in 2.8 it looks like my cursor orientation is set according to view. How do I change that to face/normal. When I click on an object I would like it to orient according to the normal of the surface.
- Activate the 3D Cursor in the Toolbar T.
- Open up the Sidebar (N) and, on the Tool tab, change the Orientation to Geometry.
- Click on the surface of the object to update the orientation of the 3D Cursor.
If the 3D Cursor is not "sticking" to the surface, enable Cursor Surface Project in Preferences (Ctrl+Alt+U) > Editing > 3D Cursor.
I don't think there currently is a global setting or quick toggle for 3D cursor orientation, as such it is configured on a per-hotkey basis, as far as I know. As rdllngr correctly pointed out in his answer, you can actually do this from the 3D Cursor Tool.
Otherwise for non tool-based 3D cursor placement go to Edit > User Preferences > Keymap search for "Cursor" and edit the entry under the 3D View for Set 3D Cursor.
Expand the entry and under orientation pick one of the options (None, View, Transform, Geometry) that best suits your needs, in this case Geometry.
If you need to switch between the two orientation modes frequently you can set different hotkeys for each.