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The Morning After: Weekend Edition

Microsoft showed off the future of Windows and then patched its past.
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Pressure

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Welcome to the weekend, where we close out Microsoft's Build 2017 event with some big news about Windows... XP? Also, this week we met Amazon's touchscreen-equipped Echo Show and it's time to say RIP to MP3.


It's that bad.'WannaCrypt' ransomware attack squeezes a Windows XP update out of Microsoft

Yesterday, the other shoe dropped as malware spread using an NSA exploit that recently leaked out. While Microsoft had already patched the vulnerability on its modern operating systems, millions of older computers were still at risk, and many were quickly infected. The NHS saw its systems go down, while FedEx and Renault have also reported significant outages.

In response, late last night Microsoft released a patch for three unsupported operating systems: Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 8. Thanks to a security research accidentally finding and tripping the malware's 'killswitch,' it's stopped spreading for now, but experts warn that with a little tweaking it could again run rampant on unpatched systems at any time.


The vision.Microsoft revealed its plans for world domination at Build

While yesterday's attack may slightly dull the appeal of Windows everywhere, that's what Microsoft is pushing (although, certainly, with current-gen operating systems that have much better security). This week during its Build 2017 even we got an idea of how the company plans to fit in across and even beyond the many screens we use each day.


Retro.Amazon's Echo Show is Alexa with a touchscreen

Is the future here? It seems that way, with Amazon's reveal of the Echo Show, although the CRT-ish 7-inch touchscreen device has a design that isn't (yet) universally loved. The $230 device will be ready for your video chat and YouTube streaming needs starting on June 28th.


Changing of the guardMP3 is dead, long live AAC

The Fraunhofer Institute brought MP3 into this world, and now it's taking it out, by terminating licenses on certain patents. It's been a pretty good two-decade run for the format, but the Institute sees AAC as the current de facto standard for digital music downloading.


Toss the LifeAlertRobotic exo-shorts safely twist old folks out of falls

The Active Pelvis Orthosis (APO) watches its wearer's steps and provides a push when necessary to keep them from falling over. Falls cause injuries to millions of elderly people every year and these "exo-shorts" could cut into that -- if only the researchers behind it can make them significantly lighter than the current nine-pound weight.


We've heard this beforeGoogle's new plan to fix updates on Android is called Project Treble

The annual Google I/O event is coming up, and there we'll surely hear more about the upcoming "O" version of Android. The only real problem is that we also know many Android devices don't get very many updates, or when they do, it's after a long delay. Google's latest initiative to change that trend is called Project Treble, which it says creates a "modular base" for the software. That's supposed to smooth the path from Google to the manufacturer to the carrier to end-user, and eventually, mean we never have to discuss this issue again.

But wait, there's more...

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