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Microsoft names its next Windows 10 upgrade: ‘2004’

Microsoft this week tagged the next Windows 10 refresh with the four-digit label 2004, the designation meant to avoid confusion with a long-retired server OS if not an admission of the upgrade’s release timeline.

Windows 10 2004 – in Microsoft’s format, the numbers represent year (yy) and month (mm) of release – is still in testing but will be 2020’s first feature upgrade. Until the Nov. 26 issue of the latest beta build, Microsoft had been calling the upcoming upgrade 20H1, as in 2020’s first-half release. (It’s unclear why Microsoft continues to identify in-beta releases with yyH1 and yyH2 when it always switches to the yymm scheme later.)

“We have chosen to use 2004 as the version to eliminate confusion with any past product names (such as Windows Server 2003),” Brandon LeBlanc, a senior program manager on the Windows Insider team, wrote in a post to a company blog.

Windows Server 2003 debuted in April 2003 and was retired from support in July 2015. It was superseded by Windows Server 2008.

The naming of Windows 10 feature upgrades has been imprecise from almost the start. Windows 10 1607, for example, debuted Aug. 2, 2016, not in July. Windows 10 1703 and 1803 each shipped in April, while 1903 went live in May. None popped up in March. In other words, there is no guarantee that Windows 10 2004 will go final next April. (One thing Microsoft has yet to do: Ship a Windows 10 feature upgrade before its label indicated.)

While Microsoft answered one question about 2020 when it named the spring’s Windows 10 upgrade, it tabled another.

“We are looking to begin releasing new builds from our development branch,” said Microsoft’s LeBlanc, referring to previews of whatever is to follow 2004. “Now is the time to check your Windows Insider Settings and switch to the Slow ring if you wish to remain on 20H1.”

It is unknown exactly what Microsoft will soon begin beta testing. If the company follows the path of this year, it will skip 2020’s fall upgrade (20H2? 2009?) and, like 2019, seed Insider participants with very early versions of the 2021 spring upgrade (21H1? 2103?) That, in turn, would mean the fall “upgrade” would be nothing close to an upgrade, but instead a rehash of the spring’s refresh with a smidgen of new features.

Microsoft’s other road – not taken this year – would be to revert to the 2017-2018 cadence of two roughly equivalent-in-scope feature upgrades by beginning to test the fall refresh. (20H2? 2009? See why Microsoft’s use of code names is confusing?) The major-minor model of 2019, then, would be exposed as a one-off and 2020 would be a return to normalcy, at least as Microsoft’s constantly evolving servicing policies can be “normal.”

Computerworld has predicted that the major-minor scheme of 2019 will continue in 2020 but has acknowledged that the forecast is based on little more than common sense, backed by solid benefits to Microsoft’s important commercial customers.

Microsoft has declined to say which upgrade will enter testing in early 2020, saying only that the recently released Windows 10 1909 – a minor upgrade in all senses of the term – was a “pilot” that would be evaluated. Hints dropped during a Microsoft-hosted Nov. 21 webinar could be read multiple ways.

“We’ve got some really cool stuff coming. We’ve got some announcements in the upcoming months,” said one of the Insider team during the online presentation of two weeks ago. “We listen to feedback, too.”

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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Google Maps Can Now Translate Place Names

Google Maps can now translate place names for you, making it easier to get around in foreign climes. This should put an end to you trying and failing to pronounce tricky place names while the locals look at you like you’ve got two heads.

Google Maps has made it much easier to get around while visiting a new country. You open the app, type in where you want to go, and Google Maps will direct you there. However, things can be trickier if you need to hail a cab or ask someone which bus to catch.

Google Integrates Translate Into Maps

In an effort to solve this problem, Google is integrating Translate into Maps in a small way. As outlined in a post on The Keyword, Google Maps can now translate place names for you. And all without you ever having to leave the Google Maps app.

All you need to do is search Google Maps for the place you want to visit. Click on the entry, and look for the speaker button next to the place name. Click on that and Google will tell you how to pronounce the name in the language of the country you’re visiting.

If that wasn’t enough, you can then click “Get more translations” to open Google Translate (assuming you have it installed on your device). This allows you to get a translation for anything else you want to say, even if it’s just, “Thank you very much”.

This feature is being rolled out to Google Maps on Android and iOS this month (November 2019). Google Maps’ Translate integration will initially support 50 languages, with Google promising to add more languages in the future.

Download: Google Maps on Android | iOS

More Google Maps Features to Check Out

If you want to discover more ways Google Maps is helping people get around, Google Maps offers detailed voice guidance for people with visual impairments and Google Maps offers augmented reality directions

Google Maps Now Offers Augmented Reality Directions

Google Maps Now Offers Augmented Reality Directions

Google Maps’ Live View uses augmented reality (AR) directions to make it easier for you to get from A to B without getting lost.
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which add virtual signs to the real world.

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5 Ways to Boost Your Memory & Remember Names, Notes (and Everything Else)

The human mind can’t stand up to the constant barrage of new information we get in the 21st century. It’s no wonder we can’t remember a lot of what we read, people we meet, sounds we hear. But these recall tools and brain hacks can help you level-up your memory.

Not many people know that memory relies on techniques. There is science behind how our brain handles new information, and if you learn the techniques, you can retain more of that information. Needless to say, none of these will magically change your mind in a day. But practice, and you’ll astound others about how well you can remember what happened.

1. FlipToMind (Web): Custom Flash Cards With Spaced Repetition

FlipToMind is a simple, free web app for flash cards

FlipToMind combines flash cards with the spaced repetition memory technique

How To Be A Smarter Learner By Using The Method Of Spaced Repetitions

How To Be A Smarter Learner By Using The Method Of Spaced Repetitions

Spaced repetition is a method that can help you plateau out the downward curve of your forgetfulness and help you memorize large amounts of data. It is an accelerated learning technique. This article is about…
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to revise and repeat what you need to remember. It supports a range of input like text, images, and also markdown, and works in any browser, desktop or mobile.

To create a card, you have to put a cue in one box and the answer in the other. You have to copy-paste full image URL links to add a picture to a card. Once you’ve created a stack, test yourself.

The app will cycle through your cues. Say the answer in your head and flip the card. Mark it as “knew it” or “failed” so that the app knows which cards you have trouble with. Using a smart algorithm, FlipToMind then figures out which cards you are likely to forget soon, and creates custom tests.

This is among the simplest flash card web apps based on spaced repetition. The free version of FlipToMind lets you create 25 cards. You can upgrade to unlimited cards for one dollar per month.

2. Mochi (Windows, macOS, Linux): Feature-Packed Flash Cards App

Mochi also uses the spaced repetition technique. But this isn’t a web app, so you can only access it on the desktop that you install the software on.

You can create new cards that support Markdown, text, and emojis too, but not images. Mochi has three features that distinguish it from regular flash cards.

First, you aren’t restricted to a single answer. In a physical flash card, you could only have the question on one side and the answer on the other. Mochi lets you add multiple answers, or hints, which cascade in steps. It’s a level-up for regular cards.

Second, Mochi allows you to hide words in the question you are setting up. The “Cloze” feature will simply blur words from a large chunk of text, asking you to fill in the blanks.

And finally, Mochi lets you add detailed notes for your studies. You can then link cards to the notes, or make cards from notes. It’s an effective system to remember what you needed to, and also learn more in case you forgot.

The app couple these two methods with an algorithm that tracks the cards and boosts retention with spaced repetition. You can add an unlimited number of decks and cards to Mochi but can’t access it on your phone or a different computer.

Download: Mochi for Windows | macOS | Linux (Free)

3. Art of Memory (Web): Learn to Build a Memory Palace

Art of Memory has guides for all types of memory techniques, with the best illustrated guide to Method of Loci method

If you want to learn how to build Sherlock Holmes’ “memory palace” depicted in one episode of the BBC series, then visit Art of Memory. This website is a repository of various memory tools, including the simplest free beginner’s guide to how a memory palace works.

The step-by-step Memory Technique wiki takes you through the fundamentals of the Method of Loci (i.e. the technique’s original name). Through a scene from a village, it illustrates how to remember the first 12 elements of the periodic table. Memory palaces are often recommended as a useful memory tool for students.

The main website has much more to offer than this one method alone. In fact, it covers pretty much every memory technique you’ll come across.

Register for the website to get a free 28-page beginner’s ebook for all major memory techniques, which also answers common questions. You also gain access to the forums, which has an active community of experts and amateurs willing to help in your journey.

4. Your Awesome Memory (Web): Free Video Course to Remember Anything

Bill Powell of Your Awesome Memory offers a free video course on essential memory tools

Memory expert Bill Powell’s website is full of articles and resources related to memory. Instead of focusing on one technique, Powell stresses on using different methods to remember different things. And he teaches you how.

The best way to start is with the free video course, for which you’ll have to sign up for the newsletter. These aren’t five-minute videos, each of the four-part video course is over half an hour in length. Powell touches upon the four essential memory tools, what purpose each serves, and how to use the tools to remember names.

Go through the course over a weekend and put the learnings into practice. If you have the time, Powell’s articles are worth reading too, especially on topics like why flash cards fail or how you can remember more of what you read.

Memory Loss Test lets you check your short term memory and working memory

Now that you know how to improve your memory, it might be worthwhile to check just how good it is. Memory Health Check offers a few free tests to see if you suffer from any memory loss.

The website gives you two types of tests: short term memory tests and working memory tests. In the short term memory tests, you will be shown a series of pictures of nature or animals. You have to tap the picture or the spacebar key every time an image is repeated.

The working memory tests are of two types. The digit span test shows you a series of digits (up to 10) at different speeds, and then you need to type out the full number. The spatial memory test shows you an object in different squares of a 4×4 grid. Remember the sequence and replicate it.

Note: These are basic tests to check a regularly functioning mind. If you seek clinical tests or think you might have a mental issue, please seek the opinion of a professional medical practitioner.

Other Ways to Improve Your Memory

Memory and recall are often a function of physiological conditions. Studies have shown that your memory will automatically improve if you are eating healthy, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep.

But even if you are doing those steps, apps can help. We are bombarded with so much data in this information age, why not let it also aid in recollection? Apart from the aforementioned websites and apps, these tools can improve memory and recall

Want to Improve Your Memory and Recall? These 5 Tools Might Help

Want to Improve Your Memory and Recall? These 5 Tools Might Help

Information overload makes us forget faster. These tools just might help you remember more and improve your memory.
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. In fact, there’s an app dedicated to helping you remember people’s names.

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How to Hide Your App Folder Names on iPhone or iPad

How to hide folder names in iOS

When you group apps together into folders, your iPhone or iPad attempts to name those folders for you based on what’s in them. But what if you don’t want to label a folder? Here’s how to erase it completely.

Right off the bat, this sounds pretty easy—just name it with a single space right? Nope. When you leave the name of a folder blank or insert only one space, iOS converts the name of the folder back to what it used to be. Over the years, various workarounds have come and gone, but fortunately one or two remain.

The Simple Option: Move Your Folders Into the Dock

Items placed in the dock at the bottom of an iPhone or iPad do not have names. Moving a folder into the dock continues that behavior—no name will be displayed. When you tap on the folder, you can see the name again, so it’s not gone, just hidden. This is a fairly obvious option, but it doesn’t totally solve the problem—your folder still has a name. If you’re just opposed to folder names in general, read on.

putting a folder on the dock putting a folder on the dock

The Slightly More Complicated Option: Use Unicode and Braille

While dropping your folder into the dock is by far the simplest option, we get that not everyone wants to put folders in the dock. If you’re looking for a way to have a blank folder on your home screen, there’s a solution for that—using the Unicode character for a braille space as the folder name. iOS doesn’t recognize the Braille space as an actual space—it just sees it as a normal character—so it doesn’t replace the empty space with the folder name.

To get started, copy the following character on your iPhone or iPad by long-pressing in between the brackets, and then choosing “Copy”: [⠀]. From there, jump back to your home screen and long press on the folder until the icons start to wiggle.

Long-press the folder you want to remove the name from.

Tap on the folder to open it, and tap the “X” to clear the name.

Tap the "X" to clear the name.

Double-tap the name field and then tap “Paste” to insert the blank character. Tap “Done” to save the new, blank name.

Long-press the name field > Paste > Done

Done and done! From that point forward, you can easily copy this blank character from the existing folder name and paste it into other folder names. Before you know it, you’ll have tons of nameless folders all over your home screens. What could be better?

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