recommended reading


Newest Version of Windows Won’t Let You Change Default Web Browser or Search Engine

By Keith Collins // Quartz // May 4, 2017

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella // Richard Drew/AP

On Windows 10 S, the new operating system Microsoft unveiled this week, users will not be able to change the default web browser to something other than Microsoft Edge, or the default search engine to anything but Bing. They will also not be able to download alternative browsers like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, because Windows 10 S will only install apps included in the Windows Store. Google and Mozilla have not yet made their browsers available there.

Microsoft says this is all for the sake of security, and users who don’t like it can install Windows 10 Pro instead, which is free for students and teachers, and $49 for everyone else. A Microsoft spokesperson also said it’s up to browser vendors, not Microsoft, to make their apps available in the Windows Store.

“Currently, Chrome is not a verified app in the Windows Store, but we welcome Google to join us and submit it,” the spokesperson said.

Whatever the reason, Microsoft has a checkered history with such restrictions. In 2013, it was fined $731 million by the European Union for forcing Internet Explorer on its users, and in 1998 was sued by the United States Department of Justice...

What Will We Do When Robots Have Taken Our Jobs?

By Jillian Richardson // Quartz // May 3, 2017

charles taylor/

I recently interviewed Dr. Zev Eigen, the global director of analytics at Littler, for an article about artificial intelligence and workplace communication. About halfway through the conversation, I jokingly asked, “Do you think my writing job could be taken over by AI?” I was sure he’d say no.

“Instead of a grammar helper in Microsoft Word, you could have something populated with AI … derived from information that you’ve already generated,” Eigen said. “It could take the ‘best hits’ of everything you’ve ever written, and then use that to formulate what your next paragraph is going to be.”

In other words, a program could use my published work online to create articles optimized for SEO and shareability—it could be the better, cheaper version of me. Gulp.

While Eigen was suggesting AI as a tool to complement my work, not replace it, I couldn’t help but feel rattled. I got my first taste of something that blue-collar workers have been thinking for far longer: What will happen if I lose my job to AI?

The Benefits of Work

People love to say, “Thank God, it’s Friday” so much, we’ve named a restaurant chain after it...

There’s No Way to Win at Email—So We Just Need to Relax Our Standards

By Sarah Todd // Quartz // May 1, 2017


I have 2,937 unread emails in my personal inbox. Some of those emails are newsletters and Lyft ride receipts and discount offers from the Gap. But some of them—an amount I do not want to ponder—are real emails meant for me specifically. There are notes from friends and long-lost classmates; young people starting out in journalism attempting to arrange coffee and chat. I have read these emails and marked them as unread, fully intending to get back to them later. And then, I have not written back, because I am terrible.

Thankfully, there is a day designed specifically for people who share this plight: Email Debt Forgiveness Day, created in 2015 by the hosts of the internet-culture podcast Reply All.

“If there’s an email response you’ve wanted to send but been too anxious to send, you can send it on April 30th, without any apologies or explanations for all the time that has lapsed,” the official page reads. (The focus of the day tends to be on non-work-related emails, as a message from your boss is a horse of a different color.)

Past Reply All episodes on Email Debt Forgiveness Day tend to double as...

Google Is Testing Job-Search Feature That Could Rival LinkedIn—And Facebook

By Joon Ian Wong // Quartz // May 1, 2017


Google is apparently testing a new job-search feature that includes its own job portal. The testing was caught in the wild by search engine optimization consultant Dan Shure on April 28.

Industry website Search Engine Land wrote about the sighting, then got a response from Google that wasn’t an outright confirmation, but suggested the search giant was indeed testing the feature. Google’s statement read: “While we don’t have any news to announce at this time, we’re always looking for new ways to improve the Search experience for our users, whether they’re looking for movies to see, recipes to make, or job opportunities.”

Shure apparently triggered the feature by entering “jobs online” in the Google search box. This returns a specially formatted box containing a list of jobs above the main search results. Clicking these jobs leads to a portal where users can select tabs to display jobs by title, city, employer and more. The page also shows jobs by industry, including health care, advertising and...

Slack Can Now Be Used as a Dating App—And That’s a Really Bad Idea

By Leah Fessler // Quartz // April 30, 2017


Slack, the messaging platform that’s taken over the lives of office workers, is about to become even more distracting. Feeld, a dating app originally created for threesomes, has created “Feeld for Slack“—a bot that allows employees to share who they have a crush on. The app does not constitute a partnership, official relationship, or endorsement from Slack.

If you’re thinking, Hey, this sounds like an idea that could easily go awry, you’re not alone.

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 5.14.27 PM
How it works. (Screenshot,

To use the bot, a designated administrator at a company must first choose to install the app. But once it’s downloaded, anyone on your Slack team can direct message @Feeld and enter the name of their crush. If the feeling is mutual, both of you get a notification; if not, no one’s the wiser.

Slack has not released a statement on Feeld for Slack. But according to the tagline on Feeld’s Slackbot promo page, the bot is all about “embracing feelings.” There’s just one problem—do companies really want to encourage employees to embrace their feelings for each other?

It’s one thing to acknowledge workplace romances sometimes happen. (My...

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.