Microsoft

Microsoft refused to sell facial recognition tech to law enforcement

The company leading the charge on protecting civil rights from technological abuse is… Microsoft?! Microsoft President Brad Smith delivered some surprisingly principled news about his company while speaking at Stanford University on Tuesday. Recently, Smith said that Microsoft declined to sell its facial recognition technology to both a California law enforcement agency and an unnamed…


The company leading the charge on protecting civil rights from technological abuse is… Microsoft?!

Microsoft President Brad Smith delivered some surprisingly principled news about his company while speaking at Stanford University on Tuesday. Recently, Smith said that Microsoft declined to sell its facial recognition technology to both a California law enforcement agency and an unnamed capital city because of human rights concerns, according to Reuters. 

That’s in contrast to Amazon, which defends its contracts with law enforcement agencies that use its Rekognition software, and has sought to discredit an ACLU study that showed racial bias in Rekognition. The ACLU study and others have found that facial recognition AI is less accurate at identifying women and minorities than white men. Because of this bias, Smith said that use by law enforcement could disproportionately harm these groups. 

“Anytime they pulled anyone over, they wanted to run a face scan,” Smith said. “We said this technology is not your answer.”

“Anytim

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Microsoft

‘Blair Witch’ brings a new vision to the series on Xbox, and it includes a dog

Remember The Blair Witch Project, that viral horror sensation that made waves before social media was even a thing? Well, it’s back. And it’s an Xbox game. Microsoft debuted a first look trailer for Blair Witch during its annual E3 press conference, and it’s coming from Layers of Fear developer Bloober. We don’t know much.…


RememberThe Blair Witch Project, that viral horror sensation that made waves before social media was even a thing? Well, it’s back. And it’s an Xbox game.

Microsoft debuted a first look trailer forBlair Witchduring its annual E3 press conference, and it’s coming fromLayers of Feardeveloper Bloober. We don’t know much. It returns you to the Black Hills Forest, the site of the movie. There’s a camcorder. Also, a dog. 

I fear for that dog. My heart already worries for what’s going to happen there. Here’s what Bloober has to say about the game:

It’s 1996. A young boy disappears in the Black Hills Forest near Burkittsville, Maryland. As Ellis, a former police officer with a troubled past, you join the search. What starts as an ordinary investigation soon turns into an endless nightmare as you confront your fears and the Blair Witch, a mysterious force that haunts the woods… 

Uploads%252fstory%252fthumbnail%252f98057%252f15b2406e c7de 4514 bdcb 59cef7aab730.jpg%252f410x230  filters%253aquality%252880%2529.jpg?signature=3yuognqw635z2mqnxs44lyzfh3s=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonawsOf course there’s a deepfake of Jon Snow apologizing for Season 8 of ‘Game of Thrones’

Uploads%252fstory%252fthumbnail%252f98066%252f06104d6a d5dd 4e1c 913f af33c058afb8.jpg%252f410x230  filters%253aquality%252880%2529.jpg?signature=s3ogsw6eugxffnprboj4rmx81sa=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonawsTaylor Swift’s new music video is packed full of glorious celebrity cameos

Uploads%252fstory%252fthumbnail%252f98061%252ff5baa9c6 9dd9 462d 95ca 738abb716d91.png%252f410x230  filters%253aquality%252880%2529.png?signature=zvde zfhu1zxcxpiqh83vscksgi=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonawsJohn Oliver breaks down exactly what it would mean if Trump got impeached

Uploads%252fstory%252fthumbnail%252f98002%252f551f5598 5b0b 4610 a86d fec37a01cfe8.jpg%252f410x230  filters%253aquality%252880%2529.jpg?signature=fjlvtrjhp4hdbmgaphh i9m1yvc=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonawsMandy Patinkin, Lena Headey, and more thank refugees in this video

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Microsoft

Samsung is developing its own blockchain network, report claims

Samsung is developing a blockchain network and — potentially — a cryptocurrency token called “Samsung Coin.” This is according to a report by CoinDesk Korea, which cites an unnamed company official familiar with “Samsung’s internal situation.” SEE ALSO: Elon Musk says Dogecoin is his favorite cryptocurrency Details are scarce, and nothing is confirmed, but the…


Samsung is developing a blockchain network and — potentially — a cryptocurrency token called “Samsung Coin.”

This is according to a report by CoinDesk Korea, which cites an unnamed company official familiar with “Samsung’s internal situation.”

Details are scarce, and nothing is confirmed, but the blockchain network could either be public or hybrid — a combination of public and private blockchains. 

One important detail: This blockchain network will reportedly be based on Ethereum, a popular smart contract platform which makes it fairly easy to deploy your own cryptocurrency token. 

Once the blockchain development is finalized

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Microsoft

Microsoft’s Bing blocked in China

Microsoft-owned search engine Bing has been blocked in China. “We’ve confirmed that Bing is currently inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Mashable. The news was first reported by the Financial Times. Chinese state-owned telecommunications operator China Unicom told one of the FT’s “two sources familiar with the…


Microsoft-owned search engine Bing has been blocked in China.

“We’ve confirmed that Bing is currently inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Mashable.

The news was first reported by theFinancial Times. Chinese state-owned telecommunications operator China Unicom told one of the FT’s “two sources familiar with the matter” that Bing had been blocked after a government order.  

Chinese mainland users had reportedly posted on social media about their inability to access Bing’s cn.bing.com, while those outside the country could still access it (we could load the page in Australia and the U.S.). 

Bing's China homepage is not accessible within mainland China.

Bing’s China homepage is not accessible within mainland China.

Image: Mashable screenshot

According to the FT, attempts to access the site in China resulted in a “connection error,” in which Chinese nameservers could not retrieve the IP address of Bing’s China site.

“This form of nameserver corruption has been often used by the Chinese government to block platforms,” read the report.

The move would make Microsoft the latest U.S

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Microsoft

7 of the best laptop brands of 2019

To survive in today’s world, a laptop is almost a necessity. Whether you’re a contractor using a 2-in-1 to show off floor plans or a college student who needs a Chromebook for class, they make life that much easier.  But with all the name brands offering every laptop you could possibly imagine, how could you…


To survive in today’s world, a laptop is almost a necessity. Whether you’re a contractor using a 2-in-1 to show off floor plans or a college student who needs a Chromebook for class, they make life that much easier. 

But with all the name brands offering every laptop you could possibly imagine, how could you possibly know the best ones to shop from?

At first glance, that’s not an easy question to answer since there are laptops capable of doing everything you could possibly want or need. It can be even harder when trying to separate them by brand and trying to find out what advantages some companies offer over others.

Luckily, we’re here to help make that search a little easier. From reviews, body design, brand alternatives, and more, we’ve figured out the best laptop brands to shop from in 2019. 

Best reviewed

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Image: Lenovo
The Good

Excellent reviews across the board • Wide selection of laptops

The Bad

Poor customer support

The Bottom Line

With a huge selection of laptops, Lenovo is the brand to lean on for consistently positive reviews.

1. Lenovo

While you wouldn’t think it, Lenovo is the brand to check out if you’re looking for some of the best reviewed laptops out there.

  • Popular line:ThinkPad
  • Chromebooks available:No
  • 2-in-1s available:Yes
  • Available at:Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy
$1,759 from Amazon
A laptop could look like the best thing ever on paper, but if it’s poorly reviewed, that could be the kiss of death. Positive reviews, especially when it comes to laptops, are still the best barometer to go by when looking for a new device. And for 2019, no brand has been as well reviewed as Lenovo.
At first glance, you may find it surprising that Lenovo is the best reviewed laptop brand, especially when put up against other names like Apple or HP. While these aren’t poorly reviewed, it’s simply the fact that, laptop to laptop, Lenovo keeps a level of consistency across its products that contribute to those positive reviews.
The ThinkPad line is Lenovo’s go-to line of laptops for anyone looking for an excellent, well-rounded laptop like the T470. The biggest reasons for this is a sturdy design and build quality, fast performance under the hood, and an excellent battery life. The X1 Carbon reviewed extremely well across the board, too, from the likes of CNET, PCMag, and LaptopMag. Common praises went to the Carbon’s thin design and battery life, among other features.
Those are just two examples of the positive reviews Lenovo laptops have received in 2018. On the whole, Lenovo has kept a level consistency that has been reflected in those positive reviews, and if that matters in finding your perfect laptop in 2019, Lenovo is a go to choice.

Best customer support

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Image: apple
The Good

Excellent customer service • macOS offers smooth performance

The Bad

No major changes to hardware • Limited choice

The Bottom Line

Customer support can make or break someone’s experience, and no one does it better with laptops than Apple.

2. Apple

Apple doesn’t just offer premium laptops, but premium customer service as well to ensure those MacBooks keep going.

  • Popular line:MacBook
  • Chromebooks available:No
  • 2-in-1s available:No
  • Available at:Amazon, Best Buy
$2,799 from Amazon
As great as modern technology is, we still haven’t reached a point where everything works 100% of the time (and we probably never will). That’s why it’s important to have good customer support to keep the user base happy. And no company does that better right now than Apple.
In a way, it’s almost a necessity for Apple to invest in its customer support given the quality of their products. That doesn’t mean the 2018 MacBook is low quality, it’s the opposite. Because Apple products are of a certain quality, it only makes sense customers would expect the same of its customer support.
Thankfully, Apple consistently lives up to its user’ expectations. Agents respond quickly to questions about functions or possible difficulties, whether it be on the Apple website or social media. If you need to get your MacBook serviced, you can take it to the closest Apple store to get it  checked out. That kind of boots on the ground support is practically unrivaled in this space.
And if you have AppleCare+, accidental damage is covered for those drops and cracks. There will be repair fees, but it’s still better than dropping another $2,800 on a new MacBook Pro.
Customer support can make or break most people’s experiences with a company, though it’s true you tend to hear more about negative experiences than positive ones. Thankfully, Apple has been able to stay on the opposite side of that, so if you need your MacBook checked out, you’ll be in good hands.

Best for gaming

Uploads%252fcard%252fimage%252f845910%252ff2b46ea8 42e4 49c2 9f41 c67fae85dd03.jpg%252f480x0.jpg?signature=u9juv1jhpobko7jvkvnvncmb6cq=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws

Image: razer
The Good

High-end gaming on the go • Surprisingly thin design

The Bad

Extremely limited choice

The Bottom Line

Razer offers desktop power in a thin, laptop body for any gamers on the go.

3. Razer

When it comes to PC gaming, Razer is a premiere name offering premium laptops.

  • Popular line:Blade
  • Chromebooks available:No
  • 2-in-1s available:No
  • Available at:Amazon, Best Buy
$1,499 from Amazon
When it comes to PC gaming, the right name does make a difference. Sure, companies like Asus might offer their own gaming laptops, but in this space, there might be no better name than Razer.
Started in 2005, Razer broke into PC gaming with the Boomslang mouse and it was off to the races. Today, Razer peripherals are among the best products you can get to fill out a gaming setup. Whether it’s a mouse with high DPI for movement, a mechanical keyboard with mechanical switches for faster input, or a THX-infused surround sound headset, you can find some of the best accessories on the market from this company.
In the last few years, Razer also expanded into gaming laptops with the Razer Blade line. As opposed to other gaming laptops that lean on the bulkier side, Razer has been able to pack plenty of power into extremely slim bodies. 
The model that captures this best is the 4K version of Razer Blade Pro 17. Packing a GeForce GTX 1080 and Intel Core i7 processor, it isn’t lacking for power in any way. And since it’s VR ready, you’ll finally be able to get yourself an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. There’s also the Razer Blade Stealth for anyone who doesn’t have the dime to drop on the Blade Pro 17. Just keep in mind, af

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