Kobo debuts Libra H2O e-reader, updates software with more tools for readers

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)
Nearly one year after releasing the Forma e-reader, Kobo returns today with a new slab dubbed the Kobo Libra H2O. The $169 e-reader retains the skeleton of the Forma, but is actually a smaller device. It has a 7-inch, 1680×1264, 300ppi E Ink display, down from the Forma’s 8-inch display, but it has the same side-chin with page-turn buttons. Notably, Kobo moved the power button from the edge of the e-reader to the back of the device, and it’s now a slightly indented circle that’s easy to discern from the device’s slightly textured back.

At 6.7oz, the Libra H2O is also a hair lighter than the Forma, and it comes in both black and white color configurations. In contrast to the Forma, the Libra H2O comes with 8GB of storage (the Forma has 32GB) and it doesn’t use Mobius screen technology, which gives the Forma’s display more durability.


Original URL: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1556503

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Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac moves to Metal for DirectX 11 and more

Parallels Desktop 15 running Windows 7 and 11. [credit:
Parallels
]

Today, popular virtualization software Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac becomes available to new and current users. The flagship feature is support for DirectX in virtual Windows machines via Apple’s proprietary Metal graphics API. Other additions include a handful of new macOS Catalina-related features and improvements to transitions between Mac and Windows software running on the same machine.
When we wrote about Parallels Desktop 14 around this time last year, we asked about Metal support. The application then still relied entirely on OpenGL in macOS, and Apple had already announced that continued support for OpenGL would end. We were told it was coming, and we were not misled: the new version of Parallels Desktop now supports DirectX 9, 10, and 11 via Metal. Previously, DirectX 9 and 10 were supported via OpenGL and


Original URL: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1550453

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Hands-on: First public previews of Chromium-based Edge are now out

Enlarge / There’s really no difference between how the Ars front page looks in Edge and Chrome.
Microsoft’s switch to using the Chromium engine to power its Edge browser was announced in December last year, and the first public preview build is out now. Canary builds, updated daily, and Dev builds, updated weekly, are available for Windows 10. Versions for other operating systems and a beta that’s updated every six weeks are promised to be coming soon.
Chromium is the open source browser project run by Google. It includes the Blink rendering engine (Google’s fork of Apple’s WebKit), V8 JavaScript engine, Google’s software-based sandboxing, and the browser user interface. Google builds on Chromium for its Chrome browser, and a number of third-party browsers, including Opera, Vivaldi, and Brave, also use Chromium.
As a result, every Chromium browser offers more or less the same performance and Web compatibility. Indeed, this is a big


Original URL: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1487813

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Latest Windows Insider build makes a major upgrade to, uh… Notepad

Enlarge (credit: g4ll4is / Flickr)
There’s a new Windows Insider build out today, and the biggest changes appear to be none other than Notepad, Windows’ venerable barebones text editor.
Notepad already received a significant update in the recent October 2018 Update: Microsoft added support for files with Unix-style line endings. But the work hasn’t stopped there. Oh no.
The new and improved Notepad now has better Unicode support, defaulting to saving files as UTF-8 without a Byte Order Mark; this is the standard way of encoding UTF-8 data, as it maximizes compatibility with software expecting ASCII text. The status bar will now show the encoding being used, too.
Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments


Original URL: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1426191

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The next version of HTTP won’t be using TCP

Enlarge (credit: Andy Maguire / Flickr)
The next version of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)—the network protocol that defines how browsers talk to Web servers—is going to make a major break from the versions in use today.
Today’s HTTP (versions 1.0, 1.1, and 2) are all layered on top of TCP (Transmission Control Protocol). TCP, defined as part of the core set of IP (Internet Protocol) layers, provides reliable, ordered, and error-checked delivery of data over an IP network. “Reliable” means that if some data goes missing during transfer (due to a hardware failure, congestion, or a timeout), the receiving end can detect this and demand that the sending end re-send the missing data; “ordered” means that data is received in the order that it was transmitted in; “error-checked” means that any corruption during transmission can be detected.
These are all desirable properties and necessary for a protocol such as HTTP, but


Original URL: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1410285

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GitHub is now officially a part of Microsoft

Enlarge
satyan@redmond:~/src$ git checkout -b microsoft-acquisitions
Switched to a new branch ‘microsoft-acquisitions’

satyan@redmond:~/src$ scp satyan@github.com:/github .

satyan@redmond:~/src$ git add github

satyan@redmond:~/src$ git commit -m “Microsoft announced in June that it
> was buying the Git repository and collaboration platform GitHub for
> $7.5 billion in stock. That acquisition has received all the necessary
> regulatory approvals and has now completed. Nat Friedman, formerly of
> Xamarin, will take the role as GitHub CEO on Monday.
>
> The news of the acquisition sent ripples through the open source world,
> as GitHub has become the home for a significant number of open source
> projects. We argued at the time that the sale was likely one of
> necessity and that of all the possible suitors, Microsoft was the best
> one due to common goals and shared interests. Friedman at the time
> sought to reassure concerned open source developers that the intent was
> to make GitHub even better at being GitHub


Original URL: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1400699

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Firefox 63 blocks tracking cookies, offers a VPN when you need one

Firefox 63, out today, includes the first iteration of what Mozilla is calling Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP), a feature to improve privacy and stop your activity across the Web from being tracked.
Tracking cookies store some kind of unique identifier that represents your browser. The cookie is tied to a third-party domain—the domain of the tracking company, rather than the site you’re visiting. Each site you visit that embeds the tracking cookie will allow the tracking company to see the sites you visit and, using that unique identifier, cross-reference different visits to different sites to build a picture of your online behavior.

The new option to block third-party tracking cookies but permit other third-party cookies. (credit: Mozilla)

Firefox has long had the ability to block all third-party cookies, but this is a crude solution, and many sites will break if all third-party cookies are prohibited. The new EPT option works as a more


Original URL: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1398617

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Report: Intel is cancelling its 10nm process. Intel: No, we’re not

Media reports published today that Intel is ending work on the 10nm process are untrue. We are making good progress on 10nm. Yields are improving consistent with the timeline we shared during our last earnings report.
— Intel News (@intelnews) October 22, 2018

Earlier today, it was reported that Intel is cancelling its troublesome 10nm manufacturing process. In an unusual response, the company has tweeted an official denial of the claims.
Development of Intel’s 10nm process has been difficult. Intel was very ambitious with its 10nm process—planning to increase the transistor density by something like 2.7 times—and wanted to use a number of exotic technologies to get there. It turned out that the company had bitten off more than it could chew: yields were very low, which is to say that most of the chips being manufactured were defective.
In a bid to recover, Intel is now striving for a less ambitious scaling (though


Original URL: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1397927

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Windows Virtual Desktop gives you a Windows 7 or 10 desktop on Azure

Enlarge / A VT100 remote terminal, which is basically the same thing as Windows Remote Desktop. (credit: Wolfgang Stief)
A new Windows version for multiple users was spotted last month, and now we know what it’s for: Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is a new service providing multi-user remote desktop and VDI in the Azure cloud.
WVD combines three things. Using the new Windows 10 version, WVD can be used to provide remote desktop sessions with multiple users remotely logged in to the same Windows 10 virtual machine (or, alternatively, a Windows Server virtual machine). This can provide both remoting of a full desktop session and of individual applications, serving as a replacement for the RemoteApp service that Microsoft cancelled last year. The service also supports full VDI, with remote users each having their own single-user virtual machine while both persistent and non-persistent VMs are supported. This is supported both with Windows


Original URL: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1380469

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