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Operating Systems

'UpgradeSubscription.exe' File In Preview Build Hints At Windows 10 Subscriptions (zdnet.com) 285

An anonymous reader writes: A file named "UpgradeSubscription.exe" is found buried in the System32 folder of Windows 10 build 14376, alongside 590 other .exe files. ZDNet reports the file has been part of other recent preview builds, but just recently uncovered. "In the file's properties, it's described as the Windows Upgrade to Subscription Tool, and its date and time stamp corresponds to other administrative tools in the same build," reports ZDNet. You can view the screenshot here. Microsoft responded to ZDNet saying: "The Windows Upgrade to Subscription tool, found in the latest Windows Insider builds, helps to manage certain volume licensing upgrades from Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update to Windows 10 Enterprise. This binary file is not associated with the free consumer upgrade offering nor is it applicable to consumer Windows editions." When pressed for additional details, Microsoft responded with, "No further comment." While the file does nothing, it does appear to confirm that it's related to licensing, referencing a registry value called AllowWindowsSubscription. Build 14376 reveals a few references to servicing packages named Microsoft-Client-License-Platform-Upgrade-Subscription-Package. Last year, there was some talk about Windows 10 being the last version of Windows as Microsoft is pushing a "Windows as a service" vision. When news broke in April about Windows Phone's sharp revenue declines, PCWorld reported that CEO Satya Nadella's strategy is to grow Microsoft's revenues by convincing customers to adopt its paid subscription services.
The Almighty Buck

MasterCard Joining Push For Fingerprint ID Standard 138

schwit1 writes with this selection from a story at USA Today: "MasterCard is joining the FIDO Alliance, signaling that the payment network is getting interested in using fingerprints and other biometric data to identify people for online payments. MasterCard will be the first major payment network to join FIDO. The Alliance is developing an open industry standard for biometric data such as fingerprints to be used for identification online. The goal is to replace clunky passwords and take friction out of logging on and purchasing using mobile devices. FIDO is trying to standardize lots of different ways of identifying people online, not just through biometric methods."
Advertising

Microsoft To Add Ads To Smart Search 169

Vanderhoth writes "Today, Microsoft said its advertisers will be able to target users not just on Web search results pages but directly inside Windows Smart Search. David Pann, general manager of Microsoft's Search Advertising Group, said in an interview that advertisers don't have to do additional setup to participate. The Smart Search ads will feature a preview of the websites the ad will send people to, as well as click-to-call info and site links, which are additional links under the main result that direct users deeper into a website to the most likely page they might want."
Privacy

Google Wants You to Use Your Real Name on YouTube 602

Google has launched a pop-up dialogue box on YouTube that urges you to use your real name when trying to make a comment. From the article: "When you try to comment on a YouTube video, a box will pop up that displays your username as it’s currently seen, along with a side-by-side comparison to what it will look like if you let YouTube pull your name from Google+. You can choose 'I don’t want to use my real name,' but that will lead to another dialogue box that basically guilts you into agreeing. If you still insist on remaining anonymous, you have to tell Google why: 'My channel is for a show or character' or 'My channel name is well-known for other reasons' are two options. 'I want to remain anonymous, is–unsurprisingly–not one."
EU

EU Central Court Could Validate Software Patents 77

protoshell writes "'Software patents in Europe could be validated with a central patent court,' warns Richard Stallman in an article published in the Guardian. After the rejection of the software patent directive in 2005, large companies have shifted their lobbying towards the validation of software patents in Europe through a central patent court, which is foreseen with the Unitary Patent project. Even if the European Patent Convention literally excludes software from patents, the European Patent Office and the German courts interpret the exclusion narrowly, which makes software patents valid in the end."
Cloud

British NHS Patient Records Go To the Cloud 73

smitty777 writes "The Telegraph is reporting on an effort by the NHS to put a London hospital's patient records in the cloud. One of the more interesting aspects of this is the suggestion that patients would have control over who has access to their medical data. Many have understandable security concerns, which are even more relevant considering the recent issues with Dropbox cloud storage."
Movies

George Lucas to Resurrect Dead Movie Stars? 296

According to his director friend Mel Smith, George Lucas has a plan for upcoming movies more insidious than a whole Gungan cast. Smith says Lucas is buying the rights to old movies in order to put dead actors in his films. He says, "George has been buying up the film rights to dead actors in the hope of using computer trickery to put them all together, so you'd have Orson Welles and Barbara Stanwyck alongside today's stars." Even if Smith is lying, it makes you wonder who long it will be until Hollywood starts to recycle actors as well as scripts.
The Internet

Amazon Web Services Launches DNS Service 146

wiredmikey writes "Amazon Web Services (AWS) today announced a highly available and scalable Domain Name System service designed to give developers and businesses a reliable and cost effective way to route end users to Internet applications. The service, 'Route 53,' effectively connects user requests to infrastructure running in AWS — such as an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud instance, an Amazon Elastic Load Balancer, or an Amazon Simple Storage Service bucket — and can also be used to route users to infrastructure outside of AWS."
Media

Microsoft Brings Back DRM 414

Barence writes "Microsoft yesterday unveiled its MSN Mobile Music service — and a surprise return to digital rights management (DRM). While companies such as Apple and Amazon have finally moved to music download services free of copy protection, MSN Mobile locks tracks to the mobile handset they are downloaded to. It also charges more than the other services per track, and offers no way to transfer your tracks to your new phone when you upgrade. The company's Head of Mobile UK spoke to PC Pro about the launch, but his answers are almost as baffling as the service itself. Best quote: Q: 'If I buy these songs on your service — and they're locked to my phone — what happens when I upgrade my phone in six months' time?' A: 'Well, I think you know the answer to that.'"

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