Computers

Report: Avast is selling your browsing history

Be careful what you install

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If you use Avast antivirus software for your PC, then you might not like the recent discovery regarding its data collection. A joint investigation by Vice and PCMag discovered that Avast is collecting browsing history and selling them to various companies.

Avast’s subsidiary — Jumpshot — has been collecting browsing history without user consent. The collection happens in the background as part of the Avast’s Web Shield feature. The collection of data extends to Avast’s browser extension as well. The subsidiary collected users’ full webpage URL, page title, referer, as well as resulting links from search engines.

Worse, Avast even approved the selling of collected data to various third-party companies. These companies include Google, Microsoft, and others willing to get their hands on your data for profit.

In its defense, Avast stated that it anonymized the collected data. In theory, the data cannot be traced back to users. However, researchers found out that a third-party company can easily build a profile of you just by corroborating with other data.

Mozilla and Google already removed Avast’s browser extension last December after a security researcher found out about Avast’s illegal practices. Recently, Avast shattered Jumpshot and promised not to collect anymore data.

For the time being, you should avoid installing Avast antivirus software for your PC. There are many alternatives out there, but the main takeaway here is that you should read the fine print before installing any software on your PC.

After all, many “free” software today is too good to be true. Some freeware come with malware that harm your PC, while others — like Avast — violate privacy by selling your data in exchange for profit.

Accessories

Lenovo announces two new monitors and the LC50 Modular Webcam

These two complement each other so well

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MC50
Lenovo MC50

Lenovo is all for bringing the best possible experience even from a peripheral standpoint. This time around, they want to extend the experience to another important peripheral in any workstation: the webcam. To complement, they’re also releasing two new monitors with their own great features. However, the star of the show is the Lenovo LC50 Modular Webcam.

The Lenovo LC50 Modular Webcam promises to bring clear audio and video quality fit for video calls and even streaming. It comes with a 1080p sensor that captures video at 30 frames per second, which is pretty standard for FHD webcams. Apart from this, it even comes with dual noise-cancelling microphones and the lens has a 4x digital zoom capacity. Also, it comes with a physical lens shutter when you’re not using it.

Other cool features with this webcam include its built-in tilt capacity and magnetic base. These two tie in well with Lenovo’s two new monitors: the Lenovo L32p-30 and the Lenovo L27m-30. In essence, the LC50 Modular Webcam magnetically attaches to the frame of either the 31.5-inch (L32P-30) or 27-inch (L27m-30) monitor of your choosing.

As for the monitors themselves, the Lenovo L32p-30 monitor sports a 4K resolution with HDR10 support, which is best suited for the next-gen consoles. Meanwhile, the Lenovo L27m-30 comes with a 75Hz refresh rate and TUV Rheinland EyeSafe certification to to relieve eye strain.

Pricing and availability for the LC50 Modular Webcam and the two monitors are as follows:

  • Available in September 2021
    • Lenovo LC50 Modular Webcam (starts at EUR 99)
    • Lenovo L27m-30 Monitor (starts at EUR 299)
  • Available in October 2021
    • Lenovo L32p-30 Monitor (starts at EUR 479)
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Computers

Early build of next-gen Windows leaked to the public

Might end up as Windows 11

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next-gen Windows

It seems like that the next generation of Windows can’t come soon enough. Just recently, an early build of the OS leaked to the public, containing many UI and under-the-hood changes that have been speculated for months.

A lot of publications covering this next-gen Windows have already published their hands-on with the leaked build. The most apparent changes to the next-gen Windows are the ones people will see every day. The taskbar, for a start, is now centered by default, although it can be set to align left in the settings. It also includes new icons for the Start button, search button, and Task View.

The Start menu is radically different too, and it is the same one found on the cancelled Windows 10X. There’s a new button that sits on the taskbar by the way. This toggles the widget panel which is also new for the next-gen Windows. Meanwhile, the Task View gets a revamp. Along with this revamp comes a new window snapping experience — users can now snap according to different configurations.

Overall, the leaked build feature a lot of rounded corners. Microsoft is really gunning for a modern look with their next-gen Windows. Also, gone are the days of straight corners in context menus and buttons. It is worth noting that since this is an early build, some UI elements are still inconsistent with the overall design refresh. The bundled apps, for example, seem to be unchanged though the File Explorer has newer file icons.

There’s a lot more changes coming to the next-gen Windows, though. The out-of-the-box setup experience, for example, is new. And apparently, there’s a new start-up sound to boot too.

Windows 11 is here

One of the biggest things to come out of the build, however, is a direct confirmation that the next-gen Windows will simply be called Windows 11. The teasers for the next-gen Windows posted by Microsoft first hinted about this. Now, the builds directly confirm that indeed, Windows 11 is that next-gen Windows.

To make matters more interesting, Microsoft seemed to acknowledge the leaked build, teasing that there’s more to come:

There’s definitely more to come with the next-gen Windows, and it is definitely interesting what it will look like when Microsoft announces it on June 24. That said, ordinary users shouldn’t wait too long to see the evolution of the beloved OS that has been around for more than a decade.

Source: The Verge, Windows Central

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Computers

AMD unveils new Radeon PRO workstation GPUs

Based on the same architecture as the next-gen consoles

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PRO W6000

AMD may be facing some shortages in their chips for the remainder of this year, but it’s not stopping them just yet. Within their GPU lineup, Team Red looks to launch a more powerful AMD Radeon PRO W6000 series of workstation graphics. This time around, they’ve integrated a familiar and powerful type of RDNA architecture to boost your workstation’s graphical performance.

See, AMD designed the new Radeon PRO W6000 series of workstation GPUs for heavier, more complex workloads. From demanding architectural design to 4K video rendering, these new GPUs will ideally handle all of these with ease. One of the big reasons behind this is that these GPUs are built using the RDNA 2 architecture. Yes, it’s the same architecture behind the GPUs of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S!

Apart from graphical performance boosts, the Radeon PRO W6000 series also offers realtime ray-tracing for faster renders. Essentially, the GPU has more enhanced compute units that boost design renders by up to 46 percent compared to previous generations. Along with AMD’s Smart Access Memory, you can even unlock higher performance for supported AMD Ryzen CPUs.

AMD will roll out their Radeon PRO W6000 series of GPUs in this fashion, along with their SRPs:

  • Now Available: AMD Radeon PRO W6800 (US$ 2,249)
  • Starting July 2021: AMD Radeon PRO W6600M (in select countries and mobile workstations)
  • Q3 2021: AMD Radeon PRO W6600 (US$ 649)
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