What is WiGig, and How Is It Different From Wi-Fi 6?

Wi-Fi 6 is on the way, but it isn’t the fastest wireless technology you can get. WiGig is designed for super-fast speeds over short distances, and an improved version is coming in 2019.

WiGig Basics

HTC’s Vive Wireless Adapter connects a Vive headset to a PC wirelessly, using WiGig.

WiGig transmits data wirelessly on the 60 GHz frequency, unlike Wi-Fi 6 and other “normal” versions of Wi-Fi that use the 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequencies.

The 60GHz frequency is less congested than 2.4GHz or 5GHz, which means it can transfer more data at once. That translates into faster wireless data transfer speeds—in other words, faster Wi-Fi when using WiGig.

Specifically, the current version of WiGig is promising speeds of around 5 Gbps in the real world, while Wi-Fi 6’s real-world speeds will probably be more around 2 Gbps. And there’s a newer, better version of WiGig the way, which should be even faster at around 10 Gbps.

That sounds great, but there’s a downside. Those shorter wavelengths mean that WiGig has a much smaller range. The Wi-Fi Alliance says the current version WiGig can support distances of up to 10 meters thanks to beamforming. However, a WiGig signal will have trouble getting through walls or other obstacles.

WiGig devices can drop to the 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequencies when necessary. But, while on those frequencies, they aren’t getting WiGig’s super-fast speeds.

RELATED: Wi-Fi 6: What’s Different, and Why it Matters

WiGig Is 802.11ad and 802.11ay

The ASUS ROG Phone wirelessly connects to displays using a WiGig-enabled dock.

WiGig was first announced in 2009 by the Wireless Gigabit Alliance, a trade association pushing this technology. In 2013, the Wireless Gigabit Alliance closed and the Wi-Fi Alliance—the same body that oversees Wi-Fi standards like Wi-Fi 6—took over. “Wi-FI CERTIFIED WiGig” is now a Wi-Fi Alliance standard, just like WPA3 security is.

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Windows 10’s Next Update Will Make Your PC Faster, Thanks to Better Spectre Fixes

Your PC has been slower ever since Microsoft patched the Spectre flaws back in January 2018. PCs from 2015 and earlier slowed down the most. Now, Windows 10’s next update will mostly eliminate those slowdowns, making your PC faster.

Microsoft’s fix is part of Windows 10 version 19H1, which is currently in development. Windows Insiders can install an early, unstable version of it now. Microsoft will likely release it to every Windows 10 user around April 2019.

This information comes via Microsoft’s Mehmet Iyigun, who works on the Windows kernel team. On Twitter, he explained the Microsoft has now enabled “retpoline” and “import optimization” by default in the new builds of Windows 10. Together, these features “reduce the [performance] impact… to noise-level for most scenarios.” That’s another way of saying the slowdown will largely eliminated and basically unnoticeable.

Here’s his full tweet:

We’re not sure what Microsoft’s “import optimization” is, but retpoline has been used on some Linux systems since January 2018. Retpoline was developed by Google and is a faster way of blocking Spectre-based attacks with “negligible impact on performance,” according to Google. You can get all the technical details about Retpoline on Google’s website.

It’s notable that security researcher Alex Ionescu found the speed of transferring a bunch of small files was improved on his test system. That’s because some benchmarks found a slowdown of up to 23% when moving a bunch of smaller files around, but Microsoft’s new patch seems to help a lot here.

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Apple’s Parental Controls Are Bad, But So Are Microsoft’s

As sex education site O.school found, Apple’s new web filter is pretty bad. But all web filters are bad. Even Microsoft’s web filter, for Windows 10 and Xbox One, allows neo-Nazi websites and instructions for committing suicide.

Windows 10’s web filter is available when you add a child account to your PC. You can then visit the Microsoft Family website, click “Content Restrictions” for that child account, and activate the “Block Inappropriate Websites” option.

This setting only affects the Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer browsers, but the filter automatically blocks other common browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox from running while it’s enabled.

We ran some quick tests and found that, while Microsoft’s web filter doesn’t approach the level of awfulness in Apple’s new web filter, it’s also nowhere near perfect.

Despite the description saying this will “block inappropriate websites” and prevent “results that are too mature” from appearing, it seems like this filter mostly blocks pornography.

That’s fine, but you can still access some nasty stuff. Microsoft’s web filter won’t let a child visit 4chan, but it does allow neo-Nazi news website The Daily Stormer. It doesn’t block searches like “how to join isis” or “how to commit suicide” either.

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Ubuntu 18.10 Is Out With a New Theme and Snappier Desktop Performance

Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” is now available. This releases features a shiny new theme named “Yaru,” which was originally scheduled for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. The new GNOME 3.30 improves desktop performance, too.

Most of the improvements in Cosmic Cuttlefish are low-level things you can’t see. As usual, this means a lot of package upgrades. Ubuntu 18.10 features the Linux kernel 4.18, GNOME 3.30 desktop, and LibreOffice 6.1.2. Under the hood, this new release boasts a “state of the art toolchain” featuring various new versions of system software, from glibc 2.28 to GCC 8.2 and OpenSSL 1.1.1.

On the desktop, there’s a new default theme named “Yaru,” which includes a new icon set named “Suru.” This theme was made by the Ubuntu user community, and was known as the “Communitheme” at one point.

It already looks shiny and new, and it should be beautifully polished by the time it becomes the default theme for LTS users in Ubuntu 20.04.

The traditional Ubuntu theme, known as Ambiance GTK, is still available in the Ubuntu package repositories if you want it.

OMG! Ubuntu! reports that the Ubuntu 18.10 desktop feels a lot faster than Ubuntu 18.04 LTS did. This isn’t a surprise, as GNOME Shell’s developers have been working on seriously improving performance and reducing resource consumption for GNOME 3.30. And, as Ubuntu 18.10 now features GNOME 3.30, Ubuntu users now gain the benefits of all that work.

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Windows 10’s Next Release Will Let You Uninstall More Built-in Apps

Windows 10’s next update, codenamed 19H1 and due for release sometime around April 2019, will let you uninstall more of Windows 10’s built-in apps with a few clicks. Don’t want 3D Viewer, Groove Music, or Paint 3D?  Uninstall them!

This feature was just added in build 18262 of the Windows Insider preview, available today for Windows Insiders in the fast ring. To uninstall one of these apps, you can soon just right-click its shortcut in your Start menu and select “Uninstall.” Here’s the full list of apps you’ll be able to remove, courtesy of Microsoft:

  • 3D Viewer (previously called Mixed Reality Viewer)
  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Groove Music
  • Mail
  • Movies & TV
  • Paint 3D
  • Snip & Sketch
  • Sticky Notes
  • Voice Recorder

You can already uninstall some apps in this way today. Here are the apps you can quickly uninstall right now if you’re using the October 2018 Update or an earlier version of Windows 10:

  • Microsoft Solitaire Collection
  • My Office
  • OneNote
  • Print 3D
  • Skype
  • Tips
  • Weather

After you’ve uninstalled a built-in app, you can always reinstall it from the Store if you want it back.

Windows 10 has always let you uninstall the apps that Microsoft “automatically installs” on your PC. You can uninstall apps like Bubble Witch 3 Saga, Candy Crush Soda Saga, and FarmVille 2: Country Escape right now by right-clicking them and selecting “Uninstall.”

With Windows 10’s next update, Microsoft is giving you more choice over which apps you want installed. Some apps, such as Camera, Microsoft Edge, and the Store, are still essential parts of Windows 10 and can’t be removed.

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