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Microsoft Open Data Project adopts new data use agreement for datasets

Datasets compilation for Open Data

Last summer we announced Microsoft Research Open Data—an Azure-based repository-as-a-service for sharing datasets—to encourage the reproducibility of research and make research data assets readily available in the cloud. Among other things, the project started a conversation between the community and Microsoft’s legal team about dataset licensing. Inspired by these conversations, our legal team developed a set of brand new data use agreements and released them for public comment on Github earlier this year.

Today we’re excited to announce that Microsoft Research Open Data will be adopting these data use agreements for several datasets that we offer.

Diving a bit deeper on the new data use agreements

The Open Use of Data Agreement (O-UDA) is intended for use by an individual or organization that is able to distribute data for unrestricted uses, and for which there is no privacy or confidentiality concern. It is not appropriate for datasets that include any data that might include materials subject to privacy laws (such as the GDPR or HIPAA) or other unlicensed third-party materials. The O-UDA meets the open definition: it does not impose any restriction with respect to the use or modification of data other than ensuring that attribution and limitation of liability information is passed downstream. In the research context, this implies that users of the data need to cite the corresponding publication with which the data is associated. This aids in findability and reusability of data, an important tenet in the FAIR guiding principles for scientific data management and stewardship.

We also recognize that in certain cases, datasets useful for AI and research analysis may not be able to be fully “open” under the O-UDA. For example, they may contain third-party copyrighted materials, such as text snippets or images, from publicly available sources. The law permits their use for research, so following the principle that research data should be “as open as possible, as closed as necessary,” we developed the Computational Use of Data Agreement (C-UDA) to make data available for research while respecting other interests. We will prefer the O-UDA where possible, but we see the C-UDA as a useful tool for ensuring that researchers continue to have access to important and relevant datasets.

Datasets that reflect the goals of our project

The following examples reference datasets that have adopted the Open Use of Data Agreement (O-UDA).

Location data for geo-privacy research

Microsoft researcher John Krumm and collaborators collected GPS data from 21 people who carried a GPS receiver in the Seattle area. Users who provided their data agreed to it being shared as long as certain geographic regions were deleted. This work covers key research on privacy preservation of GPS data as evidenced in the corresponding paper, “Exploring End User Preferences for Location Obfuscation, Location-Based Services, and the Value of Location,” which was accepted at the Twelfth ACM International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2010). The paper has been cited 147 times, including for research that builds upon this work to further the field of preservation of geo-privacy for location-based services providers.

Hand gestures data for computer vision

Another example dataset is that of labeled hand images and video clips collected by researchers Eyal Krupka, Kfir Karmon, and others. The research addresses an important computer vision and machine learning problem that deals with developing a hand-gesture-based interface language. The data was recorded using depth cameras and has labels that cover joints and fingertips. The two datasets included are FingersData, which contains 3,500 labeled depth frames of various hand poses, and GestureClips, which contains 140 gesture clips (100 of these contain labeled hand gestures and 40 contain non-gesture activity). The research associated with this dataset is available in the paper “Toward Realistic Hands Gesture Interface: Keeping it Simple for Developers and Machines,” which was published in Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

Question-Answer data for machine reading comprehension

Finally, the FigureQA dataset generated by researchers Samira Ebrahimi Kahou, Adam Atkinson, Adam Trischler, Yoshua Bengio and collaborators, introduces a visual reasoning task for research that is specific to graphical plots and figures. The dataset has 180,000 figures with 1.3 million question-answer pairs in the training set. More details about the dataset are available in the paper “FigureQA: An Annotated Figure Dataset for Visual Reasoning” and corresponding Microsoft Research Blog post. The dataset is pivotal to developing more powerful visual question answering and reasoning models, which potentially improve accuracy of AI systems that are involved in decision making based on charts and graphs.

The data agreements are a part of our larger goals

Microsoft Research Open Data project was conceived from the start to reflect Microsoft Research’s commitment to fostering open science and research and to achieve this without compromising the ethics of collecting and sharing data. Our goal is to make it easier for researchers to maintain provenance of data while having the ability to reference and build upon it.

The addition of the new data agreements to Microsoft Research Open Data’s feature set is an exciting step in furthering our mission.

Acknowledgements: This work would not have been possible without the substantial team effort by — Dave Green, Justin Colannino, Gretchen Deo, Sarah Kim, Emily McReynolds, Mario Madden, Emily Schlesinger, Elaine Peterson, Leila Stevenson, Dave Baskin, and Sergio Loscialo.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

For Sale – 13″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (2019) – 128 GB SSD, Space Grey

Don’t be silly, if you don’t ask you don’t know

Thank you for the kind advice by the way. In truth you aren’t a million miles away from an offer I’d accept and I much prefer to sell here due to people like your good self. The forums are great.

The issue being postage and if I accept £800 then I’ll likely clear £775 something like that. If you can stretch to say £850-860 then I’d be happy to accept on the basis I clear closer to £800.

Still a massive loss on my part, but you would be getting an as new machine (really is immaculate). only 6 charge cycles. Plus the 3 year warranty which includes accidental damage, replacement guarantee etc. Quite comprehensive.

The difference between a 2017 model and this quad core model will also be noticeable. I believe a lot of the reviews will show just what a step up it is.

Either way, counter offer on the table should you be tempted.

Take care…

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For Sale – Dell Inspiron 15 5577 15.6” (GTX 1050 4GB, i5-7300HQ)

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For Sale – Apple MacBook Pro 13.3″ Latest Edition 2019

@tt01, bearing in mind the comments from your previous thread, I suggest you are transparent with this listing, answering all questions with as much detail as possible. Rousetafarian requested a copy of the receipt which you should post here (omitting personal details). The reason being; you are a new member with no verifiable history, selling an extremely high-value item on the basis of trust.

Thank you.

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For Sale – Alienware 15R3 i7-7820HK Gaming Laptop

In good condition, comes boxed, will get some picture’s up tomorrow in the day light.

7th Generation Core i7 driven machine with a GTX1070 GPU and 16Gb of fast RAM. Lightening fast Samsung 970 EVO NVME M.2 SSD (Under 15 sec boot time) and there is standard fitted 1Gb hard drive for wider data storage.

There is 1 tiny stuck/dead (pink pixel) on the right hand side of the screen, it’s hard to see and It wasn’t until I was giving it a once over today that I spotted it but I like to be honest with my descriptions.

An absolute beast of a machine, this is the model with all the lights and look’s fantastic at night.

This is already priced at a bargain price as elsewhere they are priced at over £1000 refurbished.

Postage could be an option but it is heavy but I’m sure we can come to some agreement if a buyer would need it posted.

I am based in Lowestoft, Suffolk.

Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-7820HK (Quad-Core, 8MB Cache, Overclocking up to 4.4GHz) 15.6 inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Anti-Glare 300-nits Display
Shipping Docs – English, French, German, Italian, Dutch
16GB DDR4 at 2667MHz (2x8GB)
1TB (64MB Cache) 7200 RPM SATA 6Gb/s
240W AC Adapter
Lithium Ion (99 Wh) Battery
Power Cord – UK
Environmental lot 3 label
Regulatory Label
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 Label
NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GTX 1070 with 8GB GDDR5
Killer N1435/1535 Driver KBL
Killer 1435 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1
Alienware 6 programmable Macro module keys
Internal UK/Irish (QWERTY) Backlit Keyboard
Windows 10 Home-HE 64bit English, Dutch, French, German, Italian
CPU Overclocking Tools for AWCC for Alienware Laptops
Thank you for Choosing Dell
Custom BTO Configuration
Dell Order
VAT Rate % 20
GBP Net
1,499.25
GBP VAT
299.85
Subtotal Freight VAT Total
GBP 1,499.25 0.00 299.85 1,799.10

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Wanted – Up to 14″laptop, maybe Toshiba Z30?

Ive got a toahiba z40 i bought from here to use with a meter to calibrate my tv just over a year ago, has had very little use by me, specifications are….
* Intel Core i5-4210 Processor up to 2.7Ghz
* 12GB DDR3 RAM
* 128GB Original Toshiba SSD Drive
* Windows 7 Professional 64Bit(upgraded to Windows 10)
* Built-In Bluetooth
* HDMI Port
* VGA Port
* 3x USB 3.0 Ports
* 3.5mm Headphone jack
* Ethernet Port
* SD Card Reader
* Original Toshiba Battery and charger
Is this of any interest?

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For Sale – Razer Blade Stealth 13″ 2018 i7 8 series 16GB 512GB

For sale is my razer blade stealth 13 with 8th gen i7, 16gb ram 512gb pcie ssd.

Bought from Razer refurb end of August this year so still loads of warranty. Condition is great, no dead pixels, it arrived looking brand new to be honest and hasn’t been out of the house since I bought it.

Very powerful and compact machine, but decided to go back to apple.

Collection preferred. Comes fully boxed with charger.

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Microsoft announces new technology benefits for nonprofit volunteers on International Volunteer Day

In our nearly 40 years of supporting philanthropic partnerships with nonprofits, and with the 2017 launch of the Tech for Social Impact team, Microsoft has worked closely with nonprofits and partners to develop new products and resources tailored to nonprofits and their very specific technology needs.

We’re constantly engaged with nonprofits to listen and learn about ways to further meet the needs of nonprofits, both big and small. Through conversations with our network, we realized organizations – especially those who rely on and deploy more than one billion volunteers around the world – need solutions that equip their volunteers with the same quality technology solutions that their full-time employees rely on.

In the spirit of International Volunteer Day, a global observance by the United Nations General Assembly for nearly 35 years to celebrate local, national and international volunteerism, we recognize the importance of nonprofit volunteers. Volunteers are the heartbeat of so many organizations. They are in the field, working with beneficiaries, coordinating and executing programs, engaging donors, and reporting impact. That’s why we must go further and equip more nonprofit volunteers with best-in-class productivity tools to promote seamless collaboration and access to content in the field, built on a platform of security features that ensure sensitive constituent data is securely transferred and responsibly managed.

As it stands today, while many nonprofits have digitally transformed thanks to solutions like Azure and Microsoft 365, their volunteers still use unmanaged solutions, which limits the ability of the nonprofit to manage information, protect sensitive data, and make full use of integrated collaboration tools that can increase productivity.

We want to change that.

Today, we’re announcing our first step by providing enterprise-sized customers with a new Volunteer Use Benefit. Starting January 1, 2020, for each licensed Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 seat, nonprofit customers with Enterprise Agreements will receive 10 additional Office 365 F1 seats for their volunteers to utilize. That means that an organization that has licensed 250 Microsoft 365 E3/E5 seats for their fulltime staff will have access to 2,500 Office 365 F1 licenses for volunteers to use at no additional charge. Office 365 F1 brings together the best of Microsoft’s cloud productivity experience including familiar applications for email, calendars, team collaboration, file storage and sharing. This Volunteer Use Benefit will allow organizations to equip millions of volunteers with the tools they need to have an even greater impact on the missions they serve.

This offer will be made available via our Cloud Solution Provider Channel in Spring 2020.

 “Through our recent deployment of Microsoft 365, we’re using tools like SharePoint, Teams and Exchange to drive increased collaboration, cost efficiencies, and security across our organization. In turn, we can devote more resources to driving mission impact.”, said Craig Tucker National Chief Information Officer of Salvation Army Australia. “Central to the success of our organization are the 8,500 frontline workers and volunteers who execute our mission in the field, engage beneficiaries, and manage important information. If we are able to equip our volunteers with the same high quality, secure and collaborative tech solutions that we rely on across Salvation Army it would allow us to fully realize the benefits of digital transformation for organizational success.”

Developing technology solutions for nonprofits strikes at the heart of Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. In the last year, we’ve rolled out solutions like the Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator, which is helping larger nonprofits drive greater insights and operational efficiencies, as well as a Microsoft 365 Business for Nonprofits offer that arms smaller nonprofits with collaboration tools with advanced security and device management capabilities. Not only are we creating solutions, but we’re also supporting nonprofits with digital literacy to improve adoption and usage through digital skills trainings with resources specific to the sector’s unique challenges and needs. With this announcement, we’re excited to extend support to nonprofits’ volunteers. 

In 2020, Microsoft will work with partners to support the roll out of the implementation of the Volunteer Use Benefit which will make all nonprofits more secure and effective, build trust with their funders and beneficiaries, and continue their digital transformation journey. To learn more and be the first to hear when the Volunteer Use Benefit is live, sign up here.

We’re truly grateful and inspired by volunteers across the globe who give their time and effort to help those in need. Their commitment to the world’s most important causes does not go unnoticed.

Published By

Justin Spelhaug

Justin Spelhaug

Global Head – Tech for Social Impact, Microsoft Philanthropies

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Author: Microsoft News Center

For Sale – 15 Inch MacBook Pro (2017) [Fully Specced – 512GB]

Hi Richard, no problem at all – happy to answer any questions

@OldG Nitro

Why was the MacBook originally sent back to Apple for repair (when the damage to the screen was done etc) & has it ever been sent back to them other than that time?

I turned on the laptop one time and one of the speakers fuzzed and just blew. Bit of an out of the ordinary issue, but I took it back to Apple to fix. They replaced what’s known as the top cover (keyboard, trackpad, battery, speakers and IO ports), but in the process damaged the display and the headphone jack. I then returned the laptop, where they replaced the display and top cover again, but this didn’t resolve the problem with the headphone jack, so in the end they replaced the logic board (CPU, GPU, RAM, SSD and controllers for IO devices). Essentially, everything inside this laptop has been replaced at some point.​

Have you had any other issues with it?

Other than the above problems, nothing​

Are there any issues with the screen, dead pixels etc?

None from what I can see – there may be the odd hairline scratch that you can pick up in specific lighting conditions, but this would be because I clean the display fairly regularly.​

Any problems with the keyboard (from what I’ve seen a known issue)?

I haven’t personally experienced any, but as I’ve mentioned, this laptop didn’t get much use as I’ve got a desktop for when I’m home, and work provided me with a 15 inch pro.​

Is the AppleCare transferable to a new owner?

From memory, it acts like an extended version of the original warranty, and is tied to the serial number of the machine. However, should anything go wrong, I’d be more than happy to help out with any problems.​

I forgot to add, can you please take a couple of close up photos of the 2 tiny marks you pointed out on the case?

I’ll get a couple of photos taken as soon as possible for you ​

A couple of other closing thoughts: I now use a Surface Book for all of my university work (I’m able to take notes in class without hoarding tonnes of paper handouts), and by far, the more premium machine is the MacBook. If I could afford to keep both, I absolutely would. The only reason I use the Surface device at the moment is because of the ability to annotate my lecture handouts, of which I have a lot. In every other sense, the MacBook is a better device.
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