Posted Mar. 30, 2017 at 6:10 a.m.

Tech wrap: Windows update includes 3D; FDA OKs MS drug; Facebook's Snapchat-like updates; Note 7 to return?

Published: 2017-03-30 06:10:02
Updated: 2017-03-30 06:10:02

Bulldog Bulletin

In today's Bulldog wrapup of science and technology news:

  • Windows update will bring 3-D, game tools and doodling
  • FDA approves 1st drug for aggressive multiple sclerosis\
  • Got camera? Facebook adds more Snapchat-like features
  • Samsung's fire-prone Note 7 phone may return after recalls

The details:

  • Windows update will bring 3-D, game tools and doodling

A major update to Microsoft's Windows 10 system will start reaching consumers and businesses on April 11, offering 3-D drawing tools, game-broadcasting capabilities and better ways to manage your web browsing.

This "Creators Update" also aims to make future updates less disruptive.

Microsoft said Wednesday that it will roll out the Creators Update to some 400 million Windows 10 devices worldwide over time. Though there's no set schedule, devices that came with Windows 10 installed will likely get the update first. That will make it easier for Microsoft to work out kinks for older devices, which are potentially more problematic.

  • FDA approves 1st drug for aggressive multiple sclerosis

U.S. regulators have approved the first drug for an aggressive kind of multiple sclerosis that steadily reduces coordination and the ability to walk.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Ocrevus late Tuesday after a large study found it slowed progression of the neurological disease and reduced symptoms.

While there are more than a dozen treatments for the most common form of MS, there's been nothing specifically for people with the type called primary progressive MS. That type of MS is relatively rare, affecting about 50,000 Americans.

The drug was also approved for relapsing forms of MS, which progress more slowly.

It's given intravenously every six months. The drug was developed by Genentech, part of Swiss drugmaker the Roche Group. Genentech, based in South San Francisco, California, said the initial list price without insurance will be $65,000 a year.

In primary progressive MS, the disease's course varies among patients, but symptoms gradually worsen from the start and there usually are no periods when symptoms subside. Most of the estimated 400,000 Americans with MS have the relapsing-remitting type, in which symptoms can wane for months, even years, between flare-ups.

  • Got camera? Facebook adds more Snapchat-like features

Facebook is adding more Snapchat-like features to its app. The company says it wants to let your camera "do the talking" as more people are posting photos and videos instead of blocks of text.

Facebook is rolling out an app update starting Tuesday. With it, you can tap a new camera icon on the top left corner. That opens up the phone's camera to do a photo or video post. You could have posted photos from the app before, but it took an extra tap.

Once you open the camera, you'll find Facebook's other new Snapchat-like features, including filters that can be added to images.

Other effects, such as animations and other interactive filters, are a new twist to dressed-up photos.

Also new is a "stories" tool that lets you post photos and videos that stay live for 24 hours. This feature is already available on Messenger and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.

Snapchat pioneered camera-first sharing and is wildly popular with younger users. Years ago, Facebook tried to buy the company but was rebuffed. Since then, it has been trying, with varying degrees of success, to clone Snapchat's most popular features.

It might be working: Snapchat's growth rate has slowed down since Instagram introduced its own "stories" feature.

  • Samsung's fire-prone Note 7 phone may return after recalls

Samsung's fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 phone might come back as refurbished or rental phones.

Samsung says it's considering bringing the recalled units back to market. The company says it will first consult regulatory authorities and carriers and assess local demand. It's not yet known when and which countries such phones would be sold.

Samsung killed the Note 7 phone after dozens overheated and caught on fire. Samsung recalled one set, but found problems with the replacements as well. The spontaneous fires, many chronicled in videos circulated on YouTube, prompted Samsung to recall millions of phones and take a $5.3 billion hit on its earnings.

Samsung conducted extensive tests since then and has blamed multiple design and manufacturing defects in batteries made by two different companies. That means Samsung could replace phones with safer batteries.

For phones that aren't returning to the market, Samsung says it will reuse components and recycle what's left.

WRAL TechWire any time: Twitter, Facebook

Copyright 2017 WRAL TechWire. All rights reserved.
Editor's Blog

Editor's Blog

The latest blog posts from our WRAL TechWire and WRAL editors. Read more articles…

Please Log In to add a comment.

Latest for Insiders