PyDev of the Week: Parker Allen | The Mouse vs The Python

PyDev of the Week: Parker Allen | The Mouse vs The Python

This week we welcome Parker Allen as our PyDev of the Week! Parker works at Bentobox a restaurant software company that uses Python on its backend.

Parker Allen

Let’s spend some time getting to know Parker!

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

I have a non-traditional route into becoming a software engineer. I studied business with an emphasis in entrepreneurship at Loyola Marymount University, and became interested in crypto currency in 2017. I began building mining computers with 6 graphics cards, and only accessible by bash scripts in the Linux command line. This was my first true encounter with programming. I was awestruck at what was possible with the union of hardware and free open source software. This was the moment I knew I had to learn how to code and I began teaching myself for over a year every day after work.

It eventually consumed my interest entirely and I left my job working in a vineyard to pursue programming full time. I went to a coding school (Codesmith) in LA to sharpen my skills and haven’t looked back. Being close to business decisions and product development is one of the reasons why I love working at start-ups.

When I am not building on top of the world wide web, I enjoy spending my free time golfing, cycling, and finding ways to take a break from the screens.

Why did you start using Python?

The first company I worked for had a Django backend and I was admittedly a JavaScript purist at the time (it was all I knew). Django allowed us to leverage complex SQL aggregations for customer dashboards and build restful APIs consumed by a React frontend. It wasn’t long before Python’s simple, straightforward approach to syntax was a pleasure to work with. Also, Python just looks good and helps with readability. It’s always easier to write code than it is to read it. There were some business needs that weren’t fully automated, and Python was a great tool for processing large CSV data files. I had built a cool script that pulled CSV files from a AWS bucket and could run management commands with different arguments. This allowed us to avoid committing a CSV file into the repository and remove it after it was finished.

What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

Eloquent JavaScript was the first programming book that I read and definitely is my first love. I just started to learn Solidity which has been a fun challenge. I’m hoping to learn Go at some point in the future…

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Appreciate the spotlight for Python developers, thanks for interviewing me!

Thanks for being a part of the series, Parker!

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Microsoft mobilizing resources to help Covid response in India | Microsoft On The Issues

Microsoft mobilizing resources to help Covid response in India | Microsoft On The Issues

Across the world, we have seen the harrowing images of Covid-19’s impact in India. The entire country is reeling under the devastating impact of the pandemic. Our thoughts are with the millions who are impacted including their relatives living abroad. Microsoft has had a presence in India for nearly three decades and our teams in the country play an important role for the company that stretches well beyond India’s borders. We have several thousand employees across 11 locations in India, and many more employees in other countries with families in India.

As we witness the impact on friends, co-workers and the broader community, it is clear we can and must help. We are focused on using our technology, skills, resources and voice to assist in the global response.

We are working to ensure we are doing everything we can to take care of our employees in India and stepping up to help address urgent needs in the broader community. This includes daily crisis management team meetings in Redmond and India with teams across the company. These calls allow us to quickly identify areas where Microsoft can help and ensure we can move quickly to respond.

Over the past month, Microsoft Philanthropies has been in close contact with nonprofit partners and government organizations leading the relief efforts in India to understand how we can best assist in the response. We believe a coordinated approach is the best way to help and we are working in partnership with humanitarian organizations and others in the private sector…

With escalating infections, hospitalizations and deaths being reported in several other countries, the crisis is reaching new and critical highs. Microsoft is engaged with other governments and humanitarian organizations to offer our support and we are ready to do more.

Main photograph: FedEx

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PyDev of the Week: Adam Johnson | The Mouse vs The Python

PyDev of the Week: Adam Johnson | The Mouse vs The Python

This week we welcome Adam Johnson (@adamchainz) as our PyDev of the Week! Adam is a member of the Django project Technical Board. He also co-organizes the London Django Meetup. Adam is the author of Speed Up Your Django Tests. You can see what else is going on with Adam over on his website.

Adam Johson

Let’s spend a few moments getting to know Adam better!

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

Hi, I’m Adam Johnson. I am British and live in London with my Portuguese partner. She often takes me to Lisbon, so at least I get some sun there.

I have been programming since I was 8 years old when my Dad introduced me to QuickBasic on the first family computer. My brother and I wrote our own computer games rather than buy any. This eventually led to us releasing game creator software together when we were teenagers.

I currently work as a contractor through my company Adam’s Web Services Ltd, doing Django/Python consulting.

I love to cycle, read, and drink tea (mostly green!).

Why did you start using Python?

Before and during university, I used PHP to build websites, without any framework. I thought this was great, but in retrospect, everything was a bit cowboy – no database migrations, tests, and manual deployments through FTP!

My first job after uni was with a startup, Memrise, where I moved to Python and Django. I’ve loved it ever since. I found Python easier to understand than PHP, and less typing. Django gave me plenty of tools that helped me build web pages faster. It was a great learning experience because I joined as the site was at an inflection point, scaling up to a million users.

What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

I’ve tried a bunch of other languages, especially through university where the first course was in Haskell! And I still try to experiment with one new language each year to expose myself to new ideas.

The most recent such language was Rust, for which I followed the official book online. I think it has great foundations and there are many great things coming from the Rust community. I’m excited to see more systems-level tools moving to it to prevent memory unsafety. I hope I can use it directly on a project in the future.

Day-to-day at the moment I use nearly exclusively Python, JavaScript and C. JavaScript I use where necessary to build particular features, but I try to avoid. The C code I’ve written recently has been for Python extensions, notably time-machine, a datetime mocking library that I released last year…

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

May your tests run fast and green.

Thanks for doing the interview, Adam!

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PyDev of the Week: Haki Benita | The Mouse vs The Python

PyDev of the Week: Haki Benita | The Mouse vs The Python

This week we welcome Haki Benita (@be_haki) as our PyDev of the Week! Haki is a contributor at Real Python. You can also see some of Haki’s work over on their own website or by checking out their GitHub profile.

Let’s spend some time getting to know Haki better!

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

My name is Haki Benita, I am a software developer and a team leader living in Tel-Aviv. I have a BA in economics and computer science and an MBA (but don’t hold it against me). In my spare time, which is scarce these days, I like to write and spend time with my family.

Why did you start using Python?

I started my professional career as a DBA in a large organization. The technologies I used there were what you would expect from a big corp. There was no Python.

When I left this organization I joined a small company. They developed an Android app and they needed a dashboard and an API. Back then I didn’t know anything about web development, so I picked Django because it seemed like a good choice. This is how I got started with Python and Django, and the rest is history…

What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

In any team, I’ve ever landed in I was always the “data guy”, so obviously, I write a lot of SQL. Throughout the years I’ve worked to some degree with many languages including PLSQL, SASS, R, C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript and Go. However, most of my professional work nowadays involves Python, SQL, and TypeScript. Luckily (but not accidentally), these are my favorite languages!…

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

You can find my writings at hakibenita.com

Thanks for doing the interview, Haki!

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Microsoft selects 13 US teens for 2021 Council for Digital Good   | Microsoft On The Issues

Microsoft selects 13 US teens for 2021 Council for Digital Good   | Microsoft On The Issues

We are pleased to announce that selections have been made for Microsoft’s 2021 Council for Digital Good. We look forward to engaging with this new group of teens from across the U.S., as we jointly explore ways to promote safer, healthier and more respectful online interactions.

Building off a similar 18-month pilot program that concluded in July 2018, we announced in January that we were accepting applications for our second U.S.-based Council for Digital Good. We invited teens, aged 13 to 16, to apply to help advance constructive and productive online behaviors to further champion our work in digital civility

Here are two additional application excerpts from two other selected council members:

“As a teen growing up in a time reliant on technology, I have seen first-hand how tech can affect people positively and negatively, and I hope to be able to convey issues (with) what I have seen because of the pandemic and use them to promote safe and healthy online and digital use. Microsoft cannot prevent hate and fake news from entering media platforms, but they can inform teens that what they are seeing every day online isn’t necessarily an accurate representation, and the (council) would help to communicate that to a group that they can relate to.”

– A 14-year-old from Washington state

“It is essential that youth, including myself, are taught how to be safe and show respect to others on the internet even if we are hidden by a screen. By serving on the Council for Digital Good I hope to be an ambassador for digital civility, fostering a safer and healthier online environment for all people, using the skills I have learnt from promoting equity and inclusion in my community. I’m also excited to learn and understand the perspectives of the other council members, working together to positively impact life online.”

– A 16-year-old from New York state

Selecting our 2021 council members was a competitive process and, in the end, we assembled a group with diverse life experiences that we hope will bring a wealth of views and perspectives to council discussions and activities. We selected 13 young men and women from eight states: Arizona, California, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, plus the District of Columbia. We’re excited to begin engaging with this new cohort in preparation for a virtual summit in August. Council members should be on the look-out for an invitation to a kickoff videoconference call in the coming weeks…

Follow council activities on Facebook and Twitter with #CouncilforDigitalGood. For more information about online safety generally, visit our website and resources page.

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PyDev of the Week: Tristan Bunn | The Mouse vs The Python

PyDev of the Week: Tristan Bunn | The Mouse vs The Python

This week we welcome Tristan Bunn as our PyDev of the Week! Tristan is the author of Learn Python Visually, a new Python book from No Starch Press. You can find out more about what Tristan is up to on his website or by visiting GitHub.

Let’s spend a few moments getting to know Tristan better!

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc.):

I began my career as a web designer over fifteen years ago. I did a graphic design course and particularly enjoyed my interactive media modules. When I entered the industry, I quickly gravitated towards the Web (and Flash) because I enjoyed working at the intersection of design and code. Today, I work as a lecturer and researcher in creative technologies. I now hold a BTech in design, an MSc, and I’m currently pursuing a computer science PhD with an HCI focus. As for hobbies, I enjoy reading graphic novels and kitesurfing.

Why did you start using Python?

In a previous lecturing role, I was looking for a better way to teach my creative students how to code. There was Processing and Flash, but for different reasons, those environments weren’t ideal. I then stumbled upon something named Nodebox — a macOS application that let you create 2D visuals (static, animated, or interactive) using Python code. However, I needed something cross-platform, and I found Shoebot (inspired by DrawBot and Shoes for Ruby). This was my first foray into Python; it was love at first sight.

What other programming languages do you know, and which is your favorite?

I do a lot of frontend web development, so: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

But I’ve used many other languages, to name a few: PHP, ActionScript & Haxe, Lua, and C# (Unity). Python is still my favorite…

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

You can check out my work on my portfolio website, which includes a link to my blog.

I also want to thank everyone who helped with my book, especially the No Starch Press folks.

Thanks for doing the interview, Tristan!

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Microsoft releases biannual digital trust reports | Microsoft On The Issues

Microsoft releases biannual digital trust reports | Microsoft On The Issues

Microsoft has released its latest biannual digital trust reports on the Microsoft Reports Hub. These reports consist of the Law Enforcement Requests Report, U.S. National Security Orders Report, Content Removal Requests Report, and Digital Safety Content Report. We are also releasing the latest Microsoft Privacy Report with this larger group of reports.

Please also visit our Data Law website for more information about Microsoft’s principles, policies and procedures for responding to government requests for data.

Law enforcement requests

When Microsoft receives a law enforcement request – from any government – we review the request to ensure it is consistent with controlling law and our Microsoft principles. We disclose customer data only in response to a legally valid warrant, order or subpoena, and only after we confirm the request specifies specific accounts or individual identifiers. We object to improper legal demands – even through litigation when necessary…

U.S. national security orders

The U.S. National Security Orders Report, which encompass the period from January to June 2020,  is largely consistent with the previous reports:

  • For the latest Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) data reported, Microsoft received 0-499 FISA orders seeking content disclosures affecting 14,000-14,499 accounts, which is a decrease from the previous period where disclosures affected 14,500-14,999 accounts. We received 0-499 National Security Letters in the latest reporting period, which is unchanged from the previous period.

Content removal requests

The latest Content Removal Requests Report details acceptance rates regarding requests received from governments, copyright holders, individuals subject to the European Union’s “Right to Be Forgotten” ruling.

Digital safety content

The Digital Safety Content Report covers actions that Microsoft has taken in relation to child sexual exploitation and abuse imagery (CSEAI), terrorist and violent extremist content (TVEC) as well as non-consensual intimate imagery (NCII). We continue to take steps to ensure that our platforms and services remain safe and welcoming to all users with respect to their rights to privacy and freedom of expression.

Microsoft Privacy Report

As part of our continuing efforts to provide customers with increased transparency and control over their data, we are also releasing our biannual Microsoft Privacy Report today. The Privacy Report includes information about how we collect personal data and important privacy updates that enable customers to make informed choices. The April 2021 report highlights channels available for our customers to manage and control their personal data, including through the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard and the privacy controls within Microsoft Teams.

We continue to strive toward building and maintaining trust in technology, and we know that transparency is a key component to that trust. Our digital trust reports are intended to help our customers understand how Microsoft responds to requests for data and for content removal.

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Microsoft to Acquire Nuance to Boost Healthcare Cloud Strategy

I also look forward to have Dragon Naturally Speaking integrated in Windows 10.

Microsoft acquires Nuance to further its efforts in industry-specific healthcare cloud strategies with Nuance’s cloud and AI software.

Finally, an acquisition that makes sense.

Source: Microsoft to Acquire Nuance to Boost Healthcare Cloud Strategy

PyDev of the Week: Will McGugan | The Mouse vs The Python

PyDev of the Week: Will McGugan | The Mouse vs The Python

This week we welcome Will McGugan (@willmcgugan) as our PyDev of the Week! Will is the author of the Rich package, which is for for rich text and beautiful formatting in the terminal. If you have a moment, you should check out Will’s blog. Will is also the author of Beginning Game Development with Python and Pygame. You can see what other projects he contributes to over on GitHub.

Let’s spend some time getting to know Will better!

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

I grew up in a small town in North East Scotland. My career took me around the UK, including some years in Oxford and London. I’ve since returned to Scotland where I live in Edinburgh with my wife. I’m quite fortunate to have been working from home as a freelance software developer long before the pandemic started.

I’m mostly self taught, having dropped out of University to work in video games. Although I think by the time you reach my age all developers are self-taught. In such a fast-moving industry learning on the job is a must.

My main hobby outside software development is photography—in particular, wildlife photography. I once spent a night in a Finnish forest shooting wild Eurasian bears. That was quite an experience! As soon as the world returns to normal I plan to do way more traveling and photography.

I post many of my photographs on my blog and if you prompt me I’ll talk at length about focal lengths and bokeh.

Why did you start using Python?

I discovered Python back in the early 2000s when I worked in video games. I was looking for a scripting language I could compile in to a game engine to manage the game mechanics while C++ handled the heaving lifting and graphics. I considered Python, Ruby, and Lua. After some research and experimentation I settled on not Python, but Lua.

Lua was probably the best choice for that task but I found myself turning to Python for scripts and tools. I viewed Python then as more of an upgrade to Windows batch files and not as a real programming language. Only when the scripts I was writing grew more sophisticated did I begin to appreciate the expressiveness of Python and the batteries included approach. It was a refreshing change from C++ where so much had to be written from scratch.

Fast forward a few years and I made the switch to working with Python full-time, writing a chess interface for the Internet Chess Club. Python has been the focus of my career ever since, and even though I spent years learning C++, I don’t regret the switch!

What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

The main other languages I use day-to-day is Javascript and Typescript (if that counts as another language), often in the context of a web application with a back-end written in Python.

It’s been a while but did a lot of work with C and C++ back in the day. I also wrote a fair amount of 80×86 assembly language, at a time where hand-tuning instructions was a sane thing to do.

My favorite language is of course Python. I love the language itself and the ecosystem that has grown around it…

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I post Python-related articles on my blog (https://ift.tt/1HYCAUM) from time to time. I’m @willmcgugan on twitter.

Thanks for doing the interview, Will!

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HoloLens and house calls: Telehealth technology delivers virtual consultations – Microsoft Stories Asia

General practitioner Dr. Cheng Chao-hsin was making a house call for an older patient who had constant pain radiating through his right hand. The man’s condition was puzzling. A few weeks earlier, another physician had diagnosed it as a case of rheumatoid arthritis and prescribed medication. But this treatment didn’t seem to be working.

Cheng listened intently to the patient and soon developed doubts. He wanted a rheumatology specialist to take a second look. Normally that might mean waiting days or weeks for an appointment and transporting the patient, who is a person with limited mobility, to a hospital many kilometers away.

But this time, Cheng simply reached into his bag and put on a HoloLens 2 mixed-reality headset. Within minutes he was collaborating with the specialist at the hospital in a real-time patient examination…

Source for the rest of the post: HoloLens and house calls: Telehealth technology delivers virtual consultations – Microsoft Stories Asia

Building a more inclusive skills-based economy: The next steps for our global skills initiative | Microsoft On The Issues

Building a more inclusive skills-based economy: The next steps for our global skills initiative | Microsoft On The Issues

Last summer, we launched a global skills initiative to reach 25 million worldwide. Nine months later, we have helped more than 30 million people, learned from our projects and are ready to launch the next phase in our work. Today, I’m excited to join my colleague and LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky to share the details. As you’ll see below, this extends our work, expands our vision and commits Microsoft and LinkedIn to a new promise to help 250,000 companies make a skills-based hire in 2021.

Our plans are grounded in a vision of what is needed for a more inclusive post-pandemic recovery. COVID-19 has led to record unemployment numbers, disrupting livelihoods of people around the world. A century ago, the United States and other governments responded to the twin crises created by the Great Depression and World War II by investing in the infrastructure and people of their time. This included not only roads and bridges, but ubiquitous access to inventions such as electricity and the telephone and the biggest educational expansion in human history…

The promise is worth pursuing. The world’s most successful nations a century ago were not prepared to leave rural communities without electricity, homes without telephones or people without an opportunity to graduate from high school and go to college. Their bolder ambitions, while always imperfect, created decades of economic growth and broadening benefits for a growing middle class.

Similar success in the 21st century is within our reach. But it requires that we all work together in new ways that will not only provide people with easier access to technologies, but the skills needed to put them to use.

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PyDev of the Week: Ngazetungue Muheue | The Mouse vs The Python

PyDev of the Week: Ngazetungue Muheue | The Mouse vs The Python

This week we welcome Ngazetungue Muheue (@muheuenga) as our PyDev of the Week!

Ngazetungue Muheue
Ngazetungue Muheue

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

I’m Ngazetungue Muheue, a Namibian, developer, conference speaker, based in the city of Windhoek in Namibia. I was born here in Namibia and raised in a remote part of the country behind livestock. I am a farmer although recently I’ve jumped ship into tech space.

I graduated with a Diploma and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (Honours) from the University of Namibia. Although I took a few technical classes, my interests were mainly in programming. Going and educating myself in areas of programming has broadened my horizons, I do solve problems from a variety of different angles.

I’m a Python Software Foundation Fellow with a strong interest in fighting for underprivileged or underrepresented groups of people in the tech space and making the language more accessible to everyone around the world. Hopefully, the world would be a better place if we share the same goal. I’ve been an active volunteer in the Python community for several years, advocating for the usage of Python in Namibia and around the globe.

When I’m not working on code, you will find me at a sports field with friends, riverbed listening to birds sound and around the fire with my grandparents listening to their childhood stories. Besides, I like Chess games. The funny part, I am not good at watching movies, I can pause it for two days and continue with it the third day. Hopefully, I will work on that.

Why did you start using Python?

After high school, I got involved in a car accident, which nearly paralyzed me and caused me to be in a hospital for an entire year. I couldn’t move; my arms and legs were not working.

I began questioning myself, how am I going to help myself, what if my arms don’t work again, what am I going to do? During that time, I bought my first laptop. I remember using Facebook and wondering how people could communicate with someone in the United States and other parts of the world. That was the spark that started my journey.

In 2014 I got accepted to the University of Namibia for a two-year program to get a computer science diploma. During my first year is when I was introduced to Python. In 2015, we had our first Python Namibia conference organized by the University of Namibia and Cardiff University and then I decided to be more active in Python. I fell in love with the language because of its syntax and it was easy for me to use it in my project at the university. The more I use the language, the more I realised that it has an amazing community that has become part of my life. I’ve made a lot of friends from all over the world who help me a lot. This is one of the reasons that reinforced my desire to keep using Python.

What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

Currently, I don’t have a favourite programming language other than Python and Javascript. I use the Django framework in most of my projects. I worked with Visual Basic and C# before during my Diploma level at the University and currently, I am learning React. To be honest, I’m more into Python and haven’t experimented that much with other languages…

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Well, the Namibian Python community is getting ready for the seventh edition of PyCon Namibia this year in June. I’d encourage anyone reading to follow our page @PyConNA for more updates.

Thanks for doing the interview, Ngazetungue!

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Why we are concerned about Georgia’s new election law | Microsoft On The Issues

Why we are concerned about Georgia’s new election law | Microsoft On The Issues

Just last month, Microsoft shared its decision to invest substantially in Atlanta. As I announced together with Georgia’s Governor and Atlanta’s Mayor, our company is making  significant investments that will put Atlanta “on the path toward becoming one of Microsoft’s largest hubs in the United States in the coming decade, after Puget Sound and Silicon Valley.” We are creating thousands of new jobs, and we are proud to become a rapidly growing member of Atlanta’s important business community.

That’s why we are concerned about many aspects of Georgia’s new “Election Integrity Act.” Two things are clear to us. First, the right to vote is the most cherished aspect of democracy. And second, this new law has important provisions that unfairly restrict the rights of people to vote legally, securely, and safely. That’s why we voiced concern about this legislation even before it was passed…

*    *    *

These are just some of the issues that rightly are attracting attention about the new law. We believe it’s important for companies and business leaders to continue to study the 98-page law more closely, take a substantive approach, and voice our views collectively.

We recognize that some recent criticisms of Georgia’s legislation have proven inaccurate. But already, it’s clear to us that the new law contains important provisions that needlessly and unfairly make it more difficult for people to vote. We hope that companies will come together and make clear that a healthy business requires a healthy community. And a healthy community requires that everyone have the right to vote conveniently, safely, and securely. This new law falls short of the mark, and we should work together to press the Georgia legislature to change it.

And we should all work together to oppose legislation in other states that would undermine the right to vote conveniently, securely, and safely.

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UN makes critical progress on cybersecurity | Microsoft On The Issues

UN makes critical progress on cybersecurity | Microsoft On The Issues

Earlier this month, a United Nations (UN) working group open to all member states took the historic and much-needed step of agreeing on expectations for responsible nation-state behavior online. This comes at a critical time, on the backs of two major nation-state attacks – Nobelium and Hafnium – and a wave of attacks targeting health care organizations during the Covid-19 pandemic. While more needs to be done, we should all be encouraged by the UN’s progress and the solidarity taking shape against indiscriminate nation-state attacks that cause widespread harm.

This new consensus was reached via the UN’s Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on cybersecurity, which issued its final report after nearly two years of deliberations. This is the first time such a document has been negotiated and agreed upon in a working group open to all 193 UN Member States. Previous UN agreements on cyber-rules were negotiated in comparatively smaller settings – and it has been over five years since these processes had come to an agreement on expectations for responsible behavior online. In the meantime, sophisticated attacks and nation-state conflicts have continued to escalate.

Beyond these specific areas, the group also recognized the importance of cybersecurity capacity building as a linchpin for all these commitments. Nations around the world have vastly different capacities and implementing international expectations in cyberspace will require new investments, especially in emerging economies. All this diplomatic work will be for naught if states are unable to follow through on their own commitments and recommendations. Cybersecurity is not zero-sum, and when any one nation is more secure, we all reap the benefits…

While we are encouraged by the OEWG report, there is one place where we urge all UN member states to take more action: human rights. The report regrettably contains only cursory references to human rights and omits any reference to international humanitarian law, both of which should be upheld in cyberspace as they are in the physical domain.

Achieving consensus on this report is indeed an important win for inclusive multilateralism and diplomacy, as well as for cybersecurity, but more work is required in the near-term. We urge states to continue to build on this positive outcome to turn the tide against escalating conflict online by continuing to engage in robust and inclusive dialogues. The French government’s proposed Programme of Action (PoA) is one possible path forward that could consolidate UN cyber deliberations into a single standing process while helping to facilitate and streamline necessary multistakeholder inclusion. We are grateful to the governments that have wrestled with these issues for years, and we at Microsoft will support the next steps required to protect our shared cyberspace.

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PyDev of the Week: Yuxi (Hayden) Liu | The Mouse vs The Python

PyDev of the Week: Yuxi (Hayden) Liu | The Mouse vs The Python

This week we welcome Yuxi (Hayden) Liu as our PyDev of the Week! Hayden is the author of Python Machine Learning By Example and other books. You can connect with Hayden on LinkedIn.

Now let’s spend some time getting to know Hayden better!

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

I am currently a Software Engineer, Machine Learning at Google. Previously I worked as a machine learning scientist in a variety of data-driven domains and applied my ML expertise in computational advertising, marketing and cybersecurity. I am an author of a series of machine learning books and an education enthusiast. My first book, Python Machine Learning by Example, ranked the #1 bestseller in Amazon in 2017 and 2018, and was translated into many different languages. And I earned my degree from the University of Toronto.

I enjoy hiking a lot, so I am grateful SF Bay Area has many hiking trails complemented nicely by consistently sunny weather.

Why did you start using Python?

In 2008 when I did my undergrad.

What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

C++, Java, Go, etc. Of course Python has always been my favorite…

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

If you love to chat about ML, data and Python, feel free to connect with me at LinkedIn. Here is my Amazon Author page. If you have any topics you want me to write about, feel free to let me know as well.

Thanks for doing the interview, Hayden!

The rest of the post PyDev of the Week: Yuxi (Hayden) Liu appeared first on Mouse Vs Python.

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PyDev of the Week: John Sheehan | The Mouse vs The Python

PyDev of the Week: John Sheehan | The Mouse vs The Python

This week we welcome John Sheehan (@JennaSys) as our PyDev of the Week. John is the author of React to Python. You can see what John has been up via his website or on his Github profile.

Let’s spend some time getting to know John now!

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

I am a freelance software developer mostly focused on developing in-house applications for small/medium size businesses. In-between working for my own clients over the last 25 years, I also served as a project manager on a large multi-year enterprise Java project, and spent several years running operations for a local Makerspace.

I received my degree in Computer Science & Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago … a long time ago. From there, due to a random paperwork filing mistake that someone made, I immediately got a job in a mechanical engineering position that ultimately moved me out to California. While that job didn’t have anything to do with programming, it gave me several years of learning how every aspect of a medium-sized business worked. When I left there to start a freelance programming business, that experience proved to be invaluable as it allowed me to walk into almost any small business and fully understand their business workflows within a very short period of time. I was then able to effectively translate that understanding into software to help automate their processes. To that end, I attribute my success in developing software in my freelance business, to spending many years beforehand not developing software at all.

I’ve been an avid electronics enthusiast since I was a teen. That passion was revitalized in the mid 00’s when I stumbled upon Make! magazine and was introduced to the Atmel AVR family of microcontrollers. Since then, I’ve made a deep dive into the Raspberry Pi world (I’m the organizer for a Raspberry Pi meetup group), and have an affinity for Espressif ESP8266 modules that I program using MicroPython.

I’m also a lifelong musician (saxophone, guitar, flute, keyboards, harmonica), though that aspect of my life has been on the back-burner for the last few years.

Why did you start using Python?

When I started my freelance business, the internet was just getting off the ground, and desktop applications were the norm. Small businesses (my target market) were in the process of converting from paper to digital at the time, and RAD was the buzzword of the day. As such, I was doing mostly Visual Basic desktop application development. For better or worse, many of those applications I developed back then are still in use today. When Microsoft killed off VB in favor of C#, I went looking for a replacement, and Python was the closest fit for my needs. I’ve been using Python now for over a decade.

Oddly enough, my very first exposure to Python was an interpreter that was embedded in a Digi Zigbee-to-Ethernet gateway device. My first useful Python program was transforming data as it flowed through the gateway.

What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

Python is definitely my favorite language at this point. It just fits how my brain works, it’s really versatile, and makes programming fun for me. Other languages that I have actual experience with beyond just “Hello World” would include (in order of when I learned them): Basic, C, Lisp, VB, VBA, C++, JavaScript, Java, (Python), Google Apps Script, and Scratch. Other languages currently on my radar to further look into including Kotlin, Rust, and possibly Dart because of the Flutter platform.

Most of my active language use is Python, though I’m still maintaining several VB/VBA applications, and use C for some embedded projects…

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I appreciate you providing this platform to share developer experiences. So much material out there is just about what’s the latest and greatest, but there are a lot of interesting things going on in the trenches solving problems in less visible niche areas.

I also want to thank the Python community in general. The welcoming vibe and willingness to share ideas and knowledge has been phenomenal over the last 10 years, and I hope that attitude continues to thrive as more people adopt the Python language.

Thanks for doing the interview, John!

The rest of the post PyDev of the Week: John Sheehan appeared first on Mouse Vs Python.

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AI for Health – a year of innovations from grantees across the globe | Microsoft On the Issues

AI for Health – a year of innovations from grantees across the globe | Microsoft On the Issues

As we reflect on how the world has changed this past year due to the pandemic, we want to take a moment to shed light on the great work our grantee partners are doing to tackle some of the most difficult health challenges using AI and data science.

Source: AI for Health – a year of innovations from grantees across the globe – Microsoft On the Issues


The normal format for my postings was unwieldy, to say the least. Therefore, this style is employed.

PyDev of the Week: Žan Anderle | The Mouse vs The Python

PyDev of the Week: Žan Anderle | The Mouse vs The Python

This week we welcome Žan Anderle (@z_anderle) as our PyDev of the Week! Žan is a freelance software developer. You can check out his blog or check out his Github profile you’d like to know what he is up to.

Let’s take some time to get to know Žan better!

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

My name is Žan and I’m a solo consultant/software developer based in Slovenia. I’ve been working as a software developer for the past 7 years. Initially, I thought I would go into mechanical engineering, but while doing my undergraduate program in mechanical engineering I realized two things: 1) I don’t see myself doing mechanical engineering 2) Software development seems really fun. So I went on and did my master degree in computer science. And I’ve been in software development ever since.

But of course, that’s just the professional part of me. Apart from that, I’m a husband and a father. When it comes to hobbies I’m really into board games and music (specifically jazz). Ask me about Louis Armstrong, and I won’t shut up for hours. And if you ever meet me at a conference, I’m always down to play a cool board game.

Why did you start using Python?

While still a mechanical engineering undergrad, after I’ve realized it’s not what I want to do, I wanted to explore if computer science is what I want. So I went to Coursera and took a bunch of courses there. And one of the first one was introduction to programming and they were using Python. I loved using it from the very beginning. After a while I got my first developer (part-time) job and they were using Python and Django. So Python has been with me since the very beginning of my career.

What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

Besides Python the languages I use (and know) the most are JavaScript (and TypeScript), HTML and CSS. Apart from that the only languages I’ve used enough to be able to say I know them are MatLab/Octave, and back in the day LabVIEW. My favorite is definitely Python with JavaScript being a close second…

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Thank you for doing these interviews and thank you for having me!

Thanks for doing the interview, Žan!

The rest of the post PyDev of the Week: Žan Anderle appeared first on Mouse Vs Python.

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Technology and the Free Press: The Need for Healthy Journalism in a Healthy Democracy | Microsoft On The Issues

Technology and the Free Press: The Need for Healthy Journalism in a Healthy Democracy | Microsoft On The Issues

Editor’s Note: On Mar. 12, Microsoft President Brad Smith testified before the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law

Read Brad Smith’s written testimony below and watch the hearing here.


Written Testimony of Brad Smith
President, Microsoft Corporation

Chairman Cicilline, Ranking Member Buck, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear today to discuss a critical issue for the country – the intersection between technology and journalism and its impact on the role of the press in our democracy.

We’re here today because technology is changing every part of our society. As an employee and leader at a tech company, I believe in the benefits that digital technology is creating for our country and the world. But we must recognize that technology is creating problems as well as benefits. And these problems require new and even urgent solutions, especially when they implicate values that are fundamental and even timeless.

There is no value that is more fundamental and timeless in our country than our commitment to democracy. There are few institutions more important to the health of democracy than a free press. And when technology undermines the health of the free press – as it has – then we must pursue new solutions to restore the healthy journalism on which our democracy depends…

The rest of the extremely long post Technology and the Free Press: The Need for Healthy Journalism in a Healthy Democracy appeared first on Microsoft On the Issues.

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