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Spotify challenges Apple Music’s superior playlists with Discover Weekly

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Apple Music has garnered some decidedly mixed reviews, but one thing every critic can agree on: The streaming service’s daily recommendations of human-curated playlists are undeniably awesome.

But not so fast, says Spotify. The top streaming service is now using algorithms to serve up a personalized playlist, Discover Weekly, to prove it knows you at least as well as Apple Music—and maybe better.

I put my Spotify membership on hold to give Apple Music’s free three-month trial a shot, but I still haven’t decided which service deserves my allegiance. I love Apple Music’s playlists, especially the constantly changing ones it recommends to me in the app’s For You tab. Spotify understands that it’s not enough to offer the same streaming library every other service has, and it continues to prove it’s a serious contender for the streaming service to beat with new features like podcasts, original videos, and playlist recommendations pegged to time of day and activity. Discover Weekly is another win.

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Microsoft Visual Studio understands a world beyond Windows

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Once devoted chiefly to developing desktop and server Windows applications, the Microsoft Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE) is increasingly resembling a Swiss Army Knife, able to support myriad computing platforms, languages and runtime environments.

Visual Studio 2015, released Monday, provides a way for a developer to write a single application to run across multiple Windows platforms, such as mobile, desktop and even Microsoft’s experimental HoloLens environment. It even provides a way to build applications that don’t run on Windows computers at all, but instead run on iOS devices or as Web applications in the cloud.

The update also comes with hundreds of new features, many focusing on debugging, diagnostics, code editing and refactoring.

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Cyberspies love exploits from Hacking Team leak

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The leaked files from surveillance software maker Hacking Team have proven to be a great resource for cyberespionage groups, which have used at least two Flash Player exploits from the company’s arsenal.

Last Tuesday, security researchers from security firm FireEye detected targeted attacks against organizations in Japan, with the attackers using an exploit for CVE-2015-5122, a Flash Player vulnerability patched by Adobe Systems that same day.

The vulnerability was publicly known before that date because an exploit for it was found in the 400GB data cache recently leaked by a hacker from Milan-based Hacking Team.

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Microsoft says Windows 10 will get security fixes for 10 years

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Back in January, Microsoft first stated that Windows 10 would be free for the “supported lifetime of the device” you install it on. That wording caused some confusion: What the heck is a device’s “supported lifetime,” anyway? But we’re now getting a better idea of what you can expect in terms of Windows 10 support.

According to an updated support document published to Microsoft’s site, the company will offer “mainstream support” for Windows 10 through October 13, 2020, and “extended support” (that is, how long you can expect Microsoft to issue Windows 10 security fixes) through October 14, 2025.

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Google Capital likes CrowdStrike for endpoint protection

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Next-gen endpoint protection vendor CrowdStrike has landed $100 million in new investments to beef up sales and engineering and continue its push to make anti-virus software obsolete.

The company will hire at least another 70 people to boost its engineering staff as well as expand its operations outside North America. The company has about 210 employees now, says CEO George Kurtz.

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The new funding pushes total investment in the company to $156 million and makes it the first security company that Google Capital has invested in. Also participating in this C Round of funding is Rackspace, Accel Partners and Warburg Pincus.

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Oops! Cortana for Android leaks out early

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If you’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Cortana for Android, today’s you’re lucky day. According to Finnish tech site SuomiMobiili (via Unofficial Microsoft News), a prerelease build of Microsoft’s digital assistant for Google’s mobile OS leaked out Friday and has been illicitly made available for download.

Unofficial Microsoft News says the leaked build is “functional” and that it has all the features you can expect from Cortana on Windows 10, so it would seem to be a pretty direct port of the software. 

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First Windows 10 ad uses adorable babies to push Hello, Cortana, and Edge

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In Microsoft’s first Windows 10 ad, there aren’t any clicks or clacks or dancing cheerleaders—or, really, that much Windows.

Microsoft released the first Windows 10 ad via YouTube on Sunday night, featuring a host of cute kids from around the world. The message: The rather vanilla “the future starts now.”

 

 It’s a soft approach to a product that Microsoft seems to expect will change the world, if not transform the company. Windows is shown for about seven seconds, with a quick montage of Hello, the Start menu, the Edge browser, and Cortana. Instead of showing how any of the Windows 10 technologies work, however, Microsoft chose to explain how a new generation will grow up with what Windows 10 embodies: touchscreens, the disappearance of passwords (Windows Hello), a digital assistant who talks to you (Cortana), and more. 

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Retina MacBook still constrained by shipping delays

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More than three months after its on-sales debut, Apple’s Retina-equipped MacBook laptop still remains in short supply, with orders delayed two to three weeks before shipping, according to the company’s website.
Apple introduced the MacBook March 9 …

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Mozilla to focus on minimizing desertions to Edge with new Windows 10 Firefox

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Mozilla plans a campaign to stop or slow desertions from Firefox to Windows 10’s new Edge browser because the OS’s express setup changes previous defaults to Edge during an upgrade, according to published documents.
The open-source developer has al…

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The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Monday, July 20

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Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S2 is thinnest and lightest yet

Samsung said Monday that its new Android tablets go on sale next month and the lighter, trimmed down products will offer consumers an alternative to Apple’s iPad Air 2. There are 9.7-inch and 8-inch models with a 2048 by 1536 pixel Super AMOLED screen; both come with a fingerprint scanner, along with Samsung’s eight-core chip, which has two quad-core processors, one running at 1.9GHz, the other at 1.3 GHz.

Some drones deliver medicine, others interfere with firefighters

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