Wednesday Newsbytes: Microsoft Co-Pilot – All You Need to Know;  Why I Won’t Use Microsoft Co-Pilot; Edge Changes Users’ Passwords; Windows 11 Paint App Getting Layers, Transparency & AI … and more!

By | September 27, 2023
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Wednesday Newsbytes: Microsoft Co-Pilot – All You Need to Know;  Why I Won’t Use Microsoft Co-Pilot; Edge Changes Users’ Passwords; Windows 11 Paint App Getting Layers, Transparency & AI … and more!

Every day we scan the tech world for interesting news in the world of technology and sometimes from outside the world of technology. Every Wednesday, we feature news articles that grabbed our attention over the past week. We hope you find this week’s  ‘Wednesday Newsbytes’ informative and interesting!

Microsoft Copilot — Everything you need to know about Windows’ AI companion

“The most powerful digital assistant on Earth”

Is Microsoft Copilot a productivity powerhouse or the harbinger of the AI uprising? Only alien archeologists picking through the charred remains of our planet will know for certain. For now, though, we’ll just have to take Microsoft for their word when they tell us it’s the most powerful digital assistant on Earth.

Part workday wingman, part natural language command prompt, and part creepy desktop stalker. Microsoft Copilot is your new Windows companion – designed to make your life easier by reducing your cognitive load when it comes to your computing hours.

But what is it? Where does it come from? What can it do? And, can it be trusted? Let’s take a closer look.

In 2019, Microsoft invested a sizable sum into OpenAI — a research and deployment company founded by Elon Musk and Sam Altman, which was seeking to develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) to benefit humanity.

In 2020, OpenAI developed Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3), a neural network-like Large Language Model (LLM) that makes use of machine learning to accurately process and replicate human-like language…

Read more at Laptop Magazine.

Microsoft Copilot sounds great. Here’s why I definitely won’t use it

A lot of Microsoft’s September event was dedicated to Copilot, Bing Chat, and other AI-driven features. In a way, the updates made to laptops like the Surface Laptop Studio 2 almost felt like an afterthought. It was a real AI fest — and no wonder, as Microsoft has certainly created something bragworthy.

Despite how impressive Copilot seems to be, I can’t see myself actually using it. It’s a neat party trick, but my concerns with the AI outweigh any upsides it might have.

AI everywhere

I’d heard a bit about Microsoft’s Copilot before learning more during the September event, but in my mind, it felt like yet another ChatGPT — fun, but I’ve seen it all before at this point. The last year has been oversaturated with new AI tech to the point where I can feel myself losing excitement at the thought of all these recent developments…

Read more at Digital Trends.

Microsoft Edge may have changed your saved passwords to serial keys-like strings

It’s not just you. Microsoft’s bug or update quietly changed saved passwords in Edge on Windows 11, iOS and other devices to GUID-like serial key strings, confusing the community. This change has allegedly made saved passwords useless for copying and pasting into other apps or websites.

For example, if your saved password for Facebook is “Hello@123”, it would appear as “6B29FC40-CA47-1067-B31D-00DD010662DA” when you try to view the saved password in Microsoft Edge.

As you probably know, Microsoft Edge’s saved passwords are stored and encrypted on the Microsoft servers and synced across your device in real-time. These passwords are also cached onto the local folder for Edge, and only Microsoft can read the data in the folder or on the server.

You can view all the passwords saved to that profile from the passwords page in the profile settings. From there, you view your saved passwords by clicking the eye icon in the list and clearing a security challenge (enter password or PIN and use facial recognition).

After clicking the eye icon, you can see the password. The process is as simple as that, but that’s no longer true after recent server-side updates…

Read more at Windows Latest.

Windows 11 Paint app is set for its biggest upgrade ever

Microsoft to supercharge Paint with layers, transparency, and AI

Windows 11’s Paint app is set for some major upgrades which have been seen coming through in testing right now.

And when we say major changes, we really mean big new avenues of exploration for Microsoft, the most tantalizing of which is the introduction of a layers feature for Paint compositions.

This new addition was revealed in a blog post that notes the Paint app in the Canary and Dev testing channels now has the feature (version 11.2308.18.0 or higher).

Layers mean you can use multiple layers in one image, with different elements placed in different layers. Those layers can be shown or hidden, worked on separately, and indeed merged together if needed, for a more flexible and advanced way of editing any given image.

There’s a Layer button in the Paint app’s toolbar, and you can work with the feature by clicking it (whereby a side panel pops up showing the different layers that you add).

A new transparency effect has been brought in, too, with a checkboard pattern representing parts of an image that are transparent. Paint will also let you open (and save out) transparent PNG image files…

Read more at TechRadar.

Oops! Google Search caught publicly indexing users’ conversations with Bard AI

Google Bard, the search giant’s conversational AI product, underwent a big update last week that earned mixed reviews. But this week, another, older Bard feature is coming under scrutiny: SEO consultant Gagan Ghotra observed that Google Search had begun to index shared Bard conversational links into its search results pages, potentially exposing information users meant to be kept contained or confidential.

This means that if a person used Bard to ask it a question — possibly even a question related to the contents of their private emails — then shared the link with a designated third-party, say, their spouse, friend or business partner, the conversation accessible at that link could in turn be scraped by Google’s crawler and show up publicly, to the entire world, in its Search Results…

Read the rest at VentureBeat.

Microsoft Is Adding a Passkey Manager to Windows 11

Soon you can log into your sites and apps using your device, rather than a password.

Whether you use a Mac or PC, iPhone or Android, you likely have a lot of passwords to deal with. Even if you make all those passwords strong and unique (which many of us don’t), it’s still a vulnerable form of authentication. If a company has a data breach, your password is out there for bad actors to find and use.

Sure, adding two-factor authentication to the mix dramatically improves your security, but between using a password manager and setting up 2FA for all your accounts, it gets complicated fast. Companies in big tech, like Microsoft, see a better way, and a path to eventually kill off passwords for good: passkeys.

What are passkeys?

Passkeys are fundamentally more secure (and convenient) than passwords. Instead of coming up with a series of characters that unlocks access to a device or account, your device becomes the key to unlocking those things, relying on the built-in authentication to prove your identity. It’s like the best of two-factor authentication, except more secure…

Read the rest at LifeHacker.

Thanks for reading this week’s Wednesday Newbytes. We hope these articles were informative, interesting, fun, and helpful. Darcy & TC

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5 thoughts on “Wednesday Newsbytes: Microsoft Co-Pilot – All You Need to Know;  Why I Won’t Use Microsoft Co-Pilot; Edge Changes Users’ Passwords; Windows 11 Paint App Getting Layers, Transparency & AI … and more!

  1. Elaine Auchter

    I just read about the passkey and it seems the article is talking about computers. How does that work on phones? If I want to get into a site, say Walmart using the Walmart app, on my phone and I also go to the site on my computer, will that cause confusion? Or I want to get into gmail on my phone.

    1. infoave Post author

      Windows Passkeys are only supported on Windows 11 devices. However, there is a consortium called the FIDO Alliance that is working to make Windows Passkeys interoperable with other platforms, such as Android and Apple. The FIDO Alliance has developed a standard called FIDO2 that allows devices to authenticate to websites and apps using public-key cryptography.

      Google and Apple have both announced that they are working to support FIDO2 on their platforms. This means that it is likely that Windows Passkeys will be supported on Android and Apple devices in the future.

      In the meantime, there are a number of other ways to authenticate to websites and apps on Android and Apple devices. For example, you can use your device’s biometric authentication or a PIN. You can also use a password manager to generate and store strong passwords for all of your online accounts.

  2. Joann Bolen

    How can I get an answer re: “the Cloud”? Are all missing documents (NOT deleted but just disappeared one day) saved in the Cloud? I have a “round Robin” list of our Fellowship Hour at church from mid-way 2022 through Sept.2023/approx. They simply disappeared one day! How could that be? When I’m finished updating this weekly Round Robin list, I simply go to FILE & it is automatically saved; I Always keep that “auto-save” turned on & never ever have changed it! (There is no “delete” key in the list of programs shown when I click on “File”)! It ALWAYS simply shows feather look across the entire heading & so all I have to do is close the document. Can you help me, please? I’ve been waiting about 48 hrs. for your kind replay but I realize you have lottsa questions to answer. Thank you for all of your help. I’ve been w/your program for nearly 20 yrs. & couldn’t do w/o it – ever! Thanks. Joann Bolen

    1. infoave Post author

      Thanks for your long-time support, Joann. The term “the cloud” simply means “Web servers” nothing more. There are many cloud-storage services that store date on web servers in data centers in various locations on the internet.
      Three of the most popular are OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive. So, unless you know what cloud-storage on which your data is being backed up – there isn’t any way I can help you. This is the first I’ve seen your question. You posted it on Friday 9/29/2023 at 3:25PM and I’m answering it on 9/30/2023 at 8:19 AM.


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