TIME windows 10

This Is How Many People Are Now Using Windows 10

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JUNG YEON-JE—AFP/Getty Images

It looks like it was a very successful launch

Windows 10 has been available for a little over 24 hours, and so far the launch appears to be going well.

Already, there are 14 million computers around the world running the new software, according to a post Thursday on Microsoft’s Blogging Windows blog. Microsoft says that, it is “carefully rolling out Windows 10 in phases, delivering Windows 10 first to our Windows Insiders.” That means that while millions have already received the upgrade, there are millions more that are still waiting to receive their upgrades.

If you have requested an upgrade, but haven’t yet received it, Microsoft says, “we will notify you once your PC is ready for Windows 10 and it has been downloaded on your PC. The best way to know your upgrade is ready is to look for this notification in your system tray.”

TIME Apple

Here’s What a New Dad Thinks of the Apple Watch

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Jung Yeon-JE—AFP/Getty Images A South Korean employee shows the "Apple Watch" at an Apple shop in Seoul on June 26, 2015.

The Apple Watch can be a handy tool for parents

I’m an early adopter. Not in the case of kids, mind you — I waited until my mid-thirties before I powered up a little robot of my own. But when it comes to technology, I’m typically the guy in the waiting room pacing back and forth, excited and anxious to unbox a little bundle of electronic joy. And though I was indifferent toward the Apple Watch when it launched, I still ordered up it at the earliest possible moment — a minute after midnight on an April Thursday.

That may not sound like a big deal to you, but as a parent of a then-teething 10-month-old, staying up that late is bold commitment to tech. And after placing my pre-order, of course I crowed about it on Facebook, where one of my friends, herself a mother of two, quipped, “Oh, your kid is going to love poking at that little screen.” For the first couple months of owning the device, that comment was the most I ever thought in parental terms about the Apple Watch. But recently, I’ve been reconsidering it as a good tool for raising tots.

When the Apple Watch arrived the day before I was scheduled for a surgery, any excitement I had was abated by weeks of painkillers and doctor-mandated rest. And as thrilled as I was to tinker with this new toy during my bed rest, Apple Watch’s early third-party apps were generally useless. They basically functioned just like their companion iOS apps, only on an annoyingly smaller scale. Apple Watch’s default apps were the device’s only exciting features, and that’s mostly because I was using Siri to program ’round-the-clock medication reminders (with silent, wrist-shaking alarms to avoid stirring my wife in the wee hours of the morning).

At first, my son ignored the Apple Watch, though his unyielding development made it only a matter of time before it became his favorite thing ever. I bought the aluminum Sport model with a white rubber wristband, which matches practically any outfit — except for ones in which you want to be taken seriously. Thankfully, I work from home and my only co-worker is my dog, although even she must think this thing looks rubbery and ridiculous. But you know what looks worse? The price tag on other Apple Watch bands, especially when your kid is going through clothes faster than a Kardashian. So even though the white band glows like a beacon to my son’s eyes, that’s the band I’ve been stuck with.

In the meantime, my son has begun his education in watch theft by clawing at my wrist. Whether it’s bottle-, bath-, or snuggle-time, all he wants to do is rip the Apple Watch — and my arm hair — clean off. In the weeks since his first birthday, he’s become more fixated by the screen, which flashes the time at him as I do my daily dadly duties. Otherwise, he’s gotten no access to the Apple Watch, and that’s by design. Our family is abiding the American Academy of Pediatric’s recommendations on screen time, which is approximately zero hours per year for the first two years of life. Exceptions come in the instances of FaceTime calls with cross-country family and the rare father-son Red Sox game/nap.

But the Apple Watch is doing a heck of a job masking my own futility. As it stands, there’s only one reason I’d recommend the device: its ability to remind you of absolutely everything. On daddy days, I ask Siri to nag me to feed and change my little guy with clockwork regularity — because I’m a new dad, and not smart enough to remember these things on my own. On work days, I set a recurring alarm to go off around 5:00 p.m., prompting me to take my eyes off the computer screen and cast them towards the road to daycare — because no one wants to be the parent who picks his kid up after closing time. There are reminders to buy more milk, to order more diapers, to cover those electrical outlets, and so on and so forth. It’s too much for my little brain to manage, but Siri is always tapping me on the wrist, keeping me on track.

I also recently began testing smart home gear, including a Quirky sensor that alerts me when a window in my son’s bedroom is opened. Those alerts hit my Apple Watch quickly and clearly. The feeling of security that’s provided cannot be overstated, especially for a new parent. With this level of surveillance, some people might call me a helicopter parent, but I disagree. I’m a drone dad — watching remotely, and silently — and proud of it.

And now that the doctor has cleared me to exercise, I’ve started to use the Watch one way Apple truly intended: as an activity monitor. If I’m being completely honest, I still ignore the Apple Watch’s occasional prompts to stand up and move around, just like I did with the fitness bands that I mothballed before it. But with the Apple Watch, I’m thrilled to have a GPS-logging, heart rate-monitoring device on my wrist when running — an activity I abandoned when my wife was pregnant, and have been itching to return to since. After all, it’s time to shed my burgeoning dad bod. So last week, for the first time since getting the Apple Watch, I finally laced up my running shoes, pulled out the jogging stroller, and literally ran to my son’s daycare to pick him up. Tracking my progress on the Apple Watch was easy as listening to the “How Did This Get Made” podcast via Overcast, which has one of the rare top-notch Watch apps. Out of shape, huffing and puffing, I felt like I was finally using the Apple Watch as it was intended. Text messages from my wife were flying in as I hobbled along, and I was able to check them, the time, and my poor pace without missing a beat.

As I loaded my son into the stroller, a reminder from earlier in the day flashed on my watch’s screen: “Buy Orajel.” Thankfully, there was a Walgreens on the way home, and we rolled in together as father and son, sans-wallet, buying a tube of the miraculous, tooth-numbing cure simply by double-tapping on the Apple Watch’s side button, selecting my Apple Pay-linked credit card, and flashing the Watch at the payment terminal.

I’d love to say that with features like these, the Apple Watch helps me make parenting look easy. But in reality, like raising a child, it took time for me to get comfortable with the Apple Watch. It’s still in its infancy, but I’m looking forward to see it grow up.

TIME Google

Google’s Most Controversial Product Is Making a Comeback

Fed Chair Janet Yellen Gives NYU Commencement Speech At Yankee Stadium
Andrew Burton—Getty Images A student wears Google Glass at the 2014 New York University graduation ceremony at Yankee Stadium on May 21, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City.

Glass is back with a brand new mission

After retiring Google Glass in January, Google is softly pitching a new version of the face computer for use in the workplace.

Google is aiming to get the new version of Glass in the hands of professionals in the healthcare, manufacturing and energy industries by this fall, the Wall Street Journal reports. The new business-oriented Glass has improved battery life, a faster processor and a more rugged, foldable design.

Google Glass was first introduced on a limited basis in 2013 as a headset sporting a tiny screen that overlaid graphics in a wearer’s field of view. It also came with a camera, which raised privacy concerns about the device, even causing some bars and restaurants to enact “No Glass” policies. Google eventually ended the initial Glass program without releasing a full-bore consumer product.

The thing that we did not do well, that was closer to a failure, is that we allowed and sometimes encouraged too much attention to the program,” Google’s Astro Teller said in March about Google Glass’ lifespan.

Rebranding Glass as a workplace productivity tool rather than a consumer gadget could help Google sidestep privacy concerns. Still, the Journal reports that Google is working on a new consumer version of Glass.

TIME

This Is What Facebook’s Solar-Powered Internet Plane Looks Like

It kind of resembles a stealth bomber

Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook’s solar-powered Internet plane Aquila has taken flight.

In a video posted to his Facebook page, Zuckerberg introduced the 140-foot wingspan aircraft that is designed to provide Internet access to remote regions.

To see the story about the plane’s design, here’s the link to the video and Zuckerberg’s Facebook post. It already has over 20,000 likes.

“Aquila is a solar powered unmanned plane that beams down internet connectivity from the sky,” he wrote. “It has the wingspan of a Boeing 737, but weighs less than a car and can stay in the air for months at a time.

“This effort is important because 10% of the world’s population lives in areas without existing internet infrastructure. To affordably connect everyone, we need to build completely new technologies.”

Per Re/Code:

The plane isn’t just an idea or a mockup. An actual version of the plane was built in the United Kingdom and Facebook plans to test it, probably somewhere in the United States, later this year, according to Facebook’s VP of Engineering Jay Parikh.

TIME Uber

Uber Denies There Are ‘Phantom’ Cars In Its App

Uber was responding to a recent Vice article

Although there’s nothing too spooky about the possibility of phantom cars showing up in Uber’s app, it does come across as somewhat sneaky.

Researchers are arguing that the app has cars appear when a user opens up the service, but there are actually none in the area. Uber, however, vehemently denies the accusation of “phantom” cars.

In a Vice article, Alex Rosenblat and Luke Stark, who are researchers from the Data & Society think tank, said an Uber representative told a passenger that the app is “simply showing that there are partners on the road at the time.”

“This is not a representation of the exact numbers of drivers or their location,” the representative continued, according to the article. “This is more of a visual effect, letting people know that partners are searching for fares. I know this seems a misleading to you but it is meant as more of a visual effect more than an accurate location of drivers in the area. It would be better of you to think of this as a screen saver on a computer.”

“Our goal is for the number of cars and their location to be as accurate as possible in real time,” an Uber spokesperson said in an interview with The Guardian. “Latency is one reason this is not always possible. Another reason is that the app only shows the nearest eight cars to avoid cluttering the screen. Also, to protect the safety of drivers, in some volatile situations, the app doesn’t show the specific location of individual cars until the ride is requested.”

TIME windows 10

Windows 10 Includes This Really Unhelpful Error Message

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JUNG YEON-JE—AFP/Getty Images A woman walks past a billboard for Windows 10, the latest operating system from US software giant Microsoft.

‘Something happened’

Windows 10 launched this week to warm reviews.

The free upgrade for those running Windows 7 and up comes with an easy two-step installation, but that doesn’t things don’t go wrong. Actually, sometimes something happens. And that’s exactly what Microsoft will tell you.

The error message has popped up for a handful of users who took to social media to share the vague and profoundly unhelpful pop-up.

The “something” can actually be fixed pretty easily by updating the language preferences, according to a solution uncovered by a Reddit user.

Here’s how some people reacted.

READ MORE: Watch Microsoft’s unusual Windows 10 ad.

TIME People

Uber Wants Your Parents to Be Drivers If They Can Use a Smartphone

senior woman hands on steering wheel
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The new economy is welcoming older Americans with open arms

“Companies don’t hire 50-year-olds. They just don’t.”

So says 50-year-old Sherry Singer. After decades of being a professional matchmaker, Singer wanted to change gears and start a non-profit, but still needed to pay the rent in L.A. Feeling she had few places to turn in the traditional job market, she looked to a more disruptive space: the booming on-demand economy led by Uber. Singer, who has now worked several of these freelancing jobs that didn’t exist a few years ago, found she could land a gig within a week.

Agism might be rampant in Silicon Valley, but some of the Bay Area’s leading companies are now actively trying to engage the senior crowd, recognizing the huge potential of experienced workers and responsible adults.

On Thursday, Uber announced a partnership with Life Reimagined, an organization under the AARP umbrella that exists to help older people figure out “what’s next?” after life transitions. The same day, Airbnb released data aimed at “celebrating” older hosts and guests, amid their executives attending summits on aging around the country.

“To overlook them participating in new activities would be really short-sighted,” says Airbnb’s Anita Roth, who attended a recent conference on aging hosted by the White House.

When these companies were startups that didn’t know how long they might survive, being short-sighted may have made sense. New tech companies have been started by young people who hire their young friends to help create solutions to problems they’re encountering in their own young lives. Their first customers are often their young, early-adopting friends who live in the Bay Area. But with valuations north of $25 billion, these “startups” are focusing on expansions into a more untapped demographic, which also happens to be huge and growing.

By 2032, Americans over the age of 65 will outnumber those under the age of 15. While bands of young companies are starting to pay more respect to the buying power of this demographic, Uber’s new effort is about recognizing their potential as workers. Life Reimagined bills itself as a helping hand for any adult in need of some direction—whether that person is a 42-year-old divorcee, 55-year-old empty nester or 66-year-old retiree bored nearly to death. Their mission isn’t just about helping people find new jobs or careers, but that’s often involved for participants who range from their late 30s to early 70s.

“The reality is there are far more adults looking for work than venues that are seeking to hire them,” says Emilio Pardo, Life Reimagined’s president. Their effort with Uber is explicitly targeting the “40-plus” crowd. The rideshare company said they don’t have a particular goal for how many drivers they hope to recruit.

Uber already has hundreds of thousands drivers coming onto their platform worldwide every month and expects perhaps another hundred thousand join their ranks in the U.S. over the next few years. Still, says Uber executive David Richter, they need to actively recruit. “We have the high-class problem of ever-increasing demand,” he says.

Uber previously engaged in targeted demographic outreach by trying to sell veterans on becoming drivers. The theory was that many veterans are task-oriented, disciplined and also looking for a healthy outlet “to bring those traits to bear,” says Richter. Those drivers turned out to get higher-than-average ratings; Uber hopes to repeat those results by capitalizing on older drivers who might provide a “more cautious, reliable ride.” According to a white paper released in January, Uber drivers are more likely to be young, female and highly educated than taxi drivers or chauffeurs. Still, about half of them are already over the age of 39.

What about the stereotype that grandma is a haphazard driver who goes everywhere with her blinker on and can operate a smartphone about as well as nuclear submarine? Ken Smith and Martha Deevy, experts from Stanford’s Center on Longevity, generally have a positive attitude about older people driving for Uber, saying that the flexibility those jobs provide will likely be attractive to retirees who need income but want flexible schedules. They also point out that if age 40 is the starting point, that means “there are 30 unambiguously safe years there.” If you look at fatal crash statistics, they point out, you could argue that getting into a car with a 65-year-old is safer than doing so with a driver who is less than 30.

Smartphones are required to do the job of being an Uber driver—as well as most new jobs in the on-demand economy—because it involves accepting and completing requests for rides through the Uber app. Just over half of 50- to 64-year-olds own smartphones, according to Pew, but those numbers are going up. In 2012, only 34% of them did. And, Richter says, new drivers can always lease a smartphone from Uber if needed.

The Center on Longevity is a leading organization dedicated to trying to figure out how Americans can all lead better, longer lives, a crucial mission given that our life expectancies have jumped 20 years since 1925. Airbnb worked with the group to develop a survey to learn more about their older users. Turns out, about one million of Airbnb’s guests and hosts are over 60. Considering 25 million people used Airbnb to find accommodations in the past year, that leaves a lot of room for growth, especially among a demographic that is more likely to own their own home. Like Uber’s veteran drivers, Airbnb’s older hosts also tend to get better reviews than the general population, Airbnb says. The majority of those hosts are either retirees or empty-nesters who start renting out rooms for the extra money; according to Airbnb’s survey, 49% of them are on a fixed income. But, Roth says, many people who come to the platform for the money end up staying for the social engagement and “renewed sense of purpose.” Isolation among older Americans, Life Reimagined’s Pardo says, “is fatal.”

Of course, the sharing and on-demand economies are not without their uncertainties and pitfalls. Lawsuits are alleging that companies like Uber are exploiting their workers, and cities like San Francisco are hotly debating how much home-sharing to allow. Though 50-year-old Singer continues to work for an on-demand ride company, she’s also a lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against Postmates, an on-demand delivery service for which she used to be a courier. The business models of these companies may have to change, but the fact that companies can benefit from giving older Americans more opportunities and attention will remain. “People are in a moment in America where either they can’t retire, don’t want to retire or they’re retired but they’re not done yet,” says Pardo. “It’s all about using the latest technology to actually open up a new opportunity, to give you options.”

TIME windows 10

Watch Microsoft’s Unusual Russian Windows 10 Ad

It's pretty ... different

Microsoft began its Windows 10 ad campaign last week by having Ethan Hawke explain to us how adorable babies will grow up with this wonderful new technology, appealing to consumers’ love for smooth voices, catchy songs, and cuteness. It was beautiful.

Their new Russian commercial, on the other hand, is … interesting?

The ad depicts Windows software as cartoon characters. Windows 10 is a starlet getting ready for a premiere that everyone seems to be excited for, particularly the nosy paparazzi. She strikes up a new romance with the hunky Edge, Microsoft’s new Internet browser, and apparently Windows 10’s new boyfriend. At the end of the ad, Windows 10 emerges, backed by all her Windows software friends.

Maybe you Russian speakers out there will be able to make sense of this.

TIME Microsoft

8 Hidden Features in Windows 10

The Windows team went for a "familiar and fresh" look, tucking the fresh features behind the familiar ones

Microsoft’s Windows 10 tends to hide some of its coolest tricks, maybe with good reason. Who wants to reboot their computer and find their desktop radically altered? That was the dilemma Windows users faced after they upgraded to Windows 8 in 2012. Microsoft is determined to not repeat that mistake with Windows 10.

Instead, the Windows team focused on a look that was “familiar and fresh,” opting to tuck the fresh features discreetly behind the familiar ones. Here’s a roadmap to some of the hidden gems:

Adjustable Start Menu: The Start menu will default to a narrow column, but users can drag around the margins to their liking. Fans of “Live Tiles,” those icons that quick launch apps, may want a broader canvass. Detractors can winnow down the menu to Windows 7 proportions.

Spoken Reminders: Hit the mic icon in the search bar, and the digital assistant Cortana will listen for spoken commands. Cortana can then feed the relevant information directly into calendar, email, reminder and calculator apps. Try saying “Remind me to get milk tomorrow at 6 pm,” and you’ll get a sense of the possibilities.

“Hey Cortana:” Really chatty users can go into Cortana’s settings and flip on “Hey Cortana.” The digital assistant will then wake up at that very same voice command.

Notebook: Cortana follows your search and browsing habits in an attempt to decipher your personal tastes. Cut to the chase by hitting the notebook icon in Cortana’s settings and filling out your preferences directly. More privacy minded users can also cut off Cortana’s senses by hitting “Manage what Cortana knows about me in the cloud.”

Refined Searches: The search bar embedded in the Start screen simultaneously searches your personal files and the web. For a tighter focus, you’ll notice two buttons appear as you type a search term. One offers to search “My stuff,” the other, the “Web.” Select according to your needs.

Forget-Me-Not Files: Can’t remember the name of that PowerPoint deck? Enter the file type “.ppt” in the search bar, and it will pull up every saved PowerPoint file, sortable by relevance or recency. Ditto, Word docs and Excel spreadsheets.

Reading List: The star icon in Microsoft Edge doesn’t just add a webpage to your favorites list. You’ll notice a second option to save a story to a “Reading List.” The browser will then automatically save the headline, the picture and the link inside of a handy side menu, which slides out of view until you’re ready for some heavy duty reading.

Marginalia: Microsoft Edge includes a pen and notepad icon in the upper left hand corner. Hit it, and Edge will convert the webpage into mark-up mode. Use digital ink, highlighters and text boxes to mark up the page. Use the share icon to email or save your web clippings.

TIME Shell

Here’s Why Oil Giant Shell Is Slashing Thousands of Jobs

Company sees a ‘prolonged downturn’ in the oil industry

There was no sugar coating on Shell’s earnings report Thursday: “Today’s oil price downturn could last for several years,” the company said.

In reporting a 25% decline in net income in the second quarter, the company said it would be combating the “prolonged downturn” in the oil industry by slashing 6,500 staff and contractor jobs this year and reducing capital investment by $7 billion or 20%. The company employs 94,000 worldwide. Shell’s dreary outlook on Thursday comes after its prediction in April that oil prices would return to $90 per barrel in three years. Crude oil has slumped 50% in the last year—at one point hitting a six-year low.

Shell isn’t alone in trying to grapple with cheap oil. This week Chevron said it would cut 1,500 jobs in an effort to cut costs by $1 billion. Likewise, ConocoPhillips said it’s continuing layoffs as it tries to reduce spending by $1 billion over two years.

Graves & Co., an energy consulting firm, estimates that the energy sector has lost 50,000 in the past three months—that’s on top of the 100,000 layoffs since oil prices began to tumble last fall.

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