Google Docs is having some serious issues with its new “inclusive language” warnings

Google is nothing if not helpful: the search giant has built its reputation on making the internet more accessible and easier to navigate. But not all of its innovations are either clever or welcome. 

Take the latest change to Google Docs, which aims to highlight examples of non-inclusive language through pop-up warnings. 

You might think this is a good idea, helping to avoid “chairman” or “fireman” and other gendered language – and you'd be right. But Google has taken things a step further than it really needed to, leading to some pretty hilarious results.

Inclusive?

A viral tweet was the first warning sign that perhaps, just perhaps, this feature was a little overeager to correct common word usages. After all, is “landlord” really an example of of “words that may not be inclusive to all readers”? 

As Vice has ably demonstrated, Google's latest update to Docs – while undoubtedly well-intentioned – is annoying and broken, jumping in to suggest corrections to some things while blatantly ignoring others. 

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A good idea, poorly executed 

The idea behind the feature is well-meaning and will likely help in certain cases. The execution, on the other hand, is poor. 

Vice found that Docs suggested more inclusive language in a range of scenarios, such as for “annoyed” or “Motherboard”, but failed to suggest anything when a speech from neo-Nazi Klan leader David Duke was pasted in, containing the N-word. 

In fact, Valerie Solanas’ SCUM Manifesto – a legendary piece of literature – got more edits than Duke's speech, including suggesting “police officers” instead of “policemen”. 

All in all, it's the latest example of an AI-powered feature that seems like a good idea but in practice has more holes than a Swiss cheese. 

Helping people write in a more inclusive way is a lofty goal, but the implementation leaves a lot to be desired and, ultimately, makes the process of writing harder. 

Via Vice

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Start11 continues to solve Windows 11’s taskbar issues before Sun Valley 2 arrives

Stardock has updated its Start menu for Windows 11, which brings more options to help manage the Taskbar.

Since the release of Windows 11 in November 2021, reception to the new Start menu has been mixed at best. The centered icons and the fewer features of the Start menu have frustrated some, and while feature updates from Microsoft have refined the Taskbar, users are still wanting more customization.

The recent 1.2 version of Start11 brings the ability to group multiple icons into one on the taskbar, alongside bringing drag and drop to the taskbar from today (March 17), instead of waiting for a future Windows 11 update, most likely Sun Valley 2.

The app is available as a free download for 30 days, after which you can buy a license for $ 4.99 / £5.99 / AU$ 5.99 for your PC.


Analysis: Take note, Microsoft

Start11 on Windows 11

(Image credit: Stardock)

The impressive aspect of Start11 isn't that you can use features that were removed in Windows 11. Rather, it's how you can customize it to levels that Microsoft wouldn't consider including.

From the color scheme of the Taskbar, to changing the design to better mimic the Start menus of Windows XP and Windows 8, Start11 offers that level of curation that Microsoft seemingly hasn't thought of.

In our review of Windows 11 we noted that it was the first step of a reboot to Windows as a whole. We're already seeing the results of this with Windows Media Player returning, and other apps that are finally seeing a design refresh.

But the Start menu is an iconic feature of Windows, ever since it debuted in Windows 95, so any change was bound to spark some debate between users. However, Start11 looks set to ease those concerns, regardless of what Microsoft may have planned for the Start menu in the future.

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Start11 continues to solve Windows 11’s taskbar issues before Sun Valley 2 arrives

Stardock has updated its Start menu for Windows 11, which brings more options to help manage the Taskbar.

Since the release of Windows 11 in November 2021, reception to the new Start menu has been mixed at best. The centered icons and the fewer features of the Start menu have frustrated some, and while feature updates from Microsoft have refined the Taskbar, users are still wanting more customization.

The recent 1.2 version of Start11 brings the ability to group multiple icons into one on the taskbar, alongside bringing drag and drop to the taskbar from today (March 17), instead of waiting for a future Windows 11 update, most likely Sun Valley 2.

The app is available as a free download for 30 days, after which you can buy a license for $ 4.99 / £5.99 / AU$ 5.99 for your PC.


Analysis: Take note, Microsoft

Start11 on Windows 11

(Image credit: Stardock)

The impressive aspect of Start11 isn't that you can use features that were removed in Windows 11. Rather, it's how you can customize it to levels that Microsoft wouldn't consider including.

From the color scheme of the Taskbar, to changing the design to better mimic the Start menus of Windows XP and Windows 8, Start11 offers that level of curation that Microsoft seemingly hasn't thought of.

In our review of Windows 11 we noted that it was the first step of a reboot to Windows as a whole. We're already seeing the results of this with Windows Media Player returning, and other apps that are finally seeing a design refresh.

But the Start menu is an iconic feature of Windows, ever since it debuted in Windows 95, so any change was bound to spark some debate between users. However, Start11 looks set to ease those concerns, regardless of what Microsoft may have planned for the Start menu in the future.

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Russia Issues Its Own TLS Certs

The country’s citizens are being blocked from the internet because foreign certificate authorities can’t accept payments due to Ukraine-related sanctions, so it created its own CA.

Threatpost

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GitHub wants to help developers spot security issues before they get too serious

In an effort to further secure open source software, GitHub has announced that the GitHub Advisory Database is now open to community contributions.

While the company has its own teams of security researchers that carefully review all changes and help keep security advisories up to date, community members often have additional insights and intelligence on CVEs but lack a place to share this knowledge.

This is why GitHub is publishing the full contents of its Advisory Database to a new public repository to make it easier for the community to leverage this data. At the same time, the company has built a new user interface for security researchers, academics and enthusiasts to make contributions.

All of the data in the GitHub Advisory Database is licensed under a Creative Commons license and has been since the database was first created to ensure that it remains free and usable by the community.

Contributing to a security advisory

In order to provide a community contribution to a security advisory, GitHub users first need to navigate to the advisory they wish to contribute to and submit their research through the “suggest improvements for this vulnerability” workflow. Here they can suggest changes or provide more context on packages, affected versions, impacted ecosystems and more.

The form will then walk users through opening a pull request that details their suggested changes. Once this done, security researchers from the GitHub Security Lab as well as the maintainer of the project who filed the CVE  will be able to review the request. Contributors will also get public credit on their GitHub profile once their contribution has been merged.

In an attempt to further interoperability, advisories in the GitHub Advisory Database repository use the Open Source Vulnerabilities (OSV) format. Software engineer for Google's Open Source Security Team, Oliver Chang provided further details on the OSV format in a blog post, saying:

“In order for vulnerability management in open source to scale, security advisories need to be broadly accessible and easily contributed to by all. OSV provides that capability.”

We'll likely more on this change to the GitHub Advisory Database once security researchers, academics and enthusiasts begin making their own contributions to the company's database.

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Surprise Windows 11 update fixes some of our biggest issues – here’s how to get it

Microsoft has just released a much-publicised Windows 11 update that finally brings Android apps to your PC, but the company has also slipped out a surprise update. Windows 11 Build 22557 brings some really cool new features – and addresses many of our complaints.

Unlike the recent update, which is available to all Windows 11 users, and had a blog post from none other than Microsoft’s Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer, Windows + Devices, Windows 11 Build 22557 has only been released on the Nickel Release branch. This is an active development branch that allows developers to get access to early versions of the operating system to help ensure their apps and products work well with the update.

Usually, we wouldn't pay attention to these kind of updates, but this one is noteworthy as it gives us an idea of what will be coming in Windows 11’s major update later this year, which is currently known as Windows 11 22H2.

It also brings some tweaks and fixes to Windows 11 that many of us have been waiting for since the operating system’s launch last year.

Start menu showing pinned apps organized into folders.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

New features coming to Windows 11

One of the biggest features that’s arrived in Windows 11 Build 22557 is the ability to drag and drop files onto an app in the Taskbar in order to quickly open the file in the chosen app. It’s a handy feature in previous versions of Windows that many people use every day, so the fact that it wasn’t included in Windows 11 frustrated a lot of users.

Adding app shortcuts to the Windows 11 Taskbar is also getting easier, as you’ll be able to drag and drop apps from the Start menu to the Taskbar, automatically pinning them there.

The Windows 11 Start menu is also getting updated, and will get support for folders. Again, this is a handy feature that has been present in previous versions of Windows, and its absence in the latest version was certainly perplexing.

Folders in the Windows 11 Start menu will can be created by dragging and dropping one app onto another, and these folders can be named for easier organization.

As we expected, Focus Assist is getting a big overhaul. In the new update, it’s now just called “Focus” and will allow you to easily mute notifications from some apps and start a “Focus Session” with a focus timer and calm music from Spotify. This allows you to minimize distractions when you need to focus.

Microsoft has also introduced a useful accessibility feature known as Live Captions which cleverly displays subtitles for any audio content you play.

Live captions (launched from Quick Settings Accessibility flyout) generating captions for a video playing in the web browser.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Other tweaks include the ability to pin files to the Quick Access part of Windows Explorer (which yo can already do with folders), and integration between Windows 11 and services such as OneDrive and Office.com have been improved.

Snap Layouts for quickly organising your desktop have got a new design and animations, and the useful Task Manager tool has got a visual makeover as well to better fit in with Windows 11’s aesthetic.


Analysis: should you download this Windows 11 update now?

Windows 11 Build 22557 certainly sounds like a feature-packed update that will address many of our problems with the operating system. But how do you get the update right now – and should you?

As we mentioned earlier, this is a preview build for developers, and that means you can’t just go into the Windows Update tool and find it there.

Instead, you’ll first need to sign up to the Windows Insider Program and then choose to join the Dev channel. You can find out more about doing this at Microsoft’s Windows Insider website.

Once signed up, you should be able to download and install Windows 11 Build 22557.

However, we recommend that you think carefully before doing this. As exciting as the new features sound, because this is an early build there will likely be bugs and unfinished features that could cause problems for your computer.

So, for most people, we’d recommend holding on tight until the official release of Windows 11 22H2 arrives, which will be some time in the second half of 2022. This will hopefully give Microsoft a chance to iron out any problems, making the wait for these much-needed Windows 11 improvements worthwhile.

Via Windows Latest

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Dropbox and Microsoft warn macOS users of issues for future versions of cloud apps

While Dropbox is finishing up an update to its cloud service app for macOS that brings native Apple Silicon support, it's sent an email to users, warning them about potential issues if they don't update once a future version of macOS Monterey arrives.

But it turns out that it's not an isolated issue, with Microsoft also stating on a support page that not updating OneDrive on the Mac may bring problems in future macOS Monterey versions. As long as users download the rewritten Files-On-Demand app, there'll be no issue.

You've most likely used both apps before, whether that's at College or as a way to quickly download files from someone in a hurry. But this looks as though there's been a background change to macOS by Apple that both cloud apps use.

We've reached out to Apple to confirm what this change is, and why both Dropbox and Microsoft are recommending you about potential issues for future macOS versions.


Analysis: What's changed so drastically?

It's telling that another potential issue from Apple involves the cloud, after developers' ongoing frustrations with the 503 iCloud errors, that's causing failures in syncing content across devices.

In an email to users, Dropbox explained, “Some applications on your Mac may have problems opening Dropbox files while they are online only. You will still be able to open Dropbox files by double-clicking them in Finder”.

While you can download the beta version of Dropbox for Apple Silicon, this still means that you may encounter issues when macOS 12.3 arrives.

macOS 12.2 is currently available for developers and users who are signed up to the beta program, so there may be a forthcoming change in 12.3 that Apple has told both Microsoft and Dropbox, so that the cloud apps can work on another update to make sure that there are no further issues.

For now, we recommend backing up your files if you use one or both of these apps, and to make sure that you have the latest updates to both for when macOS 12.3 does arrive to your Mac.

Via 9To5Mac

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