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Windows 10 is getting refreshed Intel microcode and compatibility update – WindowsLatest

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On the security front, Microsoft has started rolling out a new batch of microcode updates for Windows 10 which mitigate against the new vulnerability in the processors.

Microsoft says the Intel microcode updates will download and install automatically via Windows Update when necessary and if your device is supported.

Microsoft first released Intel’s microcode updates to Windows 10 users back in March 2018, to improve the security for those using Intel hardware. The microcode updates also offered fixes for devices that should have received CPU patches from hardware manufacturers.

If you use Windows 10 version 2004, you’ll be getting KB4558130. Likewise, for those still using version 1909 or 1903, they’ll be getting KB4497165 instead.

Here’s the complete list of the microcode updates for all versions of Windows 10.

  • KB4494174 for version 1809.
  • KB4494451 for version 1803.
  • KB4494452 for version 1709.
  • KB4494453 for version 1703.
  • KB4494175 for version 1607.
  • KB4494454 for other versions of Windows 10.

Obviously, it’s good to see these sort of updates pushed forward by Microsoft whenever a new threat pops up. While the security updates are important, Intel’s microcode updates have caused stability issues with some older processors in past, including an issue that was plaguing users with Windows reboot issues.

You should install these updates only when they’re offered via Windows Update. A forced manual installation is not recommended even if you think your device is compatible.

Compatibility update for Windows 10 version 2004

Microsoft has also started rolling out another “compatibility update” for Windows 10 May 2020 Update or older. The exact purpose of this update isn’t very clear, but Microsoft states that it would make improvements to ease the upgrade experience.

Presumably, this update will prepare for your device for both May 2020 Update and future releases, such as version 20H2.

The update is listed as KB4577588 on Windows Update and is rolling out to some devices right now. This patch is downloaded and installed automatically when Microsoft believes your device is ready.

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Chromecast with Google TV vs the "old" Chromecast series – Android Authority

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Google Chromecast with Google TV on table straight downGoogle Chromecast with Google TV on table straight down

In 2013, Google launched the first version of its Chromecast TV dongle. It was designed to cast smartphone apps, including video streaming apps, to big-screen televisions. Seven years later, the market for streaming TV apps has changed, and Google is changing with it. Today, it officially announced Chromecast with Google TV.

So what are the similarities and the differences of Chromecast with Google TV vs Chromecast? Good question.  As you will see, the original Chromecast is still very useful. However, the new Chromecast with Google TV offers a lot more, and it’s not that much more expensive.

Read more: Best video streaming devices

Chromecast with Google TV vs Chromecast: Features

Third-gen ChromecastThird-gen Chromecast

Back in 2013, smart televisions were still something of a novelty. The first Chromecast allowed TV owners to quickly turn it into a smart television, and inexpensively. If you had a smartphone, and your apps supported Chromecast, you could connect the dongle to your TV’s HMDI port. Then you could cast and watch movies, play games, and more from your phone to your TV.

Later versions of Chromecast did basically the same thing as the original. However, the current third-generation Chromecast streamed smartphone content at 1080p resolution. The more expensive Chromecast Ultra. which launched in 2016, increased the streaming resolution to 4K. It also added support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision video formats and an Ethernet port. It also allowed users to stream high-end PC and console games to their TV via the Google Stadia service.

Google Chromecast with Google TV on table style photoGoogle Chromecast with Google TV on table style photo

The new Chromecast with Google TV is a very different device. While it can still cast smartphone apps to your TV, it has Android TV built-in as well. That means you can watch streaming TV and apps directly, with no smartphone required. It comes with its own hardware remote for controlling those apps. It also supports Google Assistant to control apps with your voice, again via the remote.

Google Chromecast with Google TV for you tabGoogle Chromecast with Google TV for you tab

In fact, for this product, Google has installed a new UI on top of Android TV. That’s where the “Google TV” part of the brand comes in. It allows you to watch movies and TV shows across several streaming apps and services on one screen, rather than switching between apps. It’s very similar to what you will find on the Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV apps. The device supports up to 4k resolution, along with HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision video formats.

Read more: Google TV – All you need to know

Unfortunately, the new Chromecast with Google TV does not yet support the Google Stadia game streaming service. That support is supposed to be added sometime in 2021. If you want Stadia gaming on your big-screen TV right now, you need to either keep or purchase the Chromecast Ultra.

One other minor addition to Chromecast with Google TV are color choices. You have snow, sunrise, and sky colors to pick from.

Chromecast with Google TV vs Chromecast: Price

The current third-generation Chromecast is available for $29.99, while the Chromecast Ultra is priced at $69. The Chromecast with Google TV is on sale now in the US for $49.99.

Which one should you buy?

If you own a 1080p TV, and want an inexpensive way to stream video and other content on your television, the regular Chromecast is your best best. If you want to try out Stadia game streaming, get the Chromecast Ultra. However, if you have a 4K television, and want a better movie and TV show streaming experience without the need for a smartphone, Chromecast with Google TV is a must.

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Trudeau to resume briefings after his national address boosted downloads of COVID Alert app – iPolitics.ca

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is planning to resume regular briefings similar to those he held early in the pandemic after a plea he made to Canadians during his national address led to a significant bump in the number of downloads of the COVID Alert app.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), COVID Alert had been downloaded 2.75 million times by last Tuesday, the day before the throne speech, which Trudeau followed with a national address that was broadcasted by each of the country’s major television networks.

During Trudeau’s address — which critics said failed to focus on the severity of the second wave of COVID-19 in favour of highlighting the government’s just-revealed agenda — the prime minister drew attention to the notification cellphone app, while talking about how Canada can contain the pandemic.

“In the spring, we all did our part by staying home,” Trudeau said. “And this fall, we have even more tools in the toolbox. People are wearing masks. That’s critical. So keep it up.

“We’ve got the COVID Alert app. Take the teacher who felt fine, but she gets a positive (test result) after the app warned her she’d been exposed. COVID Alert meant she went home instead of the classroom.

“It’s a powerful, free tool that’s easy to use and protects your privacy,” he continued. “So if you haven’t already, download it off the App Store or Google Play. It’s one more way to keep ourselves and others safe.”

Searches of “COVID Alert” spiked on Google immediately after the prime minister’s address. Google Play statistics provided to iPolitics by the PMO show that downloads of COVID Alert also soared immediately after the prime minister’s address.

Between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. last Wednesday, about 15,000 people downloaded COVID Alert onto Android phones alone.

Higher-than-usual download rates continued throughout the evening, as well.

From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., it was downloaded close to 8,000 times on Androids, and between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., it was downloaded about 5,000 times.

By Friday, the app had been downloaded 2.91 million times.

Responding to the bump in downloads, which the government hopes to replicate to counter the spike in COVID-19 cases, specially in Ontario and Quebec, Trudeau will resume the semi-regular updates he made from Rideau Cottage in the pandemic’s early days.

With the House of Commons sitting again, Trudeau likely won’t hold the briefings outside his home, a senior source in the PMO told iPolitics. While a schedule hasn’t been set in stone, the PMO envisions Trudeau resuming regular briefings “at the very least” once per week.

Federal officials have been tirelessly trying to convince Canadians to download the COVID Alert app since it was released at the end of July.

READ MORE: Canada’s COVID-19 ‘exposure notification’ app launches in Ontario and won’t track location data

COVID Alert does not force users to surrender any personal information and doesn’t track users’ locations.

It relies on Bluetooth technology to exchange randomized codes with other phones that users are close to. Although the app is available across Canada, to function, it relies on users inputting single-use key codes when they test positive for COVID-19. That way, their phone automatically alerts anyone they encountered to the possibility of exposure to COVID-19.

Provincial health authorities are responsible for delivering codes to people who test positive for the coronavirus. So far, only users in Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador are able to report a diagnosis in the app.

Quebec’s government has spent weeks very publicly rejecting COVID Alert, insisting it wants a made-in-Quebec application instead. That stance shifted on Monday.

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé said Quebec would likely adopt COVID Alert in “a matter of days.”

Speaking to reporters again on Tuesday, Dubé said his Ontario counterpart told him she was “not totally satisfied” with how many people were using (or not using) the app.

While Dubé said his government plans to talk to opposition parties about beginning to use the app, he said, “The straight answer is: Yes, we will have the application.”

Quebec Premier François Legault also said the province will launch an advertising campaign to encourage people to download COVID Alert.

With files from Kevin Dougherty and Janet Silver.

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How to get a free pair of Bose QC 35 II with your Pixel 5 or 4a 5G – Android Authority

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Bose QuietComfort II headphones resting against an open notebook.Bose QuietComfort II headphones resting against an open notebook.

Bose and Google teamed up to promote the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, one the best noise-cancelling headsets you can buy. Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G pre-orders include a free pair of Bose QC 35 II headphones, but this promotion is limited to certain regions.

Anyone pre-ordering the Pixel 5 may take advantage of this offer from September 30 through October 19 at 11:59 p.m. BST. Pixel 4a 5G pre-orders must be made from November 5 through November 18 at 11:59 p.m. BST in order to snag a pair of free Bose QC 35 II headphones. Residents must be 18 or older and reside in the UK, Ireland, Germany, or France to take advantage of this offer. This offer is only good while supplies last.

How to get your free Bose QC 35 II

Google Pixel 5 Google’s first 5G smartphone

The Google Pixel 5 may not be the high-end Pixel we were expecting, but it’s a pretty compelling mid-range option. Google is going back to basics with the Pixel 5, ditching higher-end features like face recognition and the quirky Motion Sense gestures.

Go to the Google Store, or any participating retailer, and purchase your Pixel 5 or Pixel 4 5G between the specified date and times above. Then, you must wait 14 days from your order before submitting a claim for the Bose noise-cancelling headphones. Once the waiting period ends, you may submit a claim for your free headphones, but it must be done within 45 days of the original purchase date. This means that you have up to 31 days to submit your claim.

You must provide the Google with the following information:

  • Order date
  • Retailer
  • IMEI number and other product information
  • Personal details
  • Proof of purchase

Opia, a Google partner, will then validate the information and process the claim. If all is well, your claim will be approved within two business days, and you’ll receive your free Bose QC 35 II headphones within 50 days of claim validation.

Google Pixel 4a 5G Affordable 5G, Google-style

Pixel 4a 5G is a value-oriented phone made for people who don’t want or need a flashy high-end phone. Like the Pixel 4a, the 4a 5G model’s strong points are its cameras, smooth software, and rock-solid update policy.

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