Thurrott Daily: July 6

Thurrott Daily: July 6
Fenway Park, Boston

Tech tidbits from around the web.

7/6/2016 4:51:46 PM

Chromebooks can now make voice calls with Skype for Web

And don’t tell me that didn’t make your heart skip a beat. PC World reports:

Chromebooks can now participate in audio calls using Microsoft’s Skype for Web. Microsoft didn’t officially announce this new feature, but it’s already working today. This feature now works on Linux, too.

While audio calls work and work well, video features don’t yet seem to be working on Chrome OS. Skype for Web already offered solid text-messaging support for Chromebook users.

Interesting. You have to think video calls are next.

Is There Code From Windows 95 That Is Still In Windows 10?

I saw a Microsoft tweet about this interesting question posed to the legendary Raymond Chen.

The answer? Why yes. Yes there is. Watch the video for more!

New security features make Windows 10 Anniversary Update a must

TechRepublic makes a great case for upgrading to Windows 10.

Microsoft has been making major upgrades to the Windows 10 operating system to help enterprises combat the onslaught of attacks, but data breaches are still a common occurrence. For the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft is promising to add new and better security features that it hopes will make Windows 10 the only viable system choice for enterprises around the world.

Microsoft Edge will isolate Flash content outside the browser so attacks using those vulnerabilities will be less effective. Edge will also be altered so that neither it nor Internet Explorer will have access to so many Windows subsystems.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update will also see another upgrade to Windows Defender. According to Microsoft, these improvements will increase the effectiveness of a system that is already operating at a 99.8% detection rate in prevalence testing as of April 2016.

On it goes. Read the post for the full story. Just 23 days to go on the free upgrade, by the way.

Google adds instant translation directly to Now On Tap

As you may know, Android (Marshmallow and newer) has a cool feature called Google Now On Tap that lets you long press on your device’s Home button to learn more about the information that’s currently onscreen. It can be used to find restaurants, movies, music, people, images, and more. And according to Google, with a recent update, it’s getting even better.

With Now on Tap’s new translate feature, you can translate text on any screen, whether it’s an app or webpage. Just long press the home button and tap the “Translate this screen” card. Voilà, the text on screen will be translated into your phone’s language.

So if you’re using Google Maps and come across a location or a restaurant review in a foreign language, just long press the home button and continue reading. You’ll even be able to translate multiple languages at once.

The translate feature is currently available for phones with the language set to English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.


Verizon confirms new plans with higher prices, more data

The good news: Verizon is finally copying AT&T Wireless and letting its customers rollover data. The bad? It’s going to cost you more.CNET reports.

The nation’s largest wireless carrier on Wednesday unveiled a new set of pricier plans with extra data. The prices will go up by as much as $10 a month.

The low-end “S” plan will rise by $5 to $35 a month, but will include 2 gigabytes of data, twice as much as before. The “M” plan will increase by $5 to $50 a month, while its data will rise from 3GB to 4GB. The “L” plan will tick up by $10 to $70 a month, while data increases from 6GB to 8GB. The “XL” plan will go up by $10 to $90 a month, but you’ll get 16GB, up from 12GB before. Lastly, the “XXL” plan will cost $10 more at $110 a month, but you will get 24GB instead of 18GB. They are available starting Thursday.

Hey, 32GB iPhone 7, I already hate you

OK, I admit it. I just think the headline is funny. But maybe he makes a point, too.

I expect the iPhone 7 to be among the best phones out there, and to achieve that, Apple would finally have to do something unexpected — even if it’s so simple as jumping from 16GB base storage to 64GB for the cheapest option.

Apple has been waiting way too long to upgrade the storage, and it’s time to double down. 32GB is not a disaster by any means — after all, most smartphones start there (though, in fairness, most of them also offer a sizable memory expansion via microSD memory cards). But apps are getting bigger, photos are getting bigger, videos are getting huge (try recording 4K video on a 32GB phone and see how far you’ll get). Next year, all the flagship Androids will start at 64GB, mark my words.

OK. That is a fair point, actually. And that, folks, is the difference between a click bait headline and a great headline: The article behind a great headline delivers on the promise of that headline. Click bait is just air shaped words.

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