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10 Tips to get started with the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser – Ghacks Technology News

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Microsoft plans to release the stable version of the company’s Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser officially today. Most Home users will receive the browser via Windows Update as it is pushed to systems that way to replace the classic Microsoft Edge web browser.

Tip: Microsoft released a blocker toolkit to prevent the installation of the new Edge browser on Windows systems.

New and existing Edge users may find the following selection of tips useful as they highlight features of the browser that improve the browser in meaningful ways.  Feel free to add your own tips in the comment section below.

Tip 1: Install Chrome or Edge extensions

The new Microsoft Edge web browser is based on Chromium, the same core that Google Chrome is based on. It is therefore possible to install Chrome extensions in Microsoft’s new web browser or extensions made for Edge exclusively.

To install regular extensions, visit the Edge extension store to browse what is available and install the extensions that you want. There are not that many extensions available but you find a selection of important extension types such as password managers, download extensions, ad blockers, and others.

To install Chrome extensions, visit the Chrome Web Store. Edge should display a banner at the top that provides you with an option to allow extension installations from that store.

Activate the button to allow the installation of Chrome extensions; then, browse the store and click on the “add to chrome” link to install it in Microsoft Edge.

Tip 2: Configure Tracking Prevention

edge tracking prevention

The Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser supports a tracking prevention feature that works similarly to Mozilla Firefox’s Tracking Protection feature. The default level is set to balanced which aims to strike a balance between protecting privacy and making sure that sites continue to work.

Edge users may configure Tracking Prevention by loading edge://settings/privacy in the browser’s address bar. There it is possible to switch to Basic or Strict levels; the former allows more trackers and may improve compatibility, the latter blocks even more but some sites may not work properly anymore.

Options to look at the list of blocked trackers and to add sites to the list of exceptions are provided as well.

Tip 3: Other Privacy enhancements

edge block cookies

While we are at it, Edge comes with additional privacy settings that you may want to go over on first run to make sure that they are set to your satisfaction.

Load edge://settings/privacy again as a start.

  • Configure the data that you want cleared when Edge exits.
  • Disable “Allow sites to check if you have payment info saved”.
  • Disable (if enabled) the “Help improve Microsoft Edge” Telemetry settings.

Load edge://settings/content next.

  • Select Cookies and site data. There you find an option to block third-party cookies.

Tip 4: Disable notifications

edge notifications

If you dislike notification prompts that many sites display the moment you open them, and don’t use notifications at all, you may want to consider disabling these entirely in Edge. You could alternatively allow them for select sites.

  1. Load edge://settings/content/notifications in the web browser’s address bar.
  2. Toggle “ask before sending” to off to block notifications.

Tip 5: Customize the New Tab Page

edge new tab page

You can customize the New Tab Page of the Edge browser. Just open the page and activate the settings icon to get started.

Microsoft Edge supports three designs — focused, inspiration and informational — as well as a custom option. You may set the language on the page and if you select custom, disable some of the elements (quick links, image of the day and content) on the page.

An option to display a blank page is not available but you can install the Blank Tab extension for Edge to make it blank.

Tip 6: Immersive Reader improves the readability of articles

edge immersive reader

Microsoft Edge comes with its own readability module that converts articles on the Web to a format that improves readability. It removes most page elements such as advertisement, menus, or comments, and changes the formatting of text and other formatting options when activate.

To use it, just click on the Immersive Reader icon in the Edge address bar when the article that you want to convert is active in the browser.

Tip 7: Improve security by disabling automatic downloads

edge safer downloads

Edge downloads files automatically to the main Downloads location if you run the web browser on Windows. It may be a good idea to disable the automatic downloading by enabling the download dialog that is displayed by the browser when downloads are initiated.

  1. Load edge://settings/downloads in the browser’s address bar to get started.
  2. There you need to enable “Ask where to save each file before downloading” to prevent automatic downloads. You may also change the default download location on the page.

Tip 8: Experiments

edge experiments

Microsoft Edge supports experiments just like Google Chrome. You may want to go through them every now and then to find out what is new and to make configuration changes.

These experiments may be integrated natively in the browser one day or may be removed without further notice. They are used, for the most part, to test features that are need more testing before they are launched for all users.

Just load the edge://flags/ address in the address bar to get started.

Tip 9: Task Manager

ege task manager

Microsoft Edge , just like Google Chrome, comes with a Task Manager that you may run at any time in the browser to display memory, cpu and network use of processes.

It can be helpful in determining the sites or processes that use the most memory or CPU. You may use it to end certain processes as well.

Tip 10: Read Aloud

edge read aloud

Microsoft Edge may read aloud any webpage that you visit. To use the feature, load the webpage first and select Menu > Read Aloud afterwards.

A click on voice options displays settings to change the voice and the speed. Note that Edge will read anything that is readable on the page by default; it is usually a good idea to switch to the immersive reader first before using the read aloud feature.

Now You: Got anything to add? Let us know in the comments below.

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10 Tips to get started with the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser

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10 Tips to get started with the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser

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Here are ten tips to get you started with the new Microsoft Edge web browser that is based on Chromium.

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Martin Brinkmann

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Ghacks Technology News

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New soft, stretchable battery can safely power wearables – TechRepublic

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The battery, developed at Stanford University, uses a special plastic to store power more safely than conventional batteries.

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Researchers David Mackanic, Xuzhou Yan, Yi Cui, and Zhenan Bao from Stanford University’s engineering school have created a soft, stretchable battery prototype for wearables. The new type of battery relies on a unique plastic to store power in a safer manner, compared to the flammable materials used in conventional batteries, according to a Stanford Engineering Magazine article.

SEE: Apple Watch Series 5: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The use of polymers, or plastics, is not new, according to the magazine article; however, some previous polymers existed as flowable gels that could sometimes leak or burst into flame.  

The new battery is ideal for use in wearables, such as smartwatches, because it’s soft and flexible. 

“Current batteries are stiff and rigid, making them non-conformable to the human body. This means the batteries must be small in order to not cause discomfort,” said David Mackanic, one of the project’s researchers. 

“Additionally, our battery uses a polymer electrolyte, which is safer than the liquid electrolyte currently used for many wearable batteries. Our battery’s electrolyte is safer because it is less combustible and flammable, and won’t leak,” Mackanic said.

Outlined further in the Nature Communications scientific journal, even though it is constructed differently, the battery can still carry an electric charge between battery poles.

In the testing lab, the experimental battery kept consistent power output even when it was folded, squeezed, and stretched to almost twice its original length. 

The battery is thumbnail-sized and is able to store approximately half as much energy as a similar sized traditional battery, according to the Stanford magazine.

What can the battery be used in? 

“We are still experimenting with new ways to incorporate our battery into wearable electronics. This battery could be integrated into things like wristbands for smartwatches, allowing the actual smartwatch to be thinner and more comfortable,” Mackanic said. “These batteries could also be incorporated comfortably into clothing, providing a power source for smart textiles.” 

While this battery is undoubtedly impressive, it only holds half the power of a traditional battery, which is a serious limiting factor, said Ramon Llamas, research director of mobile devices at International Data Corporation. 

While Mackanic said this battery could be used in smartwatches, hearing aids, smart glasses, smart textiles, footwear, on-body health monitoring patches, and more, Llamas noted that most wearables don’t necessarily need a stretchable battery to begin with, especially on systems like fitness trackers or smartwatches. 

The most practical use case currently, based on the battery’s size, would be in disposable heart rate monitors. People typically wear heart rate monitors for approximately 24 hours before disposing of them. Stretchable batteries would be great for this application since they are flexible, Llamas said. 

However, Mackanic indicated that future versions of the stretchable battery could be bigger, allowing for more advanced use cases. 

“Right now, the energy density of our battery is lower than conventional lithium-ion batteries,” Mackanic said. 

However, since the battery is so flexible, future prototypes can be made bigger, allowing for more power and battery life, without losing comfort, Mackanic said.  

The battery is still being refined and going through the manufacturing process, after which the battery will undergo advanced safety testing. For now, the battery remains a prototype. 

Mackanic said it would likely be between 12 and 18 months until they can provide completely certified test batteries to manufacturers. 

For more, check out How wearable devices and sensors could make some of the most dangerous jobs safer on TechRepublic. 

Also see 

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A New Stretchable Battery Can Power Wearable Electronics – Lab Manager Magazine

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[embedded content]

People flex and bend. Too bad their gadgets can’t. Now an experimental battery described in the Nov. 26 edition of Nature Communications promises to do just that. Shown here powering a tiny light, the soft battery maintained a constant power output even when stretched to nearly two times its original length. In laboratory tests it also provided consistent power when squeezed, folded, and stretched multiple times. A team led by graduate student David Mackanic, in the lab of Stanford chemical engineer Zhenan Bao, is currently refining its design to generate more power and to prove that the technology can work outside the lab. BAO LAB, STANFORD ENGINEERING

Electronics are showing up everywhere: on our laps, in pockets and purses and, increasingly, snuggled up against our skin or sewed into our clothing.

But the adoption of wearable electronics has so far been limited by their need to derive power from bulky, rigid batteries that reduce comfort and may present safety hazards due to chemical leakage or combustion.

Now Stanford University researchers have developed a soft and stretchable battery that relies on a special type of plastic to store power more safely than the flammable formulations used in conventional batteries today.


Related Article: Engineers Use Heat-Free Tech for Flexible Electronics; Print Metal on Flowers, Gelatin


“Until now we haven’t had a power source that could stretch and bend the way our bodies do, so that we can design electronics that people can comfortably wear,” said chemical engineer Zhenan Bao, who teamed up with materials scientist Yi Cui to develop the device they describe in the Nov. 26 edition of Nature Communications.

The use of plastics, or polymers, in batteries is not new. For some time, lithium ion batteries have used polymers as electrolytes—the energy source that transports negative ions to the battery’s positive pole. Until now, however, those polymer electrolytes have been flowable gels that could, in some cases, leak or burst into flame.

To avoid such risks, the Stanford researchers developed a polymer that is solid and stretchable rather than gooey and potentially leaky, and yet still carries an electric charge between the battery’s poles. In lab tests the experimental battery maintained a constant power output even when squeezed, folded, and stretched to nearly twice its original length.

The prototype is thumbnail-sized and stores roughly half as much energy, ounce for ounce, as a comparably sized conventional battery. Graduate student David Mackanic said the team is working to increase the stretchable battery’s energy density, build larger versions of the device and run future experiments to demonstrate its performance outside the lab. One potential application for such a device would be to power stretchable sensors designed to stick to the skin to monitor heart rate and other vital signs as part of the BodyNet wearable technology being developed in Bao’s lab.

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Plague Inc. dev advises that game doesn’t represent coronavirus – MSPoweruser

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In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in China, Plague Inc. developer Ndemic Creations has politely reminded fans that the game isn’t a “scientific model” and isn’t a representation of how the virus will work.

A statement posted to the Ndemic Creations website says that while Plague Inc. is designed to be “realistic and informative,” it’s also designed to not sensationalise “serious real-world issues” and that the coronavirus is a “very real situation.”

You can read the company’s statement in its entirety below.

The Coronavirus outbreak in China is deeply concerning and we’ve received a lot of questions from players and the media.

Plague Inc. has been out for eight years now and whenever there is an outbreak of disease we see an increase in players, as people seek to find out more about how diseases spread and to understand the complexities of viral outbreaks.

We specifically designed the game to be realistic and informative, while not sensationalising serious real-world issues. This has been recognised by the CDC and other leading medical organisations around the world.

However, please remember that Plague Inc. is a game, not a scientific model and that the current coronavirus outbreak is a very real situation which is impacting a huge number of people. We would always recommend that players get their information directly from local and global health authorities.

The company also provided links to fans looking to find out more about the CDC and Plague Inc. and for those looking for more information on the coronavirus outbreak.

While you can always enjoy Plague Inc. as a fun and informative apocalypse simulator, just bear in mind that the coronavirus outbreak is very real and very dangerous and not something to be joked about.

You can help prevent yourself catching some illnesses by using safe hygiene practices. These include things like frequently washing your hands with soap and water, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing and immediately sanitising your hands after, avoiding close contact with those who are sick, and by ensuring you cook all your food properly.

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