How Immersive Reader filled the gaps in a rural high school in Senegal |

Hello, fellow educators! I’m Ibrahima Diagne, an English teacher and MIE Expert at Medina Yoro Foulah High School in Senegal. I’ve been an educator for four years now, but it was only a few months ago that I discovered the power of OneNote, and particularly the Immersive Reader feature, to inspire my classroom.

Both students and educators at Medina Yoro Foulah face a unique set of challenges. The school was housed in a temporary shelter when I joined the faculty. The permanent structure was finally finished in October of 2017, but despite that improvement, we still face a critical lack of resources. We have a library, a computer room and science labs, but we lack proper books (including a basic dictionary), computers, lab equipment and consistent internet access.

Complicating things further, my students come from an agrarian community. Most have never used a computer before, and many have daily responsibilities working on their family farms once school is over. It’s not uncommon for parents to interrupt my lesson because they need their child to help with the day’s tasks. As a result of this double-duty, my students understandably aren’t able to prioritize homework.

There is hope, though! By creating a custom reading-comprehension lesson plan, Microsoft’s OneNote, and its Immersive Reader feature, have brought new possibilities within reach for myself and my students.

What Worked in My Classroom

There are two parts to the reading-comprehension process I’ve implemented: vocabulary knowledge and text comprehension. To understand text, the reader must first understand the vocabulary used in the text. If the words don’t make sense, neither will the story. Children can draw on their prior vocabulary knowledge, but they’ll improve only if they’re continually taught new words.

To learn new words in any language, there’s no simpler, better tool than Immersive Reader. Here are few ways that Immersive Reader made a difference in my classroom.

Reading the text

OneNote’s Immersive Reader reads texts aloud to familiarize students with the pronunciation of a native speaker. This is crucial in our classroom, where there aren’t many opportunities to otherwise hear a native speaker. The students were quickly captivated, and at the end of the lesson, I heard them repeating some English words that’d stuck with them.

Vocabulary in context

We are advised to teach vocabulary within context. It’s never as simple as just translating the words from one language to another. The teacher should be able to explain his or her meaning by making gestures that will help students bring to mind the definition in French. Immersive Reader’s easy-to-use Picture Dictionary includes gestures designed to guide students to the right word, saving me the wild gesticulating!

Information transfer

In this step, we transfer sentences from the text to a table in OneNote. Sometimes, we’ll use a French sentence, and the students will have to find the English equivalent in the text. Students can use the translation option to preview what the sentence looks like in English. Immersive Reader won’t give them a direct translation of the text, pushing the students to recall their vocab knowledge to fully comprehend the original text.

These seemingly simple tools and techniques have helped inspire my students and enliven my classroom. The results are beginning to positively change the community, too. The first generation of students who left for university are returning and, thanks to their advanced education, are able to support their parents financially. Consequently, I’m receiving fewer visits from parents who want to pull their children from class.

There is still a ways to go, and educators will always face unique challenges related to educational resources, but expanding the opportunities for our students depends on our ability to “hack the classroom” and apply new tools in fresh ways.

I hope you find my learnings around OneNote’s Immersive Reader useful in your own classroom.

Ready to unlock limitless learning for your students? Check out our tools for educators. Already experiencing the difference in your classroom? Share your changemaker story with us!

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Author: Microsoft News Center

May Patch Tuesday fixes zero-day, new Intel CPU bugs

Administrators have their work cut out for them this month with a zero-day exploit, a flaw with the potential to be the next WannaCry, and more Intel CPU bugs.

Microsoft resolved 79 unique vulnerabilities for May Patch Tuesday with 23 rated critical, as well as one zero-day exploit (CVE-2019-0863) rated important that affects most supported Windows desktop and server operating systems. The zero-day is a privilege-escalation vulnerability in the Windows Error Reporting application that has been exploited in the wild.

“If they exploit this, they get kernel mode access to the system. They can pretty much do anything at that point,” said Chris Goettl, director of product management at Ivanti, a security and IT management vendor based in South Jordan, Utah. “In this case, they will have to exploit something else to get onto the system, but once they do, they can use this to elevate their privilege.”

The May Patch Tuesday updates also fixed numerous critical bugs for Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge browsers in supported Windows systems.

Chris GoettlChris Goettl

These browser patches address typical exploits such as remote code execution in which the attacker corrupts memory to execute arbitrary code in the context of the user, Goettl said.

“If a company runs least privilege, these vulnerabilities would allow the attacker to gain local execution rights as a reduced user, but then they could use that zero-day as the next step to elevate their privilege level,” he said.

Microsoft also released updates for SQL Server, SharePoint, Microsoft Office and several denial-of-service vulnerabilities in the .NET Framework development platform.

A new twist on a familiar Intel CPU vulnerability

Also in the May Patch Tuesday security updates, Microsoft delivered fixes for client and server operating systems related to several new Intel CPU vulnerabilities similar to the Meltdown and Spectre bugs. Microsoft also included instructions in security advisory ADV190013 for IT pros to protect their older Intel-based systems.

The advisory reported that “microarchitectural data sampling” is a new subclass of the speculative execution side channel vulnerabilities that have plagued data centers since the beginning of 2018. Attackers who exploit flaws in one of four CVEs — CVE-2018-12126 (nicknamed Fallout), CVE-2018-12127 (called RIDL), CVE-2018-12130 (dubbed Zombieload) and CVE-2019-11091 (also named RIDL) — can access privileged information, such as passwords. There are multiple vulnerabilities, so there is no umbrella name aside from Intel’s microarchitectural data sampling nomenclature.

This vulnerability is pre-authentication and requires no user interaction. In other words, the vulnerability is ‘wormable,’ meaning that any future malware that exploits this vulnerability could propagate from vulnerable computer to vulnerable computer in a similar way as the WannaCry malware spread across the globe in 2017.
Simon PopeDirector of incident response, Microsoft Security Response Center

Intel issued its own advisory that details affected products and the status of microcode updates to address the vulnerability.

Microsoft’s advisory said microcode updates did not exist for the following operating systems: Windows Server, version 1803 (Server Core); Windows 10, version 1809 for x64-based systems; and Windows Server 2019 (full and Server Core deployments). Customers can protect themselves by disabling hyper-threading until both the firmware (microcode) and operating system updates are available, according to the company.

Microsoft patches exploit in move reminiscent of WannaCry outbreak

May Patch Tuesday’s security updates also closed a critical remote code execution flaw (CVE-2019-0708) in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 systems related to a bug in the Remote Desktop Services (RDS) feature, formerly called Terminal Services. The RDS exploit allows an attacker to run code on an unpatched system to grant them a range of abilities, from installing programs to creating accounts with full user rights.

Microsoft took the unusual step to issue patches for unsupported Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 operating systems due to the significance of the threat.

“This vulnerability is pre-authentication and requires no user interaction. In other words, the vulnerability is ‘wormable,’ meaning that any future malware that exploits this vulnerability could propagate from vulnerable computer to vulnerable computer in a similar way as the WannaCry malware spread across the globe in 2017,” wrote Simon Pope, Microsoft Security Response Center director of incident response, in a blog.

Administrators of affected systems under support can find the security updates in the usual locations or have them installed through automatic updates. For Windows XP and Server 2003 systems, administrators can find patches via the knowledge base article KB4500705.

Another day, another exploit comes to light

In other Microsoft security news, researchers from IT security company ESET on May 7 said they uncovered LightNeuron, a sophisticated backdoor and spying malware tailored for Exchange Server systems.

LightNeuron has two key ingredients: a transport agent for mail handling and a dynamic link library (DLL) that held the bulk of the malicious code. For any of this to work, it requires administrative access to the Exchange system.

Once the attacker registers and implements LightNeuron’s components, the malware takes control of the server to block, read and modify email messages. ESET said the malware creates a command-and-control server and uses steganography to mask its commands inside JPG images and PDF documents in email attachments. ESET researchers believe LightNeuron’s targets and its characteristics indicate it is the handiwork of the notorious Turla hacking group.

Due to its advanced camouflage techniques, ESET researchers said it’s possible LightNeuron has been in use since 2014. Moreover, eliminating the malware can result in disastrous consequences.

“Simply removing the two malicious files will break Microsoft Exchange, preventing everybody in the organization from sending and receiving emails,” according to an ESET whitepaper.

As of this article’s publication, Microsoft had no mitigation or patch. Microsoft’s Security Intelligence claims Windows Defender Antivirus can find and remove the threat, in a short advisory, but it’s not clear if Defender catches LightNeuron before installation or if it removes it neatly after installation.

News of LightNeuron caught the attention of many administrators. Tony Redmond, a prominent Exchange expert and Microsoft MVP, sent out a tweet to suppress some hand-wringing related to the exploit, noting that IT pros who put more effort to lock down their systems would not be as concerned.

“Lots of [fear, uncertainty and doubt] floating around about from recent reports of the ‘LightNeuron’ attack on Exchange. If attackers get inside your network and secure the admin [privileges] necessary to install transport agents, you’ve got bigger problems to worry about,” Redmond wrote.

LightNeuron’s exposure reinforces the message that once attackers get in a Windows system, they can burrow and remain undetected for quite some time and do significant damage.

IT pros must throw up as many obstacles as they can to prevent intrusions, such as two-factor authentication on dedicated Exchange administration accounts and tighter controls over PowerShell in the system, ESET said. Administrators should regularly inspect Exchange Server, especially key pieces such as the transport agent, to verify all parts of Exchange have the proper signatures.

“It’s probably a blind spot for most companies. They don’t have the ability or don’t take the time and effort to scan components within platforms like Exchange or SharePoint,” Goettl said.

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Nakivo backup supports Nutanix AHV in latest update

Nakivo Backup & Replication added a new pricing model option and support for the Nutanix AHV hypervisor with its 8.5 release.

Nakivo’s per-machine subscription pricing ranges from $18 per virtual machine, per year, for its most basic features package to $53 per VM, per year, for its Enterprise package. Nakivo Backup & Replication customers can still choose its original perpetual, per-socket licensing model, which ranges from $99 per socket to $599 per socket, depending on the features package.

With hyper-converged vendor Nutanix gaining traction with its KVM-based hypervisor, Nakivo expanded its hypervisor support. Nakivo Backup & Replication already supported VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V.

‘New opportunities’ with Nutanix

Veniamin Simonov, director of product management at Nakivo, based in Sparks, Nev., said the vendor saw growing market interest in AHV. According to Nutanix, 40% of the hyper-converged nodes it sold over the past year run AHV.

“Recently, we saw lot of movement to this platform. There are a lot of new opportunities, as more customers are using Acropolis,” Simonov said.

The hypervisor space is heating up, said George Crump, chief steward at IT analysis firm Storage Switzerland. He said he saw this update as a sound, strategic move for Nakivo.

“I don’t know how big AHV will be, but to me, the bigger story is how hypervisor is making headway,” Crump said. “It’s a very intense market. And support of that is good, obviously.”

However, Nakivo’s AHV support comes too late for Nutanix to include it in its Mine backup product, which it launched last week. Nutanix Mine is a backup target that integrates backup applications from Veeam, HYCU, Commvault, Veritas and Unitrends. Nutanix expects to have integration from those vendors completed by the end of 2020, with Mine for Veeam and Mine for HYCU planned for 2019.

Nakivo can support Nutanix AHV with other vendors’ backup targets, but will not get the push from Nutanix channel partners that Mine partners can receive.

Nakivo Backup & Replication 8.5 also introduced the ability to replicate VMs from the backup set instead of from primary storage. This feature reduces load on the production environment, because it does not have to take another snapshot to replicate the VM. Crump described this as like having a “cold or turned-off VM ready to go.”

“An RPO [recovery point objective] of the last backup and an RTO [recovery time objective] of ‘turn on the VM’ is going to be acceptable for a lot of systems,” Crump said. “I think this ‘medium availability’ will be well-received.”

Screenshot of Nakivo's interface
Nakivo Backup & Replication added direct replication from backups and other features in version 8.5.

Nakivo remains aggressive with feature set

I don’t know how big AHV will be, but to me, the bigger story is how hypervisor is making headway. It’s a very intense market. And support of that is good, obviously.
George CrumpChief steward, Storage Switzerland

Other new features added to Nakivo Backup & Replication in this update are FreeNAS compatibility, Windows Server 2019 support, Raspberry Pi support and an automated update capability.

Launched in 2012, Nakivo Backup & Replication is a relative newcomer in the data protection space. Nakivo has stuck to an aggressive, quarterly release schedule to try to reach feature parity with other vendors in the market.

Crump said Nakivo tries to compete with Veeam in the VM backup space on price. The features gap between the two has narrowed, so customers might be attracted to Nakivo if it has the features they want and remains the lower-cost option. However, Crump said competing on price is always risky business in the world of software.

“What I see here, for the most part, is feature parity with Veeam, with the exception of some of the things Veeam is doing in the cloud,” Crump said. “In a sense, they’re saying, ‘We can give you the features you care about that Veeam gives you, for less money.’ I always get nervous when a company tries to compete on price, because if Veeam, because it’s software, decides it doesn’t want to lose deals anymore, all they have to do is cut their prices.”

Simonov said he is confident Nakivo offers a lower price than its competitors, whether a customer picks the perpetual license or the new per-machine option. He said Nakivo, despite being a newer vendor, isn’t behind in the market on features, quality or customer support, but lacks the brand awareness of more established vendors.

Crump said if Nakivo continues its quarterly release schedule, it may soon turn into a better product than Veeam. In the meantime, Crump pointed out that Nakivo is effectively sidestepping its largest competitor by targeting smaller companies instead of aggressively going after large enterprises like Veeam.

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Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18898 | Windows Experience Blog

Hello Windows Insiders, today we are releasing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18898 (20H1) to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring.
IMPORTANT: As is normal with builds early in the development cycle, these builds may contain bugs that might be painful for some. If you take this flight, you won’t be able to switch Slow or Release Preview rings without doing a clean-install on your PC. If you wish to remain on 19H1, please change your ring settings via Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program *before* taking this flight. See this blog post for details.
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.

Disk type now visible in Task Manager Performance tab
A small, but perhaps convenient change — you’ll now be able to see the disk type (e.g. SSD) for each disk listed in Task Manager’s performance tab. This is particularly helpful in cases where you have multiple disks listed, so you can differentiate between them.

We fixed an issue resulting in a high hitting DWM crash in recent builds.
We fixed a pcshell.dll issue in recent builds resulting in a high hitting explorer.exe crash.
We fixed an issue where updated Japanese IME settings would be never applied in certain desktop bridge apps, which could result in prediction candidates being shown even after they’d been disabled in the IME settings. For those who’ve already been impacted by this, you’ll need to reset the app Settings > Apps > > Advanced Options > Reset before you see the results of this fix.

There has been an issue with older versions of anti-cheat software used with games where after updating to the latest 19H1 Insider Preview builds may cause PCs to experience crashes. We are working with partners on getting their software updated with a fix, and most games have released patches to prevent PCs from experiencing this issue. To minimize the chance of running into this issue, please make sure you are running the latest version of your games before attempting to update the operating system. We are also working with anti-cheat and game developers to resolve similar issues that may arise with the 20H1 Insider Preview builds and will work to minimize the likelihood of these issues in the future.
Some Realtek SD card readers are not functioning properly. We are investigating the issue.
If you use remote desktop to connect to an enhanced session VM, taskbar search results will not be visible (just a dark area) until you restart searchui.exe.
We’re investigating reports that on certain devices, if fast startup is enabled, night light doesn’t turn on until after a restart. (Note: The problem will occur on a “cold” reboot or power off / power on. To work around if night light doesn’t turn on, use Start > Power > Restart.)
There’s a noticeable lag when dragging the emoji and dictation panels.
Tamper Protection may be turned off in Windows Security after updating to this build. You can turn it back on.
Some features on Start Menu and in All apps are not localized in languages such as FR-FR, RU-RU, and ZH-CN.
In the Ease of Access settings, selecting a color filter may not take effect right away unless color filters option is turned off and back on again.
The IME candidate window for East Asian IMEs (Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and the Japanese IME) may not open sometimes. We are investigating the issue. In the meantime, going to Task Manager and ending the “WindowsInternal.ComposableShell.Experiences.TextInput.InputApp.exe” task from the from the Details tab should unblock you if you experience this issue.
We are aware of an issue with the Bopomofo IME where the character width is suddenly changed to Full width from Half width and are investigating.

If you install builds from the Fast ring and switch to either the Slow ring or the Release Preview 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.

Windows 10 continues to power the world’s best PC gaming experiences, and we are continuously in awe of how our game development partners creatively use our technology to deliver vibrant and immersive worlds. Recently, our partners at IO Interactive, the developers of the award-winning HITMAN franchise, added DirectX 12 support to HITMAN 2, with impressive results. IO Interactive was so excited that they wanted to share a bit about how their innovative use of DirectX 12 benefits HITMAN gamers everywhere. Head over to the DirectX 12 blog to learn how DirectX 12 is, in the words of HITMAN gamers, “an absolute game changer.”

Learn American Sign Language with Bing! Practice the alphabet, learn numbers, and watch how to sign commonly used words and phrases. After you’ve practiced, test your knowledge with an ASL quiz.
If you want to be among the first to learn about these Bing features, join our Bing Insider Program.

We believe that everyone in the world who wants to should have the chance to learn to code. The Windows Insider community has (of course) raised their hands to help make this mission happen.
Learn more about the amazing people and tools we’ve been working with to get started, sign up to help one of these communities, or sign up to be a local #InsiderUp community leader.
Get started with #InsiderUp today.
No downtime for Hustle-As-A-Service,Dona

Wanted – WFH SFF or Chromebox (budget)

Discussion in ‘Desktop Computer Classifieds‘ started by IceAx, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. IceAx

    Active Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    Products Owned:
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    Trophy Points:

    Morning all

    Does anyone have a cheapie SFF or chromebox they are looking to shift for working from home.

    just needs to be able to run a browser with tabs open etc – would probably run linux on SFF.


    Location: Warrington

    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.

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As seen at Build 2019, Garage interns launch new tool that creates full-stack web apps quickly – Microsoft Garage

Last week at Build 2019, we released Microsoft Web Template Studio. The VS Code extension was built by a team of Garage interns and enables simple, full-stack web app creation for the developer who wants to get things going quickly. Web Template Studio is now available worldwide in the Visual Studio Marketplace and opensource on GitHub. You can read the full story on the Windows Blog.

Create full-stack web apps quickly

When the team of Garage interns behind Web Template Studio set out to build the web app prototyping tool, they immediately thought of the quintessential hacker, burning the midnight oil to connect front end, back end, and cloud services solutions in the short space of a hackathon. As Kelly Ng, a Software Engineering Intern describes, “A lot of times in a hackathon, you spend the whole hackathon just setting all of that up before you can start programming. With our tool, you can hook everything up in just 5 or 6 minutes.” Web Template Studio walks developers through a setup wizard that generates a full-stack web app, powered by Azure Services.

Screenshot of Microsoft Web Template StudioSeveral of the interns recalled stories of spending days researching through forums for their own development projects just to find that there was no consensus on an easy solution for spinning up web apps. “This task can be so difficult, and ultimately a lot of developers wind up saying, ‘Oh well, I’ll just figure this out myself,” continues Kelly. Amr Sharaf, another Software Engineer Intern, adds, “What drew me to this project was, as developers ourselves, we’ve faced this issue every time we wanted to build a project, so we were very familiar with the problem itself and passionate about solving it.”

Web Template Studio is ideal for someone who wants to prototype or get things going quickly, without having to wade through tedious amounts of research to get started. “One of the things we focused a lot of attention on was the setup wizard,” shared Imho Traore, Program Manager Intern for the project, speaking of the benefits of the project for newer developers. “The tool also helps you easily incorporate Azure so you can start to experiment with cloud services. That’s huge when you’re just starting out.” Many team members echoed that they wished they’d had a quick-start tool with resources like this when they were first learning to program.

With the initial release, the team began to tackle this problem by supporting one full-stack app path with React, Node.js, and Azure Services and is excited to hear what developers would like to see next. For detailed instructions on how to get started, check out GitHub.

Built by Garage interns, inspired by community feedback

The Garage Internship is a unique program in which 5-8 interns build solutions as a team in response to creative engineering challenges pitched by Microsoft product groups, with past Garage interns working on Garage project Ink to Code and Garage Wall of Famer Seeing AI. The Windows Engineering team pitched the concept for Web Template Studio, inspired by a top ask from the developer community. As Clint Rutkas, Senior Product Marketing Manager and sponsor of the project, shares, the project also “takes the learnings from its sister project, Windows Template Studio which does the same concept but for native UWP applications. While the two projects target different development environments and tech stacks, they share a lot of tech under the hood.”  In addition to creating Web Template Studio, the interns worked on some core technology that powers both of the applications.

Garage interns pose for a team photo
Garage interns pictured from left to right: Amr, Kai, Trevor, Kelly, Sahil, Imho, Danish, and Jimmy

Customer needs are at the center of each Garage intern project and the team worked hard to incorporate feedback from the Windows community. In addition to sharing early prototypes with developers at a handful of hackathons and events, the interns solicited feedback from Microsoft developers, who kicked off the opensource iteration process by submitting a number of inputs.

The Windows team has released the project on GitHub to maintain an active feedback loop with users. “One of things I’m most excited about with this project is that it’s open source. I’m really looking forward to seeing the open source community can come in and do its thing, adding features and making improvements,” shared Trevor Ngo, a Software Engineer Intern. The team invites the Windows community to try the project and contribute to the ongoing improvement of the experimental project.

Winter Cohort interns represented the project at Build 2019 and a new team of interns has taken up the mantle to continue development on the project in the Summer Cohort of the Garage Internship. The second team will be focusing on opensource inputs and feedback as a key guiding force for their next steps on the project.

Try it and share your feedback

Web Template Studio is still early in its development, and the team is excited to hear feedback from developers. Try it out and share your thoughts via GitHub.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

‘Star Wars’ designer goes to new galaxies using MSI Creator PC | Windows Experience Blog

Image courtesy of Colie Wertz

A long time ago, in a state very far away from where he lives now, Colie Wertz was about to face his biggest fear: using a computer.
Though he would go on to design sophisticated models for films in the “Star Wars” franchise, “Men in Black” and “Galaxy Quest” – among many, many movies – he got a late introduction to this vital tool of modern technology.
The architecture major graduated from Clemson University in the early ’90s without using a computer, thanks to people who typed his papers for him when his print-perfect penmanship wasn’t enough.
“The notion of actually using a computer to get the same visceral feel of building a model was alien to me,” says Wertz, whose love of models grew from studying airplanes in his family’s World Book Encyclopedias and then later drawing the covers from model kits.

But in the summer after he graduated, he successfully built a model for a new grocery store in Charleston, South Carolina, so his new employer wanted him to do more work and gave him a computer.
“I told them, ‘Oh, we gotta talk,’” he says, explaining his lack of experience with the technology. “It was the first time I used a computer.”
But he hunkered down, learning software called PowerDraw that could import CAD (computer-aided design) drawings on a Mac clone (he thinks it was a PowerComputing machine). But his real breakthrough with technology came later, with a move that would set him up for the rest of his life.
Find out what happens to Wertz at Microsoft Stories.

HP launches world’s first dual-screen gaming laptop and other innovations | Windows Experience Blog

In our multitasking world, when you’re playing PC games, there’s a good chance you’re doing a lot of other things, too.
Gaming industry insights show 82% of people use their mobile phones for messaging during gaming sessions, while 61% listen to music and 49% watch game-related live streams, view video content and browse websites [1]. With this in mind, HP has created the world’s first dual-screen gaming laptop [2], the OMEN X 2S.


Players will be able to message friends in WeChat and WhatsApp, browse the perfect songs to accompany their sessions on Spotify, watch Twitch and YouTube, or even serve as a hub for OMEN Command Center software through an easy-to-use 6-inch 1080p touchscreen above the keyboard – freeing them from the hassles of alt-tabbing.
A real-time screen mirroring feature further bolsters the OMEN X 2S, by cutting and magnifying parts of the main screen – such as copying the map portion of a racing game – to the second screen, ensuring centered vision and more vertical head movement.
This powerhouse also has a lot going on under its 20 mm-thin, full-metal chassis hood: It’s the first 15-inch diagonal gaming laptop in the world to come with an applied liquid metal compound to the thermal system by way of Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut. The result is heat dissipation at 10 times the thermal conductivity of silicon thermal grease [3] up to a 28% [4] frames-per-second (FPS) performance boost over traditional grease when testing in Apex Legends, and an 8.5% [5] faster lead time in a Blender Benchmark test.
The OMEN X 2S was one of several gaming innovations unveiled Tuesday at the HP Gaming Festival in Beijing.


The newest versions of the OMEN 15 and OMEN 17 laptops are now even slimmer, with a 20% and 18% reduction in thickness over previous versions. All three OMEN laptops feature OMEN Tempest, an overhauled advanced thermal solution powered by a 12-volt fan, which utilizes three-sided venting to enable five-way airflow to keep things ultra-cool.


Support for up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 for the OMEN 17 and Max-Q [6] design for the OMEN X 2S and OMEN 15 delivers realistic visuals. Additionally, multitasking and grand-scale games – which take mountainous resources – will run even more smoothly, with up to the latest 9th Generation Intel Core i9 high-performance mobile processor [7] powered by up to 5.0 GHz Turbo [8], eight cores and 16 threads, and up to 32 GB of RAM.

HP Pavilion Gaming 15 Laptop

Both the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 and the new HP Pavilion Gaming 17 laptops offer outstanding versatility and mobility for gamers and creatives alike. Technological improvements across the board arrive with options up to the latest 9th Generation Intel Core i5/i7 high-performance mobile CPUs [7] and up to the recently announced NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q design [6].

HP Pavilion Gaming 17 Laptop

These OMEN and Pavilion laptops are expected to be available by June via and other retailers. [9]
In addition, enhancements to OMEN Command Center software, as well as new OMEN and HP Pavilion Gaming displays and accessories, round out an ecosystem that has everything gamers need to progress and achieve their goals.
Pricing [9]

OMEN X 2S Laptop starts at $2099.99.
OMEN 17 Laptop starts at $1099.99. The 240 Hz option is expected to be available in October.
OMEN 15 Laptop starts at $1049.99.
Pavilion Gaming 17 Laptop starts at $849.99.
Pavilion Gaming 15 Laptop starts at $799.99.

Find out more about the OMEN by HP ecosystem of gaming PCs, displays and accessories.
[1] Lightspeed – Gamer Mobile Screen Stacking Report, October 31, 2018.
[2] Based on gaming laptops shipped as of April 15, 2019 with integrated dual-screens. Gaming laptops defined as laptops with models targeting specifically to gamers. Gaming laptops defined as laptop with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or NVIDIA GeForce RTX or AMD Radeon R9 or AMD Radeon RX 470 & above Graphics, excluding detachable PC’s.
[3] Based on thermal conductivity specifications of Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut vs thermal conductivity specification of standard silicon thermal grease. OMEN X configuration with Intel i7-9750H, 16GB DDR4-2666, RTX2070 Max-Q.
[4] Based on HP Internal Testing using frames per second in Apex Legends game comparing standard thermal solution to Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut April 19. OMEN X configuration with Intel i7-9750H, 16GB DDR4-2666, RTX2070 Max-Q.
[5] Based on Blender Benchmark comparing standard silicon thermal solution verses Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut April 19. OMEN X configuration with Intel i7-9750H, 16GB DDR4-2666, RTX2070 Max-Q.
[6] NVIDIA Max-Q Design can help reduce system heat and noise in thinner form factor PCs. Form factor design and thickness of the system will vary. Overall graphics performance may be lower than alternative graphics solutions that do not utilize Max-Q design. NVIDIA, GeForce, Surround and the NVIDIA logo are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of NVIDIA Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. MAXQ is the registered trademark of Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.
[7] Multi-core is designed to improve performance of certain software products. Not all customers or software applications will necessarily benefit from use of this technology. Performance and clock frequency will vary depending on application workload and your hardware and software configurations. Intel’s numbering, branding and/or naming is not a measurement of higher performance.
[8] GHz refers to internal clock speed of the processor. Other factors besides clock speed may impact system and application performance.
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Qlik multi-cloud, Kubernetes options drive cloud-first vision

GRAPEVINE, Texas — Qlik is transforming itself into a cloud-first, SaaS-based analytics platform, but it’s not leaving on premises behind anytime soon. The BI and analytics vendor introduced new, much-hyped Qlik multi-cloud deployment and Kubernetes-based options — available now — to give users greater flexibility.

Along with allowing users to deploy the Qlik Sense Enterprise platform entirely on its own hosted cloud services environment, Qlik will let them deploy the software on Kubernetes in the public or private cloud of their choice. This allows users to deploy and manage multiple cloud deployments as one, under a single-subscription licensing model, Qlik executives said.

For context, more than 80% of companies use a multi-cloud strategy, typically comprised of a hybrid cloud model that relies on public and private clouds, according to Rightscale’s 2018 State of the Cloud.

Doug Henschen, an analyst at Constellation Research, said he sees Qlik’s moves around its multi-cloud and SaaS-first strategy — revealed at the vendor’s Qonnections 2019 user conference — as the most important developments from the event.

“It’s a clear sign of recognition of the long-term direction of BI and analytics deployments,” Henschen said. “Today, the majority of Qlik customers remain deployed on premises. The company is not taking away any options for on-premises deployment, including Windows Server deployments, but it’s clearly preparing for the cloud future.”

Qlik CEO Mike Capone talks about QlikView during Qonnections 2019 keynote
During the morning keynote at Qonnections 2019, Qlik CEO Mike Capone said the analytics vendor won’t force any user to move to the cloud.

Qlik multi-cloud arrives, on premises here to stay

In a keynote, Qlik CEO Mike Capone stressed that despite Qlik’s SaaS and cloud-first future, the analytics vendor is no less committed to letting users continue to run Qlik Sense in their own data centers or to QlikView, its older on-premises offering.

“We want to do this with you, not to you,” Capone said. “Cloud has a little bit of inevitability to it … but that doesn’t mean you have to jump there overnight. You can start to move things to the cloud at your pace and your schedule — and we will support that forever.”

The company is not taking away any options for on-premises deployment, including Windows Server deployments, but it’s clearly preparing for the cloud future.
Doug HenschenAnalyst at Constellation Research

The ability to access on premises-based applications on Qlik’s cloud is coming in the Qlik Sense June 2019 release. Minor updates such as NAS support also are coming to Qlik’s traditional on-premises offering.

That the new Qlik multi-cloud, SaaS Kubernetes-based options use the same architecture and licensing model should help bring clarity and choice to organizations looking for deployment flexibility, Henschen added.

This flexibility is a plus for Steve Moccio, global service owner for BI and analytics at healthcare products maker Johnson & Johnson, which uses private cloud technologies — namely, ones that run on AWS and Microsoft Azure — along with its own internal software-defined data center.

“The [Qlik] multi-cloud architecture would fit our strategy very nicely,” Moccio said. “We look for the ability to be able to leverage the best in class across all of our private cloud technologies — the opportunity to be able to pick and choose which part of the architecture for each one of these clouds provides us either with a cheaper alternative or more computational resources.”

The power of Kubernetes

Kubernetes plays a key role in Qlik’s SaaS and cloud-first strategy, said Forrester analyst Martha Bennett.

“Qlik made an early bet on Kubernetes; this is really bearing fruit now,” Bennett said.

A few other vendors, including IBM and MicroStrategy, have previewed or delivered Kubernetes-based deployments, but Qlik was among earliest to announce — last year at Qonnections — and could be among the earliest to deliver, according to Henschen.

In an interview, Qlik CTO Mike Potter said Qlik’s SaaS and Kubernetes-focused strategy will bring more value to users.

“I’m actually quite excited because we have this confluence of the release of our enterprise SaaS offering, the awareness of the power of a Kubernetes environment, the flexibility that it gives a customer and their data needs. I actually think we’re on the edge of a hockey stick.”

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With atoms and lasers, IonQ makes a quantum computing leap

IonQ expects to deliver by year’s end its first cloud-based services from what it claims will be the industry’s fastest quantum computer.

The startup, based in College Park, Md., recently released the results of two benchmark tests published on Cornell University’s Quantum Physics site that showed its upcoming system is capable of solving more complex problems with a higher degree of accuracy than any other results published by competitive systems.

What is particularly interesting about the IonQ system is the distinctly different approach the company takes in developing the system compared with that of competitors such as IBM, Microsoft, Rigetti and Google.

The qubits used in the IonQ system are individual atoms of the element ytterbium that store the information. The information can be processed and retrieved from the atoms using sophisticated lasers, a method  company executives refer to as ion trapping.

Companies like IBM and Google use silicon chips to create their qubits, which require expensive control systems to keep temperatures close to absolute zero. The IonQ system’s technology, however, allows the machine to operate in room temperatures. And while silicon has the advantage of being a mature technology, vendors are still struggling to make their systems more stable and to reduce the number of errors caused by noise.

IonQ officials said its system also has issues with noise, but those issues largely have to do with the mechanical parts of the machine’s control systems. Company executives believe those issues can be resolved through a straightforward trial-and-error process by isolating them down one by one.

“In all the places in the system where we have noise and errors, they are known to us,” said Stewart Allen, IonQ’s founder and chief product officer. “There is nothing involving the quantum computing technology we are trying to improve upon. It’s all in the control systems.”

Because the system doesn’t require a temperature-controlled environment, IT shops can bring it on premises. But Allen said he doesn’t expect that to happen for some time and initially will deliver quantum capabilities to users as cloud-based services.

There are two major components of the system that are each controlled by the software: the laser beams and the trap or chip, according to Allen. The chip provides an electromagnetic bottle that holds the charged ions. The ions communicate through the coulomb force that repels each other because of their charge. This allows the chip to trap them and holds them suspended in a vacuum. It is this isolation that allows the ions to retain quantum states longer than competing technologies, Stewart explained.

The IonQ system can store up to 160 qubits and carry out operations on 79 qubits, Allen said. He added the system has a “gate fidelity,” which measures the accuracy of logical operations, of 98% for one- and two-qubit operations in a 13-qubit configuration. This level of performance allows it to handle longer calculations.

IonQ was formed in 2015, but only began emerging from stealth mode over the past six months. But the company has made significant progress over the past couple of years in terms of putting all the pieces of the system together.

Going up against companies like IBM and Google … it’s hard to convince people you are doing something better. So, we thought it wiser to get the performance benchmarks on the record and then show the market, ‘We have done better, and here it is.’
Stewart AllenFounder and chief product officer, IonQ

“Two years ago, we had just received funding, had no offices, employees or computers,” Allen said. “But, in that time from a standing start, we got the facilities, built the computers and can operate them at a very high level. I think that sort of progress validates the approach we are taking,” he said.

Explaining why the company has moved forward slowly, Allen said he didn’t want to debut the technology until it could fully demonstrate its core capabilities, given the level of competition it was up against. Overhyping an unproven product would handicap its chances right out of the starting blocks.

“Going up against companies like Google and IBM that have been doing this a long time, it’s hard to convince people you are doing something better,” Allen said. “So, we decided it was wiser to get the performance benchmarks on the record and then come out and show the market, ‘We have done better, and here it is,'” he said.

IonQ has built three systems and expects to build more by the end of this year. Initially, the company will provide quantum-based services to researchers using applications for medicine, chemistry, energy, logistics and those working in the financial world, according to Allen. In short, it’s for applications where conventional computers can’t offer adequate speed and performance for data-intensive tasks, such as simulating models for quantum physics or optimizing complex cost functions.

The product has attracted “a lot of tire kickers,” Allen said, but the company will continue to move forward cautiously. Over the next few months, the company will invite larger companies in the private sector, as well as selected government agencies, to put the system through its paces and hopefully collect some constructive feedback.

“We are approaching the point where we can do some interesting things with certain types of molecular simulations and perhaps simulations around problems involving financing and logistics,” Allen said.

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