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House committee approves bill that could break up Amazon, Apple, and Google

Monopoly board game.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | MichaelJay)

The House Judiciary Committee approved antitrust legislation that could prohibit platform operators like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook from favoring their own products and services, and the legislation could even break up industry giants by forcing them to eliminate or sell certain divisions. Companies could also face fines of 15 percent of their annual revenue.

Bills introduced by Democrats were approved in a hearing that began Wednesday morning, recessed at 5 am EDT Thursday, reconvened late Thursday morning, and finished around 3 pm. The final and most controversial bill approved was the Ending Platform Monopolies Act, which “eliminates the ability of dominant platforms to leverage their control over across multiple business lines to self-preference and disadvantage competitors in ways that undermine free and fair competition,” a press release from Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline (D-R.I.) on June 11 said.

The 21-20 vote went mostly along party lines, but Republicans Ken Buck (R-Colo.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) supported the bill. Democrats who opposed it were Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.); Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.); Lou Correa (D-Calif.); and Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.).

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Source: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/06/house-committee-oks-big-tech-breakups-and-massive-fines-in-antimonopoly-push/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Jon Brodkin

Windows 11 is much more than a new theme slapped onto Windows 10

The latest Windows focuses heavily on improved task management, prettier UI, and a much more ambitious Microsoft Store.

Enlarge / The latest Windows focuses heavily on improved task management, prettier UI, and a much more ambitious Microsoft Store. (credit: Microsoft)

Earlier this morning, we got our first official look at Windows 11 by way of Microsoft’s What’s New For Windows event. The new OS offers several significant, functional changes to what we’ve become accustomed to in Windows 10—this isn’t just the same old operating system with a fresh coat of paint.

However, Windows 11 absolutely does get that fresh coat of paint. Its new desktop environment makes heavy use of translucent window dressing with rounded corners, an effect which brings to mind panes of frosted glass. In many ways, the new look is reminiscent of compiz-based Linux desktop environments circa 2010—but with significantly higher resolution and a more coherent overall theme.

Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay ties the new look to eyebrow-raising statements about emotion: “We understand the responsibility of [functionality and practicality] more than ever before, but it must also be personal—and maybe most importantly, it must feel emotional.”

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Source: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/06/microsoft-details-windows-11-with-new-ui-and-android-app-support/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Jim Salter

Psychedelic VR meditation startup Tripp raises $11 million Series A

As an increasing number of startups sell investors on mobile apps that help consumers prioritize well-being and mindfulness, other startups are looking for a more immersive take that allow users to fully disconnect from the world around them.

Tripp has been building immersive relaxation exercises that seek to blend some of the experiences users may find in guided meditation apps with more free-form experiences that allow users to unplug from their day and explore their thoughts inside a virtual reality headset while watching fractal shapes, glowing trees and planets whir past them. As the name implies, there have been some efforts by the startup to create visuals and audio experiences that mimic the feelings people may have during a psychedelic trip — though doing so sans hallucinogens.

“Many people that will never feel comfortable taking a psychedelic, this is a low friction alternative that can deliver some of that experience in a more benign way,” CEO Nanea Reeves tells TechCrunch. “The idea is to take mindfulness structures and video game mechanics together to see if we can actually hack the way that you feel.”

The startup tells TechCrunch they’ve closed a $11 Million in funding led by Vine Ventures and Mayfield with participation from Integrated, among others. Tripp has raised some $15 million in total funding to date.

Image via Tripp

VR startups have largely struggled to earn investor fervor in recent years as major tech platforms have sunsetted their virtual reality efforts one-by-one leaving Facebook and Sony as the sole benefactors of a space that they are still struggling to monetize at times. While plenty of VR startups are continuing to see engagement, many investors which backed companies in the space five years ago have turned their attention to gaming and computer vision startups with more broad applications.

Reeves says that the pandemic has helped consumers dial into the importance of mindfulness and mental health awareness, something that has also pushed investors to get bolder in what projects in the space that they’re backing.

Tripp has apps on both the Oculus and PlayStation VR stores and subscription experiences that can be accessed for a $4.99 per month subscription.

The company provides a variety of guided experiences, but users can also use the company’s “Tripp composer” to build their own visual flows. Beyond customization, one of Tripp’s major sells is giving consumers deeper, quicker meditative experiences, claiming that users can get alleviate stress with sessions as short as 8 minutes inside their headset. Tripp is currently in the midst of clinical trials to study the software platform’s effectiveness as a therapeutic device.

The company says that users have gone through over 2 million sessions inside the app so far.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/24/psychedelic-vr-meditation-startup-tripp-raises-11-million-series-a/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Lucas Matney

Microsoft warns users to beware of a new ransomware trick

In recent months multiple high-profile large companies in the US have fallen victim to ransomware attacks. In at least two high-profile cases, the company has paid out millions of dollars to the attackers to get their data back. As hackers make more money using ransomware tactics, the incidence of attacks increases. Microsoft is now warning users to beware of phishing … Continue reading

Source: https://www.slashgear.com/microsoft-warns-users-to-beware-of-a-new-ransomware-trick-24679752/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Shane McGlaun

How to Watch Microsoft’s Windows 11 Launch Event on June 24th

Josh Hendrickson

Are you ready for “the next generation” of Windows? Microsoft is hosting a livestreamed event at 11 a.m. Easter time on June 24th, likely to announce Windows 11. Here’s how to tune in, plus an overview of the Windows 11 features that we found in our hands-on last week.

Where to Watch the Livestream

Microsoft will stream its Windows 11 event on the Windows Event Page on June 24th at 11 a.m. Eastern time. You can tune in on any device running a modern browser, including a phone or tablet.

If you don’t want to watch the Windows 11 event on Microsoft’s website, then you can visit the company’s YouTube channel and watch it there. YouTube may be an easier option for those who want to watch the event on a streaming stick or game console.

What to Expect from Windows 11

At a recent Build 2021 event, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated that the company would soon “share one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade.” He also shared that he’s been using the “next generation of Windows” for several months, and that he expects the platform to provide greater “economic opportunity” for developers and creators.

While Microsoft hasn’t publicly shared any details related to Windows 11, a Preview Build of the OS leaked to the public last week. We tested this build and found that, while Windows 11 is certainly the biggest Windows update since Windows 8 introduced the Metro design, it isn’t all that different from Windows 10.

Most changes in Windows 11 are visual. Icons on the taskbar are centered and do not display application names. The start menu no longer features Live Tiles, and the News and Interests widget is … well, it’s something.

The News and Interests widget in Windows 11. Josh Hendrickson

The only major functional change in Windows 11 seems to be a new Snap controller. In Windows 10, you have to drag a window to the edge of your screen for it to snap in place (leaving half your screen empty for another app). But right-clicking an app’s maximize button in Windows 11 opens up a new Snap controller, allowing you to lock windows on-screen without dragging them around like a madman.

Other changes are less obvious, like how Windows 11 forces you to log into a Microsoft account while setting up a computer. In the past, you could skip this process by leaving the PC disconnected from the internet during setup.

Of course, all of these features are subject to change, and Microsoft may show a much more advanced version of Windows 11 during its live event. That’s why you need to tune in!

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/89996/how-to-watch-microsofts-windows-11-launch-event-on-june-24th/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Andrew Heinzman

Lenovo Unveils Powerful ThinkPad X1 Extreme and New AMD L-Series Laptops

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Along with its new Chromebook and computer monitors, Lenovo just unveiled a trio of Windows 10 laptops. The new ThinkPad X1 Extreme is the highlight of the bunch, with an 11th gen Intel processor and configurations for RTX 3080 graphics. Lenovo’s new ThinkPad L13 and L13 Yoga systems are also impressive, running the latest AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs with integrated graphics.

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/89847/lenovo-unveils-powerful-thinkpad-x1-extreme-and-new-amd-l-series-laptops/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Andrew Heinzman

Massive Adobe Premiere Pro Redesign Makes Importing and Exporting Easier

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Adobe Premiere first debuted in December of 1991, nearly 30 years ago. But in that time, social media has completely revolutionized how people share video. That’s why Adobe is pushing a major Premiere Pro redesign to help streamline the import and export process, speeding up the workflow for a new generation of content creators.

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/89503/massive-adobe-premiere-pro-redesign-makes-importing-and-exporting-easier/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Andrew Heinzman

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