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Microsoft Modifies X-Box One for Better User Experience

Microsoft is doing some tests on X-Box One definitely to make the user experience better. The first tackle is on the home screen, remember the old one? If you do then you must be thankful to Microsoft to consider this redesign.

The new interface should be faster now thanks to its streamlined structure. The new update will have the top screen twist removed and now you can have different buttons to navigate through. These separate buttons will surely make launching games and other services, such as Game Pass, Mixer, Xbox Community, and Microsoft Store a lot easier. You can also easily jump to the recently played titles.

According to Microsoft, their objective is to support users in accessing Xbox Game Pass, Mixer, and the Microsoft Store more efficiently. X-Box One users will be able to see these fabulous in the next couple of weeks.

Also, there’ll be some noticeable changes in the voice command of X-Box one too i.e. the removal of Cortana. Sadly you won’t be able to talk to her through your headphones anymore. But it is only to make things better. Microsoft plans to shift to a cloud-based assistant rather than an on-console model. You’ll be able to control your console using X-Box Skills on iOS, Android, or Windows devices through the app.

Cortana has been a big part of X-Box One experience as well as Window 10 and other things similar. However, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently publicized that they no longer see Cortana as a competitor to other digital assistants. It appears to have some rivals on the platform and this highly impacts the future of Cortana.

Microsoft added Cortana to their Xbox console back in 2016 only to be removed a few years later. Nonetheless, we can’t deny the signs of her demise were apparent from a while. Cortana was missing from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2018, with the the only exception to a Cortana-powered thermostat. Even that thermostat doesn’t list Cortana as a feature on its product page anymore. It was initially was supposed to launch on fridges, toasters, etc but barely made it onto a smart speaker.

While commenting on re-design, Microsoft mentioned how they were receiving the user feedbacks leading to go over to home designs. They aim to make the gaming experience smoother and also want to make sure that users can find their content front and center.

So the experimental changes should be out this week and will be accessible to a selected group of Xbox Insiders, then based on the feedbacks other changes will follow accordingly. Microsoft, however, warned the users of the temporarily disabling of dictation through the Xbox One virtual keyboard. A few fixes are being worked on at this case.

UC Security culture

today’s guest post is from Susan Kaiser in Women and Gender Studies
Dear colleagues,
When I read the fascinating article Suad Joseph shared about the May Day “warning,” I was trying to figure out why I didn’t remember receiving that message from UCOP, so I started searching… The Aljazeera article cites an earlier article in The Nation:
http://www.thenation.com/blog/167642/may-day-warning-u-cal-president-avoid-all-protests
Then I found this article in The Daily Californian indicating it wasn’t Yudof or UC, but rather iJet (the private risk management and intelligencecompany—known as “the CIA for businesses”):

UCOP says that Yudof warning travelers to avoid May Day protests was false


So, if we book travel with Connexxus, we’re automatically linked to iJet, who gets our itinerary. Or if we get travel insurance, it’s coordinated with iJet, apparently since 2009:
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/university-of-california-system-implements-ijets-worldcue-solutions-for-travel-resiliency-61845872.html
UC travelers will also receive warnings about “travel conditions,” including anticipated protests and other “threats,” as well as earthquakes, etc. The goal seems to be to reduce liability for the university, as the following blurbs from the iJet website indicate:
TRAVEL RISK MANAGEMENT MATURITY MODELTM (TRM3TM)
Duty to Disclose: This concept focuses on an organization’s responsibility to monitor and disclose potential risks. For example, if there is ongoing civil unrest in a city, an organization has an obligation to disclose this to travelers so that they can make an informed decision about whether or not to take the trip. An organization could claim that it did not have knowledge of this risk, but then a court would likely ask, “Should the organization have known?” Given the number of available sources of information, including free sources such as government travel warnings and cable news as well as relatively low-cost services such as those offered by iJET and others, a claim of ignorance may not hold up in court.
iJET supports clients across a broad range of industries, including:

Universities aren’t mentioned on this list, but in an interview, one of iJet’s directors does mention them:
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-03-06/news/bs-bz-interview-ed-daly-20110306_1_ijet-clients-situations
As a client of iJet, UC (presumably UCOP and UC Chancellors and VC, such as Meyer) receive daily “briefings” regarding hot spots around the world–including our campuses and cities presumably. This may well set the stage for, and contribute to, a culture/mentality of (in)security, fear, anxiety in the UC administration…
Oh, and iJet is in Annapolis, Maryland, and its employees include ex-spis. The company does some of the kinds of things that the CIA used to do but is now outsourcing.
Anyway, yet another example of privatization–and a rather creepy one that seems to explain something about UC’s culture of (in)security… On the surface it may be about “travel risk management,” but if there are daily briefings/alerts, etc. that include warnings about potential civil disobedience, it can’t be that good…

Susan