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Meet Mycroft: An Open Source Virtual Assistant

Today, 05:33 AM

Posted by abarbarian in Hardware

Mycroft Mark II: The Open Source Answer to Amazon Echo and Google Home That Doesn’t Spy on You


Brief: If you want a smart speaker cum virtual assistant like Amazon Echo and Google Home that doesn’t spy on you, Mycroft Mark II is what you are looking for. The open source device is open for pre-order via its crowdfunding campaign.

This is the era of virtual home assistants. From setting alarms to get weather information, from playing your favorite music to play Netflix for you, these virtual assistants do it all. You just need to call their name and ask them the questions. You don’t even have to be nice to them, not that it hurts. All you need is a device that uses these virtual assistants.

The Kickstarter campaign,


The current Indiegogo campaign,


For those with a 3D printer,


Mark II Dev Kit – DIY
Are you a hacker or maker that loves to put things together? Choose this reward and get the chance to build it yourself! This reward comes with the PCBs, LCD, speakers and necessary cables, but no housing. This reward will ships with documentation, CAD files for 3D printing, and an SD card fully loaded with everything you need!


The Mycroft home page contains more information,


Install on a Desktop, buy a Mycroft Mark 1, or build with a Raspberry Pi.
See what potential open source AI has to offer!

A list of current "SKILLS" that Mycroft can do.


I like the sound of Mycroft. Even at this early stage it looks to have some neat and useful skills. Posted Image

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One Note Changes

Yesterday, 12:32 PM

Posted by Corrine in All Things Windows
From The best version of OneNote on Windows - Microsoft Tech Community - 183974:


Beginning with the release of Office 2019, OneNote for Windows 10 will be the default OneNote experience for Office 365 and Office 2019. By focusing our efforts on a single Windows app, we’ll be able to bring you the very best experience and reduce any confusion about which app to use.


What’s happening to OneNote 2016?

While we’re no longer adding new features to OneNote 2016, it’ll still be there if you need it. OneNote 2016 is optionally available for anyone with Office 365 or Office 2019, but it will no longer be installed by default. If you currently use OneNote 2016, you won’t notice any changes when you update to Office 2019. We’ll continue to offer support, bug fixes, and security updates for OneNote 2016 for the duration of the Office 2016 support lifecycle, which runs through October 2020 for mainstream support and October 2025 for extended support. In other words, you'll still receive critical fixes—but not new features—for at least the next two years. For more details, please refer to this FAQ.

There is much, much more information in the referenced article especially about the "Top-requested features coming soon to OneNote for Windows 10".

Also see the topic here as well as these additional OneNote References:

What's the difference between OneNote and OneNote 2016? - OneNote
Get started with the new OneNote - Office Support

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Oracle Java™ Critical Security Updates Released

Yesterday, 08:46 AM

Posted by Corrine in Security & Networking
Oracle released the scheduled critical security updates for its Java SE Runtime Environment software.  The Critical Patch Update contains 14 new security fixes for Oracle Java SE.  Twelve (12) of these vulnerabilities may be remotely exploitable without authentication, i.e., may be exploited over a network without requiring user credentials.  


If Java is still installed on your computer, it is recommended that this update be applied as soon as possible due to the threat posed by a successful attack.

Download Information

Java SE 8u171/ 8u172


Java SE 10.0.1  (x64-bit only)


  • UNcheck any pre-checked toolbar and/or software  options presented with the update. They are not part of the software update and are completely  optional.  Preferably, see the instructions below on how to handle "Unwanted Extras".
  • Oracle does not plan to migrate desktops from Java 8 to Java 9 through the auto update feature.  Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you uninstall JRE 8 prior to updating.
  • Verify your version:  http://www.java.com/...ad/testjava.jsp.   Note:  The Java version verification page will only work if your browser has NPAPI support.  In that case, to check the version, open a cmd window and enter the following (note the space following Java):  java -version

Critical Patch Updates and Security Alerts

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