French to fight fake news with backing from Google, Facebook

News organizations operating in France will open up a new fact-checking service, CrossCheck, at the end of this month. Their initial focus will be on covering the forthcoming French elections, but with a number of international organizations participating, the project’s reach could grow.Donald Trump

CrossCheck’s focus will be on identifying and debunking misleading news sites, photographs, videos, memes or comment threads.

The service is backed by First Draft News, an organization that offers guidance on how to find, verify and publish content from the social web, with support from Google (through Google News Lab), Facebook and news organizations including BuzzFeed News, Agence France-Presse (AFP), and a host of national and regional French newspapers.

The news organizations involved will help debunk false information, and use that work to improve the accuracy of their own reporting, First Draft said Monday.

But at the News Impact Summit in Paris on Monday, some speakers doubted whether readers appreciate such fact-checking initiatives in the coverage of politics.

Journalists tend to believe that candidates for office should not tell lies, and assume that readers share that opinion, said Yoni Appelbaum, Washington bureau chief for The Atlantic. “The audience may not share that opinion of what’s qualifying or disqualifying in politics,” he said. “One of the things the media gets in trouble with is bludgeoning its audience over the head with facts rather than telling stories.”

Matthew Ingram, a senior writer for Fortune, summarized that: “The more you argue, the less they trust you. The more you fact-check, the less they believe you.”

One reason for that, said Amy Mitchell, director of journalism research at Pew Research Center, is, “There are so many different definitions of what’s fake news, it’s so hard to agree on the basic facts, even when it’s data.”

That won’t stop CrossCheck and its contributors. These include French newspaper Le Monde, which has built a database of more than 600 news sites, Le Décodex, identifying them as “satire,” “real,” “fake,” and so on.

Facebook, one of the vectors for the kinds of information CrossCheck seeks to debunk, will also support the project, providing dedicated tools, explaining the verification process to its users, and keeping them up to date with confirmed and disputed information relating to the election.

It’s impossible to fact-check every piece of information published in the press or circulating on the internet, so CrossCheck will be picking its battles. It will use CrowdTangle to discover social media content relevant to the election, and Spike a tool developed by NewsWhip to predict which posts will go viral.

It’s not just about France: Bellingcat, one of the CrossCheck partners, will map patterns in misinformation as part of a wider project to map European elections.

And First Draft and Google News Lab have been involved in election coverage before, through the Electionland initiative to report on voter suppression in the November 2016 U.S. presidential election.

News of the project will be published on the @crosscheck Twitter account.

Intel packs a tablet chip from yesteryear inside New Balance’s new RunIQ smartwatch

You’re probably aware that the chip inside your smartphone contains more computing horsepower than the systems that helped launch a man to the Moon. Intel’s taken that in a slightly different direction: An Atom chip formerly used in smartphones and tablets now drives New Balance’s latest RunIQ smartwatch.New Balance runiq promo

Jerry Bautista, vice president and general manager of the New Business Group within Intel, said that the New Balance RunIQ fitness watch, which began shipping last week, contains a “Cloverdale Peak” chip inside of it. Specifically, that chip is part of the Z34XX family, Bautista said, which powered tablets and Intel’s smartphone efforts in 2014.

“Powered” is the right word. Intel claimed that the original Z34XX family for tablets and smartphones had enough horsepower to run Asphalt 8, a fairly sophisticated 3D driving game for Android, iOS, and Windows phones. If the RunIQ ran the full Android OS rather than just the more limited Android Wear, you might be able to play some pretty hardcore games on a smartwatch.

Intel has rapidly diversified beyond just a PC company, as chief executive Brian Krzanich likes to remind us at public events. A year or so ago, Intel was making waves with partnerships with Luxottica, Fossil, and Opening Ceremony for a number of stylish, smart devices. What’s interesting is that those devices were often powered by Intel’s Curie or Quark, small low-power edge processors Intel designed as the engines of the Internet of Things. New Balance went a different route, opting for Atom’s more powerful legacy and possibly trading off some battery life in return. Will Atom show up in other wearables, too?

asphalt8 2 1500

New Balance’s RunIQ doesn’t necessarily look like a former smartphone chip is hiding inside of it, though the $299 fitness watch is decidedly chunky. Intel and New Balance ruggedized and waterproofed the watch to 5 atmospheres. Its battery life is rated at 24 hours, though just 5 with GPS tracking and its real-time optical heart-rate feature turned on. That’s considerably less than what smartwatches like the Garmin Vivoactive line offer, however—or even the Basis Peak, which Intel began manufacturing in 2014, later recalling it after a sensor problem.

Otherwise, the RunIQ watch can store your music with 4GB of onboard flash storage, then stream it wirelessly via Bluetooth. It can’t make calls, though it will display messages from a synced Android phone.

Behind its color AMOLED display, however, hides a surprisingly powerful Atom processor. According to Bautista, Intel repurposed and repackaged the Cloverdale Peak chip for RunIQ. The company isn’t disclosing the exact specifications of the chip, though the related Z3480 gives some idea: the Z3480 is a dual-core, dual-threaded chip, running at a whopping 2.13GHz.

“It’s a very, very capable platform,” Bautista said of the Cloverdale Peak chip. “Android is very, very snappy on this device. There’s no delay. It’s a very good experience.”

Bautista said Cloverdale Peak was a legacy of Intel’s efforts in the smartphone business, which struggled without an integrated cellular radio. In 2016, Intel drastically cut its Atom line, essentially exiting the smartphone business.

So how in the world did Intel shoehorn a smartphone chip into a smartwatch? “Well, the good thing is that we do have very deep packaging expertise,” Bautista said. “So for us, to take a piece of silicon, repackage it, move the I/O differently…is just something that we can do. And it gives more life to a product that is quite fine. Performance is great per watt. So why not? Why not just use that?”

Though Intel has seemingly prioritized Curie and Quark in recent years, Bautista said that Intel will pursue a hybrid strategy, repurposing older silicon like the Atom where it makes sense. Sometime, though, that’s not good enough. “In a number of cases, you do have to build purpose-built silicon from the ground up,” he said.

Hacker hijacks thousands of publicly exposed printers to warn owners

Following recent research that showed many printer models are vulnerable to attacks, a hacker decided to prove the point and forced thousands of publicly exposed printers to spew out rogue messages.robot printer hack

The messages included ASCII art depicting robots and warned that the printers had been compromised and they were part of a botnet. The hacker, who uses the online alias Stackoverflowin, later said that the botnet claim was not true and that his efforts served only to raise awareness about the risks of leaving printers exposed to the internet.

Stackoverflowin claims to be a high-school student from the U.K. who is interested in security research. He said that for the most part he simply sent print jobs using the Line Printer Daemon (LPD), the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) and the RAW protocol on communications port 9100 to printers that didn’t require authentication.

However, he also claims to have exploited an undisclosed remote command execution (RCE) vulnerability in the web management interface of Xerox printers.

The hacker estimates that up to 150,000 printers were affected by his effort, but claims to have access to more RCE flaws that he didn’t use and which would have allowed him to print to over 300,000 printers.

As printers around the world started printing the hacker’s rogue messages on Friday, affected users took to Twitter to report the problem. From the photos they posted, it appears that many of the printers were part of point-of-sale systems.

The issue of publicly exposed printers is not new and has been exploited before to print rogue and sometimes offensive messages. However, the issue was renewed last week when researchers from Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany published a paper on different attacks against network printers and an assessment of 20 printer models. The researchers also released a Printer Exploitation Toolkit and published a printer hacking wiki.

Users should make sure that their printers can’t be accessed through a public Internet Protocol address at all, Stackoverflowin said. However, if they need to do this, they should enforce access rules in their routers and only whitelist certain IP addresses, or set up a virtual private network, he said.

A Windows Cloud build just leaked, and this is what we learned

Microsoft’s mysterious Windows Cloud is supposedly a stripped-down version of Microsoft’s operating system that runs only Windows Store apps. Microsoft’s not commenting, but an early build that leaked over the weekend appears to be authentic and gives further tantalizing hints of what the company may have in mind. windows 10 laptop pc

The idea behind running Windows Store apps only is that a Windows Cloud machine can be more easily managed, like a Chromebook. If you remove Win32 (traditional desktop) apps, you get greater security and control because users can only turn to web apps or the Windows Store.

But this might not be the whole truth behind Windows Cloud. Brad Sams at Thurrott.com ran the leaked build of Cloud on an x86-based virtual machine.

Regardless, it’s clear that Windows Cloud (at least right now) can run on x86 processors. If that holds true for the official release, then there’s no reason it couldn’t run Win32 apps save for an artificial limitation put there by Microsoft.

Interestingly, MSPowerUser said it was able to download, but not run, Win32 apps that were in the Windows Store via Project Centennial.

Writing at Petri.com (the parent site to Thurrott.com), the same Brad Sams discovered there’s an upgrade path built into the leaked build to go from Windows Cloud to Windows 10 Pro. That further supports the notion that Cloud will appear on at least some x86 hardware. It’s also possible there could be upgrades to other versions of Windows in an official release.

If Windows Cloud offers upgrades, then this is a serious mash-up of the ghosts of Windows past—the second coming of Windows RT plus Windows Starter Edition. Windows Starter Editions were versions of Windows from XP to 7 that were stripped-down and simplified for netbooks (sound familiar?). They also included an upgrade path to Windows Home or other versions via the Windows Anytime Upgrade.

The odd thing is that if Windows Cloud is supposed to be a Chromebook competitor, why the upgrade path? Moving to Windows 10 Home or Pro defeats the point of a simplified operating system that is easier to manage. Plus, doesn’t this suggest Microsoft will advertise upgrades to Windows Cloud users? Yuck.

A Windows Store-only PC also is locked into Microsoft’s Edge browser, which lacks the popularity of Google’s Chrome browser, with its vast extensions and app catalog. That’s like bringing a wet sponge to a gun fight.

This last point is more of a general question about Windows Cloud than anything we’ve learned from the leaks. A Windows Cloud machine has to rely on the anemic Windows Store. Meanwhile, its competitor Chromebooks, which were struggling to accumulate Chrome native apps, are about to gain a huge advantage. Google recently confirmed that all Chromebooks from 2017 and beyond will be able to run Android apps via the Play Store.

Microsoft might have an advantage with productivity features like digital inking and possibly Cortana, but as we’ve seen before when it comes down to apps, the better store always wins.

If there’s one thing Microsoft hates, it’s watching another company make gains in the space it dominates: PCs. For that reason, the company needs to dislodge Google’s dominant foothold in the education market with its Chromebooks. But Chromebooks started as minimally capable computers and have added features over time. It’s hard to say whether people will be any more accepting of a pared-down Windows than they were before.

Google Maps update puts a focus on navigation inside the app

Over the past few weeks Google has added in-app Uber booking and parking availability to Maps, but it isn’t done with the improvements. In an update rolling out today, the app will receive some better navigation—not in how we drive but in how we get around the app.google maps navigation

A blog post details the change, which will only affect the Android version of Maps. The update adds a new menu bar to the bottom of the home screen that brings easy access to three common features: places, driving, and transit. Designed to cut down on the number of taps you’ll need to make to get directions and find restaurants, the update focuses on delivering real time at a glance, according to a Google blog post:

“When you’re on the go, there’s no time for apps that can’t keep up. Whether you need to get to work or you’re just looking for a quick bite around you, Google Maps gives you personalized information about your world so you can make decisions and get around with confidence.”

Under the new places tab, users will find lists of restaurants and bars around you, as well as a search bar that lets you find ATMs, pharmacies, gas stations and grocery stores. Additionally, if you tap the car icon you’ll be able to quickly get an estimated time of arrival for going home or to work, as well as traffic conditions and any possible reported delays. Finally, the subway icon will show you the best train or bus to catch for your commute, or you check out schedules for stations and stops near you.

google maps nav
Google Maps’ new navigation helps you get the information you need quickly.

 We all love Google Maps, but let’s face it, no one wants to spend any more time with it than they have to. With this latest update, Google hasn’t added any new features, but by streamlining the interface a bit, it will help us get where we’re going that much faster.

This story, “Google Maps update puts a focus on navigation inside the app” was originally published by Greenbot.

Facebook taps into NFC in Android phones for strong account security

We hear a lot about 2-factor authentication these days, an invaluable way to protect your account from someone who has stolen your password, but there’s an inherent wrinkle built into the system: SMS. Most 2FA setups use text messages to deliver a one-time code sent to your phone, but there can be issues with that system. For one, it requires a cell connection, and for another texts can be intercepted.facebook security keys

Granted, this is a small window of opportunity for hackers, but Facebook wants to close it all the way. To secure accounts even further, it has begun rolling out support for security keys into its account login protection, eliminating SMS from the equation and letting users lock down their accounts with a fast, foolproof 2FA method. And for Android users with one of the newer NFC-capable phones, it’s even easier.

“Starting today, you can register a physical security key to your account so that the next time you log in after enabling login approvals, you’ll simply tap a small hardware device that goes in the USB drive of your computer,” Facebook security engineer Brad Hill wrote in a post. “Your login is practically immune to phishing because you don’t have to enter a code yourself, and the hardware provides cryptographic proof that it’s in your machine.”

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If you have an NFC-equipped Android phone, you can use a YubiKey Neo to instantly authenticate your Facebook account.

Since it’s a new feature, it only works with the latest version of Chrome or Opera on a PC, and isn’t yet supported by the mobile Facebook app. However, as xHill writes, if you have an NFC chip in your Android phone, you can download the latest version of Chrome and Google Authenticator in the Play Store to use your key to wirelessly unlock your account.

Yubico’s security keys start at $18, but the NFC-equipped Yubikey Neo costs $50. However, they aren’t just useful for Facebook. Security keys work with a variety of accounts, including Google, Dropbox, and GitHub, though the implementation may vary, especially over NFC.

Securing online accounts should be a top priority for anyone who posts and shares personal information over social media or email (which is pretty much everyone), but far too few people understand just how important it is. While it’s unlikely that this method will have an immediate measurable effect on Facebook users, it’s a glimpse at how serious the social media giant is about security, and how two-factor authentication could become much more commonplace in the future.

This story, “Facebook taps into NFC in Android phones for strong account security” was originally published by Greenbot.

Obsidian unveils Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire with a crowdfunding campaign

RPG guru Josh Sawyer is busy these days. Yesterday we wrote about Francis Ford Coppola’s studio turning Apocalypse Now into a video game with Sawyer’s help. And today? After a week of very obvious teasing, Obsidian’s officially announcing a follow-up to its acclaimed Infinity Engine-style CRPG Pillars of Eternity, on which Josh Sawyer served as lead designer.Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

Titled Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, it’s also embarking on a crowdfunding campaign today. Obsidian’s hoping to raise $1.1 million through Fig—no surprise there, since Obsidian’s CEO Feargus Urquhart is involved in Fig’s advisory board.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

Judging by the description, Pillars of Eternity II will be a direct sequel. The announcement says:

“Eothas has returned. The god of light and rebirth was thought dead, but he now inhabits the stone titan that sat buried under your keep, Caed Nua, for millennia. Ripping his way out of the ground, he destroys your stronghold and leaves you at the brink of death.”

Whether you’ll be importing your character and his or her stats, I’m not sure. Regardless, looks like it’ll dovetail right off the last story, a la Baldur’s Gate and its sequel. You’ll be exploring the new Deadfire Archipelago, which judging by the screenshots and art features everything from jungle to a Petra/Ellora-like structure embedded in a desert cliff.

The announcement also mentions the return of certain companions from the first game (along with concept art for Pallegina, Eder, and Aloth), and promises new ones along the way.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

Most interesting is a section that reads “The people of Deadfire have lives of their own, jobs to do, and appointments to keep. They will carry on with their affairs even when you’re not watching. Quests may even present different opportunities depending on when and where characters and environments are approached.”

This sort of AI modeling has been done in bigger-budget RPGs (think Skyrim) but it’s a huge change from the stagnant, always-in-one-place characters in most isometric CRPGs. I’m interested to see how it changes things.

Cue Urquhart himself, who said:

“Our goal for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is to improve on what fans loved about the original while adding features our fans want to see, truly living cities, more freedom to explore the open world, and pushing what we do best at Obsidian—letting players define and play the role they want to play.”

People seem to be pretty tepid towards crowdfunding nowadays, but less so when it comes to a studio following up on an earlier title. Hopefully that’s the case here and Deadfire gets funded (and then some) because I’d absolutely love another Pillars of Eternity. And hey, another Tyranny while we’re at it. Keep ‘em coming, Obsidian.

Seagate’s roadmap includes 14TB, 16TB hard drives within 18 months

Seagate is getting closer to reaching its goal of making 20TB hard drives by 2020.Seagate Enterprise Capacity 10TB hard drive

Over the next 18 months, the company plans to ship 14TB and 16TB hard drives, company executives said on an earnings call this week.

Seagate’s hard drive capacity today tops out at 10TB. A 12TB drive based on helium technology is being tested, and the feedback is positive, said Stephen Luczo, the company’s CEO.

The demand for high-capacity drives is mostly in enterprises and for consumers who can afford the drives. The drives are mostly used in NAS configurations and storage arrays.

Seagate is also rolling out more 10TB hard drives that are priced starting at around US $400.

Hard drives have lost market share to faster and more power-efficient solid-state drives, which are being installed in more PCs.

But hard drives are surviving in PCs and servers because SSDs are more expensive. Hard drives are popular among computer owners who want more storage capacity than most SSDs can provide. In data centers, large-capacity drives are replacing tape storage to preserve data.

Demand for hard drives remains strong in the consumer market but has also picked up in the new areas like surveillance, Luczo said. Surveillance cameras record data and store it on hard drives. Hard drives are also popular in network-attached storage.

Seagate is also increasing the storage capacity per drive, and wants to raise the minimum capacity of hard drives in PCs to 1TB, executives said.

SSDs have largely taken over the lower-capacity market. Thin and light PCs often use SSD storage with up to 256GB, with few, like Dell’s XPS 13, offering capacities of 512GB. Others offer 1TB SSDs.

Seagate made its name in hard drives but has also taken a lead in SSDs. Last year, it showed a 60TB SSD that could ship this year.

Cloud growth continues to boost Microsoft’s financials

Microsoft’s focus on the cloud continues to pay off. The tech titan showed growth across all its cloud-based businesses during the last quarter ended Dec. 31, including Office, Dynamics and Azure.satya nadella wdg event 2016

Reporting financial results for its fiscal second quarter on Thursday, the company said its Commercial Cloud business is pulling in revenue at the rate of $14 billion per year. During the previous quarter, that rate was $13 billion.

Azure growth was especially strong. Azure compute usage more than from a year earlier, and revenue from the business grew by 93 percent.

Overall, Microsoft’s revenue and profit grew year over year. The company reached nearly $24.1 billion in total sales, with net income of $5.2 billion. That’s up from roughly $23.8 billion in revenue and slightly more than $5 billion in net income during the same period in 2015.

The PC market also showed strength during the quarter. Sales of premium Windows devices gained market share during the quarter, Microsoft CFO Amy Hood said during a conference call.

While much of its business did well during the quarter, Microsoft’s near abandonment of Windows smartphones remained a drag on its finances. Phone revenue fell off a cliff during the quarter, with revenue down 81 percent compared with a year earlier.

The company’s Enterprise Services revenue declined 4 percent after growing for three quarters. Microsoft blamed the reversal on businesses ending their custom support agreements for Windows Server 2003. Microsoft officially ended support for that server software in 2015, but some customers buy extended support under custom contracts.

The results didn’t reveal much about the impact of LinkedIn on Microsoft’s business, because the $27 billion acquisition of the enterprise social networking company didn’t close until about three weeks before the end of the quarter. Microsoft said LinkedIn had $228 million in revenue during that period and lost $100 million.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the biggest job for LinkedIn going forward will be to add users and increase engagement. To that end, Microsoft will focus on quick integration between LinkedIn and products like Office and Dynamics.

Windows 10 Creators Update could ship March 31, and we’re already worried about bugs

Microsoft hasn’t officially committed to a ship date for Windows 10’s Creators Update, but evidence suggests it could reach Insiders as soon as the end of March. Given how the last major Windows 10 update went, however, we’re feeling equal parts eagerness—and caution. windows 10

So far, all Microsoft has promised for the Creators Update is that it will ship in “early 2017.” Two tantalizing clues suggest a more specific date: Both Microsoft’s Surface Studio PC and Dell’s Canvas monitor offer features closely tied to the Creators Update, and both now list shipping dates at the end of March. It’s no stretch to suppose that both companies would align those releases with the Creators Update, and Dell has said as much already.

Our caution stems from what happened when Windows 10’s Anniversary Update launched last August. A swarm of bugs came with it, including a login freeze, as well as a more serious issue that crashed webcams. Third-party security firms, like McAfee, warned that their products might not be compatible. Consumers and businesses certainly don’t want a repeat.

 Microsoft undoubtedly has pressure to push the Creators Update out the door to ensure that work on the other major Windows 10 update this year—Redstone 3—begins in time to meet holiday deadlines. We’re going to lay out the case that Microsoft could ship the Creators Update in two months’ time—but maybe it shouldn’t be in such a rush.

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The two lower-end models of the Surface Studio are scheduled to ship by the end of March, while the high-end Core i7 part will ship by the end of June, according to this Store page.

Several clues point to an end-of-March release for the Creators Update. For starters, there’s the update cycle. When Microsoft has prepared major Windows 10 updates in the past, the company has fixed bugs in one release, then unveiled features to its Insider testers in the next. The last few weeks before a major Windows 10 update, Microsoft launches few, if any further features, focusing instead on bug-bashing. Finally, Microsoft sends the update release to Insiders, rolling it out to the greater public a week or two later.

Right now, we seem to be in the features phase. The company’s recently delivered a series of builds to Insiders. One of them, Build 15002, offers a particularly heavy bag of goodies. More is coming: When it ships, the Creators Update promises a host of new capabilities, including 3D imaging support and a much-anticipated Games Mode.

And then there are the Creators Update’s touch input innovations, which help set apart Microsoft’s Surface Studio and Dell’s Canvas from other Windows hardware. The sophisticated stylus controls, and especially the moveable menu-navigation device that Microsoft calls the Surface Dial and Dell calls the Totem, offer new ways for people to interact with their software, Neither product is complete without these features enabled by the Creators Update.

It’s very unusual for different companies to ship similar products on more or less the same day unless there’s a concerted effort, such as timing to the release of a product they have in common. That’s why the coincidence of Microsoft’s Surface Studio and Dell’s Canvas seems to point to something bigger afoot with Windows 10.

Dell Canvas CES 2017

Dell

Dell’s Canvas monitor looks remarkably like the Surface Studio; there’s even a Surface Dial clone called the Totem to go with it.

While technically the Surface Studio began shipping last fall, Microsoft currently shows March 31 as the “ships by” date for the two lower-end versions of the PC (priced at $2,999 and $3,499). A day earlier on March 30, Dell will ship Canvas, a Studio-like tilting monitor ($1,799) that you can use with a separate PC.

Dell has also told PCWorld that the Creators Update will be in place by the time the Canvas ships on March 30. “Since the device isn’t available until 3/30—all of the features of the Creators Update will be available when Canvas ships,” a Dell representative said in an email earlier this month.

Time is not on Microsoft’s side. The company has already said that it plans two updates in 2017: the current Redstone 2 release (the Creators Update), and its successor, Redstone 3. The latter is the problem: PC makers are undoubtedly depending upon Redstone 3 to help drive holiday PC sales. Delay the Creators Update too long, and Redstone 3’s development window will shrink to the point where Microsoft will have to sacrifice something.  We’re currently in the sixth month of the Creators Update’s development cycle. Shipping it sometime in April or May would allow a scant six months to develop Redstone 3 by October or early November.

Microsoft does have one thing going for it: Aside from the Surface Studio and Dell Canvas, there’s no indication that other PC vendors will be aligning a new generation of PC hardware around the Creators Update. However, Windows 10’s Creators Update is the first to include the Windows 10 Holographic Shell, which will power a series of head-mounted displays from Acer, Asus, Dell, and more. Delaying the Creators Update wouldn’t tank the PC market, but it would disappoint a legion of hardware makers with some VR equipment to sell.

Even so, Microsoft could still afford an extra week or two to ensure everything goes smoothly. If anything, Surface buyers know that the first (or third!) revisions of the hardware often ship with their own set of bugs.

Logitech C922

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update included a bug that killed webcams, which made many people unhappy until it was fixed.

If that’s the debate within Redmond, here’s what we’d say to Microsoft: Suck it up and get it right. Maybe the only exciting thing about 2017’s holiday PCs will be Intel’s Optane and AMD’s Ryzen chips. That’s enough. As for Microsoft, let Project Scorpio be the product that gets shoppers into stores.

Microsoft aimed high with Windows 10, but buggy updates have damaged the operating system’s reputation. That can and should change. Courage isn’t removing a headphone jack. Courage is sitting down in front of upset customers and admitting that Microsoft didn’t deliver a product whose quality is worthy of its name—but this time, it will.