It’s finally happening – Twitter is working on an edit button, but is this a good thing?

If you've been wishing to edit those tweets with spelling mistakes without having to delete them, Twitter has announced that it's working on an edit feature.

This feature request has become a meme in itself, with many users asking for this for years. If you use Twitter, you've most likely been in a situation where you've posted a tweet from the previous evening, and you notice that there's a missing letter or a missing comma that skews what you were trying to convey.

Twitter has confirmed that the feature will first arrive as a test for Twitter Blue users, which is its subscription service that brings benefits such as undoing a sent tweet after a short amount of time.

But while this sounds like good news for many, it may be an example of being careful what you wish for.


Analysis: This may hinder rather than help users

Other social platforms have had this feature for years. If you posted something on Facebook for example and it's missing a word, you can quickly edit the post and add the word back in.

Instagram and Tiktok also have similar features, but for Twitter, it's not as simple as adding an edit button.

Many users have wanted an easy method to edit a tweet without deleting it, especially if it's about a topic that's long since finished for example. But Twitter has a slippery slope with this, as many use the platform as a news feed and as a way of conversing with followers on certain subjects. Editing these tweets could make your input worse.

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But there are other dangers to this feature if it's not implemented right. Twitter's Head of Consumer Product, Jay Sullivan, rightly said during the announcement, that editing a tweet could alter a topic of conversation that could be sensitive to many, and could construe different meanings.

Editing tweets is not something that I've wanted Twitter to focus on – it's rather a bigger focus on curtailing abuse and spam accounts that have been more prevalent since the pandemic began in 2020.

But this feature could stay as a test, or as an exclusive feature of Twitter Blue. However, the announcement has excited many, so it now depends on whether the feature measures up to the wishes of its users, or if it's used to alter conversations for the worse.

Regardless of what happens, Twitter clearly has another challenge on its hands now that editing tweets are finally official.

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It’s finally happening – Twitter is working on an edit button, but is this a good thing?

If you've been wishing to edit those tweets with spelling mistakes without having to delete them, Twitter has announced that it's working on an edit feature.

This feature request has become a meme in itself, with many users asking for this for years. If you use Twitter, you've most likely been in a situation where you've posted a tweet from the previous evening, and you notice that there's a missing letter or a missing comma that skews what you were trying to convey.

Twitter has confirmed that the feature will first arrive as a test for Twitter Blue users, which is its subscription service that brings benefits such as undoing a sent tweet after a short amount of time.

But while this sounds like good news for many, it may be an example of being careful what you wish for.


Analysis: This may hinder rather than help users

Other social platforms have had this feature for years. If you posted something on Facebook for example and it's missing a word, you can quickly edit the post and add the word back in.

Instagram and Tiktok also have similar features, but for Twitter, it's not as simple as adding an edit button.

Many users have wanted an easy method to edit a tweet without deleting it, especially if it's about a topic that's long since finished for example. But Twitter has a slippery slope with this, as many use the platform as a news feed and as a way of conversing with followers on certain subjects. Editing these tweets could make your input worse.

See more

But there are other dangers to this feature if it's not implemented right. Twitter's Head of Consumer Product, Jay Sullivan, rightly said during the announcement, that editing a tweet could alter a topic of conversation that could be sensitive to many, and could construe different meanings.

Editing tweets is not something that I've wanted Twitter to focus on – it's rather a bigger focus on curtailing abuse and spam accounts that have been more prevalent since the pandemic began in 2020.

But this feature could stay as a test, or as an exclusive feature of Twitter Blue. However, the announcement has excited many, so it now depends on whether the feature measures up to the wishes of its users, or if it's used to alter conversations for the worse.

Regardless of what happens, Twitter clearly has another challenge on its hands now that editing tweets are finally official.

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Windows 11’s newest Easter egg is a real time-waster – in a good way

Windows 11 has an Easter egg where you can spin the Settings cog in certain parts of the interface.

The nifty spinning animation was highlighted by The Verge, who reported on the ability to do this in the Notepad app after a denizen of Reddit posted about it. Further additions to that Reddit thread include the observation that the ability is also present in the new Task Manager, at least in the dev and beta builds for Windows 11 testers.

Again, this is the same deal – bottom-left, there’s a cog icon that you can spin, and it’s a surprisingly addictive little extra.

Presumably we can expect more cogs to be fully spinnable elsewhere in the interface of Windows 11 in the future, too.

Windows 11 Notepad Spinning Cog

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Analysis: Some Windows extras are pretty obvious, others not so much…

Hidden extras in Windows are nothing new, of course, and indeed they can go quite some time undiscovered. Very recently an enterprising user managed to find an Easter egg in the very first version of Windows, somehow, which comprised of a secret list of developers who worked on Windows 1.0 (one of them being a certain Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve).

So that particular nugget lay undiscovered for nearly 37 years before it was stumbled across. Makes you wonder if there are some incredibly well-hidden secrets in Windows 10 or 11 (or indeed other recent versions of Microsoft’s desktop operating system). We’re betting there are, somewhere…

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Windows 11’s newest Easter egg is a real time-waster – in a good way

Windows 11 has an Easter egg where you can spin the Settings cog in certain parts of the interface.

The nifty spinning animation was highlighted by The Verge, who reported on the ability to do this in the Notepad app after a denizen of Reddit posted about it. Further additions to that Reddit thread include the observation that the ability is also present in the new Task Manager, at least in the dev and beta builds for Windows 11 testers.

Again, this is the same deal – bottom-left, there’s a cog icon that you can spin, and it’s a surprisingly addictive little extra.

Presumably we can expect more cogs to be fully spinnable elsewhere in the interface of Windows 11 in the future, too.

Windows 11 Notepad Spinning Cog

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Analysis: Some Windows extras are pretty obvious, others not so much…

Hidden extras in Windows are nothing new, of course, and indeed they can go quite some time undiscovered. Very recently an enterprising user managed to find an Easter egg in the very first version of Windows, somehow, which comprised of a secret list of developers who worked on Windows 1.0 (one of them being a certain Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve).

So that particular nugget lay undiscovered for nearly 37 years before it was stumbled across. Makes you wonder if there are some incredibly well-hidden secrets in Windows 10 or 11 (or indeed other recent versions of Microsoft’s desktop operating system). We’re betting there are, somewhere…

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The Web Foundation wants to kill malicious websites for good

While the web is a wonderful thing, there are those who want to take advantage of users through deceptive design choices or “dark patters”. 

The Web Foundation's Tech Policy Design Lab is working on some ideas to help reduce these practices, including by producing a portfolio of UX and UI website builder tools that can be used in place of deceptive practices. 

“Everything we do online is influenced by how the tools we use are built,” the project states. “Deceptive design are practices built into user interfaces that obscure or impair consumer autonomy or choice and can alter decision-making or trick users into taking actions they might not otherwise take. This harmful design phenomenon is unfortunately widespread today.” 

Dark patterns

“In the coming months, we’ll gather evidence of the harms of dark patterns, including who these practices impact the most, and how they affect the most marginalised communities in particular,” says the project. 

TechCrunch spoke to some of those behind the initiative, including Kaushalya Gupta, who leads the programme at the Policy Design Lab, who said the goal was to bring “human-centered design” to the web. 

The project will bring together various different organisations and groups to help work out some ideas. The end result should – hopefully – be some more user-focused decisions. The initiative was launched after polling thousands of organisations, whittling down 200 topics to “deceptive designs”. 

Analysis: Beware! Deception is everywhere

Deceptive designs, or dark patterns, are everywhere on the web. They occur so often that there's even a Twitter account, @darkpatterns, dedicated to documenting them. 

Newspapers such as The New York Times, for example, require users to actually call up to cancel a subscription that was started online. Amazon often pushes users towards signing up for Prime. Indian company Byju's offers subscriptions that look free but aren't. Adobe charges users huge fees to cancel subscriptions. 

The list goes on and on and the end result is that users lose – often monetarily. 

There is a long way to go, and perhaps this project will turn into nothing, but the increasing recognition of the problem, coupled with actual solutions, is definitely a step in the right direction. 

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The Web Foundation wants to kill malicious websites for good

While the web is a wonderful thing, there are those who want to take advantage of users through deceptive design choices or “dark patters”. 

The Web Foundation's Tech Policy Design Lab is working on some ideas to help reduce these practices, including by producing a portfolio of UX and UI website builder tools that can be used in place of deceptive practices. 

“Everything we do online is influenced by how the tools we use are built,” the project states. “Deceptive design are practices built into user interfaces that obscure or impair consumer autonomy or choice and can alter decision-making or trick users into taking actions they might not otherwise take. This harmful design phenomenon is unfortunately widespread today.” 

Dark patterns

“In the coming months, we’ll gather evidence of the harms of dark patterns, including who these practices impact the most, and how they affect the most marginalised communities in particular,” says the project. 

TechCrunch spoke to some of those behind the initiative, including Kaushalya Gupta, who leads the programme at the Policy Design Lab, who said the goal was to bring “human-centered design” to the web. 

The project will bring together various different organisations and groups to help work out some ideas. The end result should – hopefully – be some more user-focused decisions. The initiative was launched after polling thousands of organisations, whittling down 200 topics to “deceptive designs”. 

Analysis: Beware! Deception is everywhere

Deceptive designs, or dark patterns, are everywhere on the web. They occur so often that there's even a Twitter account, @darkpatterns, dedicated to documenting them. 

Newspapers such as The New York Times, for example, require users to actually call up to cancel a subscription that was started online. Amazon often pushes users towards signing up for Prime. Indian company Byju's offers subscriptions that look free but aren't. Adobe charges users huge fees to cancel subscriptions. 

The list goes on and on and the end result is that users lose – often monetarily. 

There is a long way to go, and perhaps this project will turn into nothing, but the increasing recognition of the problem, coupled with actual solutions, is definitely a step in the right direction. 

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Google Meet wants to try and fix patchy video calls for good

Identifying the issues behind a sketchy or badly-connecting Google Meet video call could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a new update.

The video conferencing platform has introduced a new service that will let admins monitor call quality and single out any issues or bandwidth bottlenecks.

The new Meet quality tool will even allow admins to monitor connections over time, spotting if there are any specific times when bandwidth may be in high demand.

Google Meet bandwidth

In a blog post announcing the new tool, Google notes that the service will monitor both inbound and outbound bandwidth, covering both used and available.

“Surfacing this information helps admins visualize participants bandwidth compared to the quality of a call, making it easier for them to determine where a bandwidth bottleneck could be causing low quality,” the company noted.

Google added that knowing which bitrates are available or being used for specific endpoints can be crucial when performing troubleshooting or working to improve call quality in your domain. However such data was previously only available as an average across entire calls, which can make it difficult to narrow down problems during specific points in time. 

“We hope by surfacing this detailed information, Admins can easily troubleshoot or improve call quality for their users,” it said.

The tool is available by default to all Google Workspace customers now, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers.

The news is the latest in a series of updates as Google looks to ensure its video calling tool stays up to speed with competitors such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

Some of its most recent upgrades include allowing up to 500 participants to join a video call at the same time to make it easier to connect and collaborate with colleagues, clients and customers.

Users can also enable live streaming in Google Meet which will allow up to 100,000 viewers to watch at once.

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Windows 11’s new feature is good news for your laptop battery

Windows 11 has just given the Task Manager a smart new feature to tame apps which are being resource hogs, something that could help, well, everyone of course, but especially laptop users thanks to ensuing battery life benefits.

Note that this change is just in preview right now, with the new Build 22557 deployed to testers earlier this week, which comes complete with a host of useful moves, including a revamp of the Task Manager.

You may recall that the Task Manager has been given a makeover to bring its appearance more in line with Windows 11’s sleeker and modern look, plus a honed interface, but there’s another big introduction in Build 22557 and that’s Efficiency mode.

The idea with this feature is that when you spot an app which is using a ton of system resources (CPU, GPU, memory, or maybe all of them!) in the Task Manager, rather than killing it to free resources – which you may not want to do, or could have unfortunate consequences – you can switch it to operate in Efficiency mode.

As Microsoft makes clear, this will push the application in question right down the priority list when it comes to system resource allocation, thereby taming its resource usage, making your PC more responsive – if it was chugging under the weight of that particular workload – and providing better energy-efficiency.

Windows 11 Task Manager Efficiency Mode

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Apps or services which are in Efficiency mode will be marked with a small leaf icon, with suspended apps having a pause icon (as seen in the above screenshot).

Note that some processes may not be eligible for Efficiency mode, like core Windows services for example, where deprioritizing them could actually affect system performance negatively and slow your machine down. In these cases, the option to turn on Efficiency mode will be greyed out, ensuring you can’t do any harm when playing with this new tool.


Analysis: Microsoft is taking it slowly with Efficiency mode

Efficiency mode will doubtless prove a useful ability for Windows 11 users whose machines are running sluggishly thanks to an app which is dominating resource usage, as it makes it easy to tame such a process without having to entirely dump it.

As we mentioned at the outset, it’ll likely be a particularly valuable asset for those running Windows 11 on a laptop, where overly demanding applications don’t just slow down the system, but spike power usage and therefore drain more battery. With these kinds of programs tamed via Efficiency mode, users can expect to have more overall battery life, one of the prime concerns for mobile computing.

As noted, this is just in testing right now, but it’s not available to all testers just yet, and is rolling out to a small number of Windows Insiders to begin with. Microsoft sounds like it’s taking this one cautiously and is going to “monitor feedback and see how it lands before pushing it out to everyone.”

We can expect Efficiency mode to debut with Windows 11 22H2 when it arrives in the second half of this year.

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Microsoft shares some good Windows 11 news we’ve all been waiting for

If you were worried that you’d have to wait a while before Windows 11 gets any major new features, then Microsoft has just shared some good news, which means the new operating system will get updated and improved far more regularly than first thought.

Microsoft had initially said that it would be only releasing a single annual feature update for Windows 11 each year, which led some people to worry that they would have to wait 12 months for new features to come to their PCs.

However, as ZDNet has discovered, in a new blog post about the Windows Insider program, Microsoft states that: “We will deliver updates to features and experiences in builds from the Dev and Beta Channels by releasing Feature, Web, and Online Service Experience Packs on top of these builds too.”

This means there will be three ‘Experience Pack’ updates alongside the annual feature updates. Rather than bringing a range of features, bug fixes and security upgrades across the whole of the Windows 11 operating system, as a major feature update does, these new Experience Packs will focus on adding or expanding features for particular aspects of the operating system.

So, Online Service Experience Packs will focus on adding features related to how Windows 11 manages online services and accounts – such as changing or improving the ‘Your Microsoft Account’ settings page.

Web Experience Packs will add features to do with browsing the internet, as well as features within Windows 11 that use the internet to bring you news and information. ZDNet spoke to Microsoft, which clarified that “the Web Experience Pack is updated through the Microsoft Store (while the Feature Experience Packs and Online Service Packs will be updated through Windows Update). The Web Experience Pack will allow Microsoft to update things like the Widgets experience in Windows 11.”

Finally, Feature Experience Packs will contain more broader features, such as updates to legacy apps to make them feel more modern.


Analysis: Keep the improvements coming

These new Experience Packs will be released independently of the annual major operating system updates, and this is good news for several reasons.

As we mentioned earlier, it means that you don’t have to wait a year for new features to be added. While in our Windows 11 review we said there’s a lot to like about the new operating system, it’s still not perfect. By having a regular new features coming to the operating system, Windows 11 will continue to evolve, while feeling fresh and exciting.

There’s another benefit as well. Microsoft’s move to single annual major updates for Windows 11 (and Windows 10, which is getting the same treatment) is a welcome move in many respects. It should reduce the number of times a user gets bugged to download, install and restart their PC. It’s also no secret that Microsoft has having some pretty major issues with recent Windows 10 updates. By focusing on a single update, there’s a hope that Microsoft will be able to ensure these updates are much better built and tested, hopefully reducing any potential problems.

However, if Microsoft kept all of its updates to a single download once per year, that could lead to very large and complex updates. By separating features to their own updates, this will reduce the size of the annual update.

Adding new features to an operating system is also fraught with complexities, and this is where issues sometimes arise. If a new feature is added that doesn’t work as expected – or ends up breaking other parts of the operating system – it should hopefully be easier for Microsoft to identify and fix if it’s part of a smaller Experience Pack update, rather than causing issues in a major annual update (which will also inevitably lead to bad PR).

So, this is good news from Microsoft regarding Windows 11. Hopefully the days of major issues after updating Windows are behind us.

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The US government wants to ban targeted ads for good

A new bill has been put forth by Democrats in the US House and Senate that could drastically change the entire online advertising industry if passed.

The bill in question, known as the Banning Surveillance Advertising Act, was introduced by Anna Eshoo and Jan Schakowsky in the House and Cory Booker in the Senate. If passed, it would severely limit the way in which Google, Facebook and tech companies serve targeted ads to users.

The Banning Surveillance Advertising Act would prohibit targeted advertising using protected class information such as race, gender and religion. However, it would also prevent online advertisers from using personal data purchased from data brokers.

Google, Facebook, Twitter and other tech platforms would still be able to serve targeted ads based on a user's general location at the city or state level though. At the same time, “contextual advertising” based on the online content a user has interacted with would also still be allowed.

Surveillance advertising

In addition to banning targeted advertising, the bill would give the FTC and state attorneys general the power to enforce violations with fines of up to $ 5,000 per incident. These fines could quickly add up for large advertising firms and tech companies which would serve as an incentive for them to no longer serve targeted ads using a user's personal information.

Data brokers have the most to lose though as their entire business revolves around collecting data on users and selling it to companies so that they can deliver targeted ads. 

Democratic congresswoman from California and the bill's lead sponsor, Anna Eshoo provided further insight on the dangers posed by the business model currently used by online advertisers in a statement, saying:

“The ‘surveillance advertising’ business model is premised on the unseemly collection and hoarding of personal data to enable ad targeting. This pernicious practice allows online platforms to chase user engagement at great cost to our society, and it fuels disinformation, discrimination, voter suppression, privacy abuses, and so many other harms. The surveillance advertising business model is broken.”

We'll have to wait and see if the Banning Surveillance Advertising Act passes but in the meantime, you can still force data brokers to give up the data they have on you by using Surfshark's new privacy tool Incogni.

We've also highlighted the best VPN and the best privacy apps

Via TechCrunch

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