Microsoft Reaffirms Windows 11’s System Requirements (for the Most Part)

“Will this PC be able to run Windows 11?” seems like a relatively simple question, especially since Microsoft has announced that it doesn’t plan to budge on the operating system’s minimum specs. But reports indicate that the answer is more complicated than one might expect.

Microsoft said in June that Windows 11 would require a processor released in late 2017 at the earliest, a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 security chip, 4GB of memory, and 64GB of storage. Some of those specs are innocuous—practically every modern system exceeds the memory and storage minimums—but the CPU and TPM 2.0 requirements are more restrictive.

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Apple II Manual Signed by Steve Jobs Fetches $787,484 at Auction

A collection of Steve Jobs memorabilia—including a signed Apple II manual, a business card, and a leather jacket worn by the Apple co-founder—was recently sold off by RR Auction, and the prices fetched by some of these items might be higher than most people would expect.

The big ticket item was an Apple II manual that Jobs signed and inscribed with the following message: “Julian, Your generation is the first to grow up with computers. Go change the world!” (It was also signed by one-time Apple CEO Mike Markkula.) It fetched $787,484.

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Google is killing Android Auto for phones (if you even know what that is)

Google is killing Android Auto. No, not that Android Auto.

Google is shutting down “Android Auto for phone screens,” which was an Android Auto offshoot for people who didn’t have cars compatible with the service. 9to5Google confirmed the cancellation with Google, and XDA Developers spotted a shutdown message in the app pushing users to a newer Google car computing solution for phone screens: “Google Assistant driving mode.” As usual, we have many similarly named Google projects to keep track of, so don’t get confused!

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OnlyFans to Ban Porn After Pushback From Banking Partners

OnlyFans is banning one of the site’s biggest draws: Porn.

The content-subscription service will prohibit sexually explicit content on Oct.1, citing pressure from the financial industry.

“In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the platform, and to continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines,” OnlyFans said in a statement. “These changes are to comply with the requests of our banking partners and payout providers.”

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So, Jägermeister Decided to Get Into PC Gaming

Jägermeister typically packages its product in the same iconic green bottle it’s used since the digestif was introduced in 1935. But the company recently partnered with YouTuber Bitwit to see if its eponymous beverage could instead be poured into a high-end gaming PC. And it could!

Let’s start with a disclaimer: Don’t pour Jägermeister into your gaming PC. That would almost certainly be disastrous, and with the ongoing chip shortage, it’s going to be more difficult than ever to replace anything you damage by dousing it in 70 proof alcohol. Keep the lid on.

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New BIOS updates will make Windows 11 support less annoying on custom-built PCs

If you’re using a pre-built desktop or laptop PC made within the last three or four years, Windows 11’s sometimes confusing, sometimes contentious security-oriented new system requirements won’t be a problem for you—all of the security features Microsoft is requiring for the new operating system should be turned on by default. The change presents a bigger problem for people who build their own computers (or who have had computers built for them), since features like the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) are often disabled by default.

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Excel 4 Is Alive and Well, and Ready to Attack

You’ve got to be a real cybergeezer to remember using Excel 4, given that it was replaced by Excel 5 in 1993. After almost 30 years, surely everyone is running a more up-to-date version of Microsoft’s popular spreadsheet software. So why do we care about Excel 4? It turns out that Excel 4’s macro system is alive, armed, and dangerous.

The problem is those macros have full access to the operating system, while VBA (which supposedly replaced macros) can’t do anything outside the spreadsheet. And the system lends itself well to obfuscation, meaning malware coders can hide their macros’ malicious actions.

A team led by Giovanni Vigna, VMWare’s Senior Director of Threat Intelligence, worked up a novel technique to identify and defang malicious code by stripping the layers of obfuscation that normally keep it hidden. At the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, the team presented a Symbolic Execution tool that they call SymbExcel, so others can share the magic.

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Google+ class action starts paying out $2.15 for G+ privacy violations

Who remembers the sudden and dramatic death of Google+?

Google’s Facebook competitor and “social backbone” was effectively dead inside the company around 2014, but Google let the failed service hang around for years in maintenance mode while the company spun off standalone products. In 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google+ had exposed the private data of “hundreds of thousands of users” for years, that Google knew about the problem, and that the company opted not to disclose the data leak for fear of regulatory scrutiny. In the wake of the report, Google was forced to acknowledge the data leak, and the company admitted that the “private” data of 500,000 accounts actually wasn’t private. Since nobody worked on Google+ anymore, Google’s “fix” for the bug was to close Google+ entirely. Then the lawsuits started.

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Google will kill off very old versions of Android next month

Google has started emailing users of very old Android devices to tell them it’s time to say goodbye.

Starting September 27, devices running Android 2.3.7 and lower will no longer be able to log in to Google services, effectively killing a big portion of the on-rails Android experience. As Google puts it in an official community post, “If you sign in to your device after September 27, you may get username or password errors when you try to use Google products and services like Gmail, YouTube, and Maps.”

Android is one of the most cloud-based operating systems ever. Especially in older versions, many included apps and services were tied to your Google login, and if that stops working, a large chunk of your phone is bricked. While Android can update many core components without shipping a full system update today, Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread, released around 10 years ago, was not so modular.

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Percentage of Linux Gamers on Steam Tops 1% for First Time in Years

Gaming on Linux is still niche, but the number of users doing so has recently shot up, according to Valve’s Steam.

In July, the market share for Linux-based gaming on Steam reached the 1% threshold after three years of remaining at the 0.8 to 0.9% range. GamingOnLinux noticed the sudden increase through Steam’s hardware and software survey, which regularly polls users to see what platforms they use to game.

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