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Microsoft releases new Windows 10 preview with Mail improvements and Narrator context awareness

Windows 10


Microsoft today released a new Windows 10 preview for PCs and phones. This build adds new features to the Mail app and gives the Narrator app some context awareness.

Windows 10 is a service. As we wrote in our deep dive on how Microsoft is still building Windows 10, this means Windows Insiders are getting new builds even though the operating system launched in July 2015. The most recent significant update is the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, released in August 2016.

The Mail app has gained three new features. Email messages can be opened in a new window (just like Outlook), Quick Actions can be used directly from new email notifications, and mentions are now available by simply typing the @ symbol anywhere in the body.

For Narrator, when you navigate around, you can now be notified about different groups or other areas you move to. There are also some key combinations related to this: to configure the amount of context you hear (ALT + Caps Lock + /), to change whether the context is read before the item with focus or after (CTRL + Caps Lock + /), and to check the context at any point (Caps Lock + D twice).

The desktop build includes the following improvements and bug fixes:

  • Now you can draw along the protractor and have the degree visual remain visible until you start drawing again. We’ve also updated the degree visual to be more clear — black text on a white background, as opposed to the previous black text on a red background.
  • Fixed the issue causing you to be unable to sign into apps such as Feedback Hub, Groove, MSN News, etc. with your Microsoft Account if you sign out or get signed out of these apps.
  • Precision touchpad fixes: Mis-classifying presses when mousing with one finger and pressing with another, “Reset touchpad” was appearing on PCs that don’t support precision touchpad (legacy touchpad), the 4-Finger gesture graphic would be viewable in Settings on PCs that support only 3-contact, horizontal scrolling was broken in Paint.NET.
  • Narrator fixes: New key command (Caps Lock + /) to read the active window title of the current application, improved recognition of edit boxes on the web in Scan Mode, and continuous reading is interrupted appropriately if focus changes or you issue a command.
  • Updated the Trusted Platform Module Management control panel (TPM.msc) to provide additional detail when the TPM is “Not ready for use” or “Ready for use, with reduced functionality”.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in Task Manager always opening with the default view, despite having configured it on the previous launch (for example, to “Show more details”).
  • Fixed an issue where attempting to partition a USB drive via DiskPart would fail with the error “The system cannot find the file specified”.
  • Fixed an issue where certain USB drives were failing to mount automatically or via Device Manager, despite being mountable using Disk Management.
  • Fixed an issue where Accessibility settings were failing to roam down-level to some PCs running the Windows 10 Anniversary Update — triggering a sync loop and possibly causing some performance issues on those down-level PCs. If you have encountered this issue, to get out of this state – you will need to change a setting under Settings > Ease of Access so that fix will roam down-level. Whichever setting you changed to trigger roaming can be changed back if needed.
  • Fixed an issue where Settings would crash when copying hardware properties from the Wi-Fi settings page.
  • Fixed an issue where files were no longer automatically selected after being pasted into a folder in File Explorer.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in not being able to enter input into the Time or Place fields when creating a Reminder in Cortana.
  • Updated the advanced tab of the device properties window in the Sounds control panel to now allow you to select the following sample dates as the default format for devices that support it: 24 and 32 bit at 176400Hz, and 16, 24 and 32 bit at 352800 Hz.
  • USB Audio 2.0 devices are now named based on the make/model of the device, rather than using a generic name, in places across the system, for example Device Manager.
  • Fixed an issue in Microsoft Edge that prevented dragging content out of the browser to other windows
  • Fixed an issue that caused Microsoft Edge to crash when using the Share button to share web pages and PDFs to Mail.

Today’s update bumps the Windows 10 build number for PCs from 14951 (made available to testers on October 19) to build 14955.

This build has two known issues:

  • If you have a 3rd party antivirus product installed on your PC — your PC might not be able to complete the update to this build and roll-back to the previous build.
  • Insiders may experience the Windows Ink Workspace crashing when using the protractor — we’re investigating.

If you’re OK with the above and want to get build 14955 now, head to PC Settings, select “Update and recovery,” then “Preview builds,” and then click the “Check Now” button.

The corresponding Windows 10 Mobile build also includes new features and improvements, but Microsoft has yet to announce new devices for the platform. And as expected, phone revenue continues to decline for the company.

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Ms. A. C. Kennedy
My name is Ms A C Kennedy and I am a Health practitioner and Consultant by day and a serial blogger by night. I luv family, life and learning new things. I especially luv learning how to improve my business. I also luv helping and sharing my information with others. Don't forget to ask me anything!

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What we’re watching: ‘Raw’ and ‘Feast of Fiction’

Welcome back to Video IRL, where several of our editors talk about what they've been watching in their spare time. This month we're kicking things off with some seasonally-appropriate horror fare, that you can catch right away on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Then it's time for a Gundam throwback before Kris Naudus points out a couple of YouTube food channels perfect for binge eating or binge watching.

Them / Raw


Timothy J. Seppala

Timothy J. Seppala
Associate Editor

To get into the Halloween spirit, I've been watching at least one horror movie a day since the end of September -- the lower the budget, the better. Problem is, so many of the American low-budget or indie horror offerings on Amazon and Netflix are crappy Paranormal Activity clones, cheap-thrill gore-fests or uninspired found-footage "documentaries." Whether it's by design or coincidence, I've found that French horror movies have held my attention the most lately. Specifically, 2016's Raw, as well as Them, from ten years prior. They're more psychological thrillers than straight-up horror, but that didn't stop me from being more on edge while watching them one afternoon than I was during A Haunting in Saginaw, Michigan, late at night. Both start with a car crash, but they couldn't finish any more differently.

Raw, recently added to Netflix, tells the tale of a vegetarian girl in her first week at a prestigious veterinary school. During a hazing ritual, she's forced to eat a raw rabbit kidney. She immediately gets sick, throws up and wakes herself up that night scratching a full-body rash to near bleeding. This bout with food poisoning is just the beginning, though, and soon protagonist Justine finds out she has a taste for forbidden fruit. As the remaining 70-ish minutes unfolded, I lost track of how many times I clasped my hands over my mouth, agape in shock, to stifle my shouts of "OHMYGODWHATTHEFUCKISEVENHAPPENING?!"

But French director Julia Ducournau balances every body-horror scene either with something pedestrian twisted into being unsettling (like a horse on a treadmill) or with something that makes you ask how far Justine can go before someone confronts her about her new diet. And those questions keep coming right until the credits roll. I can't say I enjoyed watching Raw, but it was a hell of a ride.

The same goes for Them, currently streaming on Amazon Prime. Its focus is narrow, centering on a young couple living in a cavernous farmhouse, terrorized over the course of a night by unseen horrors. The camera never quite gives away who (or what) the perpetrators are, and revealing the twist would be a sin. As with Raw, its atmosphere and overall creepiness won me over straightaway. The scariest part? Realizing that I've probably driven past a shot like the final scene countless times and not thought twice about it. If you're willing to read subtitles, both of these should make you shiver and scream more than The Conjuring 2 on HBO Go could ever hope to.

Mobile Suit Gundam The 08th MS Team


David Lumb

David Lumb
Contributing Editor

I'd heard that a lot of anime had left Hulu, but I scanned their selection anyway looking for classic shows I'd missed, like the original Mobile Suit Gundam. They don't have that -- but they did have a series I didn't finish the first time it aired on Toonami, the 1996 classic Gundam side story The 08th MS Team. Unlike the franchise's other show released the year before, the massively successful Gundam Wing, 08th ditches the brand's typical pretty-boys-in-unbeatable-robots for a grounded and sobering story about the people who get caught up in wars -- desperate soldiers, civilians and guerrillas alike. It's dirty, honest, utterly humane and gorgeously animated.

It's also a little preachy and melodramatic, and it shows its age with odd sexist moments. While it's still the Thin Red Line of the Gundam universe, I remember it far more fondly from when my 14-year-old self grazed the series on its first American airing. There's something sad in seeing an old favorite for the flawed media it always was. Much like Waypoint's Rob Zacny, I've grown up and seen a lot since I first caught the show as a starry-eyed teen. I still think The 08th MS Team is a wonderful little 12-episode miniseries with a big heart, but I won't revere it so highly -- and will think a little harder about who I recommend it to.

Feast of Fiction / Binging with Babish


Kris Naudus

Kris Naudus
Senior Editor, Database

Back in March, I came home from a trip only to discover that my oven didn't work. The cooking gas in my building had been shut off due to a leak. My building management seemed to be on it, so I made do with a combination of microwavables, toaster oven and Seamless. Unfortunately, weeks and months went by, calls to the city were made and permits were issued, but, even as I write this in October, gas still has not been restored to my building. My landlords eventually threw their collective hands in the air and began installing electric ranges in every apartment, so a few weeks ago I was finally able to cook for myself again.

I am so jazzed to be able to make food. Hot food! Scrambled eggs! Steak! Cookies! I started reading food blogs and cookbooks, and shopping to refill my pantry. I'm halfway through Kenji Alt-Lopez's The Food Lab, a huge 900-page hardcover that talks about the science of how food cooks. On the lighter side, I've also been reading food-themed comics like Delicious in Dungeon and Food Wars. And the latter title (which is also an anime) ended up sucking me into a YouTube hole of food videos that I've been obsessed with ever since.

You see, the very first chapter of Food Wars features the "Gotcha" Pork Roast, a bacon-wrapped potato loaf that hero Soma Yukihira makes to save his family restaurant. It looks pretty tasty, so I searched for recipes and pics online and stumbled onto Jimmy Wong and Ashley Adams' Feast of Fiction, a series that demonstrates how to make various foods seen in cartoons, video games and comics. If you ever wanted to taste Steven Universe's beloved Cookie Cat ice cream sandwiches or Kirby's super-spicy curry, there's an episode for you. One thing I really enjoy is how they also incorporate crafts into it, showing how to make paper wrappers for your Reptar chocolate bars or genuine-looking Ecto Cooler Hi-C boxes.

I've been marathoning through the episodes, which the YouTube algorithms have definitely picked up on at this point, throwing food show after food show into my suggestions. One that caught my eye was Binging with Babish. Where Feast of Fiction mostly sticks to the realm of kids' cartoons, anime and video games, Binging with Babish is a little more mainstream, covering foods from popular media like Mad Men, Seinfeld and House of Cards. Still, there's a bit of overlap -- both Babish and Feast have done their own takes on the Ultimeatum from Regular Show and Krabby Patties from SpongeBob SquarePants. But the recipes are different, and I watch the shows for the personalities. Feast of Fiction is pretty silly (and there's a cute dog), while Binging with Babish is a little more subdued. Not that Babish can't be ridiculous as well -- the Moist Maker is one of the most ridiculously complicated sandwiches I have ever seen, basically asking you to cook an entire Thanksgiving dinner.

Sadly, I still haven't done a lot of actual cooking since getting my stove back. I'm having too much fun watching other people do it instead, with the added bonus that I don't have to clean up the mess.

"IRL" is a recurring column in which the Engadget staff run down what they're buying, using, playing and streaming.

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