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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Duolingo’s new Music platform will teach you the basics of playing tunes

It’s been seven long months since the rumors first cropped up but Duolingo has finally released Music courses to its education platform.

Duolingo Music, as it’s called, will teach you the basics of playing music through the help of a digital keyboard on your iPhone. You don’t need to own an instrument. The lessons teach the names of each individual note and where they’re “located on a piano”. From there, Duolingo will show you how to read music and then “translate what you or hear” into songs. It'll eventually all coalesce into you learning how to play a full song.  The courses will even take the time to “train your ear” so you can distinguish specific notes and tell whether they’re high-pitched or low. 

As you can see, these classes get pretty involved. The primary goal of Duolingo Music is to establish a good foundation for students from which they can grow into more experienced musicians.

Back to School

We asked Karen Chow, the Teaching/Curriculum Expert at Duolingo who created the courses, what was the thought process behind everything. She told us the company “wanted to focus on teaching music literacy in a fun and engaging way.” Chow points out that other “foundations” teach music in a really “boring, dry fashion” so they aimed to do the opposite.

At the beginning of development, Duolingo identified the major tenets for their classes from the obvious, like playing instruments, to ear training. Once it narrowed things down, the company created lessons based on those tents

Duolingo states there are “hundreds of bite-sized lessons” available with many “interactive exercises”. These aim to teach music incrementally and not overload students with a flood of information. Some of the exercises include completing a music sequence and pairing up notes to audio played on a piano. Duolingo states it believes interactivity is vital to learning as it keeps people focused and engaged. All this content is shown in the platform’s signature brightly colored, bubbly UI.

Duolingo Math lessons

(Image credit: Duolingo)

In addition to the music classes, Duolingo Math is getting an update where users can learn “real-world math skills from calculating tips to identifying patterns”. The latter, according to a company representative, involves helping people understand the logic behind math. Plus, there will be courses to “sharpen [your] mental math” abilities, allowing you to calculate in your head without needing to whip out the calculator app.

Availability

Duolingo Music will be available exclusively to “iOS devices in English and Spanish” later this autumn. Users will receive in-app notifications letting them know the update is ready for download. There are plans to expand Duolingo Music to Android users and other languages, too. However, the representative couldn't give us an exact date when this second patch will roll out. Hopefully, it's very soon.

Be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best online classes sites for 2023 if you’re interested in picking up some new skills. 

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Moment 4 update is reportedly slowing down Windows 11 and playing havoc with some AMD GPUs

Some Windows 11 users are reporting problems with the update that provided the Copilot AI when it arrived last week (among a good deal of other features).

That’s the KB5030310 update, which we should note is a preview update for those using Windows 11 22H2. (Folks can get the upgrade, and Copilot plus other goodies, by ensuring that they have chosen the option to ‘Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available’ in Windows Update).

As Windows Latest reports, some users who have installed KB5030310 (with the mentioned option to get the latest features activated) have run into some fairly nasty gremlins.

That includes reports of File Explorer – the central part of the Windows 11 interface that lets you work with folders and files on the desktop – becoming more prone to buggy behavior, and running noticeably slower in general. (Including sluggishness rendering the actual interface which sounds jarring indeed, as mentioned on Reddit).

Other folks are complaining about weirdness with the search box in the taskbar, with it failing to work, or the magnifying glass icon not rendering properly (in fact it’s shown as a letter ‘C’, oddly).

More worryingly, Windows Latest brings our attention to system crashes post-update, and black screens (the latter aren’t complete lock-ups, at least in some reported cases, and can be escaped from by bringing up the Task Manager).

Another bigger glitch here affects those who are using AMD graphics cards, and running the latest driver – apparently, KB5030310 doesn’t play nice with the Adrenalin driver 23.9.3. Every time the PC is restarted, those AMD GPU owners are telling us that their settings are being reset, which is going to get pretty old, pretty fast.


Analysis: The perils of previews

That’s a fair old raft of problems, then, some of which are going to be unpleasant to be visited on your PC. However, this is a preview update, and Microsoft is still working on the functionality therein – so it’s hardly unexpected to see flaws popping up. In fact, it’s very much expected, and of course, we get glitches on finished updates for Windows 11, not just those still officially in testing.

Unfortunately, if you want to get the latest features like Copilot straight away – as per the aforementioned toggle – via a preview release, then you have to be aware that you’re running some level of additional risk for encountering bugs.

What’s a bit more baffling is despite the reports coming in via Reddit and Microsoft’s Feedback Hub that Windows Latest has highlighted here, Microsoft still doesn’t see anything wrong.

In the support document for KB5030310, the company states: “Microsoft is not currently aware of any issues with this update.”

There may, however, be investigations underway regarding the reports of the various glitches covered above, so we might hear soon enough from Microsoft as to what’s going on with these apparent issues (and how widespread they might be, perhaps).

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Playing Tomb Raider II on my PS5 could finally be happening – for a high price

Backward compatibility in games has been something I've been a proponent of since the PlayStation 2 introduced the feature in 2000. You could load up almost any PlayStation 1 game, and play it as normal.

But as times changed and technology became more refined, playing back-catalogs of titles on Sony's platforms increasingly felt more of an afterthought.

This is why the new PS Plus service fills me with hope, with just a hint of trepidation. The idea of being able to play Metal Gear Solid, Tomb Raider, Gex, and more on a PS5 has tempted me to finally consider grabbing the console.

But Sony is already making it difficult for users like me with the new tiers that it's offering, and it makes me wonder if Sony should already look to simplify the new service before its launch in June.

Call 140.85

Metal Gear Solid on PS1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

When I first saw the rumors of Project Spartacus, I was excited. Microsoft has had a fantastic backward-compatibility program for Xbox, and while Nintendo got off to a shaky start with its Switch Online service, playing F-Zero X online is worth its price alone for me.

But Sony has always been bizarrely hesitant to offer its back catalog to new users. Back when the PlayStation 3 was released in 2007, you could pop in a PS1 or PS2 disk, and play as normal. But later models would regress this to just PS1 games, and while some other PS2 games would be available in the store, they would be very few and far between.

As it stood with PS4 and PS5, your only hope was to ask developers for remasters to arrive, as there was no chance of seeing re-releases of PS1 and PS2 games for the systems.

Tekken 3 on PS1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Many gamers in the 90s, myself included, grew up on a PlayStation, and many in my age group have kids who they're trying to introduce to retro classics in between  Fortnite matches on the Nintendo Switch.

Yet, many have been unable to share some of their favorite games from their own childhood because of Sony's approach to its PS1 and PS2-era titles. Its CEO, Jim Ryan, continually dismissed the games because they're old, an opinion that has felt like a big misstep the whole time.

I would chat to friends, both offline and on Twitter, about how we'd love to play certain games like Wipeout 2097 again on a PS5, hoping Sony might one day reconsider its stance.

But there finally looks to be a change of heart, perhaps in response to what Microsoft and Nintendo have done in this area of nostalgia.

Just one tier for retro gaming

Ridge Racer Type 4 on PS1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

However, Sony is in danger of already confusing its users before the service has gone live. There's three tiers, with the highest, called PlayStation Plus Premium, priced at $ 17.99 / £13.49, with Australian pricing yet to be confirmed. This is the only tier that will let you play Sony's games from the PS1 and PS2 eras.

To pay a monthly price, or a higher one if you choose to pay yearly, for access to Sony's back catalog in just one tier, says to me that the company still has a way to go before it recognizes how important retro gaming is.

There's also the question of the classic games that previous PS3 owners, myself included, had bought back in the day. From Ape Escape to Ridge Racer, if they're not able to be converted into free downloadable purchases from looking at our previous purchase history, Sony could have another job on its hands to justify its actions.

Finally, there's been no list as yet as to what games will be included in this plan. Its blog post spoke of 340 additional games to this tier, but while I hope this includes rare classics like Evil Zone, Rosco McQueen, B-movie, and Star Wars: Jedi Power Battles, there's a chance it could be filled up with much more forgettable games from the past.

Jedi Power Battles on PS1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

So am I happy with the announcement? Almost. It's a silent acknowledgment from Sony that this should have been on its consoles as far back as the PlayStation 4. It's great that there are almost 400 classic games getting their chance in the spotlight again.

But I'm also feeling much trepidation from it. 

Playing F-Zero with friends online through the Switch has me hoping that we'll get something similar for this service as well. But with only one tier that allows you to play these games, it looks greedy from Sony's point of view, and the method of playing games from past eras has changed now. We want a mix of the old games, but with today's features, much like what Xbox and Nintendo Switch offer.

Sony has a lot to prove here. It has to prove that it's committed to preserving a catalog that defined the PlayStation to start with. It has to prove that it's listening to its userbase, and it definitely has to prove that this isn't a one-time service. Once the PlayStation 6 arrives, we should see this service continue to be offered regardless, and not as an afterthought.

But right now, as it stands, I'm happy that something is being done at least, and I'm sure once the list of 400 games comes out, I'll be checking stores for available PS5 stock whenever I can.

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Playing Tomb Raider II on my PS5 could finally be happening – for a high price

Backward compatibility in games has been something I've been a proponent of since the PlayStation 2 introduced the feature in 2000. You could load up almost any PlayStation 1 game, and play it as normal.

But as times changed and technology became more refined, playing back-catalogs of titles on Sony's platforms increasingly felt more of an afterthought.

This is why the new PS Plus service fills me with hope, with just a hint of trepidation. The idea of being able to play Metal Gear Solid, Tomb Raider, Gex, and more on a PS5 has tempted me to finally consider grabbing the console.

But Sony is already making it difficult for users like me with the new tiers that it's offering, and it makes me wonder if Sony should already look to simplify the new service before its launch in June.

Call 140.85

Metal Gear Solid on PS1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

When I first saw the rumors of Project Spartacus, I was excited. Microsoft has had a fantastic backward-compatibility program for Xbox, and while Nintendo got off to a shaky start with its Switch Online service, playing F-Zero X online is worth its price alone for me.

But Sony has always been bizarrely hesitant to offer its back catalog to new users. Back when the PlayStation 3 was released in 2007, you could pop in a PS1 or PS2 disk, and play as normal. But later models would regress this to just PS1 games, and while some other PS2 games would be available in the store, they would be very few and far between.

As it stood with PS4 and PS5, your only hope was to ask developers for remasters to arrive, as there was no chance of seeing re-releases of PS1 and PS2 games for the systems.

Tekken 3 on PS1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Many gamers in the 90s, myself included, grew up on a PlayStation, and many in my age group have kids who they're trying to introduce to retro classics in between  Fortnite matches on the Nintendo Switch.

Yet, many have been unable to share some of their favorite games from their own childhood because of Sony's approach to its PS1 and PS2-era titles. Its CEO, Jim Ryan, continually dismissed the games because they're old, an opinion that has felt like a big misstep the whole time.

I would chat to friends, both offline and on Twitter, about how we'd love to play certain games like Wipeout 2097 again on a PS5, hoping Sony might one day reconsider its stance.

But there finally looks to be a change of heart, perhaps in response to what Microsoft and Nintendo have done in this area of nostalgia.

Just one tier for retro gaming

Ridge Racer Type 4 on PS1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

However, Sony is in danger of already confusing its users before the service has gone live. There's three tiers, with the highest, called PlayStation Plus Premium, priced at $ 17.99 / £13.49, with Australian pricing yet to be confirmed. This is the only tier that will let you play Sony's games from the PS1 and PS2 eras.

To pay a monthly price, or a higher one if you choose to pay yearly, for access to Sony's back catalog in just one tier, says to me that the company still has a way to go before it recognizes how important retro gaming is.

There's also the question of the classic games that previous PS3 owners, myself included, had bought back in the day. From Ape Escape to Ridge Racer, if they're not able to be converted into free downloadable purchases from looking at our previous purchase history, Sony could have another job on its hands to justify its actions.

Finally, there's been no list as yet as to what games will be included in this plan. Its blog post spoke of 340 additional games to this tier, but while I hope this includes rare classics like Evil Zone, Rosco McQueen, B-movie, and Star Wars: Jedi Power Battles, there's a chance it could be filled up with much more forgettable games from the past.

Jedi Power Battles on PS1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

So am I happy with the announcement? Almost. It's a silent acknowledgment from Sony that this should have been on its consoles as far back as the PlayStation 4. It's great that there are almost 400 classic games getting their chance in the spotlight again.

But I'm also feeling much trepidation from it. 

Playing F-Zero with friends online through the Switch has me hoping that we'll get something similar for this service as well. But with only one tier that allows you to play these games, it looks greedy from Sony's point of view, and the method of playing games from past eras has changed now. We want a mix of the old games, but with today's features, much like what Xbox and Nintendo Switch offer.

Sony has a lot to prove here. It has to prove that it's committed to preserving a catalog that defined the PlayStation to start with. It has to prove that it's listening to its userbase, and it definitely has to prove that this isn't a one-time service. Once the PlayStation 6 arrives, we should see this service continue to be offered regardless, and not as an afterthought.

But right now, as it stands, I'm happy that something is being done at least, and I'm sure once the list of 400 games comes out, I'll be checking stores for available PS5 stock whenever I can.

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Microsoft Teams update will level the playing field for all users

Microsoft will soon roll out updates for Teams that will benefit users running the collaboration software in a virtual machine (VM).

As per three new entries to the company’s product roadmap, Microsoft Teams will soon allow users of Azure, Citrix and VMware virtual desktop services to utilize give and take controls during video meetings.

Give controls allow Teams users to recruit fellow attendees to help them present, make changes to a file and perform other actions. With take controls, meanwhile, people can request they be given these kinds of administrative privileges.

Virtualization and Microsoft Teams

As many organizations migrate to a hybrid working model, whereby workers split their time between the home and office, video meetings and virtual presentations will continue to play a major role in professional life.

It’s also common for companies to use virtual desktop infrastructure to enable secure remote work. But so far, people running Microsoft Teams in a virtual machine have not had access to the full breadth of functionality, including give and take controls.

The effect of this upcoming round of updates will be to create greater consistency across Microsoft Teams environments, and open up access to core presentation functionality to those required to use virtual desktop services by their IT teams.

Support for Azure Window Desktop and Citrix services is due to arrive in March, with support for VMware’s hypervisor set to follow one month later.

TechRadar Pro has asked Microsoft whether users of other popular virtualization services (Amazon WorkSpaces, Nutanix XI Frame etc.) can expect to benefit from similar updates in future.

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Microsoft is playing dirty in fight to squash Edge browser rivals

Microsoft has taken aggressive steps to drive users towards its web browser Edge as it looks to close the gap on established rivals.

Last month, we reported that members of the Windows 11 early-access program were finding the operating system would no longer allow links with a custom Microsoft Edge URI scheme to open in any other browser.

As part of the last round of Patch Tuesday updates of 2021, it appears Microsoft has quietly extended this policy to all Windows 10 and Windows 11 installations.

Although the firm has not gone as far as to force all web links to launch in Edge (only those housed within its own services, like the Start menu), the move is unlikely to prove popular with Windows users, the majority of whom use a third-party browser as their daily driver.

Microsoft Edge backlash

Until now, Windows users have been able to rely on a free service called EdgeDeflector to counteract the Edge URI scheme, and rival browsers Firefox and Brave feature similar in-built workarounds. However, following the latest update, none of these solutions remain viable.

When hints of a crackdown first emerged, the creator of EdgeDeflector was openly critical of Microsoft, which he believes has strayed the wrong side of antitrust law.

“These aren’t the actions of an attentive company that cares about its products any more,” he wrote in a blog post. “Microsoft isn’t a good steward of the Windows operating system. [It’s] prioritizing ads, bundleware, and service subscriptions over their own productivity.”

“For users, the best action is to complain to their local antitrust regulator or switch to Linux. Your web browser is probably the most important – if not the only – app you regularly use. Microsoft has made it clear that its priorities for Windows don’t align with its users’.”

Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, also voiced its concerns about the forcefulness with which Microsoft is pushing its service on Windows users.

“People deserve choice. They should have the ability to and easily set defaults, and their choice of default browser should be respected,” said a Mozilla spokesperson.

“We have worked on code that launches Firefox when the microsoft-edge protocol is used for those users that have already chosen Firefox as their default browser. Following the recent change to Windows 11, this planned implementation will no longer be possible.”

However, as reported by ghacks, there remains one viable workaround in the form of an open source tool called MSEdgeRedirect, which gets around the Edge URI scheme in a different fashion to EdgeDeflector and Firefox. 

It remains to be seen whether Microsoft will move to block this bypass as well.

Via Neowin

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