Celebrating 10 years of Microsoft’s Law Firm Diversity Program and honoring 2018’s top performer – Microsoft on the Issues

Ten years ago, Microsoft launched our Law Firm Diversity Program – an effort to work closely with our law firm partners to increase diversity.[1] In conjunction with internal efforts to grow diversity and foster inclusion in Microsoft’s legal department, this program was an opportunity to see if we could encourage our industry to become more diverse at all levels through an incentive-based program. Ten years later, we want to share some of the progress we’ve seen from our partners and honor our top performer for 2018.

2018 top performer

I’m proud to recognize Davis Wright Tremaine (DWT) as the top performer in the 2018 Law Firm Diversity Program. DWT met or surpassed expectations for all of this year’s Law Firm Diversity Program metrics, which focused on management committee diversity, firmwide partnership diversity and diversity of the partners working on Microsoft matters.

The firm has been a solid performer in the Law Firm Diversity Program since its inception, but has made particularly strong strides recently. In the last five years, DWT increased the percentage of hours worked by diverse attorneys on Microsoft matters from 45 percent to more than 60 percent.  And, in just over the last two years, the percentage of hours worked by diverse partners on our matters has increased from 39 percent to over 50 percent.  And while the firm has consistently done a good job of providing opportunities for women, DWT has increased the percentage of diverse partner hours worked by racial and ethnic minorities on Microsoft matters by about 28 percent since 2016.

A decade of results

DWT’s results this year are impressive, but we also want to recognize the overall progress by our law firm partners over the last decade. We started the Law Firm Diversity Program in 2008 by giving participating firms a bonus at the end of our fiscal year if they reached a quantifiable diversity goal. We did this to ensure that the legal profession caught up to others when it came to including diverse voices. We believe it’s very important that the lawyers working on our matters, as well as our key firms as a whole, reflect the diversity of our customers and other important stakeholders, such as judges and juries. We’re proud of some of the progress our firms have made in the last decade:

  • Working on Microsoft matters: In the last decade, participating firms increased the percentage of hours worked by diverse lawyers on Microsoft matters from 33.6 percent to 58.3 percent. Most law firms participating in the program earned their bonuses every year, with over 80 percent of the firms earning their bonuses annually.
  • Leading the firm: In 2015, the company updated the Law Firm Diversity Program to include a focus on diversity in leadership roles, including the firm’s management committee, partners and partners working on Microsoft work. Since that time, we’ve seen diverse representation on management committees increase from 31.2 percent to 39.7 percent. We’ve also seen an increase in diversity in overall partner ranks from 33.2 percent to 35.9 percent.
  • Leading Microsoft matters: In the last three fiscal years, we’ve had a diverse first or second chair in 90 percent of the litigation matters large enough to be subject to bidding.

We firmly believe that these impressive advances have increased the quality of the reprentation we get from our firms, and have improved our results.

Voices of attorneys

Focusing on the metrics is important to show progress, but it can’t convey the tangible impact programs like the Law Firm Diversity Program can have on individual people. In honoring Davis Wright Tremaine, we worked together to create a video that highlights some of their great attorneys and how our close partnership and the Law Firm Diversity Program can make a difference. Please take a look.

We’ve seen progress and measurable successes, but we know there is more to do as long as women and minorities are still underrepresented in the legal field. According to Law360’s 2018 Minority Report, minorities recently topped 30 percent of U.S. law school students, yet only 8 percent of equity partners at U.S. law firms are minorities. And just 2 percent of those partners are African-American. The picture is not much brighter for women. Women make up more than half of law school students but are just 35 percent of attorneys at law firms and only 21 percent of equity partners, according to Law360’s 2018 Glass Ceiling Report.

We congratulate all of our Law Firm Diversity Program partners and look forward to continuing to work with them to find new ways to grow diversity and foster inclusion in our profession.

Law Firm Diversity Program participating firms

Arent Fox LLP
Covington & Burling LLP
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Fish & Richardson, PC
Greenberg Traurig, PA
K&L Gates, LLP
Latham & Watkins LLP
Merchant & Gould
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Perkins Coie, LLP
Sidley Austin, LLP
Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP

[1] Microsoft defines “diverse” as attorneys who are female, racial and ethnic minorities, openly LGBT, people with disabilities and veterans.

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Author: Steve Clarke

December Microsoft security patches bring a light end to 2018

Fewer than 40 unique common vulnerabilities and exposures made December Patch Tuesday a light end to the year, but administrators still must address Microsoft security patches for a zero-day and public disclosure.

Microsoft fixed the zero-day vulnerability (CVE-2018-8611) through which attackers could run arbitrary code in Windows kernel through an elevation of privilege. Limiting privileges would not prevent the attack on any Windows versions and Windows Servers, said Chris Goettl, director of product management and security at Ivanti, based in South Jordan, Utah. The patch corrects how Windows kernel handles objects in memory and could give the attacker full access to the targeted system. Kaspersky Lab researchers Igor Soumenkov and Boris Larin discovered the vulnerability, which has been exploited in the wild.

To exploit the publicly disclosed denial-of-service vulnerability (CVE-2018-8517), attackers can send a specially crafted request to the web application remotely without authentication. The patch fixes how the .NET Framework handles the crafted web requests.

Additionally, prior to December Patch Tuesday, Adobe resolved two zero-day vulnerabilities in Flash (CVE-2018-15981 and CVE-2018-15982) for administrators to patch.

Uphill battle for Microsoft security patches in 2018

The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities that emerged in January 2018 loomed large and persisted  through the year. The security flaws affected most operating systems and many processors — Intel, AMD and ARM — and existed for approximately 20 years before their discovery. Microsoft patched the critical vulnerabilities, but initial mitigations caused blue-screen reboot issues.

“We will continue to see more and more variants until new chipsets are introduced that architect beyond these types of issues. There has to be a fundamental change created to put an end to this,” Goettl said.

Chris GoettlChris Goettl

Administrators may continue to endure faulty fixes and Spectre variants. In November, academics discovered seven new CPU attacks, including two Meltdown variants and five Spectre attack variations.

“One of the promises made by Microsoft in changing to this new update model was their ability to more easily deliver updates with less issue. I don’t think we’ve seen as good of a return on that part of the promise as advertised,” Goettl said.

Microsoft’s 2018 security updates beyond Meltdown and Spectre also frustrated administrators, who viewed Microsoft security patches as unreliable and the number of known issues difficult to follow. When some July patches caused startup problems in Windows desktop and server versions, Microsoft rolled back the updates and suggested Exchange customers delay their updates for the .NET Framework. Overall, Microsoft’s security patches this year, starting with Meltdown and Spectre fixes, often caused more problems than they solved.

“The number of known issues is too difficult for companies to follow, and this leads to administrators having to delay pushing updates out to environments,” Goettl said. “We need a better repository of known issues from all vendors. We need to crowdsource this type of information.”

Universal drivers show upcoming change

Intel may drive a fundamental change in Microsoft security patches in the upcoming year. Intel’s Windows Modern Drivers for Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019, released in November 2018,  marks an evolution in how hardware drivers work. Microsoft distributed drivers through the Windows Update Services previously, but will require Windows Modern Drivers for Windows 10 version 1809 and later.

“Modern driver hardware is probably going to make it a lot easier in something like the Meltdown, Spectre situation to make sure that drivers get updated on systems much sooner,” Goettl said.

Modern driver hardware is probably going to make it a lot easier in something like the Meltdown, Spectre situation to make sure that drivers get updated on systems much sooner.
Chris Goettldirector of product management, Ivanti

Some released updates have known driver incompatibility issues. For example, when Intel releases a driver, it is sent to ISPs and partners such as Dell, Lenovo, and HP, and each integrate it in their system. Microsoft and hardware vendors will push away from legacy hardware and make everything much more streamlined and easier to deliver through an update system, Goettl said.

The Intel Graphics Control Panel will automatically download and install when connected to the internet. This transitions driver updates away from the old update model and delivers them in a package easier for vendor consumption.

“Windows started to drop support for older CPU versions. I’m guessing the hardware vendors also are making a push to move away from a lot of the really old legacy hardware and make everything much more streamlined,” Goettl said.

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Arcserve partner strategy puts spotlight on MSP partnerships

John Moore and Spencer Smith

Arcserve’s newly appointed North American channel director aims to fine-tune the company’s partner organization for MSPs.

Sue Fossnes joined Arcserve from security software vendor McAfee, where she was the leader of global Arcserve partner programs. Arcserve, based in Eden Prairie, Minn., is a data protection vendor that provides business continuity offerings for both on-premises infrastructure and cloud-based workloads.

Fossnes said Arcserve will be looking to further optimize its Accelerate program for the managed service provider (MSP) market. Arcserve Accelerate launched in August 2018, targeting MSPs, OEMs, value-added resellers and large-account resellers. She said, as the adoption rate for as-a-service offerings grows, vendors such as Arcserve need to make sure it’s easy for a partner to build a service around a company’s technology products.

“We really need to make sure we are communicating what value we can help [the Arcserve partner community] bring to their customers when they create solutions and services around us,” Fossnes said.

The goal, she said, is to “make sure we are optimizing for the MSP go-to-market that a lot of our partners have adopted over time,” she noted.

Sue Fossnes, North American channel director at ArcserveSue Fossnes

Investments in Arcserve Accelerate are intended to increase the program’s ability to scale as the vendor’s business grows and Arcserve partner businesses expand. Arcserve, for example, will be adding more capabilities and content to its partner portal to better enable partners to jointly market with the vendor.

As for partner recruitment, Fossnes said Arcserve isn’t looking for thousands of new channel companies. Instead, the company will take a more selective approach.

“We want to … make sure we are the right profile and the right fit for each other,” she said.

ConnectWise buys Sienna Group

MSP software vendor ConnectWise has beefed up its cybersecurity capabilities with the acquisition of Sienna Group, a managed security services provider based in Tampa, Fla. 

According to ConnectWise, the vendor will use Sienna Group to help MSPs secure their businesses — against both internal cyber vulnerabilities and liability involving customers’ security incidents. Sienna Group will be a key ingredient in ConnectWise’s Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, a cybersecurity training resource for MSPs.

Additionally, the Sienna Group purchase expands ConnectWise’s security portfolio. Sienna Group’s offerings include managed data security services, cyberthreat assessments, sensitive data discovery and classification, and security awareness training, ConnectWise noted.

Prior to the acquisition, ConnectWise and Sienna Group partnered to offer ConnectWise users a cybersecurity risk assessment tool and vulnerability scanner, free for three months. The vendors announced the security offering at the IT Nation Connect 2018 conference.

PartnerPath, Compugen underscore vendor management challenge

A recent PartnerPath webinar shed light on the role that vendor management plays in the everyday lives of solution providers.

The webinar, hosted by PartnerPath CEO Diane Krakora, was part of a series exploring the consultancy’s research into what it calls the “partner journey,” the key stages a partner moves through when developing vendor alliances.

The partner journey breaks down into five stages: awareness, consideration, decision, experience and growth. This webinar, in which Krakora spoke with Harry Zarek, president of solution provider Compugen, based in Richmond Hill, Ont., dealt specifically with the experience stage.

One of the challenges Zarek pointed to was the amount of work that goes into developing and managing vendor relationships. According to PartnerPath’s research, solution providers on average have five primary and 15 secondary vendor partnerships — a statistic with which Zarek agreed.

He said Compugen’s top five vendors account for about “80% of the company’s product and software business. That doesn’t include any of the services revenue. But those five are the ones that are going to make or break our business. So, it is absolutely critical that we have an amazing relationship with them.”

Compugen’s secondary vendors are strategic partners that have “key components of technology that are part of many of our solutions, and we need to be very invested in them.”

However, those secondary vendors’ revenue contribution “is in a totally different range” — roughly about 20% of what Compugen might do with one of its primary vendor partners.

Difficulties can arise in the next rung down in vendor partnerships, he said. Compugen’s relationships with these vendors are “painful in some respects,” because Compugen “can’t generally afford to spend the amount of time you would want to with them, because they are just not going to move the needle in the business.”

“We have strategies that we use to try to manage them [minor vendor partnerships] so that they don’t overwhelm us,” he noted.

Other news

  • Employees with the requisite skills in cloud computing and other digital technologies are tough to find, but the shortage has created an opening for MSPs. That’s one takeaway from OpsRamp Inc.’s survey of IT professionals. Ninety-four percent of the respondents said it is at least “somewhat difficult” to find candidates for job openings in fields such as cloud and DevOps, according to OpsRamp, an IT operations management vendor based in San Jose, Calif. Against that backdrop, 77% of the IT professionals polled said their teams are collaborating with MSPs to boost digital innovation. “This is an opportunity for MSPs,” said Jordan Sher, director of corporate marketing at OpsRamp.
  • Hyper-converged infrastructure company Nutanix unveiled a technology alliance with Intel that targets systems integrators and value-added resellers. Under the partnership, Nutanix and Intel will provide Nutanix’s enterprise cloud OS software on Intel Data Center Block configure-to-order servers, according to the vendor. The Nutanix-Intel offering is available in the Americas, with a global rollout to follow, Nutanix said.
  • A new Accenture report stated organizations need systems that are “boundaryless, adaptable and radically human” to succeed at a time of constant and accelerating change. The Future Systems report suggested organizations move beyond current IT approaches and adopt those that are “experimental, agile and resilient.”
  • Wipro Digital has expanded its global partnership with Alfresco, an open source software company focusing on process automation, content management and information governance. The alliance aims to create, build and run open-source-based digital transformation projects.
  • Distributor Tech Data struck a deal with hyper-converged secondary storage vendor Cohesity. Under the agreement, Tech Data will offer Cohesity’s portfolio to North American partners. Cohesity has been steadily scaling its channel resources this year through moves such as investments in its partner program launched in October.
  • Tech Data this week also revealed a North American distributor agreement with Seagate Enterprise Data Solutions. Seagate signed the agreement with Global Computing Components, a business under Tech Data that provides specialized component-based offerings, according to the distributor.
  • Datometry, a data warehouse virtualization vendor, introduced the Elevate Partner Program. Datometry said the program targets partners with expertise in systems architecture, analytics and large-scale data management. Program benefits include joint collaboration, training and resources to support data warehouse migrations to cloud. Partners will also have an opportunity to resell Datometry software, the vendor said.
  • FloQast, a financial close management software company, rolled out a partner program for cloud accounting software resellers. The vendor said partners can access dedicated channel and marketing resources through the program.
  • Critical Start, a managed detection and response provider in Plano, Texas, has joined Palo Alto Networks’ NextWave channel program as a diamond-level partner.
  • South Africa’s Ovations Technologies, a systems integrator, has joined Nuxeo‘s global partner program.
  • JASK has inked a distribution pact with Exclusive Group, a security technology distributor.
  • Ultra Consultants Inc., a research and consulting firm in the manufacturing and distribution industries, has launched an ERP Toolkit eBook. The free publication covers several aspects of ERP, including business process improvement, enterprise technology, evaluation, selection and implementation.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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Wanted – Budget gaming PC – Fortnite etc :)

Hi,

After the above for my kids as I can’t get on my own one due to relentless sessions of Fortnite, Sims, Roblox etc etc. I got them a 2nd hand Surface but they’re not keen on it, and can’t be ar*ed plugging it into a monitor etc!

I figure it doesn’t have to be too whizz bangy, just a desktop (or laptop) capable of playing modern-ish games like the above at 1080p on Medium settings, as well as running Win 10 well for homework duties, youtube etc.

Have always used Nvidia, but would one of the AMD Ryzens with build in graphics stretch to this? I guess it would need at least 8GB, and a smallish SSD would be better than a mechanical drive.

No screen/kboard/mouse etc are needed.

Budget is around the £200 mark ideally, hopefully this is realistic!

What have you got?

Location: Worthing, West Sussex

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Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18298 – Windows Experience Blog

Hello Windows Insiders, today we are releasing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18298 (19H1) to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring.
REMINDER: As is normal with builds early in the development cycle, builds may contain bugs that might be painful for some. If this makes you uncomfortable, you may want to consider switching to the Slow ring. Slow ring builds will continue to be higher quality.
If you are looking for a complete look at what build is in which Insider ring – head on over to Flight Hub. You can also check out the rest of our documentation here including a complete list of new features and updates that have gone out as part of Insider flights for the current development cycle (which currently is 19H1).

Consolidating your sign-in options
With Build 18272, we set out to simplify sign-in settings, to increase visual clarity, and improve ease of use. Our goal is to give you a one-stop shop for all your sign-in settings, and today we’re adding one more to the list: You can now set up a security key straight from Settings.

File Explorer Improvements
Updated File Explorer Icon: We’re updating the File Explorer icon, so it looks better with the new light theme. Thanks everyone who shared feedback about this! Here’s what it looks like now:

Updating the default downloads folder sorting: More often than not, when you download a file, you don’t change the name before downloading it. Because of that, the names aren’t always very memorable (cake_134_small_red.jpg anyone?). This makes sorting by name less optimal since it’s hard to find the file you’re looking for, so we’re updating the default sorting to show the most recently downloaded file at the top of the list instead.
Note: If you’ve already altered the current sorting from the default in any way, we will not change it – this is only for people who haven’t changed it. If at any point you want to switch sortings, you can do so from the View tab in File Explorer. Some Insiders have had this change for a little bit now, and based on positive feedback we’re now rolling it out to 100% of Fast.
Start menu improvements
Quick unpin for groups and folders: Sometimes you just wanna quickly start fresh – over the last few weeks we’ve been rolling out the ability to unpin groups and folders in Start via a new context menu entry. As of today, that option is now available to all Insiders in the Fast ring! Thanks, as always, to everyone who’s shared their feedback so far!

Touch keyboard improvements
We’ve heard your feedback, and with today’s build we’re rolling out some updates to the touch keyboard to improve your experience:

Type faster with more accuracy: When you’re typing quickly, sometimes your fingers miss the actual key you’re trying to hit by a small margin. This is totally normal, but can impact the text prediction accuracy (if you ending up pressing a different letter than expected). To address this, as you type, under the covers we will now dynamically adjust the hit target of each key, based on prediction of what letter most likely will be typed next. The keys will look no different to the eye, but here’s an example of the what’s going on underneath if you’re curious:

We’re making some improvements to reduce the number of times in tablet mode where the touch keyboard ends up occluding the text field when docked.

If you’re a touch keyboard user, we’d love it if you spent some time typing on today’s build, and let us know how it feels for you now.
Console Updates

As of Windows 10 build 18298, when you open the properties page of any Console window, you’ll notice an additional “Terminal” tab containing several new settings for some experimental features we’re working on for future OS releases. Read the Console team’s detailed blog post for more details.
Notepad Updates
UTF-8 Encoding: We’ve made significant improvements to the way Notepad handles encoding. Starting with this build, we are adding the option to save files in UTF-8 without a Byte Order Mark and making this the default for new files. UTF-8 without a Byte Order Mark is backwards-compatible with ASCII and will provide better interoperability with the web, where UTF-8 has become the default encoding. Additionally, we added a column to the status bar that displays the encoding of the document.
Modified indicator: Notepad will now show an asterisk (*) in the title bar before the title of a document to indicate that a document has unsaved changes.

Send Feedback: You can now send feedback directly from Notepad! Click Help > Send Feedback to open the Feedback Hub with the Notepad category selected and get your feedback directly to the product team.

Other Improvements include: 

We’ve added support for some additional shortcuts:

Ctrl+Shift+N will open a new Notepad window.
Ctrl+Shift+S will open the Save as… dialog.
Ctrl+W will close the current Notepad window.

Notepad can now open and save files with a path that is longer than 260 characters, also known as MAX_PATH.
We’ve fixed a bug where Notepad would count lines incorrectly for documents with very long lines.
We’ve fixed a bug where, when you select a placeholder file from OneDrive in the File Open dialog, we would download the file to determine its encoding.
We’ve fixed a recent regression where Notepad would no longer create a new file when launched with a file path that didn’t exist.

Narrator Improvements

Introducing Narrator Home: Every time you turn on Narrator, you’ll be taken to Narrator Home, which gives you one place where you can access everything you need for Narrator—whether you want to change your settings or learn Narrator basics with QuickStart.In settings, you can remove Narrator Home from the Alt + Tab list, and instead minimize it to the system tray. You can access your settings through Narrator Home or by pressing Windows logo key + Ctrl + N.

Verbosity improvements: In settings, there are five new verbosity levels that control the amount of information you hear about text, controls, and other document attributes. Press Narrator + V to cycle through verbosity levels.When you don’t want to hear advanced information, you can turn off “Hear advanced information about controls when navigating.” You can also get the tooltip of the focused item by pressing Narrator + 0.

Read URLs with a new command: Narrator will tell you when you’ve navigated to links, but it doesn’t read the entire URL aloud by default. If you want to hear the entire URL, press Narrator + 0. Note: If the Narrator setting for “Hear advanced detail, like help text, on buttons and other controls” is checked, you will continue to hear URLs read out automatically.

Easier table-reading: In Edge, Narrator no longer announces “non-selected” when you navigate between cells in a table if the aria-selected property hasn’t been set. Narrator also won’t announce when you exit and re-enter a table when you’re reading a single table continuously. Narrator will also not announce parent table information when you navigate to a nested table.In Excel, Narrator now prioritizes reading the data in a column header before announcing whether a filter is on. Narrator also now correctly reads out column headers in a grid formatted as a table when you use the “Read current column header” command.

Updated capitalization reading: Capitalization reading is now available in all reading modes. You can turn it on and off quickly by pressing Narrator key + 4 when you need extra detail while reading or writing. You can also press Windows logo key + Ctrl + N to access your settings, then choose Increase pitch or Say cap under Change how capitalized text is read.If you choose Increase pitch, Narrator will accentuate capitalized, mixed-case, and upper-case words with increasing levels of voice pitch. If you choose Say cap, Narrator will say “cap” to identify capitalized words, “mix cap” for mixed-case words, and “all cap” for uppercase words.

Stay focused when you’re reading content: It’s now easier to stay focused when you’re reading content on the web: Reading and navigation commands stay within webpage content areas when you’re using most web browsers, like Microsoft Edge. This also works when you’re reading email in Outlook or the Mail app. You can still move out of content areas using Tab or shortcut keys.

Move your cursor as Narrator reads: When you’re reading text, your cursor doesn’t move from where you placed it. Now, you can choose to have it follow the Narrator cursor by checking the box next to the setting Move my cursor as Narrator reads text.

More consistent reading experience: You can now use Narrator text-reading commands (previous/next for character, word, line, sentence, paragraph, or page) to read a full window from top to bottom. Views options are consistent whether or not you’re reading text. For example, you can use views to search for a link anywhere within an active window. You’ll also notice a smoother reading experience, with more natural-sounding pauses and phrasing.

Hear when you’re pressing certain keys: Narrator settings offers new groups of keyboard keys you can choose to have spoken when pressed. You can independently select Hear letters, numbers, and punctuation as you type, Hear function keys as you type, Hear arrow, Tab, and other navigation keys as you type, Hear when toggle keys like Caps lock and Num lock are turned on or off, and Hear Shift, Alt, and other modifier keys as you type.

Combo edit support: Narrator now recognizes combo edit controls and will speak them as “combo edit” instead of just “edit.”

Narrator stays on while you reset your PIN or password or password: If you forget your PIN or password for your Microsoft account, Narrator will stay on the whole time while you reset it.

Ease of Access Improvements
Bigger and brighter cursors: We’ve introduced new cursor sizes and colors to make Windows easier to see.   Go to Ease of Access Settings (Windows + U), under the “Vision” category, select “Cursor & pointer” to see the list of options.   We are still working on a couple issues where some cursor sizes may not work correctly on DPI’s larger than 100%.

Updating the Windows 10 Setup experience
We’re making some adjustments to the design of Windows 10 Setup! This is the experience you see when running setup.exe from an ISO – it will look like this now:

Note: Windows 10 Setup for this build will not include the Microsoft logo, Support link, or Legal link in the bottom left hand corner of Windows Setup. The Retail release will include these and the links are included here for reference.
Windows Update Notifications
Starting with 19H1, when your device has an update requiring a reboot (including new builds we release), you will see the Power button in the Start menu with orange indicator alerting you to restart your device.

Updating Feedback Hub to version 1811
In case you haven’t noticed already, we’re currently rolling out an update to Insiders in the Fast ring! This update includes:

We’ve updated the navigation pane to now use the common control – that means when switching between sections you’ll now see that nice little transition animation!
We’ve made some improvements to how the UI flows between different window sizes.
Screenshots and Steps capture images can be now be easily reviewed in the app.
When creating a new feedback item, that feedback is auto-saved as a draft.  If the app closes unexpectedly in the middle of writing feedback, when you re-open the Feedback Hub you’ll now get notified of the existing draft so you can easily resume.
You can now check for app updates from the settings page in the Feedback Hub. We’ll also automatically check for app updates on app launch, and you’ll get a notification letting you know one is available.

Snip & Sketch updates
We’re currently rolling out Snip & Sketch version 10.1811.3371.0 to Insiders in the Fast ring. This app update has a number of bug fixes and reliability improvements, including:

We fixed an issue where the bottom of the snip might get truncated.
When saving as jpg, we’ll now use a white background as the background for margins and free form snips.
We fixed an issue where if you wrote your own file name when saving a snip, and then went to save again, an autogenerated name would be shown for the proposed file name instead of the one you’d written earlier.
We fixed an issue where temp image files in app storage were never cleaned up, leading to potentially a large amount of space being used if you took a lot of snips.
We’ve made some improvements to address an issue where the app might hang when opening or annotating a high resolution image when auto-copy was enabled.

Also: Window snip & borders are both now available to 100% of Insiders in the Fast ring! Thanks everyone who’s shared feedback about the experience so far!
Game bar updates
Check out the new Gallery experience in Game bar! Without ever leaving your game, you can now view screenshots and videos taken through Game bar and even share your favorite screenshots directly to Twitter:

This is currently rolling out via a Microsoft Store update to both Insiders and retail users.

We fixed a merge conflict resulting in the Dynamic Lock settings being missing from Sign-in Settings.
We fixed an issue resulting in Insiders seeing green screens with error System Service Exception in win32kbase.sys when interacting with certain games and apps in the last two flights.
The update block for a small number of PCs using Nuvoton (NTC) TPM chips with a specific firmware version (1.3.0.1), due to a bug causing issues with Windows Hello face/biometric/pin login not working, has been removed as this build contains a fix for that issue.
If you’ve turned off transparency effects, that preference will now also be reflected on the sign-in screen.
We fixed an issue resulting in Settings crashing for some Insiders when clicking “Check for Updates”.
We fixed an issue resulting in Settings crashing for some Insiders when going to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery.
We fixed an issue resulting in night light settings not working and getting stuck in the last few flights.
We fixed an issue resulting in an unexpected amount of space between the categories and subcategories in Settings in recent flights.
We fixed an issue where the folder size wasn’t calculated correctly in File Explorer’s Properties dialog when there was a path that was longer than MAX_PATH involved.
We fixed an issue resulting in menu flyouts appearing blank when using the Arabic display language.
We fixed an issue where when inking on a PDF in Microsoft Edge, if you erased some ink quickly after starting the inking session, then added more ink, upon saving the PDF not all ink may be saved.
We fixed an issue where the handwriting panel might crash when using your pen to input into win32 apps in recent builds.
We fixed an issue resulting in not being able to type into certain tables using the Vietnamese Telex keyboard.
We’ve made some adjustments when text scaling is enabled to emphasize the icon in the Action Center quick actions so that the text doesn’t overlap.
We’ve made some improvements so that if theme truncation is detected, we will now handle this more gracefully and not result in unexpectedly thick borders around your windows.
We’ve made some improvements to reduce the number of times where you might see the error “Windows can’t find one of the files in this theme. Do you still want to save the theme?” appear.
We’re updating the timeout period when dictating (WIN+H) to be from 5 seconds to 10 seconds, to give you a bit more time to think about what you want to say. If you’d like to stop the dictation before then, just say “Stop dictating” or press WIN+H (same as in previous builds).
We fixed an issue on the touch keyboard resulting in some letters unexpectedly being black instead of white in dark theme.
We fixed an issue where the “…” menu in clipboard history (WIN+V) was clipped in recent builds.
We fixed an issue where when displaying the name of a known file type (one registered under HKCR) File Explorer would display an empty string for the file name in some cases. Now, if a file name is not available, File Explorer will always show the extension name, even if Show File Name Extensions is turned off.
We’ve updated the microphone and camera privacy settings pages to provide information on which apps are currently using the microphone and camera and the date/time apps last accessed your microphone and camera.
We fixed an issue where Magnifier would not start automatically even when “start after sign-in setting” for Magnifier was enabled if Narrator was not set to auto start after sign-in.
We fixed an issue where Magnifier did not work with Touch when Centered mouse mode was enabled.
We fixed an issue where Narrator sometimes would not start after completing Out of Box Experience (OOBE).
We fixed the issue causing Narrator to start unexpectedly. We also made it easier to turn off Narrator when it was launched unintentionally.
We fixed an issue where Narrator scan mode did not turn off automatically when you focused the address bar in Microsoft Edge.
We fixed an issue where Narrator heading navigation was skipping some headings in Chrome.
We fixed an issue where Narrator read page loaded notification multiple times in Chrome.
We fixed an issue where Narrator did not read Edit box placeholder text in Chrome.
We fixed an issue that caused the settings page to crash after changing the account password or PIN.

The hyperlink colors need to be refined in Dark Mode in Sticky Notes if the Insights are enabled.
Settings crashes when clicking on the “View storage usage on other drives” option under System > Storage.
The Windows Security app may show an unknown status for the Virus & threat protection area, or not refresh properly. This may occur after upgrade, restart, or settings changes.
Delete previous version of Windows in Configure Storage Sense is not selectable.
Settings will crash when opening Speech Settings.
The cmimanageworker.exe process may hang, causing system slowness or higher than normal CPU usage. This can be bypassed by rebooting the machine if it occurs.
Launching games that use BattlEye anti-cheat will trigger a bug check (green screen) – we’re investigating.
USB printers may appear twice in the Devices and Printers under Control Panel. Reinstalling the printer will resolve the issue.

If you install any of the recent builds from the Fast ring and switch to the Slow ring, optional content such as enabling developer mode will fail. You will have to remain in the Fast ring to add/install/enable optional content. This is because optional content will only install on builds approved for specific rings.

Making a big purchase, a new laptop or camera, for example, means making a big decision. Bing shows you product details at a glance, so you can quickly compare and choose the one that’s right for you. Join our Bing Insider Program and be the first to learn about these and other cool Bing features.

‘On This Day’ on Bing delivers daily fun, informative facts from history—with events from ancient civilizations to modern pop culture milestones. See what happened today.

We’re kicking off the first 19H1 Bug Bash in Feedback Hub running from January 11th, 2019 – January 20th, 2019.
No downtime for Hustle-As-A-Service,Dona

11 changemakers chosen as recipients of Microsoft and National Geographic AI for Earth Innovation Grants – Stories

New grant offers awards of more than $1.2 million to advance uses of artificial intelligence in scientific exploration and research on critical environmental challenges

WASHINGTON — Dec. 11, 2018 — Eleven changemakers have been selected to receive Microsoft and National Geographic AI for Earth Innovation Grants to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to help understand and protect the planet. Each AI for Earth Innovation Grant recipient will be awarded between $45,000 and $200,000 to support their innovative projects.

National Geographic logo“The National Geographic Society is committed to achieving a planet in balance, and in joining forces with Microsoft on the AI for Earth Innovation Grant program, we are providing incredible potential to drive fundamental change through our unique combination of expertise in conservation, computer science, capacity building and public engagement,” said Jonathan Baillie, executive vice president and chief scientist of the Society. “We look forward to seeing these talented individuals create solutions to some of the most challenging environmental issues of the 21st century using the most advanced technologies available today.”

Eleven projects were selected from an impressive pool of more than 200 applicants. The high caliber of the applications prompted Microsoft and National Geographic to increase the funding for the 11 chosen projects from the initially planned $1 million to more than $1.28 million. This furthers the organizations’ commitment to investing in novel projects that use AI to help monitor, model and ultimately manage Earth’s natural systems for a more sustainable future.

“Human ingenuity, especially when paired with the speed, power and scale that AI brings, is our best bet for crafting a better future for our planet and everyone on it,” said Lucas Joppa, chief environmental officer at Microsoft Corp. “The caliber of the applications we received was outstanding and demonstrates the demand we’ve seen for these resources since we first launched AI for Earth. We’re looking forward to continuing our work with the National Geographic Society to support these new grantees in their work to explore, discover and improve the planet.”

The grant recipients and their project members will have the funds, computing power and technical support to advance exploration and discover new environmental solutions in the following core areas: sustainable agriculture, biodiversity, climate change and water. The diverse group hails from around the globe, originating from six countries and working in eight regions across five continents.

The 11 AI for Earth Innovation Grant recipients were announced at an event on Tuesday at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C.:

  • Ketty Adoch: Geographical information systems specialist from Uganda. Her AI for Earth Innovation Grant project will detect, quantify and monitor land cover change in the area surrounding Lake Albert and Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s largest and oldest national park.
  • Torsten Bondo: Business development manager and senior remote sensing engineer at DHI GRAS in Denmark. With the AI for Earth Innovation Grant, his team aims to use machine learning and satellites to support irrigation development and improve crop water efficiency in Uganda together with the Ugandan geo-information company Geo Gecko. The goal is to contribute to food security, poverty alleviation and economic growth.
  • Kelly Caylor: Director of the Earth Research Institute and professor of ecohydrology in the Department of Geography and in the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His team will use the AI for Earth Innovation Grant to help produce an online web map and geospatial analysis tools that will improve estimates of agricultural land use change and groundwater use.
  • Joseph Cook: Polar scientist from the United Kingdom. With his AI for Earth Innovation Grant, he aims to develop new tools that use modern techniques of machine learning and drone and satellite technology to explore the changing cryosphere.
  • Gretchen Daily: Co-founder and faculty director of the Natural Capital Project, based at Stanford University in Stanford, California. With this AI for Earth Innovation Grant, her team will develop a way of detecting dams and reservoirs around the world — most of which are hidden today, in digital terms — to quantify their impact and dependence on nature and guide investments in green growth that secure both people and the biosphere.
  • Stephanie Dolrenry: Director of Wildlife Guardians, based in Washington, D.C. Her team will use the AI for Earth Innovation Grant to help support the Lion Identification Network of Collaborators, an AI-assisted collaborative database for lion identification and interorganizational research.
  • Africa Flores: Research scientist at the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and originally from Guatemala. Her AI for Earth Innovation Grant project will focus on developing a prototype of a harmful algal bloom (HAB) early warning system to inform Guatemalan authorities about upcoming HAB events in Lake Atitlan, a landmark of Guatemala’s biodiversity and culture.
  • Solomon Hsiang: Chancellor’s associate professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he founded and directs the Global Policy Laboratory. With this AI for Earth Innovation Grant, his team will use 1.6 million historical aerial photographs to discern the effect of major droughts and climate change on human migration in Africa.
  • Holger Klinck: Director of the Cornell Lab’s Bioacoustics Research Program in Ithaca, New York. His team will use the AI for Earth Innovation Grant to develop a machine-learning algorithm for detecting and classifying the songs of insects in tropical rainforests to monitor species composition and spatial distribution, information that is critical for monitoring ecosystem health.
  • Justin Kitzes: Assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. With this AI for Earth Innovation Grant, he aims to develop the first free, open source models to allow academic researchers as well as agency, nonprofit and citizen scientists to identify bird songs in acoustic field recordings, with the goal of radically increasing global data collection on bird populations.
  • Heather J. Lynch: Quantitative ecologist and associate professor jointly appointed in the Department of Ecology and Evolution and in the Institute for Advanced Computational Science at Stony Brook University in New York. Her AI for Earth Innovation Grant project will couple AI with predictive-population modeling for real-time tracking of Antarctic penguin populations using satellite imagery.

The AI for Earth Innovation Grant program will provide award recipients with financial support, access to Microsoft Azure and AI tools, inclusion in the National Geographic Explorer community, and affiliation with National Geographic Labs, an initiative launched by National Geographic to accelerate transformative change and exponential solutions to the world’s biggest challenges by harnessing data, technology and innovation. The grants will support the creation and deployment of open source trained models and algorithms so they are available to other environmental researchers and innovators, and thereby have the potential to provide exponential global impact. The AI for Earth Innovation Grant program builds upon Microsoft’s AI for Earth program, which counts as grantees nearly 200 individuals and organizations on all seven continents, and the National Geographic Society’s 130-year history of grantmaking, supporting more than 13,000 grant projects along the way.

About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is an impact-driven global nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Since 1888, National Geographic has been pushing the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas to increase understanding of our world and generate solutions for a healthy, more sustainable future for generations to come. Our ultimate vision: a planet in balance. To learn more about the Society and its programs, visit https://www.nationalgeographic.org/.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777,

rrt@we-worldwide.com

Kelsey Flora, National Geographic Society, (202) 807-3133, kflora@ngs.org

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

 

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NRCC email breach confirmed eight months later

The National Republican Congressional Committee experienced an email breach in April, but little is known about the incident.

A new report — confirmed by committee officials — said four senior aides had their NRCC email accounts hacked. The incident was detected in April, but the NRCC email accounts were compromised for several months, according to Politico.

Both the FBI and CrowdStrike were asked to investigate the NRCC email breach. CrowdStrike also notably investigated the Democratic National Committee email breach from 2016.

“In April 2018, CrowdStrike was asked by the NRCC to perform an investigation related to unauthorized access to NRCC’s emails,” the spokesperson said. “Prior to the incident, CrowdStrike was helping to protect NRCC’s internal corporate network, which was not compromised in this incident.”

However, despite the investigation, many House Republicans — including senior officials — were not informed of the NRCC email breach until after Politico began investigating the incident.

The NRCC did not respond to requests for comment at the time of this post, and a spokesperson for the committee refused to offer details about the breach to Politico, claiming it might interfere with the investigation.

The NRCC email hack compromised thousands of messages, but committee officials claimed there have been no threats to leak the information. Even so, the NRCC hired two prominent law firms to “oversee the response to the hack.”

The NRCC email breach is the latest in a string of cyberattacks and data exposures involving political organizations. The Democratic National Committee and members of Hillary Clinton’s campaign had email messages stolen during the 2016 election cycle. Last year, the Republican National Committee misconfigured cloud storage and exposed data on nearly 200 million voters.

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For Sale – MSI G45 Motherboard – i5 4670K – 16GB Corsair Vengance Ram

Discussion in ‘Desktop Computer Classifieds‘ started by Atmos, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. Atmos

    Well-known Member

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    Only upgrading due to the high demands of VR.

    I’m replacing my kit bought from new in 2016 – all boxes included.

    MSI G45 Gaming Motherboard.
    Intel i5-4670K Processor.
    16GB Corsair Vengance DDR3

    Support For Z87-G45 GAMING | Motherboard – The world leader in motherboard design | MSI Global

    Intel® Core™ i5-4670K Processor (6M Cache, up to 3.80 GHz) Product Specifications

    VENGEANCE® Pro Series — 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 DRAM 2400MHz C11 Memory Kit

    Price and currency: £350
    Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
    Payment method: Goods must be exchanged in person
    Location: Chester
    Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
    Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

    ______________________________________________________
    This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
    By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
    Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

    • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
    • Name and address including postcode
    • Valid e-mail address

    DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

  2. Hi,
    would you consider selling the memory.

  3. Atmos

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    Hi I would concider £50 for the memory including postage if you live in the UK.

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018

  4. Do you know if they run ok in a msi z97 pc mate.

  5. Will take, pm you later with details.

  6. Atmos

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    Thank you.

  7. Payment made.
    Thanks

  8. Atmos

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    RAM SOLD to blackadder.

    Payment received, thanks.

  9. cabbie19

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    Hi, would you sell the cpu separately?
    If yes, how much posted to IP27?

    Regards
    Jamie.

  10. Atmos

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    Hi

    @cabbie

    I would post the CPU to you for £150.

  11. cabbie19

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    Wow, sorry but that’s way too dear for me, CEX do it for £85 + £5 postage inc 2 years warranty, are you willing to re-consider your price?

    Jamie.

  12. Atmos

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    I’ll come down to £100 for the 4670k inc postage.

  13. cabbie19

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    OK, no worries, will go to CEX. glws

    Jamie.

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Waiting until the last minute to shop for the holidays? You’re not alone, and Microsoft Store has you covered – Windows Experience Blog

For some, holiday gift giving is an exercise in ingenuity, and shoppers become even more resourceful as the countdown winds down. Microsoft Store conducted an online survey* with U.S. shoppers who self-identify as last-minute gifters. They shared why they procrastinate when it comes to purchasing gifts.
The survey revealed that the majority of last-minute gift shopping is done in two weeks or less, with 25 percent taking place in two days or less – and 37 percent feel stressed about it. If you’re one of these shoppers, Microsoft Store can help you up your gifting game this holiday season and ease the pressure thanks to free shipping and returns on every item, every day. You can also buy your gifts online and pick them up at your local Microsoft Store. Or go entirely digital, by gifting apps, games, and other content through your Windows 10 PC, Xbox One console, or online.
Microsoft Store also has you covered when it comes to selecting gifts that suit your last-minute shopping style. Additional results uncovered procrastinating behaviors that were decoded into five archetypes: the Illusionist, the Overcompensator, the Card Dealer, the Present Perfectionist, and the Shameless Staller.
Think you fall into one of these categories? Read on to find out more about each type and the Microsoft Store’s suggestions for what each type could pick up as presents while there’s still time. For more inspiration, check out Microsoft’s holiday gift guide.

Oracle-DataFox acquisition could expand users’ AI options

NEW YORK — In a bid to enhance its AI-powered capabilities, expand available data sources for its business intelligence software and widen users’ AI options, multinational software giant Oracle acquired AI sales enablement services company DataFox.

The Oracle-DataFox acquisition, completed Oct. 31, will likely give Oracle users access to DataFox’s cloud-based AI data engine — and to the applications the vendor has built with it — once the software is incorporated into Oracle systems. Oracle also will continue to sell the DataFox AI engine as a stand-alone product.

The acquisition made sense for both companies, according to Bastiaan Janmaat, CEO and co-founder of DataFox, based in San Francisco.

“What we were building was just very aligned with the Oracle roadmap,” he told us in an interview with him and Melissa Boxer, vice president of Adaptive Intelligent Applications at Oracle, during the AI Summit.

Oracle, for its part, has been looking to expand its AI efforts.

Fire up that data engine

DataFox has a data engine that can “suck in unstructured content … and then pull out of that structured data about companies,” Janmaat explained. “Well, right now, it’s data about companies. But, long term, it could be about anything.”

That technology has enabled DataFox to create customer relationship management software that can automatically find reference and signal data about companies and distill it down to relevant, focused bits of information — “smart talking points,” as Janmaat put it — that can be used to provide sales reps with quick, useful information.

DataFox also sells tools for sales organizations that can automatically “surface companies that are a good fit based on past clients,” Janmaat said. The software also automatically prioritizes based on a customizable weighting system.

The AI tools aren’t meant to take jobs away from sales reps, Janmaat said, but instead augment their own abilities by automatically providing them with fast access to information about potential clients.

Humans plus AI

[The DataFox data engine can] suck in unstructured content … and then pull out of that structured data about companies.
Bastiaan JanmaatCEO and co-founder, DataFox

Behind the scenes, the software — still publicly available after the Oracle-DataFox acquisition — uses AI-powered tools like machine learning algorithms and natural language processing (NLP), as well as continued human input from a dedicated team from DataFox that helps customize and train the AI-based models for high accuracy.

The DataFox team tracks accuracy, which might be in the 70s percentiles at first, and the team keeps tweaking the models “until it gets to high 90s,” Janmaat said.

The DataFox engineers have strong domain authority, as well as machine learning expertise, Janmaat said.

They need to have that expertise, as the data engine draws in content from numerous places, including news sources, reference documents and company websites, which might not always have correct information, he said.

Companies rise, fall and change goals, so information must be constantly updated. Besides the human element, the Oracle-DataFox software also uses a blacklist to automatically block sources known to peddle fake news, like the satirical news site The Onion, for example.

The Oracle perspective

“We have a lot of great plans in place” for the data engine, Boxer said.

While saying she couldn’t talk about the details of the Oracle-DataFox acquisition or a potential integration timeline due to a financial quiet period, Boxer noted that Oracle will start to use data from DataFox immediately, and it will integrate the AI components with Oracle’s own applications later.

“We wanted the engine, because that will help us grow data and extend data to other domains,” she said.

“This is a very differentiated position that they are taking, which is to say we are going to take care of the third-party data for you,” Janmaat said, referring to the Oracle-DataFox acquisition.

The vendors said they don’t expect the acquisition to disrupt the ability of DataFox users to integrate the software into other platforms through DataFox’s API.

The AI Summit is Dec. 5 to Dec. 6 at the Javits Center.

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