Hands-On Microsoft's Canceled Andromeda OS

Windows Central got their hands on a pre-release build of Microsoft's canceled Andromeda OS running on a Lumia 950. As noted in the article, "Andromeda OS was never intended to ship on the Lumia 950, or any Windows phone on the market at that time." They're using a 950 because Microsofted used them to help develop Andromeda OS internally. Also worth mentioning is the fact that Andromeda OS is no longer in development. Android is the OS that will be powering future Microsoft devices, such as the future Surface Duo devices. Here's an excerpt from the report: Microsoft decided to do something rather unique with Andromeda OS, and build out OS experience around a journaling/inking experience. On the lockscreen, the user is able to begin taking notes directly onto the lockscreen UI just by putting pen to screen. You don't have to initiate a special mode, or enter an app first, just take your Surface Pen and begin writing, and the lockscreen will store that ink for you to see every time you unlock your device. [...] Unlocking the device would take you to your home screen, which on Andromeda OS is another inking canvas. This canvas is called the Journal (though this later became the Microsoft Whiteboard app) which acted as a digital notebook with the ability to take notes with a pen, add sticky notes, insert images and 3D objects, and more. The Journal experience would always be running in the background, with your phone apps running above it. Andromeda OS was also gesture based. The on-screen Start and Cortana buttons would disappear when opening an app to provide a full-screen experience, so to access those areas, you'd swipe in from the left for Start, and from the right for Cortana, which is also where your notifications were stored. Yes, Cortana and your Notifications were one of the same on Andromeda OS, with Cortana becoming your "manager" of notifications missed or stored for dealing with later. A swipe down from the top would reveal the Control Center, which is feature that's now shipping on Windows 11, but started life here on Andromeda OS. Feature-wise, it's exactly the same, with the ability to control things like Wi-Fi, brightness, volume, and music playback. It also features Fluent Design acrylic blur effects, as do many other parts of the UI, even in this unfinished state. [...] There was also an experimental "Radial UX Menu" mode, where instead of gestures swiping in things like Start and Cortana, swiping would present you with a UI full of circular buttons for things like Start, switching apps, and more. This may have been an alternative to on-screen navigation, as not everyone was familiar with full gesture navigation at the time just yet. Or, it could have been an alternative method of navigation for when you were using a pen. Who knows. One thing we're not able to show you is the Continuum mode that Microsoft was also working on for Andromeda OS, as unfortunately it appears to be broken in the build we have. That said, we do know what it was going to be like. Essentially, Microsoft was building out Continuum to be a true desktop experience, with windowed app experiences, the ability to store icons on the desktop, and more. If you'd prefer to see Andromeda OS in action instead of read about it, you can watch Windows Central's video here. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2022-01-21 20:45:03 preview's
Picard and Guinan have a warm reunion in S2 trailer for Star Trek: Picard

"Your answers are not in the stars and they never have been."
2022-01-21 18:45:05 preview's
Google Labs Starts Up a Blockchain Division

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Here's a fun new report from Bloomberg: Google is forming a blockchain division. The news comes hot on the heels of a Bloomberg report from yesterday that quoted Google's president of commerce as saying, "Crypto is something we pay a lot of attention to." Web3 is apparently becoming a thing at Google. Shivakumar Venkataraman, a longtime Googler from the advertising division, is running the blockchain group, which lives under the nascent "Google Labs" division that was started about three months ago. Labs is home to "high-potential, long-term projects," basically making it the new Google X division (X was turned into a less-Google-focused Alphabet division in 2016). Bavor used to be vice president of virtual reality, and Labs contains all of those VR and augmented reality projects, like the "Project Starline" 3D video booth and Google's AR goggles. [...] Not much is known about the group, except that it is focused on "blockchain and other next-gen distributed computing and data storage technologies." Google's growth into a web giant has made it a pioneer in distributed computing and database development, so maybe it could make some noise in this area as well. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2022-01-21 17:15:03 preview's
Here’s why some games aren’t “verified” for Steam Deck compatibility

But the vast majority of games are at least "playable," with no graphics issues.
2022-01-21 17:15:02 preview's
Game Developers Not Interested in NFTs, Survey Finds

NFTs remain a contentious topic for developers, according to the State of the Game Industry survey, with a majority claiming their companies aren't interested at all. From a report: The survey states that 72% of respondents related to cryptocurrency and 70% of respondents related to NFTs have no interest in either. "The current implementation of both technologies is still very limited, with 1% of respondents saying that their studio already uses either." Big names like Ubisoft and Square Enix have shown interest in the NFT wave, alongside veteran developers Will Wright and Peter Molyneux. But the interest among developers themselves is far more scattered, and the general reaction from the video game community is poor. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2022-01-21 16:30:02 preview's
DeepMind Co-founder Leaves Google After a Rocky Tenure

Mustafa Suleyman, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, is leaving Google to join the venture capital firm Greylock Partners. From a report: The departure of Mr. Suleyman, who was Google's vice president of product management and policy for artificial intelligence, closes a tumultuous tenure at the company. He joined Google in 2014 when the search giant acquired DeepMind, a cutting-edge artificial intelligence research lab, in a deal valued at $650 million. The deal demonstrated the value of companies that specialized in "deep learning," a form of artificial intelligence that became more important in the early part of the last decade. In just a few years, DeepMind had hired many of the leading researchers in the field. Mr. Suleyman, known to friends and colleagues as Moose, was not an A.I. researcher by training. But he led the company into an important area of research: health care. He also became a key voice in DeepMind's efforts to ensure that its technologies would not be used for military applications, which led to a clash with Google when the company joined a flagship A.I. project with the Defense Department. (Google eventually pulled out of the project.) Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2022-01-21 16:00:03 preview's
Missouri Highway Patrol Mistakenly Sends Batman-themed Alert

The Missouri State Highway Patrol alert sent cellphones blaring statewide: Authorities in Gotham City, Missouri, were searching for a purple and green 1978 Dodge 3700GT. From a report: But there is no Gotham City, Missouri, and the car referenced was the one used by the Joker in the 1989 "Batman" movie. Soon after the Tuesday evening alert, the patrol sent another saying to disregard it. In a brief news release, the patrol said a routine test of Missouri's Blue Alert system was inadvertently transmitted statewide. The system is meant to let the public know when a police officer is killed or seriously injured in the line of duty. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2022-01-21 16:00:03 preview's
FCC Moves To Boost Cable Competition in Apartment Buildings

Cable operators would face more competition for the roughly one-third of Americans living in apartment buildings under an order advanced Friday at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. From a report: FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel asked fellow commissioners to approve a measure that she said would "crack down on practices that lock out broadband competition and consumer choice." The order would prohibit cable service providers from entering into certain revenue sharing agreements with a building owner, and seek to ease alternative providers' access to the wiring of buildings, Rosenworcel said in a news release. The order would affect more than one-third of the U.S. population who live in apartments, mobile home parks, condominiums and public housing, Rosenworcel said. The order needs to succeed in a vote before the FCC, which is split with two Democrats and two Republicans as a Democrat nominated by President Joe Biden awaits Senate confirmation. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2022-01-21 16:00:03 preview's
Apple Now Verifies Anyone Asking for Educational Discounts

Apple has introduced a new verification process in the US to ensure that customers who want to benefit from its discounted education pricing are actually involved in education. From a report: It's not clear exactly when its policy changed, but at some point this month, some Reddit users noticed that Apple's education pricing page was updated to note that customers will now be checked by Unidays, a third-party verification service. As well as requiring Unidays, Apple is also placing new limits on how many items you can buy with an educational discount. Apple Track reports that users are limited to one desktop computer, one Mac mini, one laptop, two iPads, and two accessories per year. Given that's more than any student, teacher, or educational staff member is likely to purchase for themselves in a given year, the limit seems to be in place to stop them from acting as an illicit discount broker for all their non-education friends. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2022-01-21 16:00:03 preview's
IBM Sells Some Watson Health Assets for More Than $1 Billion

IBM agreed to sell part of its IBM Watson Health business to private equity firm Francisco Partners, scaling back the technology company's once-lofty ambitions in health care. From a report: The value of the assets being sold, which include extensive and wide-ranging data sets and products, and image software offerings, is more than $1 billion, according to people familiar with the plans. The deal "is a clear next step as IBM becomes even more focused on our platform-based hybrid cloud and AI strategy," said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president, IBM Software. "IBM remains committed to Watson, our broader AI business, and to the clients and partners we support in healthcare IT." IBM launched Watson Health in 2015 with the aim of using its core artificial intelligence platform to help health care providers analyze troves of data and ultimately revolutionize cancer treatment. Many of the company's ambitions haven't panned out, though, and some customers have complained that its products didn't match the hype. Even after spending roughly $4 billion in acquisitions to prop up the initiative, Watson hasn't delivered the kind of progress IBM initially envisioned and the unit wasn't profitable. Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported the unit generated about $1 billion of annual revenue. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2022-01-21 16:00:03