The Lunduke Journal of Technology
The Lunduke Journal of Technology
Lunduke's Normal Computing News - Oct 19, 2022

Lunduke's Normal Computing News - Oct 19, 2022

Microsoft kills "Office", iPads get USB-C, and Firefox wants to know your feelings.

Here comes the “Normal Computing” news of the week!

What is “Normal Computing”? Stuff about Microsoft, Apple, Google, and the like. Big Tech. The “Big 5”. Mainstream. You know. “Normal”.

Microsoft drops “Office” name… “Microsoft is now 365”

In “well that’s a dumb idea” news… Microsoft is officially killing off their “Microsoft Office” branding — which has been a cornerstone of the company for over 30 years — and renamed their office suite… “Microsoft 365”.

As someone who worked on the Microsoft Office development team for many years, I have thoughts:

  1. You use “Microsoft Office” to do “Office” stuff. What do you do with “Microsoft 365”? 365 stuff?

  2. Everyone knows the “MS Office” brand. Ditching it is stupid.

  3. The marketing and product executives at Microsoft clearly have too much time on their hands, and nothing to do.

  4. In short: This is dumb.

Apple makes new, colored iPads with USB-C

“We’re so excited to bring the completely redesigned iPad to our most advanced iPad lineup ever,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With a large 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, powerful A14 Bionic chip, a first-ever landscape front camera, fast wireless connectivity, USB-C, and support for incredible accessories like the new Magic Keyboard Folio, the new iPad delivers more value, more versatility — and is simply more fun.”

Quick thoughts:

  1. USB-C! Huzzah!

  2. They moved the front facing camera to make it more logical. Good move.

  3. Colors are cool. Reminds me of when the iMacs got multiple colors.

  4. Strangely, it appears the stylus (Apple Pencil) is not USB-C. So it needs an adapter. Odd. This seems like it must be temporary.

  5. Still no expandable storage.

  6. Still no replaceable battery.

Prices start at $449 (without the stylus or keyboard) and go up from there.

Back of the new iPad in the four colors, and the silver iPad with the Magic Keyboard Folio.

GitHub Copilot Investigation

A new website has launched to collect stories of people who believe their licenses and copyrights have been violated by Microsoft’s GitHub Copilot.

“We’re inves­ti­gat­ing a poten­tial law­suit against GitHub Copi­lot for vio­lat­ing its legal duties to open-source authors and end users.”

“Microsoft and OpenAI must be rely­ing on a fair-use argu­ment. In fact we know this is so, because for­mer GitHub CEO Nat Fried­man claimed dur­ing the Copi­lot tech­ni­cal pre­view that “train­ing [machine-learn­ing] sys­tems on pub­lic data is fair use”.

Well—is it? The answer isn’t a mat­ter of opin­ion; it’s a mat­ter of law. Nat­u­rally, Microsoft, OpenAI, and other researchers have been pro­mot­ing the fair-use argu­ment. Nat Fried­man fur­ther asserted that there is “jurispru­dence” on fair use that is “broadly relied upon by the machine[-]learn­ing com­mu­nity”. But Soft­ware Free­dom Con­ser­vancy dis­agreed, and pressed Microsoft for evi­dence to sup­port its posi­tion. Accord­ing to SFC direc­tor Bradley Kuhn:”

“[W]e inquired pri­vately with Fried­man and other Microsoft and GitHub rep­re­sen­ta­tives in June 2021, ask­ing for solid legal ref­er­ences for GitHub’s pub­lic legal posi­tions … They pro­vided none.”

Firefox version 106 gets… sneaker features?

The One-Hundred and Sixth major version of Firefox came out this week. What’s new?

  • Editing PDF’s within Firefox.

  • Text recognition from images (on macOS).

  • Swipe navigation on Linux.

But the big feature that Mozilla is touting? They partnered with a sneaker maker to promote… feelings? Or colors? Or something?

“‘Independent Voices’ are the voices of the past and present that create a better future,” Lascio said. “I chose this as my inspiration for the collaboration because it feels authentic to me but it also aligns with Firefox and the vision that we can make the world better, on the internet and beyond.”

- Keely Lascio, Street-wear and sneaker designer

This new feature lets you tell Firefox that you are… an… “Activist”… with a “balanced intensity”… which… makes… the window border… blue? Thanks to… sneakers?

This is clearly what we call a “Killer Feature” of a web browser.

Oh. And they also added “Firefox View”. Which nobody will ever use.

Firefox View screenshot

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