It was back in January that Microsoft showed off its long-awaited replacement for Internet Explorer, currently named "Project Spartan." The new browser is designed to be light, nimble and secure, with the company stressing how deeply Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant, is baked into the software. Now, thanks to WinBeta, we've gotten the first sense of how that'll work out in the real world. For instance, visit the homepage of a restaurant and the blue circle in the address bar will bounce to advise you that more information is available. In addition, you can highlight and right-click a word to define it, and typing in keywords in the address bar -- such as weather -- will bring up relevant information. The video is short, but you can expect plenty more like that when the previews of Windows 10 (with Spartan) arrive at the end of the month.

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Beasts Of No Nation

Oscar season has only just come to a close, but already Netflix is eyeing up a potential candidate for next year's run. Deadline reports that the streaming service has got its hands on Beasts Of No Nation, a film led by True Detective director Cary Fukunaga that stars Luther (and Pacific Rim) actor Idris Elba. Based on the novel by Uzodinma Iweala, Beasts Of No Nation is an African war drama that focused on the experiences of a child soldier fighting under the command of guerilla warlord, who systematically strips the boy of his humanity.

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Microsoft's big promise with Windows 10 is its ability to run apps across the entire platform. The framework for these universal apps hasn't been described in much detail, but a post on the Windows Blog gives a bit more insight under the hood. Redmond's calling these "mobile experiences," meaning apps you can use across a variety of different devices; the software is mobile, not the gizmo you're using it on. Cortana moving from smartphone to desktop and the Xbox One's Game DVR tool being available on your gaming PC are but a few examples. The idea is to offer a set of standards across the Windows 10 platform so everything remains familiar regardless of what piece of hardware you're accessing the application from. That means everything should have, in Microsoft's words, an adaptive user experience with natural inputs; calls for cloud-based services including Cortana integration and the action center and one design language across the board.

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BlackBerry's recovery relies on the company's reinvention as a software and services business, which has enabled its hardware designers to go a little bit wild. At Mobile World Congress, BB's handset chief Ron Louks just pulled out a prototype of a handset that looks like the holy union between the Leap and the Passport. There's no name for the device just yet, but the company describes it as a "dual-curved, all-touch display with a keyboard," with that latter component situated on an old-fashioned slider beneath the display.

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Who'd ever be dorky enough to wear a smartglass and a smartwatch at the same time? Virgin Atlantic employees, apparently. The company has partnered with Sony to equip its plane engineers at Heathrow Airport with the Sony SmartWatch 3 and the SmartEyeglass Developer Edition SED-E1 for the next few months, starting next week. This, by the way, comes a year after Virgin had its ground crew from the same airport wear both a Sony Smartwatch 2 and a Google Glass to greet Upper Class passengers by name. According to Sony, the engineers will use the smartglass to stream real-time videos to technicians to speed up technical assistance. The smartwatch, on the other hand, will notify them of job allocations and any changes they should know of.

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We're here at BlackBerry's cozy MWC press event waiting anxiously for CEO John Chen (or anyone, for that matter) to pull back the curtain on the oft-rumored BlackBerry Leap. So far, all we've gotten is a recap of progress to date and some security-minded endeavors, but surprise, surprise -- the $275 Leap just popped up on BlackBerry's global devices site for all to see.

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Next time you buy an Android phone, you just might find Waze among its pre-installed apps. See, it's now part of Google Mobile Services, or what you call the list of Android apps that manufacturers and carriers can install before shipping devices out to buyers. If you recall, Mountain View snapped up the navigation app back in 2013, and it remained separate from Google Maps. In Google's and Waze's announcement at the Mobile World Congress, spokesperson Julie Mossler wrote: "If a leading telecom pre-installs Waze in his handsets, a large percentage of the population would immediately have access to blocked roads, dangerous intersections traffic and more in real time."

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A Google Street View Trekker ziplining above the Amazon rainforest

Google already has some odd ways of getting its Street View cameras into hard-to-reach places, but its latest effort might just take the cake. The search firm has posted panoramic imagery of the Amazon rainforest that, at some points, was taken by Trekker cameras ziplining through the canopy -- yes, you'll get a view that even locals won't usually see. There are some down-to-Earth sights, too, including snapshots from rivers and remote villages. Between this and recent collaborative mapping projects, you may end up learning a surprising amount about the Amazon without setting foot in South America.

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Even if you're slow-burning instead of binging on House of Cards, you'll still need a few backups once you're through with Frank & Claire Underwood's world domination tour. Netflix has revealed release dates for most of its summer (winter in Australia) programming, ready to keep you inside where the AC is cool and the WiFi signal is strong. Of course, you can also check out the spring shows here, and if you need something this week there's Aziz Ansari and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Sense8, its sci-fi collaboration with the Wachowskis will hit streaming on June 5th, a week before Orange is the New Black season three and a month before its Wet Hot American Summer revival arrives July 17th. Also worth keeping an eye out for are the Nina Simone documentary on June 26th, and Canadian sci-fi thriller Between coming at some point in May. Check for the full list after the break, and update your calendars accordingly.

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Not too long ago, Mountain View was trumpeting that new gadgets with Lollipop would have encryption turned on by default, but, as Ars Technica reports, that isn't the case. The Nexus 6 handset and Nexus 9 tablet offer it, but third-party devices aren't cropping up with the feature turned on out of the box. Specifically? The new Moto E, with Ars saying that Samsung's Galaxy S6 demo units at Mobile World Congress lack it, as well.

Update: Google has issued a statement about the change, confirming to us that it is the result of "performance issues" on some hardware. The full statement is included after the break.

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