Microsoft fixes latest Windows 11 update – but some unlucky users have found their taskbar is now broken

Microsoft has quietly rolled out a fix for a recent Windows 11 patch (KB5039302, a preview update) in a bid to correct a bug that caused some PCs to enter a reboot loop, a problem so serious that the update was paused.

However, this new fix has led to more issues, as there are now reports of the taskbar not working properly.

Microsoft is aware of the taskbar glitches plaguing some Windows 11 users – in fact, the June 2024 preview update may lead to the taskbar not loading altogether. It's claimed that this issue is only “expected to occur if you are using a Windows N edition” or if you manually disable the Media Features toggle in the Control Panel. 

Previous to this new problem, some Windows 11 users were experiencing reboot loops as mentioned, making their system potentially unusable. This only appears to have affected machines where nested virtualization is enabled. As the name implies, this feature allows users to run virtual machines, and it's utilized more in business and enterprise settings than by your everyday consumer.

The only fix discovered for the previous 'reboot hell' bug is to manually remove the update from the Advanced Startup menu, we're told. 

It's worth underlining that Windows 11 update KB5039302 is optional, so you can avoid it altogether, and it's probably best to do so for now – even though most folks won't be affected by the new glitch. Later in July, this update will become the full release for Windows 11, at which point you can't avoid it (for long, anyway). By then, hopefully Microsoft will have fixed this new bug, too.

The problems continue for Windows 11

Microsoft has been having some serious issues with Windows 11 throughout the first half of 2024. As well as the increased level of advertising – with the likes of Xbox Game Pass ads now blighting the Settings app – and instability problems, there's also been a bug with the operating system telling users they've changed their location. Another recent bug has led to distorted videos in Google Chrome and Microsoft's own Edge browser as well.

So yes, Windows 11 hasn't had the smoothest ride this year, or indeed since it was launched. To see the taskbar, of all things, not loading in or working correctly is certainly an oddity, even if that issue is still far preferable to a PC which is stuck in boot loop hell. We'll keep an eye on this one and update you when Microsoft fixes this new bug.

Via Windows Latest

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One of the most persistent Windows 11 bugs ever keeps telling users they’ve changed their location, when they haven’t – but it’s getting fixed

Windows 11 has a new bug (that’s also in Windows 10) whereby the operating system keeps telling users that their time zone has changed, when it hasn’t – and repeatedly doing this, driving some users to the point of distraction by all accounts.

Windows Latest flagged up multiple complaints about this bug, which has been acknowledged by Microsoft, and the company is now working on a fix.

Indeed, the tech site notes that it has experienced the glitch itself, whereby a dialog box pops up, warning that “due to a location change a new time zone has been detected.”

Then the user has the choice of clicking ‘Ignore’ to dismiss the prompt, or ‘Accept’ to be taken to the Date & Time settings where there’s actually nothing amiss (the time zone and location aren’t changed, just to clarify).

Essentially, the prompt is appearing by accident, but the real problem is that affected users don’t just see this once. It’s occurring repeatedly and in some cases multiple times per day, or even hour, which is going to get seriously tiresome.

A user hit by the problem complained in Microsoft’s Feedback Hub: “This is the 2nd system where this pop-up about me changing time zones has occurred. After I set the date and time (Central time zone), why does Windows think that I have moved 455 miles to the East? Fix your darn OS Microsoft.”


Analysis: A rare bug apparently – but a seriously annoying glitch

This is a bit of an odd one, to say the least, and while it’s a relatively benign bug – an errant pop-up that doesn’t actually throw anything of a spanner in the works (unlike some of the showstoppers we’ve seen in the past) – if it’s happening regularly, then it’s going to be a headache.

The good news is that Microsoft says the bug is rare, and so presumably the set of Windows 11 and 10 users who are subject to it happening particularly regularly is even rarer. That said, it needs to be fixed, and the problem has been around for a few weeks now.

According to Windows Latest, the fix is already in the pipeline and should (most likely) be applied as a server-side solution, meaning that it’ll happen on Microsoft’s end, and you won’t need to wait for an update to contain the cure if you’re affected by this issue. Fingers crossed that this resolution arrives swiftly, then.

Meantime, if you’re getting these head-scratching time zone notifications, there’s nothing you can do but keep dismissing them.

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Pro comedians tried using ChatGPT and Google Gemini to write their jokes – these were the hilariously unfunny results

AI chatbots like ChatGPT and Google Gemini can do a lot of things, but one thing they aren't renowned for is their sense of humor – and a new study confirms that they'd likely get torn to shreds on the stand-up comedy circuit.

The recent Google DeepMind study (as spotted by the MIT Technology Review) followed the experiences of 20 professional comedians who all used AI to create original comedy material. They could use their preferred assistant to generate jokes, co-write jokes through prompting, or rewrite some of their previous material. 

The aim of the 45-minute comedy writing exercise was for the comedians to produce material “that they would be comfortable presenting in a comedy context”. Unfortunately, most of them found that the likes of ChatGPT and Google Gemini (then called Google Bard) are a long way from becoming a comedy double act.

On a broader level, the study found that “most participants felt the LLMs did not succeed as a creativity support tool”, with the AI helpers producing bland jokes that were akin to “cruise ship comedy material from the 1950s, but a bit less racist”. Most comedians, who remained anonymous, commented on “the overall poor quality of generated outputs” and “the amount of human effort required to arrive at a satisfying result”, according to the study.

One of the participants said the initial output was “a vomit draft that I know that I’m gonna have to iterate on and improve.” Another comedian said, “Most of the jokes I was writing [are] the level of, I will go on stage and experiment with it, but they’re not at the level of, I’d be worried if anyone took one of these jokes”.

Of course, humor is a personal thing, so what kind of jokes did the AI chatbots come up with? One example, a response to the prompt “Can you write me ten jokes about pickpocketing” was: “I decided to switch careers and become a pickpocket after watching a magic show. Little did I know, the only thing disappearing would be my reputation!”.

Another comedian used the slightly more specific prompt “Please write jokes about the irony of a projector failing in a live comedy show about AI.” The response from one AI model? “Our projector must've misunderstood the concept of 'AI.' It thought it meant 'Absolutely Invisible' because, well, it's doing a fantastic job of disappearing tonight!”.

As you can see, AI-generated humor is very much still in beta…

Cue AI tumbleweed

A hand holding a phone running ChatGPT in front of a laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Our experiences with AI chatbots like ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot have largely aligned with the results of this study. While the best AI tools of 2024 are increasingly useful for brainstorming ideas, summarizing text, and generating images, humor is definitely a weak point.

For example, TechRadar's Managing Editor of Core Tech Matt Hanson is currently putting Copilot through its paces and asked the AI chatbot for its best one-liners. Its response to the prompt “Write me a joke about AI in the style of a stand-up comedian” resulted in the decidedly uninspiring “Why did the computer go to the doctor? Because it had a virus!”. 

Copilot even added that the joke “might not be ready for the comedy club circuit” but that “it's got potential!”, showing that the chatbot at least knows that it lacks a funny bone. Another prompt to write a joke in the style of comedian Stewart Lee produced a fittingly long monologue, but one that lacked Lee's trademark anti-jokes and superior sneer.

This study also shows that AI tools can't produce fully-formed art on demand – and that asking them to do so kind of misses the point. The Google DeepMind report concluded that AI’s inability to draw on personal experience is a fundamental limitation”, with many of the comedians in the study describing “the centrality of personal experience in good comedy”.

As one participant added, “I have an intuitive sense of what’s gonna work and what’s gonna not work based on so much lived experience and studying of comedy, but it is very individualized and I don’t know that AI is ever gonna be able to approach that”. Back to spreadsheets and summarizing text it is for now, then, AI chatbots.      

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Apple to empower privacy on iOS 18 by letting users choose who can have access to their contacts

iOS 18 is slated to launch later this year, and many people are looking forward to all of the app upgrades and redesigns. However, one of the areas we feel has been overshadowed by all the shiny new features is the series of security updates the system is set to receive. 

We've seen some of the improvements, like the Password app to help people manage accounts and verification codes, among other things. What you may not know, though, is that Apple is going to change the way how third-party apps interact with your iPhone.

At launch, iOS 18 will allow users to choose which contacts to share with an app. TechCrunch explains that whenever an iPhone owner is asked to give access to their address book, a “new two-step permissions pop-up screen” will appear. 

The first window will ask if you want to opt in, and the second will let you fine-tune your selection. Currently, iOS 17 gives you only two options: allowing full access or denying access. 

iOS 18's new contact permissions window

(Image credit: Apple)

There are a couple of reasons why this is an improvement. Security firm Mysk states that this change would limit the amount of data third-party apps could harvest. LinkedIn, for example, was found gaining access to users’ contacts and calendars. The firm felt the service obtained too much authorization, so much so that they called on Apple to add limitations. 

The second effect of the update is it could (although it’s not confirmed) stop software from repeatedly asking for “access even after they [have already] been denied.” The idea here is if you give software limited permissions, it should shut them up for good since the criteria has technically been met.

Locking and hiding

In addition to the upcoming contact controls, iOS 18 will also introduce the ability to lock and hide apps. Apple says locking software protects “its contents from view,” while hiding prevents others from seeing the app altogther. All of the hidden apps will live in a single folder, which you'll need to authenticate yourself to gain access.

iOS 18's new lock app window

(Image credit: Apple)

Upon locking or hiding an app, your iPhone will ask you to authenticate yourself either through biometrics or a password. The feature is meant to give you peace of mind so you won’t accidentally expose sensitive information to nosy people.  

2024 is shaping up to be a substantial year for the tech giant. If you want to learn more, check out TechRadar’s roundup of everything that was announced during WWDC 2024

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Google Maps is about to get a big privacy boost, but fans of Timeline may lose their data

One of Google Maps most popular features, Timeline, is about to become a lot more secure. To give you a quick refresher, Timeline acts as a diary of sorts that keeps track of all the past routes and trips you’ve taken. It’s a fun way to relive memories. 

Utilizing this tool requires people to upload their data to company servers for storage. That will change later this year though, as according to a recent email obtained by Android Police, Google will soon be keeping Timeline data on your smartphone.

Migrating Maps data over to localized device storage would greatly improve security as you won’t be forced to upload sensitive information to public servers anymore. However, due to the upcoming change, Google has decided to kill off Timeline for Web. Users have until December 1, 2024, to move everything from the online resource to their phone’s storage drive. Failure to take any action could result in losing valuable data, like moments from your timeline. 

“Google will try moving up to 90 days of Timeline data to the first signed-in device” after the cutoff date. However, anything older than 90 days will be deleted and it's important to take note of the wording. They’ll “try” to save as much as they can, meaning there is no guarantee Google will successfully migrate everything over if you miss the deadline. It’s unknown why this is the case, although we did ask.

Configuring Timeline

The company is asking people to review their Google Maps settings and choose which device will house their “saved visits and routes.” Their email offers a link to the app’s settings menu, but if you didn’t get the message you can navigate to Google Maps on your mobile device to make the changes there. It’s how we did it.

First, update Google Maps if you haven’t done so already, and then go to the Timeline section, where you’ll be greeted with a notification informing you of forthcoming changes. 

Then, click the Next button, and a new window will appear asking you how long you would like to keep your data. You can select to store the information until you get rid of it or set up an auto-delete function. Users can have Google Maps trash their Timeline after three, 18, or 36 months have passed.

Google Maps' new Timeline menu

(Image credit: Future)

Additionally, you can choose to back them up to Google servers. Android Police explains that this revamped system curates Maps Timelines for each device “independently.” So, if you buy a new smartphone and want to restore your data, using the backup tool is the best way.

What’s interesting is that the Timeline transfer is a one-way street. Google states in a Maps Help page that after the data is moved to your smartphone, you cannot revert back to the previous method. We experienced this firsthand because we couldn’t find a way to upload data to company servers outside of the backup function after localizing storage.

Don’t worry if you haven’t received the email or the Google Map patch as of yet. Android Police says the company is slowly rolling out the changes. Be sure to keep an eye out for either one.

While we have you check out TechRadar's list of the best Android phones for 2024.

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Worrying bug is kicking people out of their Apple ID accounts – here’s everything you need to know

It appears that some Apple users are being signed out of their Apple ID across their devices for no apparent reason – and are subsequently locked out of their accounts if they try signing in with their current passwords. 

According to 9to5Mac, the issue has been ongoing since Friday, April 26, and is forcing users to reset their passwords despite entering the correct ones to get back into their accounts. This also creates a headache for users who have Stolen Device Protection enabled, as they’ll need to be in a trusted location and have access to all of their devices at once. 

Users have taken to social media to report their experience with this annoying bug, which seems to happen completely at random. Twitter user @MaxWinebach posted that he was in the middle of a FaceTime call when he was suddenly locked out of all his Apple products. 

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A Mastodon user said they were told by a member of Apple Support that “sometimes random security improvements are added to your account”, which may have prompted the random booting. Still, it seems unlikely this would impact so many users, and we can’t be sure of anything until we hear official word from Apple itself. 

So, what do you do?

Overall, as an Apple user who frequently forgets passwords, I’m pretty nervous about the prospect of being locked out of my beloved TikTok-watching device. Thankfully, there seems to be no immediate need to panic if this has happened to you (or like me, you’re anxiously waiting for it to happen to you). It could simply be a harmless bug, and from what we can tell so far, it doesn’t seem related to the recent phishing attack that could lock you out of your device

So, what can you do to protect yourself from this bug? Honestly, not much. Since everything seemed to kick off on Friday, if you’re yet to have it happen to you, there’s a good chance you’re in the clear. If you do find yourself locked out, it seems like all you have to do is reset your password and go through the tedious task of logging into all your other Apple devices as well. While this is an annoying bug it doesn’t seem too serious. Make sure you’re not reusing passwords, though – that’s a recipe for disaster. 

We have reached out to Apple for comment and will update this article if an official statement is released.

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Android 15’s new Bluetooth tool may alter the way users interact with their phone

Recent Android 14 betas have been a treasure trove of information about possible features coming to Android 15. We learned not too long ago that the operating system may introduce Private Space for securing sensitive information on a smartphone. Now new details are emerging on future changes that could alter how users interact with their mobile devices.

News site Android Authority unearthed these details inside the Android 14 QPR2 patch from early March. Several lines of code reference something called “Bluetooth Auto-On”. According to the publication, it will automatically activate Bluetooth connectivity if it’s turned off. They state that if someone turns it off, a toggle option will appear to give the phone the ability to turn on Bluetooth the following day. Android 15 reportedly will include text reminding users that enabling the connection is important for certain features; namely Quick Share and Find My Device.

Of course, this is all optional. You’ll still be able to deactivate Bluetooth any time you want for as long as you want without having to toggle anything. 

Insight into Bluetooth Auto-On doesn’t stop there as more information was dug up from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) by industry insider Mishaal Rahman. Rahman states only system apps work with the tool. It’s not going to be compatible with third-party software. Also, it may not be exclusive to Android 15. There’s a chance the update could come to older OS versions; however, it won’t work on all devices.

Adapative screens

The second feature is “Adaptive Timeout” which was discovered within a developer preview for Android 15. Very little is known as the lines of code don’t reveal much.

But they do say it will automatically turn off your “screen early if you’re not using your device.” On the surface, this may seem like Screen Timeout although Rahman states it’s something totally different. Judging by its description, it operates similarly to Attention Aware on iPhone

Adaptive Timeout would utilize some sort of metric, either by detecting your face through the camera or taking collecting input through sensors, to know if you’re directly interacting with the smartphone. If you stop using the device, the feature will turn off the display. Screen Timeout, by comparison, is just a timer. The screen will stay on until the timer runs out even if you’re not interacting with the phone. An argument could also be made that, due to its proactive nature, the tool can extend a device's battery life and protect your data from prying eyes. 

What's interesting about Adaptive Timeout is it may be an exclusive update for Google Pixel. Rahman says he found evidence of the tool referencing a Google namespace, suggesting it won’t be available on the “open-source version of Android”.

As always, take everything you see here with a grain of salt. Things can always change. And be sure to check out TechRadar's list of the best Android phones if you're looking to upgrade.  

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Watch out, Apple Vision Pros are reportedly cracking all on their own

If you’ve spent $ 3,500 or more on the Apple Vision Pro you’d be understandably frustrated if you damaged the outer screen and had to pay $ 799 (or $ 299 with Apple Care) to get it fixed. But imagine how much more annoyed you’d be if it cracked for seemingly no reason at all.

That’s what some people are taking to social media to complain about, after they discovered cracks extending upwards from the nose bridge of their pricey Apple headset – which they all claim appeared despite them never dropping, bumping, or damaging the headset.

Reddit user dornbirn explained that after putting their headset away for the night they woke up and found a large crack extending from the nose bridge. u/ContributionFar8997, u/inphenite, and u/Wohinbistdu all shared similar complaints to the Vision Pro Subreddit, with images of their Vision Pro’s showing practically identical cracks extending from the nose bridge.

You should always take posts on the internet with a pinch of salt, but the fact that every crack looks the same and has seemingly appeared while the headset wasn’t in use suggests that this is some kind of manufacturing issue rather than user error.

We’ve reached out to Apple to find out what's causing the apparent cracks and if it has any advice for Vision Pro customers who are worried about their screens breaking.

Cracked Vision Pro Update: good ending! from r/VisionPro

Why are Vision Pro screens cracking? 

It’s not clear exactly why the outer screen is cracking, but the reports we’ve seen all come from people who discovered the Vision Pro was damaged after leaving the device charging with the front cover on.

Our best guess right now is that as the headset charges it heats up, and because of the cover this heat doesn’t dissipate quickly. As the outer screen warms it expands, with perhaps one of the inner layers expanding faster than the outer layer causing tension.

Given the nose bridge is the area with the most complex curved design it makes sense this would be the place where the tension is at its highest. So when the screen can’t take anymore this is where it would most likely crack – explaining why all the images show near identical damage.

We're not engineers though, so to know for sure we'll need to wait for an official Apple explanation of what's causing the cracks.

An Apple support employee in an Apple Store with customers.

Apple Store support staff should be able to help  (Image credit: Apple)

I have a Vision Pro, what should I do? 

Because there are so many unknown factors it’s tough to say exactly what measures you should take to avoid the same issue happening to your Vision Pro. 

Based on the current evidence we’d suggest that you don’t charge the headset with the cover on and that you don’t leave it charging for longer than is necessary. However, the best thing to do is to keep an eye out for Apple’s official guidance, and if a crack forms in your Vision Pro contact support as soon as you can. 

While some users have said the Apple Care support team hasn’t been the most helpful – asking them to pay to get the screen fixed – u/Wohinbistdu posted an update to their original Reddit post saying that they were able to take their Vision Pro to the Apple Store and get a replacement unit. Their original has apparently been sent off for Apple’s engineers to investigate.

This was 12 days ago at the time of writing so hopefully Apple is close to finding what’s causing the problems, and is almost ready with a fix.

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The 3 reasons people are sending back their Apple Vision Pro headsets

Apple Vision Pro owners are announcing they’re returning their headsets because they’re disappointed by the experience offered by the $ 3,500 mixed-reality gadget. 

We’ve highlighted the positives and negatives of using the device in our Apple Vision Pro review, but if you’re still on the fence then the reasons people are giving for returning could help you decide if the headset is the right fit for you.

It also might be worth starting to keep an eye on the Apple Store’s refurbished section. While it’ll likely be a while before the Vision Pro appears – and it’ll probably still be fairly pricey – you might be able to buy one of these returned Vision Pros for a discount in the future. 

As an aside, we’ve been impressed with Apple’s refurbished tech; the checks and replacements it makes mean you’re basically getting a new gadget at a lower price so it’s worth checking its refurb store for the Vision Pro or any other piece of Apple tech you’re after before just buying new – provided you aren’t after something super recent.

Anyway, let’s get into why the Vision Pro headset is being returned.

Two Apple Vision Pros on stands with people taking pcitures

Why is the Vision Pro’s popularity waning? (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The end of a (trial) era

There are individual reasons people will be looking to return the Apple Vision Pro, and we’ll get to those, but the main reason you’ll be seeing social media post after social media post on the topic right now is because of Apple’s returns policy.

When you buy a new Apple product from its store you have 14 days to be able to send it back and get a full refund. The Apple Vision Pro launched on February 2 so at the time of writing we’re at that two-week mark.

If someone has decided the experience isn’t perfect enough for them to part with $ 3,500 – or more if they bought a model with bigger storage – then it’s getting to the stage where they either have to live with that subpar experience or send the device back.

Apple Vision Pro on a stand showing the Solo Knit band

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Comfort is king 

As for the specific Apple Vision faults, a lot of people’s problems come down to comfort.

When you’re spending as much as you’re spending on the Vision Pro you’ll probably feel the need to use it a lot to feel your purchase is justified. But as we heard from some early test events that media were invited to the device could be uncomfortable to wear for long stretches – especially when using the Solo Loop band that offers zero over-the-head support.

On top of complaints that it’s too heavy people have said it can cause motion sickness and eye strain. These issues also exist for other VR headsets – especially among people who are new to VR – but the Vision Pro may exacerbate these problems as, again, people are probably immersing themselves for very long stretches to feel like they’re getting the most out of the headset.

Not only in terms of bang for their buck but also for productivity and watching films – the two main Vision Pro uses. Blockbusters can stretch on for two hours or longer, and typical work shifts are eight hours. Even if you are just sitting looking at virtual windows this is a very long time for new users to be spending in VR without long breaks.

Apple Vision Pro apps floating in front of a snowy background

What’s the Vision Pro’s killer app? (Image credit: Future)

What does it do? 

The other frequently cited issue we’ve seen on social media is the lacking software ecosystem. 

The Vision Pro does have a lot of apps (over 1,000 at the time of writing) at its disposal and has some really neat features. But as many reviewers have pointed out – such as The Verge – the majority of those programs are ported over from iPadOS. 

There are some bespoke spatial apps and improvements have been made to make the iPad programs feel more interactive in mixed reality, but when people think of VR software they imagine epic immersive gaming like Asgard’s Wrath 2, fitness apps like Supernatural, or educational adventures like Out of Scale from Kurzgesagt.

The Vision Pro doesn’t have a good answer (or in some cases any answer at all) to these apps that you can find on rival platforms, and unfortunately for Apple, this is something that will take time to change. And if it seems like all you’re getting are iPad apps, why not save a lot of money and just buy an iPad – or even an iPad Pro?

Given that people have to decide to keep or send the device back for a refund now it’s a lot safer to assume the software problems will persist until the next headset or two launch rather than pray some killer exclusive apps are on the horizon and risk wasting $ 3,500.

Two people sit at a desk with a Mac Studio, a Studio Display, and a Vision Pro headset in front of them.

Don’t like the Vision Pro? You can send it back (Image credit: Apple)

More to the story? 

Remember it’s worth taking the posts you see with a pinch or two of salt – and remembering that most people who bought a Vision Pro are probably keeping it.

Apple tech has a lot of devout fans and haters who will engage with every single post they see about people returning the Vision Pro because it either affirms their negative view or because they feel the need to defend the 2.8 trillion dollar company. No matter how someone chooses to respond to the post, their interaction will boost engagement and amplify the voice of what is very likely a minority of Vision Pro users sending the headset back.

We also wouldn’t be surprised if a chunk of people returning the headset always planned to send it back for a refund, and are just giving whatever excuse they can that isn’t “because I can’t actually afford it.”

Apple’s Vision Pro has, as many expected, created a buzz online with post after post going viral – be they someone giving their hands-on impressions, or finding a weird way to use it like that person who walked their robot dog down the street while sporting the Apple headset. There’s also just a certain level of perceived internet clout that comes from being able to show off that you own and have used a $ 3,500 device.

Once you’ve soaked up that early hype and boosted traffic to your socials do you want to be left with a $ 3,500 hole in your wallet? Or would you rather get the boosted attention and not have to spend a dime? 

That’s not to say there aren’t some genuine issues with the Vision Pro, but don’t let all these reports necessarily put you off if you’ve tried it yourself, love it, and want to own one. As these posts have made clear, you do have just under 14 days to use it at home before you’re locked out from a full refund if you decide the Vision Pro isn’t for you after all.

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OpenAI quietly slips in update for ChatGPT that allows users to tag their own custom-crafted chatbots

OpenAI is continuing to cement its status as the leading force in generative AI, adding a nifty little feature with little fanfare: the ability to tag a custom-created GPT bot with an ‘@’ in the prompt. 

In November 2023, custom ChatGPT-powered chatbots were introduced by OpenAI that would help users have specific types of conversations. These were named GPTs and customers who subscribed to OpenAI’s premium ChatGPT Plus service were able to build their own GPT-powered chatbot for their own purposes using OpenAI’s easy-to-use GPT-building interface. Users would then be able to help train and improve their own GPTs over time, making them “smarter” and better at accomplishing tasks asked of them by users. 

Also, earlier this year, OpenAI debuted the GPT store which allowed users to create their own GPT bots for specific categories like education, productivity, and “just for fun,” and then make them available for other users. Once they’re on the GPT store, the AI chatbots become searchable, can compete and rank in leaderboards against GPTs created by other users, and eventually users will even be able to earn money for their creators. 

Surprising new feature

It seems OpenAI has now made it easier to switch to a custom GPT chatbot, with an eagle-eyed ChatGPT fan, @danshipper, spotting that you can summon a GPTs with an ‘@’ while chatting with ChatGPT.

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Cybernews suggests that it’ll make switching between these different custom GPT personas more fluid and easier to use. OpenAI hasn’t publicized this new development yet, and it seems like this change specifically applies to ChatGPT Plus subscribers. 

This would somewhat mimic existing functionalities of apps like Discord and Slack, and could prove popular with ChatGPT users who wanted to make their own personal chatbot ecosystems populated by custom GPT chatbots that can be interacted with in a similar manner to those apps.

However, it’s interesting that OpenAI hasn’t announced or even mentioned this update, leaving users to discover it by themselves. It’s a distinctive approach to introducing new features for sure. 

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