PCR Five for Friday (05/05/2017)

Five for Friday is a weekly feature to give a brief roundup of our top five stories from the week that you might have missedThink we left anything out? Let us know your favourite stories of the week by pinging us a tweet @pcr_online.

‘The phone is already dead’ says Kinect and HoloLens inventor

Alex Kipman, top Microsoft boffin and inventor of the Kinect and HoloLens, has made a bold statement over the future of mobile phones – namely that there isn’t one. 

Speaking to Bloomberg, Kipman said that "the phone is already dead," but that "people just haven’t realised". Unsurprisingly, he believes that a mixed reality device – such as HoloLens – will firmly replace the smartphone, but didn’t say just how or when the smartphone will be killed off.

Intel fixes security bug that has plagued CPUs for a decade

Chip manufacturer Intel has fixed a bug that has plagued its CPUs for a decade. After 10 years trying to mend the problem, Intel has finally released a patch to fix a flaw that gives cybercriminals a way to breach vulnerable networks.

The remote management flaw has given hackers the opportunity to fully take control of the computers running on the vulnerable networks for the best part of a decade, according to an advisory briefing published by Intel yesterday afternoon. The bug resides in the chipmaker’s Active Management Technology, Intel Small Business Technology, and Intel Standard Manageability chips. The bug doesn’t affect Intel chips running on consumer PCs.

North beats south as UK’s best and worst 4G hotspots are revealed

The UK’s best and worst 4G mobile hotspots have been revealed. It’s good news for the north of England, with Middlesbrough topping the table in terms of availability, closely followed by Sheffield, Sunderland, Leicester and Leeds. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the table (of the UK’s top 20 biggest cities and towns) was Bournemouth, while surprisingly London sits in 16th place.

The report, by consumer watchdog Which? found that 83 per cent of mobile users seeking 4G coverage could in Middlesborough, compared to just 67.5 per cent availability in Bournemouth. It doesn’t make good reading for the south with Southampton and Portsmouth also making up the bottom three.

Windows 10S won’t let you change the default web browser

Microsoft on Tuesday launched the new eagerly-awaited Windows Surface Laptop and alongside it comes a new iteration of the company’s operating system – Windows 10S. While this is all terrifically exciting, some people are upset that the largely unpopular Edge web browser and Bing search enine will be set as the unchangeable defaults. Furthermore, you can only install apps that are in the Windows Store.

According to Microsoft’s official Windows 10S FAQ – via Laptop Magazine – users best start getting used to Edge:

"Microsoft Edge is the default web browser on Microsoft 10 S. You are able to download another browser that might be available from the Windows Store, but Microsoft Edge will remain the default if, for example, you open an .htm file. Additionally, the default search provider in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer cannot be changed."

HTC Vive appoints former ex-Spotify MD as European general manager

HTC Vive reinforced its position in Europe with the appointment of experienced general manager Paul Brown. 

Brown, who will be based in HTC’s European headquarters near London, had spent the past six years as general manager of Digital D2C at Disney and overseeing the launch of subscription video and music subscription service DisneyLife. Prior to that, he was the UK managing director of Spotify, where he was responsible for the platform’s launch on mobile in 2009/10. He had also held senior executive roles at Sony Music and US internet radio giant Pandora Media having begun his career as a city lawyer at law firm Hogan Lovells.

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