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ComputerWorld
Apr 01, 2024

Kill meetings (before meetings kill your company)
Meetings have been problematic for decades. They're often used as a catch-all solution to unresolved problems. And a chronic lack of meeting discipline means that, for all the time spent getting people together, little is accomplished.

Now, in a post-pandemic remote work world, where hybrid work and flex work are common, meetings are turning into something like an ongoing crisis at many organizations. They're harming productivity and causing havoc with employee morale.

And yet with many remote workers saying they feel disconnected, the misguided consensus is that even more meetings are the answer.

How to connect the disconnected A happy employee might be found in a home office. But there's also an elephant in the room. The elephant is that many employees feel isolated, alone and disconnected from the people they work with and the mission of the company.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Apr 01, 2024

McDonald's serves up a master class in how not to explain a system outage
The global outage that last month prevented McDonald's from accepting payments prompted the company to release a lengthy statement that should serve as a master  class in how not to report an IT problem. It was vague, misleading and yet the company used language that still allowed many of the technical details to be figured out. 

(You know you've moved far from home base when Burger King UK makes fun of you— in response to news of the McDonald's outage, Burger King played off its own slogan by posting on LinkedIn: "Not Loving I.T.")

The McDonald's statement was vague about what happened, but it did opt to throw the chain's point-of-sale (POS) vendor under the bus — while not identifying which vendor it meant. Classy.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 29, 2024

Report: Scale cuts off subsidiary's remote workers in several countries
Scale AI, the data processing company that advertises itself as a way to train generative AI on higher-quality information, has apparently shut down access to its platform in several countries, leaving gig workers in the lurch.

The company, which does much of its data processing through a subsidiary called Remotasks, cut access to its portal for workers in Nigeria, Kenya and Pakistan in  March, according to a report by Rest of World. The gig workers used by Remotask, and by extension Scale, improve data quality by adding labels, annotations, and general human input to information set to be processed by AIs.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 29, 2024

Apple will continue to enhance its DMA compliance
With WWDC 2024 now set, Apple continues to work on bringing itself more in line with US government demands. What we don't know yet is the extent to which these changes will be restricted to the EU, or whether Apple intends to make them available worldwide in an attempt to quell regulatory zeal.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 29, 2024

AI is on a fast track, but hype and immaturity could derail it
The marketing hype surrounding AI broadly — and generative AI (genAI) more specifically — is becoming tiresome. You can't open an article or watch a news video without running into at least a reference to it. We may be approaching the point at which we stop breathlessly extolling its virtues (and dreading some of its outcomes).

The hype is so extreme that a fall-out, which Gartner describes in its technology hype cycle reports as the "trough of disillusionment," seems inevitable and might be coming this year. That's a testament to both genAI's burgeoning potential and a sign of the technology's immaturity.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 29, 2024

Why even hybrid RTO mandates are hurting overall job satisfaction
Though most companies have settled on return-to-office (RTO) policies now that COVID-19 is no longer considered a global health emergency, many continue to adjust their practices, often to the detriment of their workforce.

Several workforce surveys over the past three months have revealed that employees do not view mandated RTO policies favorably, even when hybrid, because the guidelines are often too rigid.

During the pandemic, employees became comfortable with flexible work arrangements. When people have the chance to work flexibly, 87% of them take it, according to a 2022 study by global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 28, 2024

Microsoft's Copilot AI set to operate locally on future PCs, says Intel
Microsoft's Copilot AI could soon run locally on PCs rather than relying on the cloud.

Intel told Tom's Hardware that the chatbot could run on future AI-enabled PCs that would need to incorporate neural processing units (NPUs) capable of exceeding 40 trillion operations per second (TOPS) — a performance level not yet matched by any consumer processor currently available.

Intel mentioned that these AI PCs would be equipped to handle "more elements of Copilot" directly on the machine. Copilot currently relies predominantly on cloud processing for most tasks, leading to noticeable delays, especially for minor requests. Enhancing local computing power is expected to reduce such delays, potentially boosting performance and privacy.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 28, 2024

If you get an unexpected call from Apple Support, you're being hacked
Have you ever had an unexpected direct phone call from Apple support? I have not, and if you do ever receive one, you probably aren't talking to Apple. The company says you should immediately hang up.

"If you get an unsolicited or suspicious phone call from someone claiming to be from Apple or Apple Support, just hang up," the company support website states.

Don't fall for it Other things it warns against are suspicious calendar invitations in Mail or Calendar, annoying pop-ups in the browser, unexpected software download prompts, and fraudulent emails.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 28, 2024

Amazon invests $2.75 billion more in Open AI-rival Anthropic
Amazon has announced it is investing $2.75 billion in OpenAI-rival Anthropic, bringing its total investment in the AI startup to $4 billion, as initially announced. In September last year, Amazon had invested an initial tranche of $1.25 billion.

As part of this partnership, Anthropic will use Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its main cloud provider for key operations, including safety research and the development of foundational models. Anthropic will also use AWS Trainium and Inferentia chips for building, training, and deploying future models.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 28, 2024

Amazon invests $2.75 billion more in OpenAI rival Anthropic
Amazon has announced it is investing $2.75 billion in OpenAI rival Anthropic, bringing its total investment in the AI startup to $4 billion, as initially announced. In September last year, Amazon had invested an initial tranche of $1.25 billion.

As part of this partnership, Anthropic will use Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its main cloud provider for key operations, including safety research and the development of foundational models. Anthropic will also use AWS Trainium and Inferentia chips for building, training, and deploying future models.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 28, 2024

Software vendors dump open source, go for the cash grab
Essentially, all software is built using open source. By Synopsys' count, 96% of all codebases contain open-source software.

Lately, though, there's been a very disturbing trend. A company will make its program using open source, make millions from it, and then — and only then — switch licenses, leaving their contributors, customers, and partners in the lurch as they try to grab billions. I'm sick of it.

The latest IT melodrama baddie is Redis. Its program, which goes by the same name, is an extremely popular in-memory database. (Unless you're a developer, chances are you've never heard of it.) One recent valuation shows Redis to be worth about $2 billion — even without an AI play! That, anyone can understand.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 27, 2024

WWDC 2024: Yes, we live in interesting times
Apple has a lot to prove at WWDC 2024. Not only must it fend off the negative attention it has been picking up from regulators, but it must also galvanize loyal developers and disabuse the industry perception that it has fallen behind on AI.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 27, 2024

Will a Google-Apple deal kill Microsoft's AI dominance?
Microsoft is sitting on top of the world right now, thanks to its lead in AI. It's the most valuable company on the planet, with a valuation of more than $3.2 trillion. Its rise was rocket-fueled by its investor relationship with OpenAI, the company that makes the wildly popular generative AI (genAI) chatbot ChatGPT. OpenAI's GPT large language model is also the basis for Microsoft Copilot, the genAI tool that Microsoft is building into just about every one of its products, from GitHub to Windows to Microsoft 365 and beyond.

Microsoft's AI dominance appears insurmountable. But things can change quickly in tech. Google and Apple are in talks to embed Google's genAI tool Gemini into iPhones — a deal that, if it reaches fruition, could unseat Microsoft sooner than you think.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 27, 2024

16 handy hidden tricks for Google Maps on Android
Who doesn't love Google Maps? The Maps Android app helps those of us with oatmeal for brains find our way anywhere, without having to fire any neurons or exercise any synapses. It even helps us find places to pick up tasty cuisine — like, uh, oatmeal (yum!).

But there's much more to Google Maps than meets the eye — and odds are, you aren't taking advantage of at least a few handy hidden features lurking within the Maps Android app. With Android 15 right around the corner and more shiny new Googley goodies showing up by the day lately, I thought it'd be a fine time to dive deep into this ever-evolving Android anchor and think through some of its more off-the-beaten-path advanced options.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 26, 2024

Windows is under new management after Microsoft AI reshuffle
Microsoft is reuniting management of its Windows operating system and its Surface devices, as the leader of its Windows and Web Experiences team has quit his current role and may leave the company.

The move is one of the repercussions of Microsoft's appointment of a former Google artificial intelligence (AI) leader to run its new AI division.

Mikhail Parakhin, who as Microsoft's CEO of advertising and web services was also responsible for Windows and web experiences, is seeking new opportunities, potentially outside of Microsoft, according to an internal memo seen by Computerworld and sent by Microsoft's head of experiences and devices, Rajesh Jha.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 26, 2024

Apple uses AI to boost recycling efforts, Tim Cook confirms
The challenge to build a more sustainable enterprise is high on the business agenda these days, in part to meet government-mandated climate goals, in part because consumers demand it, and — perhaps — simply because turning a business into a sustainable business is the right thing to do.

Businesses are taking a multitude of approaches to becoming more sustainable.

Apple CEO Tim Cook in China explained part of the strategy being followed by his company — to put a little AI (artificial intelligence) in sustAInability.

As he sees it, AI "provides an enormous toolkit for every company that's wishing to be carbon neutral or to lower their emissions by a substantial amount," he said.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 26, 2024

Q&A: Udemy online education exec on tech layoffs and skills needs
With companies shifting gears when it comes to the skills they want in new hires and current employees, online education providers are quickly compiling lists of generative AI (genAI) courses to meet demand.

While there are still more tech job openings than tech workers available to fill them, job-seeking technologists need to tweak their industry knowledge to get hired. Internally, enterprises are upskilling and reskilling workforces to address a flurry of genAI projects, even as most are still pilots. Not surprisingly, creating, training and securing genAI is becoming a top skill to possess.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 25, 2024

Europe will investigate Apple's compliance with DMA
Perhaps seeking to grab the limelight from the Department of Justice's ludicrously articulated antitrust suit against Apple, the European Commission this morning confirmed it will investigate the company, along with Google, Amazon, and Meta, for noncompliance with the Digital Markets Act.

"The Commission suspects that the measures put in place by these gatekeepers fall short of effective compliance of their obligations under the DMA," the statement says.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 25, 2024

Most in-demand skills for 2024 — hint, genAI is at the top
The adoption of generative artificial intelligence (genAI) has shuffled the list of top skills businesses want from professionals in 2024, according to a new job site study and education industry data.

Far from replacing workers, genAI appears poised to transform the way technologists and others work, allowing them to focus more on creative tasks such as product development, and less on mundane tasks that can be automated.

Freelance employment platform Upwork recently released a study of freelance worker earnings for all of 2023 and found genAI and data science and analytics skills are seeing "unprecedented" growth in importance.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 22, 2024

Experts see 'no merit' to DOJ antitrust fight with Apple
"I'm telling you there is no merit to this case," said Mad Money host Jim Cramer in reaction to the Justice Department's antitrust lawsuit against Apple. Justice officials announced the lawsuit Thursday.

Cramer's reaction reflects the opinion of most industry observers who see the weaknesses of the allegations it contains.

Apple is facing regulatory action across the world. The EU has already forced the company to make changes that open its platform. But the Department of Justice (DOJ) litigation is far more ambitious and aims at Apple's control of the ecosystem — it's an existential attack some say will require the courts to accept a redefinition of decades old antitrust law.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 22, 2024

A hidden new twist to a top Android Chrome trick
Hey. You. Yes, you — the one there with the moist eyeballs, staring at this suspiciously smudgy screen.

I want to let you in on a little secret. It's technically a two-part secret, as the first part is something incredibly useful that hardly anyone realizes is possible — and the second part is a completely new twist on that same concept that virtually no one knows about yet.

The concepts in question are both connected to Chrome and the timeless act of traipsing around this tumbleweed-laden web of ours. They give you an enchantingly easy way to peek in at a page without interrupting what you're doing or committing to fully opening it. And they're available now in two different but equally delightful environments.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 21, 2024

Microsoft integrates its Copilot chatbot across entire product line
At a digital event for commercial customers and partners, Microsoft on Thursday announced a flurry of generative AI (genAI) updates, including the addition of Copilot throughout its entire product line and new Surface laptops optimized to use AI tools.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 21, 2024

Microsoft integrates its Copilot chatbot on new devices
At a digital event for commercial customers and partners, Microsoft on Thursday announced generative AI (genAI) updates, including the addition of Copilot through its new Surface laptops optimized to use AI tools.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 21, 2024

DOJ sues Apple for monopolizing smartphone market
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) and 16 state Attorneys General have filed a sweeping antitrust lawsuit against Apple and its business practices involving the iPhone. 

Announced during news conference in Washington, D.C. today, the 88-page lawsuit drew quick fire from Apple, which said it "threatens who we are." The company vowed  to "vigorously defend' itself against the DOJ.

Following several years of investigation, the suit cites numerous internal Apple emails, makes numerous arguments about what the company is doing wrong, and demands that Apple's anti-competitive business practices "must stop."

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 21, 2024

The best note-taking apps for Android
Taking notes is serious business, and having the right note-taking app for your Android device can make a world of difference in your ability to stay organized. That's because a good note-taking app doesn't just help you take notes; it also makes it easy to find what you've saved later, regardless of where you are or what type of device you're using at that point.

But figuring out which note-taking app makes the most sense for you isn't always easy. The Google Play Store has an endless array of similar-seeming options, and what's ideal for one person may not be optimal for another.

I've spent a ton of time exploring the most prominent contenders for note-taking on Android, and I've identified the apps that rise to the top in five core categories:

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 20, 2024

The best ways to run Android apps on a Windows PC
Though Microsoft removed Android app support from Windows 11, there are still ways to run Android apps on your PC if you want. Here are the best ways to do so, whether you're using Windows 10 or Windows 11.

What happened to the Windows Subsystem for Android? When Microsoft unveiled Windows 11, one of its big features was support for running Android apps with the "Windows Subsystem for Android."

That feature was delayed, and Microsoft ended up launching it quietly. You could install the Amazon Appstore from the Microsoft Store on Windows, and then you could install Android apps from the Amazon Appstore on your Windows PC.

But most Android apps aren't available on the Amazon Appstore — instead, they're on Google Play. Neither Microsoft nor Amazon really spent much time pushing or advertising these Android apps.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 20, 2024

The future of work looks like sci-fi
The "Augmented Connected Workforce" is one of Gartner's Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2024.

Which raises the question: "Wait, what?"

The Augmented Connected Workforce (ACWF) is a concept or a paradigm where advanced technologies are used to give employees what essentially amount to super powers. Specifically, the idea envisions integrating workers with Augmented Reality (AR) glasses, AI tools of every description, wearable sensors, wearable communication tools, IoT, robots, exoskeletons, machine vision and cloud computing.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 19, 2024

Microsoft hires ex-DeepMind co-founder to lead Copilot AI initiatives
Microsoft on Tuesday announced the hiring of Mustafa Suleyman, a former co-founder of DeepMind, the AI startup acquired by Google in 2014. Suleyman will assume the role of executive vice president and CEO of Microsoft AI, directly reporting to CEO Satya Nadella.

During Suleyman's time at Google, DeepMind established itself as a frontrunner in AI research; it also caught the eye of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who moved to counteract Google's growth by founding the nonprofit AI lab, OpenAI.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 19, 2024

Which genAI chatbots are the most popular now?
Chatbots, those AI-infused assistants that can be used by enterprises for any number of time-saving and productivity-increasing tasks, are some of the lowest hanging fruit in any organization's quest to adopt generative artificial intelligence (genAI).

Beginning with OpenAI's ChatGPT in November 2022, chatbots have been increasingly adopted to automate various business processes and assist employees in performing mundane tasks.

Chatbots can be integrated through APIs with enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) backend systems to utilize proprietary data and automate data-intensive tasks such as updating customer records.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 19, 2024

Why is Apple so focused on vision AI?
From its Darwin AI acquisition to recent reports claiming Apple might work with Google and others to support a wider array of generative AI (genAI) tools than it plans to introduce, it's pretty clear the company has chosen to be focused in where it creates its own AI technologies.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 19, 2024

9 Chrome extensions that upgrade Google Meet
If your company uses Google's suite of office apps, you're probably familiar with Google Meet, the vendor's web-based videoconferencing app. Meet is included with paid Google Workspace plans, and a free version with fewer features is available to anyone with a Google account, such as a Gmail address.

The Chrome Web Store offers a slew of extensions you can install to your Chrome browser that enhance Meet in some way. Many of these extensions are aimed at adding powerful meeting management features available only with paid Workspace plans — such as breakout rooms, meeting access automation, attendance lists, and meeting transcriptions — to the free version of Meet.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 18, 2024

Endangered Firefox?
At this point, the best thing Mozilla Corp. has going for it is that it is not a publicly traded company, because if it was, its stock would be getting slaughtered. The company's CEO, Mitchell Baker, recently departed, and recent reports put its share of the browser market in the low single digits.

But Mozilla is no stranger to challenges. It was born into adversity, launched after the collapse of Netscape Communications in 2003. As one of its last acts, Netscape open-sourced the code for its eponymous browser. The Mozilla Foundation was formed to take up the project abandoned by Netscape and create a new, modern browser. And it did so with Microsoft owning virtually the entire browser space by that point.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 18, 2024

AI to create a half billion new jobs — here's why
While many users see generative artificial intelligence (genAI) technology as automation tools that will eliminate many of today's jobs, most in the IT industry see it as a generator of knowledge jobs.

That's because genAI tools such as ChatGPT and Midjourney can help eliminate mundane tasks, freeing up workers to take on more valuable creative roles and be more productive.

GenAI is also expected to "democratize jobs." That is, the technology will enable employees without computer science degrees to create applications using AI-augmented coding. Already, many companies see that possibility as genAI's "low-hanging fruit."

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 15, 2024

For March's Patch Tuesday, no zero-day flaws
Microsoft this week pushed out 61 Patch Tuesday updates with no reports of public disclosures or other zero-days affecting the larger ecosystem (Windows, Office, .NET). Though there are three updated packages from February, they're just informational changes with no further action is required.

The team at Readiness has crafted this helpful infographic outlining the risks associated with each of the March updates.

Known issues Each month, Microsoft publishes a list of known issues that relate to the operating system and platforms included in the latest update cycle; for March, there are two minor issues reported:

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 15, 2024

Windows 10 Insider Previews: A guide to the builds
Microsoft never sleeps. In addition to its steady releases of major and minor updates to the current version of Windows 10, the company frequently rolls out public preview builds to members of its Windows Insider Program, allowing them to test out — and even help shape — upcoming features.

Windows Insiders can choose to receive preview builds in one of four channels: the Canary, Dev, Beta, or Release Preview Channel. Insiders in the Canary, Dev, and Beta Channels are now testing Windows 11 builds.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 15, 2024

What is Darwin AI and how could Apple use its new tech?
Apple has quietly acquired yet another AI startup, Canada's Darwin AI, a company  focused on machine vision intelligence, smart manufacturing, improved machine learning efficiency and edge-based intelligence.

All of these seem critical to Apple's future plans.

Who is Darwin AI? As reported by Bloomberg, several members of the Darwin AI team have now joined Apple. Ostensibly a visual quality inspection company, Darwin AI was developed to provide electronics manufacturers with a tool to improve product quality and production efficiency.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 15, 2024

Generative AI will drive a foundational shift for companies — IDC
Over the next two years, generative artificial intelligence (genAI) will force organizations to address a myriad of fast-evolving issues, from data security to tech review boards, new services, and — most importantly — upskilling employees.

By 2027, AI will represent 29% of organizational spend, according to IDC President  Crawford Del Prete, who spoke Thursday at the IDC Directions conference in Boston.

This year alone, the average enterprise will spend $28 million dollars on genAI initiatives, based on data from a February IDC survey. In all, organizations will spend $150 billion on genAI tech initiatives by 2027, with a total economic impact of  $11 trillion, according to IDC.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 14, 2024

Admins see snags as macOS Sonoma 14.4 hits Macs
There appear to be a couple of snags in the latest iteration of macOS Sonoma that are upsetting to Apple admins: Some USB hubs are no longer recognized by the Mac and a popular command tool used to restart services on remote Apple devices is no longer supported.

Why isn't my USB hub working? The USB hub issue is emerging across the Apple web at the moment, including on Apple's own support forums and Reddit. The problem isn't consistent — most users aren't affected — and it seems to relate to Macs running the latest version of Sonoma and third-party monitors equipped with USB hubs.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 14, 2024

Anthropic launches its fastest and cheapest AI model yet
Anthropic has launched its most affordable and fastest AI model — Claude 3 Haiku, which the company claims is up to half the cost of GPT 3.5 and works up to three times faster than existing models. This newest addition to the Claude model family joins the ranks of Claude 3 Opus and Claude 3 Sonnet.

Claude 3 Haiku is a cost-effective AI solution offered by Anthropic with a fee of $0.25 per token for input and $1.25 for output. This makes it accessible to enterprises of all sizes, Anthropic wrote in a blog post.

Anthropic argued that Haiku is not only affordable but also efficient. "Businesses can rely on Haiku to quickly analyze large volumes of documents, such as quarterly filings, contracts, or legal cases, for half the cost of other models in its performance tier. For instance, Claude 3 Haiku can process and analyze 400 Supreme Court cases or 2,500 images for just one US dollar," the blog noted.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 14, 2024

AI hallucination mitigation: two brains are better than one
As generative AI (genAI) continues to move into broad use by the public and various enterprises, its adoption is sometimes plagued by errors, copyright infringement issues and outright hallucinations, undermining trust in its accuracy.

One study from Stanford University found genAI makes mistakes when answering legal questions 75% of the time. "For instance," the study found, "in a task measuring the precedential relationship between two different [court] cases, most LLMs do no better than random guessing."

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 13, 2024

The EU browser wars have begun as Apple opens up
Now that Apple has opened up choice to third-party browsers as part of its efforts to comply with the EU's Digital Markets Act, we can expect a new focus on browser market share in the near future.

Third-party browsers have been supported in iOS since version 14. What's changed is that Apple must now offer EU users a choice of which browser becomes the default when they use their device. Apple clearly didn't want to do this as WebKit (which drives Safari) is fundamental to many of the technologies and solutions the company packs inside its iPhones. (I think it's likely to stay that way.)

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 13, 2024

Office 365: A guide to the updates
Office 365 and Microsoft 365 subscribers get more frequent software updates than those who have purchased Office without a subscription, which means subscribers have access to the latest features, security patches, and bug fixes. But it can be hard to keep track of the changes in each update and know when they're available. We're doing this for you, so you don't have to.

Following are summaries of the updates to Office 365/Microsoft 365 for Windows, with the latest releases shown first. We'll add info about new updates as they're rolled out.

Note: This story covers updates released to regular Office 365/Microsoft 365 for Windows subscribers. If you're a member of Microsoft's Office Insider preview program or want to get a sneak peek at upcoming features, see the company's "Release notes for Office for Windows Desktop (Beta builds)" page.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 13, 2024

New AI assistant threatens software engineering jobs
Devin has the ability to actively collaborate with users during software development. This includes providing real-time progress updates, accepting feedback, and working together to make design choices.

ComputerWorld
Mar 13, 2024

Microsoft is holding back the ‘AI PC' revolution
Look, we need to talk: The PC industry has a big problem. And it's not hardware makers' fault — it's Microsoft's responsibility. The hardware is here: Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and PC makers have delivered on their end.

Now, everyone is waiting for Microsoft to catch up and make Windows truly shine on these "AI PCs." Can the company deliver something compelling in time?

Want to stay up to date on Windows — and PCs? My free Windows Intelligence newsletter delivers all the best Windows tips and PC news straight to your inbox. Plus, you'll get free copies of Paul Thurrott's Windows 11 and Windows 10 Field Guides (a $10 value) just for subscribing!

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 13, 2024

A call for digital-privacy regulation 'with teeth' at the federal level
How did we get to the point where the tech industry is in the user-data business instead of the tech business?

Every day, Google collects data on billions of people worldwide, according to The Regulatory Review. The dodge that users gain some benefit from ad targeting is fallacy. For example, if Google's search were decoupled from its advertising, there would be less chance for users to be misled by ignored search terms and seemingly hard-wired results.

There's nothing beneficial to the user about Google's sponsored search results. That's also true of  the adjacent Google ads that follow you around from site to site.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 12, 2024

Windows 11: A guide to the updates
A Windows launch isn't the end a process — it's really just the beginning. As with Windows 10, Microsoft continually works on improving Windows 11 by fixing bugs, releasing security patches, and occasionally adding new features.

In this story we summarize what you need to know about each update released to the public for the most recent version of Windows 11 — currently version 23H2. For each build, we've included the date of its release and a link to Microsoft's announcement about it. The most recent updates appear first.

The easiest way to install updates is via Windows Update. Not sure how? See "How to handle Windows 10 and 11 updates" for full instructions. Note that Windows 11 version 23H2 is being released as a phased rollout and may not be available to you in Windows Update yet.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 12, 2024

US pushes to weaken international human rights treaty on use of AI software
The US government is lobbying Council of Europe members to weaken an international treaty on human rights and AI software by exempting private vendors from compliance.

Diplomats are meeting in Strasbourg, France, this week to create a final version of the treaty, which would require organizations using AI to respect human rights and adhere to democratic principles. But the US, a non-voting observer of the Council of Europe, appears to be close in its efforts to water down the treaty, Politico reported.

The US, with backing from the UK, a member state, and fellow observer states Canada and Japan, is seeking to exempt private companies from the latest draft of the treaty and have it focus only on government uses of AI. Other negotiators and critics of this plan fear this carve-out would limit the effectiveness of the treaty.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 12, 2024

Windows 10: A guide to the updates
The launch of a major Windows 10 update isn't the end of a process — it's really just the beginning. As soon as one of Microsoft's feature updates (such as Windows 10 version 22H2) is released, the company quickly gets to work on improving it by fixing bugs, releasing security patches, and occasionally adding new features.

In this story we summarize what you need to know about each update released to the public for the most recent versions of Windows 10 — versions 22H2 and 21H2. (Microsoft releases updates for those two versions together.) For each build, we've included the date of its initial release and a link to Microsoft's announcement about it. The most recent updates appear first.

To read this article in full, please click here



ComputerWorld
Mar 12, 2024

EC's use of Microsoft 365 violates data-privacy rules, watchdog group says
The European Commission (EC) has violated several key data protection rules in its use of Microsoft 365 regarding the transfer of people's personal data from Europe to other regions not covered by EU data-protection laws, a key European privacy watchdog found.

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) on Tuesday chastized the EC after finding it did not take proper protective measures when sending personal data outside the EU and European Economic Area (EEA) when using the cloud-based app.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 12, 2024

Apple tweaks its DMA compliance strategy in Europe
In what perhaps reflects ongoing backroom discussion between Apple's App Store team and EU regulators policing the new Digital Markets Act (DMA), Apple has once again modified its approach to supporting third-party software sellers on iOS devices.

Starting later this spring, some EU developers will be able to offer iPhone apps directly from their websites. The second major change since Apple introduced DMA compliance suggests the company is more open to negotiation than some believe.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 12, 2024

OpenAI rebuts Musk's ‘fictional' claims over Founding Agreement
In a strongly worded reply to Elon Musk, OpenAI has described the claims of the X-owner as fictitious, accusing him of attempting to take credit for the "remarkable technological advances" achieved by OpenAI.

Musk's earlier filing at the San Francisco State Court claimed that Open AI had entered into a Founding Agreement stating that it would be open-source and would not keep its technology closed and secret for proprietary commercial reasons.

In its latest filing, the ChatGPT owner alleged that the Founding Agreement is "a fiction Musk has conjured to lay unearned claim to the fruits of an enterprise he initially supported, then abandoned, then watched succeed without him."

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ComputerWorld
Mar 12, 2024

Elon Musk's suit against OpenAI — right idea, wrong messenger
Loose cannon, always-looking-for-attention Elon Musk has again thrust himself into the public eye, this time by suing OpenAI and CEO Sam Altman for breaching its founding agreement by turning the company away from its non-profit roots and cashing in on the billions of dollars available in the generative AI (genAI) gold rush.

At stake in the suit is Microsoft's $13 billion investment in the company. Musk claims that OpenAI was originally founded to share its wares with the world by open sourcing its technologies, something it abandoned thanks to the relationship with Microsoft.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 12, 2024

Meta sues former executive over alleged AI theft
Meta is suing its former vice president of infrastructure over allegations that he stole proprietary human resources data about the company's top performers, and key information about its data center supply chain partners to bring to his new employer.

In a complaint filed in late February in a California State Court, the software giant alleged that Dipinder Singh Khurana breached contractual agreements, loyalty, and fiduciary duties by taking proprietary, information related to Meta's data centers, supply chain, as well as employee compensation to a Stealth AI startup where he holds a similar position to what he held at Meta. 

"Khurana was given access to proprietary, confidential, non-public, and highly sensitive Meta documents and information that only a limited set of Meta's employees can access," according to the complaint. The complaint added that the unauthorized disclosures would hurt competitive advantage, particularly in areas such as AI, data center technology, supply chain operations, and talent retention.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 11, 2024

New AI copyright lawsuit targets Nvidia
Three authors, Abdi Nazemian, Brian Keene, and Stewart O'Nan, are part of a new copyright infringement lawsuit against Nvidia, the latest such suit to challenge generative AI providers' reliance on the "fair use" doctrine to acquire copyrighted material to train their large language models.

The suit, filed late last week, is similar to other suits against generative AI creators, in that it alleges that they used copyrighted material — in this case, works of fiction by the named authors — as training data for an LLM. In this case, the LLM is Nvidia's NeMo Megatron series, which, according to the complaint, uses several data sets known to contain the authors' copyrighted material and used without permission.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 11, 2024

Healthcare pros show interest in Apple's Vision Pro — survey
Healthcare is a huge opportunity for Apple's Vision Pro, with up to three-quarters of US healthcare professionals open to exploring how to use the devices at work, a Tebra survey indicates.

The survey of of 130 healthcare professionals and 1,003 Americans seems well-timed. We've seen a cavalcade of health-related applications for visionOS appear since the device first arrived last month. It's already widely understood that spatial computing will usher in transformative change across a multitude of industries — and healthcare seems ripe for that kind of disruption.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 11, 2024

How to choose an AI-as-a-service provider
Artificial intelligence is not flash in the pan — it is here to stay. Gartner says more than 80% of enterprises will have used some form of generative AI APIs or applications by 2026. If you plan to be among those 80%, then you have to determine the best way to train and deploy it, on premises or in the cloud.

AI training requires specialized hardware that is very, very expensive compared to standard server equipment. It starts at the mid-six figures and can run into the several-million-dollar range. And that hardware cannot be repurposed for other uses such as databases.

In addition to purchasing and maintaining the AI hardware, there is the model on which your AI application is based. Training is the difficult part of AI and the most process intensive. Training can take weeks or even months, depending on the size of the data set. That could be months you don't have.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 11, 2024

BrandPost: A New Chapter of Industrial Digitalisation and Intelligent Transformation
Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) adoption are quickly becoming imperative for businesses and organisations to stay competitive in today's globalised landscape. According to Foundry's Digital Business Study 2023,  93% of organisations have adopted or plan to adopt a digital-first business strategy, while a third of IT leaders are actively researching AI for their digital platforms.  

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ComputerWorld
Mar 08, 2024

AIs may be better at prompt optimization than humans
With prompt engineers among the workers most in demand in the wake of generative AI's arrival in the enterprise, it was inevitable that someone would investigate whether their role, too, could be automated, or at least facilitated, by AI.

And, indeed, a recent study focused on how to write the best prompts for a large-language model (LLM) AI to solve mathematical problems has found that another AI gets better results than a human. The study sought to determine whether human-generated "positive thinking" prompts—such as "this will be fun!" or "take a deep breath and think"—produce better responses. The results were mixed when using different LLMs.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 08, 2024

How many jobs are available in technology in the US?
US unemployment in the technology sector increased by 0.2% to 3.5% last month, following an upward trend in joblessness in all sectors.

Technology occupations across the economy declined by an estimated 133,000 positions, according to a new report from IT industry group CompTIA.

Overall, the US unemployment rate among all job markets rose by 0.2% to 3.9% in February, and the number of unemployed people increased by 334,000 to 6.5 million. A year earlier, the jobless rate was 3.6%, and the number of unemployed people was 6 million. While unemployment did tick up, February's rate continued the longest stretch of unemployment below 4% in decades.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 08, 2024

The first EU app stores for iPhones explore new business models
The first two third-party European app stores to be announced offer different takes on how these stores might work: the first is a white-label service for enterprise app distribution, the second is an all-you-can-eat subscription deal.

The stores are on the cusp of being introduced now that Apple has been forced to open up to third party app stores and payment systems. It seems likely more such stores will soon open, and it's interesting these two seem willing to explore new app distribution business models.

For the enterprise: Mobivention Initially available in Germany, the Mobivention App Marketplace wants to become a safe place from which to download apps for company employees, partners, and customers. 

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ComputerWorld
Mar 08, 2024

AR got its ‘killer app': GenAI
You hear that sound? That's the sound of augmented reality (AR) fading away as a driving concept in technology.

You could blame Apple, which handed down an edict to Apple Vision Pro developers: "Refer to your app as a spatial computing app. Don't describe your app experience as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), extended reality (XR), or mixed reality (MR)."

But blaming Apple would be wrong. Instead, blame artificial intelligence (AI) — specifically the generative AI (genAI) trend of the past year and a half; it's completely upended and re-directed the purpose and function of the glasses formerly known as AR glasses.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 08, 2024

Why are CIOs who anticipate the future rarely allowed to do anything about it?
Esty Scheiner was especially frustrated, even for the CEO of an AI startup. Her team had figured out a better way to deliver deepfake audio detection and met with various IT groups at key enterprises. Most agreed this is going to be an issue that needs to be dealt with — and could use Scheiner's software.

But since the deepfake problem is months, maybe a year away, Scheiner's company couldn't get the backing to do anything about it.

Therein lies an IT problem I've seen in just about every vertical. 

It would be easier to accept if IT pros were routinely caught offguard by opportunities or problems they didn't anticipate. Alas, that's not the case. To be blunt, IT decision-makers in the US often see the train charging down the tracks, but they're not permitted to do anything about it until it's pulled into the station and crashed.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 07, 2024

Why should Apple trust Epic Games?
Citing the Digital Markets Act (DMA), the European Union (EU) has requested "further explanations" from Apple regarding its decision to close down the developer account of Fortnite publisher Epic Games. Apple says it does not trust Epic, citing the game  developer's history of untrustworthy actions.

This is bad news for Epic, which had hoped to launch its own Epic Games Store on iOS in the EU now that Apple has been forced to open up to third-party stores there.

But perhaps Apple has a point.

When friends become enemies Apple fans will likely know the background story: Epic kicked off a wave of investigation, litigation, and complaint against Apple's App Store business practices. By doing so, it broke its developer agreement and installed an external payment system within its app, which it knew Apple would reject.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 07, 2024

How IBM is using Adobe Firefly to reshape design
With the rollout of Adobe Firefly last year, IBM made generative AI (genAI) image creation available to thousands of designers.

It didn't take long for the tool to make an impression, said Billy Seabrook, global chief design officer for IBM's consulting arm.

Firefly was used, for example, to create 200 visual assets for IBM's "Let's Create" marketing campaign last year that involved rendering an image of a question mark in a variety of textures and colors. Firefly generated many variations — from a question mark made of flower petal to one made of chain link — that designers could choose to then edit and refine into a final product.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 06, 2024

Sam Altman's pledges about AI responsibility don't mean much — experts
Elon Musk's lawsuit against Sam Altman and OpenAI, filed last week in California state court, accuses the defendants of forgetting core parts of OpenAI's stated mission to develop useful and non-harmful artificial general intelligence. Altman has since moved to buttress his responsible AI credentials, including the signing of an open letter pledging to develop AI "to improve people's lives."

Critics, however, remain unconvinced by Altman's show of responsibility. Ever since the rapid popularization of generative AI (genAI) over the past year, those critics have been warning that the consequences of unfettered and unregulated AI development could be not just corrosive to human society, but a threat to it entirely.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 06, 2024

OpenAI: Musk's control issues at heart of ongoing rift
Elon Musk's intent to take control of OpenAI and merge it with Tesla are at the center of the fight between the controversial Tesla founder and the AI startup he helped get off the ground, but which is now being financed by Microsoft.

That's what OpenAI argued in a blog post Wednesday co-authored by CEO Sam Altman and other key members of the company's leadership team. The post shares Open AI's side of the story after Musk filed a lawsuit against Altman and the company — the creator of ChatGPT — on claims of breach of its founding mission.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 06, 2024

What is FinanceKit in iOS 17.4?
Though iOS 17.4 could leave European users vulnerable to new threat vectors and third-party app stores, it also introduced an interesting new API Apple is calling FinanceKit. What does it do, and is it an opportunity for your business?

What is FinanceKit? FinanceKit is a new API for developers that lets them access a person's transaction and balance details from Apple Card, Savings and Apple Cash. It is currently only available in the US.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 06, 2024

Microsoft debuts Copilot for finance pros
Microsoft has launched a Copilot assistant for finance professionals that it says will automate repetitive processes and provide faster access to financial data.  

The Copilot for Finance, unveiled last week, connects Microsoft's productivity apps — most importantly, Excel and Outlook —  with a customer's existing financial systems to provide access to information using the Copilot interface.

"Copilot for Finance can streamline audits by pulling and reconciling data with a simple prompt, simplify collections by automating communication and payment plans, and accelerate financial reporting by detecting variances with ease," Emily He, Microsoft's corporate vice president for business applications marketing, said in a blog post.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 06, 2024

How to control your Android phone with your face
We've been exploring unconventional ways to control your favorite Android device with physical gestures — y'know, real-world movements like shaking and flipping the thing in a variety of specific ways.

But get this: Android also has the ability to let you interact with your phone by simply moving your face.

I kid you not: A cursory glance to the left with your pretty little peepers could take the place of the typical Android Back gesture. An upward glance could open your notifications. And a coy-looking eyebrow raise could take you back to your home screen (as well as make anyone around you think you're the most awkward person alive).

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ComputerWorld
Mar 06, 2024

Windows 11's new approach to troubleshooting
Released in late October 2023, Windows 11 version 23H2 (a.k.a. the Windows 11 2023 Update) introduced big changes in the ways Windows 11 looks, works, and acts. One of the biggest changes in its makeup relates to the troubleshooting platforms and tools supplied with the OS.

To elucidate what this is about, I'll describe two previous generations of troubleshooting tools and platforms for Windows, and then explain what's changed in Windows 11 23H2 (and future versions of Windows). Buckle up!

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ComputerWorld
Mar 05, 2024

Researchers, legal experts want AI firms to open up for safety checks
More than 150 leading artificial intelligence (AI) researchers, ethicists and others have signed an open letter calling on generative AI (genAI) companies to submit to independent evaluations of their systems, the lack of which has led to concerns about basic protections.

The letter, drafted by researchers from MIT, Princeton, and Stanford University, called for legal and technical protections for good-faith research on genAI models, which they said is hampering safety measures that could help protect the public.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 05, 2024

Meta services begin recovering from major disruption
Widespread outages for Facebook, Instagram and Threads were reported Tuesday morning, as parent company Meta warned that many of its core services were suffering from outages.

A status page went from listing all of Meta's services as "unknown" to "major disruptions" for business tools like Ads Manager, Facebook and Instagram Shops, Meta Business Suite and Meta Admin Center, as well as Facebook Login, Graph API, WhatsApp Business API, and Marketing API.

All of the outages list an inability to log in to the company's services as the core issue, but little further information is available from Meta at this point. An email inquiry for more data received no immediate reply.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 05, 2024

The MacBook Air — better for business?
The best value notebook for most of us is the MacBook Air, and Apple has now updated both the 13- and 15-in. models with powerful M3 chips and the capacity to run two external displays when the lid is closed.

All in all, these Macs should be more than suitable for most mobile workers.

Apple in the fast lane Think back less than a year to when the company introduced its superb M2-powered 15-in. MacBook Air. That model delivered more performance than the late 2019 2.7GHz Intel Mac Pro.

That surge in computational ability goes even further with the M3 update. Citing tests it conducted in January, Apple claims the new chip runs up to 60% faster than the model with the M1 chip and up to 13 times faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Air.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 05, 2024

Q&A: GitHub COO on how genAI makes devs more efficient (and can automate the helpdesk)
GitHub, the online developer platform that allows users to create, store, manage, and share their code, has been on a generative AI (genA) journey since before ChatGPT or Copilot was widely available to the public.

Through an early partnership with Microsoft, the dev platform adopted Copilot two-and-a-half years ago, tweaking it to create its own version — GitHub Copilot.

The genAI-baed conversational chat interface is now used as a tool for both GitHub users and internal employees to assist in code development, as well as an automated help desk tool.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 04, 2024

Anthropic gives its flagship generative AI models a facelift
One of the hottest startups in the generative AI (genAI) market, Anthropic, has updated its flagship models to a new 3.0 standard, bringing improvements across a range of common tasks and faster processing speeds.

The improvements in Claude 3 are broad-based, according to Anthropic. The model now offers fewer "incorrect" refusals to process harmless requests, better accuracy in its answers, fewer  hallucinations, and better accuracy in processing visual information such as pictures and diagrams.

Anthropic now offers three versions of the Claude AI: the fully-featured Opus, middle-ground Sonnet, and lightweight Haiku. Each version offers different average benchmark scores across various tasks, with the lower-scoring Sonnet and Haiku trading off accuracy for lower costs, in the formeof cheaper tokens for AI calls, and faster response time.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 04, 2024

Spotify wants something for nothing, Apple claims after big EU fine
The European Commission on Monday slammed Apple with a huge $1.95 billion fine for anti-competitive conduct in the music streaming market. In response to the decision, Apple fired back at the EU and Spotify, saying the move "just cements the dominant position of a successful European company that is the digital music market's runaway leader."

Apple will appeal.

The company also says it intends to comply with the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA) within days.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 04, 2024

Heads on: Apple's Vision Pro delivers a glimpse of the future
I've seen the future of computing; I wear it every day on my head.

I'm talking, of course, about the Apple Vision Pro, the first "spatial computing" headset on the market. Though it's not perfect — and at $3499, it's not cheap — I can tell you after four weeks of testing and use that this augmented reality (AR) device lives up to the pre-release hype. With a blend of well-executed features and even magical moments it's the kind of paradigm-shifting creation we haven't seen since the original iPhone.

For that reason alone, it should be on corporate radars everywhere. Your company might not yet need Vision Pro or have the exact use case in mind to make it worthwhile. But that day is coming.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 01, 2024

EC to grill Meta on Facebook ‘subscription for no ads' plan
The European Commission (EC) on Friday said it needs more information from Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta to assess its compliance with applicable privacy and security laws in the European Union (EU).

The EC, in a statement, said Meta also needs to speed up its responses to requests in December for information, which centered on election information, terrorism and the protection of minors. The company has until March 15 to provide that information, with the new info about Meta's pay-to-opt-out-of-tracking program due March 22.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 01, 2024

Return-to-office initiatives or stealth layoffs? Why not both?
The business environment is better than ever, but that isn't stopping many tech companies from laying off employees. At the same time, numerous other organizations — often poorly run ones — insist remote workers return to the office (RTO) in the name of better productivity. The reality is that incompetent leaders are scapegoating employees working from home for bad company performance.

And then, there are the companies doing both.

Dell is the latest example of a business that appears to be trying to force workers back into the office with the ulterior motive of getting them to quit. It did this by telling remote employees they had a choice: work from a corporate office part-time or continue working remotely.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 01, 2024

Apple warns of increased iPhone security risks
Apple is telling European customers that new EU competition laws will make iPhones less safe once the company is forced to open up its platforms to third-party App Stores. The company, not exactly happy about this, has published a 32-page white paper where it spells out the risks arising from the EU's big experiment.

The EU's formal adoption of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) means Apple must make several changes to its App Store and business models. Changes include the introduction of support for third-party app stores, opening up to payment systems other than Apple Pay, and more.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 01, 2024

Microsoft unveils new AI tools for Windows 11
Microsoft will add a range of artificial intelligence (AI) features to Windows 11, with new ways to edit content and control PC settings.

Later this month, Windows 11 users will be able adjust settings within the operating system with text commands via the Copilot AI assistant. Here, users can type "enable battery saver" or "show Wi-Fi network" and the Windows Copilot will perform the action. Other skills include "display IP address," "launch voice input," and "show system information."

There are also new ways to edit content in two Windows apps: Photos and Clipchamp. For video-editing tool Clipchamp, gaps in conversation can be removed with a "silence removal" feature. In Photos, the generative erase feature lets users select and remove "unwanted objects or imperfections" from an image.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 01, 2024

Google Workspace tips and tutorials
From its humble origins as a collection of cloud apps known as Gmail for Your Domain, Google's office suite has greatly expanded and matured over the years. Rebranded multiple times as Google Apps, G Suite, and finally Google Workspace, it's now a full-scope productivity and collaboration suite with subscription plans for organizations ranging from the smallest businesses through the largest enterprises.

If you're new to Google Workspace or want to get more out of its apps, our collection of step-by-step tutorials can help.

Google Workspace: Get started Google Docs cheat sheet How to use Google Docs to create, edit, and collaborate on documents online.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 01, 2024

Elon Musk sues OpenAI alleging breach of founding agreement
Elon Musk, one of OpenAI's founding board members and investors, has filed a lawsuit against the company and its CEO Sam Altman, alleging that the now Microsoft-financed creator of ChatGPT has breached its founding mission.

"This case is filed to compel OpenAI to adhere to the founding agreement and return to its mission to develop artificial general intelligence (AGI) for the benefit of humanity, not to personally benefit the individual defendants and the largest technology company in the world," the lawyers wrote as part of the suit.

The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of California in the County of San Francisco, alleges that OpenAI and its cofounders Sam Altman and Gregory Brockman breached the company's founding agreement in 2023 by keeping GPT-4's internal engine secret.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 01, 2024

The food delivery driver identification dilemma
One of the oldest IT jokes is the CIO who says, "IT operations would go so much more smoothly if I wasn't for these end-users mucking everything up." It's true: humans have a tendency to not do what they are should or — more likely — what someone in IT wants them to do.

This is a lesson now being learned by the major food delivery services, which have run into some of the same authentication and security issues other industries face daily.

What started out as a perfectly reasonable authentication effort intended to make customers feel safer — because they could see that the person delivering their food is the same person who's supposed to deliver it — has largely failed in the field.

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ComputerWorld
Mar 01, 2024

26 note-perfecting tips for Google Keep on Android
I really need to upgrade my brain's internal storage.

I'm only partially kidding: Just like a hard drive, I'm pretty sure my mind reached maximum capacity at some point in the past decade. The only way I can remember anything these days is by making and maintaining a million notes, both physical and digital. (My wife can confirm this: "I told you that a week ago" is an all-too-common phrase 'round these parts.)

I'm still waiting for Western Digital to start selling SSD implants for the noggin, but in the meantime, Google Keep has become my repository for notes of the non-sticky variety. I like it because it's simple to use and yet packed with features that make my life easier on both a professional and a personal level.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 29, 2024

Eight European consumer watchdogs file complaints over Meta's data processing
Eight European consumer organizations have filed complaints against Facebook parent Meta accusing it of breaching the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) with its so-called "pay-or-consent" policy and opaque internal policies.

The organizations are all members of BEUC, the European Consumer Organization.  Their complaints, publicized Thursday, argue that the large-scale consumer data collection practiced by Meta violates the GDPR, and that the company has abused its dominant market position to essentially coerce customers into accepting its terms. Each of the eight groups filed their complaints with their national data protection authorities, as there is no pan-European office to accept such complaints.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 29, 2024

Google can't guarantee its Gemini genAI tool won't be biased
Even after Google fixes its large language model (LLM) and gets Gemini back online, the generative AI (genAI) tool may not always be reliable — especially when generating images or text about current events, evolving news, or hot-button topics.

"It will make mistakes," the company wrote in a mea culpa posted last week. "As we've said from the beginning, hallucinations are a known challenge with all LLMs — there are instances where the AI just gets things wrong. This is something that we're constantly working on improving."

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ComputerWorld
Feb 29, 2024

Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'GenAI will redefine the future'
With Vision Pro out the door and the recent cancellation of work on a car, it's becoming crystal clear that Apple is shifting huge resources into its forthcoming introduction of something like generative AI (genAI).

This is a big deal — so big that Apple CEO Tim Cook once again discussed it during the company's most recent annual shareholder's meeting.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 29, 2024

The ROI in AI (and how to find it)
By 2030, companies will spend $42 billion a year on generative artificial intelligence (genAI) projects such as chatbots, research, writing, and summarization tools. And while the technology has been heralded as a boon to productivity, nailing down a return on investment (ROI) in genAI could prove to be elusive.

"Capturing and measuring the exact productivity improvements has been a challenge for many of our clients," said Rita Sallam, a distinguished vice president analyst at Gartner. "For [genAI], we are not saying that finding ROI may be difficult, but expressing ROI has been difficult because many benefits like productivity…have indirect or non-financial impacts that create financial outcomes in the future."

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ComputerWorld
Feb 28, 2024

It's the end of the road for the Apple Car
Fresh claims that Apple has shelved its project to build a semi-autonomous vehicle have emerged, and this time they ring true. But the company will be enjoying the benefits of its efforts for years to come.

What happened to the Apple car? Bloomberg claims Apple has halted development on the Apple Car project (Project Titan) because the company no longer thinks the project is viable. Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams allegedly told the 2,000-strong team that no more work will be done on the vehicle. Some members of the team will be shifted to work in Apple's Artificial Intelligence division, as it works towards its own response to the generative AI (genAI) wave.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 28, 2024

As workers embrace AI, employers are slow to issue guidance
Even as more and more office workers access AI-based tools in their jobs, employers have been slow to issue guidance on how to use the technology effectively and safely.

That's according to a survey of around 10,000 desk workers commissioned by collaboration software vendor Slack; the survey focused on attitudes towards the use of AI and automation in the workplace.

The findings aren't limited to generative AI (genAI), though OpenAI's ChatGPT and DALL-E were included in examples of "AI tools" given to respondents, Slack said.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 28, 2024

Download: UEM vendor comparison chart 2024
Unified endpoint management (UEM) is a strategic IT approach that consolidates how enterprises secure and manage an array of deployed devices including phones, tablets, PCs, and even IoT devices.

As remote and hybrid work models have become the norm over the past two years, "mobility management" has come to mean management of not just mobile devices, but all devices used by mobile employees wherever they are. UEM tools incorporate existing enterprise mobility management (EMM) technologies, such as mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM), with tools used to manage desktop PCs and laptops.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 28, 2024

Enterprise mobility 2024: Welcome, genAI
Generative artificial intelligence (genAI) has become a focal point for many organizations over the past year, so it should come as no surprise that the technology is moving into the enterprise mobility space, including unified endpoint management (UEM).

"Generative AI is the latest trend to impact the UEM space," says Andrew Hewitt, principal analyst, Forrester. "This has been the main topic of interest in the last year. We see generative AI having impacts in multiple areas, such as script creation, knowledge-based article creation, NLP [natural language processing]-based querying of endpoint data, and help desk chatbots. All of these are considerations for inclusion within the UEM stack."

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ComputerWorld
Feb 28, 2024

This classic Android app is tapping into the ghost of Google Now
Ever have one of those moments where you see some new tech twist — an app, a feature, an idea of some sort — and you just stop in your tracks and think: "Whoa. Now, that's clever"?

I won't lie: Those moments come up far less frequently than they once did. By and large lately, we just haven't been seeing the same sort of awe-inspiring advancements in the mobile-tech arena that we did a decade ago. And most companies — Google very much included — are currently obsessed with chasing a very specific flavor of AI that's overhyped, frequently impractical, and awkwardly out of place in its present implementation.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 28, 2024

The economics of job cuts; why layoffs continue
US companies announced 82,307 job cuts in January — more than double the number in December — and layoffs are expanding beyond tech companies and media. About half the companies that have announced layoffs in the first two months of 2024 are in finance and other industries.

Some of the companies cutting jobs this year include Alphabet/Google, Amazon, Cisco, Citigroup, Citrix, DocuSign, eBay, Estée Lauder, Grammarly, Instacart, iRobot, Levi Strauss, Macy's, Mattel, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Pixar, NASA, Nike, Okta, Paramount Global, PayPal, REI,  Rivian, Salesforce, Snapchat, Toast, Twitch, UPS, Unity Software, Wayfair, and Zoom. (In addition to Computerworld's layoff tracker, you can get details about recent cuts from TechCrunch and Layoffs.fyi.)

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ComputerWorld
Feb 28, 2024

Google calls Microsoft's cloud practices in the EU anti-competitive
Google Cloud has joined AWS and Europe-based Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe (CISPE) in protesting Microsoft's anticompetitive cloud software licensing practices in the EU.

"Microsoft's cloud licensing restrictions restrict choice and create harmful downstream impacts for companies, ranging from higher costs to more security breaches to a chilling effect on smaller cloud and software providers including European AI startups," Amit Zavery, vice president of platforms at Google Cloud, wrote on X.

Microsoft should end the arbitrary "Listed Provider" designation and allow customers to run their previously purchased software on any platform without paying as much as 5x more to use non-Azure clouds, Zavery said, adding that Microsoft shouldn't be permitted to pick and choose who it competes with.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 27, 2024

What to do with your Vision Pro
To get some sense of the future for Apple's new Vision devices, early adopters might  want to explore ARway.ai, which seems to deliver some of the elements of the augmented reality (AR) vision we think Apple will eventually achieve.

What it provides is mapped and location-based AR content to your surroundings as you ambulate through them wearing the Apple headset. There's a video to provide a sense of these experiences here.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 27, 2024

Windows 11 Insider Previews: What's in the latest build?
The Windows 11 2023 Update has been released, but behind the scenes, Microsoft is constantly working to improve the newest version of Windows. The company frequently rolls out public preview builds to members of its Windows Insider Program, allowing them to test out — and even help shape — upcoming features.

Skip to the builds

The Windows Insider program is divided into four channels:

The Canary Channel is where platform changes (such as major updates to the Windows kernel and new APIs) are previewed. These changes are not tied to a particular Windows release and may never ship at all. Little documentation is provided, and builds are likely to be very unstable. This channel is best for highly technical users. The Dev Channel is where new features are introduced for initial testing, regardless of which Windows release they'll eventually end up in. This channel is best for technical users and developers and builds in it may be unstable and buggy. In the Beta Channel, you'll get more polished features that will be deployed in the next major Windows release. This channel is best for early adopters, and Microsoft says your feedback in this channel will have the most impact. The Release Preview Channel typically doesn't see action until shortly before a new feature update is rolled out. It's meant for final testing of an upcoming release and is best for those who want the most stable builds. The Beta and Release Preview Channels also receive bug-fix builds for the currently shipping version of Windows 11. See "How to preview and deploy Windows 10 and 11 updates" for more details about the four channels and how to switch to a different channel.

ComputerWorld
Feb 27, 2024

Dell ramps up ‘AI PC' plans with Latitude and Precision refresh
Dell has unveiled a range of new laptops and PCs featuring neural processing units (NPUs) designed to run AI workloads on-device for improved video call quality and better laptop battery life.  

Dell is one of several hardware vendors looking to benefit from growing interest in so-called "AI PCs." The moniker refers to the inclusion of NPUs that are more adept than CPUs or GPUs when it comes to processing generative AI (genAI) and other AI-based workloads.

These NPUs are set to become the norm in the coming years, analysts say, with major players such as Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and Qualcomm all offering NPUs. Gartner predicts AI PCs will make up 43% of PC sales in 2025; IDC puts the figure at 60% of the market by 2027.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 27, 2024

Microsoft, OpenAI move to fend off genAI-aided hackers — for now
Of all the potential nightmares about the dangerous effects of generative AI (genAI) tools like OpenAI's ChatGPT and Microsoft's Copilot, one is near the top of the list: their use by hackers to craft hard-to-detect malicious code. Even worse is the fear that genAI could help rogue states like Russia, Iran, and North Korea unleash unstoppable cyberattacks against the US and its allies.

The bad news: nation states have already begun using genAI to attack the US and its friends. The good news: so far, the attacks haven't been particularly dangerous or especially effective. Even better news: Microsoft and OpenAI are taking the threat seriously. They're being transparent about it, openly describing the attacks and sharing what can be done about them.

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