Microsoft sees a tiny improvement in the cesspool we call the internet

Engadget

Despite all the talk of harassment, bullying and bitter political debates, the internet has become slightly more civil... at least, if you ask Microsoft. Its Digital Civility Index fell by two points to 66 percent in 2018, suggesting people weren't at each other's throats quite as often as they have been in the past. Exposure to online risks fell by five points to 63 percent, too. Unwanted contact (such as harassment) was still the worst of all the risks, but it was still less of a threat than before with "just" 40 percent of respondents dealing with rudeness versus 44 percent a year earlier. While there were more refined manners around the world, Microsoft saw the biggest improvements in the US (yes, really!), Belgium, France and Germany.


Autodesk updates AutoCAD with Microsoft, Box integrations

ZDNet

Autodesk on Wednesday announced the release of AutoCAD 2020, the latest iteration of the company's design and drafting software used by professionals like engineers and architects. Key updates include new integrations with Microsoft and Box, as well as feature enhancements and platform performance improvements. The partnerships with Microsoft and Box are aimed at improving file compatibility and bringing more collaboration capabilities into AutoCAD desktop applications. Specifically, the integrations will enable people using AutoCAD to open and save files stored in Microsoft OneDrive and Box without leaving the AutoCAD application. The feature will initially support .DWG files, allowing users to access their entire .DWG library stored in Microsoft OneDrive and Box without storing them locally.


Turn any Windows PC or laptop into a smart speaker with Alexa app

Daily Mail

Computers can be transformed into smart speakers with a mere app. Both laptops and PCs operating on Windows 10 can be now enhanced with AI assistant, Alexa, from this week. It comes after the voice-activated product was made available on the Microsoft store for users in the UK, US and Germany. It works through a devices microphone and speakers, instantly making Alexa portable for use both inside and outside the home. Some Windows PCs will already be compatible with the program's'wake word' functionality, meaning people can use it hands-free by simply saying its name - much like separate speakers.


AI finds the cultural shifts hidden in British newspapers from 1800 to 1950

Daily Mail - Science & tech

From a nation defined by cricket, steam engines and horses to a celebrity-obsessed, football-mad country, Britain has undergone huge cultural changes between 1800 and 1950. The history of the country is well-documented in books, but a new analysis has used a different source, newspapers, to pinpoint exactly when these shifts in culture took place. A group of computer scientists have developed artificial intelligence software to analyse articles from 120 British newspapers between 1800 and 1950, and revealed key turning points in our culture. In 2011, a huge analysis of five million books taken from over 200 years provided the first clues to what insights can be gained from analysing words on such a huge scale. But the project was criticised for only counting words, and ignored the context they were based in.


Home improvement advice every homeowner needs to know

FOX News

Follow these expert tips for home improvement. If you're a homeowner, you've probably heard and read plenty of home improvement advice. It just kind of comes with the territory, right? In fact, the second you sign the mortgage, your fellow homeowners will welcome you to the club with tons of tips about fixing up your humble abode--whether you welcome their help or not. Some of the advice you'll receive should probably be taken with a smile and a nod ... and then immediately disregarded.