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RSA Conference launches diversity and inclusion initiative

RSA Conference has detailed new efforts to promote diversity and inclusion following controversy around the conference earlier this year.

The 2018 RSA Conference faced criticism after it announced its initial keynote speaker lineup that included only one female speaker, cyberbullying activist Monica Lewinski. The conference then adjusted the lineup to include more women, but it still received negative attention.

RSA Conference earlier this month announced a new diversity and inclusion initiative. The conference split its efforts into four categories: governance, experience, programming and investment. These feature changes such as a new advisory board, a safe walk program coordinated in cooperation with the San Francisco police department, the abolishment of all-male panels and a youth STEM program to encourage students to get involved in cybersecurity.

In addition, RSA Conference has also updated its speaker submission form to encourage a more diverse speaker lineup.

“The form was very harsh,” said Sandra Toms, vice president and curator of RSA Conference. “So, we’ve changed the way we do the call for speakers, changed the language on the form so that people would get it that we value diversity in all of our content programming. If you’re suggesting a panel, think about diversity on your panel. If you’re looking for a co-speaker, again, think about diversity in your co-speaker selection.”

Toms said the language change has made a difference. Last year, 12% of the submissions were women, and this year, 18% of the submissions are from women.

We talked to them about what diversity meant, and everyone’s gone back to develop a more diverse speaking program for themselves.
Sandra Tomsvice president and curator, RSA Conference

“Overall, we receive over 2,400 submissions for RSA Conference. So, it’s pretty significant and we’re really proud of that,” Toms said.

The keynote speakers at RSAC are largely speakers from event sponsors — the conference has also received criticism for its “pay to play” model. This year, RSA Conference organizers said they reached out to sponsors to encourage them to send more diverse speakers to the keynote stage.

“Myself and Linda Gray Martin, who is our chief of operations, talked to every single keynote team this year after we received their recommendation of who they wanted to speak,” Toms said. “We talked to them about what diversity meant, and everyone’s gone back to develop a more diverse speaking program for themselves.”

Changing the environment

Along with what RSA Conference hopes will be a more diverse speaker lineup both on the keynote stage and in the sessions, the cybersecurity vendor is rolling out programs to make the conference itself a safer and more accommodating space for everyone.

This includes a secure child care room in or near Moscone Center that will enable parents to come and go from the conference as needed. There will also be a prayer room for attendees and staff, as well as gender-neutral bathrooms.

Toms also mentioned that the city of San Francisco is working with the conference this year to increase patrols on and around the walking paths from the Moscone Center to hotels. Conference organizers are also working on a program for anyone who wants someone to walk them back to their hotel after the conference for added security.

RSA Conference will also be promoting affinity groups that organize meet-ups during the conference to encourage a greater sense of community at the event.

For the investment part of RSA Conference’s diversity and inclusion efforts, the conference is partnering with organizations and schools to get younger generations involved with cybersecurity in order to ease the staffing crisis in the longer run. For instance, the conference is partnering with the Girl Scouts and Cyberjutsu Girls Academy.

While Toms says there’s still more work to do, the diversity and inclusion initiative is a step in the right direction.

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For Trade – 27 IMac 2009 for a Mac mini

Putting this up on the off chance someone is interested in a trade. After getting a working from home setup installed I don’t really have room for my iMac anymore, and would much prefer a Mac mini to connect up to my work monitors as an alternative to using my work laptop.

The iMac is in good condition, with a wireless keyboard (I missed the number pad so swapped away from the older apple keyboard ages ago) and the apple mouse that came with it (not shown in the pic).

I swapped out the HDD a while ago to a 240gb ssd, which has been great. It’s had very light use and is a great machine but the mini would suit me a lot better now. Don’t have boxes and wouldn’t risk posting so really looking for an in person swap.

Price and currency: 350
Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
Payment method: Trade only
Location: Bangor/N.Ireland
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.

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Microsoft Edge: Making the web better through more open source collaboration – Windows Experience Blog

For the past few years, Microsoft has meaningfully increased participation in the open source software (OSS) community, becoming one of the world’s largest supporters of OSS projects. Today we’re announcing that we intend to adopt the Chromium open source project in the development of Microsoft Edge on the desktop to create better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers.
As part of this, we intend to become a significant contributor to the Chromium project, in a way that can make not just Microsoft Edge — but other browsers as well — better on both PCs and other devices.
Making the web better for many audiences
Working with open source is not new for Microsoft Edge. Our mobile browser has been based on open source from its beginnings over a year ago. We’ve also used open source for various features of Microsoft Edge on the desktop (e.g. Angle, Web Audio, Brotli) and we’ve begun making contributions to the Chromium project to help move browsing forward on new ARM-based Windows devices.
Our goal is to do this in a way that embraces the well-established open source model that’s been working effectively for years: meaningful and positive contributions that align to long-standing, thoughtfully designed architecture, and collaborative engineering. Together we seek the best outcome for all people who use the web across many devices.
Ultimately, we want to make the web experience better for many different audiences. People using Microsoft Edge (and potentially other browsers) will experience improved compatibility with all web sites, while getting the best-possible battery life and hardware integration on all kinds of Windows devices. Web developers will have a less-fragmented web platform to test their sites against, ensuring that there are fewer problems and increased satisfaction for users of their sites; and because we’ll continue to provide the Microsoft Edge service-driven understanding of legacy IE-only sites, Corporate IT will have improved compatibility for both old and new web apps in the browser that comes with Windows.
Microsoft Edge + OSS: a new emphasis for Microsoft
Over the next year or so, we’ll be making a technology change that happens “under the hood” for Microsoft Edge, gradually over time, and developed in the open so those of you who are interested can follow along. The key aspects of this evolution in direction are:
1. We will move to a Chromium-compatible web platform for Microsoft Edge on the desktop. Our intent is to align the Microsoft Edge web platform simultaneously (a) with web standards and (b) with other Chromium-based browsers. This will deliver improved compatibility for everyone and create a simpler test-matrix for web developers.
2. Microsoft Edge will now be delivered and updated for all supported versions of Windows and on a more frequent cadence. We also expect this work to enable us to bring Microsoft Edge to other platforms like macOS. Improving the web-platform experience for both end users and developers requires that the web platform and the browser be consistently available to as many devices as possible. To accomplish this, we will evolve the browser code more broadly, so that our distribution model offers an updated Microsoft Edge experience + platform across all supported versions of Windows, while still maintaining the benefits of the browser’s close integration with Windows.
3. We will contribute web platform enhancements to make Chromium-based browsers better on Windows devices. Our philosophy of greater participation in Chromium open source will embrace contribution of beneficial new tech, consistent with some of the work we described above. We recognize that making the web better on Windows is good for our customers, partners and our business – and we intend to actively contribute to that end.
What happens next
If you’re a Microsoft Edge customer, there is nothing you need to do as the Microsoft Edge you use today isn’t changing. If you are a web developer, we invite you to join our community by installing preview builds when they’re available and staying current on our testing and contributions. We expect to have a preview build ready in early 2019 for you to try for yourself.
If you’re part of the open-source community developing browsers, we invite you to collaborate with us as we build the future of Microsoft Edge and contribute to the Chromium project. A few near-term examples will include continued work on ARM64 support, web accessibility, and taking advantage of other hardware features like touch support.
We look forward to sharing more details in the future as we test and learn. We are excited about the opportunity to be an even-more-active part of this community and bring the best of Microsoft forward to continue to make the web better for everyone.
Thanks,
Joe
Updated December 6, 2018 10:40 am

Microsoft’s Tara Raj on Windows Subsystem for Linux [Video Interview]

Hello once again all!

As you’ll know if you’re a regular reader of this blog, we’ve been talking about Windows Subsystem for Linux quite a bit lately. Windows Subsystem for Linux (or WSL for short) is a new exciting feature in the Windows Server stack that has been introduced in Windows Server 2019. WSL essentially allows you to run Linux CLI apps within Windows natively (No VM Required).

This creates a number of interesting use cases as basically any tool or service that runs on the Linux command line is now open to system admins on Windows Server. This includes anything that will run on the number of different Linux offerings in the Windows Store. Do a search for Linux in the Windows Store and you’ll find the likes of Ubuntu, Suse, Debian and more. Any/All of these options can be used after you’ve installed WSL.

We’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding how this works and how folks can learn more. It just so happens that I conducted a video interview with Windows Subsystem for Linux Program Manager Tara Raj when I attended Microsoft Ignite. Tara is a program manager at Microsoft on the WSL team, and we talked about use-case, underlying technologies, custom distros and more! It was a great chat and Tara gives a great explanation of the technology and what you can do with it. Thank you very much for your time Tara! I’ve embedded the interview for your viewing below:

Interview with Tara Raj – Program Manager Windows Subsystem for Linux

[embedded content]

Windows Subsystem for Linux Resources

WSL Distro Launcher: Tara mentioned that more information on running your own custom Linux Distros using WSL could be found on GitHub.

Documentation from MS Docs: Additionally Microsoft has a collection of highly detailed textbook style docs that go along with WSL, right down to the APIs if you’re interested in that.

Wrap-Up

Hopefully, Windows Subsystem for Linux is starting to look interesting for some of your more open-source workloads. However, I do know that there are many of you that may not have those, and are wanting a bit more of an example of a production use-case. Well, I’m happy to report we actually have an article in the works right now that will showcase one such use case! Be sure to keep an eye out here for when that goes live in the coming weeks.

As always, thanks for reading!

Andy Syrewicze

I currently have the distinct pleasure of acting as a Technical Evangelist for Altaro Software, makers of Altaro VM Backup. I’m heavily involved in IT community, on Altaro’s behalf, in a number of different ways, including, podcasts, webinars, blogging and public speaking. Prior to that, I spent the last 12+ years providing technology solutions across several industry verticals working for MSPs and Internal IT Departments. My areas of focus include, Virtualization, Cloud Services, VMware and the Microsoft Server Stack, with an emphasis on Hyper-V and Clustering. Outside of my day job, I spend a great deal of time working with the IT community, I’m a published author, and I’ve had the great honor of being named a Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP by Microsoft. I have a passion for technology and always enjoy talking about tech with peers, customers and IT pros over a cup of coffee or a cold beer.

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Author: Andy Syrewicze

How to get more women leaders in tech: It’s not just a numbers game

As enterprises come to terms with the #MeToo movement, they are finding that cultivating gender equality in the executive leadership ranks is not just good ethics; it’s good for the bottom line, too.

“There is a pure financial ROI benefit to creating diversity,” said Ron Hirson, chief product officer at the e-signature software company DocuSign, based in San Francisco. McKinsey research found that companies in the top quarter of gender diversity were 15% more likely to have higher returns than their peers.

Achieving gender diversity in the tech executive ranks, however, requires more than just adding women to the team. Growing the numbers of women leaders in tech also involves special mentorship, navigating hidden bias, and cultivating new skills around negotiation and self-promotion, panelists said at the inaugural Advancing Women in Product (AWIP) Executive Summit in San Francisco.

AWIP was formed in 2016 to support the career growth of women technology executives. The group is working to help companies ask the right questions to empower female tech executives.

“We want to make sure these conversations happen and the questions get asked and voices are heard,” said Nancy Wang, CEO of AWIP and lead product manager at Rubrik, a data management service based in Palo Alto, Calif. 

AWIP has quickly grown to over 3,000 members around the U.S. Enterprise partners include companies like AWS, Facebook, Yelp, Microsoft and venture capital firm Redpoint Ventures.

Tomasz Tunguz, partner at Redpoint Ventures, based in Menlo Park, Calif., said he was excited to be supporting the work of AWIP, because women leaders in tech had bet on him early in his career at Google. When Tunguz first showed up at Google, his great ambition was to work on leading product teams. But a Google policy required product managers to have a 3.5 grade-point average out of college, and Tunguz’s GPA was 3.3.

Fortunately, former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, then at Google, gave him his first break. Later, Susan Wojcicki, who would become CEO of YouTube, gave him a senior role in managing products for Google AdSense. Tunguz said he feels he owes his successful career to the kind of emotional intelligence that women leaders bring to the tech industry.

Culture critical to increasing women leaders in tech

Hirson said DocuSign thinks differently about gender inequality in tech since he joined two years ago. At that time, DocuSign had one woman on its board; now, four of its 12-person board are female. When the second woman was named to the board, the company received an award for having “great diversity,” he noted wryly.

Over time, Hirson said he realized it wasn’t enough to simply increase the numbers to have more women leaders in technology; companies needed to cultivate a culture that included them.

“The inclusion piece is more important than the recruiting piece … although recruiting is important, as well,” he said. For women to advance, there needed to be women in the executive ranks who served as models and wielded power in the organization. “If the people onstage don’t look like you, it is harder to get where you are going.”

Success metrics are important to creating more women leaders in technology. DocuSign started its metrics initiative with the goal of normalizing salaries. As it turned out, salaries were already balanced. But the metrics program inspired the company to look for other ways of ensuring women’s voices were included in executive leadership decisions, he said.

Reframing negotiation practices to boost women leaders in tech

Dan Scheinman, angel investor and former senior vice president of corporate development at Cisco, said he worked with one startup that had made great strides in fostering gender equality. But despite these efforts, it turned out that women were still getting paid less on average than men for similar jobs.

The root cause was that women leaders in this tech startup had undernegotiated their salaries when they were hired. Over time, the discrepancy in pay widened, because annual increases were calculated as a percentage of salary, he said, noting the need for companies and mentors to train women how to negotiate for higher pay.

Siobhan Neilland, founder of OneMama, a nonprofit focused on improving maternal care and health services in impoverished rural communities, is also a talent acquisition consultant for large enterprises.  She said when applying for jobs, women tend to undersell themselves. They’ll look at the required skills and focus on the ones they don’t have, rather than seeing how their aggregate talents, including emotional intelligence, make them a good candidate for the job.

When recruiting for Google and Apple, for example, Neilland often receives applications from men who have maybe five out of the 10 skills listed in the job opportunity. Women job applicants, on the other hand, will apply with eight of the skills, and then lead with what they can’t do, she said. Women leaders in technology must learn how to communicate strengths during the hiring process, she said.

“Women applying for executive positions who focus on what they’ve succeeded at end up doing much better,” Neilland added.

Translating resumes

The resume can also be a roadblock for women looking to get into the executive ranks. Men’s careers tend be more linear, and that sets the standard for many recruiters, Neilland said.  Women tend to shift to different roles and departments in a company when career advancement gets blocked. This gives them a much wider set of skills that are useful for communicating across teams and making sense of a larger part of the business.

Unfortunately, this tends to be ignored by executive recruiters who often are more focused on skill keyword-matching than identifying how a person’s soft skills and broader perspective could make them a better fit. Neilland recalled being part of the pilot program for diversity recruiting at Google. The search giant realized the problem was not the recruiting pipeline, but it was that the hiring team was looking at women’s careers through a masculine lens.

In order to bridge this gap, Neilland actually works with executive candidates to translate their diverse careers into the more linear format recruiters and HR managers are expecting. She is also starting to work with hiring managers on how to make sense of the more diverse career paths of women candidates. Emotional and social intelligence are important, but women are not naming that skill set or giving it weight in the interviewing process.

“If I can show candidates how to give that the same weight as an engineering degree, I think this will go a long way,” she said.

Women leaders in tech: Balancing work and family

One of the more ironic reasons for the lack of women leaders in technology concerns women who put off having a family in order to keep their careers on an upward trajectory. When they do have a child, midcareer, quite often they never make it back to the enterprise, said Sarah Guo, general partner at Greylock Partners, a venture capitalist firm based in Menlo Park, Calif.

At Google, about 40% of women don’t go back to work after having a child. But the loss can be reversed, Guo said, citing early statistics from Cleo, one of her technology startups that develops software aimed at supporting parents who work. Its research has found that women are 10 times more likely to return to their corporate careers with the right support network. Corporations are taking note.

“Most Americans will have a kid while in the workforce,” Guo said. “If you take people out of the workforce midcareer, then that is a systemic issue. There are increasing number of organizations that recognize this as an issue.”

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For Trade – 27 IMac 2009 for a Mac mini

Putting this up on the off chance someone is interested in a trade. After getting a working from home setup installed I don’t really have room for my iMac anymore, and would much prefer a Mac mini to connect up to my work monitors as an alternative to using my work laptop.

The iMac is in good condition, with a wireless keyboard (I missed the number pad so swapped away from the older apple keyboard ages ago) and the apple mouse that came with it (not shown in the pic).

I swapped out the HDD a while ago to a 240gb ssd, which has been great. It’s had very light use and is a great machine but the mini would suit me a lot better now. Don’t have boxes and wouldn’t risk posting so really looking for an in person swap.

Price and currency: 350
Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
Payment method: Trade only
Location: Bangor/N.Ireland
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.

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Author:

Spectre v2 mitigation causes significant slowdown on Linux 4.20

One of Intel’s mitigations for a variant of the Spectre vulnerability will reportedly significantly slow down performance of the latest Linux kernel.

The mitigation, called Single Thread Indirect Branch Predictors (STIBP), was put in place by Intel earlier this year when the Spectre vulnerability and its variants were first publicly disclosed. Intel proposed two other mitigations to this particular version — Spectre variant 2, tracked as CVE-2017-5715 — but this one, it turns out, would have a negative effect on Linux 4.20.

If Linux 4.20 is run with Intel chips that implemented the STIBP mitigation for Spectre v2, performance could drop 30% to 50%, depending on the application.

The mitigation is only on Intel chip models that have hyperthreading, but that still includes Core i3, Core i7 and above, as STIBP became part of Intel’s mainline chip production.

Technology website Phoronix reported the significant slowdowns on Linux 4.20 on Nov. 17, 2018, and said they were caused by the addition of kernel-side bits for STIBP.

After seeing the numbers Phoronix reported, Linux creator Linus Torvalds weighed in, suggesting that users disable mitigations for Spectre v2.

“When performance goes down by 50% on some loads, people need to start asking themselves whether it was worth it,” Torvalds wrote. “It’s apparently better to just disable SMT [simultaneous multi-threading] entirely, which is what security-conscious people do anyway.”

SMT is what Intel calls hyperthreading and was introduced in the early 2000s. However, Spectre and its variants proved that hyperthreading makes side-channel attacks possible.

There has been a history of performance drops with Meltdown and Spectre vulnerability mitigations since vendors started rolling them out earlier this year. However, the slowdowns associated with this Spectre v2 mitigation are the most significant.

Mitigating Meltdown and Spectre has been a difficult process from the beginning. The first patch Intel released had to be recalled after it caused PCs and servers to lock up.

In other news:

  • On Wednesday, Nov. 28, Dell informed its customers that their passwords had been reset due to the discovery of unauthorized access in its network back on Nov. 9, 2018. While Dell stated that its investigation did not find evidence that data was actually stolen, it did indicate that an attempt to extract user data had been made, and it was unable to definitively confirm that no data had been exfiltrated. While credit card and other sensitive information is not believed to have been exposed, an attempt was made to extract Dell.com user information, email addresses, hashed passwords and names. Dell.com reset all account passwords and warned users to change passwords for accounts that use similar ones. This reset also affected Dell’s Premier, Global Portal and support.dell.com online services, but the DellEMC.com and DellTechnologies.com accounts are not believed to be affected. It is unknown how many users were affected.
  • Microsoft issued a security advisory on Wednesday, Nov. 28, warning users of two applications that accidentally installed root certificates onto computers, which resulted in a leak of private keys. The two applications developed by Sennheiser — HeadSetup and HeadSetup Pro — are used for softphone setup and management. This error, tracked as CVE-2018-17612, allows malicious third parties to extract private keys from the two applications and use them to issue forged certificates to spoof websites and software publishers. While the advisory was released earlier this week, the issue was found earlier this year by Secorvo Security Consulting, a cybersecurity consulting company based in Karlsruhe, Germany. The consultancy discovered that versions 7.3, 7.4 and 8.0 had installed two root certificate authority certificates into the Windows Trusted Root Certificate Store. These certificates were also found to have been installed for Mac users through the HeadSetup macOS app. Sennheiser has since removed the apps from its website and is working on an update. It has also removed the root certificates from the affected systems and plans to replace them with new ones that will not leak private keys. In order to prevent further attacks, customers should update their apps. Microsoft has updated the company’s certificate trust list to remove the malicious certificates; instructions on how to manually remove the certificates can be found in Secorvo’s report.
  • In 2015, Lenovo shipped 750,000 laptops with preinstalled adware — dubbed VisualDiscovery — developed by the defunct Israeli online advertising company Superfish. And on Nov. 21, 2018, a class action lawsuit was settled, with Lenovo paying $7.3 million to affected customers. The adware compromised online security protections that users installed onto their laptops, performed man-in-the-middle attacks and accessed their financial data. In 2017, Lenovo agreed to pay $3.5 million after signing an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, Connecticut and 31 other states. Likewise, Lenovo promised to alter how it sold devices and, in another agreement, paid an additional $3.5 million to state authorities. All of this comes after Lenovo stated in 2015 that it did not agree with the allegations, and that it was unaware of the exploitation of the app by a third party. Lenovo also claimed it stopped selling the software in 2015.

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Customize Microsoft Translator’s Neural Machine Translation to translate just the way you want: Custom Translator now in General Availability

Custom Translator, now in general availability, significantly improves the quality of your translations by letting you build your own customized neural translation models tuned with your own pre-translated content.​ Using Custom Translator, you can translate your product names and industry jargon just the way you want.

With Custom Translator, an extension of the Microsoft Translator Text API, part of the Cognitive Services suite of products on Azure, you can build neural translation models that understand the terminology used in your own business and industry. The customized translation model will then seamlessly integrate into existing applications, workflows, and websites.

Custom Translator can be used with Microsoft Translator’s advanced neural machine translation when translating text using the Microsoft Translator Text API and speech translation using the Azure Cognitive Services Speech Service.

Preview customers of Custom Translator have already noted its improvements on translation quality and its usefulness regardless of the amount of pre-translated, bilingual content available.

Alex Yanishevsky, Senior Manager for machine translation at Welocalize, a leading language service provider, remarked, “Using Custom Translator, we’ve seen very good quality in comparison to other engines. It is very flexible. You can make engines just based on dictionaries if you don’t have enough data, and if you do have enough data you can make an engine based on data plus dictionaries. From the standpoint of customization, having that flexibility is really important.”

How it works

Custom Translator is easy to use and does not require a developer once the call to the Translator service has been properly set up in your app’s code. Custom Translator features a simple and intuitive web app that guides you through the 4-step process of customizing a model:

  1. Upload your data
  2. Train a model
  3. Test the model
  4. Deploy the new customized model to be used in your app

View the process in the image below.

For advanced use, there is also the Custom Translator API (preview) to automate the customization into your workflows.

Building and using custom NMT with Translator is quick, easy, and cost effective. By optimizing how training is performed, and how the Translator runtime incorporates the custom training, our team was able to provide a solution for customizing the Translator NMT models with a training cost that is less than 1% of the cost of training a new neural translation model from scratch. This, in turn, enables Microsoft to provide a cost-effective and simple pricing model to our users.

General availability pricing will go into effect on February 1st, 2019.

Get started now

  1. Ensure you have a Translator Text API key
    If you don’t have a key already, learn how to sign up.
  2. Log into the Custom Translator portal
    You can use your Microsoft account or corporate email to sign into the portal.
  3. Watch the how-to video and read the documentation.
  4. Questions?
    Ask them on Stack Overflow. We monitor these daily!

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Author: Steve Clarke

This guide can help you buy the right device for the holidays – Windows Experience Blog

There’s something for everyone with devices from Microsoft and its partners.

If you’re shopping for your friends and family this holiday season, we’d like to help you with this guide to devices for everyone in your life – especially those who prefer to work or play on the go. No matter what you choose, you’ll find thinner and lighter devices that deliver flexibility (tablets, laptops, 2-in-1s), voice assistants (Cortana, far-field mics) and enough power to run Windows Mixed Reality. Gamers and creators in your life will also appreciate powerful CPUs and 4K touch displays, and the ability to deftly maneuver between typing on a keyboard and writing, drawing or sketching with a digital pen. For those who need to stay connected – without relying on Wi-Fi – there are more choices with longer battery life. You’ll even find devices do a lot, for less than you’d think you’d have to pay.
For the one who is on the go

The Acer Swift 5 weighs in at only 2.14 pounds with a sleek magnesium-lithium cover and distinct charcoal blue color. Power through everyday tasks, watch videos or surf the web with Intel’s latest 8th Generation Core i7 processor and tackle things on your to-do list with your digital assistant Cortana. Utilize the power of Windows Hello with the integrated fingerprint reader for more secure logins on the Swift 5, available from Amazon.com starting at $899.99.

Surface Laptop 2 provides personalized style in a sleek and accessible device with all-day battery life, same stunning touch screen as the Surface Go, and four tone-on-tone colors: Burgundy, Cobalt Blue, Platinum and Matte Black. Starting at $999 at the Microsoft Store.

Surface Go, now available with LTE Advanced, offers all the comforts of a laptop with the convenience of a 10-inch tablet. Surface Go delivers a small, 1.15 pound portable 2-in-1 form factor that adapts to the way you live. Whether at work, home or on the road, Surface Go runs Office365 and offers built-in Windows Hello for a more secure sign-in. Available from the Microsoft Store starting at $399.99.

The Huawei MateBook X Pro opens new horizons with its FullView design, a 91 percent screen-to-body ratio ideal for watching movies and videos in 4K. It’s powered for creativity with the latest 8th Generation Intel Core Processors and up to 12 hours per charge* to create and play all day. Packed with great Windows features like Cortana and Windows Hello for more secure logins, you can get the MateBook X Pro on NewEgg starting at $1,199.

For the creators

The ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 gives you the power to do whatever you want to do, wherever you want to do it. Powered by Intel’s 8th Generation Core processor with a 4K UHD NanoEdge touchscreen display, it is a creative’s delight. Use the innovative ScreenPad as a second display to use apps, play music, look at your calendar and more. Get it from Best Buy starting at $1,749.99.

The Samsung Galaxy Book2 keeps you productive without the dependency of Wi-Fi, thanks to its LTE connectivity. With Instant On, it starts up quickly so you can work and stream your favorite content while on the go. With its multi-workday battery life, S Pen and keyboard that come included in the box, you can get more work done from just about anywhere. Available on Samsung.com starting at $999.99.

For someone who needs to be hands-free

Surface Pro 6 offers all-day battery for up to 13.5 hour of work, fun or both. With best in class keyboard and trackpad and 67 percent faster than its predecessor, Surface Pro 6 offers the versatility you need to create and be productive from anywhere. The 12.3-inch PixelSense Display and multi-screen docking presents content beautifully and Surface Pro 6 now includes an 8.0 MP auto-focus camera and far field microphones, so you can ask Cortana questions from the next room. Now with new color options like matte black, check it out at the Microsoft Store starting at $899.99.

Lenovo’s Yoga Book C930 rewrites the rules of mobile productivity and creativity as the world’s thinnest and lightest dual-display laptop including a display built with E Ink. The versatile E Ink screen serves as a keyboard, notepad and eReader. It’s ultraportable at just 9.9mm at its thinnest when closed, and has up to 10-hour battery life and a Precision Pen for easy sketching and inking on either screen. Starting at $949.99, it is available on BestBuy.com and Lenovo.com.

For someone who enjoys flexibility

Get versatility and mobility with the ASUS ZenBook Flip 13. Its 13-inch display has ultra-narrow bezels on all four sides, giving a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio that allows a much more compact chassis design. With its 360°-flippable ErgoLift hinge, the latest Intel Core processors, active-stylus support, ZenBook Flip 13 is versatile, powerful and portable. Get it from Best Buy (model Q326FA) starting at $1,099.99.

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is elegant at every angle, with a 360-degree hinge that allows you to work in four flexible positions: tablet, tent, laptop and stand modes with up to 8th Gen processors. Turn thoughts into actions with Windows Ink that allows you to capture notes, make edits and create content with the Dell Active Pen. Enjoy password-free sign-ins with Windows Hello using one touch or your face for recognition. Available from Dell.com starting at $999.99.

Enjoy a bold, new design with the HP Spectre Folio, crafted from leather and able to adapt to three different positions – laptop, tablet or tilted forward. With up to 18 hours of battery life and more than 4,000 levels of sensitivity with stylus support, you can create and play all day. Starting at $1,299.99, you can grab one on HP.com.

For the gamer who seeks superior performance

Optimized for performance, the Alienware m15 provides quality and maximum mobility with its sleek design features a narrow side bezel to maximize screen space to view explosive action first. The new Alienware mSeries keyboard even features 1.4mm of key travel, anti-ghosting keys and four Alien-FX enabled zones to light up the room during any gameplay, while also supporting in game lighting reactions for over 150 game titles. Powered by 8th Generation Intel processors and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 and 1070 Max-Q graphics, this gaming rig is capable of VR and beyond. Available starting at $1,379.99 at Dell.com.

The Razer Blade 15 is powered by Intel’s 8th generation Core i7 6 core processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 Series graphics with Max-Q design for amazing gaming performance. Precision milled from solid aluminum, it has one of the smallest footprints of any 15.6-inch gaming laptop and is as thin as 0.66-inch making it lightweight and ultra-portable. It also features a Full HD display and dual storage in the Base Model versions, or users can step up to 144Hz refresh rates and a thinner design featuring a vapor chamber cooling system in the Advanced Model. Available from Razer.com starting at $1,599, and includes a digital copy of “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 ” until the end of the year.

Experience true 4K gaming with Xbox One X, the world’s most powerful console and smallest Xbox ever built With Xbox One X, features like a built-in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, 4K streaming with High Dynamic Range and Dolby Vision, premium audio with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support and services unique to the Xbox platform like Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Live and Xbox One Backward Compatibility are at your fingertips, making Xbox One the best place to play. Get $50 off yours for a limited time, starting at $449 at Microsoft Store.

For the person who is always-connected

Lean, light and crafted from premium aluminum, the Lenovo Yoga C630 WOS (Windows on Snapdragon) 2-in-1 convertible offers smartphone-like integrated LTE Advanced Pro connectivity and up to 25 hours of local video playback thanks to the power-efficient architecture of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform. Get creative with the optional Lenovo Pen and use the laptop as your canvas or notepad, with drawing and editing capabilities with Windows Ink. The Yoga C630 WOS is available at BestBuy.com and in store for $699 or $599 with a Verizon contract.

Be on the move but stay always-connected with the HP Envy x2. With up to 22 hours of battery life and 4G LTE connectivity, you get the best PC and tablet experience no matter where life takes you. Its detachable keyboard and magnetic hinge enables seamless transition from laptop to tablet mode. Enjoy note taking, drawing and more with Windows Ink and ask Cortana to tackle your to-do list. Get it from HP.com starting at $799.99.

Devices that do a lot for a little

Enjoy all day productivity and entertainment with the slim ASUS VivoBook Flip 14. With its 14-inch ASUS Nano Edge bezel, a full HD display fits into a larger frame. It’s packed with great features like one-touch logins with Windows Hello and an optimal ASUS pen for writing, drawing and more. The durable hinge rotates 360-degrees to change to the way you want to work. Available from Amazon.com starting at $635.99.

Colors come alive with the Acer Spin 1, which has FHD IPS display and Acer Color Intelligence and a 10-point touch feature that keeps you creative with the Acer Active Stylus. Lightweight and portable, it has a 360-degree hinge that provides four modes to create at every angle. Buy it from Acer.com starting at $329.99.

*Data is obtained by HUAWEI laboratories using continuous local 1080p video playback, 150 nits brightness, auto-dimming off, system audio level at 67 percent, Windows Update off, OneDrive off, pre-installed applications removed. Actual battery life will vary depending on configuration and maximum capacity will naturally decrease with time and usage.
Editor’s note: Added footnote for Huawei’s battery life after publication.Editor’s note: Changed Huawei’s link to NewEgg after publication.
Updated December 5, 2018 1:11 pm

For Trade – 27 IMac 2009 for a Mac mini

Putting this up on the off chance someone is interested in a trade. After getting a working from home setup installed I don’t really have room for my iMac anymore, and would much prefer a Mac mini to connect up to my work monitors as an alternative to using my work laptop.

The iMac is in good condition, with a wireless keyboard (I missed the number pad so swapped away from the older apple keyboard ages ago) and the apple mouse that came with it (not shown in the pic).

I swapped out the HDD a while ago to a 240gb ssd, which has been great. It’s had very light use and is a great machine but the mini would suit me a lot better now. Don’t have boxes and wouldn’t risk posting so really looking for an in person swap.

Price and currency: 350
Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
Payment method: Trade only
Location: Bangor/N.Ireland
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

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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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