The Morning After: Microsoft lets you ditch the password

Plus, a remade ‘Flight of the Navigator’ and New York’s car ban.

VCG via Getty Images

Microsoft isn’t so much declaring war on passwords as bragging about a successful first strike against them. The Windows maker has announced users can now remove the password from their Microsoft account in favor of something that’s (hopefully) more secure.

The feature, which had already rolled out to enterprise users, will let you ditch your password and leverage Windows Hello’s biometric security tools. Alternatively, you can grab your phone and use the Windows Authenticator app to grant you access to your machine.

Given that passwords have now become such a pain for so many people to use, switching to something more elegant is welcome news. Of course, for this news to drop at the same time as the announcement that Microsoft had to patch a fairly substantial security vulnerability in Office is slightly less comforting.

— Dan Cooper

New York passes law that bans all gas-powered car sales by 2035

It just has to work out how to integrate the necessary infrastructure.

The state of New York has passed a bill banning the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035 which, it hopes, will help slash the state’s emissions. It’s the third major US state to do so, after California and Massachusetts, while Washington state tried, but the bill was vetoed. Given the scale of the challenge to get New York EV-ready, leaders have already tasked a number of agencies to start working on a zero-emissions vehicle masterplan. That will include creating a market for zero-emission vehicles, rolling out charging infrastructure and developing incentives for purchase.

Continue Reading.

Xiaomi's 11T Pro smartphone supports Dolby Vision and charges in 17 minutes

The company also announced a new tablet and wearable.


Xiaomi’s new device launch includes the flagship X11T Pro, the romantically named superphone with a number of gee-whizz features. That includes 120W HyperCharge technology that promises to juice your phone full in less than 20 minutes. On the imaging front, the X11T Pro is packing a 108-megapixel primary camera that can shoot 8K Video with Samsung’s HD10+ (and AI cinema modes). Watching those magnum opuses should be pretty enjoyable, too, since the phone’s display has a 120Hz refresh rate, Dolby Vision and HDR10+.

At the same time, the company unveiled the Pad 5, an 11-inch tablet with a WQHD+ screen and support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. More importantly, however, Xiaomi’s ubiquitous Mi Smart Band 6 now has updates for NFC contactless payments. You’ll also be able to connect to Alexa for voice control, among other things.

Continue Reading.

Disney+ is remaking the classic sci-fi movie 'Flight of the Navigator'

Directed by Bryce Dallas Howard.

Still from 'Flight of the Navigator'

Flight of the Navigator may not have been a global smash hit, but it certainly jibes with a certain age group right now. Now, several years after Disney first planned to do something with the film, the company has announced a reboot for Disney+ is in the works. Details are thin on the ground at such an early stage, but we do know that Bryce Dallas Howard (star of Jurassic World and regular Lucasfilm director) will helm the remake. If you’re looking for your fill of Disney content, Kris Naudus has done their regular deep-dive on this week’s episode of Marvel’s What If.

Continue Reading.

Boston Dynamics' Spot robot has learned to replan its routes

The robot dog can navigate around obstacles without human intervention.

Image of Spot, the Boston Dynamics Robot
Boston Dynamics

Well, it’s official, the robot dog that will hunt us all down in the end-times has learned to navigate on its own. Boston Dynamics has announced a software update to its Spot robot means the machine can reroute itself when its regular planned path is blocked. The company says this will enable Spot to better run autonomous inspection tours, taking photos in hazardous or hard-to-reach areas. Yeah, sure, that’s the reason.

Continue Reading.

The biggest news stories you might have missed

Marshall unveils its first true wireless earbuds with ANC

Fitbit smartwatches now detect snoring and other loud noises

TP-Link's latest WiFi 6 router includes a dedicated band for gaming

Razer's finger sleeve absorbs thumb sweat for mobile gaming

Unicode 14.0 adds 37 new emoji, including 'melting face' and 'beans'