Microsoft introduces Windows 10X for dual-screen devices

At its annual Surface hardware event in New York, Microsoft today announced the expected set of updates to its existing hardware lineup. The biggest surprise, though, was surely the announcement of the company’s dual-screen Surface Neo, which will go on sale before the 2020 holiday season. To make this kind of dual-screen device possible, Microsoft also built a new version of Windows 10: Windows 10X.
Microsoft says it’s announcing the hardware and software today in order to get it into the hands of developers ahead of the launch.
Just like HoloLens, Surface Hub and Xbox use the core technologies of Windows 10, the dual-screen Surface, too, will run this new version, as will dual-screen devices from Dell, HP, Lenovo and other partners. Unsurprisingly, these devices — and Windows 10X — will feature improved pen support (and a virtual keyboard).

Microsoft teases Neo dual-screen Surface, set to debut holiday 2020

Windows 10X is the result


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Kobo brings the Forma form factor to a cheaper model

I’ve long had a soft spot for Kobo for a few reasons. First is the simple fact that the company (now part of Rakuten) was one of the last few competing with Amazon in the e-reader market. Second is features like Pocket integration. Third is the device’s openness to file formats like ePub that don’t require the device to be tied to a single store.
Kobo’s also never been afraid to experiment. Last year’s Forma was the perfect example. A direct shot against Kindle’s high-end Oasis, the reader combined a contoured form factor and physical page-turn buttons with an 8-inch screen. That last bit was probably enough to keep the device firmly in the niche category, even without the $280 price tag.
The new Libra H20 is a far more utilitarian product, applying the Libra’s form factor to a 7-inch screen device that retails for a more reasonable $170. It’s still not


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Lowe’s is killing off and bricking its Iris smart home products at the end of March

If you’ve got any gear from Lowe’s Iris line of smart home products, it’s time to start looking for alternatives.
Lowe’s has announced that the line is toast, with plans to flip the switch on “the platform and related services” at the end of March. In other words: much of this once smart connected gear is about to get bricked.
On the upside, Lowe’s is committing to refund customers for “eligible, connected Iris devices” — with the caveat that you’ve got to go through its redemption portal. “PLEASE DO NOT BRING YOUR CONNECTED IRIS DEVICES BACK TO A LOWE’S STORE,” they note repeatedly. They don’t want it either.
Refunds will be issued in the form of a prepaid Visa card. They also note that some — but definitely not all — Iris-compatible devices work with alternatives like Samsung’s SmartThings platform.
As of November of 2018, Lowe’s was attempting to find a buyer for the


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Kobo’s Forma e-reader takes on Kindle Oasis with an asymmetric design and premium price

Kobo’s latest e-reader is a complete about-face from its anonymous, cheap and highly practical Clara HD; the Forma is big, expensive and features a bold — not to say original — design. It’s clearly meant to take on the Kindle Oasis and e-reader fans for whom price is no object.
The $280 Forma joins a number of other e-readers in using a one-handed design, something which is, we might as well admit up front, isn’t for everyone. That said, I’ve found that my reading style on these devices has been able to adapt from one form factor to another — it’s not like they made it head-mountable or something. You still hold it like you would any other small device.
It uses an 8-inch E-Ink Carta display with 300 pixels per inch, which is more than enough for beautiful type. The frontlight — essentially a layer above the display that lights up


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Now Alexa can adjust your Echo’s EQ

Alexa is finally getting an equalizer feature, letting users adjust EQ settings with commands like “Alexa, decrease the treble.” It’s nice feature that I’m honestly a bit surprised the company didn’t introduce a while back. After it rolls out over the next couple of days, you’ll be able to satisfyingly tell your Echo, “Alexa, turn up the bass.”
The full features are only coming to the U.S. for the time being, making it possible to adjust different bands between -6 db and 6 db on the standard Echo, the Dot, Plus, Show and Echo Spot.
The company is also offering up the feature for developers and has provided it to third-party speaker manufacturers, for use on products like the Polk Command Bar and Sonos Beam. That, at least, is part of the company’s push to get Alexa on as many non-Echo devices as possible, as it looks to compete with premium smart speakers


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Canon has sold its last film camera

Mark this date on your calendar. It’s the end of yet another tech era. Though, granted, this one’s been been death rattling for nearly a decade now. Canon this week announced with no fanfare that it’s sold its last film camera. The news was spotted by PetaPixel on the camera giant’s Japanese support forum.
The model in question is the EOS-1V, which, incidentally, the company actually stopped making a full eight years ago. Since it has simply been selling out the rest of its stock, which, it seems, has finally depleted. It’s less of a bang than a prolonged whimper, but it’s the end of an era, nonetheless, marking the first time Canon hasn’t offered a film camera since the 30s, when its parent company started offering a device called the “Kwanon.”
Those who are feeling suddenly nostalgic, you can likely pick one up used fairly easily (though this news might


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Kobo’s new entry-level Clara HD e-reader has a crisp, color-adjustable display

Kobo has announced a new e-reader, the Clara HD, which won’t set the world on fire but will be a perfectly good option for e-book readers who don’t want to spend a fortune. It basically revives the well-liked but discontinued Glo HD with a better frontlight and more memory.
The screen is 6 inches and 300 PPI, which is comparable to Amazon’s latest Kindles and high enough that you shouldn’t notice pixelation in the type. More importantly for some, it has the company’s improved frontlight, which can be dialed from the now-familiar cool LED tone to a much, much warmer one. There’s 8 GB of storage inside, more than enough for hundreds of books and comics — but no MicroSD card slot, which some do love to have.
I’ve been using the Clara HD as my daily reader for a week or so and I can vouch for the type quality and


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Spectre and Meltdown variant 4: Microsoft, Google and Intel reveal new Speculative Store Bypass chip vulnerability

Just when you thought you could forget about the Spectre and Meltdown chip vulnerabilities, yet another variant has been discovered. Known as Speculative Store Bypass, the vulnerability affects chips from AMD and Intel, as well as Power 8, Power 9 and System z processors. The vulnerability has been assigned CVE-2018-3639, and successful exploitation would mean that an attacker could gain access to data. The attack can be carried out through a “language-based runtime environment” such as JavaScript. Some patches exist while others are in development, and they include the same performance hit associated with patches for the previous vulnerabilities. See… [Continue Reading]


Original URL: https://betanews.com/2018/05/22/speculative-store-bypass-variant-4-vulnerability/

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Sony shrinks its Digital Paper tablet down to a more manageable 10 inches

I had a great time last year with Sony’s catchily named DPT-RP1, an e-paper tablet that’s perfect for reading PDFs and other big documents, but one of my main issues was simply how big the thing is. Light and thin but 13 inches across, the tablet was just unwieldy. Heeding (I assume) my advice, Sony is putting out a smaller version and I can’t wait to try it out.
At the time, I was comparing the RP1 with the reMarkable, a crowdfunded rival that offers fantastic writing ability but isn’t without its flaws. Watch this great video I made:

The 10-inch DPT-CP1 has a couple small differences from its larger sibling. The screen has a slightly lower resolution but should be the same PPI — it’s more of a cutout of the original screen than a miniaturization. And it’s considerably lighter: 240 grams to the 13-inch version’s 350. Considering the latter already


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