Author: News Aggregate

Windows 10 Update on Hold Due to ‘Blue Screen of Death’ Issues

Microsoft’s big spring update for Windows 10 had been set to start rolling out last week, but the launch was put off after the machines of the developers testing the new version of the operating system encountered the “blue screen of death” (BSOD). Rather than try to fix the version that caused those problems, Microsoft instead opted to create a new build released yesterday to Windows Insiders in the “fast” ring for testing software updates. Because of the delay, the final version of the update will likely roll out to general users later than expected, possibly sometime in May. It might also prompt Microsoft to assign a new name to what it had been calling the “Spring Creators Update” or, more recently, the “Windows 10 April 2018 Update.” Insiders’ Discovery of ‘Blocking Bug’ The build that had been set for general release last week showed some reliability issues that required fixing, Windows Insider program head Dona Sarkar and senior program manager Brandon LeBlanc said in a Microsoft blog post yesterday. “In certain cases, these reliability issues could have led to a higher percentage of (BSOD) on PCs for example,” they said. “Instead of creating a Cumulative Update package to service these issues, we decided to create a new build with the fixes included.” Sarkar and LeBlanc added that the discovery of those problems, widely described as a “blocking bug,”...

Read More

FBI Asked Anew About San Bernardino Shooter’s iPhone

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are asking the FBI to explain what they called a “troubling” recent report that appears to show the agency failed to exhaust all technical possibilities before pushing Apple to unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. The lawmakers, including U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, on Friday sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, citing a report by the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General that was published in March. Statements made by officials involved in the investigation “appear to indicate that the FBI was more interested in forcing Apple to comply than getting into the device,” the letter says. “It was not until the night before the FBI’s suit against Apple, which was predicted ‘on the notion that technical assistance from Apple was necessary to search the contents of the device,’ that the FBI first consulted the third-party vendor that it knew had nearly completed a solution,” the lawmakers also said. In December 2015, Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, shot and killed 14 people at Farook’s workplace in San Bernardino. After the couple was killed in a shootout with police, Farook’s passcode-protected iPhone became the center of an encryption battle between the FBI and Apple, which refused to help unlock the phone — setting off a heated debate over privacy vs. national security. In...

Read More

Netflix: A Tough Act for Copycats and Pretenders To Follow

Netflix’s video-streaming service has been thriving for so long that other companies are striving to duplicate its success in other kinds of digital entertainment and content. Spotify’s music-streaming service has emerged as the most celebrated of the aspiring clones, despite significant challenges that will make it difficult to keep growing at the same pace as Netflix has been in video streaming. The biggest difference between Netflix and Spotify boils down to their ability to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Netflix has firmly established its service as a staple in tens of millions of households around the world by pouring billions of dollars into a slate of original programming that can’t be watched anywhere else. Popular shows such as “Stranger Things,” ”House of Cards,” and “Black Mirror” have enabled Netflix to keep attracting millions more subscribers each year while cultivating enough customer loyalty to be able to gradually raise its prices. That leverage allows Netflix to spend more to acquire the rights to TV series and films while also remaining profitable. In contrast, Spotify is selling consumers access to an extensive catalog of digital music that is largely the same as the libraries available at the same $10 monthly price on rival music streaming services from Apple, Google and Amazon, three larger companies with far more resources. Netflix demonstrated how well its formula works again Monday with...

Read More

Tesla Temporarily Shuts Down Model 3 Production

Embattled Tesla has temporarily shut down the assembly line for the Model 3, the electric sedan widely seen as critical to the success of the Palo Alto company. Production of the Model 3 has been plagued by delays, with CEO Elon Musk forced twice to announce the firm would not hit manufacturing targets. Now, Tesla has shut down the Model 3 assembly line at its Fremont factory. The pause in production of the car will last four to five days, and came “without warning,” employees reportedly told Buzzfeed. A Tesla spokesperson said Model 3 production included “periods of planned downtime” at the Fremont plant and its Nevada battery factory. “These periods are used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates,” the spokesperson said. “This is not unusual and is in fact common in production ramps like this.” On April 13, Musk had tweeted that “excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake.” Musk added, “Humans are underrated.” The Model 3 starts at $35,000, but only premium-priced versions are currently in production, according to the company. Tesla says nearly a half million pre-orders have been made for the Model 3. Model 3 production had been suspended for a week in February, with the company providing the same comments about “planned downtime” to “improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates,” according...

Read More

How Do Facebook Ads Target You? The Surprising Truth

If you want to tailor a Facebook ad to a single user out of its universe of 2.2 billion, you could. Trying to pitch your boutique bed and breakfast to a 44-year-old “trendy mom” who lives in Seattle, leans conservative and is currently traveling in the Toronto area but hasn’t booked a hotel for the night yet? Go right ahead. Interested in mail-ordering pet treats to a 32-year-old cat owner in Madison, Wisconsin who enjoys Japanese food, doesn’t like pizza and has an anniversary coming up in the next two months? Not a problem. Targeting ads, it turns out, is almost infinitely customizable — sometimes in surprising ways. The ads you might see can be tailored to you down to the most granular details — not just where you live and what websites you visited recently, but whether you’ve gotten engaged in the past six months, are interested in organic food or share characteristics with people who have recently bought a BMW, even if you’ve never expressed interest in doing so yourself. Facebook made $40 billion in advertising revenue last year, second only to Google when it comes to its share of the global digital advertising market. Even with a recent decision to stop working with outside data brokers to help advertisers target ads based on things like offline purchases or credit history, this number is expected to grow...

Read More