Annoying Windows 11 bug that distorted videos playing in Chrome or Edge browsers has finally been squashed

Perhaps one of the most annoying bugs in Windows 11 has finally been addressed and fixed by Microsoft in the latest update for the OS.

The glitch in question caused visual distortions in videos in Chromium-based browsers for some Windows 11 users, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Opera.

The level of distortion changes from user to user, going by reports, but usually includes grey static and general nuttiness when you’re trying to watch a video in your browser! It sounds pretty nasty for those affected.

According to Windows Latest, the issue occurs mostly on PCs with Nvidia graphics cards, and speculation holds that the corruption may be related to Chromium power management. Thankfully, the June cumulative update (KB5039212) has finally squashed the bug, so it shouldn’t bother Windows 11 users any longer. 

A support document from Microsoft states: “This update addresses an issue that distorts parts of the screen. This occurs when you use a Chromium-based browser to play a video.”

The June update for Windows 11 also tackles issues with glitchy or unresponsive taskbars and problems some users had with their PC failing to return from hibernate mode.

Windows Latest tested the fix for visual glitches with videos and reported that it solves the bug. That’s good to hear and means that we have some sort of confirmation that the fix works, so hopefully if you’re experiencing the issue, you should soon see it resolved. 

This nasty browser-related bug has been around for quite some time now, and while I’m glad that the issue has finally been cured, it is rather odd that it’s taken this long. As to why, well, I can only guess the issue was more complex to address than it seems at face value, but at any rate, it’s not the first time we’ve had to wait for ages to get a Windows problem resolved.

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Microsoft’s latest bid to cajole Windows 11 users into switching to Edge is a pop-up 3D banner – and I’m not impressed

Microsoft has revealed a new tactic in its campaign to persuade Windows 11 users to switch to the Edge browser – and it’s a 3D banner, no less.

I suppose that’s a bit different from the usual nags I’ve seen from Microsoft, which has tried so hard, for so very long, to cajole users into switching to Edge. And honestly, some of these attempts have gotten rather tiresome.

This most recent move to entice new users is a pop-up banner that appears when you open Edge directly (or when opening a file, like a PDF, which is set to fire up Edge), and it features a prompt to get you to set Edge as your default browser.

Going by the screenshot taken by Windows Latest, the banner tries to sway you by stating that Edge will protect you against phishing and malware attacks while employing some kind of a limited three-dimensional effect with the visuals here.

Screnshot of banner

(Image credit: Mayank Parmar via Windows Latest )

In the past, Microsoft has made many attempts to get people to switch to Edge. A classic example is the experience when you’re trying to download Google Chrome on a new machine – you’ve got to use Edge as it’s there by default in Windows 11 – and a banner pops up letting you know that Edge is just as good, if not better and that there’s no need to download Chrome. 

While I can’t comment on the effectiveness of these kinds of banners and pop-ups, I can say that it’s not a concept that works for me. Personally, having multiple nag panels trying to get me to do something is not an approach that works – in fact, it kind of makes me more determined to never open Edge ever again.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I don’t think Edge is an explicitly bad browser by any means, and with the recent AI improvements and features implemented by Microsoft, it has become more popular. However, by now, Microsoft should know that nobody likes a nag, and every little nudge and push makes me – and probably others, too – less likely to give Edge a try. 

For now, I’ll stick with Google Chrome and dismiss these prompts out of principle. 

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Apple Passwords app works with Chrome and Edge – and that could tempt Lastpass fans to switch

Alongside a roar of applause for the Calculator app for iPad at Apple’s WWDC 2024 keynote, the crowd seemed pretty happy with the debut of Passwords as well. It’s an aptly named app that takes the popular password manager feature of iCloud Keychain and gives it a home outside of Settings. 

Passwords is a dedicated app for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Vision Pro that safely stores logins and passwords in an encrypted spot that needs to be authenticated with Face ID, Touch ID, or a password to open. It’s still free to use, and considering it’s a dedicated app, it’s now a true competitor for Lastpass and 1Password.

While some have thought that you might be locked into using it only with Safari – after all, it’s made by Apple, and Safari is Apple’s browser – we have good news. 

A browser extension saves the day

Apple Passwords App Slide, WWDC 2024 Keynote

(Image credit: Future/Jacob Krol)

Apple Passwords will work with third-party browsers – Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge – via a browser extension. It’s actually the iCloud Extension, which also currently lets iCloud Keychain users have the autofill experience. This way, even if your browser of preference isn’t Safari, you’ll still be able to use the autofill functionality of Apple Passwords.

In a demo, I got to see the application's interface in action; much like other password managers, you can see a full list alphabetically of all your logins or see it broken up categorically. Once more, Passwords is also home to Wi-Fi networks, which is super handy, and the application supports Passkeys and 2FA codes. For the latter, you can even import a library of 2FA codes from a different service like Google Authenticator.

You can also create a shared group, which could be handy for sharing, let’s say, streaming service logins with the family. Rather than having to be around to copy and paste individually, you can share your collection of logins. It all seems pretty handy, but to make accessing stored passwords even easier, Apple also made a Menu Bar experience for passwords.

Essentially, this lets the app icon – a single key positioned vertically – live at the top of your Mac. When you need an account login or password in a jiffy, click it and authenticate it. You can either scroll or search for a specific login to quickly copy and paste it. Pretty neat. Pulling a login from here or using the autofill functionality happened promptly.

Much like the current experience with iCloud Keychain or another password manager, it will warn you of passwords that have been reused, compromised, or even leaked and suggest changing them.

Maybe best of all is that your logins will sync across your Apple devices via the Passwords app for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and visionOS, but can also be accessed on Windows via the web. Oh, and of course, when Passwords launches later in 2024, it’ll be free; you’ll just need an Apple Account.

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LG’s new super-bright OLED panel could give the next Meta Quest an edge over the Apple Vision Pro

LG Display has unveiled an eye-wateringly bright OLED display that's specially designed for VR headsets – a 10,000-nit OLEDoS (OLED on silicon) panel that could help to bring Meta headsets more in line with the Apple Vision Pro’s visual superiority.

For context, the Meta Quest 3’s displays offer a mere 100 nits, while Apple’s Vision Pro’s OLEDoS panels are rated to achieve 5,000 nits – though there’s no official word on whether they ever get that bright.

LG’s 10,000-nit screens would blow all of these out of the water, though they’d only be half as bright as the 20,000-nit prototype Meta headset I’ve tested in the past (appropriately called Starburst). The advantage is that these super-bright headsets can deliver much more life-like HDR – meaning darker spaces seem darker, while bright objects truly glow like you’d expect them to in the real world.

It’s worth noting that while LG’s new VR OLED can achieve 10,000 nits, it may not ever get that bright or be that bright frequently. Running at 10,000 nits constantly would likely cause a lot of heat and drain your headset’s battery. Considering it would be so close to your eyes, I’d also be concerned it might cause damage. When I tested Starburst, the highest 20,000-nit setting did slightly sting and most of the scenes demoed in this setting were dark with just a few exceptionally bright columns.

Beyond being über bright, this LG display has an ultra-high 4,000 pixel per inch resolution. That's over triple the Quest 3's 1,218 pixel per inch resolution, and LG still beats out the Vision Pro's 3,386 pixels per inch (via iFixit).

Hamish Hector trying out the Starburst VR headset

Starburst was so heavy I had to hold it with two hands (Image credit: Future)

Is LG going to take over XR?

There’s no word yet on when or even if LG's OLEDoS panel will appear in an actual VR headset that you or I could buy, but if it does feature in a product, we expect it’ll be in Meta hardware first. That’s because LG and Meta have officially teamed up to work on XR technology (a catchall for VR, AR, and MR), and I’m convinced this means LG is making the displays for the next Meta Quest Pro.

However, there is a small chance LG’s VR plans could be more selfish.

That’s because since LG and Meta announced their collaboration, Meta has revealed that its Horizon OS is coming to third-party VR headsets – beginning with Xbox Lenovo, and Asus. LG isn’t on this list but it too may have its own VR headset in the works that would put its OLEDoS panel to use, rather than appearing in an official Meta Quest.

We'll have to wait and see what's announced, but whichever VR headset gets this new LG OLEDoS panel it's almost certainly going to be one of the best VR headsets out there.

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Microsoft could turbocharge Edge browser’s autofill game by using AI to help fill out more complex forms

Microsoft Edge looks like it’s getting a new feature that could help you fill out forms more easily thanks to a boost from GPT-4 (the most up-to-date large language model from the creators of ChatGPT, OpenAI).

Browsers like Edge already have auto-fill assistance features to help fill out fields asking for personal information that’s requested frequently, and this ability could see even more improvement thanks to GPT-4’s technology.

The digital assistant currently on offer from Microsoft, Copilot, is also powered by GPT-4, and has seen some considerable integration into Edge already. In theory, the new GPT-4 driven form-filling feature will help Edge users tackle more complex or unusual questions, rather than typical basic fields (name, address, email etc) that existing auto-fill functionality handles just fine.

However, right now this supercharged auto-fill is a feature hidden within the Edge codebase (it’s called “msEdgeAutofillUseGPTForAISuggestions”), so it’s not yet active even in testing. Windows Latest did attempt to activate the new feature, but with no luck – so it’s yet to be seen how the feature works in action. 

A close up of a woman sitting at a table and typing on a computer (a laptop)

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Gorodenkoff)

Bolstering the powers of Edge and Copilot

Of course, as noted, Edge’s current auto-fill feature is sufficient for most form-filling needs, but that won’t help with form fields that require more complex or longer answers. As Windows Latest observes, what you can do, if you wish, is just paste those kind of questions directly into Edge’s Copilot sidebar, and the AI can help you craft an answer that way. Furthermore, you could also experiment with different conversation modes to obtain different answers, perhaps. 

This pepped-up auto-fill could be a useful addition for Edge, and Microsoft is clearly trying to develop both its browser, and the Copilot AI itself, to be more helpful and generally smarter.

That said, it’s hard to say how much Microsoft is prioritizing user satisfaction, as equally, it’s implementing measures which are set to potentially annoy some users. We’re thinking about its recent aggressive advertising strategy and curbing of access to settings if your copy of Windows is unactivated, to pick a couple of examples. Not forgetting the quickly approaching deprecation date for Windows 10 (its most popular operating system).

Copilot was presented as an all-purpose assistant, but the AI still leaves a lot to be desired. However, it’s gradually seeing improvements and integration into existing Microsoft products, and we’ll have to see if the big bet on Copilot pans out as envisioned. 


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Haven’t activated Windows 11? Then you might find yourself locked out of some Microsoft Edge browser settings

If you’re running an unactivated version of Windows 11 (or Windows 10), your access to Microsoft Edge’s settings might be restricted in the future. This is already the case when it comes to things like Personalization settings for Windows 11 in an unactivated installation, as well as constant reminders prompting you to activate the OS.

If you don’t mind those constraints and plentiful reminders, you can install and run Windows 11 and Windows 10 without activation for free.

However, it seems like Microsoft has added multiple flags in testing that allow for blocking certain browser capabilities in an Edge preview build – if you’re using Windows 11 (or Windows 10) and it’s unactivated. The three flags in question in Edge spotted by Windows Latest are:

  • msEdgeActivatedStateCheckAndUpdate
  • msEdgeNonActivatedOSTrigger
  • msEdgeLockSettingsInNonActivatedOS

Looking to see the effects of each of these flags being enabled, Windows Latest tried running the Edge Canary test build with one flag enabled at a time. Windows Latest turned on the ‘msEdgeLockSettingsInNonActivatedOS’ flag successfully, which resulted in some of Edge’s settings being locked. Then, when Edge’s settings page was opened, it displayed a banner that stated:

“We notice your Windows is not activated, some customization has been limited.”

Pushing further, Windows Latest explored other parts of Edge settings and also discovered that the ‘When Edge starts’ panel (which allows for configuration of what happens when the browser launches) was blocked due to Windows 11 not being activated.

An unwise move?

This is an interesting strategy that doesn’t entirely make sense to me, because as Windows Latest points out, the policy seemingly only targets Windows – Edge users on Mac devices and mobiles don’t see this kind of interference. That makes me think, well, Microsoft is mulling this move simply because it can, and if you want Windows enough to install it, then you want the OS enough to tolerate measures like this. 

Considering how clearly desperate Microsoft is for more people to use Edge, having instigated multiple instances of aggressively pushing users to make Edge their browser of choice, this strategy is even more puzzling since it could drive people away (having finally gotten what Microsoft wants, apparently!).

If you want to continue using Windows unactivated, you could just switch to Chrome, Firefox, or another of the best web browsers that doesn’t have these restrictions. It’s worth remembering that this development is still in the early testing stages, though, and hopefully won’t make it to the final version rollout – but I wouldn’t put it past Microsoft. 


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Haven’t activated Windows 10 or 11 yet? Your Microsoft Edge settings may soon be blocked off entirely

Users with an unactivated version of Windows 11 (or Windows 10) may need to start considering activating their operating system – as it looks like Microsoft could start cracking down again, starting with the Edge web browser.

According to Windows Report, the change is currently contained to Edge Canary, a build of Edge that Windows Insiders have access to to try out and test potential upcoming changes, and it seems Insiders have spotted a lockdown on Microsoft Edge settings. 

The browser is still likely to work on unactivated Windows, and normally you can use Windows 10 and 11 without having to activate your license key – but with limitations. People using unactivated Windows are likely to have a prompt to activate pop up often in their settings and have limitations with their personalization options. 

While this is inconvenient, it does at least allow people to use their machines without activating Windows 10 or 11 – a far cry from previous Windows releases which would not let you install the operating system without a valid product key. However, if this change to how Edge runs does make it past the Insiders stage of development you may find all your settings regarding Microsoft Edge locked entirely, presumably until you activate your version of Windows. 

Cruel but fair? 

Why would Microsoft want to take such a harsh approach to getting people to activate their operating system? Without activation, you are very likely to miss out on security updates, protect yourself from viruses and cyber threats, and be bothered consistently by pop-ups. Activation also proves that you paid for that version of Windows and that it is legitimate.

With all the new AI advancements stuffed into Microsoft Edge, there are probably a lot more people using Edge now than before, and this could just be a good opportunity to force as many people as possible to activate their Windows by threatening to tamper with their newly boosted, feature-filled web browser. 

I can appreciate why the tech giant would want to prompt people to make their devices more secure by activating them, while also making sure people aren’t using pirated or ‘cracked’ versions of its software. 

Hopefully, if we do see this development make it out to a public release Microsoft will give users time to activate their operating systems, rather than just taking everything away first and expecting users to figure it out later. 

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YouTube Shorts gains an edge over TikTok thanks to new music video remix feature

YouTube is revamping the Remix feature on its ever popular Shorts by allowing users to integrate their favorite music videos into content.

This update consists of four tools: Sound, Collab, Green Screen, and Cut. The first one lets you take a track from a video for use as background audio. Collab places a Short next to an artist’s content so you can dance alongside it or copy the choreography itself. Green Screen, as the name suggests, allows users to turn a music video into the background of a Short. Then there’s Cut, which gives creators the ability to remove a five-second portion of the original source to add to their own content and repeat as often as they like. 

It’s important to mention that none of these are brand new to the platform as they were actually introduced years prior. Green Screen, for instance, hit the scene back in 2022 although it was only available on non-music videos.


The company is rolling out the remix upgrade to all users, as confirmed by 9To5Google, but it’s releasing it incrementally. On our Android, we only received a part of the update as most of the tools are missing. Either way, implementing one of the remix features is easy to do. The steps are exactly the same across the board with the only difference being the option you choose.

To start, find the music video you want to use on the mobile app and tap the Remix button. It’ll be found in the description carousel. Next, select the remix tool. At the time of this writing, we only have access to Sound so that’ll be the one we’ll use.

YouTube Short's new Remix tool for Music Videos

(Image credit: Future)

You will then be taken to the YouTube Shorts editing page where you highlight the 15-second portion you want to use in the video. Once everything’s sorted out, you’re free to record the Short with the music playing in the back.

Analysis: A leg over the competition

The Remix feature’s expansion comes at a very interesting time. Rival TikTok recently lost access to the vast music catalog owned by Universal Music Group (UMG), meaning the platform can no longer host tracks by artists represented by the record label. This includes megastars like Taylor Swift and Drake. TikTok videos with “UMG-owned music” will be permanently muted although users can replace them with songs from other sources.

The breakup between UMG and TikTok was the result of contract negotiations falling through. Apparently, the social media platform was trying to “bully” the record label into accepting a bad deal that wouldn’t have adequately protected artists from generative AI and online harassment.  

YouTube, on the other hand, was more cooperative. The company announced last August they were working with UMG to ensure “artists and right holders would be properly compensated for AI music.” So creators on YouTube are safe to take whatever songs they want from the label – for now. It's possible future negotiations between these two entities will turn sour down the line.

If you're planning on making YouTube Shorts, you'll need a smartphone with a good camera. Be sure to check out TechRadar's list of the best iPhone for 2024 if you need some recommendations.

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DeepMind and Meta staff plan to launch a new AI chatbot that could have the edge over ChatGPT and Bard

Since the explosion in popularity of large language AI models chatbots like ChatGPT, Google Gemini, and Microsoft Copilot, many smaller companies have tried to wiggle their way into the scene. Reka, a new AI startup, is gearing up to take on artificial intelligence chatbot giants like Gemini (formerly known as Google Bard) and OpenAI’s ChatGPT – and it may have a fighting chance to actually do so. 

The company is spearheaded by Singaporean scientist Yi Tay, working towards Reka Flash, a multilingual language model that has been trained in over 32 languages. Reka Flash also boasts 21 billion parameters, with the company stating that the model could have a competitive edge with Google Gemini Pro and OpenAI’s ChatGPT 3.5 across multiple AI benchmarks. 

According to TechInAsia, the company has also released a more compact version of the model called Reka Edge, which offers 7 billion parameters with specific use cases like on-device use. It’s worth noting that ChatGPT and Google Gemini have significantly more training parameters (approximately 175 billion and 137 billion respectively), but those bots have been around for longer and there are benefits to more ‘compact’ AI models; for example, Google has ‘Gemini Nano’, an AI model designed for running on edge devices like smartphones that uses just 1.8 billion parameters – so Reka Edge has it beat there.

So, who’s Yasa?

The model is available to the public in beta on the official Reka site. I’ve had a go at using it and can confirm that it's got a familiar ChatGPT-esque feel to the user interface and the way the bot responds. 

The bot introduced itself as Yasa, developed by Reka, and gave me an instant rundown of all the things it could do for me. It had the usual AI tasks down, like general knowledge, sharing jokes or stories, and solving problems.

Interestingly, Yasa noted that it can also assist in translation, and listed 28 languages it can swap between. While my understanding of written Hindi is rudimentary, I did ask Yasa to translate some words and phrases from English to Hindi and from Hindi to English. 

I was incredibly impressed not just by the accuracy of the translation, but also by the fact that Yasa broke down its translation to explain not just how it got there, but also breaking down each word in the phrase or sentence and translated it word forward before giving you the complete sentence. The response time for each prompt no matter how long was also very quick. Considering that non-English-language prompts have proven limited in the past with other popular AI chatbots, it’s a solid showing – although it’s not the only multilingual bot out there.

Image 1 of 2

Reka translating

(Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 2

Reka AI Barbie

(Image credit: Future)

I tried to figure out how up-to-date the bot was with current events or general knowledge and finally figured out the information.  It must have been trained on information that predates the release of the Barbie movie. I know, a weird litmus test, but when I asked it to give me some facts about the pink-tinted Margot Robbie feature it spoke about it as an ‘upcoming movie’ and gave me the release date of July 28, 2023. So, we appear to have the same case as seen with ChatGPT, where its knowledge was previously limited to world events before 2022

Of all the ChatGPT alternatives I’ve tried since the AI boom, Reka (or should I say, Yasa) is probably the most immediately impressive. While other AI betas feel clunky and sometimes like poor-man’s knockoffs, Reka holds its own not just with its visually pleasing user interfaces and easy-to-use setup, but for its multilingual capabilities and helpful, less robotic personality.

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Microsoft Edge could soon get its own version of Google’s Circle to Search feature

As the old saying goes, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. Microsoft is seemingly giving Google a huge compliment as new info reveals the tech giant is working on its own version of Circle to Search for Edge.

If you’re not familiar, Circle to Search is a recently released AI-powered feature on the Pixel 8 and Galaxy S24 series of phones. It allows people to circle objects on their mobile devices to quickly look them up on Google Search. Microsoft’s rendition functions similarly. According to the news site Windows Report, it’s called Circle To Copilot. The way it works you circle an on-screen object with the cursor – in this case, it’s an image of the Galaxy S24 Ultra

Immediately after, Copilot appears from the right side with the circled image attached as a screenshot in an input box. You then ask the AI assistant what the object is in the picture, and after a few seconds, it’ll generate a response. The publication goes on to state the tool also works with text. To highlight a line, you will also need to draw a circle around the words.

Windows Report states Circle To Copilot is currently available on the latest version of Microsoft Edge Canary which is an experimental build of the browser. It’s meant for users or developers who want early access to potential features. The publication has a series of instructions explaining how you can activate Circle To Copilot. You'll need to enter a specific command into the browser's Properties menu.

If the command works for you, Circle To Copilot can be enabled by going to the Mouse Gesture section of Edge’s Settings menu and then clicking the toggle switch. It’s the fourth entry from the top.

Work in progress

We followed Windows Report's steps ourselves; however, we were unable to try out the feature. All we got was an error message stating the command to activate the tool was not valid. It seems not everyone who installs Edge Canary will gain access, although this isn’t surprising. 

The dev browser is, not surprisingly, unstable. It’s a testing ground for Microsoft so things don’t always work as well as they should; if at all. It is possible Circle To Copilot will function better in a future patch, however, we don’t know when that will be rolling out. We are disappointed the feature was inaccessible on our PC because we had a couple of questions. Is this something that needs to be manually triggered on Copilot? Or will it function like Ask Copilot where you highlight a piece of content, right-click it, and select the correct option in the context menu?

Out of curiosity, we installed Edge Canary on our Android phone to see if it had the update. As it turns out, no. It may be Circle To Copilot is exclusive to Edge on desktop, but this could change in the future.

Be sure to check TechRadar's list of the best AI-powered virtual assistant for 2024.

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