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Nikon have outed their latest DSLR, the Nikon D3S, described as their FX-format flagship and packing a new CMOS 12.1-megapixel sensor.  The D3S can shoot 720p HD video at 30fps and boasts a broad 200 to 12,800 ISO range (extendable to 102,400, in fact).  LetsGoDigital have already played with it in the wild, and they’re particularly impressed with the new 51-point AF system and the ability to grab screenshots from video clips as stills, all on-device.

The D3S also gets Nikon’s EXPEED processing engine, a scene recognition engine controlling AF, AE, i-TTL flash control and auto white balance, and twice the buffer memory of the D3.  That means reduced shooting lag: the D3S manages 9fps in FX format, or 11fps in DX crop.

There’s also auto lens cleaning, auto color-fringe correction and Picture Control for custom tweaks to sharpness, saturation and other aspects of an image.  Full specifications in the gallery below.  The Nikon D3S DSLR will arrive in the US in late November, priced at $5,199.95 for the body only.

Press Release:

Digital SLR Camera Nikon D3S

October 14, 2009

Professional digital SLR with the newly designed FX-format CMOS image sensor and HD movie capability, delivering improved ultra-high sensitivity, image quality and response speed.

TOKYO – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the introduction of its newest FX-format digital SLR flagship for fast response and high light sensitivity: the Nikon D3S.

Standing on the shoulders of the world-renowned D3, the D3S takes the potential of Nikon’s proprietary FX format to incredible new levels designed to meet or exceed a professional’s high standards. The D3S delivers ISO 200 to ISO 12800 as standard, with the excellent noise control and wide dynamic range that the D3 is famous for. This provides photographers of any discipline with additional latitude to achieve quality images in most lighting situations. When needed, ISO sensitivity can be expanded from Lo 1 (ISO 100 equivalent) up to Hi 3 (ISO 102400 equivalent), making a significant difference in extremely low-lit shooting scenarios and other situations where faster shutter speeds or more depth of field is required.

* Based on CIPA Guidelines.

Nikon D3S Feature Highlights

ISO performance: ISO 12800 as standard, expandable to ISO equivalent of 102400 (Hi 3)

The D3S’s image sensor has been completely redesigned from the one utilized in the D3. This new sensor’s inner structure has been further optimized, with the pixel count and large pixel pitch maintained for even greater latitude in high ISO performance. As a result, the D3S captures and renders light in ways that no other ordinary digital SLR cameras have yet achieved, with a significantly higher signal-to-noise ratio and a wide dynamic range for unmatched image quality for both still images and movies throughout the broadened ISO sensitivity capabilities.

New and improved D-Movie function

From well-lit scenes to extremely low-lit situations, the D3S’s D-Movie mode delivers unique versatility. The newly refined D-Movie offers HD quality (1,280 x 720 pixels) Motion-JPEG movies at 24 fps. By controlling the aperture from the widest f-stop to the smallest, the large FX-format sensor renders low-noise images with beautiful bokeh effects from a large selection of NIKKOR lenses. High-Sensitivity Movie mode allows users to shoot at up to ISO equivalent of 102400 in places too dark to see clearly with their own eyes. D-Movie footage is easy to trim in-camera by simply selecting the starting or ending point. An extra bonus for sports and spot news photographers is the ability to save selected movie frames as JPEGs for immediate print and web publishing needs. The D3S has both an internal monaural microphone and an external stereo microphone input, enabling higher fidelity audio recording.

Image sensor cleaning: assured protection

Another important improvement from the D3 is the employment of the Image Sensor Cleaning function, which generates vibrations at four specific frequencies to optimize dust removal. This function can be set to operate automatically when the camera is turned on and off, or manually.

EXPEED: Nikon’s comprehensive approach to quality digital images

Nikon’s fast, comprehensive, and energy-efficient approach to in-camera image processing maintains the rich initial data’s integrity through 14-bit A/D conversion and a 16-bit image-processing pipeline, which shows the enormous creative potential inherent in the NEF (Nikon Electronic Image Format). Combined with Nikon’s FX-format sensor, the D3S produces an exceptional tonal range and minimized tone jumps. Users can expect more accuracy with difficult color combinations such as skin tones and strong reds in the same frame without over-saturation, plus finer tonal gradation in highlights, even with extremely bright subject matter.

Lateral chromatic aberration reduction: edge-to-edge sharpness

The D3S corrects color fringes caused by chromatic aberrations that, in some instances, can appear at the edges between differing subject elements. Because lateral chromatic aberrations are corrected regardless of lens type — whether telephoto, wide-angle, non-CPU and other types of NIKKOR lenses — this important aspect of the D3S contributes substantially to the highly refined, edge-to-edge image integrity that professionals demand.

Active D-Lighting: rescuing tone in highlights and shadows

Nikon’s Active D-Lighting automatically regulates the dynamic range of high-contrast scenes, pulling out shadow details and preserving highlights while maintaining proper contrast. The D3S allows photographers to choose from six Active D-Lighting settings, including the newly added Auto and Extra high, as well as High, Normal, Low and Off. You can also bracket Active D-Lighting strength levels up to five frames and select the best rendition afterwards.

Picture Control: custom-tailored tone and color

Picture Control helps you define the look and feel of your images by custom-tailoring sharpness, saturation and other parameters to match your creative intentions. The D3S comes with four pre-installed Picture Control profiles, which can be fine-tuned and saved as new custom Picture Control profiles that match your personal shooting style or particular shooting conditions. These profiles can easily be copied to additional cameras.

Speed and readiness throughout the workflow

The D3S optimizes workflow speed and fluidity throughout the entire shooting process. Start-up time is approx. 0.12 seconds* and release time lag is minimized to approx. 0.04 seconds*, exactly as fast as the D3, but the D3S’s increased buffer memory is twice as large as that of the D3’s. In addition, the D3S’s autofocusing, image processing, memory card access and recording, USB interface and optional wireless transmitter all work together to keep professional photographers focused and moving forward. And for sport and spot news photographers, many of the D3S’s JPEG files are print-ready with little or no post-production: an extra edge when time is short. * Based on CIPA Guidelines.

9-frames-per-second* shooting rate in FX format, 11 fps* in DX crop

The D3S’s continuous shooting rates are impressive, but what makes them truly unique is that the D3S’s powerful stepping motor allows for a steadier delivery of fast continuous shooting speeds at a wider range of aperture settings than lesser cameras can achieve. Professionals will now have greater control and fewer limitations when creating the images they desire. With the DX crop, photographers can also add a 1.5x picture angle and a faster frame rate to their arsenal. Furthermore, the factory-installed buffer memory is twice the capacity of the D3, dramatically increasing the power of continuous shooting.

* Based on CIPA Guidelines.

Scene Recognition System: enlightened accuracy and intelligence

51-point AF: fast and accurate subject acquisition

Sophisticated AE with highlight analysis

Nikon’s exclusive 3D color matrix metering II is highly praised for its outstanding performance and faithful exposure results — even in complex, unforgiving lighting conditions. The D3S takes accurate exposure further, using highlight analysis from the Scene Recognition System and then carefully selecting from a database containing information from over 30,000 actual shooting situations.

Informed auto white balance

Leading professionals often note that Nikon’s auto white balance exhibits remarkable results, even in challenging conditions with mixed light sources. With the D3S, auto white balance makes even further progress. Professionals can expect white as truly white in a wider variety of settings.

Approx. 100% frame coverage

Superior durability

For the reliability professionals demand, the shutter of the D3S has been tested for up to 300,000 cycles in fully assembled cameras under rigorous conditions. The ruggedly constructed D3S employs a strong yet lightweight magnesium alloy for its body, exterior cover, chassis and mirror box. Furthermore, a comprehensive series of O-rings and other specialized seals, combined with additional Nikon engineering, protect the D3S against invasive moisture, dust and even electromagnetic interference.

Twin CF card slots

The D3S lets you designate each card slot for certain tasks: record two full CF cards of data sequentially for a large amount of storage, record the same data onto two cards (backup), record RAW and JPEG simultaneously onto separate cards, and transfer data from one card to another. You can also designate the slot for data-heavy D-Movie recording.

Long-life battery

The D3S uses an EN-EL4a rechargeable battery. Power consumption and power management systems have been engineered for greater operating efficiency, so you can expect long battery life, shooting up to 4,200 images* per charge.

* Based on CIPA Standards.

Easy-to-access Live View mode

The dedicated Live View button gives you instant access to two Live View modes: Tripod mode for accurate AF operation and Hand-held mode for more versatile shooting angles. The speed for Contrast-detect AF in Tripod mode has also been improved for enhanced practicality.

Quiet Shutter-release mode for nonintrusive shooting

Photographers can select “Q” on the release mode dial to substantially reduce the sound of the camera’s mirror-down during shooting. This is particularly useful when shooting in restrictive conditions such as when photographing theatrical performances or wildlife.

3-in., approx. 921k-dot color, 170° viewing angle LCD monitor

The D3S’s large, high-resolution LCD monitor delivers bright, crisp image playback with up to 27x enlargement for immediate and precise image confirmation. Each LCD is covered with scratch-resistant tempered glass and individually calibrated and fine-tuned at the factory to ensure consistent performance.

Additional Nikon D3S Features

Newly added image area of 1.2x crop (30 x 20) format with approx. 8.4 megapixels

Multiple exposure operation that can be repeated by designating the function to the bracketing button

Electronic virtual horizon that is available in Live View shooting

Extended menu banks that store up to four combinations of exposure mode, shutter speed and aperture value

Versatile in-camera Retouch Menus, including RAW processing to enhance your images without using a computer

Compatible with HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) output. Type C connector (mini size) is employed.

With the optional GPS Unit GP-1, location information such as latitude, longitude, altitude and time are automatically recorded to each image’s EXIF data. The Time Adjustment feature, which adjusts your camera’s time zone, is also available using the GP-1. Especially useful for group assignments that require several D3S cameras to be synchronized.

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Nikon D3400 Is A Lightweight Dslr For Budding Photographers

Nikon D3400 is a lightweight DSLR for budding photographers

Most product makers focus either on beginners or experts, but rarely do they offer a product that helps beginners become experts. The Nikon D3400, the latest DX-format DSLR from the famed camera maker, aims to be that bridge. The camera is lightweight, compact, and, more importantly, affordable so that it won’t scare off beginners. But, at the same time, it is also loaded with features, and new lenses, that will help train those interested in taking their craft to the next level.

On the surface, or rather inside the surface, the D3400 is your typical compact DSLR, sporting a 24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor capable of Full HD video recording. Its EXPEED 4 image processor and 5 fps continuous shooting capabilities make sure you won’t miss a beat, while its wide ISO range, from 100 to 25,600 makes short work of any lighting situation. All of that packed inside a design that is easy to hold and control and won’t intimidate even beginners.

But a digital camera these days is no longer an isolated island. Much of the shots and videos taken with these cameras end up on the Web, either immediately or later. To expedite that transfer, the D3400 features Nikon’s SnapBridge feature, which utilizes Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to seamlessly and instantly transfer photos from camera to mobile device, for later sharing online or storing on Nikon’s Image Space service. Using BLE allows Nikon to have it always on, so that you won’t have to pair your smartphone again and again.

While beginner friendly, The Nikon D3400 doesn’t stop there. For the first time in a DSLR product, Nikon has included its Guide Mode software. As the name implies, this feature instructs users on what settings to best use for certain scenarios, thereby training them for even more complicated and more professional shots.

And when the user is truly ready to embrace the digital photographer’s calling, a variety of new AF-P D NIKKOR lenses await their curious hands. The new AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR and AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G give user unparalleled zooming capabilities, constrast type autofocus, smooth and silent Stepping Motor, all in an equally lightweight package. On the other hand, the new AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR and AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED do the same for telephoto needs. And in case you’re wondering, the “VR” there isn’t for virtual reality but for “vibration reduction”, offering four stops of image stabilization.

Staring September, the Nikon D3400 will be available in a kit with the AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR, for $649.95. Another kit, this time priced at $999.95, bundles both the AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR as well as the AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED. The four new lenses are also available for purchase separately at the following prices:

• AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR – $249.95

• AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G – $199.95

• AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR – $399.95

• AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED – $349.95


China Is Testing A New Long

In November 2023, a Chinese J-16 strike fighter test-fired a gigantic hypersonic missile, successfully destroying the target drone at a very long range.

Looking at takeoff photos, we estimate the missile is about 28 percent of the length of the J-16, which measures 22 meters (about 72 feet). The puts the missile at about 19 feet, and roughly 13 inches in diameter. The missile appears to have four tailfins. Reports are that the size would put into the category of a very long range air to air missile (VLRAAM) with ranges exceeding 300 km (roughly 186 miles), likely max out between 250 and 310 miles. (As a point of comparison, the smaller 13.8-foot, 15-inch-diameter Russian R-37 missile has a 249-mile range).

This is a big deal: this missile would easily outrange any American (or other NATO) air-to-air missile. Additionally, the VLRAAM’s powerful rocket engine will push it to Mach 6 speeds, which will increase the no escape zone (NEZ), that is the area where a target cannot outrun the missile, against even supersonic targets like stealth fighters.


The new, larger missile’s added value is not just in range. Another key feature: its large active electronically scanned (AESA) radar, which is used in the terminal phase of flight to lock onto the target. The AESA radar’s large size—about 300-400% larger than that of most long range air-to-air missiles—and digital adaptability makes it highly effective against distant and stealthy targets, and resilient against electronic countermeasures like jamming and spoofing.

The VLRAAM’s backup sensor is a infrared/electro-optical seeker that can identify and hone in on high-value targets like aerial tankers and airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) radar aircraft. The VLRAAM also uses lateral thrusters built into the rear for improving its terminal phase maneuverability when engaging agile targets like fighters.


This 2023 study in a Chinese scientific journal discusses the flight path and performance of a VLRAAM, which flies 15 km upward of its launching fighter to a 30 km altitude, and is guided by a combination of long range radars (like Chinese AEWC planes) and satellite navigation, before divebombing at hypersonic speeds onto enemy aircraft, including stealth fighters, stealth bombers and AEWC aircraft.

Interestingly, the ability to glide may be a key feature as well. A 2023 research paper by Zhang Hongyuan, Zheng Yuejing, and Shi Xiaorong of Beijing Institute of Control and Electronics Technology linked to the VLRAAM development suggests that the midcourse portion of the VLRAAM’s flight will occur at altitudes above 30 km (about 18.6 miles). Flying at such low pressure, low drag high altitudes would allow the VLRAAM to extend its range (similar to hypersonic gliders). The high altitude also makes it difficult for enemy aircraft and air defenses to shoot it down midflight. Finally, high altitude flight means that the VLRAAM would have a high angle of attack against lower flying targets, which reduces the response time for enemy evasive action.

Divine Eagle at War

The Divine Eagle is shown here in both offensive operations (providing targeting for smart bombs to strike enemy SAM, communications, bunkers and ballistic ICBMs) as well as defensive operations (detecting American stealth aircraft before they enter China airspace).

Another researched VLRAAM function is datalinking; the papers called for the VLRAAM to be embedded within a highly integrated combat networks. It is envisioned as just part of a larger wave of networked solutions aggregated through multiple Chinese systems. For example, a J-20 stealth fighter wouldn’t mount the missile (the VLRAAM is too large to fit in the J-20’s weapons bay), but could use its low observable features to fly relatively close in order to detect enemy assets like AEW&C aircraft (which are vital to gather battlespace data for manned and unmanned assets, but subsonic in speed and less able to evade missiles). Then before breaking off contact, the J-20 would signal a J-16 400 km (249 miles) away (outside the range of most air to air missiles) providing it the data needed to launch the VLRAAM at the target. This would offer China a longer range version of present U.S. tactics that involve using the fifth generation F-22 as a sensor for 4th generation fighters as the “shooters.”

The Future is Here

In operation, the VLRAAM will provide J-20 stealth fighters with long range “aerial artillery” to even the odds against numerically superior air forces, while giving new life to J-11 and J-16 fighters. It can also give J-15 carrier fighters a long range interception capability to defend Chinese naval forces.

The gains in range and speed of the VLRAAM pose another significant risk to the concepts of the U.S. military’s “Third Offset.” U.S. operations are highly dependent on assets like aerial tankers, dedicated electronic warfare aircraft, and AEW&C. For example, without aerial tankers, the relatively short range of the F-35s would become even more of a liability in long range operations in the South China Seas and Taiwan Straits. Similarly, without AEW&C aircraft, F-22s would have to use onboard radars more, raising their risk of detection. Even for stealthy tanker platforms like the planned MQ-25 Stingray drone and proposed KC-Z tanker will be vulnerable to VLRAAMs if detected by emerging dedicated anti-stealth systems such as the Divine Eagle drone and Yuanmeng airship.

By pushing the Chinese air defense threat bubble hundreds of miles out further, they also offer to turn the long range tables on the putative U.S. “Arsenal” Plane concept, a Pentagon plan to launch missiles from non-stealthy planes from afar. In sum, VLRAAM is not just a big missile, but a potential big deal for the future of air warfare.

You may also be interested in:

Come Look at China’s Coolest New Missiles

Chinese Air to Air Missile Hits Target, Spooks USAF General

Divine Eagle, China’s Enormous Stealth Hunting Drone, Takes Shape

Beyond the J-20: The Many Planes of China China Builds Its own ‘Wild Weasel’ to Suppress Air Defenses

Why I Used This Dslr For The Microsoft Event, Not A Smartphone

Why I used this DSLR for the Microsoft event, not a smartphone

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I traveled to New York this week to cover the Microsoft Surface event. Over the past couple of years, tech journalists turned to smartphones to capture the news, from all perspectives and in all situations. I’m guilty of using a smartphone for major event coverage – there’s nothing really wrong with doing it. Especially when devices like the Galaxy Note 9 provide such top-notch photo and video options. But for this event I wanted to remind myself what it was like to use a real big, professional camera. For this event I used a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and Canon provided a couple of lenses to make the most of my situation from my most likely vantage point.

I’m by no means a professional photographer. I’m a documentation and review photographer living in the body of a tech blogger. I went to school to learn graphic design. As such, I can capture decent photos regardless of the camera I’m using, but I can appreciate when I’m using something out of the ordinary.

The event was to be a Microsoft presentation on their newest Surface and Windows products. I expected this to be a presentation in a relatively small room with the stage within a hundred feet (or so) of my seat. After the event’s onstage presentation, there would inevitably be some hands-on time with all the new hardware that’d been presented by Microsoft.

So I needed at least one lens, maybe a couple. For this event, Canon provided the standard zoom lens EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM, and the telephoto zoom lens EF 70–200mm f/4L IS II USM. For the bulk of the main on-stage presentation, I used the telephoto zoom lens.

With this lens and this camera I was able to capture photos and video the likes of which I personally have never captured before. I’ve never before used equipment by which I was so instantly impressed.

This situation called for quick adjustments for lighting – not entirely easy given the background was either a flat, dark wall, or a brightly lit and often times in-motion screen. I also needed to capture the screen for some photos, and at other times I needed to capture the human faces near the screen.

Also in the mix was the fact that Microsoft’s Panos Panay walked into the audience several times. This isn’t something I’d even try to capture, usually – mostly because I know my phone wouldn’t be able to simultaneously zoom and capture a high quality photo in this level of darkness. With this camera and this lens, it was a simple task, capturing a couple photos of Panay as he moved through the audience.

Once the stage presentation was done, I switched lenses to the much more modest EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM. This lens gave me a bit more freedom to get up close and personal, whilst maintaining the ability to autofocus with speed.

I work with a team on an event like this. I write some articles while I’m at the event, but for others it makes sense to transfer photos to other team members as quick as possible. For this, using a smartphone requires fewer steps. I can simply set up an automatic-upload system with an app, or allow the phone to automatically watermark images before transfer.

My personal experience led me to be quicker using a DSLR, as it were. Not because it’s easier, but because of something akin to muscle memory. I’m used to the rhythm of snapping photos, connecting the camera to my laptop with a USB cord, dumping photos, then uploading photos for the rest of my associates. Your experience might find one way quicker – or the other.

Outside that quibble, both of the lenses I used at this event took my ability to capture and relay this event’s contents to a new level. The differences were immense between documenting this event with a phone’s camera and capturing this event with this Canon camera and these lenses. I’ll still use a smartphone to capture images and video on the fly – but I can’t imagine going back to snapping photos at live events like this with any sort of lesser device ever again.

At least, not until they’ve got 200mm zoom lenses in smartphones. When they get those, I’ll reconsider. Unless I’ve decided to consider my pocketbook first – with that in mind, I might just stick to smartphones.

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM can be found on Amazon for approximately $1300. The EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM can be found on Amazon for around $900 USD. The Canon EOS-1DX Mark II DSLR camera is up on Amazon right this minute for approximately $6k.

SlashGear uses Amazon affiliate links, and if you buy something we may get a small share of the sale.

The New Microsoft Cortana – Is She Still Useful?

The May 2023 update has arrived, and one noticeable change is Microsoft Cortana. If you were used to asking the virtual assistant questions, it may be time to switch to another assistant. Microsoft’s decided to revamp Cortana into a productivity tool, eliminating many of the features you might have been used to. The big question – is Cortana still worth using for the average user?

Why the Change?

Even though some users absolutely love Microsoft Cortana, she never really caught on quite like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. Instead of investing more time and money into trying to compete, Microsoft made the choice to turn Cortana into a system application versus the whole system integration the assistant once had.

Microsoft Cortana Becomes an App

Cortana is no longer married to the taskbar. Instead, Cortana is a regular app. This means you’ll open and interact with Cortana just like you would other apps. You’ll even get updates via the Microsoft Store instead of Windows Update. You’ll be able to update Cortana without having to install full system feature updates, too.

Search Already Separate

A common question users have been asking is how they can search for files. When Cortana was originally introduced in Windows 10, you either asked Cortana to find a file using your voice or typed it in the Cortana search box in the taskbar. However, search and Cortana were separated well before the May 2023 update.

Microsoft Cortana’s New Capabilities

Microsoft now calls Cortana a “personal productivity assistant.” According to Microsoft’s official announcement, Cortana’s new capabilities include:

Chat-based interaction – Voice control is still an option, but the chat-based UI gives you the ability to type versus talk to your computer. This is actually a good thing if you’re using Cortana at the office.

Manage your calendar and schedule – After signing in to your Microsoft account, connect your calendar and schedule to Cortana. Add items, get reminders, and check things off.

Integration with Microsoft Teams – If you use Microsoft Teams, use Cortana to join meetings, see upcoming meetings, and book meetings.

Work and school integration – Using your Microsoft work or school accounts, ask for more details about other members of your organization.

Create lists – Since productivity is the entire purpose, Cortana is able to make lists and give you reminders so you don’t forget to do anything.

While Microsoft Cortana isn’t quite as functional as before, you can still ask her some questions. Some extras Cortana can do include:

provide weather information

answer simple questions

provide news headlines

open apps and settings

What’s Missing

In many ways, Cortana is still a virtual assistant. However, the app is now all about productivity. You’ll no longer be able to control smart home devices. Even though music can be helpful with productivity, you won’t be able to use Cortana to control your music either. Instead, you’ll use Cortana to connect with other Microsoft apps and services, such as Office 365.

If you still want to control smart home devices and do everything that Cortana used to do and more, you can download Alexa from the Microsoft Store. You’ll then have a full-fledged virtual assistant on your desktop or laptop.

How Do Users Feel?

Based on the 2.6 star rating at the time of writing, users aren’t thrilled about the change. In fact, the general consensus is Cortana isn’t useful at all.

However, if you mainly used Cortana for work, such as opening Microsoft apps and managing your calendar, you may not notice much of a difference. For the average user, Cortana isn’t nearly as useful as she used to be before the May 2023 update.

That being said, give the new version a try. If you don’t like it, it can be removed with a little effort. Or, if you don’t want to install it, simply sign out of Cortana to stop using it altogether.

Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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What Is Bluesky Social? A New Twitter Challenger

Last Updated on July 11, 2023

Users are tired of security and data privacy issues with famous social media platforms worldwide, forcing them to move towards alternative platforms. Bluesky Social will be another platform similar to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. It has some similar features to these, but also some notable differences which set it apart from the rest.

What is Bluesky Social?

Bluesky is a social network developed by former Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and other creators, including the current Bluesky CEO Jay Graber. It is invite-only at the moment – meaning you’ll need an invite code to get started on the Bluesky app. This is because the platform is still in a relative beta stage. It is a kind of Twitter alternative, with ‘skeets’ (tweets) and your own profile. However, it is open source, which means you can view and modify the blockchain and code for the app. Eventually Bluesky will have multiple servers, so you can pick the one with the algorithm that suits you best. It is supposed to serve as a ‘protocol’ to other social media networks, according to former Twitter CEO Dorsey, to serve as a more socially responsible social platform. 

In this article, we will discuss what Bluesky is, how it works, and its future potential.

How Bluesky Social Works

Bluesky Social is an initiative to develop and launch a decentralized social media platform, like Mastodon. The app launched as a public beta version in February this year, but has existed in a smaller form since 2023. It is run by a small, independent team, and started off as an off-shoot of Twitter. Since then, it has become a real contender as a major Twitter alternative. 

It will help users because most social media platforms often face criticism from them over their data privacy issues and algorithms biases. Bluesky will aim to address and solve these issues in a better way. It will run off a decentralized system and allow users more power and control over their data privacy for safe communication.

Bluesky Social aims for a futuristic approach that sees internet-based platforms built on a more secure and common standard. Thus, it allows users to share their content and communicate over different platforms freely. This will hopefully incite a more democratic social media landscape through user empowerment. This has already attracted several journalists and celebrity users, including Chrissy Teigen. 

Moreover, it will promote transparency and accountability, with the help of interoperability. A decentralized social media platform or approach should also give users more secure data privacy and content-sharing choices as they would want.

FAQs Who Created Bluesky Social?

Bluesky Social involves a community of developers, technologists, and social media specialists working together to create a more secure and decentralized social media platform. It was launched in 2023 with key people such as Jack Dorsey and Jay Graber.

The app was originally launched as an off-shoot of Twitter. However, it became independent of the platform a while before Twitter was taken over by Elon Musk. 

Gloria’s Thoughts

So, what is Bluesky social? We hope this article has cleared some things up for you.

Bluesky is an exciting initiative to create a more secure and decentralized social media platform. It is still under development, with different experts are working to boost its features. However, it may be better than Twitter or other similar social media platforms due to its capacity to address users’ data privacy and other online security issues. But again, time will decide how well it succeeds in achieving its goal.

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