Your Monthly Biz Tech Roundup from Seeto

Welcome to the May edition of Take Ctrl. Spring has well and truly sprung, and whether your bank holiday was gloriously sunny or rain stopped play, Take Ctrl is here to brighten your day with the latest news and views from the world of business technology.

Whether you’re a Slack stan, go ga ga for Google or Windows is winning here, we’ve got something for everyone this month.

Need To Know Now

Google Workspace

Workspace goes all-in on AI

At their recent Google Cloud Next event, the company announced new Gemini AI powered add-ons for Meetings and Messaging and Security. Both have launched at $10/user/month. The Meetings addon currently includes Take notes for me and will soon have Translate for me functionality. The Security addon will automatically classify and protect sensitive files in Google Drive using AI models.

Read more at the Google Workspace Blog

Lights, Camera, Action

Google Cloud Next was not just focused on AI, with Google launching Google Vids, a video editor which looks a bit like a souped-up version of Google Slides. It looks like it will be limited to Gemini for Google Workspace subscribers, and it will be interesting to see where they take the product.

Read more at Ars Technica

Get more from Gemini AI in Google Workspace

If AI is A-OK in your business, Google has released the ultimate guide to getting their AI to do your bidding in Google Workspace. Full of tips and tricks to make your prompts perfect, it’s free to download.

Read more at 9 to 5 Google
Read more at Lifehacker

Apple

Didn’t ask for a password reset? Don’t click that pop-up

iPhone users beware. Threat actors are repeatedly sending iPhone and iPad users password reset pop-ups. If you accept the pop-up, the threat actor that requested the password reset can change your password and take over your account.

Read more at LifeHacker

Business Technology

Paying for Slack? You can now pay for AI!

If you’ve ever thought it’s hard to know what’s going on in Slack, then Slack has AI for you. Launching with a couple of features, namely thread summaries and conversational search, Slack admins can add Slack AI as a paid add-on to Pro, Business+ and Enterprise subscriptions.

Read more at Engadget

More ways to get GIFs in Slack

If you’re currently using the “/giphy” app in Slack to add some pizazz to your messages, it could soon be easier to add those animated images to your messages. Slack has built-in native GIF support. It’s not on by default and needs to be enabled by an admin. To the memes!

Read more from Slack

Hubspot to be acquired?

Hubspot’s CRM is popular among start ups and scale ups. Rumours are swirling that Google’s parent Alphabet might be making an offer for Hubspot. Whether it will come to pass is still a question, Hubspot’s valuation vastly exceeds Google’s usual M&A budget and regulators might not be happy to see the tie up. Only time will tell.

Read more at Reuters

Okta wins Google Cloud prize

Okta recently won the Google Cloud Technology Partner of the Year Award for Productivity and Collaboration: Impact. Their win highlights the success of their partnership with Google Workspace, which simplifies access to applications and strengthens security with features like identity management and passwordless protection. This win comes a year after finalising the partnership, which aimed to address the growing need for identity security alongside Google Workspace’s productivity tools.

Read more at the Okta Blog

ChromeOS

Big Chromebook update just landed

A recent ChromeOS update has added the ability to implement custom keyboard shortcuts and to do the same with your mouse buttons. If you have a SIM card (currently only available to T-Mobile subscribers in the US) in your Chromebook, it will now be able to function as a wifi hotspot, so you can share that connection with other devices. Finally,  text-to-speech got new voices.

Read more at TechRadar

ChromeOS speaks 365

Google is making OneDrive and Microsoft 365 easier to use from a Chromebook. You’ll be able to access OneDrive from the ChromeOS files app, as well as open Office files directly in Microsoft 365 apps, instead of Google’s suite.

Read more at TechRadar

Windows

Windows 11 File Explorer continues to improve

The unclear icons are getting labels! If you are extracting a Zip file to a folder and encounter conflicts (i.e. a file with the same name already exists), you will soon be able to batch-apply an action for all files. You’ll also be able to create compressed files in TAR and 7zip formats.

Read more at Windows Latest

😻 Screenshots

The feature you never knew you wanted (or possibly needed) is on it’s way: emojis in screenshots. Microsoft is testing a number of new features, such as adding emojis and detecting QR codes.

Read more at Windows Central

The end (of Windows 10 support) is nigh

Microsoft has started showing full-screen ads about the end of Windows 10 support. Not every computer will be able to support Windows 11 due to its tougher hardware requirements. Support will end on October 14, 2025.

Read more at Neowin

Information Security

UK Government says sort your Cyber out

The latest Cyber Security Breaches Survey from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) does not paint a rosy picture of UK businesses’ cyber security preparedness. Half of businesses (50%) reported having experienced some form of cyber security breach or attack in the previous 12 months. Preparedness had increased slightly year on year, but the carrying out of risk assessments, knowledge of Cyber Essentials, and an understanding of supply chain risk were not widespread. Worst of all, many businesses made no changes after detecting a breach 😣

Read more at Computing (registration required)
Read the survey results at Gov.uk

MFA? Now Getting Bypassed

Service providers, insurance providers, and government regulation increasingly require multi-factor authentication, but as it becomes more widespread, threat actors become more inventive at circumventing it. IT Brew has the lowdown on MFA fatigue, SIM swapping, cookie theft, and what you can do to protect yourself and your service’s users.

Read more at IT Brew

LastPass, more like on my last nerve

It’s not going well for LastPass. After the breach and the revelations that customer data was not fully encrypted, now the remaining dozen or so LastPass users face a malicious email campaign with criminals posing as LastPass staff to hack their password vaults. Surely, now is the time to migrate to an alternative password manager.

Read more at Bleeping Computer

XZ Utils Squeezed by Critical Bug

Researchers have found a malicious code vulnerability in the XZ compression tool, which allows threat actors to bypass Secure Shell (SSH) authentication on some Linux distributions. Patch now.

Read more at Wiz Blog

Get root, cause havoc

More bad news for Linux users, there’s an exploit in the wild that will give root, system-administrator-level access. Patches have been available since January, but a patch will only help if it’s installed. Now would be a good time to schedule a maintenance window.

Read more at The Register

Use PuTTY? Update now

A critical vulnerability in PuTTY, which affects versions 0.68 to 0.80, affects the security of private keys. An update is available.

Read more at The Hacker News

Microsoft 365

Teams, be gone! Microsoft unbundles Teams globally

After the EU announced an investigation into anticompetitive practices last year, ​​Microsoft made available 365 subscriptions without Microsoft Teams in the EEA and Switzerland. This change has now gone global, with Teams becoming available at an additional charge for new customers. Existing customers can choose to continue with their existing licence or switch to the new Teams-free SKU at renewal.

Read more at Reuters

Microsoft 365

Enterprise AI could be coming to your server

Looking to the future, IT Brew posits that cost analysis might lead companies to choose on-premise solutions over cloud-based AI due to factors like egress fees and data transfer costs. We might also see the rise of AI marketplaces where businesses can choose from a variety of models. 

Read more at IT Brew

AI Can’t (always) Code

ZDNet compared generative AI chatbots’ ability to code and it turns out not all were created equal. Comparing Meta’s (Facebook’s parent company) Llama, Google’s Gemini and OpenAI’s ChatGPT, it turns out that ChatGPT is the only one worth your time.

Read more at ZDNet

Mona Lisa can rap

Microsoft recently released VASA-1, a framework for generating lifelike talking faces. This means any portrait photo can become a hyper-realistic talking face video with synced lip movement, lifelike facial behaviour and natural-looking head movements. It’s not going to be released to the public just yet, but as you can imagine, the researchers have been…creative. Go watch Mona Lisa rap Paparazzi (content warning, explicit language).

Read more at Microsoft Research

Recent OS Updates

Last updated 7 May 2024

Windows

Microsoft currently supports Windows 10 and Windows 11.

  • Windows 10 version 22H2 (10.0.19045)
  • Windows 11 version 22H2 (10.0.22621) and version 23H2 (10.0.22631)

macOS

Apple officially supports the following Mac operating systems:

  • macOS Sonoma 14.4.1
  • macOS Ventura 13.6.6
  • macOS Monterey 12.7.4

iOS and iPadOS

The supported iPhone and iPad operating systems are:

  • iOS 17.4.1
  • iPadOS 17.4.1

Android

Google supports the following Android operating systems:

  • Android 14
  • Android 13
  • Android 12
  • Android 11

Note that your device manufacturer may not support every version that Google produces security fixes for.

Learn how to check and update your Android version here.