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2021-12-02 17:38:29| Engadget

Microsoft just gave its productivity tools an important makeover. The company has released a promised visual update for Office's Windows apps in either Microsoft 365 or perpetual licenses, giving you simpler and sleeker-looking interfaces across all apps. It's meant to complement Windows 11's style, as you might imagine, but it also promises some functional improvements regardless of the Windows version you use.The interface should provide a more "natural and consistent" experience regardless of apps. The Quick Access Toolbar is now hidden by default (you can still bring it back). Office also matches your Windows theme by default, so launching Word or Excel at night shouldn't sear your eyes. You can still specific a different theme if you prefer.The update is guaranteed if you're using Windows 11. If you're using Windows 10, you'll know that it's available when you see a megaphone icon in the top-right corner of a given app. While this won't fundamentally change your experience, it may be appreciated if Office has felt stale or out of place.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2021-12-02 16:28:49| Engadget

Uber has announced more safety features for the platform. The company already allows drivers and passengers in 14 countries to record the audio of their rides, and now the feature is coming to the US. It will pilot audio recordings in three US cities starting later this month.Before they get in a car, riders will see in the Uber app whether their driver has opted into audio recordings you can cancel the ride if you don't want to be recorded. You can capture audio by tapping the shield button on the app's map screen and choosing the Record Audio option. Everyone can record individual trips, and drivers have the choice to leave the feature on the entire time they're available for rides.Although the recordings are stored on riders' and drivers' devices, they won't be able to listen to them. The recordings are encrypted and Uber says it can't access them unless a driver or rider submits a safety report with an attached audio file. A safety agent can decrypt and listen to the recording when they review the report, and then take appropriate action if necessary.Uber debuted the feature in Latin America two years ago. It says almost 70 percent of drivers and riders surveyed in Rio de Janeiro felt safer when using it.In addition, Uber plans to remind riders to buckle up with audible seat belt alerts at the start of a trip. The driver's phone will provide the audio reminder and the rider will see a notification on their own device. Uber says it will roll out the feature across the US in early 2022.On top of that, Uber has upgraded its RideCheck feature, which arrived in 2019 and uses GPS and sensors in the driver's phone to detect possible crashes and abnormally long stops. The feature can now identify when a trip unexpectedly goes on a different route or ends before the destination the rider entered into the app.If RideCheck flags a possible problem, Uber will ask the rider and driver if everything is in order via a notification. If not, they can tap the emergency button or report the problem to Uber.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2021-12-02 16:07:47| Engadget

Rocket Lab is finally shedding more light on its next-gen Neutron vehicle. The company has provided multiple details making clear the rocket is built for reusability from the ground up. It'll center on Archimedes, a 1-meganewton liquid oxygen/methane engine built to be used many times over. And with a lighter carbon composite body, the companydoesn't need many seven Archimedes engines power the first stage, while the second stage just needs one.Neutron could also put an end to tossing away (or trying to recover) the fairings that protect the payload. The rocket will have a "Hungry Hippo" fairing that's part of the first stage design they simply open when releasing the second stage, and close again when it's time to land. That should save money, as you might guess, but it also promises faster turnaround times and lighter second stages.The tapered shape of the rocket itself is built for reusability with a wider, more stable base. Neutron won't need a launch tower or girder to take off, Rocket Lab said. The company previously said the machine could carry up to eight metric tons to low Earth orbit versus the Electron's modest 0.3 tons (660lbs).Any practical uses are still distant. Rocket Lab said it was still in the midst of a "competitive process" to pick a production facility, launch site and engine test facility on the US East coast. The firm previously said it hoped for a first flight in 2024. Even so, the new details are important they hint at a future where Rocket Lab carries more (and more varied) payloads at lower costs, making space that much more accessible.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2021-12-02 15:10:38| Engadget

For those that want easy wireless charging on the go, Apple's MagSafe battery pack is a good option if you have one of the latest iPhones. But of course, like most other Apple accessories, the palm-sized battery is expensive, coming in at $99. But Amazon has the pack for the lowest price we've seen it right now only $75, or 24 percent off its normal price. Now's a good opportunity to grab it if you've been eyeing it for a while for your own iPhone, or you need a stocking stuffer for an iPhone user in your life.Buy MagSafe battery pack at Amazon - $75Like all MagSafe accessories, this battery pack is designed to snap onto the back of your iPhone and it'll automatically start charging the handset once attached. It fits neatly onto the backside of even the iPhone 13 mini, so you can still easily use your phone with one hand while powering up. If you plug in the battery pack while charging your iPhone, you'll get up to 15W of power and you could get even faster charging when you pair your Lightning cable with an adapter higher than 20W. Plus, you'll be able to keep track of your phone's and the battery pack's recharge on your iPhone's lock screen.It's pretty tempting (and often convenient) to go for Apple's own accessories, but you can often find similar, more affordable options elsewhere. While the number of MagSafe-compatible gadgets is growing, there are still only a few battery packs made by reputable brands. Anker makes two 5,000mAh magnetic power packs, a standard one and a newer MagGo model that has a built-in, foldable kickstand, so you can prop up your iPhone while charging. Belkin also makes a 10,000mAh battery that works as a magnetic charger and a portable power bank. We haven't tested any of these alternatives yet, but both Anker and Belkin have a good track record when it comes to mobile accessories plus, all three battery packs come in between $50 and $60 each, making them even better options for those with tight budgets.Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by visiting our deals homepage and following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2021-12-02 15:00:44| Engadget

Facebook has taken steps to ensure that users most at risk of being hacked don't lose their accounts to bad actors. The social network has updated its Protect program that was designed to provide extra security features to human rights activists, politicians, journalists and other at-risk users. In a press call with reporters, Facebook announced that it'll start requiring users part of the program to switch on two-factor authentication. The website will start implementing the new rule over the coming months all over the world for members in the US, the requirement will take effect sometime in mid-to-late February. Facebook explained that it worked on making the enrollment and use of two-factor on its website "as frictionless as possible for these groups of people by providing better user experience and support." It admitted that it may take time for all users to be able to comply with the new rule, since not everyone actively uses its platform. But Facebook and its parent company seem to be pleased with what they'd seen in early testing.Meta's head of security policy Nathaniel Gleicher said:"So far, it's actually going very, very well we're seeing well above 90% of people successfully enabling ahead of that mandatory period."Facebook first tested Protect back in 2018 and offered it to American politicians ahead of the 2020 US Elections. It expanded the program's scope and opened it up to more users after that in my case, I was locked out of my account until I activated it. The website is now on track to make the program available in more than 50 countries by the end of year, including the US and India, where most of its users are based.Gleicher said over 1.5 million users had enrolled in the program so far, and 950,000 had already switched on 2FA. He also said that 2FA is an underutilized feature on the platform, with only 4 percent of the website's monthly users enabling it. Even so, there are no plans to require people outside of the Protect program to switch it on.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


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