Weekly Tech Wrap-Up 8-5-2023, a week in which AI’s email impact, Windows 11 Vulkan support, Microsoft’s cloud security practices, and the BBC’s new Mastodon server captivated our readers the most. Today, we look back at this week’s ten most engaging articles from the Tech Help Knowledgebase social media feeds. We order the summaries below by user engagement — the stories our users interacted with the most. Articles are in descending order, with the most engaging story first. Our human-curated social media feeds include links to technology news, how-to and help articles, and video tutorials for common issues.
Stories curated for our feeds are from our staff writers or culled from third-party sources that produce content related to the categories covered by our site. See the summaries and links below for this week’s top stories by user engagement. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to interact with our feeds.
Top 10 Most Engaging Stories This Week
Generative AI tools like Gmail’s “Help Me Write,” which uses AI to generate email drafts based on user input, could devalue email as a medium by faking a personal touch. These tools could make email worse rather than better. For example, bad actors could use it to generate spam or phishing emails. A biased AI could generate discriminatory or offensive emails too.
Microsoft has released a preview update for Windows Subsystem for Android on Windows 11 that includes support for Vulkan API. Vulkan is a cross-platform graphics API offering better performance than other APIs, such as OpenGL. Android games running on Windows 11 with Vulkan support could experience a significant performance boost.
Microsoft cloud security practices are under criticism, described as “toxic obfuscation” because of the company’s tendency to obscure details about its security practices. Customers find it difficult to understand how Microsoft protects their data. The criticism comes after several high-profile security breaches involving Microsoft’s cloud services. In one case, hackers were able to steal hundreds of thousands of emails from cloud customers, including officials in the US Departments of State and Commerce.
The BBC has launched an experimental Mastodon server, marking one of the first major news outlets to establish an instance on the Twitter alternative. The server, which is accessible via social.bbc, encompasses posts from a handful of BBC accounts, including BBC Radio 4, BBC Taster, BBC Research & Development, and a few more. The BBC says it will try the server for six months before deciding whether to continue running it. While you can’t create accounts or posts on the server, you can still leave replies from your instance and follow its accounts.
Twitter recently rebranded its app icon to a single letter “X.” However, some users may prefer to use the old Twitter bird icon. There is a workaround on iOS to change back to the old icon. First, you need to create a new shortcut. In the shortcut, select the “Open App” action and choose the Twitter app. Then, add the shortcut to your Home Screen and customize the name and icon. You can upload an image of the old Twitter bird icon to use as the new shortcut’s app icon.
Apple has been working on a ChatGPT rival for years, but it is reportedly still years away from release. An Apple analyst believes Apple GPT is so far behind its competitors that it will not have a significant impact on Apple’s stock price any time soon. There are a few reasons why Apple GPT is behind its competitors. First, Apple is taking a more cautious approach to generative AI because of its concern over privacy implications of these technologies. Second, Apple is not as well-funded as some of its competitors, such as Microsoft and Google. Despite the delays, Apple is still committed to developing Apple GPT. The company believes that generative AI has the potential to revolutionize the way people interact with their devices.
Standby Mode is a new feature in iOS 17 that allows your iPhone to function as a smart display when docked and charging. When enabled, Standby Mode shows the time, date, weather, and notifications, and you can also use it to control music playback and other features. All iPhones with the option to upgrade to iOS 17 support Standby Mode. For older models, however, Standby Mode will automatically turn off after 30 seconds of inactivity.
Google’s new Chrome updates for mobile and desktop focus on integration and efficiency. On mobile, a new feature called “Touch to Search” allows users to highlight a word or phrase on a webpage and then tap on it to search for it. Chrome for desktop also gets a new download manager to make tracking and managing downloads easier. In addition, the update for Chrome on desktop includes a number of other changes, such as a new “Trending Searches” section that displays the most popular searches and a new way to see your browsing history.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has confirmed that Bitcoin is not considered a ‘crypto’ in the traditional sense. The SEC has been trying to protect consumers from unscrupulous players in the cryptosphere by attacking the exchanges where users trade them. The SEC’s strategy hinges on a claim that most cryptos are “securities” and any entity facilitating their trade needs to comply with US Securities law.
Apple has acknowledged a bug in its Screen Time parental controls feature that allows children to bypass restrictions on app usage. The bug lets children create a new Apple ID under their parents’ Family Sharing account. Once a child adds an Apple ID, they can download restricted apps. Apple has said it is working on a fix for the bug. In the meantime, parents can disable Family Sharing for their children to prevent them from bypassing Screen Time restrictions.
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Henry Irvine, Contributing Technology Writer, translates more than a decade of internet technology experience in product and customer relationship management into practical help and how-to content. Look for him on Bay Area trails, music venues, or sausage shacks when he’s not writing. Don’t call him Hank if you see him. Seriously. Hank on Twitter