Ed Bott's Weekly Wrap: CES 2016, Cortana on Cyanogen, more Windows 10 privacy kerfuffle

It was a busy week in Las Vegas and elsewhere.

I stayed home from CES this year, but ZDNet (and our sister site CNET) had a full team onsite.

How long can CES remain relevant?

Las Vegas hosted the International CES again, and ZDNet's editors wrapped up the coverage nicely in CES 2016: The Business Gear.

A visitor from 1983 probably would have collapsed from shock at the categories of devices this year. Wearables, robots, and drones? Oh my. Not to mention a slew of virtual reality products, like Intel's Daqri smart helmet.


The Daqri smart helmet, developed by Intel, showcased at CES 2016, uses RealSense 3D camera technology to overlay reality with computer images -- which is a take on the virtual reality trend. The hard hat, which ships from this week, is a pretty great application of augmented reality for the workplace. As an example, engineers could use the helmet and image overlays to spot problems and flaws, or a plumber could use source images and digital tools to assess damage.


James Martin/CNET

For PC aficionados, there was interesting news from Lenovo, which rolled out a wide range of products including the modular ThinkPad X1 tablet.


ZDNet's Larry Dignan looked at the new HP EliteBook Folio G1 and called it "a laptop you'd want as a personal device, but one that also would appeal to your IT department."

Meanwhile, Jason Perlow predicts that CES is on the fast track to irrelevance and predicts, "By the end of the decade it will be no more."

Cortana on Cyanogen

My OnePlus One phone, powered by Cyanogen OS, just received an update that includes Cortana, Microsoft's personal assistant.


Cortana, which competes with Google Now and Siri, is already available in app form on Android and iOS devices, but those implementations are hobbled by by the app sandbox in those other systems. The Cyanogen OS implementation is more deeply integrated into the OS, allowing for very responsive voice control and the ability to adjust system settings with voice commands.

I mentioned this development in an article about Google's decision to drop its implementation of the Java standard libraries in favor of an open-source

New Windows 10 Mobile build

Microsoft already began shipping Windows 10 Mobile on its recent Lumia 950 and 950XL devices. The Windows 10 Mobile upgrade for existing devices appears to be getting closer to shipping. Mary Jo Foley reports on what's in the new build, 10586.63.

[Microsoft's Gabe Aul] tweeted that there are no new features in this test build. "Mostly upgrade fixes and corner-case things per device model," he said when asked for a list of what's new.

No word on a release date.

Windows 10 privacy resources

Another week, another privacy kerfuffle for Windows 10, as I documented here with a tongue-in-cheek headline parodying some of the clickbait I read elsewhere:

Revealed! The crucial detail that Windows 10 privacy critics are missing

Rather than rehash that post, I thought it might be a good idea to sweep up some reference materials for those who want to educate themselves before getting worked up.

Meanwhile, anyone worried about Windows 10 telemetry can adjust the Feedback setting to Basic.

And no, Microsoft isn't hiding this setting or what it does. Type Feedback in the Windows 10 search box to the right of the Start button and you'll get to this page:


That Learn More link at the bottom describes each of the three settings, and the bottom link goes to the full Privacy Statement.


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