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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PyDev of the Week: Takeshi Komiya | The Mouse vs The Python

PyDev of the Week: Takeshi Komiya | The Mouse vs The Python

This week we welcome Komiya Takeshi as our PyDev of the Week! Takeshi is a maintainer of Sphinx, Python’s documentation package. Takeshi is also the creator of blockdiag, diagram image generator. If you are interested in seeing some of the other projects that Komiya contributes to, you should check out his Github profile.

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

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

I am a software engineer from Tokyo, Japan. Now I work at Time Intermedia Corp. as CTO. Time Intermedia is a systems integrator.

I love to have tea when I’m programming. I often bring my laptop to a cafe and enjoy programming all day long. My hobbies include driving all around Japan and watching football games.

Why did you start using Python?

My first contact with Python was 10+ years ago, when I took part in a local Hackathon event as a staff; Zope/Plone Hack-a-thon (now renamed to Python mini Hack-a-thon). In those days, I used to mostly use Ruby for my hobby projects. I started using Python for my OSS projects since then.

My first product of Python is blockdiag. It is a converter from a text written in original syntax to block diagram image. I think it let me know to enjoy programming in OSS. Even now, I sometimes see the tweets and articles about blockdiag. I’m very happy to see them.

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

So far, I have experience in C, Perl, PHP, Ruby, and Python. If I have to choose one, I prefer to use Python. Since I started using Python, I have used it for OSS works almost every night. So I’m familiar with it.

I also love Ruby. It lets me know programming is a fan. Now I have no time to write code in Ruby. But I still like it.

Thanks for doing the interview, Takeshi!

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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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PyDev of the Week: Jessica Garson | The Mouse vs The Python

PyDev of the Week: Jessica Garson | The Mouse vs The Python

This week we welcome Jessica Garson (@jessicagarson) as our PyDev of the Week! Jessica is a developer advocate at Twitter. She also teaches Python at New York University. You can see some of what she’s up to over on Github. Let’s spend some time getting to know her better!

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

I’m currently a Developer Advocate at Twitter, where I work to make sure developers have good experiences using the Twitter API. What that means is that I write example code, speak at conferences and create blog posts. I also make noise music with Python and perform regularly in the New York area under the artist name, Messica Arson. Before working in technology, I worked on political campaigns.

Why did you start using Python?

I started learning how to code on my own in 2010, which proved to be very difficult. I was working at a political data consulting company, and all of the backend code was written in Perl so I started reading a book on Perl. A coworker saw my book and pulled me aside and mentioned that if he were learning how to code today, he’d learn Python. Shortly thereafter, I found a community group in Washington, DC called Hear me Code which was free beginner-friendly classes for women by women.

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

I’ve been growing my skills in JavaScript lately. I’m excited to learn more about TensorFlow.js. In the past year, I’ve grown my skills in R quite a bit as well. I also make music sometimes using Ruby and Haskell…

Thanks for doing the interview, Jessica!

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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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PyDev of the Week: Tommy Falgout | The Mouse vs The Python

PyDev of the Week: Tommy Falgout | The Mouse vs The Python

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

I grew up in the bayous of Louisiana, and while everyone else was interested in 4-wheeling and hunting, I gravitated towards computers and spent hours on my Commodore 64. Early on, I knew what it meant to be an outcast. As I matured, my hobbies became numerous and varied, but all focused around my passion of building. For 5 years hosted and competed in Dallas/Fort Worth’s annual trebuchet competition: Slingfest, and was even featured on an episode of Dude Perfect on Nickelodeon as a Trebuchet expert (complete with my own IMDB page!). I also volunteer at a local Makerspace in Plano, TX (TheLab.ms), built a LEGO Robotic Clippy and competed in the Red Bull Soapbox Derby race. After a few exciting near-misses from bodily harm, I’ve settled down and recently taken up crochet and hobby electronics.

Why did you start using Python?

My first experience with Python was over 15 years ago when I needed to automate ~100 network switches and I had to choose between Python and Perl. I will admit, I chose Perl because I liked its terseness and didn’t like using forced spaces. Looking back, that was a silly reason as I created really unreadable code and hardly anyone uses Perl anymore. (Except for maybe Larry Wall) My second experience was about 10 years later when working for Yahoo and I wrote their Network Automation Discovery System. I took my lessons learned from my previous experience and wrote it in Python.

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

I’ve written production code in C, C++, Java, PHP, Python, Javascript, Typescript, Perl and Clojure while dabbling in Go, Rust, Erlang and Ruby. Funny enough, my favorite is assembly. Because I could trust it. I never wrote anything useful; however, there’s a lot less surprises when there’s few language primitives. Being realistic my favorite is Python, as it’s easy to get started and the community support is strong so there’s modules for almost everything…

Thanks for doing the interview, Tommy!

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