Microsoft now faces a big Windows 10 quality test after botched update

Microsoft has pulled its latest Windows 10 update offline after some users complained of missing files. It’s the latest in a string of incidents with regular patches and Microsoft’s larger Windows 10 updates that have been causing issues for some PC users this year. While Microsoft tests Windows 10 with millions of beta testers, there are signs that this public feedback loop isn’t always working. Earlier this year Microsoft delayed its April 2018 Windows 10 update due to last minute Blue Screen of Death issues, and then had to fix desktop and Chrome freezing issues after it was shipped to more than 600 million machines.

Microsoft now faces questions over how these updates have caused big issues, and why the company didn’t pick them up in testing. These questions are especially relevant as it appears Microsoft was warned about both of these major bugs before the company shipped the April and October 2018 updates. Reports of the desktop freezing bug were submitted multiple times by testers earlier this year, but don’t appear to have been flagged as a bigger problem because they weren’t up voted.


Likewise, the recent data deletion issue was flagged in feedback reports from monthsbefore Microsoft released the October 2018 Update last week. It’s still not clear how many are affected by this current issue, but it’s enough to have forced Microsoft to pull the update entirely — an unusual step for the company.

Microsoft’s big change for Windows 10 was listening to its customers after the Windows 8 disaster. Instead of developing the operating system behind closed doors, the company opened it up for everyone to test early access to builds and help report issues. It was a daunting prospect for then-Windows chief Terry Myerson, who admitted in a 2015 interview with The Verge that “you’re putting it out there when it’s not done, then you’re getting all kinds of feedback and stuff that you know is broken.”

Microsoft may have been relying on its Windows Insider program too much for Windows 10, though. Microsoft largely phased out its dedicated Software Test Engineer (STE) roles for Windows during a huge round of layoffs a year ahead of the Windows 10 release. Instead, it has favored developers testing their own work, or reports from the Windows Insider feedback program.

Hal Berenson, who spent years working at Microsoft as a distinguished engineer, believes there are three possibilities for this latest data deletion bug shipping to the public. “(1) They couldn’t isolate the problem and decided it was rare enough to ship anyway. (2) Automated filtering tools failed to catch that this was a serious issue despite rarity. (3) They put in a fix, but it didn’t fix all cases,” says Berenson in tweet. “My actual vote is on #3, because I’ve seen that happen many times in my career.”

Microsoft has not yet revealed exactly why this deletion bug made it into the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, but it’s unlikely the company ever will. A support article reveals Microsoft is investigating “isolated reports” of documents going missing after the Windows 10 October 2018 Update is installed. Microsoft’s Windows Insider chief, Dona Sarkar, saysaffected users should call Microsoft’s support line as the company has “the tools to get you back to a good state.”

Either way, it’s not a good look for Microsoft’s Windows 10 feedback program. Microsoft was bold in its move to allow anyone to test Windows 10, but it now needs to recognize some of these issues with Windows software quality. Windows 10 is also facing a number of issues related to regular monthly security update patches, and those even forced enterprise patching veteran Susan Bradley to write an open letter to Microsoft earlier this year. The company’s response to these issues is now a big test for Windows 10, which has been generally well received. If Microsoft is truly listening to customers then now is the time to prove it.

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Cryptocurrency Lingo Cheat Sheet: Crypto Terms You Need to Know

Have you ever caught yourself scratching your head over not understanding what the hell other crypto nerds are talking about while scrolling through Reddit, cryptocurrency related forums, or slack groups?

Well those days are over my friend! Today we start a whole new chapter in your life. I’m here to alleviate that eternal thirst for crypto knowledge! Excited? I know you are…

Print or bookmark this unofficial cryptocurrency lingo cheat sheet so that you no longer have to be left out in the dark.

Altcoin — any cryptocurrency that isn’t bitcoin. Yes, I do mean ANY!

Arbitrage — taking advantage of the different cryptocurrency prices, of the same coin, from one exchange to the other.

ASIC — stands for Application Specific Integrated Circuit. Specialized silicon chips which process SHA-256 algorithms in order to mind cryptocurrency and validate transactions.

ASIC Miners — the actual hardware which is used to house the ASIC silicon chip which is inherently connected to the Internet.

ATH — All Time High. When a cryptocurrency breaks its current record with regard to price.

Bagholder — someone holding onto an altcoin that has dropped in price, with the intent of holding onto it until it increases in price, to where they originally purchased at.

Bearish — an expectation of when the price is set to decrease.

Bullish — an expectation that price is going to increase.

Bitcoin — the mother of all cryptocurrency. The very first cryptocurrency that started it all.

Blockchain — blockchain’s are distributed online ledgers, that are secured by cryptography. Look at them like public databases that anyone can access and read, however the data can only be updated by the owners. Also note, the data is copied and resides across thousands of computers worldwide. For a more in depth explanation, check out:

Exchange (trading) — websites where you can buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrency. Some of the more popular and established trading exchanges in the US are CoinbaseBinanceBittrex, and Poloniex.

Fiat — currency issued by the government, like the US dollar.

Flippening — an event where a cryptocurrency (altcoin) surpasses bitcoin in market capitalization (yet to happen at time of writing). It has been stated on numerous occasions that at the rim may be the currency to cause this event.

FOMO — Fear of missing out. This is yet another term for greed, where you have the overwhelming emotional need to purchase a cryptocurrency when the price starts for has been skyrocketing.

Forging –the process in proof of stake blockchains where there is no block reward for crypto miners. Forgers however are able to keep transaction fees instead, as a reward.

Fork — this is where blockchain splits into another separate chain (AKA — splitting into 2 separate cryptocurrencies). These typically happen when new rules or updates to the blockchain’s code are built. More details here:

FUD — Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Another negative based emotion spread intentionally by the media or a group of people within the crypto sphere that are typically looking to cause a price to drop, in hopes that they can purchase the cryptocurrency at a discount.

FUDster — anyone who is intentionally spreading FUD.

Genesis Block — the first block to be mined in a blockchain.

Going Long — a margin trade where you profit from the price increase

Going Short — a margin trade where you profit from the price decrease

Halving –rate at which the block reward creates a new Bitcoin.

Hard Fork — new blockchain software that is non-backwards compatible. This causes a cryptocurrency to split into 2 separate currencies.

HODL — slang for “hold your coins”. This was an un-intentional misspelling of the word “hold” which was used among the cryptocurrency community when encouraging traders to resist the urge to sell their holdings when market fluctuations were bearish.

ICO — stands for Initial Coin Offering. This is basically crowd funding for the crypto world. These startups issue their own proprietary token in exchange for your fiat investment. You’re hoping that the exchange will result in the tokens (altcoin) gaining value once the ICO has been released

Lightening Network — is a payment protocol which is operational on top of the blockchain which is capable of millions to billions of transactions per second across the entire network. Has been touted as one of the most potent solutions to the cryptocurrency scaling issue.

Ok…take a quick coffee break…

Limit Order (buy or sell) — these types of orders can be thought of as “for sale signs”. You request a specific buy or sell price to be met so that the exchange buys or sells the cryptocurrency at your requested price. The only issue with these types of orders are that the buy or sell price may never be met, thus leaving you with an unfilled order.

Market Orders (buy or sell) — this is the exact price that the current cryptocurrency is at right now. When you place a market buy or sell order, you’re getting that order filled immediately since you’re currently purchasing the currency at retail value.

Market Cap — the total value held within a cryptocurrency. This is calculated by multiplying the total supply of the currency by the current price. Coinmarketcap is where most crypto junkies check on the latest market caps.

Mining — the process of where a computer is trying to solve the next block in a blockchain via cryptography. This process requires an immense amount of computer processing power, but is rewarded with ether (other cryptocurrency).

Mining rig — a computer specifically designed to process blockchain’s (like BTC, ETH, NEO, OMG, etc). It often consists of multiple high-end graphic processors(GPU) in order to maximize its processing power.

Moon — optimistic term used when cryptocurrency is or about to increase in both price and volume. Used often within cryptocurrency communities.

Node — a single computer that possesses a copy of the blockchain and is working to maintain it.

OCD — Obsessive Cryptocurrency Disorder. For those who can’t stop monitoring their cryptocurrency daily.

Paper wallet — cryptocurrency wallet public and private keys held on a piece of paper. I recommend storing these in an extremely safe place.

POW — proof of work. The current algorithm utilized by cryptocurrency.

Private key — a private number that allows you to open your cryptocurrency wallet. Without this key, you’re screwed, so keep it in a safe place.

Proof of work — a requirement defined by an expensive computer calculation called mining. It is very easy for others to verify however is very difficult and time-consuming to produce.

Proof of stake — the creator of a new block within a blockchain, which is determined on his/her wealth (how many coins they hold) and also defined as a stake.

Public key — typically referred to as a Bitcoin or crypto address, this is a string of numbers and letters that you need in order to send or receive cryptocurrency from an exchange or wallet.

Pump and Dump — this is typically when an altcoin gets a ton of attention leading to a very quick price increase, then followed by a massive crash. These can be both coordinated and uncoordinated. Beware of pump and dump groups.

ROI — Return on investment. How much money you have made compared to your initial investment (net profit). Example: an ROI of 100% means that you just doubled your money.

Satoshi Nakamoto — the anonymous creator of Bitcoin.

Sell Wall/Buy Wall — when looking at an exchanges order book, and then “depth chart” tab, you’ll find a graphical representation of what current buy and sell orders are.

Walls are graphical representations of a very large order that is waiting to be filled. Here is an image of a “depth chart”. Notice the “walls” where large orders are waiting to be filled.

Sharding — a solution for scaling blockchains. Every node within a blockchain utilizes a complete copy of the blockchain. Sharding allows nodes to include partial copies of the entire blockchain in order to effectively increase the overall network performance and speed.

Shilling (AKA — pumping) — someone purposely and overtly advertising a cryptocurrency coin for their own personal gain because they have currently invested in it.

Silk Road — the first modern day, underground marketplace where goods such as firearms, drugs, and other illegal items were bought and sold. It was later shut down by the FBI who auctioned off the confiscated Bitcoins.

Smart contracts — applications that run without any sort of external influence.

Soft fork — you cryptocurrency that is backwards compatible so that the currency doesn’t split (the splits are often known as a hard fork).

Software wallet — storage of cryptocurrency that exists as software files on your computer software wallets can be attained free from a variety of different sources. MyEtherWallet and Exodus are among a few of the popular choices.

Stable coin — any low volatility cryptocurrency (stable), which is typically good to be traded against a cryptocurrency pair (Crypto pairs — BTC/NEO, ETH/NEO, USDT/NEO) one of the most stable coins to trade against, at this time, is tether (USDT).

TA — technical analysis or trend analysis. The process of examining trading charts in order to predict which way the market or particular cryptocurrency will move next. Check out our free trading charts here.

Tokens — a type of currency, built upon the ethereum network, that have raised money issuing their own inclusive currency (tokens). These are essentially what an altcoin is called when it’s in its ICO stage (startup stage), before released to the general public and traded on popular exchanges.

Vitalik Buterin — creator of Ethereum.

You’re done. Congratulations!

Now get out there and showcase your new vocabulary to all your friends. You can finally show em how much of a crypto nerd you are now.

Opera browser gets built-in cryptocurrency wallet

Opera has announced that its Android web browser will get a built-in cryptocurrency wallet with support for Ethereum’s Web3 API.

This means users will be able to browse the Internet as normal while interacting with blockchain-based applications such as CryptoKitties.

Users will also be able to make and receive payments using their browser’s cryptocurrency wallet.

Unlike other dApp browsers and interfaces, Opera allows users to explore decentralised applications through a familiar browser interface – without the need for extensions such as MetaMask.

Opera said its browser uses the user’s system unlock screen code as a private key, meaning there is also no need for learning new passwords.

The browser’s built-in Ethereum wallet will also support ERC20 and ERC721 tokens.

“Having a crypto wallet in the browser brings the cash experience to the world of online payments,” said Opera crypto product lead Charles Hamel.

​“Paying with the crypto wallet is like sending digital cash straight from your phone, and we’ve just made it easier.”

Opera added that it is the first major browser to interface directly with the decentralised web.

“By becoming the first major browser to open up to Web 3.0, we would like to contribute to making the Internet of the future more accessible,” said Hamel.

Android users can sign up for the beta preview of the Opera cryptocurrency wallet on the Google Play Store.

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Amazon expands in Cape Town, stepping up cloud rivalry with Microsoft is expanding its presence in the emerging tech hub of Cape Town, upping the ante in its regional battle with cloud computing rival Microsoft.

Amazon will be the sole tenant in a new, modern eight-story office building that’s nearing completion in the South African city, multiple sources familiar with the project told Reuters. The company is advertising dozens of jobs in Cape Town, which played a key role in the early development of its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud-computing business.

The adverts include one for a software development engineer that says Amazon is assembling a team for a “green-field project” dealing with machine learning, big data analysis and cloud computing, which are among the fastest-growing areas in the technology industry.

The company’s expansion shows how fierce competition in the cloud business and rising demand for computing power are driving activity even in relatively undeveloped corners of the technology universe.

AWS is the global leader in cloud computing with 32% of the market, versus 16% for second-placed Microsoft in the first quarter of 2018, according to research firm Canalys. Microsoft has been growing faster.

The global cloud infrastructure services market was worth nearly $55 billion in 2017 and is expected to exceed $155 billion by 2020, Canalys said. AWS accounted for 73% of Amazon’s $1.9 billion operating profit in the first quarter, but just 11% of its revenue.

Amazon’s new Cape Town building is due for completion in August, according to a source familiar with the matter. It sits near an existing Amazon technical centre and customer support operation.

Amazon did not offer details about the new building in Cape Town, or what its function might be.

“As more South African customers and partners continue to choose AWS as their cloud provider we continue to hire more staff into our offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg,” Geoff Brown, AWS’ Sub-Saharan Africa regional manager, told Reuters in a statement.

In another sign of Amazon’s cloud-computing drive in South Africa, it is offering start-ups free cloud trials for one year, according to local entrepreneur Tumi Menyatswe – a deal that prompted her to switch to AWS from Google’s cloud.

“This allows me to focus on my business and to grow until I can pay them,” said Menyatswe, CEO of two-year-old business Minderz, which pairs pet owners with people able to look after cats and dogs during holidays.

Edge in Africa

It is difficult to measure the relative success of the big cloud-computing players in Africa, as they do not break out financial results for the continent. However, according to analysts, data centres are one measure of growth.

Despite its history on the continent, Amazon has yet to build a data centre in Africa. Microsoft, by contrast, announced last year that it was building two data centres in South Africa, one in Cape Town and one in Johannesburg, both due to launch later this year.

Microsoft said in a statement that the plans were on track but would not specify when the data centres would be launched in 2018.

Local data centres offer advantages, in part by reducing “latency”, or delays, in data transmission. “Closer is almost always better,” said Carl Brooks, an analyst at 451 Research.

Clifford De Wit, former chief innovation officer at Microsoft South Africa, said a local data centre was a big advantage.

“Having the actual data centre close has so many implications,” said De Wit, now chief technology officer at start-up Dexterity Digital. He cited privacy regulations that require banks and some other companies to store data locally, among other benefits.

Amazon’s Brown told Reuters that South Africa was “one of the many possibilities that we are currently looking at” globally for opening a new data centre.

He said the company launched new “Edge” locations -infrastructure that boosts transmission speeds from primary data centres outside the continent – in Johannesburg and Cape Town in the past two months. This will reduce latency for South African customers and bring other benefits, he said.

Famous for its Table Mountain and sandy beaches, Cape Town is emerging as a continental tech hub, with some 35 000 people employed in the sector, according to Wesgro, a trade and investment agency. The city boasts one of the largest publicly available fibre optic networks in Africa, local economic development officials say.

Amazon has played a key role in the city’s internet industry from the start. Two South Africans, Chris Pinkham and Willem van Biljon, led a small Cape Town-based team that developed the key technical underpinnings of AWS, a software architecture known as EC2, and helped build the business plan for the service.

“We knew it was going to have a large impact,” Van Biljon, who left Amazon more than a decade ago and still lives in Cape Town, told Reuters. “The rate at which the growth occurred outstripped even our best expectations.”

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Cryptocurrency Mining : Will It Damage My GPU After All?

Interest in mining cryptocurrency has skyrocketed lately. This has caused a major wave of sales of PC graphics cards, which has actually driven up the price of many mid-range cards. Mining with a GPU may even turn a profit if one has access to cheap electricity. However, this process is known to damage graphics cards and affect their longevity. People considering mining should keep these factors in mind, particularly if they plan on reselling their cards later on.


It makes a lot of sense to mine cryptocurrency with a graphics card. They are easy to come by, are not overly expensive in most cases, and can result in excellent hashpower after making some initial adjustments. In fact, the AMD Vega Frontier edition may soon mine Ethereum at 70MH/second, assuming the rumors are true. Setting up a GPU mining rig requires doing some tweaking, and getting multiple cards to mine using the same motherboard can be tricky at times.

Once a rig is up and running, most people simply leave their hardware hashing away. If needed, it will switch mining pools on its own. Most miners will hardly pay attention to the hardware itself, choosing to monitor things from a distance. That does not mean your hardware does not need checking up on, however, as it remains under a lot of stress while mining cryptocurrencies. This level of stress is often underestimated.

When you start mining cryptocurrency, your GPUs are constantly under a full load at all times, and their fans typically spin at the highest RPM. That might sound less stressful than spinning up and cooling down again, but that is not necessarily the case. Keeping GPU fans running at a constant speed at all times will serve to wear them out comparatively quickly. Even though fans are designed to spin quite a bit, their longevity is severely affected by the rate at which they are forced to run. However, not using fans while mining cryptocurrency is most definitely a bad idea.

Thermal cycling is also something to think about when mining cryptocurrency using GPUs. Although one would expect mining to entail relatively low thermal cycling, that is not the case by any means. That said, some tweaking of each card’s power limit setting may make this a trivial issue more often than not. Reapplying thermal paste on a GPU every so often does wonders to keep the card cool and avoid major damage. Note that the process should not have to be repeated too often; it can be done less than once per month.

Pushing a graphics card to its full load on a constant basis can always result in card failure. In most cases, the card would have to run at full speed for over a year for this to happen, although your mileage may vary based on the model, maker, and general condition of the card. Electronics are always prone to manufacturing issues, which often only appear after the device has been put through the proverbial wringer. That being said, there are plenty of miners who have seen their cards fail over time and even catch fire as well.

Contrary to games and other computational tasks, cryptocurrency mining runs a GPU at full capacity almost constantly. Even stress tests only keep this up for so long before they risk damaging cards. Cryptocurrency mining of any sort will stress a card to its limit for as long as it is running. Granted, most models can handle that with ease, but it will always impact the card in one way or another. Those effects may not become apparent immediately. One of my own cards worked fine for months after a year of mining altcoins and then started artifacting suddenly.

Whether or not the upcoming line of AMD and NVIDIA GPUs dedicated to cryptocurrency mining will suffer from these issues remains to be seen. There has to be a reason why these cards are better suited for the job compared to regular GPUs. So far, very few specifics have been unveiled to the public regarding these GPUs. They will be more efficient, of course, but they may also improve in other ways like handling loads better and degrading slower. As a rule, people who take good care of their GPUs will rarely encounter issues.

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