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The Morning After: 15 years of Google Docs

·Bureau Chief, UK
·3-min read

Google Docs is one of the company’s slow-burn hits. When it appeared 15 years ago, most of us (definitely me) were doing our word processing on Microsoft Office’s Word. It was the defacto option whether you were dealing in PC documents as a worker or a student.

Then Google’s Docs and Sheets, cloud-based applications that let you collaborate with others in real-time, appeared in beta. Deputy Managing Editor Nathan Ingraham has charted the course of Google Docs so far, as well as where it might go next, but I recall being an early adopter of Google’s Office rival.

Due to health issues, I had to repeat a year of my degree studies and split my time between my university and my hometown, which were hundreds of miles apart. It was a time of desktop PCs, library computers and generally anything to do with a PC was more work! I used Docs to draft, write and publish my final-year economics dissertation, even using Sheets for my provincial theories and data analysis on financial returns to higher education.

It was a revelation — Docs, I mean, not my project. I didn’t have to fear a USB drive not working on public PCs and could open the document wherever there was a PC and an internet connection. Of course, from then on, whether it was studies, work or personal projects, the biggest challenge 15 years ago was convincing others to make the switch from the costs-real-money Microsoft Word. That battle continues to this day.

— Mat Smith

Roving bands of Ford ‘Charge Angels’ will repair EV charging stations

The first ones will hit the road later this year.

With the F-150 Lightning set to debut early next year, Ford plans to employ a group of Charge Angels to ensure its EV owners can find reliable charging when they need it. In an interview with Automotive News, the company introduced the Charge Angels technicians. They’ll travel the US in specially equipped Mustang Mach-Es to test charging stations where connected vehicle data and “angry social media posts” indicate they may not be working properly.

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Ford's Mach-E GT is an American muscle car for the 21st century

Testing the 480 horsepower Mustang EV.

Mustang Mach-E GT
Mustang Mach-E GT

Talking of Mustangs, can an EV offer the thrill of a muscle car of the past? As Andrew Tarantola puts it, nostalgia is a hell of a drug and he has fond car memories from tearing up San Francisco’s streets in a 65 outfitted with a drag racing suspension. For him, it’s difficult to reconcile that the Mustang is now an SUV and, despite its overwhelming power, it still drives like one.

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Spongebob Squarepants is now an Xbox Series X

I’ll take the Ninja Turtles one.

Xbox Series X
Xbox Series X

I never wanted an Xbox Series X. Until now.

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Facebook whistleblower will brief the company’s Oversight Board on cross check rules for VIPs

'Facebook has lied to the board repeatedly,’ Haugen said in a statement.

Members of Facebook’s Oversight Board will meet with whistleblower Frances Haugen as they investigate the company’s controversial cross check system. “In light of the serious claims made about Facebook by Ms. Haugen, we have extended an invitation for her to speak to the board over the coming weeks, which she has accepted,” the Oversight Board wrote in a statement.

Cross check was a central issue in the Oversight Board’s handling of Donald Trump’s Facebook suspension. The board had asked Facebook for more details about cross check, saying the company’s rules “should apply to all users.”

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Our first impressions of 'Forza Horizon 5'

With a heavy Ford Bronco bias.

Forza Horizon 5
Forza Horizon 5

Playground Games’ open-world racing series Forza Horizon is almost ready for the next generation of consoles — and your PC. As Senior Editor Jessica Conditt puts it, “Horizon is the chill, microdosing cousin of Forza Motorsport, with festival vibes, ridiculous race tracks set in lush environments.”

Forza Horizon 5 is due out on November 9th and will be included in Xbox Game Pass. 

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