World faith leaders join governments, nongovernmental organizations and industry to protect children online | Microsoft on the Issues

Understanding online risks to teens and young people

At Microsoft, we see online risks to all people as stemming from four primary sources, what I call the Four C’s: content, contact, conduct and commerce. In and of themselves, the Four C’s are fairly innocuous, but when we consider illegal content, inappropriate contact or conduct, or illegitimate commerce, we’re addressing online safety risks and harm. To better understand that landscape, three years ago we began conducting research into online pitfalls as the centerpiece of our work in promoting digital civility: leading and acting with empathy, respect, compassion and kindness in all online interactions.


Two decades of child online protection


Microsoft’s commitment to protecting children, and indeed all individuals, online dates back more than 20 years. We readily and willingly collaborate with individuals and groups that share our goal of safer online communities for children and disrupting the online spread of illegal material. Earlier this month, we hosted a cross-industry hackathon focused on developing a tool to identify and root out potential instances of child online grooming for sexual purposes. We are encouraged by the outcomes of the hackathon, which included not only a technical and an engineering track but also teams examining the requisite legal and operational aspects of implementing such a technique. The hackathon was mentioned in several circles at the Abu Dhabi event.


As we and others continually note: No one entity or organization can tackle these weighty issues alone. They continue to require new, innovative approaches and, the integration of the faith sector as an informed and involved actor can only speed our collective progress for the world’s children.


The post World faith leaders join governments, nongovernmental organizations and industry to protect children online appeared first on Microsoft on the Issues.


PyDev of the Week: Reimar Bauer | The Mouse Vs. The Python

PyDev of the Week: Reimar Bauer | The Mouse Vs. The Python

I tried something new to help automate the process of this blog post weekly. It worked as a starting point; just need further tweaking. Could there be a Python script for this?

This week we welcome Reimar Bauer (@ReimarBauer) as our PyDev of the Week! Reimar is a core developer of the popular Python wiki package, MoinMoin. He has spoken at PyCON DE, FOSDEM and EuroPython about Python. Let’s take a few minutes to get to know him better!


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


I am a programmer from Jülich, Germany. That‘s a small town between Aachen and Cologne.


I work at the Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH. Employees research in the fields of energy and the environment, information and brain research with the aim of providing society with options for action facilitating sustainable development.


My work is related to atmospheric science.

copyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH

Why did you start using Python?

It was because of the MoinMoin Software. I had an idea. I wanted to have a Gantt chart view in MoinMoin.


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

I have only one favorite, and that‘s Python. It also plays a role what my colleagues need for their work. I still maintain a large IDL library, but since development froze about 2013, we moved on to Python. I also know Fortran, but stopped using it..

via The Mouse Vs. The Python

Seth James Nielson on Blockchain Technology for Data Governance

Seth James Nielson recently hosted a tutorial workshop at Data Architecture Summit 2018 Conference about Blockchain technology and its impact on data architecture and data governance.

Source: Seth James Nielson on Blockchain Technology for Data Governance

The best definition I have heard about Universal Basic Income

The best definition I have heard about Universal Basic Income

The video cuts off early when it’s about to make a statistical point, but the part encoded boils the concept down to a stage where most can grasp it. The person who tweeted this is running for President in 2020. I don’t think he will gain much traction, but the nominee needs to include this in their platform and make political speeches about it just as it were any other topic.

PyDev of the Week: Mike Müller | The Mouse Vs. The Python

PyDev of the Week: Mike Müller | The Mouse Vs. The Python

I monitor these posts regularly for inspirational purposes, and to keep up with the “foot soldier” Pythonistas. This is the first one that mentioned Haskell as another language used. Happy Thanksgiving Day in North America and somewhat beyond.

Source: PyDev of the Week: Mike Müller | The Mouse Vs. The Python

Microsoft News puts a special focus on poverty in November

Microsoft photo

I like how Microsoft News is doing what the Mainstream Media refuses to do in this political atmosphere. As long as Microsoft and it’s partners adhere to journalistic standards, and it appears that they are, the cries of “fake news” ring quite hollow.

Across geographic, social and cultural landscapes, Americans from backgrounds of all kinds don’t have enough money to meet their basic needs. Even when the larger economy is robust and job reports are positive, millions of Americans aren’t a part of that picture. They are white, rural, urban, black, married, single, Native American, Hispanic, gay, straight and gender nonconforming. They are religious and they are not. They are elderly and they are just babies. They are our relatives and neighbors – they are us.


This November, Microsoft News is putting a focus on Poverty in America with a 2-week series examining the root causes of poverty, what poverty really means to the many different kinds of people affected, and what we can do to contribute to the most meaningful solutions. We teamed up with some of our most trusted news partners to bring you custom content and highlight quality journalism that helps us understand these issues.


An important step toward peace and security in the digital world | Microsoft on the issues.

An important step toward peace and security in the digital world | Microsoft on the issues.

Today, French President Emmanuel Macron launched a global effort among governments, businesses and civil society to protect and defend against threats to the digital infrastructure that runs our daily lives. We’re proud to be one of the 370 signatories of The Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace. This includes 51 governments from around the world, including all 28 members of the European Union and 27 of the 29 NATO members. It also includes key governments from other parts of the world, including Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Colombia and New Zealand.


The Paris Call is an important step on the path toward digital peace, creating a stronger foundation for progress ahead. It calls for strong commitments in support of clear principles and strong norms to protect citizens and civilian infrastructure from systemic or indiscriminate cyberattacks. Similarly, it calls for governments, tech companies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to work together to protect our democracies and electoral processes from nation-state cyberthreats.


The Paris Call breaks new ground by bringing together to support these steps an unprecedented and broad array of supporters. Its signatories include more than 200 companies and business associations, including leading tech companies such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Intel, Ericsson, Samsung, Accenture, Fujitsu, SAP, Salesforce and Hitachi. Importantly, it also includes leading financial services institutions such as Citigroup, Mastercard, Visa, Deutsche Bank, as well as industrial leaders such as Nestle, Lufthansa and Schneider Electric. And it includes almost 100 critical NGOs that span groups across civil society.


All of this is important for a reason. Success in advancing cybersecurity requires an approach that is not only multinational, but multistakeholder in nature. This is because cyberspace, unlike the traditional planes of warfare like land, sea and air, is typically privately owned. Cyberspace in fact consists of concrete elements in the real world, such as datacenters, undersea cables, and laptops and mobile devices. These are designed and manufactured by private companies. And often they are owned and operated by tech companies and others in the private sector.

The post An important step toward peace and security in the digital world appeared first on Microsoft on the Issues.

Microsoft hosts tech industry hackathon to combat child online grooming

On Nov. 7 and 8, Microsoft hosted an event to unveil and discuss new efforts led by the technology industry and others in combatting child sexual exploitation online. Co-sponsored by the WePROTECT Global Alliance in conjunction with the Child Dignity Alliance, the program titled, “Preventing online child grooming: Working together for maximum impact,” took place in Redmond, Washington, alongside Microsoft’s “360 Cross-Industry Hackathon” focused on tackling the same issue. Online grooming for sexual purposes takes place when someone builds an emotional connection with a child in order to gain the child’s trust for sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or trafficking.


We were honored to have U.K. Home Secretary Sajid Javid join us and deliver the keynote address on the first day (a short recap video is posted on the Home Office’s Instagram and Facebook channels).


Other featured speakers included Julie Brill, Microsoft’s corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for privacy and regulatory affairs, who summarized our company’s long-standing work to detect and remove child sexual exploitation and abuse imagery (CSEAI) from our consumer services. Steve Grocki, chief of the child exploitation and obscenity section at the U.S. Department of Justice and a fellow WePROTECT board member, delivered a compelling update to the WePROTECT CSEAI threat assessment to include a focus on online enticement.


Dr. Hany Farid, a professor of computer science at Dartmouth College and the “father” of PhotoDNA, recounted the tech journey in addressing online CSEAI over the last decade. Farid reminded us that we face a formidable and highly motivated opponent in child sex abusers, who will continue to adjust to our disruptive techniques. “We must, therefore, continually and aggressively adapt,” Farid said.

The post Microsoft hosts tech industry hackathon to combat child online grooming appeared first from  Microsoft on the Issues.


Life after the uniform: helping veterans when their tour of duty is complete – Microsoft Life

Microsoft photo

Microsoft teams up with other technology companies to help veterans and service members adapt to new lives and address the technical skills gap.


This is the time of year where stories such as this one are told, as Veteran’s Day approaches in the United States. The holiday is November 11 (observed) and November 12 (official). Never mind that every day the men and women who in some cases made the ultimate sacrifice for this country and by doing so allows me the freedom to blog and to live my life without relative fear. I grew up in a Military family, so every day is honored and treasured.

Several years ago, a group of employees at Microsoft who had gone through the military-to-civilian adjustment themselves wondered: What if there was a way to transform a perceived weakness or lack of experience into a new set of talents? How could veterans maximize their strengths—grit, systems savvy, strong decision making, and steadfastness—and build needed skills on top of that? How could they connect with organizations who needed them and communities where they could feel like they belonged?


The answer came into focus: inspired and motivated by stories like Brown’s, Microsoft started a unique training program called Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) in 2013, an effort which soon led to a the broader Military Affairsprogram to support veterans across the company.

Source: Life after the uniform: helping veterans when their tour of duty is complete – Microsoft Life

Fuchsia Friday: Fuchsia is gaining support for Java – by borrowing from Android – 9to5Google

H/T: Kyle Bradshaw

This is an interesting development to me because isn’t Kotlin is supposed to be the language that would be to Fuschia what Java is to Android? There is the backward compatibility thing that most projects must adhere to, especially in mainstream computing.

In an interesting turn of events this Friday evening, the beginnings of support for the Java programming language has arrived for Fuchsia. Where things get interesting is that this change was found in Android’s code, not Fuchsia’s.

We’ve long known that Android, Google’s 10 year old OS for phones and tablets, and Fuchsia, Google’s in-development OS for just about everything, would have a special relationship. This will be especially true if Google intends for Fuchsia to replace Android within 5 years.

Source: Fuchsia Friday: Fuchsia is gaining support for Java – by borrowing from Android – 9to5Google

Yemeni Teacher Opens Doors -> AJ+

A Yemen man takes education into his own hands at significant risk. Here is a situation where a Non-Governmental Agency on the ground there can receive educational supplies to do an airdrop or some other logistical method of getting him and others the tools needed to educate these kids.

CMS Gives Telehealth a Nudge With Coverage for Virtual Check-Ins | mHealth Intelligence



Leave it up to bureaucrats to do things slowly; eventually, they get around to the right thing, despite the current occupant of the White House.


While much of the attention was focused on expanded reimbursement for remote patient monitoring services, an overlooked section of the 2,378-page document detailed Medicare coverage for “Brief Communication Technology-Based Service” (HCPCS code G2012). Simply put, this new code gives providers an opportunity to use telehealth to check in with their patients at certain times on care management issues.

“The new code represents a sizeable change to allow providers to efficiently use new technologies to deliver medical care,” says Nathaniel Lacktman, a partner and healthcare lawyer with Foley & Lardner who chairs the firm’s Telemedicine Industry Team and co-chairs its Digital Health Work Group. “By reimbursing for virtual check-ins, the new code exemplifies CMS’ renewed vision and desire to bring the Medicare program into the future of clinically-valid virtual care services.”

Source: CMS Gives Telehealth a Nudge With Coverage for Virtual Check-Ins

Universal Basic Income, Canada Style | PBS NewsHour

I have blogged about UBI for a minute now and still believe in its concept. Our neighbors to our north have made an official attempt at it (though later eliminated). Proven to work around the world, political courage is needed to adopt on a wider scale in the United States. Andrew Yang may be a long-shot for the Presidency, but he is advocating this social experiment. The hope is that it becomes part of the platform for 2020 and after last night’s election results, could be part of the incentive to continue the momentum and increase voter turnout, especially if paired with the removal of cannabis as a schedule 1 drug at a minimum.

The story attached to the video is older but still timely.

Leveraging Microsoft Stream Content Within OneNote – HLS Show Me How – Microsoft Tech Community


I am just an individual blogger, not in the enterprise, so this content is only semi-relevant to me, however, the use of what can be best described as Microsoft’s version of YouTube can integrate with other tools in the Microsoft 365 chest, such as OneNote (their version of Evernote), Teams (their version of Slack), and SharePoint. This works for all verticals, not just healthcare and life sciences, which this blog has a focus on.

As an aside, when I was in the enterprise many moons ago, these collaborative tools would have been most helpful to me. I just don’t own a Windows Ink or active touch screens that make very good use of it.

Not discussed were the HIPAA implications of collaboration and access, stuff that as a former IT pro, keeps me up at night. The enterprise has these people in place to handle this, and Microsoft to back them up.

As healthcare and Life Sciences organizations look to Digitally transform one area of interest is the increased uses of video for tacit knowledge capture and re-use, for meeting capture, as well as for training. One of the stumbling blocks though for many is making that video readily available when and where it makes sense to utilize inline and making the inclusion of it simple for everyday users within and organization.

via Leveraging Microsoft Stream Content Within OneNote – HLS Show Me How – Microsoft Tech Community – 282491

Seattle skyline turns blue in coordinated tribute to late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen | GeekWire

I normally don’t post about what is essentially a local story on the other side of the United States from where this Blog originates, but Paul Allen has had a pronounced influence on my life, though we never met. He also touches the sports world; this part of the story.

Carolina Panthers record and Seattle Seahawks on the schedule later this season.

In the first Seahawks home game since Paul Allen passed away, the NFL franchise honored its late owner with a tribute video and special 12th Man flag raising before Sunday’s game against Los Angeles.


Allen, the Microsoft co-founder who died on Oct. 15 at the age of 65, purchased the Seahawks in 1996, effectively saving the team from leaving town. He owned the franchise for more than 20 years, guiding the Seahawks during their most successful stretch in team history, winning three NFC championship trophies and bringing home the Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl champs in 2013.


As part of a celebration for Allen’s 20th year of ownership, the Seahawks published a four-part series on its website last year that details how his leadership style helped create a winning culture within the franchise and a positive impact on Seattle itself. Allen was frequently seen in the locker room after games. In 2015, Seahawks general manager John Schneider told 710 ESPN that he compiles a report after each game for Allen.

via Seahawks honor Paul Allen with 12th Man flag raising at first home game since owner passed.

UAB researchers study why some people don’t suffer Alzheimer’s effects – Alabama NewsCenter

Researchers believe that some people – perhaps 30 to 50 percent of the population – are resilient to the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Understanding what makes these people resilient to the debilitating symptoms of dementia could be a key to developing ways to treat or cure the disease.


“These are people who develop the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease: the tangles of tau protein and the accumulation of amyloid protein in the brain,” said Jeremy Herskowitz, Ph.D., assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of NeurologySchool of Medicine. “But they don’t develop the symptoms of the disease and are resilient to its effects. If we can understand why this segment of the population is resilient, we might have a new target for slowing or preventing the disease in those who are not resilient.”

via UAB researchers study why some people don’t suffer Alzheimer’s effects – Alabama NewsCenter

Telemedicine’s ‘big day’ – POLITICO

AH_telehealthThe big news in the world of telemedicine is that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have finally done more than lip service to reimbursement for telemedicine services. In this world, there is an HCPCS code (“Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System,” 2018) for every conceivable service or product. Billing for both the actual visit and any imagery the helps the provider make further intervention decisions has separate codes and rates associated with them (not provided here). CMS is also finalizing policies to pay separately for new coding describing chronic care remote physiologic monitoring (CPT codes 99453, 99454, and 99457) and interprofessional internet consultation (CPT codes 99451, 99452, 99446, 99447, 99448, and 99449) (“Final Policy, Payment, and Quality Provisions Changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for Calendar Year 2019 | CMS,” 2018, pp. 4–5).

The final rules CMS released this week could advance virtual treatment further and faster than anything the government has done previously, advocates believe.


On Thursday, the agency finalized plans to reimburse physicians for virtually checking in with patients and remotely evaluating recorded images.


Thursday’s rule follows on the heels of a Wednesday CMS rule making it easier for home health agencies to get paid for remote monitoring of patients.

via Telemedicine’s ‘big day’ – POLITICO Continue reading