DRM is good, blocking hardware bad

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There’s no denying that DRM is good and needed. But how did it become Microsoft’s and Intel’s cashing playground?

Digital rights management (DRM) is a generic term for technologies that control one’s access to content. After years of hard fight, it looks like the pirate side has won. They have the content and they have the ways to share it. Something needs to be done so that the content creators get their bread to the table and it looks like Microsoft and Intel (AMD) have it figured out.

They have decided that there will be a hardware and software wall between us, the viewers and the content. For example Netflix 4K. To watch 4K videos from Netflix, you need Windows 10, Edge browser and a Kaby Lake 7th generation Intel CPU. Absolutely ridiculous.

They claim that it’s because of the H.265 10-bit decoder built into the Kaby Lake processors. Skylake only has 8-bit decoder which hasn’t got the performance. That’s horse s**t. Why did the Skylake have it then, if it can’t be used?

My PC runs games at 4K 60fps. I have a 4K display and a GTX 1080 that has the H.265 10-decoder, why isn’t that compatible? I’ll tell you why.

Money.

The monopoly companies like Intel and Microsoft are just cashing in without thinking about the future. Peeing into the customer’s morning cereal is never a good thing.

Intel even changed the chipset from Skylake to Kaby Lake to force customers to buy the new Z270 motherboards and that way, a new Windows 10 licence from Microsoft. Luckily, most of the Z170 boards can be updated to support Kaby Lake.

That still leaves the cost of the CPU. The Kaby Lake chips have better thermal solution than Skylake and because of that, they can clock higher. That’s the difference. Why would anyone with an Ivy Bridge or newer upgrade? The performance gains are minimal and the retail value of the old one has collapsed.

Why didn’t Intel just draw the line between Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge? They say it’s the hardware decoder. Why is there the software wall with Windows 10 and Edge then? Why don’t just ask the Windows OS to check if you have an Ivy Bridge or newer? Why can’t you just check with the Windows that the user is not running any recording software and just freaking show the content?

The Microsoft’s and Intel’s answer is hardware. It’s a hardware decoder that can decode the encoded stream so that the content can’t be captured. And how does this prevent the pirates from capturing the content from the video cable? And why is the Edge browser needed then?

Money is the real answer.

Taking a commonly known issue and turning it into a short term profit, that’s what Microsoft and Intel are doing here.

Don’t forget that the same restrictions apply to the UHD Blu-ray. The disks that the new version of XBOX One can run with an ancient AMD CPU. It’s not a hardware problem, it a problem with selfishness.

Microsoft announces October 6 event

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Microsoft has sent press invitations for an event on October 6. We are expected to see the new Windows 10 devices.

The main focus of the event will be the new Windows 10 Mobile devices, Lumia 950 and 950 XL. The devices are rumored to feature QHD displays, high-end Snapdragon SoCs and 3GB of RAM. The plastic design returns with a large camera bump on the back.

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The Lumia 950 is going to feature a 5.2″ 1440p display, Snapdragon 808 and 3000mAh battery. The larger 950 XL has a 5.7″ 1440p display, Snapdragon 810 SoC and a 3300mAh battery. Both will have a 20 megapixel rear camera and a 5MP front facer. There will also be an iris scanner to securely unlock the device. Charging port is upgraded to a USB Type-C.

Also we are expecting to see the Microsoft’s answer to the iPad Pro. The Surface Pro 4 might be revealed with full desktop Windows 10 and in different sizes. The 12″ model might get a 13″ or 14″ variant alongside it. The specs are of course going to be impressive and comparable to laptops.

Microsoft

Norton Releases Repair Tool for Screen Flickering bug

We just told about Norton and Windows 10 compatibility issues. Now Norton has released a Repair Tool for it. Here’s how to use it.

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open task manager and click ‘More Details’ if needed.
  2. From the ‘File’ menu, click ‘New Task’, type ‘msconfig’ and press Enter.
  3. In the Boot tab, select ‘Safe boot’ and ‘Networking’ under that. Press ‘OK’ and when asked, click ‘restart’.
  4. When in the desktop, download the fix tool. Open the folder you saved it, usually ‘Downloads’, right click it and ‘Run as administrator’.
  5. The tool rapidly runs in the background.
  6. Press Windows+R and type ‘msconfig’.
  7. In the Boot tab, uncheck ‘Safe boot’ and press ‘OK’ and when asked, click ‘restart’.
  8. Run the Norton Remove and Reinstall tool.
  9. You should be good to go, if not, check our original guide.

Norton Causing Problems with Windows 10

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Update: Norton has released a repair tool. Here’s how to use it

Norton looks to be causing screen flickering with Windows 10. Many users around the internet have reported flashing or flickering screen after upgrading to Windows 10. 

We have the solution for this problem. Norton 360 and Internet Security seems to have some compatibility issues with Windows 10 so all that is needed is uninstalling Norton software for now, until it’s fixed.

  1. Open task manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc. Press ‘More Details’ if needed.
  2. Open Services tab.
  3. Right click any of the services and click ‘Open Services’.
  4. In the services, double click ‘Problem Reports and Solution Control Panel Support’ and select ‘Disabled’ Startup Type. Do the same for the ‘Windows Error Report Service’.
  5. Uninstall Norton and all the other Symantec applications.
  6. Reboot your system.
  7. Run Norton Removal Tool.
  8. Reboot your system.
  9. Do the steps 1 to 4 but this time select Startup Type of ‘Manual’.
  10. Reboot your system.
  11. Open Windows Defender, Microsoft’s own free security software and turn it on. You are good to go.

If you want to reinstall your paid Norton software, we suggest you wait for a couple of months to be sure Norton is updated to be compatible with Windows 10.

If you have Norton and you haven’t yet upgraded to Windows 10, we suggest you uninstall Norton and run the Norton Removal Tool before upgrading. Windows Defender is perfectly capable to keep your computer secure.

Windows 10 is now available

windows10

Microsoft has started the Windows 10 updates. New version of Windows is available for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users for free. 

It’s 29th of July. That means that Windows 10 is finally available. Users with Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 should receive their free copy from Windows Update. If update is not available, it’s also possible to download and install it by using a specific tool from Microsoft website.

Windows 10 brings a fresh new user interface and unifies the Metro UI and the traditional desktop to one modern desktop. Live tiles are now in the Start menu, which is now back in its familiar place, down left corner.

Windows 10 introduces Windows users to multi desktops that Linux and Apple users have been enjoying for years. User can add multiple new desktops and keep their work and home desktops separated.

There are still many unclear thing for me in the Windows 10. For example after removing all the live tiles from the start menu, it seems to be impossible to remove the left blank space.

We might be writing a full review of Windows 10 after a few weeks of use but it depends if there’s any surprises or problems.