11 24H2 to the Release Preview channel appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Microsoft has <a href="https://blogs.windows.com/windows-insider/2024/05/22/releasing-windows-11-version-24h2-to-the-release-preview-channel/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">released</a> the upcoming 2024 feature update for Windows 11 to the Release Preview channel. The update is available for testing ahead of its final release later this year.</p> <p>The final version is expected to be released in September or October. It marks the start of <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/21/microsoft-announces-copilot-pcs-and-ai-powered-recall-feature/" data-wpel-link="internal">Copilot+ PCs</a>, which is a new PC class that is required to run most of the AI functions of the Windows 11 operating system. These PCs have new requirements, including a dedicated NPU chip.</p> <p>The early release is noteworthy for a number of reasons:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/04/23/windows-11-24h2-wont-boot-if-the-pc-does-not-support-this-cpu-feature/" data-wpel-link="internal"><strong>Windows 11 version 24H2 can't be installed</strong></a> on devices that have a processor that does not support SSE4.2. This is a new requirement that did not exist in earlier versions.</li> <li><strong>AI features</strong> that require Copilot+ PCs are not integrated at this point. This means that features such as Recall are not available for testing.</li> <li><strong>Cortana, WordPad and Tips</strong> are no longer available.</li> </ul> <h2>How to get Windows 11 version 24H2</h2> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205591" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/windows-11-version-24h2.webp" alt="Windows 11 version 24h2" width="1024" height="722" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/windows-11-version-24h2.webp 1024w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/windows-11-version-24h2-768x542.webp 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <p>There are two main options to install Windows 11 24H2 on a device:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Join the Release Preview channel</strong> on an existing Windows 11 device and run a manual check for updates.</li> <li><strong>Download the ISO image</strong> and install it on a new / existing system.</li> </ul> <p><strong>The Release Preview option</strong></p> <ol> <li>Open Settings &gt; Windows Update &gt; Windows Insider Program.</li> <li>Select Get Started.</li> <li>Follow the instructions.</li> <li>You need to link a Windows Insider account. You can link a Microsoft account, but need to register first on the <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsinsider/getting-started" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">official website</a>.</li> <li>Select Release Preview when asked to pick a channel to join.</li> <li>Once done, open Windows Update in settings and check the get the latest updates as soon as they're available toggle.</li> <li>Now click on check for updates. Windows Update should return Windows 11, version 24H2 now, which you may download and install.</li> </ol> <p><strong>The ISO option</strong></p> <p><strong>Note</strong>: you still need a Windows Insider account for this one.</p> <p>Download the Windows 11 24H2 ISO <a href="https://aka.ms/wipISO" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">from Microsoft's website</a>. You can then burn it to an optical disc or use programs such as Rufus to copy it to a USB device.</p> <p>If you use virtual machines, you can install this version of Windows 11 directly using the ISO image.</p> <h2>A quick overview of what is new in Windows 11 version 24H2</h2> <p>Microsoft highlights the following features:</p> <ul> <li>Sudo for Windows.</li> <li>HDR background support.</li> <li>Energy Saver.</li> <li>Rust in the Windows kernel.</li> <li>Support for Wi-Fi 7.</li> <li>Voice Clarity.</li> <li>Create 7-Zip and Tar archives in File Explorer.</li> <li>Bluetooth Low Energy Audio device improvements.</li> <li>Copilot will be pinned like an app to the taskbar. This allows users to resize, move, or snap the Copilot window.</li> <li>The apps Cortana, Tips, and WordPad are no longer available.</li> <li>All Copilot+ PC AI features will be released at a later point.</li> </ul> <h3>Closing Words</h3> <p>Interested testers can check out some of the functionality of Windows 11 24H2 by installing the Release Preview update. It includes core improvements, such as support for Wi-Fi 7 or integration of Rust in the Windows kernel.</p> <p>The star of the show, at least from Microsoft's perspective, is AI, and it is notably absent from this release. Microsoft says that the features require Copilot+ PCs; first devices, like Microsoft's new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop, will become available in the coming weeks.</p> <p><em>What about you? Are you looking forward to the new version of Windows 11? </em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/23/microsoft-releases-windows-11-24h2-to-the-release-preview-channel/" data-wpel-link="internal">Microsoft releases Windows 11 24H2 to the Release Preview channel</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  34. Lost Files on Mac External Drive? Here’s How to Recover Them

    Wed, 22 May 2024 15:41:13 -0000

    Data loss from Mac external drives is a common and often frustrating experience. Whether it’s due to accidental deletion, formatting errors, drive corruption, or system crashes, losing valuable documents can disrupt your […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Lost Files on Mac External Drive? Here’s How to Recover Them appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Data loss from Mac external drives is a common and often frustrating experience. Whether it’s due to accidental deletion, formatting errors, drive corruption, or system crashes, losing valuable documents can disrupt your work and personal life. <a href="https://www.stellarinfo.com/stellar-data-recovery-mac-standard.php" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">A reliable data recovery solution</a> is essential to mitigate these disruptions and restore lost files quickly and effectively.</p> <h2>Causes of Data Loss on Mac External Drives</h2> <p>Losing data from Mac external drives can stem from various issues, each with its unique challenges. Here’s a closer look at the common causes:</p> <h3>Accidental Deletion</h3> <p>Mistakes happen, and sometimes files are deleted unintentionally. Often, these end up being important work files, reports, pictures,videos or precious memories. These deletions are usually not noticed until much later, making recovery more complex.</p> <h3>Formatting Errors</h3> <p>Formatting a drive can occur intentionally during a setup process or accidentally due to a misclick. This process wipes the drive clean, removing all stored data. It’s quite common that users may not realize they’ve formatted the wrong drive until it’s too late.</p> <h3>Corrupted Drives</h3> <p>External drives can become corrupted for various reasons, such as hardware failures, software conflicts, or improper ejection of external drives. Corruption can manifest as unreadable files, error messages when accessing the drive, or the drive failing to mount entirely.</p> <h3>System Crashes</h3> <p>Mac systems can crash unexpectedly due to software bugs, hardware malfunctions, or power outages. When an external drive is connected during a crash, the risk of data loss increases. Files being written or transferred at the time of the crash are particularly vulnerable.</p> <p>Understanding these causes highlights the importance of <a href="https://www.stellarinfo.com/stellar-data-recovery-mac-standard.php" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">having a robust data recovery solution</a> that is equipped to handle these diverse scenarios.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="size-full wp-image-205597 aligncenter" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Screen-2.png" alt="" width="668" height="459" /></p> <h2>Recover Your Lost Files</h2> <p>To recover lost or deleted files from various storage devices, a comprehensive tool is required. This tool should offer a reliable solution for data recovery needs, ensuring users can tackle various data loss scenarios with confidence and ease, such as internal drives, external hard drives, USB sticks, or even Time Machine backups. Among the necessary features are:</p> <h3>Comprehensive File Recovery</h3> <ul> <li><strong>Types of Recoverable Files</strong>: A robust recovery tool should support a wide array of file types, including documents (Word, Excel, PDFs), photos (JPEG, PNG, RAW), audio files (MP3, WAV), and videos (MP4, MOV). Broad compatibility ensures that all important files are recoverable, regardless of their format.</li> <li><strong>Compatibility with Internal and External Drives</strong>: The tool should support recovery from various storage devices, such as internal Mac drives, external hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, and Time Machine backups. This level of versatility is crucial for recovering files from almost any storage medium connected to a Mac.</li> </ul> <h3>User-Friendly Interface</h3> <ul> <li><strong>Ease of Use for Beginners and Advanced Users</strong>: The interface should cater to both beginners and advanced users. A straightforward layout and clear instructions make it easy for anyone to navigate and use the software effectively.</li> <li><strong>Step-by-Step Recovery Process</strong>: The software should guide users through a step-by-step recovery process. For example, users might first select the file types they want to recover, choose the location to scan, initiate the scan, and then preview and recover the desired files. This structured approach simplifies the recovery process and ensures successful data retrieval.</li> </ul> <h3>Advanced Scanning Options</h3> <ul> <li><strong>Quick Scan vs. Deep Scan</strong>: Offering both Quick Scan and Deep Scan modes is essential. Quick scans are ideal for fast recovery of recently deleted files, while deep scans typically perform a more thorough examination of the storage device, searching for files lost due to more severe issues like formatting or corruption.<br /> <strong>Customizable Scan Settings for Specific File Types</strong>: Users should be able to customize their scan settings to target specific file types. Data recovery software with this type of feature allows for a more efficient and focused recovery process, reducing the time required to locate and restore specific files.</li> </ul> <h3>Preview Before Recovery</h3> <p>Previewing files before recovery ensures that the correct files are being restored. Software with preview features help to verify the integrity and relevance of the files, preventing unnecessary recovery of unwanted data.</p> <h3>Support for Various File Systems: APFS, HFS+, FAT, ex-FAT, and NTFS</h3> <p>The tool should support multiple file systems, including APFS, HFS+, FAT, ex-FAT, and NTFS. This broad compatibility ensures users can recover data from different types of storage media used with their Macs. Whether dealing with a native Mac file system or a drive formatted for Windows, it needs to be able to handle it all.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="size-full wp-image-205596 aligncenter" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Screen-3.png" alt="" width="668" height="450" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Unique Features to Look For Data Recovery on a Mac</h2> <p>A high-quality data recovery tool for Mac should go beyond basic recovery capabilities, offering unique features designed to enhance the recovery process and provide additional safeguards for your data:</p> <h3>Pause and Resume Scans</h3> <p>Some data recovery programs include features that allow users to pause an ongoing scan and resume it later. This is particularly useful for large drives that may take hours to scan. Users can interrupt the scan process any moment they want or shut down their computer without losing progress. This ensures that lengthy scans won’t interfere with your daily activities.</p> <h3>Creating Disk Images for Safe Recovery</h3> <p>Disk imaging creates an exact replica of a drive, essential for safe data recovery. This is beneficial when dealing with failing or unstable drives. By creating and working from a disk image, users can avoid further stress or damage to the original drive.</p> <h3>Monitoring Drive Health</h3> <p>A dynamic drive monitoring utility can track critical attributes such as temperature, performance, and S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) status. By continuously monitoring these parameters, the software can alert users to potential issues before they lead to data loss.</p> <h3>Cloning Drives for Data Backup</h3> <p>Drive cloning creates an exact copy of a drive, which can be used for data backup. This is useful <a href="https://www.stellarinfo.com/stellar-data-recovery-mac-standard.php" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">for safeguarding data</a> before performing potentially risky operations on the original drive. Cloning ensures that a complete and accessible backup is available, providing peace of mind and an additional layer of data security.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="size-full wp-image-205595 aligncenter" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Screen-1.png" alt="" width="668" height="446" /></p> <h2>Real-Life Scenarios Where Data Recovery is Essential</h2> <p>A versatile and powerful data recovery tool can demonstrate its effectiveness across various real-life scenarios, offering robust solutions for challenging data recovery situations. Here are a few examples:</p> <h3>Recovering Data from Non-Booting Macs</h3> <p>When a Mac fails to boot, it can be a nightmare, especially if critical data is trapped on the system. A good data recovery tool can create a bootable USB recovery drive, allowing users to access and recover data from a non-booting Mac without the need for extensive technical knowledge. This ensures that important files are not lost even when the system itself is inaccessible.</p> <h3>Retrieving Files from Formatted or Corrupted Drives</h3> <p>Accidental formatting or drive corruption can lead to significant data loss, leaving users with seemingly no way to retrieve their important files. A deep scan that performs a thorough search of formatted or corrupted drives should reconstruct lost data, making it accessible again.</p> <h3>Restoring Fragmented Videos from USB Drives</h3> <p>Over time, large video files, especially those stored on USB drives and memory cards, can become fragmented, making them challenging to recover if lost. Advanced data recovery tools excel in piecing together and restoring fragmented MOV and MP4 videos, ensuring that multimedia projects remain intact.</p> <h2>Choosing a Go-To for Mac Data Recovery</h2> <p>For anyone facing data loss, a reliable data recovery solution provides an effective means to retrieve important data. One such tool that offers comprehensive solutions for recovering lost or deleted files <a href="https://www.stellarinfo.com/stellar-data-recovery-mac-standard.php" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">from various storage devices is Stellar Data Recovery for Mac</a>. Its user-friendly interface, advanced scanning options, and unique features make it an invaluable tool for any data recovery scenario.<br /> For anyone facing data loss, Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac provides an effective and reliable means to retrieve important data. To experience its powerful capabilities, visit the official page and download the software today!</p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/22/lost-files-on-mac-external-drive-heres-how-to-recover-them/" data-wpel-link="internal">Lost Files on Mac External Drive? Here’s How to Recover Them</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  35. Google begins integrating ads into AI Overviews on Google Search

    Wed, 22 May 2024 04:52:36 -0000

    Google is revamping its search engine with the help of AI. The company announced AI Overviews not long ago. This new feature displays an AI reply at the top of the Google […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Google begins integrating ads into AI Overviews on Google Search appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Google is revamping its search engine with the help of AI. The company announced AI Overviews not long ago. This new feature displays an AI reply at the top of the Google Search results.</p> <p>Now, Google announced the start of showing ads as part of AI Overviews on Google Search. The addition is available for searchers in the United States at the time, but will expand to more regions and countries in the future.</p> <p>The advertisement shows up as sponsored blocks in the reply of the AI. This section can be distinguished better from the AI's content than regular ads from organic search results on Google Search.</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205578" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-ai-overviews-ads.png" alt="Google AI Overviews Ads" width="606" height="1036" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Google claims that people "use Search more, and are more satisfied with their results" when AI Overviews are shown. The advertising giant says that website links included in AI Overviews get more clicks when compared to traditional lists of websites returned by Google Search.</p> <p>Google continues to enhance AI Overviews. It is currently working on integrating options to simplify the AI's result or break it down in more detail. At the end of the year, Google plans to make AI Overviews available to over 1 billion Google Search users.</p> <p>Google highlights the following capabilities of AI Overviews specifically:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Get answers to complex questions</strong>. Example search query: "Find the best yoga or pilates studios in Boston and show me details on their intro offers, and walking time from Beacon Hill". Previously, users had to run multiple searches to find the information.</li> <li><strong>Get help with plans.</strong> Starting with meals and vacations, AI assists users when it comes to creating plans. Google says users may fine tune the results.</li> <li><strong>AI-organized results pages.</strong> These pages help searches "find inspiration" and make it "easy to explore" a certain topic.</li> <li><strong>Get search results from videos.</strong> Take a video, ask a question, and get an AI response.</li> </ul> <h2>AI Overviews criticism</h2> <p>Criticism can be broken down to two major concerns:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Hallucinations and outdated information</strong> -- Generative AI may hallucinate, which refers to content being returned that is not true. It may also show old information, as it relies on previously generated content.</li> <li><strong>Less traffic for websites who produce the content</strong> -- AI relies on content that has been created by humans. Without it, generative AI would not exist. With Google Search showing AI Overviews at the top, webmasters and publishers fear that users will click less on links pointing to their sites, regardless of whether the link is included in an AI Overview or part of the organic results. Who needs to click on links anymore when Google returns the information right on its search page?</li> </ul> <p>With generative AI, it is important to verify the returned information, especially if you plan to act on it.</p> <h3>Closing Words</h3> <p>Most search engines will integrate AI on search results page, if they have not done so already. <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/04/18/brave-search-answer-with-ai-takes-over-but-you-can-turn-it-off/" data-wpel-link="internal">On Brave Search</a>, for instance, AI generated results are already the default. Some allow users to turn the functionality off, but it seems likely that the majority won't.</p> <p><em>What about you? Will you use AI Overviews or other AI generated search results once they becomes available?</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/22/google-begins-integrating-ads-into-ai-overviews-on-google-search/" data-wpel-link="internal">Google begins integrating ads into AI Overviews on Google Search</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  36. Microsoft announces Copilot+ PCs and AI-powered Recall feature

    Tue, 21 May 2024 05:17:05 -0000

    On a special event at Microsoft Campus, Microsoft unveiled Copilot+ PCs officially. This new type of Windows PCs, formerly known as AI PCs, mark the first step into introducing AI capabilities in […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Microsoft announces Copilot+ PCs and AI-powered Recall feature appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>On a special event at Microsoft Campus, Microsoft <a href="https://blogs.windows.com/devices/2024/05/20/introducing-the-ultimate-copilot-pcs-the-all-new-surface-pro-and-surface-laptop/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">unveiled</a> Copilot+ PCs officially. This new type of Windows PCs, formerly known as <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/04/29/canalys-every-pc-sold-will-be-an-ai-pc-by-2030/" data-wpel-link="internal">AI PCs</a>, mark the first step into introducing AI capabilities in Windows devices.</p> <p>Much of what Microsoft revealed on Monday was already known through unverified leaks.</p> <p>The first batch of Copilot+ PCs are powered by Qualcomm processors and not Intel or AMD silicon. These will come later this year though.</p> <p>As far as requirements are concerned, these match the leaks:</p> <ul> <li>at least 16GB of RAM.</li> <li>at least 256GB SSD storage.</li> <li>Integrated NPU.</li> </ul> <p>No word on the <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/01/04/your-next-pc-may-have-a-windows-copilot-key-on-the-keyboard/" data-wpel-link="internal">Copilot key requirement</a> though from Microsoft at this point.</p> <p>Microsoft will launch two new Surface devices, the Surface Pro and the Surface Laptop. Hardware partners, including Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Acer, and Asus have announced Copilot+ PCs as well, which will come out in the coming months.</p> <p>During the presentation, Microsoft claimed that the new laptops are 58% faster than MacBook Airs with an M3 processor. It did not make it clear if this is true for all Copilot+ PCs or just the PCs that use Qualcomm's ARM chips.</p> <p>Microsoft promises improved battery life, with devices supporting up to 15 hours of web browsing. These numbers come down usually when they are put to the test in benchmarks. It is too early to tell how well the devices will perform when it comes to battery life, but ARM-powered Windows PCs perform better usually in this department than their Intel or AMD brethren.</p> <h2>Introduction of Recall, formerly known as AI File Explorer</h2> <p>The new breed of Copilot+ PCs will support a number of exclusive AI tools and features.</p> <p>Recall was Microsoft's big reveal during the event. While it did highlight other tools, including Cocreator in Paint and Live Captions, these we not exactly new features.</p> <p>Recall is a memory feature that Windows users can tap into. The main idea is that the AI feature records what users do on their PC and that users may tap into the memory at any time using natural language.</p> <p>It may remind users of the <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2017/12/20/a-close-look-at-the-windows-10-timeline-feature/" data-wpel-link="internal">Timeline feature</a> that Microsoft introduced in Windows 10, but stopped supporting in 2021.</p> <p>Microsoft revealed that Recall takes snapshots of the screen "every few seconds". These snapshots are stored encrypted on the local PC and users may find previous activity using search or by browsing a timeline.</p> <p>The AI then analyzes the selected snapshot and users may interact with the content. This includes options to search in videos or through teleconference meetings.</p> <p>Microsoft <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/copilot-plus-pcs?r=1#faq1" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">says</a> that users have full control. They can exclude apps or websites from the tool and also pause, stop, or delete content at any time. The AI feature will also ignore DRM-protected content or private browsing sessions in Edge. <del datetime="2024-05-24T08:38:04+00:00">Whether that is also true for private browsing sessions in other browsers is unclear at this point.</del></p> <p>Microsoft provides the following information:</p> <ul> <li>Website blocking and filtering of private browsing activity in: Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera.</li> <li>Private browsing activity filtering only: in other Chromium-based browsers.</li> </ul> <p>Other information, including passwords, codes, social security numbers, financial information, or other sensitive data, may be recorded, however.</p> <p>Recall sounds like a feature that comes straight out of movies such as Minority Report. An all-knowing AI feature that unveils a user's entire activity on a PC to however has access to it.</p> <p>Microsoft tried to reassure those concerned with privacy that Recall runs locally only on devices and that the content is not used for AI training either.</p> <p>Recall is available as a preview at the time of writing. It is optimized for a handful of languages only at the time, including English, German, and Japanese.</p> <p>Microsoft says that the feature requires at least 50 GB of free space on a hard drive. It uses 25 GB for storage, which, according to Microsoft, is good for storing about 3 months worth of activity on the device. Users may change the storage use of the feature in the settings.</p> <h2>Closing Words</h2> <p>The first batch of Qualcomm-powered Copilot+ PCs will arrive in the coming weeks and months. Later this year, PCs powered by Intel and AMD silicon will also arrive, complementing the lineup.</p> <p>The first major feature that is exclusive to this new type of Windows PCs is Recall, which turns users into transparent users. While access is limited to the particular user, there are situations where users may be coerced to allow others to access it. This may happen during border crossings or during police or state investigations.</p> <p><em>What about you? Do you plan to buy a Copilot+ PC in the future and use Recall?</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/21/microsoft-announces-copilot-pcs-and-ai-powered-recall-feature/" data-wpel-link="internal">Microsoft announces Copilot+ PCs and AI-powered Recall feature</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  37. Apple releases iOS 17.5.1 to fix Photo glitch that made deleted photos reappear

    Tue, 21 May 2024 04:12:44 -0000

    Apple has released a point update to fix the iOS 17.5 photo glitch. iOS 17.5.1 patches the bug that was causing deleted photos to be available again. As you may recall, the […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Apple releases iOS 17.5.1 to fix Photo glitch that made deleted photos reappear appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Apple has released a point update to fix the iOS 17.5 photo glitch. iOS 17.5.1 patches the bug that was causing deleted photos to be available again.</p> <p>As you may recall, the <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/14/ios-17-5-and-macos-sonoma-14-5-update-adds-anti-tracking-feature-offline-support-for-news/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">iOS 17.5 update</a> was made available to users on May 14th. When users installed the update on their iPhones, they noticed that photos that they had previously deleted from their library, were now available again.</p> <p>Users began to worry whether this would cause their old photos to appear on devices that they had sold or given to others. Naturally, this caused quite an uproar among the Apple community, blogs, and security experts. Their question was, how do deleted photos return automatically? Were they being saved on a server? Isn't this a privacy risk? The short answer is no. Read on.</p> <h3><strong>What caused deleted photos to reappear in iOS 17.5?</strong></h3> <p>One <a href="https://old.reddit.com/r/ios/comments/1cryayx/latest_ios_update_has_brought_back_some_pictures/l476bo0/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">reddit user</a> wrote that they had reported an issue to Apple in March. The user stated that the Photos app froze while uploading several photos and videos that they had captured on the iPhone, and the images simply vanished. However, after <a href="https://discussions.apple.com/thread/255532906?sortBy=best" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">discussing</a> the issues with Apple, they narrowed the issue to the Files app, which they had used to connect to an NAS server. This particular bug was patched in iOS 17.5, and the user got their photos back. The person also theorizes that the bug was probably rare and that Apple could not track it. They explained that it is possible that the photos and videos that they had edited or deleted before their iPhone froze, prevented the changes from being synced to iCloud, and that the photos were merely hidden from the photo library locally. It is also worth noting that images that you delete from Photos stay in the bin for 30 days, before they are deleted permanently.</p> <p>Another user shared <a href="https://old.reddit.com/r/ios/comments/1cwgljj/regarding_the_ios_175_photo_glitch/" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">more information</a> about the bug. Apparently, they were in touch with a private contractor at Apple, who explained what may have caused the glitch. The contractor had reassured them that Apple was not saving their photos or videos to a remote server without the consent of the user. They also stated that the glitch is not a backdoor into iCloud or iPhones, and that the device and data stored on the cloud are mostly secure. Yeah, "mostly secure" isn't very reassuring, but the rest of the post clarifies things.</p> <p>According to the insider, the iOS 16.5 Photos glitch happened when the media was deleted from the Photos app, but not the Files app. For those unaware, the Files app is the file manager in iOS that you can use to access content saved on your device. The user says that while photos that are deleted from the Photos app are removed from the gallery, an identical copy of the images are present in the Files app. But, a rare bug in iOS 17.5 resulted in causing the system to re-save all the photos, videos from the Files app, back into the Photos app. It can occur when the phone re-indexes the files after a system update to build a database.</p> <p>That actually makes sense, and it does tally with the release note for iOS 17.5.1. The change log mentions that: "This update provides important bug fixes and addresses a rare issue where photos that experienced database corruption could reappear in the Photos library even if they were deleted."</p> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205573" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/iOS-17.5.1-update.jpg" alt="iOS 17.5.1 update" width="332" height="720" /></p> <p>The iOS 17.5.1 update is available for the Phone XS and later. iPadOS 17.5.1 patches the Photos bug on the following models: iPad Pro 13-inch, iPad Pro 12.9-inch 2nd generation and later, iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 11-inch 1st generation and later, iPad Air 3rd generation and later, iPad 6th generation and later, and iPad mini 5th generation and later</p> <p>I think an official statement from Apple would have been welcomed by users, I mean it is the company's responsibility to dismiss scaremongering rumors and clarify the situation, especially when people are questioning the privacy policies.</p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/21/apple-releases-ios-17-5-1-to-fix-photo-glitch-that-made-deleted-photos-reappear/" data-wpel-link="internal">Apple releases iOS 17.5.1 to fix Photo glitch that made deleted photos reappear</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  38. Chrome extensions may slow down browsing significantly

    Mon, 20 May 2024 05:18:54 -0000

    Extensions are one of the greatest strengths of web browsers. They allow users to extend functionality, but this comes at a cost. A test of the 5000 most popular Chrome extensions showed […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Chrome extensions may slow down browsing significantly appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Extensions are one of the greatest strengths of web browsers. They allow users to extend functionality, but this comes at a cost. A test of the 5000 most popular Chrome extensions showed that extensions may slow down the browsing experience significantly, with one notable exception.</p> <p>The team at <a href="https://www.debugbear.com/blog/chrome-extensions-website-performance" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Debugbear</a> analyzed the performance impact of Chrome extensions in various ways, including impact on CPU processing and website load time.</p> <p>Here are the key findings:</p> <ul> <li>Even on basic websites, some Chrome extensions added 500ms or more to the processing time.</li> <li>86% of tested extensions have minimal impact on simple websites.</li> <li>1.7% of extensions add 500ms or more to the processing of simple websites.</li> <li>On complex websites, processing time reached 2000ms.</li> <li>The impact may be cumulative, which means that multiple extensions may impact the experience more.</li> <li>Popular extensions with high processing times: Honey Automatic Coupons, Klarna Pay Later, Monica - Your AI Copilot, Capital One Shopping, Popup Blocker, Dark Theme, Malwarebytes, Dark Reader, DDG Privacy Essentials.</li> <li>One type of extension reduces website processing: content blockers.</li> <li><strong>Extensions may impact any browser, including other Chromium-based browsers and Firefox-based browsers.</strong></li> </ul> <h2>Impact on website load time</h2> <p><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-205569" src="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-chrome-extensions.png" alt="Google Chrome Extensions" width="2560" height="1493" srcset="https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-chrome-extensions.png 2560w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-chrome-extensions-768x448.png 768w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-chrome-extensions-1536x896.png 1536w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-chrome-extensions-2048x1194.png 2048w, https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/google-chrome-extensions-1200x700.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 2560px) 100vw, 2560px" /></p> <p>Browser extensions may slow down the website load time, especially if they are designed to run as the page starts loading instead of when the page content is displayed to the user.</p> <ul> <li>Extensions may add up to 1000ms to the loading of simple websites.</li> <li>Chrome extensions may also delay interactions after a website has loaded, but these are less common and the impact is less than 50ms for all but a select few extensions.</li> </ul> <p>This delay is noticeable to the user, as it takes longer before website content is displayed by the browser.</p> <h2>Most content blockers improve the user experience</h2> <p>Content blockers improve the CPU processing of websites and the page download site significantly, especially on ad-heavy websites.</p> <ul> <li>Some content blockers reduced the processing time of 50+ seconds to a few seconds.</li> <li>Most reduced the page size from 40+ MB to less than 5 MB.</li> <li>Most reduce memory consumption.</li> <li>Notable extensions that performed well were: uBlock Origin, ScriptSafe, Privacy Badger, Malwarebytes.</li> <li>The popular AdBlock Plus and AdBlock extensions performed worse, and not much better than the browser without extensions.</li> </ul> <p>Reason for AdBlock Plus' weak performance is the <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2015/10/02/adblock-for-chrome-sold-joins-adblock-plus-acceptable-ads-program/" data-wpel-link="internal">acceptable ads program</a>, which allows some ads to be displayed while the content blocker is active. This can be disabled, which should improve performance.</p> <p>Reason for ScriptSafe doing best is that it blocks JavaScript by default.</p> <h3>Other findings</h3> <p>The researchers analyzed the storage use and impact on browser functionality as well.</p> <ul> <li>86.6 percent of Chrome extensions use less than 10MB of storage.</li> <li>2.2 percent of Chrome extensions use more than 50MB of storage.</li> <li>6 extensions with more than 1 million break back/forward cache: LastPass Password Manager, Avast Online Security, Avira Browser Safety, Norton Password Manager, Snap &amp; Read, Microsoft Editor.</li> </ul> <h2>Closing Words</h2> <p>Installation of browser extensions may impact the processing and loading of websites. <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2019/02/13/surprise-not-extensions-may-impact-a-browsers-performance/" data-wpel-link="internal">This has been known for some time</a>, but still important.</p> <p>Content blockers improve both metrics, as they block mostly JavaScript-heavy content from loading in first place.</p> <p>Some extensions may delay the loading of websites by 1 second or more. While those are the exemption, users who run these may want to consider finding alternatives that have less of an impact.</p> <p>Another useful option is to <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2018/10/01/chrome-70-features-option-to-restrict-extension-access/" data-wpel-link="internal">limit extensions to run on certain sites or only "on click"</a>.</p> <p><em>What about you? Do you run browser extensions? Do they impact the loading of websites?</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/20/chrome-extensions-may-slow-down-browsing-significantly/" data-wpel-link="internal">Chrome extensions may slow down browsing significantly</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  39. Winamp: new music platform and source code release

    Fri, 17 May 2024 08:25:01 -0000

    Winamp used to be a popular audio player for Windows. Things went quiet after its heyday and rights changed hands several times in that period. Veteran users of the player had big […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Winamp: new music platform and source code release appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>Winamp used to be a popular audio player for Windows. Things went quiet after its heyday and rights changed hands several times in that period.</p> <p>Veteran users of the player had big hopes when a comeback of the player was announced in 2021. <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2022/09/10/winamp-5-9-final-released-after-years-of-development/" data-wpel-link="internal">After a</a>, mostly, bug fix release in 2022, a <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/04/12/the-new-winamp-player-will-launch-on-april-13-2023/" data-wpel-link="internal">new Winamp Player</a> was announced for release in 2023.</p> <p>The release turned things around significantly, as it was launched as as web-based application and not a traditional desktop app. Even worse, the web-based player did not support playing local files. Everything seemed to be designed to push the new <a href="https://player.winamp.com/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Winamp platform</a>. This web-based platform gave artists a home and users the opportunity to follow artists and subscribe to their music.</p> <p>Llama Group SA, the current owner of Winamp, revealed plans to launch the final version of the Winamp platform on July 1, 2024. Its aim is to recruit at least 50,000 artists in 2024 and one million artists by the end of 2028.</p> <p>Besides the launch of the platform, Llama Group SA also plans to launch a new Winamp player on the same day. The player will be "the best player to listen to all types of audio" and the primary option to listen to music from artists on the Winamp platform.</p> <h2>Winamp source code release</h2> <p>Today, Llama Group SA announced plans to release the source code of the original Winamp player on September 24, 2024. This is the classic version of the audio player and not the web-based Winamp version.</p> <p>Interested users may submit their name and email address on the<a href="https://about.winamp.com/free-llama?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTAAAR37E-kjfpWKXQ-1EKBnK8evZZan97t9AGvUobvQM1qfLm1vYpWrcBGCk1c_aem_Ab1H8PuKW2sLiTaawE9vXNg40Bjvm45bPuPBBpDEvZ4lN1Jh5ITkDqzaDTAUXm9Cm9BBZKDRxq1vhR_09eyqawil" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer"> FreeLLama page</a> to receive information about the source code release.</p> <p>Winamp users who do not want to wait for that release can check out <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2019/01/03/winamp-community-update-project-releases-first-winamp-preview/" data-wpel-link="internal">WACUP</a>, the Winamp Community Project, which is based on classic Winamp but actively maintained. The latest version can be downloaded <a href="https://getwacup.com/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">from the</a> official website.</p> <h3>Closing Words</h3> <p>Whether the new Winamp platform and player will succeed remains to be seen. Much depends on the actual player. If it is based on classic Winamp, but supports modern features, then it has the potential to succeed.</p> <p>Most Winamp users are likely sticking to the latest classic release or the Wacup release at the time. It will be difficult to get them to switch players.</p> <p>The release of the source code on the other hand may lead to more classic Winamp forks. How those fare against Wacup remains to be seen.</p> <p><em>Now you: do you still use Winamp or do you use another audio player?</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/17/winamp-new-music-platform-and-source-code-release/" data-wpel-link="internal">Winamp: new music platform and source code release</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>
  40. Netflix's Standard with Ads plan grows to 40 million subscribers

    Thu, 16 May 2024 14:02:37 -0000

    There was a lot of outcry when Netflix announced the introduction of ads on its platform. The streaming service introduced an ad-powered plan in late 2022 in select regions. At $6.99 per […]

    Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Netflix's Standard with Ads plan grows to 40 million subscribers appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

    <p>There was a lot of outcry when Netflix announced the introduction of ads on its platform. The streaming service <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2022/10/14/netflix-basic-with-ads-pricing-and-features/" data-wpel-link="internal">introduced an ad-powered plan</a> in late 2022 in select regions. At $6.99 per month, it was considerably cheaper than non-ad plans, even back in 2022.</p> <p>In fact, adding another user slot to one of the ad-free Netfllix plans is more expensive than subscribing to the ad-powered plan.</p> <p>Netflix did a lot to push the ad-powered plan. First called <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/04/19/netflix-basic-with-ads-plan-is-now-better-than-its-basic-without-ads-plan/" data-wpel-link="internal">Basic with ads</a>, it soon was rebranded to <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2023/05/01/netflixs-ad-powered-plan-is-so-successful-it-is-now-called-standard-with-ads/" data-wpel-link="internal">Standard with ads</a>, to highlight its advantages over Netflix's basic plan.</p> <p>This was not the only decision that Netflix made. It increased the price of regular prices several times since the introduction of the ad-powered plan, and is now pushing the remaining basic plan subscribers to other plans by shutting down the cheapest ad-free plan.</p> <p>All of these changes increased the attractiveness of the ad-powered plan over Netflix's other plans.</p> <p>There are downsides to subscribing to Standard with ads on Netflix. Besides ads, which is the main issue that streaming users may have, it does not include all shows and movies of Netflix's catalog.</p> <p>Streaming started as a replacement for cable TV. It promised an ad-free experience and unlimited access to content. This changed with the introduction of ad-powered plans.</p> <p>Currently, Netflix customers may either pay $6.99 for the ad-powered Standard with ads plan, or at least $15.49 for the standard plan, which does not show ads.</p> <p><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-05-15/netflix-says-users-of-subscription-plan-with-ads-hit-40-million" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">This month</a>, monthly active users of Netflix's ad-supported plan reached 40 million for the first time. Just this January, the number sat at 23 million.</p> <p>While that is still not the majority of Netflix's 270 million subscribers, new ad-plan subscribers make up 40% of the service's new subscribers currently. With the next price hike looming on the horizon, that ratio is projected to increase even more, provided that Standard with ads will not see price increases again.</p> <p>Netflix continues to invest in live programming. While coverage differs from region to region, Netflix is especially active in the United States. Viewers will be able to watch two Christmas Day games from the NFL and WWE RAW matches from 2025 on.</p> <h3>Closing Words</h3> <p>Netflix will continue to push Standard with ads over its other plans. The cancelling of Basic plans will push a percentage of these subscribers to the ad-powered plan because of its price advantage over the Standard plan.</p> <p>Netflix is also working on new ad formats, including binge ads and ads in games, to increase revenue generated by its ad powered plan.</p> <p>Since other streaming services follow Netflix's lead, streaming is either getting more expensive for the majority of users or more annoying, because of advertisement.</p> <p><em>What about you? Are you subscribed to streaming services? Do you mind ad-powered plans?</em></p> <p>Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post <a href="https://www.ghacks.net/2024/05/16/netflixs-standard-with-ads-plan-grows-to-40-million-subscribers/" data-wpel-link="internal">Netflix&#039;s Standard with Ads plan grows to 40 million subscribers</a> appeared first on <a href="https://www.ghacks.net" data-wpel-link="internal">gHacks Technology News</a>.</p>