How Microsoft Azure affects YOU and is way more exciting than you think | A Certified Warditorial

I am a large but not famous Microsoft fan, but where we are in 2019 proves that Scott McNealy from Sun Microsystems was correct BITD. “The Network is the Computer”. This is why Azure and AWS are leaders in the cloud space, with Google, IBM, and Sun successor Oracle lagging behind.

Microsoft’s Azure Cloud talk seems boring and mundane, but it’s actually where all of the action is.

 

Microsoft’s Azure cloud talk is boring to most phone- and gaming-obsessed tech enthusiasts. For most the cloud is that intangible thing, that does invisible stuff, that we know, like air, is important but isn’t very exciting to talk about, much less read about.

 

But for a world that every tech enthusiast knows is heading toward an increasingly cloud-dependent future – the cloud is literally where nearly all of the action will be. It’s already happening. Many people assume because of Microsoft’s high-profile failure with phones (and other consumer products) that the company lacks insight. Critics often view Microsoft’s cloud commitment as a narrow enterprise-focused distraction which contributed Windows phones downfall. I agree neglecting Windows phones should not have happened, but investing in the cloud is not a mistake.

 

Microsoft is wise to build a scalable Azure cloud computing foundation that will touch everything and virtually everyone on the planet. Microsoft’s Azure is targeting enterprise customers and employees, personal productivity for consumers, gaming, mixed reality, IoT for morning coffee, intelligent cars and much more. With a focus on four platforms: Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Gaming, Microsoft is positioning Azure as the world’s computer. If you think Azure doesn’t matter to you – think again.

 


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PyDev of the Week | Tania Allard

PyDev of the Week | Tania Allard

This week we welcome Tania Allard (@ixek) as our PyDev of the Week! Tania is a developer advocate at Microsoft. She is also a speaker at multiple conferences. If you’d like to learn more about her, you should check out her blog. She also has some of her projects up on Github for you to peruse. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Tania!

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

 

I am originally from Mexico but have lived in the USA and in the UK for the last 8 years.

 

I have a bachelor’s in Mechatronic engineering and have also always been fascinated by technology and I can class myself as a lifelong learner. As such I got a PhD from the University of Manchester in Data science applied to Materials science, during which I discovered and fell in love with Python. Since completing my PhD I have worked as a research software engineer, research engineer, data engineer, and more recently could advocate.

 

Apart from tech I love Olympic weightlifting, so I spend quite a good amount of time in the gym every week and I am already looking forward for this year’s competition season!

 

I also love craft beer and recently joined the women in beer scene in Manchester, UK where I live.

 

Why did you start using Python?

 

As I said before I did a PhD in Materials Science, but instead of focusing on the experimental side of things my work was focused on modelling materials for tissue replacement. Most of the people in my discipline were using MATLAB for such purposes (as did I at the beginning) but eventually I realized I needed something more flexible. I was also soon driven into the ‘open science’ movement and decided I should create not only all my analyses but also my thesis plots and research papers outputs using an open source programming language to encourage reproducibility and accessibility.

It was until I starts using Python that I discovered the open source community and never looked back.

 

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

 

Coming from a scientific computing background I know MATLAB, FORTRAN (spoiler alert I do think modern FORTRAN is really good), C/C++, R, Julia, and Assembly. More recently I have been diving into functional programming via Scala and also into Go.

 

Thanks for doing the interview, Tania!

from The Mouse Vs. The Python http://bit.ly/2Q3euPh

Protecting political campaigns from hacking | Microsoft on the Issues

Protecting political campaigns from hacking | Microsoft on the Issues

This is very much a step in the right direction. A challenge to open-source advocates to do something similar (LibreOffice are you listening!)

Today, at Microsoft’s Build Developer Conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced a new service from our Defending Democracy Program called Microsoft 365 for Campaigns, which brings the high-end security capabilities of our Microsoft 365 Business offering to political parties and campaigns.

 

The majority of security breaches faced by political campaigns originate from malicious phishing attacks and target email and filesharing systems. But many campaigns are ill-equipped to deal with these threats from nation-states and criminal scammers. We talked with campaign staffers and leaders in campaign technology and heard repeatedly that security solutions for email often were too hard to configure and too expensive. M365 for Campaigns addresses both issues by making it easy to deploy advanced security features at a much lower price.

 

Starting today, campaigns can sign up to be notified when the service becomes available in June by visiting https://m365forcampaigns.microsoft.com.

 

M365 for Campaigns will be available in June to all federal election campaigns, federal candidate committees, and national party committees in the United States, and we are exploring ways to bring the service to other countries in the future.

 

As we said when we announced the Defending Democracy Program, threats to our democratic processes from cyber-enabled interference have become a critical concern. We must all partner and do more to protect free and fair elections, and securing campaigns is an important part of this work.

 

The post Protecting political campaigns from hacking appeared first on Microsoft on the Issues.

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PyDev of the Week | Joel Grus

PyDev of the Week | Joel Grus

This week we welcome Joel Grus (@joelgrus) as our PyDev of the Week! Joel is the author of Data Science From Scratch: First Principles with Python from O’Reilly. You can catch up with Joel on his website or on Github. Let’s take some time to get to know Joel better!

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

 

In school I studied math and economics. I started my career doing quantitative finance (options pricing, financial risk, and stuff like that). I got very, very good at Excel, and I learned a tiny amount of SQL. But I kind of hated working in finance (and also I got laid off), so I joined an online travel startup as a “data analyst” doing BI stuff (lots of spreadsheets, lots of SQL, some very light scripting). That startup got acquired by Microsoft, who at the time had basically no idea what to do with my more-than-a-financial-analyst-less-than-a-software-engineer skillset. (Nor did I, really.)

 

Then in 2011 I saw that the winds were blowing toward “data science”, so I sort of BS-ed my way into a data scientist job at a tiny startup. I took a bunch of Coursera courses to fill in gaps in my knowledge, and then I learned to write (ugly) production code and discovered I really enjoyed building software. Through doing well in coding competitions I had the opportunity to interview for a software engineer job at Google, so I spent 6 really hectic weeks cramming computer science and then somehow passed the interview. I spent a couple of years at Google, and then I found I missed doing data and ML stuff, and so now I’m at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, where I build deep learning tools for NLP researchers. My current job is right at the intersection of deep learning and Python library design, which is a pretty great match for my interests.

 

I don’t really have time for hobbies 😢. I have an 8-year-old daughter, and I spend a lot of my free time with her, and then I keep agreeing and/or volunteering to write things and give talks and make livecoding videos, which takes up most of the rest. And then I have a podcast and a Twitter to stay on top of. I have long-term hobby goals of (1) learning jazz piano and (2) writing a novel, but I’m not really making much progress on either.

 

Why did you start using Python?

 

A long, long time ago I was taking a “Probability Modeling” class that was taught using Matlab. The site license for Matlab was only valid on-campus, which meant I couldn’t work on the assignments at my apartment, which was where I preferred to work. I discovered that there was a Python library called Numeric (the predecessor of NumPy) that would allow me to do the numerical-simulation things I needed to do, so I learned just enough Python to be able to do my assignments. Several years after that I had a job, and I inherited a bunch of Perl scripts, and I really didn’t want to maintain Perl code, so I started migrating them to Python, and the rest is history.

 

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

 

About 10-15% of my job involves writing JavaScript / React, which I actually really enjoy. (I might enjoy it less if it were 100% of my job.) The first year I was at AI2 I worked mostly in Scala, and after that I briefly worked on a project that was in Go. At Google I wrote primarily C++. The startup I was at before that used F#. For fun I used to write Haskell and PureScript. Part of me still dreams of having a Haskell / PureScript job, but at this point I’m so comfortable working in Python (and Python has so deeply entrenched itself as the language for doing machine learning) that it seems unlikely I’ll ever make the switch.

 

Thanks for doing the interview!

from The Mouse Vs. The Python http://bit.ly/2LlQmZn

Microsoft works with VA to provide Xbox Adaptive Controllers for veterans’ rehabilitation facilities

Microsoft has announced that it is partnering with Veterans Affairs to provide its Xbox Adaptive Controller to 22 initial VA rehab centers in the U.S. For those unfamiliar, the Adaptive Controller …

Source: Microsoft works with VA to provide Xbox Adaptive Controllers for veterans’ rehabilitation facilities