New white paper highlights how Microsoft Teams helps healthcare providers with HIPAA compliance

New white paper highlights how Microsoft Teams helps healthcare providers with HIPAA compliance

A new white paper commissioned by Microsoft from HIPAA One assesses how current Microsoft security controls can help Microsoft Teams customers with HIPAA compliance.

Source: New white paper highlights how Microsoft Teams helps healthcare providers with HIPAA compliance

Microsoft Teams, like the rest of Office 365 is HIPAA compliant by default. The service that is targeted by Microsoft’s version, Slack,  is not in its default configuration. This is not to put down Slack’s effectiveness in the marketplace, but the healthcare industry is a major user of the Microsoft system of business software and integration. This choice is not an option with collaboration and communications in the Personal Health Information space.

Yet another disgrace for Alabama.

Not trying to single out my home state, because if you look hard enough, and drive less than an hour from here, this is a problem that exists as well. Need to do something about this and fast 💯.

Increasing transparency and customer control over data | Microsoft on the Issues

Increasing transparency and customer control over data | Microsoft on the Issues

Microsoft on the Issues

Microsoft can afford to do this as a large tech company because their business model is not mostly dependent on the collection of data, unlike some other firms that happen to be based in Silicon Valley. I applaud them for this initiative.


Today we are announcing new steps to give customers increased transparency and control over their data that is used by Microsoft’s major products.


Privacy is one of the defining issues of our time. As technology becomes more engrained in our lives and our work, people want to understand how and why their data is collected and used, and they want to be able to make appropriate choices. We have longstanding commitments to privacy and have regularly taken steps to give customers more information and more choice, including, for example, being the first large company to voluntarily extend strong privacy protections to customers around the world. Our Trusted Cloud is built on our commitments to privacy, security, transparency and compliance, and our Trust Center provides access to validated audit reports, data management capabilities and information about the number of legal demands we received for customer data from law enforcement.


Categorizing the data we collect as ‘required’ or ‘optional’


First, for all our major products, we’ll categorize the data we collect from devices as either required or optional.


Data in the required category will consist of data that is necessary to making our products and services work as expected by the customer, or to help ensure their security. Required data includes things like the terms of a search query so we can return relevant search results, the IP address, type and version of your device so that we can provide connectivity to our cloud services and security patches that keep your experience safe and secure, and diagnostic data so that we can detect significant feature failures.


Increasing transparency about the data we collect from devices


Second, we will increase transparency about the data we collect by improving product documentation.  Specifically, we’ll ensure that documentation for our major products and services describes the data we collect in each of these categories.


New biannual report describing changes to our data collection


Third, we’re introducing a new report that will be published twice a year at This report will highlight any new required data collection we believe is fundamental to provide, secure, update or maintain the performance of our products. We will also note instances when we stop collecting certain types of data from devices (because product or service changes mean the data is no longer required). Last, we will explain when we make changes to our data collection in response to new privacy laws, industry standards and regulations.


The post Increasing transparency and customer control over data appeared first on Microsoft on the Issues. via IFTTT

PyDev of the Week: Neil Muller

PyDev of the Week: Neil Muller

This week we welcome Neil Muller as our PyDev of the Week! Neil is an organizer for Cape Town Python User Group and PyCon ZA. He also speaks at conferences! You can learn more about his open source projects over on Github. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Neil better!

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


I’m an Applied Mathematician with interests in image processing and numerical computation, currently living and working in the Cape Town area, South Africa. I followed an interest in facial recognition into a PhD from the University of Stellenbosch, and that led to working on a variety of image processing and numerical modelling problems at iThemba LABS.


These days I split my working time between iThemba LABS and Praelexis, a machine learning company (mainly using Python) in Stellenbosch.


In my spare time, I am obsessed with board and card games, especially Vampire: The Eternal Struggle.


Why did you start using Python?


I first used Python in 1997 to solve a simple text processing problem while working on my Masters thesis. I liked the language, but I was still mainly a Matlab user at the time and so I didn’t really touch Python again until around 2004, when several of my friends and colleagues started getting really interested in the language and encouraged me to revisit it. I rapidly fell in love with the large standard library and the developing scientific computing stack. By 2005, it had replaced Matlab as my go-to tool for experimenting with problems.


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


Other than Python, I do a fair amount of work with C and C++, and also do a bit of JavaScript and shell scripting. In the past, I’ve worked extensively with Matlab, done some PHP and a bit of Fortran.


Python is my favourite language. The saying “Python Fits Your Brain” is true for me – I like the syntax and expressiveness of the language, and find it a very powerful tool for modelling and understanding whatever problem I’m trying to solve. While it’s not always part of the final solution to a given problem, it’s almost always part of getting there.


Thanks for doing the interview, Neil!

from The Mouse Vs. The Python

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold woes validate Microsoft’s Surface Andromeda caution a Certified Warditorial

The 2019 technology marketplace for platform vendors has evolved, and Microsoft has made headway with it. In the Nadella era, the phrase, “don’t buy anything MS until the 3rd try” is mostly a thing of the past. Could it be that Microsoft’s mobile strategy is counterpunch when others fall, such as Samsung? This is the most recent black eye for the company (remember the Galaxy Note 7?). Not that I could even think of affording one, but for $2000, it better work perfectly. That’s 2 Surface Pros plus a decent phone.

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold was hit by early display issues and is now delayed — was Microsoft wise in not playing its foldable pocket PC Surface Andromeda card so soon?


Microsoft’s rumored Surface Andromeda pocket foldable PC is the dream device of many a Windows phone enthusiast. But the nightmare Samsung is enduring thanks to the early failures of its $2000 Galaxy Fold proves that some dreams are better deferred.


I have been writing about Microsoft’s inking focused pocket PC dreams since 2015. Skeptics, wary of Microsoft’s commitment to mobile initially dismissed this analysis. Over the years various leaks, Microsoft patents, the canceled Microsoft Courier and a leaked internal Microsoft email last year have confirmed not only Microsoft’s interest in pocketable folding mobile technology but its work toward bringing such an innovative device to market that “blurs the lines between mobile and PC.”


from Windows Central – News, Forums, Reviews, Help for Windows 10 and all things Microsoft.


Microsoft has mostly learned from its mistakes BITD…

H/T to @brianstelter and CNN’s Reliable Sources newsletter. Very much worth reading, especially if you are a news/politics/media junkie as I am. There is also much to be said about having the experience, “been there, done that, got the T-Shirt” that guides decision making. I must admit that I have been a long term Microsoft fan, though the CEO of the mobile and OS competition is a true Auburn Man!

PyDev of the Week: Dane Hillard

PyDev of the Week: Dane Hillard

This week we welcome Dane Hillard (@easyaspython) as our PyDev of the Week! Dane is the author Practices of the Python Pro, an upcoming book from Manning. He is also a blogger and web developer. Let’s take some time to get to know Dane!

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


I’m a creative type, so many of my interests are in art and music. I’ve been a competitive ballroom dancer, and I’m a published musician and photographer. I’m proud of those accomplishments, but I’m driven to do most of this stuff for personal fulfillment more than anything! I enjoy sharing and discussing what I learn with others, too. When I have some time my next project is to start exploring foodways, which is this idea of exploring food and its cultural impact through written history. I’ve loved cooking (and food in general) for a long time and I want to get to know its origins better, which I think is something this generation is demanding more from industries as a whole. Should be fun!


Why did you start using Python?


I like using my computer engineering skills to build stuff not just for work, but for myself. I had written a website for my photography business in PHP way back in the day, but I wasn’t using a framework of any kind and the application code was mixed with the front-end code in a way that was hard to manage. I decided to try out a framework, and after using (and disliking) Java Spring for a while I gave Django a try. The rest is history! I started using Python for a few work-related things at the time and saw that it adapted well to many different types of tasks, so I kept rolling with it.


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


I use JavaScript fairly regularly, though it wasn’t until jQuery gave way to reactive paradigms that I really started enjoying it. We’re using React and Vue frequently now and I like it quite a bit for client-side development. I’ve also used Ruby in the past, which I find to be quite Python-like in certain ways. I think I still like Python best, but it’s easy to stick with what you know, right? I wouldn’t mind learning some Rust or Go soon! My original background is mainly in C and C++ but I can barely manage the memory in my own head so I don’t like telling a computer how to manage its memory when I can avoid it, but all these languages have their place.


Thanks for doing the interview, Dane!

from The Mouse Vs. The Python

Why did the Fuchsia OS team build a ‘release candidate’? – 9to5Google

Courtesy of Kyle Bradshaw,

Could it be that Google has a different way of presenting Alpha code as usable? This activity is analogous to what got Microsoft in trouble during their Computer World Domination period. I. E. use the public as unpaid Beta testers at best, and sometimes Alpha.

Fuschia continues to be an interesting product and will, I think, be Google’s answer to the One OS holy grail that all of the platform vendors want to get to, Microsoft being the closest or further along on that path.

Fuchsia, Google’s in-development OS for anything and everything, has marched on toward its latest milestone—the first “release candidate.”

Source: Why did the Fuchsia OS team build a ‘release candidate’? – 9to5Google

We’re increasing our carbon fee as we double down on sustainability | Microsoft on the Issues

Phot of forest trees being inventoried
Image of trees with data and insights provided by Microsoft AI.

Since 2009, Microsoft has made and met a series of commitments to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. While we’ve made progress toward our goal of cutting our operational carbon emissions by 75 percent by 2030, the magnitude and speed of the world’s environmental changes have made it increasingly clear that we must do more. And we are taking new steps to do just that.


Today, I’d like to share new steps we’re taking in four areas:


Building sustainable campuses and data centers


Accelerating research through data science


Helping our customers build sustainable solutions


Advocating for environmental policy change


from Microsoft on the Issues via IFTTT

‘Netizens’ highlights the need for collaboration to fight online harassment, ‘revenge porn’ | Microsoft on the Issues

Microsoft recently hosted a screening of the documentary film “Netizens”, which examines the online harassment of women and the non-consensual distribution of intimate images, what is commonly but unartfully referred to as “revenge porn.” The event, which included a multi-stakeholder panel discussion, underscores the need for all groups to work together to tackle online hate and abuse and to promote digital civility and safer and more respectful online interactions.


Microsoft’s approach


At Microsoft, we believe “whole society” strategies hold the greatest promise for addressing issues like online harassment and the non-consensual distribution of intimate images. It was nearly four years ago that we announced our approach to the non-consensual distribution of intimate images on our consumer services. At the time, we sought to put victims back in control of their privacy, stating that when contacted by a victim or his or her representative, Microsoft would remove links to photos and videos from Bing search results and remove the content itself when it was shared on OneDrive or Xbox Live. We created a dedicated web form for making such reports to us.


Digital civility and ‘Netizens’


In addition, Microsoft was eager to collaborate with Lowen and her team given the close alignment to our own ongoing campaign for digital civility, fostering safer, healthier and more respectful online interactions among all people. Our work in digital civility started in 2016, and we’re about to field our fourth installment of global perception and attitudinal research. Each year, we survey teens and adults about their exposure to more than 20 online risks, including “sexploitation” and the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.


Learn more


To learn more about the film, visit the “Netizens” website and consult these Microsoft resources: online bullying and harassment factsheet, risks of sexting factsheet. For more on general online safety issues, visit our website and resources page. And, for regular news and information about online safety, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.


from Microsoft on the Issues

Lawsuit Challenges Indiana’s Ban on Telemedicine for Eye Exams

A telehealth company that offers online eye tests has filed a lawsuit challenging Indiana’s ban on the use of telemedicine for eye exams.


Source: Lawsuit Challenges Indiana’s Ban on Telemedicine for Eye Exams

In the story, I should point out that this statement as screenshotted:

is not totally accurate. The representative in question is actually from Washington State, not South Carolina.

The company mentioned in the article has the ability to conduct eye exams in selected states that include North Carolina and charges $35 to do so. This is one of those infrequent occasions where something is valid in North Carolina and not in South Carolina; the states tend to enable similar laws, for good or bad.

How Microsoft is helping other companies hire people with autism | A Certified Warditorial

Just as Microsoft makes its technology available to other companies to help them achieve more, it is doing the same with its model for hiring people with autism.


April is Autism Awareness Month. Autism Spectrum Disorder affects one percent of the world’s population, about 3.5 million, or one out of 59 American births according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Autism Society.


Autism Spectrum Disorder encompasses a range of conditions that present challenges with speech, social skills, non-verbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. On the flip side, many people with autism possess unique strengths in other areas that enable them to excel in certain disciplines.


Unfortunately, according to Easter Seals, 80% of people with autism are either unemployed or underemployed. Consequently, the skills and contributions that they would bring to many companies and to the products and services those companies offer are lost.


To address this untapped resource and to foster a culture of empathy and inclusion, Microsoft — on Autism Awareness Day in 2015 — established its Autism Hiring Program. This year, parallel to its commitment to open sourcing its technologies and tools to create a “Microsoft platform” that companies integrate into their businesses, the company is “democratizing” its Autism Hiring program. The goal is to bring more people with autism to the workforce so that they and the companies they join can achieve more.


from Windows Central – News, Forums, Reviews, Help for Windows 10 and all things Microsoft. via IFTTT

PyDev of the Week: Pierre Denis

PyDev of the Week: Pierre Denis

This week we welcome Pierre Denis as our PyDev of the Week! Pierre is the creator of Lea, a probabilistic programming package in Python. He can be found on LinkedIn where you can see his CV and learn more about some of the things he is up to. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Pierre better!

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


I’ve a Master in Computer Science from UCL Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, where I reside. I’m working since 20 years as software engineer in [Spacebel](, a company developing systems for Space. Basically, I like everything creative and elegant. Beside arts, music, literature, I ‘m looking for this in physics, algorithmic, GUI and mathematics. I love programming, especially in Python. So far, I have initiated three open-source Python projects: UFOPAX (textual virtual universe), Unum (quantities with unit consistency) and Lea (probabilistic programming). For these developments, I tend to be perfectionist and consequently slow: I’m the kind of guy that re-write the same program ten times, just for the sake of inner beauty!


Beside programming, I’m doing research in number theory (twin primes conjecture). Also, I’m writing short stories in French, my mother tongue, with some reference to the ‘Pataphysics of Alfred Jarry and a lot of nonsense. Incidentally and fortunately, programs can be good for producing nonsense, as I showed in my bullshit generator!


Why did you start using Python?


One day, a colleague showed me very interesting things he made with that language, completely unknown for me. It was Python 1.5, in 1999! At that time, I was much in favor of statically-typed languages (C++, Java, Ada, …). Intrigued, I read “Whetting your appetite” of G. van Rossum, then I swallowed the wonderful “Learning Python” book of M. Lutz and D. Asher. I was quickly conquered by the clarity, the conciseness, the beauty of the language. So, I started Python basically because it was so appealing: having the simplicity of an interpreted language with built-in containers, exceptions, OO, operator overloading, and many, many more. I became soon a zealous advocate of Python in my company.


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


Well, I’ve practiced Pascal, Ada, C, C++, Smalltalk, Java, Prolog, Scala and a few others. Python is my favorite one, by far. Now, if I had to award a silver medal, this would be Scala. Actually, my programming experience with Scala changed a bit the way I program in Python: I smoothly shifted to a more functional style, in particular, preferring immutable objects to mutable ones. Beside this choice, I’ve to mention that C, Smalltalk and Prolog have been very influential for me.


Thanks for doing the interview!

from The Mouse Vs. The Python

It’s time for a new approach for mapping broadband data to better serve Americans|Microsoft on the Issues

Every day, our world becomes a little more digital. But reaping the benefits of this digital world – pursuing new educational opportunities through distance learning, feeding the world through precision agriculture, growing a small business by leveraging the cloud, and accessing better healthcare through telemedicine – is only possible for those with a broadband connection, a link not available to at least 25 million people, 19 million of whom live in this country’s rural areas, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

This lack of connectivity has a very real impact on economic well-being.  There are at least six independent studies that show that broadband has a direct impact on jobs and GDP growth.  Our analysis shows that the counties with the highest unemployment also have the lowest broadband usage (and broadband access).

US map of broadband usage by state

Despite the importance of this issue, we are not making very much progress in closing the broadband gap. In the past five years, there’s been more than $22 billion in subsidies and grants to carriers to sustain, extend and improve broadband in rural America. But adoption has barely budged.

Learn more about our data here:

from Microsoft on the Issues via IFTTT

PyDev of the Week: Abdur-Rahmaan Janhangeer

PyDev of the Week: Abdur-Rahmaan Janhangeer

This week we welcome Abdur-Rahmaan Janhangeer as our PyDev of the Week! Abdur-Rahmaan is the French translator of Think Python. You can see what he is up to on his blog as well as on Github. Let’s take a few moments to get to know him better!

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


I’m Abdur-Rahmaan Janhangeer from Mauritius, a paradise island in the Indian Ocean and currently one of the best tourist destinations. I have an IT business and I am shyly becoming a Python Trainer.


I am mostly self-taught in programming. Concerning Python, I’m the Arabic Coordinator for the Python docs, translator of Think Python into French (publishing soon) and organising member for the py user-group of Mauritius. I also did some really tiny contributions to LinuxMint, Numpy, and Odoo.


As “hobby”, i like to dig into Compiler Theory and code some toy langs in my spare time. Being a gallery moderator, I use InkScape to design logos and business cards for people. Playing around with graphics!


Why did you start using Python?


It was when I was a great fan of Java, was really hooked into it’s OOP style. If you understand that things are objects in Java, many weirdnesses clear away. One day I found myself writing an IRC bot. The skeleton was so counter-intuitive to me that I searched for something simpler. I remembered a language called Python which people said was simple to use. I always thought that Python was not a “serious” language but decided to try it anyway. Yes, I was googling: “print in python” …


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


Since I wanted to learn programming, I learnt the popular ones. C++, Java, Html, CSS, Js, PHP+SQL, ruby. Functional I only learnt Haskell to get a taste. Also learnt Processing, though it’s more of a library nowadays, or a canvas API if you wish. Besides Python, I use other langs according to needs but processing is a favourite, it’s a whole new world. Loops, OOP, and whatever you want are illustrated. Learning and teaching coding is more lively. You also have a python flavour of it but runs on Jython.


Thanks for doing the interview!


from The Mouse Vs. The Python

Now HIPAA-Compatible, Amazon’s Alexa Opens Up to mHealth Uses

Alexa, please make my health records available RIGHT NOW! One of the best parts of this trial is my primary healthcare system is also participating.

Amazon has invited six healthcare providers to develop mHealth platform for Alexa, now that the company’s smart speaker is HIPAA-compliant.

Along with Boston Children’s and Livongo, others involved in the program are Cigna, Express Scripts, Providence St. Joseph Health’s Swedish Health Connect and Atrium Health.


Source: Now HIPAA-Compatible, Amazon’s Alexa Opens Up to mHealth Uses

PyDev of the Week: Kyle Stratis

PyDev of the Week: Kyle Stratis

This week we welcome Kyle Stratis (@KyleStratis) as our PyDev of the Week! He is an active contributor at Real Python but also maintains his own website. You can catch up with his projects on Github as well. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Kyle!

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


I’m a self-taught developer, I actually studied neuroscience up through graduate school, with a focus on mechanisms of attention in the auditory system. The coding I had to do at every step of the experimental process rekindled my early love of the craft, and a good friend stepped in as a mentor – so I taught myself and got my first job while I was writing my master’s thesis.


While I do a lot of programming on the side, I also enjoy weightlifting (my father was a bodybuilder and gym-owner, with 4x Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler starting at his gym, so maybe it’s genetic), skateboarding, and surfing, which I do noticeably less of now that I live in Boston. I’m also a bit of a metalhead, so on any given weekend you’ll be likely to find me at a dingy club with a battlevest on and cheap beer in hand. I’d be remiss to not mention spending time with my wife, which usually is spent reading, hiking, and playing with our 2 cats.


Why did you start using Python?


It was recommended by my mentor, and I really enjoyed the simple syntax and ability to rapidly build something with little boilerplate.


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


In my career I’ve used C# and Perl, and have a steadily declining familiarity with C++ and Java.


Thanks for doing the interview, Kyle!

from The Mouse Vs. The Python