Microsoft

Face of the day

Before and after elevator girl

Before and after elevator girl

Today’s face of the day is the face captured by a technology called BriefCam which helped catch the Boston Marathon bombers.Thanks to this video search engine technology hours of footage can be condensed into minutes, enabling the good guys to catch the bad guys faster. People like Nicky Hager after a hard day pawing through other people’s hacked correspondence, will no doubt decry this technology as being controversial and ‘ shocking ‘ because it is taking away people’s privacy. I say, if you are in a public place expect to be under surveillance for both your protection and the protection of others. The crime solving capacity of this technology is exciting.

Films like “Minority Report” are no longer considered futuristic: video surveillance methods portrayed in this 2003 film are already in use. In fact, such methods have already helped in catching criminals and terrorists, albeit being controversial.

One of the most innovative technologies in this field was developed by Israeli company BriefCam, which helped in catching the Boston Marathon bombers. Using tracking algorithms, BriefCam enables users to track events caught on tape much more quickly, thus maximizing the potential of video surveillance.

A search engine for videos.

Read more »

Mega’s little problem with a pesky thing called the law

Kim Dotcom is blowing hard once again on Twitter.

megachat

He is going on about ‘his’ MegaChat…funny thing is he was crying poverty and said he had given all his shares in Mega to his estranged missus…so quite how it is his is another matter entirely. Perhaps he has misled another court?

In any case his boastfulness ignores a problem.

Chris Keall at NBR explains.

Mega has said it will abide by the laws of every company it operates in. As a registered commercial entity it can barely take any other stance.

And when the FBI so successfully eavesdropped on the Skype chats and instant messages Kim Dotcom and his co-defendants while investigating Megaupload, it did so with a warrant issued by a judge.

What would Mega do if a law enforcement agency in a country its service operates in (that is, anywhere), hands it, or one of its users, a lawful warrant asking for encryption keys? In NZ, it has to live under the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Act, aka TICS, which gives our government broad-brush powers to demand depcryption keys from a service provider when there is a (very broadly defined) threat to NZ’s national interest. This as-yet-untested legislation gives the ICT Minister discretion over who is defined as a service provider. Network operators like Spark, Vodafone, 2degrees are very clearly service providers. It’s more of a grey area for the likes of Microsoft Skype, Google Hangouts and now MegaChat – but I’m guessing the Crown won’t give MegaChat a free pass.   Read more »

Is Internet Explorer finally dead?

Could it be, the world’s worst internet browser software, Internet Explorer, is about to be killed off by Microsoft?

Microsoft is secretly developing a new web browser to replace Internet Explorer, it has been claimed.

Experts say the new browser, codenamed Spartan, will be unveiled on January 21st when Microsoft shows off Windows 10 for the first time.

It is believed the new browser will look more like Google’s Chrome browser, and be faster than IE.

Faster than IE? ..that won’t be hard….dead squirrels are faster than IE.

‘Microsoft is building a new browser, codenamed Spartan, which is not IE 12 — at least according to a couple of sources of mine,’ said Mary Jo Foley of ZDNET.

Thomas Nigro, a Microsoft Student Partner lead and developer of the modern version of VLC a media playing app, claimed on Twitter earlier this month that he heard Microsoft was building a brand-new browser.     Read more »

Misogyny strong at the top of Micrsosoft

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella says women don’t need to ask for a raise. They should just trust the system – one that, in technology companies, is overwhelmingly male.

Nadella spoke at an event for women in computing held in Phoenix this week. He was asked to give his advice to women who are uncomfortable requesting a raise.

“It’s not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along,” he answered. Not asking for a raise, he added, is “good karma” that would help a boss realise that the employee could be trusted and should have more responsibility.

Un-believable that a major corporate CEO could be that dense.   Of course you ask for a raise!  And when you don’t get it, and you feel you are undervalued in the market, you change companies.

What sort of slave-mentality is it to sit there quietly and hope you’ll get noticed?

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PPTA opposes courses because kids might get a job out of them

You really have to wonder about the state of mind of teachers who oppose literally everything in education, including the possibility of students getting jobs.

Russell Blackstock reports:

It is 7.40 on a humid Auckland morning and a dedicated group of wannabe IT experts is already lining up outside a classroom at Avondale College in the west of the city.

While waiting for their teacher to arrive, the students are busily updating their social media pages and browsing news sites on smartphones and hand-held tablets.

Most of their school friends are barely out of bed, still at home wolfing down breakfast.

The youngsters — aged 13 to 17 — are enrolled in the school’s new Innovation Programme, a partnership with United States giant Microsoft. The kids are hoping for a headstart into computer industry roles such as software and game designers, solution architects and project managers.

Bill and Melinda Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs — the computer whizzes of the past taught themselves to code at home in their bedrooms, but the geeks of the future will learn in the classroom.

The classes run from 8am every weekday before the regular school day starts.

The students also attend for three hours most Saturday mornings and even during the holidays.

So they even volunteer to attend classes outside of normal school hours…perish the thought that they might just be enjoying the courses.

David Officer is just 13 but is already devising a programme to help teachers mark students’ work.

Madeleine Day, 16, is developing a mobile asset-management system that she hopes will help the fuel industry make complex calculations about weights and measures.

“The course is fantastic and is geared towards preparing you for a job or further education,” Day says.

“I would like to become a software engineer or work in the gaming industry, ideally for the likes of Microsoft or Google.”

Sounds promising…but wait here come the whingers.

Not everyone agrees that public-private partnerships are a good thing. The Post Primary Teachers’ Association has expressed concerns at such ventures.

John Guthrie, senior lecturer at the University of Otago’s Business School, warns that large corporations like Microsoft can simply use such courses to capture future customers and headhunt employees.

“It is not unlike a bank targeting youngsters and encouraging them to save with them,” he says.

“The hope is that if they get them early enough, the kids will become customers for life. It makes good business sense.

So the kids might end up with a job at the end of school?  Yes, I can see why some would view that as be a disaster. The teacher unions wouldn’t want kids to succeed now would they?

 

Source/ NZ Herald

Unsurprising really, I haven’t used Microsoft products for years

I haven’t used Microsoft Office products in years.

I mostly live in the cloud and where possible use Google Apps and in the past have used OpenOffice as a viable alternative to Office.

Office applications became more and more bloated and the days of massive installations on hard drives to do basic things like simple spreadsheets and documents is long gone.

The advent of tablet and mobile computing has pretty much killed off applications like Office.

It may be one of Microsoft’s biggest squandered opportunities.

Tired of waiting for Office to be optimised for their mobile gadgets, a growing contingent of younger companies is turning to cheaper, simpler and touch-friendly apps that can perform word processing and other tasks in the cloud.

Take Artivest Holdings, a New York-based financial services startup that sells alternative investment products. The New York-based company uses an app called Quip, which combines word processing and messaging, to handle all but the most sensitive legal and financial files.  Read more »

Russell Brown on Labour’s propensity to aim for their feet

shoot-self-in-foot copy

Pots, pans and pannier bags blogger Russell Brown blogs about Labour’s dreadful week last week, almost entirely self inflicted.

I really don’t think Labour leader David Cunliffe had a cunning plan to hide the fine print print of his party’s Best Start policy from the public last week. Because, frankly, making a statement about how many families would be covered by the baby bonus that is contradicted by the policy paper you’ve posted on the internet is just too dumb to be a cunning plan.

Even Patrick Gower, who kicked off the story with a blog post declaring that Labour had been “deliberately misleading” and “dishonest” in not being clear that families already in receipt of paid parental leave (which Labour is promising to extend to six months) would not be eligible for the newborn payment of $60 a week subsequently started referring to it as a mistake. (After all, if you’re going to perform a bait-and-switch, it’s customary to wait until you’re safely elected, not do it on the same day.)

Allowing double-dipping would have have been inappropriate – indeed, that was the first criticism aired about the new policy by David Farrrar, when he thought that’s what the policy said. But although the URL for the full policy document had been noted in the material given out to journalists, the limit on eligibility wasn’t mentioned in the printed material or Cunliffe’s speech.

Thus, John Key and his ministers have had a week to smugly declare that Cunliffe couldn’t be taken at his word.  Read more »

Millions of New Zealanders attempt to access Child Porn sites – Ben Heather [UPDATED]

Yes, that’s what I though too:  What?

See for yourself:

mk

This doesn’t pass the BS test.  MillionS of Kiwis means about one in two, perhaps one in three of us are trying to access Child Porn web sites.

What the hell is going on here?   Read more »

The downfall of Apple

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Hypocrisy by Microsoft

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