Android TV to get a major overhaul at just the right time

Google was ahead of the curve when it launched Android TV in 2014. Instead of just presenting users with a list of streaming-app icons, Android TV’s big idea involved a row of recommendations from across different apps. The hope was that users wouldn’t have to leave the home screen to find something to watch.

But being first isn’t the same as being best, and over the past few years, other platforms such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku have all done a better job with cross-app recommendations. Meanwhile, Android TV’s approach didn’t get much buy-in from app makers, and the platform as a whole seemed to stagnate.

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PCWorld News

Linux is just too powerful for Windows 10 S, so Microsoft blocked it

If Windows 10 S will only allow apps that can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store, it can run the new downloadable Linux apps, right? Wrong! 

Here’s why: Microsoft is actively blocking “command-line” apps that run outside the safe environment of Windows 10 S, Microsoft senior program manager Rich Turner wrote in a blog post on Thursday. 

 Microsoft said it created Windows 10 S as a way for students and even mainstream users to add a bit more security to their Windows 10 experience. Windows 10 S only runs apps that have been vetted by Microsoft and appear in the Store. Though Microsoft didn’t explicitly say so at the time, those apps don’t run at a low level on a user’s PC, like debuggers or those applications that explicitly write to hardware or modify the system registry.

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PCWorld News

Google, A.I. and the rise of the super-sensor

Google dazzled developers this week with a new feature called Google Lens.

Appearing first in Google Assistant and Google Photos, Google Lens uses artificial intelligence (A.I.) to specifically identify things in the frame of a smartphone camera.

In Google’s demo, not only did Google Lens identify a flower, but the species of flower. The demo also showed the automatic login to a wireless router when Google Lens was pointed at the router barcodes. And finally, Google Lens was shown identifying businesses by sight, popping up Google Maps cards for each establishment.

Google Lens is shiny and fun. But from the resulting media commentary, it was clear that the real implications were generally lost.

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Computerworld

Apple simplifies Windows 10 installs with support for Creators Update

Apple this week updated macOS Sierra to version 10.12.5 with more than three dozen security patches, and a change that lets users install Microsoft’s latest version of Windows 10 on their Macs.

Sierra 10.12.5 “adds support for media-free installation of Windows 10 Creators Update using Boot Camp,” the update’s brief release notes read. Creators Update was the name Microsoft assigned to Windows 10 1703, the upgrade issued last month.

Boot Camp, which is baked into macOS, lets Mac owners run Windows on their machines. A Windows license is required. Boot Camp, while not virtualization software like VMware’s Fusion or Parallels International’s Parallels Desktop, serves the same purpose: Running Windows applications, including custom or mission-critical corporate software, on a Mac personal computer.

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Computerworld

Google will review web apps that want access to its users’ data

In response to recent attacks where hackers abused Google’s OAuth services to gain access to Gmail accounts, the company will review new web applications that request Google users’ data.

To better enforce its policy regarding access to user data through its APIs (application programming interfaces), which states that apps should not mislead users when presenting themselves and their intentions, Google is making changes to the third-party app publishing process, its risk assessment systems and the consent page it displays to users.

Google is an identity provider, which means other web apps can use Google as the authentication mechanism for users accessing the app. Apps use the OAuth protocol to do this. These apps can also use Google’s APIs to send users requests for information stored in Google’s services.

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