Windows 11 could finally make color management easier, and that’s great news for artists and gamers

Microsoft might be planning to release a new color management panel that’ll make picking the perfect color profile for your PC much easier. The perfect color settings make games pop out of the display more vividly, and if you’re a digital artist or photographer, the right color profile could make or break your next masterpiece. 

According to VideoCardz, the change was spotted in the Windows Insider program's latest Insider Preview Build 26052. This is a community of Windows enthusiasts and developers that get early access to potential new features and upgrades, and give feedback before the features are available to regular Windows 11 users. 

The new color management panel showcased in the build has been updated to the modern Windows 11 aesthetic and relocated to the main Settings menu, with easy-to-navigate options and a simpler layout. The old color management menu, which had to be accessed via the Windows Control Panel, has been effectively removed in Build 26052.

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Better control,hopefully … 

Most people who just use their PC for office work or school projects might never venture to this section of the Settings menu, but this could be great news for photographers, digital artists, video editors, and gamers who rely on getting the most out of their monitors. 

From the side-by-side screenshot comparison in the above tweet (sorry, 'X post'), you can see some new features too: the option to color-calibrate your monitor for specific profiles and enable automatic color balancing for compatible Windows apps. If you don’t want to manually color calibrate, you can either select the best option from the available profiles or create your own so you get the most accurate hues. 

While we're excited about this change, we do have to keep in mind that some features that are put into the Dev channel don’t always make it out to the public, so there is a chance we might never see it reach the public build.  We do however hope to see it come to Windows 11 soon because it’ll be a convenient way of managing your color preferences and profiles within the menu layout you’re already familiar with. 

If you want to give it a go, you’ll have to sign up to join the Windows Insider program first. Once you’ve done that you’ll be able to go straight to the ‘display’ section of your general settings and see the ‘Color Management’ option, where you can play around with different profiles and settings. 

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Windows 11 users can’t get enough of Copilot, apparently – that’s why Microsoft supersized the AI’s panel

The Copilot panel in Windows 11 has been tinkered with a good deal in recent times, and a newer change that has been applied is one to switch up the way it appears by default, which has now been accompanied by a prompt from Microsoft explaining why.

This was spotted by regular leaker Leopeva64 on X (formerly Twitter), who noted that the Copilot pane is now wider than it used to be, and opens as an overlay, rather than in side-by-side view (a more compact form, where it’s always nestling next to your active window).

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Leopeva64 explains that the Copilot interface has opened this way for a short while now, but a new addition is a prompt Microsoft has added to explain why.

The ‘What’s new’ pop-up tells us that the recent change to make the panel wider so there’s “more space to chat” was due to Windows 11 user feedback requesting that additional real-estate. It also notes, however, that there’s a button at the top of the panel you can click to switch back to the more compact side-by-side layout, if you wish.

Analysis: Copilot expansion

It’s useful to have an explanation of the recent move to change the default settings for how the AI opens, and by all accounts, this points to Windows 11 users favoring a larger Copilot panel. (Or at least some of them, and we could assume the majority, at least of those who’ve fed back to Microsoft on Copilot’s interface).

Certainly those who use Copilot quite a lot in Windows 11, engaging in longer sessions of queries, may welcome the AI assistant getting more screen space by default.

The truth is we can expect to see a lot more of Copilot, one way or another, going forward. By which we mean Microsoft is already testing the waters for having the AI assistant appear when Windows 11 first boots (in a limited fashion thus far, mind). Furthermore, there are clues that Copilot may be integrated into other parts of the Windows 11 interface (such as File Explorer). We can envisage further possibilities like being able to dock Copilot elsewhere (it sits on the right-hand side of the screen currently).

What we definitely don’t want to see are nudges or adverts to use Copilot, but sadly – yet somewhat predictably – this has been spotted in testing too (promoting Copilot Pro, the supercharged paid version of the AI, we should clarify).

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Students take note: Windows 11 update reportedly has a bug that’s taking down Wi-Fi at universities

Windows 11 just received a new cumulative update, but apparently Microsoft’s round of patching for December introduces a big problem for some students.

Windows Latest highlights reports from a number of students who are readers of the tech site – and universities themselves – about patch KB5033375 breaking Wi-Fi networks on campus.

Apparently, this isn’t happening to everyone by any means, but it is a serious glitch for some of those running Windows 11 who aren’t getting internet on their own laptop. As Brunel University London (UK), one of the affected unis, informs us, this isn’t happening with official university hardware, but BYOD notebooks (possibly because admins have already side-stepped the issue, perhaps?).

One theory from a system admin at a university, as Windows Latest points out, is that there may be a compatibility issue at play here (involving the Qualcomm QCA61x4a wireless adapter, and maybe others).

Another establishment to warn its students about the December update is the University of New Haven (Connecticut, US), which advises: “A recent Windows update released on 12/12/2023 has caused users to not be able to connect to the wireless networks. This update is known as KB5033375.”

Other reports are present on Reddit, with students in European countries being affected, and the issue seemingly pertaining to other Qualcomm wireless adapters.

Analysis: Update removal seems to be the only way forward, for now

In fairness to the December update, it does contain some useful fixes, including the solution to a longstanding problem with File Explorer randomly popping up on the desktop.

However, if you’re at university, any potential plus points here are likely to be outweighed by the danger of not being able to get on Wi-Fi, which is a nasty problem indeed.

A commonality here seems to be Qualcomm components, and the above mentioned Qualcomm QCA61x4a wireless adapter is a commonly used piece of hardware seen in notebooks such as the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, Lenovo Yoga models, and many other laptops besides.

This problem also affects some business users, but for students, the only realistic way of resolving the bug is to uninstall the update, as the universities in question are recommending. (To do this, go to Windows Update in Settings, and click to view the Update History – that shows all the updates installed, and you can remove KB5033375 from here).

Hopefully Microsoft is looking into this one, and we’ve contacted the software giant to check if there’s an investigation underway. We’ll update this article if we hear anything back as to what’s going on here.

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Windows 10 users may not get Copilot yet due to the same weird bug that’s plagued Windows 11

Windows 10 users are officially getting Copilot, with the desktop assistant rolling out now, but not everyone has got the AI yet – and if you haven’t, that could be due to a bug.

That glitch affects Windows 10 setups with multiple monitors, and it’s an odd one as highlighted by Microsoft in the known issues for patch KB5032278, which is the November preview update for Windows 10 – though it’s a bug Windows 11 users will be familiar with.

The problem is that icons on the desktop can shift in a seemingly random fashion across the different screens in a Windows 10 multi-monitor rig, and other icon alignment issues can manifest, too.

As mentioned this has been seen on Windows 11 already, and with Copilot now rolling out to Windows 10 users, we shouldn’t really be too surprised that the same thing is occurring.

Analysis: Upgrade block

If you haven’t yet got Copilot on Windows 10, and you run multiple screens, this is the reason why – Microsoft has put a block in place to prevent upgrades carrying the AI assistant from being delivered to these PCs (and the same is true for Windows 11).

Microsoft tells us: “We are working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release.”

Even if you don’t have multiple monitors, but you’ve run a multi-monitor system in the past, you may find your PC is blocked from taking on this upgrade. As Microsoft explains: “Copilot in Windows (in preview) might not be available on devices that have been used or are currently being used in a multi-monitor configuration.”

Of course, this new update for Windows 10 is optional anyway, and as a preview, it’s expected that it might be bugged in some respects.

The fix will hopefully come soon and Windows 10 and Windows 11 users alike with multiple monitors should then be able to enjoy Copilot – though the AI is pretty limited in its functionality in this initial incarnation, it has to be said. Eventually, it will have sweeping powers to manipulate Windows settings, but right now the reality is that Copilot is pretty much a glorified Bing AI in a side panel.

Via XDA Developers

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Check your Windows 11 Start menu for an HP app that’s mysteriously installing itself without permission

Windows 11 and Windows 10 users are reportedly experiencing a puzzling situation whereby an unwanted HP app is being installed on their systems without their knowledge.

Windows Latest flagged up this rather peculiar problem that affected the writer’s PC, as well as others according to reports.

The application in question is HP Smart, and we’re told it’s being errantly installed from the Microsoft Store. It’s an app which allows for controlling HP printers or MFDs (multifunction devices that also scan), and it’s being installed on non-HP PCs and also  those not connected to an HP printer, which is pretty mystifying.

It isn’t clear why this installation is happening, but there are reports of it occurring on Windows 11 23H2, 22H2, and Windows 10 (on Reddit and elsewhere, as well as from Windows Latest).

Windows Latest has been in touch with Microsoft about the problem, and the software giant said it was aware of these reports, and will be in touch soon to share further details on the matter.

Analysis: Not so smart move

This is an odd one, for sure, but it seems Microsoft has an investigation underway and we’ll get the results of that soon enough. Stay tuned.

If you’re curious about whether you’ve been affected, you can just jump into the Start menu and scroll down to the ‘H’ section of the app list to see if HP Smart is present. If so, the cure is simple enough – just right click on the entry for the app, and select uninstall. (The app may also be present under the ‘recently added’ section at the top of the menu).

Whether the app could end up being installed again after you remove it isn’t made clear. At any rate, we’d imagine Microsoft will have the solution to this one before long.

It should be noted that in the past there’ve been complaints of the HP Smart app being installed on PCs when people have, for example, taken their computer to a friend’s house and gone on a network that has an HP printer. In other words, Windows detects the presence of the HP printer and then automatically grabs the app. So perhaps what’s going on here is a false detection of HP hardware triggering the installation, but we’re just guessing here.

Really, there should never be a case where software is installed without the user’s knowledge, and there should always be a prompt to show what’s about to happen, and to check that it’s okay to go ahead with the installation.

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Windows 11 fixes this bewildering flaw that’s bugged PC gamers for a decade

Windows 11 gamers rejoice, get out the party poppers, and crack the champagne open – for you can now specify a drive location to install your purchases from the Microsoft Store.

As you’re likely aware – if you have any truck with the store – if you buy a game, you’re stuck with having to install it on your system drive. Meaning that if you have a secondary drive, there’s no possibility of choosing to put a game on there at installation.

Until now, that is. With version 22310 of the Microsoft Store app, you can now select a drive to install your game, as flagged by a Microsoft engineer on X (formerly Twitter).

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As the engineer further points out, you can even specify an external drive, should you want to.

Analysis: Back to basics

This is a pretty basic option, of course, and one that could be very necessary if you don’t have much space on the main drive where Windows 11 sits. Or you don’t want to clutter that system drive with games, and would prefer to keep those separate from all the serious stuff.

Given that, it’s pretty jaw-dropping that it has taken a decade for Microsoft to make it possible to specify an installation drive and folder. (Yes, the store was first launched way back in 2012, before Windows 10 was even around).

Speaking of Windows 10, it remains to be seen if this upgrade will be visited on the older operating system – but you’d hope so.

Time will tell, as Microsoft has said it isn’t making any further feature updates to Windows 10 – just very minor tweaks (whether this install option counts as that, or not, well, we’ll see). Except, rumor has it, Copilot may be incoming for Windows 10, but perhaps not out of the goodness of Microsoft’s heart (there might be an ulterior motive for that move, if it happens).

Microsoft has been busy making the store better in recent times, as you may have seen, with one improvement of late being to massively speed up the time it takes the app to load.

Via Tom’s Hardware

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Humane’s AI Pin is a screenless, wearable smartphone that’s straight out of Black Mirror

Humane has officially launched its AI Pin, a wearable phone (of sorts) that has been leaked in the past, leaving a lot of questions unanswered – and the invention still has us scratching our heads, frankly. As does the price, but we’ll come back to that later.

So where do we start? The AI Pin is a square gadget with phone capabilities, but doesn't have a screen. It attaches to your shirt (or other clothing) using a magnetic clip, which is also the battery for the device. This clip can be switched out for another if you run out of juice partway through the day.

The engine is a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU and the Pin is equipped with a camera, speaker, and motion sensors, but as mentioned there’s no screen. However, there is a built-in projector, as we saw in the leaked video earlier this year, so you can get a display of sorts projected onto your hand when held in front of the device.

So how do you operate the AI Pin? By using your voice, or with a touchpad on its surface that allows for gesture controls – and a camera which can scan objects.

The Humane AI Pin projecting onto a hand

(Image credit: Humane)

The idea is you can make phone calls (of course), get a phrase translated into a different language right there and then – and spoken in your actual voice, which is pretty cool – and get a summary of your recent emails, to give some examples. There are other tricks, too, such as streaming music (via Tidal).

As the name suggests, AI is an integral part of Humane’s wearable, and you get the ability to throw as many queries as you want at its models (ChatGPT and Microsoft’s AI), which is all tied into the subscription for the Pin. Yes, subscription – let’s talk costs at this point.

The AI Pin will be available to order from November 16 and will cost an upfront $ 699 (around £569 / AU$ 1,090) for the device (and two spare battery clips), then on top you have a subscription running to $ 24 monthly in the US (on T-Mobile). This means you get a phone number and unlimited data allowance, plus the Pin allows for unlimited usage of AI with a cloud storage locker for media thrown in, too.

Analysis: Too many Pin holes?

The problem with the AI Pin is while it seems like a cool novelty on the face of it – and the device is certainly innovative, you can’t knock it on that front – we have a lot of concerns about its usability in the real-world.

Interacting with the AI Pin using your voice may be all well and good in theory, but as anyone who has a smart speaker knows, the likes of Alexa can be spectacularly bad at recognizing your commands at times. And gesture-based commands can be finicky, too (especially on something pinned to your shirt or jacket that you’re looking down at).

The Humane AI Pin projecting onto a hand

(Image credit: Humane)

Price-wise, it’s a big ask for what’s a very small phone-like wearable, especially when you consider that subscription cost on top. We worry about not having a screen, and of course there’s another issue: appearing to talk to your jacket in public is probably not top of everyone’s wish-list of things to be doing on a daily basis.

We need to get the AI Pin for proper testing, of course, and evaluation of its various features, but fears are our overriding first thoughts. And to be honest, that price is frankly terrifying, for something that, let’s face it, can’t really replace your all-singing-and-dancing smartphone, but only complement it.

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Microsoft blames PC makers for broken Windows 11 update – but I think that’s a copout

A recent Windows 11 update (which also came to Windows 10) has been causing some serious problems for some users – and it seems Microsoft is trying to pass the buck.

As Bleeping Computer reports, some people who installed the optional August 2023 updates for Windows 11 or Windows 10 were getting the dreaded Blue Screen of Death, where their PC stops responding, with the error being labelled as an ‘UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR’ issue.

In a statement posted on its ‘Release Health’ website, that tracks known issues, Microsoft states that the “’UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR’ error was not caused by issues in KB5029351 and is limited to a specific subset of processors.”

Microsoft claims it is “collaborating with device manufacturers (OEMs)” by pausing the update being offered to Windows devices that may be affected.

If the KB5029351 is already installed and causing an issue, it will automatically uninstall, which should fix the issue.

Whose fault is it anyway?

Microsoft is usually pretty good at being transparent about Windows 11 problems, so it’s interesting that with this one, it’s saying that the error isn’t being caused “by issues in KB5029351” and that you should “contact your device’s processor manufacturer” if the problem persists.

That seems to be washing its hands of the problem a bit. After all, this issue only affects the KB5029351 update – and presumably these unsupported processors work fine with other Windows 10 and Windows 11 updates.

You’d also think it would be easier for Microsoft to release an update that was supported by these processors, rather than have the processor makers build their chips to be compatible with all future Windows updates.

It all seems a bit odd, but there must be some reasoning behind Microsoft’s blame game. The good news, at least, is that this only affects an optional update, which means it’s not going to be forced on you, and the fix seems relatively easy to apply.

Whether or not device manufacturers will be happy with Microsoft pointing the finger at them over this latest Windows 11 problem, however, is another story.

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Even OpenAI can’t tell the difference between original content and AI-generated content – and that’s worrying

Open AI, the creator of the incredibly popular AI chatbot ChatGPT, has officially shut down the tool it had developed for detecting content created by AI and not humans. ‘AI Classifier’ has been scrapped just six months after its launch – apparently due to a ‘low rate of accuracy’, says OpenAI in a blog post.

ChatGPT has exploded in popularity this year, worming its way into every aspect of our digital lives, with a slew of rival services and copycats. Of course, the flood of AI-generated content does bring up concerns from multiple groups surrounding inaccurate, inhuman content pervading our social media and newsfeeds.

Educators in particular are troubled by the different ways ChatGPT has been used to write essays and assignments that are passed off as original work. OpenAI’s classifier tool was designed to address these fears not just within education but wider spheres like corporate workspaces, medical fields, and coding-intensive careers. The idea behind the tool was that it should be able to determine whether a piece of text was written by a human or an AI chatbot, in order to combat misinformation

Plagiarism detection service Turnitin, often used by universities, recently integrated an ‘AI Detection Tool’ that has demonstrated a very prominent fault of being wrong on either side. Students and faculty have gone to Reddit to protest the inaccurate results, with students stating their own original work is being flagged as AI-generated content, and faculty complaining about AI work passing through these detectors unflagged.

Turnitin’s “AI Detection Tool” strikes (wrong) again from r/ChatGPT

It is an incredibly troubling thought: the idea that the makers of ChatGPT can no longer differentiate between what is a product of their own tool and what is not. If OpenAI can’t tell the difference, then what chance do we have? Is this the beginning of a misinformation flood, in which no one will ever be certain if what they read online is true? I don’t like to doomsay, but it’s certainly worrying.

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Google has apparently killed its AR glasses – and that’s good news for Apple

Google isn't averse to killing off its products, with the now-shuttered Stadia and the slow demise of Fitbit being the latest candidates for cremation – and now we can sadly add its AR translation glasses to the list, according to a new report.

According to Insider, Google has shelved its plans – codenamed Project Iris – to make augmented-reality glasses. If that's the case, we can wave goodbye to the live-translation spectacles that we first saw at Google IO 2022.

Google has apparently been working on its AR glasses project for several years, though the concept seemingly differs from the separate Extended Reality (or XR) initiative that it's started with Samsung

While the latter will likely be more of an Apple Vision Pro rival, with a ski-goggle design, this newly-canned AR project was apparently “a series of devices more closely resembling eyeglasses”. Like those exciting, prototype Google Translate glasses that we saw in the video below last year.

It now seems that Google has backtracked on making AR hardware itself, instead focus on making software and operating systems. The Insider source claims that Google is making an Android XR platform for Samsung's forthcoming headset, which leaks suggest will be a standalone device that works independently of a computer or phone.

According to an employee that Insider interviewed, Google now instead wants to be an “Android for AR” rather than a hardware player like it is in phones with the Pixel series. The search giant said at Google IO 2023 that it would “share more later this year” about its AR partnership with Samsung. But it looks like we'll sadly hear no more about its plans to make glasses specifically for Translate or Maps.

Analysis: The AR path is clear for Apple and Meta

A man wearing the TCL RayNeo AR glasses and looking at a graphic

TCL RayNeo X2s (above) are another example of AR translation glasses. (Image credit: TCL)

If Google has indeed canned its plans to make a series of AR glasses, that would be a real shame – we argued that Google IO 2023 felt like a now-or-never moment for its AR translation glasses to step towards reality, and it seems the search giant is erring towards 'never'.

What we particularly liked about the live-translation glasses concept was their unobtrusive design and singular focus – neither of which apply to Apple's larger Vision Pro, which is apparently uncomfortable to use for long periods.

It's possible that another company could come in and fill that gap. We had the pleasure of trying TCL's RayNeo X2 AR glasses at CES 2023, while Oppo's Air Glass 2 have an impressive design (if one that probably won't be available to buy in Western markets).

But otherwise the path is now clear for Apple, Meta and potentially Samsung to own the AR space. The Vision Pro isn't technically 'augmented reality', but Apple is rumored to be already working on two successors that might ultimately lead to some Apple Glasses.

But it's Meta that could ultimately fill the hole left by Google for some babel fish-style translation glasses. In February 2022, it announced its ambitious plans to make a 'Universal Speech Translator'. And at the time Mark Zuckerberg said that “with improved efficiency and a simpler architecture, direct speech-to-speech could unlock near human-quality real-time translation for future devices, like AR glasses”. 

With more news on Samsung's XR headset expected later this year, there's certainly no shortage of hardware players who are trying to put transparent computers on our faces – but given the suitably of services like Google Translate and Google Maps for some AR glasses, it's a shame that the search giant is no longer in that mix.

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