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  1. Microsoft Partners may request Windows Update blocks if drivers are incompatible A new document by Microsoft reveals that Microsoft Partners may request Windows Update blocks for their devices or hardware if they find out that certain drivers are incompatible with new feature updates of the operating system. It happens from time to time that device drivers are not compatible with new versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system (Microsoft revealed in 2018 that device driver quality was better than ever). When Microsoft becomes aware of incompatibilities, it informs its partners about them during development of the new version of Windows so that they may fix the issue before the final release. Sometimes, that does not happen in time or issues become known after the release. Microsoft may block devices with the hardware or driver from upgrading to the new version of Windows; this is called an update block and it is a temporary measure designed to prevent that customers who run Windows devices run into issues and to give partners time to produce a working and compatible driver. We have seen several upgrade blocks this year alone, e.g. to prevent certain devices from upgrading to Windows 10 version 1903. Up until now, it was Microsoft that put these blocks in place based on its data. The company has changed the process so that Microsoft Partners may request update blocks if they need more time to update certain device drivers. The document, which is publicly available but has a NDA watermark, informs partners that they may requiest Windows Update offer blocks for up to 60 days. It states: Feature Update Windows Update (WU) Offer Block Mitigation Request In order to ensure that end users have a good post-update experience, when a driver has a known incompatibility with a feature update, Partners can request a temporary WU offer block (~30-60 days) so that Windows Update will not offer the feature update to devices running a driver version with a known incompatibility. The offer block will be removed once a partner has posted an updated driver (as Automatic and/or Dynamic) via Hardware Dev Center portal. The document reveals another change related to drivers and Windows Update. Microsoft will automatically block new drivers from being offered through Windows Update before and after Patch Tuesday and the release of a new feature update: Patch Tuesday: no new drivers the day before, at, and after Patch Tuesday. Feature Updates: no new drivers the two days before, at, and the two days after the release date. Closing Words Microsoft hopes that the change will reduce the number of driver-related issues that Windows users will run into in the future. Whether that is really the case or whether it will be used by partners to delay development remains to be seen. Source: Microsoft Partners may request Windows Update blocks if drivers are incompatible (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  2. You’ll still be able to use GIFs when you feel the need to share your favorite screencaps. Twitter will no longer animate PNG files after trolls hijacked the Epilepsy Foundation's handle and hashtags last month to send potentially seizure-inducing images to epileptic and photo-sensitive individuals. The company says it recently discovered a bug that had allowed people to add multiple animated images to a tweet and bypass Twitter's autoplay protections using the file format. That said, Twitter also says it isn't aware that anyone used APNG to try and trigger seizures; it just wants to avoid the possibility that people do so in the future. "We want everyone to have a safe experience on Twitter," the company said in a tweet. "APNGs were fun, but they don't respect autoplay settings, so we're removing the ability to add them to tweets. This is for the safety of people with sensitivity to motion and flashing imagery, including those with epilepsy." Twitter also said APNGs used up a lot of data, and could in some circumstances cause app crashes. To be clear: you'll still be able to add animated images to your tweets, you'll just need to fall back on GIFs. Since most people already use GIFs as their go-to for sharing clips and reactions, the update is unlikely to change how the majority use the platform. To make up for the loss of the added functionality that comes with APNGs, Twitter says it's working on adding alt-text to GIFs, which will help make them more accessible to people who depend on screen readers to navigate the internet. It's also looking into building a similar feature that's "better for you and your Twitter experience." The move probably won't make Twitter completely safe for photo-sensitive individuals since trolls have used GIFs in the past to try and harm people. However, the fact that APNGs were able to bypass the site's autoplay protections made them particularly susceptible to abuse. Update: This post and its headline have been updated to note Twitter says that it isn't aware of anyone misusing the APNG format to try and trigger seizures; it just wants to make sure no one does so going forward. Source
  3. Microsoft plans to release the May 2019 Update for Windows 10 at the end of May 2019. The update was expected for a end of March 2019 beginning of April 2019 release initially, but the disastrous Windows 10 version 1809 feature update release forced Microsoft's hand on the new release. Windows 10 version 1809 had to be pulled shortly after release because of major issues that included data loss on systems the update was installed on. It took Microsoft months to address these issues, and the feature update was not ready for broad deployment until last month. Microsoft made the decision to test the new feature update in the Release Preview ring before its official release. The main idea was to detect and fix any major issue before the actual release of the new version. Microsoft revealed as well that it would give administrators more control over the installation of feature updates by making them optional until a particular version of Windows 10 runs out of support. Upgrade blocks Microsoft lists three upgrade blocks right now for the May 2019 Update. Upgrade blocks prevent machines from being updated to the new version. They are: Devices that have external USB devices attached to the PC or SD memory cards inserted, are blocked from the May 2019 Update. Admins may receive the "what needs your attention" message in that case. The issue is resolved in Windows Insider Builds 18877 and later already; admins who want to install the feature update need to unplug external USB devices and remove SD memory cards to do so. Devices with "older anti-cheat software" are blocked from updating to the new release as well. Microsoft does not reveal which anti-cheat programs cause the issue, only that older versions of these programs are responsible. The solution in this case would be to either update the anti-cheat software or game in question, or remove it from the system before installing the update. On systems with redirected System folders, e.g. Desktop, Documents, or Pictures, an empty folder is created in the original user profile location during the update. This may cause confusion, but files are not deleted in the process and Microsoft states that a fix is being worked on. Closing Words There is still some work to be done before the official release next month. There is certainly a chance that some issues won't be detected during development even with the extra month or so of testing in the Release Preview ring. As always, it is a good idea to wait a month or two before you consider upgrading to a new feature update version of Windows 10; most bugs should be resolved by then. Source: Upgrade blocks for Windows 10 May 2019 Update (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  4. Plugin that blocks the scripts of the sites, the scripts are embedded inside the pages this makes the performance is maximum talking about the CPU and the whole computer will notice the difference, Blocks with the following plugins.
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