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Sphero lays off dozens as it shifts focus to education

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Sphero was ready to conquer the world last year. The company quintupled its product release schedule, flying high with the help of a Disney licensing deal that gave the world several Star Wars droids and talking Spider-Man and Lightning McQueen robots.

But following a holiday season that failed to live up to expectations, the company recently laid off 45 staff members globally, TechCrunch has learned, a move it says has impacted departments company-wide.

The majority of the layoffs were centered in the company’s Colorado headquarters, but staff cuts also affected its global offices in the U.K. and Hong Kong. 

“We restructured our team on Friday to better align with our product needs,” a spokesperson for the company told TechCrunch. “As we look to our product development schedule for 2018 and beyond, we weren’t going to go that deep, so we had to make some changes for how the teams were structured.”

The move is a step back for the company and a bit of a surprise for those who have been following its trajectory from afar. After participating in Disney’s accelerator back in 2014, the hardware startup got a small investment from the entertainment goliath and began production on a BB-8 toy released alongside 2015’s blockbuster Star Wars return, The Force Awakens.

In 2017 alone, the company released new toys based on R2D2, The Last Jedi‘s BB-9E, Spider-Man and Pixar’s Cars franchise, along with Sphero Mini, a smaller, sub-$50 version of the smartphone-controlled ball that started it all. 

The startup had bolstered its headcount to meet the demands of its much accelerated output.

It’s telling, of course, that the layoffs come so soon after the holidays. While not disastrous, the final tally pointed to the need for a rethink in strategy going forward. “[Sales weren’t] exactly what we had expected,” the spokesperson said. “We still consider ourselves a young startup. It’s the right time to pivot.”

The decrease comes as it shifts toward a product roadmap more in line with the pre-2017 days — putting it at closer to one to two products per year. “That might be our sweet spot,” the spokesperson added. “We’re still pretty young, but the one part of our business that continues to shine is what we’re doing in education. This allows our company to focus on that vision.”

This restructuring finds Sphero investing much more of its existing resources into the education side of its business. The company has been operating in the category for some time, leveraging its hardware creations in an offering designed to target schools, but that side has largely taken a backseat to Sphero’s more commercial offerings until now. 

Educational robotics — STEM/STEAM specifically — is an extremely competitive space, as well. CES last week was overloaded with companies big and small pushing into the category with a variety of different platforms, and from the looks of things, next month’s Toy Fair in New York won’t be much different. 

But Sphero has the marked advantage of building on top of its own popular robotics platform. In fact, it ran popular pilot programs in its native Colorado that garnered coverage in places like Wired and The New Yorker last year and in 2016.

The company’s SPRK+ Education offers educators and parents a platform for teaching coding and robotics. Sphero’s package lets kids program its connected toys through coding, offering a real world robotics platform on the cheap.

“[Education] is something we can actually own,” the company’s spokesperson says hopefully. “Where we do well are those experiences we can 100-percent own, from inception to go-to-market.”

Sphero co-founder and CTO Ian Bernstein also recently left the company to spin out a new startup, Misty Robotics. It isn’t designed to be a direct competitor, focusing instead on home assistant robotics, but former staffers did join Bernstein at the new company. Misty will also have its own programmable robot, though its offering, the Misty I, is focused primarily on adult developers.

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Install Windows 10 on a Mac (Boot Camp) with ease. Here’s How

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You can use Boot Camp to install Windows on supported Mac models that have OS X Yosemite or later installed. It’s not that easy switching from a Windows to a Mac  and I know there are the many of you out there who currently face this problem. Boot Camp is a very simple and straight-forward process that enables you to run Windows 10 Operating System on your Mac.

Also  Check If Your Mac Supports Windows 10

This doesn’t mean your Mac seizes to be a Mac; Boot Camp installs Windows in a dual-boot configuration.

Do you really need Boot Camp?

Before we proceed with the details on how to install Windows in Boot Camp, you should first stop and think about whether or not that is the best choice for your needs, because there are also a couple of drawbacks to consider.

If all you need to do is run a few Windows applications on your Mac, and those applications aren’t games or something that requires a lot of resources, you might consider using a virtual machine like Parallels (there’s a free trial), VMware Fusion, or VirtualBox to run that software instead. The vast majority of the time you don’t actually need to use Boot Camp, and you’d be better off using a virtual machine.

The benefit of Boot Camp, of course, is that you are running Windows directly on the hardware, so it will be a lot faster than a virtual machine.

Let’s Get StartedBootCamp_Assistant_TechHabor

 

  • 8GB or more USB Drive (High Recommended) . This will be used to install Windows and the appropriate drivers on your Mac.
  • Apple recommends backing up your files before partitioning or installing Windows. It’s always good to have backups before doing something that could potentially be destructive. If you make a mistake or the partitioning process fails due to a bug, you could lose your files. If you’re careful, this shouldn’t happen.
  • You need support software (drivers) installed with Boot Camp to use Windows 10. This software is automatically downloaded when you use Boot Camp Assistant. Boot Camp supports 64-bit versions of Windows 10 when used with a supported Mac.
  • Windows 10 is available from Microsoft as an ISO file and a USB flash drive. You need an ISO file of the 64-bit version of the Windows 10 installer to install Windows on your Mac. If you purchased the USB flash drive version you can download an ISO from Microsoft and use the Windows installation key that came with your flash drive. If you’re installing Windows for the first time, make sure the Windows installer you’re using is for a full installation (not an upgrade installer).
  • If you’re installing an ISO of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update using a flash drive, make sure it’s USB 2. Installation using a USB 3 flash drive doesn’t work.

 

Perform a new install of Windows 10

Use these steps if you’re installing Windows on your Mac for the first time:

  1. Make sure you have a Mac that supports Windows 10.
  2. Check for software updates to make sure macOS, your Mac firmware, and Boot Camp Assistant are up to date.
  3. Open Boot Camp Assistant from the Utilities folder (or use Spotlight to find it).
  4. Use Boot Camp Assistant to install a new copy of Windows.

 

Perform an upgrade install of Windows 10

If you have an earlier version of Windows already installed on your Mac, you can use these steps to upgrade to Windows 10:

Upgrading from 64-bit versions of Windows

You can upgrade existing 64-bit installations of Windows 7, or 8.1 to Windows 10. You need at least 10 GB of free space on your Windows partition. If you have Windows 8.0, update to Windows 8.1 before upgrading to Windows 10.

  1. Make sure you have a Mac that supports Windows 10.
  2. Start your Mac from macOS.
  3. When your Mac desktop appears, choose App Store from the Apple menu. Click the Updates tab in the App Store window to check for software updates. Make sure macOS and your Mac firmware are up to date.
  4. Start your Mac from the version of Windows you currently have installed.
  5. Open Apple Software Update for Windows and install available updates, including the FaceTime Camera Update.
    FaceTime is not available in all countries or regions.
  6. Use the Windows installer to upgrade Windows.
  7. After installation is complete, open Apple Software Update for Windows again and install available updates to make sure the Windows Support Software (drivers) for Boot Camp are up to date. As part of driver installation, your Mac might restart one or more times.

After driver installation is complete, log in to Windows to begin using Windows 10 on your Mac.

 

Upgrading from 32-bit versions of Windows

If you have an existing 32-bit installation of Windows on your Mac, you will need to back up your important files so that you can remove the existing Windows partition and install a 64 bit version of Windows.

  1. Back up any important files from your Windows partition.
  2. Use Boot Camp Assistant to remove the existing Windows partition.
  3. Use Boot Camp Assistant to install a 64-bit version of Windows 10 on your Mac.
  4. After you install Windows, copy your important files back to your Windows drive.

Features supported in Windows 10

The current version of Windows support software (drivers) available from Boot Camp Assistant includes support for the following features of your Mac in Windows 10:

  • USB 3
  • USB-C
  • Thunderbolt
  • Built-in SD or SDXC card slot
  • Built-in or USB Apple Super Drive
  • Your Apple keyboard, track pad, and mouse

Credits:  Apple Inc

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How to Create Bootable USB Drive for Windows 10

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Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 update has been released quite some time ago and it is available as a free automatic upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. For those who are not on one of these versions, the Windows 10 update is available on USB drives, DVDs and as also as a digital download.

If you are not comfortable with DVDs, you can create bootable USB drive for Windows 10. It is a better option for use in the most of the devices like ultrabooks that come without an optical drive. USB drives are much faster than other options and hold a pocketable time for installation of your Windows 10. They are also very easy to carry, whenever and wherever you want.

But if you do not have a bootable USB drive, and you don’t want to burn the ISO file in a DVD, you can follow the below steps to create bootable USB drive for Windows 10:

Note: Before creating a bootable USB drive for Windows 10, you should have an empty Pen Drive with at least 4GB of storage capacity, a Windows PC and an ISO file of Windows 10.

1. You need to click the “Start” button on Windows 10.

2. Type “CMD” on it.

3. Right-click on the Command Prompt.

tech_cmd

4. Under the Command Prompt select the “Run as Administrator” option.

5. All the commands will open the command prompt with administrative priviledge.

6. After typing all the above commands hit “Enter”.

7. It will lead you to open the diskpart.

DISKPART:

tech_diskpart

8. Now, you need to connect your USB drive in your PC and follow the given commands.

LIST DISK:

tech_listdisk

NOTE: In the above screenshot, disk ‘0’ is the Hard Disk, disk ‘1’ is DVD-ROM and disk ‘2’ is the USB drive. So, for a better concern note down your USB drive number.

9. Use the given commands to choose your USB disk in Diskpart.

SELECT DISK #

NOTE: Change the ‘#’ sign for your USB drive number from the one you have noted.

disk

10. Now, write the following to erase all the data from your USB drive.

CLEAN:

cleanusb

11. You need to use the next command.

CREATE PARTITION; PRIMARY :

tech_create_partition

12. Format the USB drive using the following commands.

FORMAT QUICK:

tech_quick_format

13. Make it as an active partition.

ACTIVE:

tech_active_partition

14. Use the Exit command to leave the disk part without closing the Command Prompt window.

15. Now, you need to copy the entire data from Windows 10 disk to your USB drive tocreate bootable USB drive for Windows 10.

16. To end your creation you have to write the bootloader to the USB drive.

But, in case you are using a virtual DVD-ROM with a “G” drive letter and your USB disk with “F” letter, then you have to type the following commands:

G:\BOOT\BOOTSECT /NT60 F: /FORCE /MBR

tech_bootloader

In other cases, if you have extracted the ISO file from the folder of your Windows 10 PC, then you need to change the path accordingly as:

G:\Boot\Bootsect /NT60

NOTE: If you have completed all the above commands successfully, you can now boot from your USB drive and can install Windows 10 operating system on your PC. If you are not able to create bootable USB drive for Windows 10 due to any issues, comment below and we will try to solve your problem.

Source: http://www.mobipicker.com/how-to-create-bootable-usb-drive-for-windows-10/

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Step-by-Step : Screen Recording in Windows 10 without any 3rd Party Software

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Screen recording has been a major activity for most PC users for capturing their screens either for video tutorials or illustrations with the help of 3rd party software. But Windows 10 has an inbuilt app to handle that which you didn’t know and it’s very easy getting around it. You must be good with shortcuts on your keyboard to get around it because it’s a bit tricky.

Step  #1

To activate the inbuilt tool within the Windows 10 for the screen recording all you need to do is to use some shortcut keys on your keyboard and your operating system will show you the recording options by itself. What is now need to be done is to follow the simple steps given below.

First of all, click on the Start and type “Xbox app” and open that app.

 

Step  #2

Once you are in the Xbox app all you need to do is to press a combination of keys on your keyboard simultaneously and that is “win+G”.

Note: Press “win+G” only when the screen you want to record is in front of you.

Once you press “win+G” together, a popup will come and will ask you whether it is a game or not, click on “Yes, it is a game” option.

 

Step  #3

Once the game option is selected you will see three main options like “Screenshot,” “Start Recording” and “Settings,” on the screen, choose the Recording button.

Step  #4

By clicking on the recording button, it will automatically start the recording of the current screen on your Windows 10. When you are done with what you want to record just click the recording button for one more time, and the recording of your screen will be stopped.

Remember, all the recorded files will be saved in “C:/Users/Videos/Capture” folder by default.

That’s it! Your screen recording adventure by using the inbuilt tool of Windows 10 has been done and dusted. So now you must have got the idea that by using this cool trick you don’t need to have a third party tool to record your screen on the Windows 10. If you don’t wish to record your screen, then you may also choose the “Screenshot” option mentioned in Step #3 above.

 

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