Thurrott Daily: July 7

Posted on July 7, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox One, Hardware, Mobile, Windows Phones, Android, The Sams Report, Windows 10 with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: July 7

Tech tidbits from around the web.

7/7/2016 9:59:39 AM

Microsoft and University of Washington researchers set record for DNA storage

Microsoft explains:

Researchers at Microsoft and the University of Washington have reached an early but important milestone in DNA storage by storing a record 200 megabytes of data on the molecular strands.

The impressive part is not just how much data they were able to encode onto synthetic DNA and then decode. It’s also the space they were able to store it in.

Once encoded, the data occupied a spot in a test tube “much smaller than the tip of a pencil,” said Douglas Carmean, the partner architect at Microsoft overseeing the project.

The Microsoft-UW team stored digital versions of works of art (including a high-definition video by the band OK Go!), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in more than 100 languages, the top 100 books of Project Guttenberg and the nonprofit Crop Trust’s seed database on DNA strands.

Four new handsets have been added to the Windows Device Recovery Tool

Blog Italia notes that Microsoft has added four new handsets to the Windows Device Recovery Tool (translated):

Windows Device Recovery Tool is updated to version 3.7.1 with support for Trinity NEO, UniStrong T536, VAIO VPB051 to Yezz Billt 4.7.

Thanks to Neowin for the tip.

Samsung discovers that it can succeed if it stops making crap

After a couple of rough years, Samsung’s revenues are on the upswing, thanks in large part to stronger than expected sales of its Galaxy S7 handsets. This is what happens when you stop foisting crap on your customers, Samsung. The New York Times concurs:

With its preliminary second-quarter earnings numbers, Samsung Electronics Co. is showing that, even if smartphones have become commodities, there is still plenty of money to be made selling handsets that can stand out from the pack.

On Thursday, Samsung said it likely earned 8.1 trillion Korean won ($7.00 billion) in the three months that ended in June, a 17% increase from a year earlier and the biggest quarterly operating profit the technology giant has recorded since early 2014, during the glory days for smartphone makers.

The results are in contrast to those of longtime rival Apple Inc., which in April reported its first quarterly revenue decline in 13 years, raising questions about the sustainability of smartphones as a profit engine at a time when Chinese handsets can offer many of the same specifications, often at a fraction of the price.

Analysts have attributed the strong operating profit to the success of the Galaxy S7, which the South Korean technology giant introduced in early March to favorable reviews.

Unlike its two predecessors, the flagship Galaxy S7 combined a sleek curved-edged look that sets it apart from the iPhone, with practical features that consumers have long clamored for, including water resistance and expandable memory. Those features are missing from the latest iPhone.

Acer announces TravelMate X3 notebook series with Windows 10

It won’t be available until October, but this new business-class device looks like a contender.


Microsoft provides the details:

The Acer TravelMate X3 notebook series … lights up great Windows 10 features, including your personal digital assistant Cortana, convenient and secure login with Windows Hello using the integrated touch fingerprint sensor and access to great apps, games, movies and TV shows through the Windows Store.

The 14-inch TravelMate X349 notebook, first in the series, is ideal for busy professionals looking for a portable device built to work on-the-go. It has an impressive battery life of up to 10 hours and a sleek, all-aluminum chassis that’s less than 18 mm thin and weighs just 3.3 pounds. The thin and light design is perfect for productivity, anywhere. This notebook also comes with a 720p HDR webcam for high-quality videoconferencing and Skype for Business.

The Acer TravelMate X349 features:

  • Powered by Windows 10
  • Has up to 10 hours of battery life, 6th Generation Intel Core processors, DDR4 memory and SSDs
  • Enhanced usability with a brilliant Full HD IPS display that reclines 180-degrees to lie flat, and a LED backlit keyboard with a bigger, wider touchpad
  • Integrated touch fingerprint sensor supports Windows Hello for fast and secure sign-in, while a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 chip increases platform integrity and provides hardware-based protection for passwords and encryption keys
  • Includes a USB Type-C port for pairing with an Acer USB Type-C Dock (sold separately) to connect to up to two 4K displays, providing power and a variety of peripheral connections through a single cable.

Pricing starts at just $650, too. Nice!

The first UWP for Xbox One is now available

That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s the Blu-Ray Player app, which is mostly uninteresting. Well, that and the fact that you need to be on the Insider Preview to even get the app right now.WinBeta reports:

The new Blu-ray Player app will replace the existing one automatically after an app update is implemented. The update is currently only being pushed out to 20,000 Xbox One Preview members as part of a test but more Preview members will eventually gain access before it’s properly launched to the general public soon afterwards. The new Blu-ray Player app is apparently not that different from the existing one with all of the changes being mostly under the hood with the coding.

Windows 10 Mobile Emulator 14383 is now available

And you know what that means: Build 14383 is (or at least was) planned to be the next Insider build, and could be released as soon as today. From Walking Cat on Twitter:

Download: Windows 10 Mobile Emulator 14383

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