Microsoft to join White House-led consortium to fight COVID-19 | Microsoft On The Issues

Microsoft to join White House-led consortium to fight COVID-19 | Microsoft On The Issues

Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium to provide COVID-19 researchers worldwide with access to the world’s most powerful High Performance Computing (HPC) resources that can significantly advance the pace of scientific discovery in the fight to stop the virus.

This unique public-private consortium, spearheaded by the White House, the U.S. Department of Energy and IBM, includes Microsoft and other industry, government and academic leaders who have volunteered free compute time and resources.

Microsoft, as part of the AI for Health program, will provide grants to ensure additional access for researchers to our Azure cloud and high-performance computing capabilities. Our team of AI for Health data science experts, whose mission is to improve the health of people and communities worldwide, is also open to collaborations with COVID-19 researchers as they tackle this critical challenge.

Read the full statement here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/white-house-announces-new-partnership-unleash-u-s-supercomputing-resources-fight-covid-19/

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Delivering online meetings and events | Microsoft Office

At a moment when organizations across the world are adjusting to remote work, we’re all learning new ways to keep our employees, customers, and business partners connected and informed. Without being able to get together in person, we need new approaches to everything from customer meetings and employee training calls to large events like CEO town halls and global sales conferences.

Many of our customers have asked us: How can we make these gatherings as effective online as in person? Microsoft Teams Meetings, Microsoft 365 live events, LinkedIn Live, and—coming soon—PowerPoint Live are all designed to help you create engaging, effective virtual gatherings. And we want to help you make the most of them. Here I’ll walk you through each of these tools and capabilities, and let you know which type of meetings they’re best suited to. Let’s get started.

Source: Delivering online meetings and events

Developer Advocates Revise Their Approach in This Time of Social Distancing

Developer Advocates Revise Their Approach in This Time of Social Distancing
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Developer advocates act as technical community gardeners. But how do you tend to a garden you can’t go near?

Developer relation folks, those who attend conferences to preach the gospel and help users get more from their tools, most certainly are in that 15% of people who do 70% of the flying. The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic sees them grounded for the foreseeable future, deterred even from local meetups. Now they must rethink how they carry out their duties without travel.

“The DevRel move is to go to a conference, go to a meetup — the DevRel move is travel. That door got slammed shut,” said Patrick McFadin, vice president of developer relations at DataStax.

The silver lining in this ensuing period of mandatory work-from-home is that it will create an opportunity not only for developer advocates but for the whole conference-centric tech industry to push the reset button — not only to embrace inclusion and accessibility and to decrease carbon footprint. And to evade DevRel travel burnout…

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Open Source Silverlight Replacement Powered by WebAssembly Debuts | Visual Studio Magazine

Open Source Silverlight Replacement Powered by WebAssembly Debuts | Visual Studio Magazine
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Looking forward to this, even though I wasn’t a huge Silverlight fan. Plus this is more likely to be a real project for WebAssembly as opposed to Adobe Flash.

Userware, on a years-long quest to bring back developer favorite Silverlight, announced an open source implementation of Microsoft’s long-deprecated framework for writing Rich Internet Applications, this one based on WebAssembly.

WebAssembly offers a low-level assembly-like language to serve as a compilation target for higher-level languages so they can be used in web development instead of JavaScript. The technology underpins the client-side component (Blazor WebAssembly) of Microsoft’s Blazor project — part of ASP.NET Core — which uses it as a target for C#-based .NET code.

Now Paris-based Userware is previewing an open source project that uses WebAssembly to bring back technology associated with Silverlight, a .NET-powered plug-in for interactive web and mobile applications that worked in all browsers and OSes. Although it enjoyed a devoted developer following, its plug-in approach also used by products like Adobe Flash fell out of favor and Microsoft decided to deprecate Silverlight years ago, with the final end of support scheduled for Oct. 12, 2021…

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New action to disrupt world’s largest online criminal network | Microsoft on the Issues

New action to disrupt world’s largest online criminal network | Microsoft on the Issues

Today, Microsoft and partners across 35 countries took coordinated legal and technical steps to disrupt one of the world’s most prolific botnets, called Necurs, which has infected more than nine million computers globally. This disruption is the result of eight years of tracking and planning and will help ensure the criminals behind this network are no longer able to use key elements of its infrastructure to execute cyberattacks.

A botnet is a network of computers that a cybercriminal has infected with malicious software, or malware. Once infected, criminals can control those computers remotely and use them to commit crimes. Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit, BitSight and others in the security community first observed the Necurs botnet in 2012 and have seen it distribute several forms of malware, including the GameOver Zeus banking trojan.

The Necurs botnet is one of the largest networks in the spam email threat ecosystem, with victims in nearly every country in the world. During a 58-day period in our investigation, for example, we observed that one Necurs-infected computer sent a total of 3.8 million spam emails to over 40.6 million potential victims…

To make sure your computer is free of malware, visit support.microsoft.com/botnets.

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Computer coding should be available to EVERYONE.

Computer coding should be available to EVERYONE.

As we work to protect public health, we also need to protect the income of hourly workers who support our campus | Microsoft on the Issues

As we work to protect public health, we also need to protect the income of hourly workers who support our campus | Microsoft on the Issues

As the impact of COVID-19 spreads in the Puget Sound region and northern California, Microsoft has asked its employees who can work from home to do so. As a result, we have a reduced need in these regions for the on-site presence of many of the hourly workers who are vital to our daily operations, such as individuals who work for our vendors and staff our cafes, drive our shuttles and support our on-site tech and audio-visual needs.

We recognize the hardship that lost work can mean for hourly employees. As a result, we’ve decided that Microsoft will continue to pay all our vendor hourly service providers their regular pay during this period of reduced service needs. This is independent of whether their full services are needed. This will ensure that, in Puget Sound for example, the 4,500 hourly employees who work in our facilities will continue to receive their regular wages even if their work hours are reduced.

While the work to protect public health needs to speed up, the economy can’t afford to slow down. We’re committed as a company to making public health our first priority and doing what we can to address the economic and societal impact of COVID-19. We appreciate that what’s affordable for a large employer may not be affordable for a small business, but we believe that large employers who can afford to take this type of step should consider doing so…

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