Microsoft updates Dev Channel Windows 10, breaks Arm x64 emulation

Also: Departures from Redmond, going big with Surface Hub, and celebrating third place

In brief Build 21292 of Windows 10 arrived for Dev Channel Windows Insiders last week and while there was little of interest, the team was delighted to note that it had continued to work on the x64 emulation in the Arm edition of the operating system.

Arriving later than expected, the x64 emulation in Windows 10 on Arm allows the running of x64 apps in an environment that had previously only supported x86 emulation. The code arrived in preview form for that rare breed of enthusiast who is both a Windows Insider and using Windows 10 on Arm.

Microsoft followed things up in the usual way, with a cumulative update that it said "does not include anything new and is designed to test our servicing pipeline."

It also left that x64 emulation borked due to "an issue with the way the update is installed." Uninstalling it was the way to recover the functionality.

Then again, if something breaks but hardly anybody is using it, can it really be said to have broken at all?

Two old hands leave Microsoft

Microsoft veterans Julia White and Brad Anderson are to depart the mothership after 19 and 17 years of service respectively.

Both leave their divisions in good health. White, corporate vice president for Azure Marketing, is heading to SAP as chief marketing and solutions officer, while Anderson, corporate vice president for Commercial Management Experiences, is off to be president of products and services at SAP-owned Qualtrics.

Both were survivors of the transition from the Ballmer to Nadella era. White had previously served at Intuit before signing up to Microsoft's Server division in 2001, while Anderson had put in over a decade of service at Novell before leading what he described as "the turnaround for the problematic SMS product."

It was confirmed that Harv Bhela will replace Anderson and Azure veep John Chirapurath has taken on White's marketing duties on an interim basis.

85-inch Surface Hub 2S finally ships

As well as a specification and battery boost in the form of the Surface Pro 7+, Microsoft unveiled the heftiest sibling in the Surface Hub 2 family last week.

Aimed at deep-pocketed enterprises that have bought into the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, the behemoth comes complete with the Windows 10 Team 2020 update. Admins can still pop on Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise if there's that one win32 app required that the locked-down Team 2020 Update edition won't run.

You'll also need Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise in order to use the device's fingerprint reader for signing on in multifactor fashion with Windows Hello.

In addition, Microsoft has thrown a bone at those wondering how the device might be manoeuvred inside with an elevator-friendly wheeled pallet.

Sadly, of the long-promised and modular Surface Hub 2X there remains no sign. Most likely in the same Redmondian dungeon as the dual-screen Neo.

SQL Server trails Oracle and MySQL

"Azure SQL Database is among the most popular databases of 2020 according to DB-Engines," said John 'JG' Chirapurath, vice president, Azure Data, AI and Edge last week.

Kind of. Taking aside the methodology of the rankings used by DB-Engines, which uses metrics such as search engine queries, frequency of discussions in places such as Stack Overflow, and mentions in the likes of LinkedIn to build its charts, a look at the rankings might make for some uncomfortable reading.

At time of writing, Microsoft SQL Server is number three. Microsoft Azure SQL Database is actually at position 15, behind luminaries such as Microsoft Access, which lurks at number 11.

Sadly, Chirapurath did not mention the infamous .mdb wrangler in his proclamations. ®

Other stories you might like

  • North Korea pulled in $400m in cryptocurrency heists last year – report

    Plus: FIFA 22 players lose their identity and Texas gets phony QR codes

    In brief Thieves operating for the North Korean government made off with almost $400m in digicash last year in a concerted attack to steal and launder as much currency as they could.

    A report from blockchain biz Chainalysis found that attackers were going after investment houses and currency exchanges in a bid to purloin funds and send them back to the Glorious Leader's coffers. They then use mixing software to make masses of micropayments to new wallets, before consolidating them all again into a new account and moving the funds.

    Bitcoin used to be a top target but Ether is now the most stolen currency, say the researchers, accounting for 58 per cent of the funds filched. Bitcoin accounted for just 20 per cent, a fall of more than 50 per cent since 2019 - although part of the reason might be that they are now so valuable people are taking more care with them.

    Continue reading
  • Tesla Full Self-Driving videos prompt California's DMV to rethink policy on accidents

    Plus: AI systems can identify different chess players by their moves and more

    In brief California’s Department of Motor Vehicles said it’s “revisiting” its opinion of whether Tesla’s so-called Full Self-Driving feature needs more oversight after a series of videos demonstrate how the technology can be dangerous.

    “Recent software updates, videos showing dangerous use of that technology, open investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the opinions of other experts in this space,” have made the DMV think twice about Tesla, according to a letter sent to California’s Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), chair of the Senate’s transportation committee, and first reported by the LA Times.

    Tesla isn’t required to report the number of crashes to California’s DMV unlike other self-driving car companies like Waymo or Cruise because it operates at lower levels of autonomy and requires human supervision. But that may change after videos like drivers having to take over to avoid accidentally swerving into pedestrians crossing the road or failing to detect a truck in the middle of the road continue circulating.

    Continue reading
  • Alien life on Super-Earth can survive longer than us due to long-lasting protection from cosmic rays

    Laser experiments show their magnetic fields shielding their surfaces from radiation last longer

    Life on Super-Earths may have more time to develop and evolve, thanks to their long-lasting magnetic fields protecting them against harmful cosmic rays, according to new research published in Science.

    Space is a hazardous environment. Streams of charged particles traveling at very close to the speed of light, ejected from stars and distant galaxies, bombard planets. The intense radiation can strip atmospheres and cause oceans on planetary surfaces to dry up over time, leaving them arid and incapable of supporting habitable life. Cosmic rays, however, are deflected away from Earth, however, since it’s shielded by its magnetic field.

    Now, a team of researchers led by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) believe that Super-Earths - planets that are more massive than Earth but less than Neptune - may have magnetic fields too. Their defensive bubbles, in fact, are estimated to stay intact for longer than the one around Earth, meaning life on their surfaces will have more time to develop and survive.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022