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Cortana Search
It won't be long now before Microsoft celebrates the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. The event will be marked with a raft of new features and deeper Cortana integration. There are reports that the virtual assistant is set to replace the standard search function altogether in the upcoming software update, and users will no longer be able to disable Cortana after the Anniversary Update.

"With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, the search box is now Cortana," Microsoft said in a statement. "Customers can expect the same great search experience powered by Bing and Microsoft Edge with the added benefit of Cortana’s personality.

Currently, Windows 10 users can disable Cortana from within the Settings menu, limiting the search bar to scanning files, folders, and apps. With Cortana enabled users also get web searches, notes, reminders, voice commands and so on. Of course this also requires access to more of their personal information and data.

Understandably some users are upset that Microsoft is forcing Cortana on them - on top of removing Google as an option for web searches and also making the Windows 10 Anniversary Update mandatory. That said, if a user really don't want Cortana for some reason, they can still hide the virtual assistant or limit the information it has access to.

According to Microsoft users can opt-out of Cortana’s suite of personalized services, use it to search the web without losing in or hide Cortana and the search box in the taskbar altogether. They can also head to Start> Settings> Privacy> Speech> Inking & Typing and toggle an option called 'Stop getting to know me', which stop it from learning the user's typing inputs.


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Milo Yiannopoulos
A few days ago, the Twitter account of famous conservative gay Republican Milo Yiannopoulos was suspended after he threw a series of criticism at "Ghostbuster" actor Leslie Jones.

Milo received a message from Twitter a few hours later saying that his account was suspended permanently because they were clamping down on "targeted abuse." When requested for proof, Twitter was not able to provide the so-called abusive tweets from Milo to the actress.

However, it remains to be seen whether Twitter will take any action against Jones’ own racially hateful tweets, seen below and archived here.

Supporters of Milo, who had more than 338,000 followers on Twitter prior to his suspension, have created the #FreeMilo and #FreeNero hashtags on the platform in protest at Twitter's latest attack on the conservative commentator. It is currently accumulating approximately 20-30 tweets a minute. Unless Twitter artificially suppresses the hashtag, it's likely to stay trending throughout the week.

As the #FreeMilo currently trends in the United States, at number 6 and rising rapidly, one wonders when the double-standard treatment will end at Twitter? Why is the Black Lives Matter sot suspended for their continuous call for violence against police officers following both the Dallas and Baton Rouge shootings?


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Marissa Mayer
At this time, portfolio managers and street investors are still reeling from the conic web portal Yahoo's decision to sell its core operating business to Verizon for US$ 4.8 billion. The impacts could be long and hard for some after Yahoo ended its 22 years of independence.

CEO Marissa Mayer, a former Google executive, tried to turn around Yahoo but her tenure was marred by confused strategy and mismanagement. The sale represents the company giving up on her long, futile quest to reinvent Yahoo for a social and mobile world.

Below is the full text of Mayer's email to employees sent to employees:

"Dear Yahoos,

Moments ago, we announced an agreement with Verizon to acquire Yahoo’s operating business. This culminates a rigorous, thorough process over many months, and yields a great outcome for the company. Today’s announcement not only brings us an important step toward separating Yahoo’s operating business from our Asian asset equity stakes, it also presents exciting opportunities to accelerate Yahoo’s transformation. Among the many entities that showed interest in Yahoo, Verizon believed most in the immense value we’ve created, and in what a combination could bring our users, our advertisers, and our partners.

This is a good moment to reflect on Yahoo’s journey to date.

Yahoo is a company that changed the world. Before Yahoo, the Internet was a government research project. Yahoo humanized and popularized the web, email, search, real-time media, and more.

What really sets Yahoo apart is the shared passion to create great products for our 1B+ users, and in doing so, transforming the world for the better. You can clearly see that spirit, that commitment, that fight in the work we’ve done together over the past few years. We set out to transform this company – and we’ve made incredible progress. We counteracted many of the tectonic shifts of declining legacy businesses, and built a Yahoo that is unequivocally stronger, nimbler, and more modern. We tripled our mobile base to over 600 million monthly users, we invested in and built Mavens from basically zero in 2011 into $1.6B of GAAP Revenue in 2015, we streamlined and modernized every aspect of our consumer products, and, with Gemini and BrightRoll, we dramatically improved our advertiser products. This only scratches the surface of what we’ve achieved… and we all know how much hard work it took to get here.

It’s because of that hard work and resilience, that Yahoo will realize amazing opportunities in its next chapter.

This sale is not only an important step in our plan to unlock shareholder value for Yahoo, it is also a great opportunity for Yahoo to build further distribution and accelerate our work in mobile, video, native advertising, and social. As one of the largest wireless and cable companies in the world, Verizon opens the door to extensive distribution opportunities. With more than 100 million wireless customers, a shared view of the importance of mobile and video ad tech, a deep content focus through AOL, Verizon brings clear synergies to the table. And with their aggressive aims to grow global audience to 2B users and $20B in revenue within the mobile-media business by 2020, Yahoo’s products and brand will be central to achieving these goals. Joining forces with AOL and Verizon will help us achieve tremendous scale on mobile. Imagine the distribution challenges we will solve, the scale we will achieve, the products we will build, and the advertisers we will reach now with Mavens – it’s incredibly compelling.

The strategic process has created a lot of uncertainty, but our incredibly loyal and dedicated employee base has stepped up to every challenge along the way. Through the first half of the year, we met our operational goals and overachieved on plan. But, further, there are things that you cannot measure, like the passion of the people behind the products. The teams here have not only built incredible products and technologies, but have built Yahoo into one of the most iconic, and universally well-liked companies in the world. One that continues to impact the lives of more than a billion people. I’m incredibly proud of everything that we’ve achieved, and I’m incredibly proud of our team. For me personally, I’m planning to stay. I love Yahoo, and I believe in all of you. It’s important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter.

As we work to close this agreement in Q1 2017, it’s more important than ever that we come together as one global team to continue executing on our strategic plan through the remainder of the year. We have delivered the first half of the year with pride, achieving our goals. Now, it is up to us to make Yahoo’s final quarters as an independent company count.

Yahoo is a company that changed the world. Now, we will continue to, with even greater scale, in combination with Verizon and AOL.

Thanks,

Marissa"


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Badass Marvel Women
Something very rare happened during the Comic-Con at San Diego last 21-24 July. Marvel was able to gather 11 badass women in their universe and they have an evidence to proved it. The photo (above) could be one for the history books and something that children today will be looking into in the future.

The photo, not only highlights what women in Marvel should look like, but also defined what the word 'squad of women heroes' should be: healthy, sexy and no obesity whatsoever.

During the Marvel panel, all the upcoming Marvel stars took the stage for a giant Marvel selfie. While that was cool and all, the ladies then ditched the guys and took what is hands down the most epic picture to come out of the convention.

From left to right we’ve got: Laura Harrier ("Spider-Man: Homecoming") and Zendaya ("Spider-Man: Homecoming"), Elizabeth Debicki ("Guardians of the Galaxy"), Danai Gurira ("Black Panther"), Tilda Swinton ("Doctor Strange"), Zoe Saldana ("Guardians of the Galaxy"), Brie Larson ("Captain Marvel"), Lupita Nyong’o ("Black Panther"), Rachel McAdams ("Doctor Strange"), Karen Gillan ("Guardians of the Galaxy") and Pom Klementieff ("Guardians of the Galaxy").

There are a few Marvel women not in attendance here, but that's only because they didn’t make it to the convention this year (i.e. Black Widow and Scarlet Witch). But still. There is so much fierce, strong power in this one picture, we have to ask: CAN THIS MARVEL WOMEN LOOK LIKE THIS ... ALWAYS?

Come on, please? They all exist within the same Marvel universe. And yeah, so maybe Gillan's Nebula isn't exactly one of the good guys, but that’s a small technicality. Give these ladies a city, or a planet, or a galaxy to save, please. They can totally do it together.


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Mozilla Firefox
In a few days, Mozilla’s Firefox will block Flash content that "is not essential to the user experience," the organization announced last 21 July.

With this move, Mozilla is following Google’s lead, which made a similar decision last year and now plans to almost completely block Flash content in its Chrome browser.

Not too long ago, Flash was one of the fundamental technologies of the web because it enabled developers to create rich user experiences in the browser that they couldn’t build in any other way. Now that modern web standards essentially enable the same features as Flash, though, the aging technology is becoming a drag on modern browsers. It's responsible for security issues, reduced battery life and slow page loads.

Mozilla says that for now, it will continue to support Flash and it defines non-essential content as Flash content that isn’t visible to the user. The organization is also curating a list of Flash content that can be replaced with HTML.

Come 2017, Firefox will move to a "click-to-play" model for all Flash content, so users will have to explicitly allow the browser to activate the Flash plugin.

"These changes are part of our ongoing efforts to make browsing safer and faster without sacrificing the Web experiences our users love," Mozilla's manager of Firefox quality engineering Benjamin Smedberg writes in the announcement.

Interestingly, Mozilla doesn't specifically talk about blocking Flash-based advertising, but thankfully, those ads are already becoming increasingly rare, in part because Google's AdWords and DoubleClick networks have been phasing out Flash support already.


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