Microsoft Researcher for Word

Writers and students may be interested in the new search tools Microsoft has added to Word, and some new tricks to Powerpoint and Outlook.

Microsoft wants you to write better, stay focused and bore fewer people, TechCrunch (July 26)

With Researcher for Word, the team is now building a new tool into Word that helps you find information regarding the topic about which you are writing. Those sources can be online journals and encyclopedias, history databases, national science and health centers, as well as other trustworthy sites, and you can import formatted references directly into Word.

There is a longer description in Microsoft just made it way easier to write a research paper with Word , The Verge. (July 26)

Researcher uses Microsoft’s Bing Knowledge Graph to query content from the internet and then pull it straight into Word. Microsoft has a curated list of trusted sources and reference materials which the company plans to expand upon over time. If you add source material, it will even automatically create the citation in your bibliography as part of your research paper. If you’re a student using Office 365 then Researcher is available immediately, and Microsoft is planning to bring the feature to mobile variants of Office in the future.

At PowerPoint there is a new Zoom feature for forming and moving to sections more easilty.

Opera browser sold

The Opera browser developed in Norway has been bought by a Chinese consortium.

Chinese consortium buys Opera browser for $600 mn, (Jul 18)

The consortium led by Golden Brick Silk Road will purchase the mobile and desktop versions of the internet browser, plus performance and privacy apps and a stake in a Chinese joint venture, but not the advertising, games and television units, said Opera Software in a statement to the Oslo stock exchange.

Abuse on Twitter and the Internet

What was once hailed as a marvelous, open communications platform. The Twitter about page says “We created the Twitter platform to foster communication on a global scale, because we believe the open exchange of information can be a compelling force for good in the world.” But for many people it has become a platform for unrelenting abuse and scurrilous speech. What has happened to the actress Leslie Jones finally attracts headlines, but will it lead to real control? Not likely. Twitter may try but this virulence of rabid users has a way of getting past controls. It infects comments and communication channels everywhere – including the comments on this Globe article.

Maybe Twitter can’t be fixed, Dave McGinn, Globe and Mail (Jul 20)

Dark Web

Just in case you want to delve into the dark web Tech Republic tells you how.

How to safely access and navigate the Dark Web, Dan Patterson, TechRepublic (July 11)

“The Dark Web, the deep web, and darknet, are spooky-sounding phrases that refer to websites that mask their IP address and can only be accessed using encryption-friendly tools like The Onion Router. ”

This article seems to equate dark web and deep web. I prefer use “deep web” for the hard-to-find, legitimate resources published in databases that have not been indexed by the search engines..

But the Dark Web  is truly an underworld – “The United Nations, FBI, and CIA use the encrypted internet to monitor terror groups like Daesh and keep tabs on criminal profiteers. Corporate IT departments frequently crawl the Dark Web in search of stolen corporate credit card information and compromised accounts.”