In This Issue


Human computer interaction legend Larry Tesler has passed away

Larry Tesler - the person that came up and implemented copy and paste for the first time alongside the ability to "click and type" (i.e: GUI word processing where you can click on an area of a page and just start typing) - passed away on Monday. He started off at the legendary Xerox PARC, then not long after the infamous Apple demo went to work for Apple for 17 years on stuff like the Lisa and Newton. After Apple he floated around Silicon Valley dropping his user interface wisdom. He was a big advocate of having GUIs without "modes" - being able to do whatever the app can do at any time, not having to toggle between an edit mode, or a preview mode for example. Here's a video of Larry giving a demo of his early work on a Xero Alto. Copy/cut/pate is a computing paradigm so taken for granted now, it's interesting to watch it distilled down in such detail and how it progressed from the Alto to what it is today.

Dutton wants to give ASD powers to spy on/investigate Australians

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) has a remit to only investigate overseas activities. If there's a server or a computer in Australia that needs some hacking to extract information from or a suspect needs their internet access monitored, the ASD can't do it despite being the most knowledgeable law enforcement agency in Australia when it comes to computer stuff. Peter Dutton wants to change this and let the ASD help the AFP in getting access to suspect's activity on Australian soil. Dutton also wants wider laws for the AFP to monitor suspect's online activity. Of course the example used here is of a pedophile, but could also extend very easily to a political opponent or maybe even someone who earned $20 whilst getting a Centrelink payment. Sounds to me like Dutton wants the ASD to be like the NSA prior to Snowden's revelations.

All new version of Microsoft Office for mobile is now available

There's a new Office app for iOS and Android. I don't know if this is supposed to replace the existing Office apps or what, but it combines Word, Excel and PowerPoint in a single app. This is supposed to make it easier than switching between the individual apps and take up less space on your device and adds "new functionality for common tasks people often encounter when working on a phone—things like making quick notes, signing PDFs, scanning QR codes, and transferring files between devices". Microsoft's Lens technology is built-in so you can take a photo of stuff like paper documents and whiteboards and have them turned into Office documents. They added support for 3rd party cloud storage too, so you don't have to use OneDrive (Box, Dropbox, iCloud & Google Drive). Office for iOS & Android is out now, but there's no iPad version yet.

Not News

Krisp is some AI powered noise cancellation magic for all your audio inputs

The amount of conference calls I'm on where background noise is a problem is basically zero, but enough of you have told me about Krisp's AI-cloud-based noise cancellation with child-like wonder, I figure I should give it a shot. Despite the hype I was not disappointed. I tried it out on a Skype call whilst using a fan and the person on the other end could not hear the fan at all when Krisp was enabled. On Mac/Windows Krisp just appears as an audio input/output so any audio app can make use of it and with the iOS app it'll even work with normal phone calls (just US & CA at the moment though). I couldn't even detect any latency and best of all, all audio processing stays on your device.


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