Windows 10 Leak Has “Cloud Download” For Reinstalling Windows Reinstalling Windows 10 might get soon easier. The leaked version of Windows 10 featuring a new Start menu design has another surprising feature: A “Cloud Download” feature for reinstalling Windows. This is similar to the Internet Recovery feature on a Mac. When you try booting a Mac without an OS, it will connect to the Internet, download macOS, and install it for you. This is part of the recovery environment built into a Mac. With this new feature, while reinstalling Windows, you can select either “Cloud Download” to download the latest Windows 10 operating system or “Reset Locally” to reinstall the existing Windows operating system on the device. It was spotted by WalkingCat on Twitter: 18950 bootux : How would you like to reinstall Windows? > Cloud download : Download Windows > Reset locally : Reinstall my existing Windows operating system — WalkingCat (@h0x0d) July 29, 2019 It’s unclear exactly how this feature works, but it looks like an easier way to get off an Insider build of Windows 10 and back onto a stable build. Or, if you have an older version of Windows 10 installed, you can easily download and install the latest one—without creating installation media first. Imagine using old installation media to reinstall the latest version of Windows. As always, this feature may not ever make it to a stable version of Windows. It’s in a leaked internal build of Windows—we might never see it again. However, there’s a good chance we’ll be hearing about it arriving in an Insider build of 19H2 or 20H1 soon. Thanks to Rich Woods over at Neowin for spotting this tweet first. Read the remaining 3 paragraphs

Maker Spotlight: Chris Seidel Name: Chris Seidel Home: Kansas City, Missouri Makerspace: HammerSpace Workshop in Kansas City Day Job: Genomics Scientist at a Research Institute How did you get started in making? When I was 14 my uncle gave me a summer job for his 1-man microwave electronics business in Campbell, California, where I […] Read more on MAKE The post Maker Spotlight: Chris Seidel appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

How to Enable Picture-in-Picture on Chrome The Picture-in-Picture (PiP) extension for Google Chrome lets you play any video in Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode, and it works on all platforms. PiP is a popped-out, always-on-top video player that floats on top of other windows. You can also reposition it along the screen border while you continue to surf the internet. Why Use an Extension When PiP is Built-In? Chrome 70 added a built-in PiP feature you can access with a right-click. While you could continue to use this without having to install the extension, it’s a bit annoying to access at times. For example, on some sites (like YouTube), you have to right-click the video, and then right-click the video again to see the option. RELATED: Chrome 70 Has Picture-in-Picture Now, Here’s How It Works Additionally, while the built-in PiP mode works on most websites, it fails to work on others, such as DailyMotion and Twitter. When you install the Chrome extension, all you have to do to enable Picture-in-Picture mode is click the icon in the toolbar, and the mini player appears instantly. It also lets you use the feature on sites that you weren’t able to with the built-in option. The PiP extension is also open-source, so you can dig through the code if you’re the curious type. How to Install the Picture-in-Picture Extension Fire up Chrome and head to the Chrome web store for the extension, and then click “Add to Chrome.” Read the remaining 17 paragraphs

The Third Manila Mini Maker Faire in the Philippines where DIY is booming The third mini-maker faire was held on April 22-23 in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. The Mind Museum, which is the venue, is a children’s science museum that offers hands-on exhibits of science. The Mini Maker Fair, which attracted 150 exhibitors, was a heartwarming experience filled with the cheerfulness […] Read more on MAKE The post The Third Manila Mini Maker Faire in the Philippines where DIY is booming appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

How to Convert a Video or Audio File Using VLC Want to convert a video or audio file to another format? VLC is all you need! It’s packed with useful features, including a quick and easy audio and video converter that’s just a few clicks away. How to Convert Media Files with VLC To start converting, open VLC and click Media > Convert/Save. Click “Add” to the right of the File Selection list on the File tab. Browse to the video or audio file you want to convert and open it. Click “Convert/Save” to continue. Under Convert, select the video or audio codec and container to which you want to convert. For example, to transcode a video to a reasonably standard MP4 format, choose “Video – H.264 + MP3 (MP4).” To convert an audio file to an MP3 that should work practically everywhere, select “Audio – MP3.” Click the wrench icon (the “Edit Selected Profile” button) to the right of the Profile list for more options. Read the remaining 13 paragraphs

Drop ALT Has Everything You Want in a Custom Keyboard, Except the Soldering Michael Crider There are lots of good reasons to build a keyboard—custom layout, choice of switches, high-quality components. But there’s one big reason not to: soldering sucks. What if you could have the best of both worlds? Drop (formerly Massdrop) aims to do just that with its ALT keyboard. Its minimal layout, full RGB lighting, aluminum case, and multiple USB-C ports are things you usually only find if you build a keyboard yourself. But thanks to a modular switch design, you don’t have to! You can load up the keyboard with whatever mechanical switches you prefer and swap them out any time. The ALT is among the most expensive keyboards on the retail market at $180—a price that might make some people flinch. (However, the CTRL, which has a more conventional, tenkeyless layout, is $200.) But considering the high quality of the hardware and the flexible design, the ALT is worth the price for mechanical keyboard fanatics, who don’t want to build their own from scratch. As Shiny as It Is Clicky The first time I plugged in the ALT, I was shocked at how freakin’ shiny this thing is. As a mechanical keyboard enthusiast, I’m no stranger to LEDs, but these are incredibly bright and smooth, thanks to fast polling. Oh, and there are even more of them than usual—a strip runs around the edge of the board and illuminates my desktop (when it’s not in full sunlight). The ALT uses a compact, 65 percent layout. Michael Crider The lighting modes are a bit basic—there’s no access to a dedicated lighting program like you might see in a Razer or Corsair board. Once you figure out the function commands (the Function key replaces the right Windows key) to adjust the lighting modes, you can find a pattern and brightness you like. Or, you can turn them off. It would have been nice if a mapping of the default function controls came in the box. The ALT has a full aluminum body and dual USB-C ports (one can be used for external data or charging). Michael Crider The body is aluminum, with the aforementioned light strip sandwiched between two reasonably heavy plates, and rubber feet on the bottom. If you’re not a fan of the flat profile, you can attach the included magnetic feet. In a rare display of ergonomic options, you can place the feet at either a forward or backward angle. This tilts up either the top or bottom of the keyboard about five degrees. These pieces are heavy and satisfying to put into place. Magnetic keyboard feet with multiple angle options make the ALT feel ultra-premium. Michael Crider The keyboard is wired, which is standard for mechanical boards, and it includes two USB-C ports, which is not. They’re on the left and right of the board’s front, which allows you to use the side that works best for your desk. If you use the right port, the left can be a pass-through for USB-C data and charging—another option you don’t often see these days. (Thanks, Massdrop—we’re glad to see USB-C over cheaper alternatives.) You also get two tools: one for removing the keycaps and another for the switches underneath. A Fascination with Customization You could keep the keyboard as it is and be entirely satisfied. Our review unit came with Cherry MX Brown switches; they’re default “typist” switches with a tactile bump, but no audible click. You can also choose Kalh BOX White (stiff and clicky), speed silver (linear, no click or bump with a light spring), Halo True (super smooth), or Halo Clear (slightly stiffer). If you have your own, you can choose no switches at all and save $40. The ALT with keycaps removed and default MX Brown switches in place. Michael Crider Read the remaining 15 paragraphs

How to Make Your Google Home Quieter at Night Google The night has come; you’re winding down. “Hey Google, turn off all the lights” you whisper, and then regret sets in as your Google Home yells confirmation, waking everyone up. Here’s how to make Google speak quietly at night. You may have experienced this more times than you care to admit. Everyone is asleep, and you’re ready for bed too. You tell your Google Home or Nest Hub to turn off the lights, and it yells, seemingly at the top of its digital lungs, a confirmation that it will turn off the lights. It doesn’t have to be this way. You can either turn on Night Mode for each Google Home or Nest Hub device you own to make them speak softer and dim the lights or use grouping to prevent the devices from speaking altogether. Enable Night Mode for a Quiet Night If you need your Google Homes to speak softly during certain hours, Night Mode is the feature for you. You can set Night Mode to turn on and off automatically with a schedule, adjust the maximum volume, and even the maximum brightness of your Google Home’s built-in LEDs. The downside is, you have to enable and configure Night Mode for every Google Home device you own. So if you miss one, you’ll find out the hard way the next time you use it and expect a quiet response. To turn on Night Mode, open the Google Home app, then tap on the Google Home device you want to adjust. Then tap the gear in the top right corner. Scroll down and tap on Night Mode. Read the remaining 12 paragraphs

What Do Hotel Stars Actually Mean? Dmitry Kalinovsky/Shutterstock Tonight, I’m staying in a 400-year-old Spanish castle that’s been converted into a hotel. Luxurious, right? Well here’s the thing: it’s a two-star hotel. Hotel stars probably don’t mean what you think they mean. In most cases, they’re not a rating of quality; they’re a measure of the facilities on offer. A one-star hotel isn’t a dirty dive; it’s just basic, no-frills accommodation. And, while a three-star hotel is theoretically more luxurious, if the cleaners don’t do their job correctly or it hasn’t been refurbished in a few decades, your stay there could be much worse. Let’s take a deeper dive. The Starry Mess A classic two-star castle. There is no one universal hotel star system worldwide. In the US, different groups like the AAA rate hotels. In Europe and Asia, it’s usually the tourism board or another government body that decides a hotel’s rating—although sometimes inclusion is voluntary. And, of course, there isn’t even a standard number of stars: in France, hotels are ranked out of four. There’s no guarantee that three-star properties in Paris, New York, London, and Rome will offer you the same experience. Even online booking sites like Expedia are in on the action and use their own star system—except where government-enforced ones are required to be used. Put simply: Hotel star systems are a measure of facilities, not a subjective quality of experience. The hotel I’m staying in tonight is a two-star property because it’s a small, 400-year-old, protected building. Without gutting the inside, it could not be fitted with “luxuries” like large rooms, bathtubs, or a swimming pool. But it’s a fricking castle. Hotels with more stars will have more facilities, like bathtubs, 24-hour receptions, and minibars, than hotels with fewer stars, but the overall experience might not be better. It’s often better to stay in a nice three-star hotel than a generic four-star, as long as you don’t mind not having a bar on-site or 24-hour room service. Hotel stars, unless from an international rating agency like Michelin or booking site like Expedia, are different between countries. The judgment criteria aren’t the same. A good French four-star hotel is more like one of AAA’s American five-star hotels. A General Guide Everyone can at least agree that The Ritz is a five-star hotel. With all that said, while hotel star systems are a total mess, some generalities can be made about them as a whole—though there will be plenty of variance within each category. One star hotels (and motels/guesthouses) offer basic, no-frills accommodation. Rooms will generally be small. A 24-hour reception, daily cleaning, and ensuite bathrooms are not guaranteed. You’ll have a place to sleep, but not a lot more. Two-star hotels are a step up from one-star properties. You’ll probably get a 24-hour reception, daily cleaning, and an ensuite bathroom—though maybe with just a shower. Your room will likely have a TV and a phone. You might get a continental breakfast and a lobby bar, but it’s not guaranteed. These are your basic hotels, although, in old cities, they could just be old buildings that can’t be renovated. Read the remaining 11 paragraphs

Four Years of Windows 10: Our Favorite 15 Improvements Four years after its release, we’re all still using Windows 10. But that’s not really true: The version of Windows 10 we’re using today has seen four years of improvements. It’s packed with shiny new features and clever under-the-hood optimizations. More Control Over Windows Update With every major update to Windows 10, Microsoft has given everyone more and more control of updates. This is a major pain point in Windows 10, and Microsoft has made it better. For example, Windows 10’s Anniversary Update added “active hours.” Set your “active hours” and Windows won’t reboot for updates during the hours of the day when you usually use your PC. Up to 18 hours a day can be active hours. The April 2018 Update brought faster update installation, too. The biggest change was in the May 2019 Update, which finally offers more choice over these big, once-every-six-month updates. Every release of Windows 10 will get support for 18 months. You don’t have to install these big updates immediately when they’re released—you can even choose to skip some of them. RELATED: Everything New in Windows 10’s May 2019 Update, Available Now Files on Demand for Cloud Storage Files on Demand are a highly underrated feature. Added back in the Fall Creators Update, this feature shows “placeholder” copies of files stored in the cloud on your PC. They appear as normal files on your PC. When you open them, Windows automatically downloads them. In other words, they’re loaded on demand—but they all appear in File Explorer. Read the remaining 64 paragraphs

The Best Apps for Browsing Reddit on an iPhone or iPad Oli Haslam Reddit is the self-proclaimed front page of the internet whether you want cat videos or high-level physics discussion. But the web interface sucks. Thankfully iPhone and iPad users have plenty of apps as alternatives, and here are the best. Choosing the Right App for You Not all Reddit apps are the same. Sure, they all let you read Reddit and post comments. But how they do it differs from app to app. How you use Reddit will inform which kind of Reddit app suits you best. If you’d like options all the way down to changing the app icon to fit your particular aesthetic, you need an app that excels in customization. If you want to be able to do your thing and move on, then something more basic is best. Reddit power users—serial commenters, voters, and meme posters—will need yet a different set of features. Best for Most People: Reddit (Free with In-App Purchase: $7.99) Reddit does everything you need if all you need is the basic Reddit experience. That includes support for posting, commenting, and uploading media. At the time of writing Group Chat is only available on the official Reddit app, so if you make use of that, this is the only app for you. The official Reddit app ticks enough boxes to be recommended for most people. It doesn’t go crazy with fancy gestures or animations, but there’s something to be said for simplicity. And being a first-party app means it is likely to support any new features Reddit adds before the competition. While free to download, Reddit does offer a $6.99 monthly in-app purchase to enable Reddit Premium. You’ll get access to the r/lounge subreddit and 700 Coins for every month you are subscribed. Best for Power Users: Apollo (Free with In-App Purchase: Pro $2.99/Ultra $9.99) Read the remaining 20 paragraphs

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