Microsoft launches a personalized news service, Microsoft Start

Technology

TechCrunch 07 September, 2021 - 01:42pm 40 views

Is Windows 11 released?

Announced on June 24, 2021, Windows 11 is the successor to Windows 10, released in 2015. Windows 11 will be available as a free upgrade to compatible Windows 10 devices through Windows Update. Windows 11 is scheduled to be released on October 5, 2021. wikipedia.orgWindows 11

Microsoft today is introducing its own personalized news reading experience called Microsoft Start, available as both a website and mobile app, in addition to being integrated with other Microsoft products, including Windows 10 and 11 and its Microsoft Edge web browser. The feed will combine content from news publishers, but in a way that’s tailored to users’ individual interests, the company says — a customization system that could help Microsoft better compete with the news reading experiences offered by rivals like Apple or Google, as well as popular third-party apps like Flipboard or SmartNews.

Microsoft says the product builds on the company’s legacy with online and mobile consumer services like MSN and Microsoft News. However, it won’t replace MSN. That service will remain available, despite the launch of this new, in-house competitor.

To use Microsoft Start, consumers can visit the standalone website MicrosoftStart.com, which works on both Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge (but not Safari), or they can download the Microsoft Start mobile app for iOS or Android.

The service will also power the News and Interests experience on the Windows 10 taskbar and the Widgets experience on Windows 11. In Microsoft Edge, it will be available from the New Tab page, too.

Image Credits: Microsoft

At first glance, the Microsoft Start website is very much like any other online portal offering a collection of news from a variety of publishers, alongside widgets for things like weather, stocks, sports scores and traffic. When you click to read an article, you’re taken to a syndicated version hosted on Microsoft’s domain, which includes the Microsoft Start top navigation bar at the top and emoji reaction buttons below the headline.

Users can also react to stories with emojis while browsing the home page itself.

Image Credits: Microsoft

But while online web portals tend to be static aggregators of news content, Microsoft Start’s feed will adjust to users’ interests in several different ways.

Users can click a “Personalize” button to be taken to a page where they can manually add and remove interests from across a number of high-level categories like news, entertainment, sports, technology, money, finance, travel, health, shopping and more. Or they can search for categories and interests that could be more specific or more niche. (Instead of “parenting,” for instance, “parenting teenagers.”)  This recalls the recent update Flipboard made to its own main page, the For You feed, which lets users make similar choices.

As users then begin to browse their Microsoft Start feed, they can also click a button to thumbs up or thumbs down an article to better adjust the feed to their preferences. Over time, the more the user engages with the content, the better refined the feed becomes, says Microsoft. This customization will leverage AI and machine learning, as well as human moderation, the company notes.

The feed, like other online portals, is supported by advertising. As you scroll down, you’ll notice every few rows will feature one ad unit, where the URL is flagged with a green “Ad” badge. Initially, these mostly appear to be product ads, making them distinct from the news content. Since Microsoft isn’t shutting down MSN and is integrating this news service into a number of other products, it’s expanding the available advertising real estate it can offer with this launch.

According to the iOS app’s privacy label, the data being used to track users across websites and apps owned by other companies includes the User ID. By comparison, Google News does not include a tracking section. Both Microsoft Start and Google News collect a host of “data linked to you,” like location, identifiers, search history, usage data, contact info, and more. The website itself, however, only links to Microsoft’s general privacy policy.

The website, app, and integrations are rolling out starting today. (If you aren’t able to find the new app yet — it replaces Microsoft News —  you can try scanning the QR code from your mobile device. We currently found the app had rolled out on iOS but the link pointed us to Microsoft News on Android. Your mileage may vary.)

Read full article at TechCrunch

NBA 2K22's Career Mode Is Now Essentially an Open World RPG on PS5

The Verge 07 September, 2021 - 06:00pm

Take on quests, become a star

We reported on the new City in the PlayStation 5 version of NBA 2K22 earlier today, but now we have the full Courtside Report, which digs into all the details. The main takeaway is that the new Career mode is basically an open world RPG, as opposed to a Telltale-style story with a few games of basketball in between.

You’ll be exploring the sandbox, building your brand and interacting with agents, general managers, and much more. Instead of following a linear storyline, you’ll instead be free to take on side-quests – like becoming a record producer or fashion designer – all while striving to achieve your overall objective of playing in the NBA.

In addition, Seasonal updates will bring new quests and storylines to the game, while there’ll be a new batch of rewards every six weeks for you to unlock. You’ll be able to compete in bicycle races, and, of course, you’ll be able to play on courts across the open world against other players online. There’ll even be new matchmaking buildings, so you no longer have to wait in queues if you don’t want to.

2K Sports has added tons of NPCs to make the setting feel more alive than its predecessors, and there’ll of course be various shops and other attractions for you to interact with. It’s unclear how the storyline will be handled on the PS4 – the new cruise ship-themed Neighborhood seems significantly smaller in scale than the City – but we’re aiming to bring you a review of both versions if possible.

For more information on the kind of things you can expect to find in the City, then we do recommend reading the Courtside Report which digs into all of the details. You’ll be able to explore by bicycle, skateboard, or in-line skates – and as previously reported, the overall reward for reaching Level 40 in the first Season is a go-kart. Should be fun!

[source nba.2k.com]

About Sammy Barker

A true PlayStation veteran, Sammy's covered the world of PS gaming for years, with an enormous Trophy count to prove it. He also likes tennis games way more than you.

Comments (12)

@Jackpaza0508 You can have a job here.

@get2sammyb Is this PS5 exclusive?

Yay, just what gaming needs, more open-world games!

I guess this is technically the first open-world basketball game.

Better be 60fps or no buy (joke - I hate sports games and wasn't going to buy it anyways).

Is it just me or do the shadows in the trailer seem off in a lot of the scenes?

@TowaHerschel7 The City is exclusive to the PS5 version, yes. You're on a cruise ship on PS4.

Nothing says NBA baller more than a cruise ship….. hahahaha. Wtf….. ridunkulous…

Meanwhile at FIFA and Madden... crickets

I'm actually surprised they haven't tried something like this over 10 years ago.

I know you get paid to shill these lackluster games but this is pathetic to say the least.

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...

PSN problems fixed after 3 hours or so

How to unlock the Frontier pirate outfit

Stephen sees the situation from both sides

Join 372,049 people following Push Square:

© 2021 Nlife Media, partner of ReedPop. Hosted by 44 Bytes.

You Can Install Windows 11 on Unsupported Hardware, But You Might Not Want To

Lifehacker 07 September, 2021 - 02:30pm

According to The Verge, Microsoft confirms users can install Windows 11 manually with an ISO. This bypasses the normal Windows update procedures, meaning you don’t have to pass the Windows PC Health Check to install Windows 11. However, your PC still has to meet the minimum hardware requirements:

We’ll know more about the manual installation process once Windows 11 is available in the coming weeks, but the process will likely resemble installing Windows 10 with an ISO, which means you’ll also need one of the following setups:

As long as you meet all of the above hardware requirements, you can install Windows 11 even if you don’t meet the TPM or SecureBoot requirements needed to upgrade through the normal channels.

Of course, this isn’t the intended upgrade route. Microsoft would much rather have users buy a new PC or upgrade to the recommended hardware specs, but it’s offering the manual ISO installation as a fallback measure for businesses that want to preview Windows 11, as well as stubborn users who don’t want to upgrade their hardware. Of course, manually installing Windows 11 on unsupported hardware isn’t risk-free.

However, even if older PCs can’t install updates automatically, it’s possible Microsoft will release subsequent versions of Windows 11 as ISOs as well, which you could use to manually update to the latest build (as long as they actually become available, that is).

Similarly, older PCs may run into compatibility issues from outdated drivers. Mismatched or outdated drivers can prevent you from using USB devices, break basic features, and even prevent apps from running. Similarly, some games will run poorly if your display drivers aren’t up to date. While you can manually update drivers, this is a tedious process and it can be difficult to find and install the proper drivers.

Again, it’s not outright confirmed Microsoft will block updates for older hardware, but it could happen at any time. Sticking with Windows 10 on older PCs might be better if you don’t want to deal with these issues. Besides, there are ways to try out Windows 11 without having to install anything.

[The Verge]

You Can Install Windows 11 on Unsupported Hardware, But You Might Not Want To

CNET 07 September, 2021 - 02:30pm

According to The Verge, Microsoft confirms users can install Windows 11 manually with an ISO. This bypasses the normal Windows update procedures, meaning you don’t have to pass the Windows PC Health Check to install Windows 11. However, your PC still has to meet the minimum hardware requirements:

We’ll know more about the manual installation process once Windows 11 is available in the coming weeks, but the process will likely resemble installing Windows 10 with an ISO, which means you’ll also need one of the following setups:

As long as you meet all of the above hardware requirements, you can install Windows 11 even if you don’t meet the TPM or SecureBoot requirements needed to upgrade through the normal channels.

Of course, this isn’t the intended upgrade route. Microsoft would much rather have users buy a new PC or upgrade to the recommended hardware specs, but it’s offering the manual ISO installation as a fallback measure for businesses that want to preview Windows 11, as well as stubborn users who don’t want to upgrade their hardware. Of course, manually installing Windows 11 on unsupported hardware isn’t risk-free.

However, even if older PCs can’t install updates automatically, it’s possible Microsoft will release subsequent versions of Windows 11 as ISOs as well, which you could use to manually update to the latest build (as long as they actually become available, that is).

Similarly, older PCs may run into compatibility issues from outdated drivers. Mismatched or outdated drivers can prevent you from using USB devices, break basic features, and even prevent apps from running. Similarly, some games will run poorly if your display drivers aren’t up to date. While you can manually update drivers, this is a tedious process and it can be difficult to find and install the proper drivers.

Again, it’s not outright confirmed Microsoft will block updates for older hardware, but it could happen at any time. Sticking with Windows 10 on older PCs might be better if you don’t want to deal with these issues. Besides, there are ways to try out Windows 11 without having to install anything.

[The Verge]

Beware of the Windows 11 Alpha, a new malware attack that is trying to trick people

HT Tech 07 September, 2021 - 03:53am

Even before Windows 11 can officially make its debut, there are Windows 11-themed malware campaigns trying to trick people into sharing their financial details. One of the most notorious ones is the Windows 11 Alpha malware attack that is trying to trick people into activating a malicious code on their PC. According to reports, the malware attack is relying on people’s lack of knowledge and awareness regarding its new software that hasn’t publicly rolled out yet. Windows 11 is currently available only to Windows Insider Program members, developers, and beta testers, and is officially going to be launched in October.

The Windows 11 Alpha, as per reports, uses a Microsoft Word document that claims it was made with “Windows 11 Alpha”. This document then asks people to follow certain steps to open it. If an unsuspecting individual follows these steps then a code gets activated that these threat actors can use to steal your financial information.

This Windows 11 Alpha attack was discovered by the Anomali Security researchers who managed to break down the technical components of the attack. The researchers claim that a cybercrime group called the FIN7 is responsible for this Windows 11 Alpha malware campaign. The exact method of how this malicious file spreads has not been confirmed yet, but as Anomali says, it is possibly being done via a phishing or spearphishing email.

The modus operandi of the Windows 11 Alpha attack is simple. If someone sees a document that is supposedly made with Windows 11 Alpha, they will be prompted to follows some steps to access the document and make it compatible with the current operating system they are using. So in all likelihood, the user is on Windows 10, or possibly an older OS, and they will think that since they do not have access to Windows 11, the only way to access this document made by Windows 11 Alpha, therefore, would be to follow the instructions.

Obviously, this is not the case. There is no Windows 11 Alpha. However, cybercriminals are counting on instances where people do need to convert a genuine Word document to make it compatible with their PC and hoping they will fall for this too. The prompts mentioned in the malicious document have been made to look like the ones many PC users follow to make genuine documents compatible. If you do end up falling for this and follow the prompt, a code within the file gets activated which then downloads a JavaScript backdoor. This lets attackers obtain a payload on the PC.

The FIN7 group has been responsible for the theft of more than 15 million payment card records and the value of these records amounts to a little over $1 billion, as eSentire reports. The Windows 11 Alpha malware campaign appeared between late June and late July this year which aligns perfectly with Microsoft’s official announcement of Windows 11. The Windows 11 Alpha attack is trying to encash people’s interest in the new software and their lack of knowledge regarding it.

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How to Force Windows 11 to Open Links in Your Default Browser

Beebom 07 September, 2021 - 12:45am

With Windows 11, Microsoft has gone a step ahead to try and force users to stick to its Edge browser. Notably, the company has made the process of changing the default browser more complicated than it was on Windows 10. But even if you switch to your favorite web browser, there are certain aspects in the operating system like the new widgets panel, where Windows 11 won’t respect your default browser and open the link in Microsoft Edge. This can be frustrating, so we will show you how to force Windows 11 to open all links in your browser of choice in this article.

Other than enforcing the default browser preference, we have included instructions to use your preferred search engine whenever you are using Windows Search to browse the web. Hence, make sure you read on till the end to know everything you need to know to take control of your browsing habits in Windows 11.

1. We will be using a free app called EdgeDeflector to enable you to use your favorite browser without any interference from Microsoft. You can download EdgeDeflector from GitHub. Under the Releases section, click on ‘EdgeDeflector_install.exe‘ to download the application.

2. Once downloaded, open the installer and click on ‘Install’ to get started with using EdgeDeflector.

1. To start using EdgeDeflector, you will first need to configure it. So, open the Settings app using the Windows 11 keyboard shortcut ‘Win + I’, switch to the ‘Apps’ section from the left sidebar, and click on ‘Default apps’ in the right pane.

2. From the list of apps, locate EdgeDeflector and click on the ‘MICROSOFT-EDGE’ link type, as shown in the image below.

3. When the pop-up appears, pick ‘EdgeDeflector’ from the list of options, and you are all set. All links you open on your Windows 11 PC should now respect your default browser preferences.

4. For instance, check out the demo below where I’ve opened an article from the Windows 11 widgets panel. The MSN news story link has automatically taken me to my default browser, Firefox. Without EdgeDeflector, this link would have opened in Edge.

In case you are wondering how to change your default browser in Windows 11, we have you covered. Open the Settings app and navigate to Apps -> Default apps -> [your browser of choice] and pick all the relevant link types. We also have a dedicated guide with step-by-step instructions to change the default browser in Windows 11.

Microsoft typically uses Bing when you browse the web using Windows Search. However, you can choose to use the search engine of your choice using a Chrome extension. Here are the steps to use your preferred search engine on Windows Search:

1. Chrometana Pro is an open-source extension that you can use to force Windows 11 to use Chrome and your search engine of choice while using Windows Search. You can download the Chrometana Pro (Free) extension from Chrome Web Store. Click on ‘Add to Chrome’ to install the extension.

2. When the pop-up appears, click on ‘Add extension’ to confirm your action.

3. Once installed, click on the extension’s icon to configure it. Here, you can choose to redirect Bing search queries to Google, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, Baidu, or set a custom one.

And for those who use Firefox, there exists an official port of Chrometana Pro named Foxtana Pro. The steps to get started are similar to its Google Chrome counterpart.

1. First, you should download Foxtana Pro from the Firefox Add-ons website by clicking on ‘Add to Firefox’.

2. From the in-browser pop-up, click on ‘Add’, and Firefox will install the extension.

3. You can then click the extension’s icon and pick your favorite search engine. Do keep in mind that the extension won’t consider your default search engine. Hence, you will have to specify it from Foxtana Pro settings manually.

So there you have it. If you set it all up correctly, you will no longer be bothered by Microsoft’s nudges to keep using its own services. While you are at it, check our other articles on disabling suggested notifications in Windows 11, freeing up disk space, and using focus sessions to boost productivity. And if you have any queries, let us know in the comments section below.

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How to Force Windows 11 to Open Links in Your Default Browser

OnMSFT.com 07 September, 2021 - 12:45am

With Windows 11, Microsoft has gone a step ahead to try and force users to stick to its Edge browser. Notably, the company has made the process of changing the default browser more complicated than it was on Windows 10. But even if you switch to your favorite web browser, there are certain aspects in the operating system like the new widgets panel, where Windows 11 won’t respect your default browser and open the link in Microsoft Edge. This can be frustrating, so we will show you how to force Windows 11 to open all links in your browser of choice in this article.

Other than enforcing the default browser preference, we have included instructions to use your preferred search engine whenever you are using Windows Search to browse the web. Hence, make sure you read on till the end to know everything you need to know to take control of your browsing habits in Windows 11.

1. We will be using a free app called EdgeDeflector to enable you to use your favorite browser without any interference from Microsoft. You can download EdgeDeflector from GitHub. Under the Releases section, click on ‘EdgeDeflector_install.exe‘ to download the application.

2. Once downloaded, open the installer and click on ‘Install’ to get started with using EdgeDeflector.

1. To start using EdgeDeflector, you will first need to configure it. So, open the Settings app using the Windows 11 keyboard shortcut ‘Win + I’, switch to the ‘Apps’ section from the left sidebar, and click on ‘Default apps’ in the right pane.

2. From the list of apps, locate EdgeDeflector and click on the ‘MICROSOFT-EDGE’ link type, as shown in the image below.

3. When the pop-up appears, pick ‘EdgeDeflector’ from the list of options, and you are all set. All links you open on your Windows 11 PC should now respect your default browser preferences.

4. For instance, check out the demo below where I’ve opened an article from the Windows 11 widgets panel. The MSN news story link has automatically taken me to my default browser, Firefox. Without EdgeDeflector, this link would have opened in Edge.

In case you are wondering how to change your default browser in Windows 11, we have you covered. Open the Settings app and navigate to Apps -> Default apps -> [your browser of choice] and pick all the relevant link types. We also have a dedicated guide with step-by-step instructions to change the default browser in Windows 11.

Microsoft typically uses Bing when you browse the web using Windows Search. However, you can choose to use the search engine of your choice using a Chrome extension. Here are the steps to use your preferred search engine on Windows Search:

1. Chrometana Pro is an open-source extension that you can use to force Windows 11 to use Chrome and your search engine of choice while using Windows Search. You can download the Chrometana Pro (Free) extension from Chrome Web Store. Click on ‘Add to Chrome’ to install the extension.

2. When the pop-up appears, click on ‘Add extension’ to confirm your action.

3. Once installed, click on the extension’s icon to configure it. Here, you can choose to redirect Bing search queries to Google, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, Baidu, or set a custom one.

And for those who use Firefox, there exists an official port of Chrometana Pro named Foxtana Pro. The steps to get started are similar to its Google Chrome counterpart.

1. First, you should download Foxtana Pro from the Firefox Add-ons website by clicking on ‘Add to Firefox’.

2. From the in-browser pop-up, click on ‘Add’, and Firefox will install the extension.

3. You can then click the extension’s icon and pick your favorite search engine. Do keep in mind that the extension won’t consider your default search engine. Hence, you will have to specify it from Foxtana Pro settings manually.

So there you have it. If you set it all up correctly, you will no longer be bothered by Microsoft’s nudges to keep using its own services. While you are at it, check our other articles on disabling suggested notifications in Windows 11, freeing up disk space, and using focus sessions to boost productivity. And if you have any queries, let us know in the comments section below.

Right after HP entered the Indian market with new Chromebooks, Asus also launched a series of Chromebooks in India at very competitive prices. Asus Chromebook C223 is one of the entry-level Chromebooks in this lineup, and it starts at just […]

Over the past couple of years, gaming smartphones have carved a niche for themselves in the Android market. Users looking for that extra oomph in performance, trigger buttons for FPS gaming, and the RGB jazz are attracted to gaming phones. […]

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