Yesterday, Microsoft described updates to a cloud service, but surprisingly, the company didn’t talk about OneDrive. Instead, iCloud, Apple’s cloud service, was the subject at hand. As it turns out, iCloud for Windows is picking up OneDrive features.
One of the better features of OneDrive’s Windows integrations is Files on Demand. If you have a Terabyte of data stored in the cloud, and laptop with just 500 gigs of hard drive space, you won’t want to sync everything to your machine. But if you don’t sync everything, it’s hard to keep track of what you have in the cloud without logging into a website or app and hunting everything down.
Files on Demand solves that problem. When you open file explorer and browser through OneDrive synced folders, placeholders are shown for anything on the cloud but not on your computer. If you double-click on a file or picture, it automatically downloads, and you’ll have access going forward.
Until you need them, the data doesn’t use storage on your machine, which balances knowledge of what you have in the cloud with limited space availability locally.
Until recently, you had to use OneDrive to benefit from Files on Demand. Dropbox and Google Drive offer a similar feature, but you have to be a business customer to take advantage. Now, if you’re an Apple iCloud user on Windows, you also benefit from Files on Demand. With the latest iCloud Windows app update, you can access iCloud Drive from File Explorer, and you will see placeholders for files you haven’t downloaded locally yet. And naturally, you can share and edit from Windows, and those changes will appear on your iOS devices.
One can only hope the personal versions of Dropbox and Google Drive will add Files on Demand in the future. In the meantime, it’s good to see Microsoft and Apple working together for the benefit of consumers.
In a continued sign that Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is on life support, the Apple iCloud app is a win32 app, and not UWP, even though you’ll find it in the Microsoft Store. [Microsoft Blog]
In Other News:
- DropBox’s latest update includes app integrations and task management: Speaking of Dropbox, it released a substantial update yesterday that gives the cloud business a new direction. Instead of focusing on just file storage (a difficult market with titans like Microsoft and Google), the company now wants to focus on organizing your work and integrating with your tools. The latest update includes native integrations Slack, Zoom and Atlassian so that you can move your files between your apps more easily. [TechCrunch]
- Have I Been Pwned is for sale: Have I Been Pwned is the place to go if you think you may have been caught up in any of the many recent breaches (spoiler alert, you have). It’s a large site, with enormous responsibilities, and surprisingly it’s handled by just one person. Troy Hunt, the man behind it all, laid out in blog why the future of Have I Been Pwned requires a sale to a responsible entity. The good news is, he insists consumer searches remain free. [TroyHunt.com]
- Microsoft blocks BLE security key pairing: Specific security keys, like Google’s Titan key, were found to have a server vulnerability. Google is offering replacements, but as a precaution, the latest Windows update now blocks these keys from use. Harsh but fair. [ZDNet]
- Facebook will pay you for monitoring privileges: You may recall when Facebook landed itself in hot water by tracking the habits of minors using enterprise certificates and promises of rewards. The company still wants to know everything about you, but this time it’s taking a better swing at it. Facebook surveys is only open to adults, doesn’t track as much information (what apps what you have, but not what messages you send), and clearly spells out its intentions, which puts it in line with every other company tracking you. Baby Steps. [The Verge]
- Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is getting a sequel: You may remember Breath of the Wild as the reason you bought a Nintendo Switch. It was a gorgeous and fantastic entry in the Zelda series with a storyline that didn’t necessarily scream sequel. Do you know what does scream sequel? Fifteen million copies sold and counting. No release date yet, unfortunately. [Engadget]
- Researchers found a critical flaw in WordPress’s livechat plugin: Wordpress’s livechat plugin is used by websites all over to provide support and customer service. Unfortunately, security researchers found a flaw that would allow bad actors to do everything from stealing all chat logs from a website to injecting text into active chats, to even initiating Denial of Service attacks. If your WordPress site uses livechat you should update as soon as possible. [TechRadar]
- You can now preorder the Atari VCS Retro Console: You already have the NES, SNES, and Playstation classic consoles. Now get out your nostalgia dollars because you can preorder the Atari VCS Retro Console through GameStop or Walmart now. You’re going to have to really want it though, the console ranges from $250 to $399, depending on the amount of ram and whether Atari includes controllers. Hey, Xbox prices are a small price to pay to get 100 Atari games, right? [GameSpot]
- Huawei is postponing its latest laptop launch indefinitely:
The bad news never stops for Huawei. The company had planned to announce a new MacBook competitor, but those plans are on hold. With the current U.S. bans in place, they simply can’t find anyone who can sell the device. The company promises to revisit the launch if the bans ever lift. [CNBC]
Imagine you’re walking along, enjoying the summer weather, and then you stumble across a giant shaggy wolf’s head. Hopefully, after screaming in terror, you’d let scientists know about your amazing find. That’s exactly what happened to a resident in northern Yakutia, Siberia.
At nearly twice the size of a modern wolf’s head, the head of this wolf is enormous, which was common for wolves of that day and age. Scientists say it probably isn’t a dire wolf though; they didn’t travel this far north. And admit it you just learned that dire wolves aren’t a thing only found in Dungeons and Dragons.
Scientists are incredibly excited by the remains because they are 30,000 years old. And thanks to the permafrost, the head is remarkably well preserved. Researchers already have plans to sequence DNA, and run tests on the brain tissue, which hasn’t been possible with previously found remains.
They’ve already done a cat scan of the head, which is both fascinating and horrifying to see, you should go check it out. Incredibly well-preserved remains from animals so ancient are rare finds. It’s hard to say exactly what scientists will learn from this head, but it may give us a better understanding of wolves, and through them, your pet dog. [Gizmodo]