Tech tidbits from around the web.
12/5/2016 7:56:35 PM
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Get ready for WinHEC
Microsoft had previously announced that it will have some Windows Holographic news to share at WinHEC in China. Well, it’s happening this week, so get ready.
This week members from Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group including executive vice president, Terry Myerson, and technical fellow and inventor of HoloLens, Alex Kipman, will be in Shenzhen, China for the Windows Hardware Engineering Community event.
This year’s event will consist of talks and presentations about Microsoft’s vision for the hardware ecosystem with innovations in mixed reality, gaming, and other incredible opportunities for partners powered by the Windows 10 Creators Update. Attendees will gain an understanding of what’s next for Windows 10 and how to build devices that will take advantage of new capabilities.
The WinHEC keynote begins Thursday, Dec. 8 at 9:30 a.m. in Shenzhen, China (Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 5:30 pm Pacific time).
There will be a live stream. Stay tuned for details.
Developer support for symlinks is finally coming to Windows 10
And while Microsoft is pushing this as a developer feature, this will be a big deal for many power users, I bet.
Symlinks, or symbolic links, are “virtual” files or folders which reference a physical file or folder located elsewhere, and are an important feature built in to many operating systems, including Linux and Windows.
The Windows’ NTFS file system has supported symlinks since Windows Vista. However, it hasn’t been easy for Windows developers to create symlinks. In our efforts to continually improve the Windows Developer experience we’re fixing this!
Starting with Windows 10 Insiders build 14972, symlinks can be created without needing to elevate the console as administrator. This will allow developers, tools and projects, that previously struggled to work effectively on Windows due to symlink issues, to behave just as efficiently and reliably as they do on Linux or OSX.
Chrome 55 is released, now blocks Flash on most sites
Google has released Chrome 55 into the stable channel, so you’ll see Flash being blocked on most sites by default, as promised months ago. Neowin reports:
The major update includes no less than 36 security fixes which mitigate a variety of issues including XSS (cross-site scripting), same-origin bypass, and buffer overflow vulnerabilities. Notably, 26 of the fixes were contributed by external researchers who were collectively paid a total of more than $64,000 by Google for their efforts.
In perhaps the most user impacting update to the browser, Chrome 55 will now, by default, block Adobe Flash content in favor of HTML5 as signaled by Google earlier this year.
No mo’ Tay. Now we have Zo instead
There’s a new Microsoft bot in town, as Windows Central reports.
Microsoft has a new AI chat bot in town called Zo, first spotted on Twitter, which we’re assuming is the “successor” to Tay, Microsoft’s original and ultimately racist AI bot. Zo is in early access preview now, and can be accessed via the Kik messaging app, if that’s your thing.
If you’re not on Kik, Microsoft is allowing anyone to request an invite to the service, which will likely allow users to try her out elsewhere when ready. Regardless, Microsoft’s latest attempt at an AI chat bot appears to be strong, but will that hold up?
To be clear, no one is on Kik.
Google’s Trusted Contacts app for Android will keep your friends close and your close friends even closer
Whether it’s hiking alone or walking down a street after dark — sometimes you want to know someone’s got your back. To help you feel safe and give your friends and family peace of mind, today we’re launching Trusted Contacts. This new personal safety app lets you share your location with loved ones in everyday situations and when emergencies arise — even if your phone is offline or you can’t get to it.
Here’s how it works: Once you install the Android app, you can assign “trusted” status to your closest friends and family. Your trusted contacts will be able to see your activity status — whether you’ve moved around recently and are online — to quickly know if you’re OK. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel unsafe, you can share your actual location with your trusted contacts. And if your trusted contacts are really worried about you, they can request to see your location. If everything’s fine, you can deny the request. But if you’re unable to respond within a reasonable timeframe, your location is shared automatically and your loved ones can determine the best way to help you out. Of course, you can stop sharing your location or change your trusted contacts whenever you want.