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ComputerWorld
Feb 21, 2024

US forms task force to explore guardrails for AI
In a new effort to push for AI regulations, the US House of Representatives members have formed a bipartisan task force to explore legislation to address the growing worries and concerns related to AI adoption.

"The task force will seek to produce a comprehensive report that will include guiding principles, forward-looking recommendations, and bipartisan policy proposals developed in consultation with committees of jurisdiction," said the press release announcing the task force.

The task force will explore "guardrails that may be appropriate to safeguard the nation against current and emerging threats," the press release said.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 21, 2024

Apple's Vision Pro isn't a full-fledged Mac replacement — yet
"I haven't upgraded the Mac (or PC) I use for work in a years. I was going to replace it this year, and I'm wondering if I could or should get an Apple Vision Pro instead. What do you think?"

I've heard more variations of that question in the past two weeks than I expected. It's not a bad idea in some respects.

Apple itself is pitching Vision Pro as the first spatial computer platform. The device uses an M2 processor on par with Macs from a year ago. There are already tons of productivity apps and tools for the device (Office, Zoom, Webex, Things, Fantastical, and Photoshop immediately jump to mind). Apple has made no secret of the fact it sees the device as a workplace tool. The visionOS 1.1 beta has relatively broad support for mobile device management (MDM), meaning Vision Pro will be a good corporate citizen in short order (something that was unexpected; watchOS, for instance, took eight years to get even rudimentary MDM support). It allows users to essentially have unlimited display space, unlike desktop or laptop displays. I can see the wheels turning in people's heads when they consider that this is a device with clear potential well beyond playing with dinosaurs, reliving moments with spatial photos or watching immersive movies or other content. It draws you into a slightly different but incredibly compelling world and it feels like someone's handed you something from a magical future.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 21, 2024

Microsoft Copilot Pro review: Office joins the genAI revolution
Microsoft's $20-per-month Copilot Pro subscription gives you access to Microsoft's Copilot AI assistant in Office. That means Copilot can help you write Word documents, work with Excel spreadsheets, create PowerPoint presentations, put together Outlook emails, lay out notes in OneNote, and answer questions about whatever file you have open.

That's the hallmark feature of Copilot Pro: AI built into Office, finally available to anyone — not just businesses. But Copilot Pro offers a lot more, and Microsoft will soon be pushing it to everyone via ads: The company is already experimenting with Copilot Pro ads in Windows 11's Settings app.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 20, 2024

OpenAI's Sora text-to-video tool's impact will be ‘profound'
OpenAI last week unveiled a new capability for its generative AI (genAI) platform that can use a text input to generate video — complete with life-like actors and other moving parts.

The new genAI model, called Sora, has a text-to-video function that can create complex, realistic moving scenes with multiple characters, specific types of motion, and accurate details of the subject and background "while maintaining visual quality and adherence to the user's prompt."

Sora understands not only what a user asks for in the prompt, but also how those things exist in the physical world.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 20, 2024

Air Canada chatbot error underscores AI's enterprise liability danger
A civil tribunal in Canada has ordered Air Canada to pay for a mistake made by a customer-service chatbot, highlighting the need for companies to better train and monitor their artificial intelligence (AI) tools.

British Columbia resident Jake Moffatt visited Air Canada's website in November 2022 to book a flight for his grandmother's funeral in Ontario. The website's chatbot told him he could be refunded a portion of the next-day ticket and the return ticket, if he applied for the discount within 90 days.

That information was incorrect; Air Canada's policy, available on its website, is to provide bereavement discounts if the customer applies in advance. After Air Canada refused to provide the discount, a Canadian tribunal ordered the airline to pay about $600 in bereavement refunds and tribunal costs — about half of what Moffatt paid for the tickets.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 20, 2024

Adobe's new Acrobat genAI assistant aims to streamline reading PDFs
Adobe is promising to make it easier to digest lengthy PDFs with a new generative AI (genAI) assistant coming to Acrobat.

Currently in private beta, the AI Assistant will later be available within its paid Acrobat desktop and web apps, as well as the free-to-use Reader. There's no immediate word on cost at launch, though Adobe said an add-on subscription will be required for Reader and Acrobat users.

"The AI Assistant in Acrobat is a helpful feature for existing teams using Acrobat and for potential new clients working with and managing information in lots of text-heavy documents  (legal, research, editorial, archival institutions etc.)," said Rosanna Jimenez, research analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 20, 2024

EU begins formal investigation of TikTok over potential violations of Digital Services Act
The European Commission has opened formal proceedings to assess whether TikTok may have breached the European Union's Digital Services Act (DSA) in various ways associated with the protection of minors, advertising transparency, data access for researchers, and managing risk for addictive design and harmful content.

The formal investigation adds to the privacy and safety concerns that have plagued the video-sharing platform, giving enterprises yet another reason to consider banning its use by employees while they access corporate networks. The Commission had previously conducted a preliminary investigation and risk assessment that found further oversight to be necessary.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 20, 2024

Box CEO 'insanely excited' about future of Vision Pro, work, and AI
Enterprise content cloud and collaboration service Box was fast out the gate with its own feature-filled take on support for Apple's Vision Pro. I spoke with Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie, who described how the company sees spatial computing transforming the enterprise and elsewhere.

For Levie, the disruptive tech trends of the last 20 years have set the scene for yet another change wave. "I think we have the early semblance of a new set of trends that are only just starting to mature that may represent the next two decades of changing computing," he said.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 20, 2024

Ensure security and collaboration thrive in the hybrid working era
iStock Small and medium sized businesses can cut costs and drive growth by adopting remote working - but increasingly sophisticated cyber attackers can exploit these new practices.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 20, 2024

Miro boosts security for its visual collaboration app
Miro has unveiled a set of security tools designed to help businesses protect sensitive data shared on its digital whiteboard application. The new Miro Enterprise Guard includes features to automate detection and classification of sensitive data, manage content for legal audits, and provide IT admins with greater control over encryption.

Visual collaboration is one of the fastest-growing areas of the wider collaboration software market, according to IDC. Digital whiteboard apps provide a shared canvas for coworkers to brainstorm ideas and plan projects, with Miro competing against the likes of Mural, Figma, Microsoft and others.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 20, 2024

How RAG makes generative AI tools even better
As more organizations turn to generative artificial intelligence (genAI) tools to transform massive amounts of unstructured data and other assets into usable information, being able to find the most relevant content during the AI generation process is critical.

Retrieval augmented generation or "RAG" for short, is a technology that can do just that by creating a more customized genAI model that enables more accurate and specific responses to queries.

Large language models (LLMs), also called deep-learning models, are the basis of genAI technology; they're pre-trained on vast amounts of unlabeled or unstructured data that, by the time a model is available for use, can be outdated and not specific to a task.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 19, 2024

The hidden high cost of return-to-office mandates
We all know by now that many business leaders want their employees to work in the office instead of at home. But most don't understand why.

And we know that many employees want to work from home instead of the office. And most don't understand why, either.

As a result, we have a standoff at many companies where corporate leadership is imposing return-to-office (RTO) mandates, and employees are resisting.

It's time for everyone to really understand what's driving the standoff.

Why employees hate RTO mandates The conventional wisdom says that the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced companies to embrace full-time, work-from-home (WFH), gave employees a taste of remote work. They liked it. And that stiffened resistance to RTO mandates.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 16, 2024

Microsoft fixes two zero-days with Patch Tuesday release
Microsoft on Tuesday released 73 updates in its monthly Patch Tuesday release, addressing issues in Microsoft Exchange Server and Adobe and two zero-day flaws being actively exploited in Microsoft Outlook (CVE-2024-21410) and Microsoft Exchange (CVE-2024-21413).

Including the recent reports that the Windows SmartScreen vulnerability (CVE-2024-21351) is under active exploitation, we have added "Patch Now" schedules to Microsoft Office, Windows and Exchange Server. The team at Readiness has provided this detailed infographic outlining the risks associated with each of the updates for this cycle.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 16, 2024

Apple has an Xcode plan for genAI — and that's just the beginning
In the wake of Microsoft's release of its GitHub Copilot tool, Apple could soon follow suit with a new version of Xcode that includes generative AI (genAI) capabilities designed to help developers write code.

The feature is expected to be capable of generating code in response to natural language commands. This should be really helpful for Apple developers, particularly as Apple's Xcode Pro should also be able to verify code, check for flaws, and more.

Developers, developers, state-sponsored hackers It's possible even the most security-conscious developers will be able to use the tool, as it seems likely Apple will develop it to be as private as possible; that means your code and your requests don't end up stored on cloud servers somewhere.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 16, 2024

Android file management: An easy-to-follow guide
When you think about your smartphone, apps and interfaces are probably the first things that come to mind. Beneath all that surface-level stuff, though, our modern mobile devices are filled with files — folders upon folders of 'em! — just like the clunky ol' computers we've relied upon for ages.

We may not come face to face with our phones' file systems too often, but it's valuable to know they're there — and to know how they can work for us when the need arises. After all, your Android device is a productivity powerhouse. It can juggle everything from PDFs and PSDs to presentations and podcasts. It can even act as a portable hard drive and house any sort of important files you might need in your pocket (and not just on some far-away cloud). Your mobile device can carry an awful lot of data, and there may come a time when you want to dig in and deal directly with it.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 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.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 15, 2024

Google turbocharges its genAI engine with Gemini 1.5
Only a week after releasing its latest generative artificial intelligence (genAI) model, Google on Thursday unveiled that model's successor, Gemini 1.5. The company boasts that the new version bests the earlier version on almost every front.

Gemini 1.5 is a multimodal AI model now ready for early testing. Unlike OpenAI's popular ChatGPT, Google said, users can feed into its query engine a much larger amount of information to get more accurate responses.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 15, 2024

Microsoft and Google invest in AI in Europe
Google parent company Alphabet and Microsoft have both announced huge investments in artificial intelligence in Western Europe this week, likely to get ahead of proposed European Union AI regulations likely to be introduced in April.

A new Google AI hub in Paris will eventually host more than 300 Google researchers and engineers, including members of the Chrome and YouTube development teams, according to the French Finance Ministry.

The goal of the new AI hub is to accelerate the development of AI-based products in France, to create new academic and research partnerships, and to increase adoption of AI tools among French workers, the French Finance Ministry said in a Feb. 14 news release.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 15, 2024

Apple's Vision Pro and the coming healthcare revolution
Once upon a time, a young doctor joined the surgical unit at a prestigious hospital as an anaesthesiologist. He was an Apple user, of course, wearing Vision Pro during surgical procedures, as it allowed him to monitor all the vital signs during operations.

This is not a fairy story. It is a prediction based on the known direction of travel. After all, the device can already be used to display patient medical records in one expansive view….

We saw with Google Glass that one of the few successful deployments for that device was in certain sectors of the medical profession. Apple's Vision Pro brings all that device did, adding in the kind of power you'll get from a wearable computer augmented with AI. That's why the medical profession is paying a lot of attention to the potential for the device.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 15, 2024

ChatGPT will remember what you did last summer
OpenAI is testing a memory feature in ChatGPT, which will allow it to remember information about the user and past conversations, the company announced in a blog post. The company has rolled out the feature for a few free users and paid Plus plan users this week.

"As you chat with ChatGPT, you can ask it to remember something specific or let it pick up details itself. ChatGPT's memory will get better the more you use it and you'll start to notice the improvements over time," OpenAI said in a blog post.

This new feature will help in personalizing the conversations with the chatbot and is an effort to make it more user-friendly and smarter.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 15, 2024

How to use Google's genAI-powered note-taking app
Among the experimental tools that Google offers is NotebookLM, a bare-bones notes app that you use in your web browser. What makes it interesting is that it uses Google's generative AI chatbot (variously known as Bard or Duet AI and now rebranded as Gemini) to analyze sources of text that you "feed" it, and then generate notes based on the information in them.

Here are some scenarios where you might want to use NotebookLM:

To turn the contents of a long document into a brief summary. To extract insights from several documents that cover a certain topic. For example, you can have NotebookLM analyze documents that pertain to a project that your business is working on. To bring together and summarize information that you find while doing online research, such as snippets of text from web pages. This guide will take you through setting up and using NotebookLM. You'll need to have a Google user account to sign up for Google Workspace Labs (if you're not already a member) and to sign in to NotebookLM. You must be 18 years old and live in the US to use NotebookLM.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 15, 2024

Unlock your Android phone's physical gesture magic
When we talk about Android gestures, we're typically talking about the on-screen variety — y'know, the assorted swipes, swirls, and swivels that help you fly around your phone faster than a flamingo on ice skates.

Here's a little-known secret, though: You can also control your Android device and make it do all sorts of useful stuff by shaking it, flipping it, or even throwing it across the room. (For full disclosure, the throwing part is mostly just if you want to break the thing. But the other two actions are much more practical.)

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ComputerWorld
Feb 14, 2024

EU's AI Act wins fresh backing ahead of April vote
European Union (EU) legislation that would set guardrails for the use and development of AI technology appears to be on a clear path toward ratification as two key groups of legislators in the EU Parliament on Tuesday approved a provisional agreement on the proposed rules.

The EU Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) approved the AI Act with an "overwhelmingly favorable vote," putting the rules "on track to become law," Drago? Tudorache, an EU Parliament member and chair of the EU's Special Committee on AI, tweeted on X, formerly Twitter.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 14, 2024

Apple accelerates its genAI efforts with LLM image-editing tool
Apple is pushing into generative AI (genAI) in a big way with a new tool called Keyframer; it's designed to give users the power to animate static images using text prompts.

Keyframer is described in a recently published Apple research paper and what it does seems impressive. To create animated illustrations from static 2D images, users just need to pop in an SVG image, provide some text prompts, and let Keyframer build CSS animation code to animate that original image. Then you can fine-tune the creation.

Apple's AI arms race is intensifying This is just the latest in an accelerating rash of AI-related releases from the company. Through clouds of fabled memory, some may recall expectations that Apple will make big moves in AI this year.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 14, 2024

Slack launches genAI tools for big businesses, remains mum on price
Slack AI is now available for enterprise customers, though pricing details for the generative AI (gene) features have not yet been disclosed.

Slack announced plans for its AI assistant app last year, focusing on three areas:

AI powered search. This provides personalized answers to questions based on an organization's knowledge base. Slack AI helps users locate subject matter experts, or find information on anything from work projects to understanding unfamiliar acronyms. Channel recaps. This highlights key discussion points for a Slack user after a period away from the app, or for those who have recently joined a channel. Thread summaries. This feature recaps faster-moving discussions, provides thread summaries, and offers an overview of long conversations, with links to sources in each summary that enable users to check information where necessary. These features are now available to customers on Slack's Enterprise Grid payment plan, Slack said Wednesday. Slack AI will also roll out to a wider range of customers "soon," a Slack spokesperson said, though no date was announced.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 14, 2024

Tech spending shifts to meet AI demand, forces a 'reshuffling of skills' for workers
Tech companies such Google, Amazon, Meta (Facebook) and others laid off tens of thousands of workers last year as an adjustment to over-hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the firings have not abated in 2024.

In January, job cuts leaped 136% over December and hit a 10-month high, according to a new report by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas. The surge in firings was led by the tech and financial services sectors. (In fact, Cisco may be eyeing significant layoffs.)

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ComputerWorld
Feb 14, 2024

Microsoft and the Taylor Swift genAI deepfake problem
The last few weeks have been a PR bonanza for Taylor Swift in both good ways and bad. On the good side, her boyfriend Travis Kelce was on the winning team at the Super Bowl, and her reactions during the game got plenty of air time. On the much, much worse side, generative AI-created fake nude images of her have recently flooded the internet.

As you would expect, condemnation of the creation and distribution of those images followed swiftly, including from generative AI (genAI) companies and, notably, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. In addition to denouncing what happened, Nadella shared his thoughts on a solution: "I go back to what I think's our responsibility, which is all of the guardrails that we need to place around the technology so that there's more safe content that's being produced."

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ComputerWorld
Feb 13, 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.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 13, 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.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 13, 2024

NVIDIA unveils ‘Chat with RTX,' a personal AI chatbot for Windows
Nvidia on Tuesday announced a generative AI (genAI) chatbot that can run on Windows PCs, giving enterprises the potential to leverage AI on employees' local environments to bolster productivity rather than requiring them to access genAI tools on platforms hosted by providers such as OpenAI.

The graphics chipmaker released Chat with RTX, a demo app now available for free download; it lets users personalize a chatbot with their own content, basically customizing the data sources of the bot's large language models (LLMs). This keeps users' private data on their PC while helping them quickly search for answers to questions based on that data, according to Nvidia.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 13, 2024

Apple is ramping up its fight against malware
Ensuring platform security is hard, but when a company the stature of Apple begins to ramp up protection of its ecosystem, every IT decision maker should pay attention. Unfortunately, this is precisely what's happening: Apple is now updating fundamental protection at a faster clip than it's ever done before.

Apple's security teams are alert That important revelation comes from Howard Oakley at the excellent Eclectic Light Company blog. He notes that in the six weeks ending Feb. 9 Apple, has updated a Mac security feature called XProtect five times — introducing 11 new rules to the service.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 13, 2024

Will employees bow down to stricter RTO policies?
There's a fight going on in the workplace and how it ends could shape what the office looks like for decades to come.

Will employees be given the freedom to work from a location of their choosing? Or will a few, mostly larger organizations force employees back to commuting to the office, reversing the work-from-home revolution of the last four years?

Though many employees have settled into a remote work groove, others have recently received word that new stricter policies are in effect.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 13, 2024

Otter.ai adds transcription archiving and recall across the enterprise
Otter.ai, the real-time notetaking service, is seeking to shake up the enterprise transcription market with its new Meeting GenAI feature, which can capture, access, and immediately provide information from meetings across an organization.

Meeting GenAI will be able to recall notes from another video conference, phone call, or in-person meeting from weeks earlier, for someone who wasn't able to attend or who doesn't remember what happened. This capability will work for a person sitting at her desk or for a group of people in a teleconference or in-person meeting.

So, for example, an enterprise's product marketing team is on a video conference and wants to know the latest specs for a new feature discussed during an engineering team meeting two days earlier. The director of product marketing can ask Otter.ai to describe the new feature, as discussed in the previous meeting, or to summarize the engineering team's discussion.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 13, 2024

The real problem with Google's new Gemini Android assistant
I'll be honest: I was really hoping for an "aha!" moment over these past few days.

Ever since Google made it clear that it was working to bring its next-gen generative AI chatbot into Android as a replacement for Google Assistant, I've been skeptical. And ever since I installed the new standalone Gemini Android app and allowed it to take over my phone's assistant function, that initial skepticism has only grown into a grumbling sense of us being ushered in the wrong direction.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 13, 2024

AI chips don't need trillion-dollar investments: Nvidia CEO
According to Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, the ever-increasing speed and efficiency of processors mean that OpenAI's Sam Altman won't need $7 trillion for his AI chip initiative.

"You can't assume that you will buy more computers. You have to also assume that the computers are going to become faster and therefore the total amount that you need is not as much," Huang said on stage at the World Governments' Summit in Dubai.

"If you just assume computers aren't going to get any faster," Huang continued, "you might come to the conclusion that we need 14 planets, three galaxies and four more suns to fuel all this, but computer architecture continues to advance."

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ComputerWorld
Feb 12, 2024

How to thwart cyber criminals seeking to target smaller businesses
Cyber criminals are increasingly targeting small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in the belief that they have not invested in the security technology required to thwart attacks. In fact, 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at SMBs. Cybercriminals are rational, profit-driven and highly organised: they know that attacking easy targets can result in a bigger aggregate pay-day. 

 

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ComputerWorld
Feb 12, 2024

Building the foundations of a sustainable innovation strategy
Modern customer demands and evolving technology capability mean smaller businesses are seeking digital transformation as eagerly as their enterprise counterparts.  

 

In the UK, for example, a recent survey by the Federation of Small Business (FSB) suggests that in the past three years, 69% of companies have either brought an entirely new product to market (25%), improved existing products (38%) or improved or introduced new internal or customer-facing processes (25%).  

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ComputerWorld
Feb 12, 2024

Australia's new ‘right to disconnect' law includes jail time — for now
A new Australian law includes a "right to disconnect" that would give employees the right to seek an order from the government barring their employers from requiring them to respond to emails or phone calls outside of working hours. For the moment, it also provides for penalties that could include jail time.

The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (also known as the Closing Loopholes No. 2 Bill), secured passage in both houses of Australia's legislature on Monday. It leaves  open the potential for criminal penalties after legislative back-and-forth between the Liberal and Labor parties. The latter, who run the government, have vowed to change the legislation, which does not take effect for six months.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 12, 2024

Digital work apps arrive for Apple's Vision Pro
Among the hundreds of native apps already available for Apple's new Vision Pro headset, there's already a range of tools focused on getting work done.

Microsoft, Cisco, and Zoom are among the software vendors that have already optimized their enterprise apps to function on Apple's spatial computing device. They  make use of the Vision Pro's immersive virtual environments (to varying degrees) and large viewing space, promising new ways to view and interact with content or communicate with colleagues.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 12, 2024

The AI data-poisoning cat-and-mouse game — this time, IT will win
The IT community of late has been freaking out about AI data poisoning. For some, it's a sneaky mechanism that could act as a backdoor into enterprise systems by  surreptitiously infecting the data large language models (LLMs) train on and then getting  pulled into enterprise systems. For others, it's a way to combat LLMs that try to do an end run around trademark and copyright protections.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 09, 2024

Apple improves iCloud for Windows, kills iTunes
If you use Windows for work and an iPhone for everything else, you should know that Apple has changed iCloud for Windows and no longer offers iTunes for the platform —  though none of your media purchases have disappeared.

How has Apple improved iCloud for Windows? Apple has redesigned the iCloud for Windows application, giving it a more modern look that's easier to navigate with Photos, iCloud Drive, Passwords, Bookmarks and Calendars/Contacts all easy to access in a click. It's also easy to check how much storage you have in use.

Beyond the facelift, the software is now a little easier to set up and install and provides better insights into how files and other data are syncing. The latter means you can check whether items are in the process of syncing, and when a sync operation last took place.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 09, 2024

Sam Altman wants to raise trillions of dollars for AI chip initiative
After disrupting the AI industry by launching ChatGPT, OpenAI's Chief Executive Officer, Sam Altman, is now looking to reimagine the global semiconductor industry.

Alrman hopes to do that by raising $5 trillion to $7 trillion to "boost the world's chip-building capacity, expand its ability to power AI, among other things," according to a Wall Street Journal report. Altman is in talks with the UAE government, SoftBank, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), among other investors, to raise the massive amount, the report said.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 09, 2024

Meetings are about to get weird
Apple Vision Pro just shipped. Reviewers say the technology inside is magnificent and unprecedented, but the experience of using it still flawed.

But by the end of the year, some 400,000 units could well be operating in the wild.

Apple's new headset this year will be dismissed by many as too expensive, hot, heavy and not particularly useful. Still, I expect Apple to do what Apple does, which is to mainstream a new platform and dominate it with super high quality over time.

Like the Apple Watch, which started out "meh!" and ended up unbeatable in the market, Apple Vision Pro will turn out over the years to be the unbeatable spatial computing platform.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 09, 2024

Give yourself a magnificent new Android multitasking shortcut
Has there ever been a feature as packed with potential and simultaneously easy to forget as Android's screen-splitting system?

On the surface, splitting your screen to see two apps together at the same time seems like a stunningly splendid feat. Two apps at once? Easy drag and drop between 'em? No awkward flipping back and forth to reference info while you're writing something or access your calendar whilst chatting? That's desktop-style multitasking, baby!

And yet, best I can tell — anecdotally speaking — hardly anyone actually seems to use screen-splitting on Android on a regular basis in the real world. (When's the last time you did?!)

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ComputerWorld
Feb 08, 2024

Google throws down the gauntlet with Gemini — its multimodal genAI engine
Google on Thursday announced it has reconstructed and renamed its Bard chatbot — now called Gemini — to offer enterprises and consumers the industry's first multimodal generative AI (genAI) platform that no longer relies only on text to provide human-like responses.

The release of Gemini represents a direct challenge to Microsoft's Copilot, which is based on OpenAI's ChatGPT, and every other chatbot based only on large language model (LLM) technology.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 08, 2024

US creates advisory group to consider AI regulation
The US government has created an artificial intelligence safety advisory group, including AI creators, users, and academics, with the goal of putting some guardrails on AI use and development.

The new US AI Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC), part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is tasked with coming up with guidelines for red-teaming AI systems, evaluating AI capacity, managing risk, ensuring safety and security, and watermarking AI-generated content.

On Thursday, the US Department of Commerce, NIST's parent agency, announced both the creation of AISIC and a list of more than 200 participating companies and organizations. Amazon.com, Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University, the Free Software Foundation, and Visa are all members of AISIC, as well as several major developers of AI tools, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 08, 2024

U.S. creates advisory group to consider AI regulation
The U.S. government has created an artificial intelligence safety advisory group, including AI creators, users, and academics, with the goal of putting some guardrails on AI use and development.

The new U.S. AI Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC), part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is tasked with coming up with guidelines for red-teaming AI systems, evaluating AI capacity, managing risk, ensuring safety and security, and watermarking AI-generated content.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST's parent agency, announced both the creation of AISIC and a list of more than 200 participating companies and organizations. Amazon.com, Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University, the Free Software Foundation, and Visa are all members of AISIC, as well as several major developers of AI tools, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 08, 2024

Kandji unveils Prism managed device reporting service
Kandji has introduced Prism, a new compliance reporting tool that provides Apple administrators with insights into key information in one place concerning their entire fleet. This should help IT staffers monitor policy compliance, investigate incidents, and identify problems across managed endpoints, soon to include Vision Pro.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 08, 2024

The do-it-yourself approach to MDM
Open-source software has long been a part of every enterprise toolbox — and that includes managing mobile devices. Whether IT wants to go all in on open-source tools or integrate those tools  with commercial offerings, it's possible to develop a do-it-yourself approach to mobile device management (MDM).

Given the impact of Broadcom's acquisition of VMWare — and the shift of all its product lines to a subscription-only payment model — the DIY model is now particularly attractive. Not only can IT admins cut costs, particularly recurring costs, but they can avoid vendor lock-in and ever escalating expenses.

If you're a VMWare customer facing the prospect of migrating your mobile management environment wholesale to something different, why not consider open-source tools as well as commercial and managed service provider alternatives?

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ComputerWorld
Feb 07, 2024

What are LLMs, and how are they used in generative AI?
When ChatGPT arrived in November 2022, it made mainstream the idea that generative artificial intelligence (AI) could be used by companies and consumers to automate tasks, help with creative ideas, and even code software.

If you need to boil down an email or chat thread into a concise summary, a chatbot such as OpenAI's ChatGPT or Google's Bard can do that. If you need to spruce up your resume with more eloquent language and impressive bullet points, AI can help. Want some ideas for a new marketing or ad campaign? Generative AI to the rescue.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 07, 2024

AI-enabled PCs and genAI smartphones set to take off
One in five PCs this year will ship with AI-enabled chips inside — and by 2027, six in 10 PCs shipped will be AI-native, according to research released Wednesday from IDC and Gartner. Shipments of AI-enabled smartphones are also predicted to explode over the next year.

Shipments of artificial intelligence (AI) PCs — personal computers with specific system-on-a-chip (SoC) capabilities designed to run generative AI (genAI) tasks locally — are  expected to grow from nearly 50 million units in 2024 to more than 167 million in 2027, according to new report from research firm IDC. 

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ComputerWorld
Feb 07, 2024

Apple's Vision Pro is getting MDM support
Apple is already hard at work on the next iteration of vision OS 1.1 and the big news for the enterprise is that Apple will soon introduce support for device management for the Vision Pro with this release. Jamf and others are already adding this support to their device management systems.

This really had to happen. After all, Vision Pro users will soon realize the device is a well-equipped virtual office you can take anywhere. That means you must protect and manage those devices.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 07, 2024

Android's Circle to Search is déjà vu all over again
Over the past several days, I've been exploring what might just be one of the most meaningful Android advancements in recent memory.

It's a shiny new feature that's poised to change the very way we interact with our devices. It's also one of those things you really have to experience to fully grasp — because it's essentially taking an existing function and reframing how we use it. But subtle of a shift as that may be, it is incredibly significant in terms of real-world value.

The feature, while technically brand new and in the midst of rolling out to a very small subset of Android devices right now, is also quite familiar. In fact, if you've been paying attention to Android for long, you'll almost certainly make the connection between it and an eerily similar system from nearly a decade ago.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 07, 2024

5 dark mode upgrades for your Windows 10 or 11 PC
Both Windows 10 and Windows 11 have a dark mode, but it's not perfect. It's missing some big features, like automatic dark mode at sunset and a true dark mode for every website. Meanwhile, some Windows applications don't seem to obey your dark mode choice at all.

Whether you love using dark mode all day long or want it late in the evening, these tips will help you upgrade your Windows PC's dark mode experience without any waiting.

How to turn on dark mode First, the easy part: To activate the standard Windows dark mode, just head to Settings Personalization Colors on your PC. On a Windows 11 PC, click "Choose your mode" and select "Dark." On a Windows 10 PC, click "Choose your color" and select "Dark."

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ComputerWorld
Feb 07, 2024

What a future without browser cookies looks like
Most online users have experienced it. You do an online search for healthcare purposes, travel information, or something to buy and soon you're being bombarded with emails and targeted online ads for everything related to your search. That's because browser cookies were tracking you as you performed your searches; they identified you and your activity.

Over the past few years, the online advertising industry has been undergoing a sea change as regulators restricted how cookies can be used and browser providers moved away from their use in response to consumer outcries over privacy.

"They often feel surveilled; some even find it ‘creepy' that a website can show them ads related to their behavior elsewhere," according to a recent study by the HEC Paris Business School.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 07, 2024

Meta to label AI-generated images from Google, OpenAI and Adobe
Meta is working on developing tools to identify images synthetically produced by generative AI systems at scale across its social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Threads, the company said on Tuesday.

"…we've been working with industry partners to align on common technical standards that signal when a piece of content has been created using AI. Being able to detect these signals will make it possible for us to label AI-generated images that users post to Facebook, Instagram and Threads," Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta, wrote in a blog post.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 06, 2024

Enrollments for federal low-income Internet subsidy program to end
A US government program that subsidizes fees for Internet service for low-income households will stop taking enrollments Thursday and could shut down by April, leaving people who depend on the service for remote employment without a way to pay for broadband access.

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is currently used by nearly 23 million Americans, allowing them to save more than $500 million per month on internet bills. It is set to run out of a money in a few months; consumers have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Feb. 7 to be approved and enrolled with a service provider to take part.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 06, 2024

Cisco Webex comes to Apple's Vision Pro
Cisco has joined Zoom and Microsoft Teams with the official introduction of its business-grade video conferencing solution for Apple's recently introduced Vision Pro. The company officially announced the rollout at Cisco Live in Amsterdam, though the app is available now.

Jeetu Patel, Cisco executive vice president and general manager, security and  collaboration, drew an interesting comparison: "Two weeks ago marked the 40th anniversary of the Mac. Consider how the launch of the original Mac not only reinvented how we work with computers, but changed how software was written.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 06, 2024

How — and why — to upskill your employees
Technology is evolving faster than ever, and the skills that technologists use in their work are advancing just as fast. "For example, a third of the skills data scientists were using five years ago are now obsolete, and those skills have been replaced by newer and different skills," said Fiona Mark, principal analyst at Forrester Research.

Such rapid advances in technology are only exacerbating the ongoing tech talent shortage. Despite a surge in tech industry layoffs in recent years, workers with key technical skills are still in demand, and turnover in tech roles remains high, said Susan Vroman, senior lecturer, management at Bentley University.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 06, 2024

When a customer gets defrauded, should the enterprise reimburse?
The New York Attorney General's decision to sue Citibank last week for failing to reimburse customers who'd been victimized by fraud raised some interesting issues for business that go beyond just Citibank. Specificially, when should a customer be reimbursed for fraud and at what point do the customer's own actions come into play?

To be clear, financial institutions have been routinely refusing to reimburse customers who have done nothing wrong. The far trickier issue is when the customer does indeed do something wrong.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 05, 2024

Apple has eye on building bigger genAI data sets
Apple is beginning to act on its generative AI (genAI) plans. Machine vision intelligence at scale generates huge quantities of data. Not all of that data should exist, so how does one ensure the information that is being used and conceivably stored is appropriate, of good quality, and legitimate?

Not only this, but how can a company use public sourced video data to train machine intelligence models without breaching privacy law? Apple has an idea for this. It's allegedly preparing to acquire brighter AI, according to 9to5Mac.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 05, 2024

How to make a Windows 10 or 11 image backup
When things go wrong with Windows, as they sometimes will, nothing ensures a faster or easier return to normal than restoring a recent image backup.

To that end, I back up my production PCs at 9 a.m. every day. That means that I'll never lose more than a day's work if something should go badly enough wrong to force that day's image backup to be restored.

In the sections that follow, I explain what all this means, how it works, and why you shouldn't use built-in backup in either Windows 10 or 11. Finally, I'll walk you through how to use my favorite free image backup tool while recommending a couple of other acceptable alternatives.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 02, 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
Feb 02, 2024

How many jobs are available in technology in the US?
The US job market added twice as many jobs in January as analyst had expected, though unemployment remained unchanged and tech layoffs continued to plague the industry.

In January, overall unemployment remained at 3.7% and added 353,000 jobs, according to data published today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). New tech employment data suggests that 2024 is off to a promising start, according to an analysis by IT trade association CompTIA.

Tech companies added nearly 18,000 workers last month, the second consecutive month of job growth. The unemployment rate for tech occupations remained at 2.3%, well below the overall national rate, according to CompTIA. Yet, overall, tech occupations, which span all industries, were down last month.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 02, 2024

Tim Cook brings Apple's GenAI plans into the light
Apple CEO Tim Cook turned speculation concerning his company's future plans for generative AI into expectations, saying the company plans to announce new features before the end of 2024.

He confirmed that Apple is putting "tremendous amount of time and effort" into the effort, adding, "We're excited to share the details of our ongoing work in that space later this year."

Winners and losers This is great news for Apple users who have wondered when Apple will rise to the genAI challenge. It's concerning news for Apple's competitors, who must now hope that the company's implementation is weak in comparison to their own. It's pleasing news for pundits and analysts who now know they have a few months during which they can speculate on what Apple will introduce and how it will be done.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 02, 2024

How to use the new genAI template tool in Google Sheets
Need ideas or motivation to help you build a spreadsheet in Google Sheets? You can browse through the templates that are included in this office app and select one to customize. But a more intriguing option is to use a new generative AI tool in Sheets, called Help Me Organize, to generate a template that's more tailored for you.

Help Me Organize is mainly designed to create templates for project management. But you can tease it to make templates that include some formulas and tables that can be used to create charts. This guide explains how to use Help Me Organize and provides tips for getting best results.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 01, 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 01, 2024

Vision Pro's killer feature? It's a wearable Mac
It's really important to remember that the new Vision Pro, unlike other mixed-reality headseta, isn't limited to entertainment and gaming. Compared to rivals, the device's killer app is actually productivity.

That is, after all, perhaps why Apple CEO Tim Cook told Vanity Fair he uses Vision Pro for productive tasks. With the first Vision Pro devices arriving on Friday, productivity apps are on the way, too. Apple says 600 apps designed specifically for the platform are already available, with millions more compatible.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 01, 2024

Q&A: How Thomson Reuters used genAI to enable a citizen developer workforce
Over the past three decades, Thomson Reuters has relied on artificial intelligence (AI) to help its clients — and its own employees — sift through troves of digital documents to discover those most relevant to the issue at hand.

But when generative AI (genAI) burst onto the scene in late 2022, the company was forced to rethink its AI strategy to stay ahead of competitors and address an insatiable client demand for industry-specific information.

Thomson Reuters in November unveiled its genAI strategy and product rollout after its integration with Microsoft Copilot, along with a $650 million acqusition of genAI tech provider Casetext and a pledge to invest $100 million annually in new genAI tools for internal and client use.

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ComputerWorld
Feb 01, 2024

Latest US alert on Chinese companies sparks supply chain concerns
Raising supply chain concerns, the US Department of Defense has unveiled a new list of Chinese companies alleged to have ties to the country's military.

Notable entities on this list include Yangtze Memory Technologies Company (YMTC), a major memory chip manufacturer, Megvii, a facial recognition firm, Hesai Technology, a provider of LiDAR solutions, and tech company NetPosa.

This list represents the most recent escalation in the ongoing China-US trade tensions, characterized by a series of measures undertaken by both nations.

Concerns of bans in the future While inclusion on the list does not lead to immediate bans, it can significantly impact the reputations of these companies and serves as a clear warning to US entities and businesses regarding the potential risks associated with engaging in transactions or partnerships with them.

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ComputerWorld
Jan 31, 2024

Generative AI boosts cloud revenue for Microsoft, Google
Microsoft and Google, who saw cloud revenue slow in recent quarters, are reporting a resurgence of growth due to the proliferation of generative AI (genAI).

Both companies on Tuesday reported revenue numbers for the final quarter of 2023.

"Google Cloud has left behind years of quarterly losses and now accounts for 10% of Alphabet's revenue, as it uses the AI momentum to reintroduce itself to enterprise IT leaders as a partner," said Lee Sustar, principal analyst at Forrester.

"The notable gain in Microsoft Cloud revenues, which include both Azure and SaaS offerings like Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365, show that the AI boom is giving a significant boost to cloud providers' bottom line," Sustar said.

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ComputerWorld
Jan 31, 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.

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ComputerWorld
Jan 31, 2024

Key features of Windows 11 Enterprise
The Enterprise edition of any Windows version is aimed directly and more or less exclusively at businesses and other organizations of some scale, often with thousands or tens of thousands of PCs. It isn't normally available for retail purchase (though you can find some retailers online willing to sell single-copy licenses). Normally, Windows 11 Enterprise must be acquired through some kind of licensing agreement with Microsoft or one of its partners, such as through the company's Windows 11 Enterprise website.

What does Windows 11 Enterprise offer businesses? In general, Windows 11 Enterprise offers additional or enhanced features designed specifically for business use. These items fall into three broad categories:

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ComputerWorld
Jan 31, 2024

3 Android camera shortcuts that make iPhones look amusingly antiquated
For most of us, referring to the rectangular gadget in our pocket as a "phone" is almost an artifact from the past.

Sure, our modern mobile devices can make and take old-fashioned voice calls (at least in theory — I think?). But more often, we rely on 'em for keeping up with email, checking in on information, and — perhaps more than anything — snapping photos as we make our way around the physical world.

And you'd better believe those photos aren't just for vacation-week memories anymore, either. These so-called phones of ours can perform all sorts of powerful productivity-related feats through their exceptionally excellent lenses — everything from scanning Very Important Business Documents to interpreting QR codes and even copying text from the real world so you can paste it into a note for ongoing reference.

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ComputerWorld
Jan 31, 2024

Intel to make chips in US for Taiwan's UMC
Intel's recent agreement to make chips for Taiwan's UMC at its fabs in Arizona marks a strategic alignment with the US CHIPS Act, which seeks to increase chip manufacturing capacity on US soil. It also signals a significant shift in the semiconductor industry, intertwining technological expansion with geopolitical dynamics.

UMC and Intel will together develop a new manufacturing technology targeting applications such as networking, mobile, and communication infrastructure, with production expected to begin in Ocotillo, Arizona, in 2027. This, they said, will give customers "access to a geographically diverse semiconductor supply chain."

Enterprises have already seen the consequences that an over-concentrated semiconductor supply chain can have on supplies of PCs, phones, and other electronic devices, some of which were in short supply for months after the COVID lockdowns. 

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ComputerWorld
Jan 30, 2024

Apple accuses UK gov't of ‘unprecedented overreach' on privacy
In the name of security, the UK government may well have put a cybersecurity target on the nation's back, with Apple once again warning that proposed changes to the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 are a "serious and direct threat to data security and information privacy.

"We are deeply concerned about the amendments to the Investigatory Powers Bill currently before Parliament, which will put the privacy and security of users at risk," Apple said in a statement. "This is an unprecedented overreach by the government and, if implemented, the UK new user protections could be secretly vetoed globally, preventing us from ever delivering them to customers."

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ComputerWorld
Jan 30, 2024

It's not just hype; genAI is already live at many companies
The production use of generative AI in businesses is well under way, increasing five-fold in 2023 as companies rushed to integrate the new technology into IT departments, line of business operations and almost everywhere else, according to a new report by business automation vendor Workato.

The report, released today, was based on data collected from 1,055 companies between 2021 and 2023. While it showed that spending on genAI tools still represents less than 1% of enterprise expenditures, "the data [also] show that the market buzz is grounded in reality."

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ComputerWorld
Jan 30, 2024

Women, high performers and millennials flee return-to-office policies
Companies that mandate a return to office (RTO) for their workers fare no better than companies that do not — and, in fact, forcing people to give up remote work hurts employee well-being and retention, new studies found.

A Gartner survey of 2,080 knowledge worker employees released today measured the impact of mandated requirements on employee outcomes among various employee categories. The result: On average, when companies force workers back to the office, their intent to stay with the organization declined by 8%.

Among high-performing employees, their desire to stay dropped by 16%. And among millennials and women, plans to stay in their current role declined by 10% and 11%, respectively.

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ComputerWorld
Jan 30, 2024

Women, high-performers and millennials flee return-to-office policies
Companies that mandate a return to office (RTO) for their workers fair no better than companies that do not — and, in fact, forcing people to give up remote work hurts employee well-being and retention, new studies found.

A Gartner survey of 2,080 knowledge worker employees released today measured the impact of mandated requirements on employee outcomes among various employee categories. The result: On average, when companies force workers back to the office, their intent to stay with the organization declined by 8%.

Among high-performing employees, their desire to stay dropped by 16%. And among millennials and women, plans to stay in their current role declined by 10% and 11%, respectively.

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ComputerWorld
Jan 30, 2024

Zoom gets mixed-reality makeover for Apple's Vision Pro
Zoom has made its first foray into mixed reality with a meeting app for Apple's Vision Pro that promises new ways to collaborate in three dimensions.

With Apple's hich-tech headset due to launch Friday, Zoom has created a visionOS app that will make use of the "spatial computing" capabilities of the device. This includes 3D representations of meeting participants, with the ability to see facial and hand movements and the ability to scale the app to desired size. The features will be available beginning Feb. 2.

"The evolution of both new and existing Zoom technologies within emerging media is expected," said Wayne Kurtzman, IDC research vice president of social, communities and collaboration. "The enterprise should take note that these markets will evolve quickly in the years ahead — and collaboration will become more visual and engaging."

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ComputerWorld
Jan 30, 2024

GenAI is moving to your smartphone, PC and car — here's why
Generative artificial intelligence (genAI) like ChatGPT has to date mostly made its home in the massive data centers of service providers and enterprises. When companies want to use genAI services, they basically purchase access to an AI platform such as Microsoft 365 Copilot — the same as any other SaaS product.

One problem with a cloud-based system is that the underlying large language models (LLMs) running in data centers consume massive GPU cycles and electricity, not only to power applications but to train genAI models on big data and proprietary corporate data. There can also be issues with network connectivity. And, the genAI industry faces a scarcity of specialized processors needed to train and run LLMs. (It takes up to three years to launch a new silicon factory.)

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ComputerWorld
Jan 30, 2024

Teradyne is the latest victim of the US-China chip war
Semiconductor testing company Teradyne recently confirmed to Reuters that it had to pull $1 billion of equipment out of China because of supply chain disruptions.

Teradyne manufactures automated testing equipment that plays an important role in chip fabs around the world. 

"We did manufacturing in China, so we had to get an emergency authorization to continue that activity," Brian Amero, the company's global director of compliance, is quoted by Reuters as saying. "We decided that was too risky so we moved manufacturing out of China — at no insignificant expense."

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ComputerWorld
Jan 30, 2024

Italian watchdog says ChatGPT breached data privacy norms
In fresh troubles for OpenAI, Italian watchdog Garante said the company's generative AI platform ChatGPT has breached data privacy norms set by the EU.

Garante, which reportedly has a history of holding proactive assessments, investigates whether different companies and their AI platforms are complying with the EU's data privacy regulations.

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ComputerWorld
Jan 30, 2024

Return to office or quit, IBM tells managers
Amid mixed reactions to companies attempting to end remote work, IBM has asked all its US managers to return to the office or leave the job, according to a Bloomberg report.

In a memo dated January 16, senior VP John Granger said that all managers based in the US must now report to an office or client location for a minimum of three days each week, irrespective of their current work arrangement.

Remote workers, excluding those with specific exemptions such as medical issues or military service, must relocate closer to an IBM office by the beginning of August. Typically, this involves residing within a 50-mile (approximately 80 kilometers) radius.

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ComputerWorld
Jan 29, 2024

Fleet adds Windows support to its Apple-first MDM software
Open-source multi-platform device management vendor Fleet recently introduced Windows support to its existing software, which already enables IT to manage Linux and Apple devices within a single console.

The multi-platform upgrade comes as many companies continue to manage their way through the impact of Broadcom's acquisition of VMware, a move that appears to be generating challenges for some admins. I spoke once again with Fleet CEO Mike McNeil and Customer Solutions Architect Brock Walters about what the company is doing.

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ComputerWorld
Jan 29, 2024

Apple's Vision Pro faces an uphill battle
Virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, and now Apple's spatial computing — each has a different meaning. But this proliferation of terms for the same core concept is a sign of a product category that's regularly remaking itself in an effort to "catch on" — because so far, it hasn't.

Augmented reality (adding digital elements to a live view) has resonated with various vertical use cases like architecture, education, retail, and industrial design. Virtual reality (a fully immersive virtual experience) has had some successes with gaming and entertainment. For consumer-oriented products, the most recent experience has followed a mixed-reality model (in which AR and VR co-exist), best exemplified by Meta Oculus Quest 3 and now Apple Vision Pro. (The Vision Pro lets the user adjust the intensity between a more immersive experience and a digital representation of the real world known as the pass-through image, which is captured by the headset's cameras.)

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ComputerWorld
Jan 29, 2024

Russia hacks Microsoft: It's worse than you think
Another day, another hack of Microsoft technology. Ho-hum, you might think, this has happened before and will happen again — as surely as the sun rises in the morning and sets at night.

This time is different. Because this time the targets weren't Microsoft customers, but rather the top echelons of Microsoft itself. And the hacker group, called Midnight Blizzard, or sometimes Cozy Bear, the Dukes, or A.P.T. 29, is sponsored by Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (and has been since at least 2008).

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ComputerWorld
Jan 29, 2024

China approves over 40 AI models for public use in six months
China has approved over 40 AI models for public use over the past six months, according to a report from the country's state-owned publication Securities Times.  

Beijing, which has passed approvals in four tranches since it set up its approval process around August last year, reportedly approved 14 AI models last week. Companies that received approvals for their models include Xiaomi, 4Paradigm, and 01.AI.

The first tranche of approvals was given to firms, including Alibaba, Baidu, and ByteDance. The second and third tranches were approved in November and December.

Last year, state-run research institutes in China reported that Chinese technology firms had launched 79 large language models (LLMs). The Chinese government has not revealed the actual number of approvals for AI it has given out to date.

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ComputerWorld
Jan 26, 2024

As Apple opens the App Store (a little) in EU, winners and losers emerge
Apple has now published its planned approach to opening up its App Store in Europe. As predicted, critics don't like the plans, arguing (also as anticipated) they cost too much.

Apple also opened up the worldwide App Store to game streaming services and will allow the NFC chip in the iPhone to support services other than Apple Pay.

But what should the price of platform access be — and is that a matter for regulators or for the market to decide? 

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ComputerWorld
Jan 26, 2024

OpenAI: Copy, steal, paste
On average, every story I publish is stolen about 20 times. For example, numerous rip-off sites copied and pasted my last column on holiday layoffs more than a dozen times on the same day. Why? Because they get readers' views without having to pay me a cent.

Sure, automated content scraping sites don't make much money, but like spam, the process doesn't cost them much, either. OpenAI, on the other hand, made $1.3 billion in revenue in 2023, and they didn't pay me a dime, either.

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ComputerWorld
Jan 26, 2024

14 advanced Android 14 tips
Android 14 may not exactly be new at this point, but it's a relatively recent rollout for lots of Android devices — and no matter how long you've had it on your phone or tablet, it's probably still packing some out-of-the-way additions you've yet to encounter.

So whether you've been living with Android 14 since its initial release in October or you just saw it show up over the past several weeks, it's well worth your while to plop on the nearest explorer's hat and dive deep into Google's latest and greatest update. (And if you're among those still waiting for the software to reach you, (a) my condolences; (b) consider a Pixel for your next purchase if timely and reliable updates matter to you (which, ahem, they absolutely should!); and (c) kindly file this knowledge away in your noggin for future reference — hopefully not too far in the future.)

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ComputerWorld
Jan 25, 2024

How Satya Nadella navigated Microsoft to $3 trillion market value
It is clearly Microsoft's moment in the sun as its market value crossed the $3 trillion mark for the first time ever. After Apple, Microsoft is only the second company ever to achieve this feat.

The company's Chief Executive Officer, Satya Nadella, is credited with steering the company's rise from $381 billion to $3 trillion over the last decade. When Nadella took over the helms at Microsoft in 2014, the company was stagnating and lagging in innovation, but today, it is seen as being at the forefront of the AI era, largely believed to be the next big thing.

"The strategies undertaken by Satya Nadella may be divided into two distinct phases. In the first phase, he initiated a transformational shift in Microsoft around two key pivots, namely agile development and cloud delivery, duly supported by a cultural shift at the organizational level. In the second phase, the focus has been on investing in AI-driven consumer software such as ChatGPT," said Deepak Kumar, founder analyst and chief research officer at BMNxt Business and Market Advisory.

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ComputerWorld
Jan 25, 2024

The rise of synthetic media: Get ready for AI avatars at work
Despite ongoing concerns about the rise of deepfake videos —  online content created or manipulated typically for nefarious purposes, from election interference to emerging cyber security threats  — digital "synthetic media" offers real-world benefits in the workplace.

That's the promise, at least, offered by a variety of startups that have turned to generative AI (genAI) tools and deep-learning algorithms to create human-like digital avatars. In particular, the new tools can be used by enterprises to generate in-house communications, training videos for employees, how-to manuals for specific jobs or tasks, and even customer-facing marketing videos.

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ComputerWorld
Jan 25, 2024

Google settles $1.7 billion lawsuit over AI chips patent infringement
Google has settled a $1.7 billion lawsuit over AI chips patent infringement filed by computer scientist Joseph Bates and his company Singular, the company said on Wednesday.

The settlement, according to a Reuters report, was reached on the same day when lawyers from both parties were scheduled to make their closing arguments.

While details of the settlement have not been disclosed, Google's lawyers, reportedly, maintain that the internet giant did not violate Bates or Singular's patents in any manner.

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ComputerWorld
Jan 24, 2024

Hello, Apple has joined the AI arms race
Forty years to the day since the first Macintosh appeared beside a youthful Steve Jobs and made the world swoon when the word "hello" appeared on its display, Apple is closer than ever to realizing the vision it had then.

The Mac, with its GUI, mouse, and keyboard, launched an industry and spawned imitators (including Windows). The crowd at the Jobs-hosted launch event (which IDG/Computerworld founder Pat McGovern once told me included him, though he quipped he'd actually first seen the Macintosh the previous year) went crazy.

To the crazy ones We know what happened after that.

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ComputerWorld
Jan 24, 2024

National AI Research Resource pilot program to ‘democratize' generative AI
The National Science Foundation (NSF) today offered details about the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource pilot program, which will see the NSF partner with other federal agencies — as well as the private sector — to provide access to datasets, AI models, and training for researchers.

The NAIRR pilot, originally announced last November, is fundamentally an attempt to democratize access to generative AI (genAI) for organizations without the deep pockets of a major tech company or US government department, according to NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan.

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ComputerWorld
Jan 24, 2024

Microsoft launches Mesh 3D meetings for Teams
Microsoft's metaverse for the workplace has officially arrived with the full launch of Mesh virtual meeting spaces on Wednesday.

Instead of a Teams video call, workers can now don a virtual reality headset and interact with colleagues in a range of three-dimensional environments. Microsoft sees a variety of use cases for this: town halls, social gatherings, brainstorming sessions, and employee onboarding, are among the examples cited.

A VR headset isn't necessary: Mesh spaces can also be accessed via a regular PC, with users controlling a personalized avatar that can navigate the various settings. For those who want a fully immersive experience, support for Meta's Quest headsets will arrive on Thursday. (Microsoft declined to comment about availability on Apple's Vision Pro, which launches Feb. 2.)

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ComputerWorld
Jan 24, 2024

Pega Systems launches generative AI-based assistant for enterprises
US-based software company Pega Systems has announced the launch of Knowledge Buddy, a generative AI-based assistant to help organizations collate data spread across different sources.

Typically, information is scattered across several locations in an organization and this can make it tougher for employees and customers to access it. "The needed information is usually spread across documents, Wiki's or fileshares, which takes away precious minutes to sort through and find, so they [employees] can serve their customers or get their work done," explained Don Schuerman, CTO and Vice President of Product Strategy and Marketing, Pega Systems.

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ComputerWorld
Jan 24, 2024

Pegasystems launches generative AI-based assistant for enterprises
US-based software company Pegasystems has announced the launch of Knowledge Buddy, a generative AI-based assistant to help organizations collate data spread across different sources.

Typically, information is scattered across several locations in an organization and this can make it tougher for employees and customers to access it. "The needed information is usually spread across documents, Wiki's or fileshares, which takes away precious minutes to sort through and find, so they [employees] can serve their customers or get their work done," explained Don Schuerman, CTO and Vice President of Product Strategy and Marketing, Pegasystems.

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ComputerWorld
Jan 24, 2024

Microsoft Bing, Edge may be exempted from EU's Digital Market Act: Report
Microsoft's search engine Bing and its web browser Edge may be exempted from the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA) that will force obligations on large digital platforms, dubbed gatekeepers, from March.

The exemption is due to the non-dominant nature of the search engine and the web browser in their segment, according to a Bloomberg report that cites sources. In essence, Bing and Edge are not big enough or popular enough to be termed gatekeepers and hence don't fall under the purview of the regulation.

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