With unusually peskiness, Microsoft is currently trying to establish its Edge as the browser of choice in Windows 11. Unless you agree (which seems to be a minority), you'll now have to wrestle with checkboxes and frequent popups. Changing the default setting has been deliberately made harder for users. While Windows 10 had begging-like notifications to switch to the allegedly much faster and safer Edge, the thumb screws have been tightened in Windows 11. Naturally, you can still install alternative browsers and make minor adjustments, but Edge has now become the only choice in some scenarios!
When it comes to viewership, YouTube still rules the roost in the streaming world, far ahead of Netflix or Spotify–and still free. I had a strange feeling when advertising segments were starting to pile up in their videos last year. Who wants to view a four-minute video when they first have to go through two minutes of ads? Was this a deliberate attempt to annoy their users? Unless you were using ad blockers, you were literally flooded–and it felt like an obvious attempt to drive users towards a paid offer.
It was supposed to be a totally normal evening. Alan Parson's soothing "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" was purring from my speakers, a steaming cup of tea plus some reading material were ready and I had plans to watch a detective show. But then, I heard an almost forgotten sound: an SMS notification. Nowadays, this form of communication is mostly used by the authorities or companies for account verification. Sent by a friend, it read "WhatsApp is gone, Facebook is gone, people are already asking what's next! It's total chaos!" It sounded interesting so I went to have a look.
I'm generally not a fan of "smart speakers" like Amazon's Echo Dot, Apple's HomePod or Google's Nest Mini. I like the technology but I didn't own any of them for the longest time. I won't froth at the mouth about the alleged spying nature of these devices but I will say I dislike voice-based interfaces. I'd rather talk to people than machines, and type my commands into the latter when they require input. Recently though, I switched electricity providers and got two Google Nest Minis in my mailbox as a reward (they usually sell for about €50 a piece). Google is one the three major players in the market for virtual assistants, yet I never had the chance to review their Mini–until now. Let's get started!
Recently, we sat together and reminisced about the wild past. When the internet was still young, pirated copies of current movies were everywhere. People usually brought hidden cameras to theaters and recorded the screens–background noise and poor image quality included! Who'd ever want to watch that? Then, streaming services appeared on the scene and illegal movie sharing sites became less frequented. For a fair price, users could instantly pick from a solid selection of movies and songs, good enough for most users. For some time though, illegal sites have been seeing an increase in visitors–and stream service providers may be partly to blame!