Thurrott Daily: September 20

Posted on September 20, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, Microsoft Surface, Mobile with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: September 20

The Internet … is like a series of tubes…

Tech tidbits from around the web.

9/20/2016 6:14:42 PM

Report: Recent Surface Pro 3 battery fix may have borked some other Surface Pro 3s

From the “only Microsoft” department comes this report from Infoworld’s Woody Leonard, who says that Surface Pro 3 is plagued by yet another battery problem.

Remember the Simplo battery problem in Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 — the one that many in the press called “batterygate”? It’s back with a vengeance. This time it’s hitting the other, more common battery found in the Surface Pro 3, the one from LGC.

Moreover, in a spectacular display of batt-fratricide, it looks like the new LGC battery problem was caused, or at least exacerbated, by the patch that fixed the Simplo battery.

If you do own a Surface Pro 3, you should follow Woody’s advice and run the test he suggests. And speaking of batteries…

Samsung says phone explosions in China not caused by batteries

So if I’m reading this Wall Street Journal report correctly, multiple people in China are pretending that their Galaxy Note 7 phones are exploding … so they can get some kind of a settlement or something?

Some Chinese consumers were already miffed that—aside for a small presale batch—the country wasn’t included in Samsung’s recall of 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7s in 10 some countries due to battery overheating, even though Samsung has said phones sold in China aren’t faulty. Buyers in China are sensitive to perceived second-class treatment, especially after a controversy in which Apple Inc. was found to be offering different warranty terms in China than the U.S.

Two reports of phone combustions Saturday and Sunday added to the controversy.

“The test results show that the damage to the device was caused by external heating,” Samsung China said in a statement.

Interesting.

Opera browser now offers a built-in VPN

Back in May, Opera dramatically improved the battery life of its Windows web browser. And now they’re going after security with a built-in VPN.Opera announces Opera 40:

Today, we launch Opera 40 with our new free, unlimited, no-log browser VPN service. With this launch, Opera becomes the first major browser to release a built-in VPN service. When turned on, the browser VPN creates a secure connection to one of Opera’s five server locations around the world. The VPN lets you choose where to appear on the internet, giving you online privacy and security a boost while making content easier to access.

We strongly believe that if more people knew how the internet truly works, they would use a VPN – and we hope that by making our browser VPN free and easy to use, it will become an essential tool for everyone.

OK, I’m interested. I know that Rafael swears by Opera—“basically Chrome without any of the Google tracking,” he says—but it’s just never quite landed with me. Try, try again…

Google brings Google Search features to Drive

I know. You’re thinking, “can’t you already search Google Drive?” And, sure. But this looks like something new and different.

Starting today, you can use Natural Language Processing (NLP) and other new and improved features in Drive search on web to find files easier and faster. You’ll also see a couple of highly-requested Google Docs features that have been added based on your feedback (thank you!).

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a fancy way of saying “search like you talk.” You can type things like “find my budget spreadsheet from last December” or “show me presentations from Anissa.” Drive will understand what you mean and give you the option to click for those specific search results. Drive NLP will get better with each query — so keep on searching. 😉

 

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