Microsoft TechSpark initiative invests in UND to propel US drone industry innovation – Stories

Project has potential to transform industries such as agriculture, energy and public safety

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — April 23, 2019 — Microsoft Corp. and the University of North Dakota (UND) Aerospace Foundation announced Tuesday that Microsoft has granted $100,000 in project funding that will drive investment and boost North Dakota’s ambitions to be the epicenter of U.S. drone innovation and entrepreneurism. The project is being funded by a Microsoft TechSpark grant to foster economic opportunities in the state and is expected to attract over half a million dollars in additional investment in Airtonomy, the startup the foundation will partner with on the project. If successful, the project could be a breakthrough in autonomous unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations with transformational benefits for industries such as agriculture, energy and public safety.

“TechSpark saw the drone innovation in North Dakota’s Red River Valley that is driving exciting advances for the U.S. drone industry and wanted to be a part of it,” said Kate Behncken, general manager of Global Community Engagement at Microsoft. “This cutting-edge project has the potential to increase crop yields and boost the production of renewable energy through safe drone advancements created locally, leading to greater economic opportunities for North Dakotans.”

Microsoft selected North Dakota to be one of six TechSpark regions in 2017, complementing the work at the Fargo campus. TechSpark is the company’s initiative to spark new economic opportunities and job creation in rural and smaller communities through local partnerships. UND Aerospace Foundation will use the $100,000 cash grant to partner with drone startup Airtonomy to undertake the project, which includes developing a proof of concept leveraging Microsoft Azure IoT Edge and artificial intelligence. Airtonomy will field-test the platform’s capabilities to perform autonomous drone aerial imaging over the next year and its commercial applications.

“UND Aerospace has a long history of providing leadership in aerospace innovation and economic diversification by supporting projects that advance the UAS sector and increase high-tech services in the Grand Forks region,” said UND Aerospace Foundation CEO Chuck Pineo. “We are truly excited to partner with Microsoft on developing a concept that promises to develop into a high-growth technology company in our community.”

North Dakota has emerged as a leading state for U.S. drone technology research and development. The Red River Valley has been dubbed the “Silicon Valley” of drone innovation thanks to UAS policies the state and its leaders have championed, aerospace centers like UND, open spaces, and ideal weather conditions for testing.

“Microsoft’s TechSpark support represents a significant opportunity for a startup like ours that wants to innovate and create jobs here in our community,” said Josh Riedy, CEO of Airtonomy. “It gives confidence to others to back our work, providing the jump-start for us to develop a platform that can drive the next evolution in how drones are used commercially.”

The project also represents a milestone for Airtonomy, as the TechSpark support served to unlock an additional nearly $570,000 in funding for the startup from local investors. It is that kind of multiplier effect that was an aim of Microsoft’s TechSpark investment and collaboration with UND as they seek to drive economic opportunity through the North Dakota UAS industry’s potential for growth. It’s been reported the current $1 billion commercial U.S. drone industry could grow up to an estimated $46 billion by 2026.

About the UND Aerospace Foundation

The UND Aerospace Foundation (UNDAF), a non-profit corporation, was organized to support the activities of the University of North Dakota’s Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, particularly in the fields of education and research. Together, known as UND Aerospace, they are an international leader in collegiate and contract aviation education and training services flying over 160,000 hours per year in over 150 aircraft. In addition to its home-base in Grand Forks, North Dakota, UNDAF also has facilities Phoenix, Arizona, in conjunction with Chandler-Gilbert Community College and Crookston, Minnesota, with the University of Minnesota. With more than 2,000 students from throughout the world, the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences provides undergraduate and graduate programs leading to a variety of rewarding careers in aerospace. Degree programs are offered through four academic departments: aviation, atmospheric sciences, earth system science and policy, and space studies. The UND Aerospace training complex is the most technologically advanced environment for aerospace education, training and research in the world.

About Airtonomy

Located in the renowned ‘Silidrone Valley’ with headquarters in Grand Forks, ND, Airtonomy delivers solutions that combine drone technology and AI to help customers improve efficiency of core operations and asset management. Airtonomy is focused on helping clients in agriculture, energy, and public safety realize the holistic benefits of aerial imagery made possible through secure, remote, autonomous, multi-drone operations. Airtonomy global and regional industry partners include Microsoft, UND Aerospace Foundation, the University of North Dakota Research Institute for Autonomous Systems (RIAS) and Northern Plains UAS Test Site.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft , (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Paul Staats, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7109, pstaats@we-worldwide.com

Duncan Neasham, Microsoft, (425) 722-9484, jon.neasham@microsoft.com

 

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

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Azure-to-AWS migration tool aims to lure Microsoft workloads

AWS wants Microsoft Azure customers to use its migration service to shift virtual machine workloads to its cloud, amid a competitive landscape that’s increasingly focused on multi- and hybrid cloud deployments.

The move extends AWS’ existing Server Migration Service (SMS), which previously catered to on-premises VM workloads with support for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V migrations.

Organizations can now use the agentless service to group together their Azure VMs and move applications over as a unit, rather than having to replicate individual servers or decompose application dependencies, AWS said.

It’s also possible to automate replications of live server volumes, which is critical for larger-scale migration efforts, according to AWS. There is no charge for the Azure-to-AWS migration tool, but customers pay for AWS resources such as Elastic Block Store and EC2 instances once their VMs are live on AWS.

Cloud vendors race to expand migration capabilities

With the new Azure-to-AWS migration service, AWS is playing catch-up, of sorts, to Microsoft, given that the latter has positioned Azure Site Recovery as a tool for AWS-hosted VM migration projects since 2015.

But AWS wants to maintain and grow its market share lead over No. 2 Azure, and has made workload migration a priority in other ways, particularly with its January acquisition of CloudEndure.

AWS, well-known for its torrid pace of internal development, rarely purchases companies. But CloudEndure’s disaster recovery, backup and migration tools apparently proved too tempting a prize. The CloudEndure software is sold by SaaS subscription and addresses more complex scenarios than AWS SMS.

Google also invested in migration tools with its May 2018 purchase of Velostrata. The startup had previously offered support for AWS, Azure and Google, but now its webpage simply states that it provides “fast, flexible and safe migration to Google Cloud.”

Azure-to-AWS migration may tempt, but cost considerations loom

Most enterprises plan to deploy a multi-cloud strategy. As a result, the market has responded to this trend with a thicket of service, but it still hasn’t made the process any easier. The cloud vendor price wars of several years ago have ebbed of late, and combined with the ever-larger range of SKUs available from each provider, cost calculations around migrations get more complicated.

An enterprise might want to migrate workloads between clouds for myriad reasons, including better contract terms, a deteriorating relationship with an existing provider or a corporate merger that brings with it a large IT footprint hosted on other platforms.

Still, just because the options are plentiful, it doesn’t make doing so a snap decision. IT executives need to use caution when there’s no commercial long-term guarantees, said Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research, in Cupertino, Calif.

“All cloud vendors make it easy to move in, but very hard or even impossible — less so technically than commercially — to move out,” he said.

For example, cloud egress fees — money charged by a provider when a customer moves data out of its systems — impact both initial migrations and decisions on whether to reverse a migration down the line.

And egress fees are just one factor associated with cloud lock-in, which more companies will try to avoid as they deliberately take a multi-cloud approach to their IT investments.

The cloud vendors are already more different than they are alike with regard to APIs.
Ryan MarshDevOps and serverless coach, TheStack.io

At some point, growth in the cloud market will stall as the major cloud providers will reach the total addressable market, said Ryan Marsh, a DevOps and serverless coach at consultancy TheStack.io, in Houston. Creative ways to ease onboarding, which subsequently increase churn for competitors, will become essential for cloud providers.

“I would hope to see Azure continue to offer more onramps for AWS customers and vice versa,” he said.

But even if migration between clouds becomes easier, such moves hardly guarantee parity between cloud environments, Marsh said. “What many people don’t realize is that the cloud vendors are already more different than they are alike with regard to APIs.”

User sign-on and identity management is one good example of where difficulties can crop up, according to Marsh. “Try transitioning a workload from AWS Cognito to Azure Active Directory B2C.”

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Wanted – Cheap 1150 cpu and DDR3 laptop menory

Discussion in ‘Desktop Computer Classifieds‘ started by geordieboy25, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. geordieboy25

    geordieboy25

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    Hi guys.

    Just bought a 2nd user laptop and a Lenovo M93P sff.

    None of which came with memory and I’d like a few 4gb ddr3 sticks

    Also the M93P was a barebones kit so would like a cheap cpu. Just wanted to get it up and running, nothing fancy please.

    Thanks

    Location: Newcastle

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

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

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

  2. maddy

    maddy

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    CEX are cheap for 4GB DDR3 – £8, or £9.50 posted. They’re the cheapest I’ve found.

    Is your Lenovo one of the tiny range? If it is, make sure you buy an Intel from their “T” series as they tiny ones aren’t designed for the thermal load of a non-T CPU.

    Great little machines.

  3. Krooner

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    I have 2 stick of 4gb DDR3 at home, do you need low voltage ram in the SFF?

  4. geordieboy25

    geordieboy25

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    Not too sure, is it SODIMMS that you have?

  5. Krooner

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    Yes, I know the ultra small form factor units require PC3L is all, not sure about the SFF It was something I ran into on the m92p.

    I have Low voltage sticks, but if it will take standard PC3 then CEX will be 50p per stick cheaper than me.

  6. GIBSrUS

    GIBSrUS

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    Hiya. I have a pentium g3258 if that’s of interest?

  7. geordieboy25

    geordieboy25

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    Thanks but I think I need a “t” series cpu.

  8. Ozzyh

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    @geordieboy25 Are you still after DDR3 laptop RAM? I have 2x 4GB matching sticks if that helps.

  9. geordieboy25

    geordieboy25

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    How much please?

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    £18 delivered ok? I can send via 1st class recorded Monday morning and you should get Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest as I’m at work till 6pm today.

    Would like to avoid sending normal 1st class as just in case they get lost in the post.

  11. Ozzyh

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    Sorry just to add that the modules are a matching pair of the below. They were inside a HP laptop which my 6yr old daughter was using for playing games to help her read. Moved her onto a PC now.

    Hynix 4GB PC3L – 12800S (part number: HMT351S6EFR8A)

    These are going for about £13 for 4GB on eBay so £18 inc delivery for 8GB is a steal

    Thanks.

  12. Ozzyh

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    Not heard back so i’ll create a For Sale advert as it looks like you’re not interested.

    Thanks.

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Mud, debris, and technology: Working side by side with Team Rubicon

Last week, I had the opportunity to serve on the frontlines with Team Rubicon to support their Midwest flood operations. Team Rubicon, a disaster relief organization comprised mostly of veterans and first-responders, is one nonprofit that Microsoft’s Tech for Social Impact team partners with to support communities in need around the world. My experience reinforced my conviction in the social business model we’re building here at Microsoft to serve nonprofits. This model is not principally about top line revenue or profit optimization, it’s about building a scalable and sustainable way to move nonprofit missions forward through the power of technology – reinvesting any incremental profits back into philanthropy and the community at large. Here’s why I believe in this model:

The site of our work was Pacific Junction, a small community south east of Omaha, Nebraska, just across the Iowa border. Pacific Junction is one of the communities that fell victim to record-setting flooding that recently devastated the Midwest. Flood water surged throughout the town, reaching the roofs of many single-story homes and bringing damaging water currents and mud that destroyed and defaced the homesteads throughout the town. Many residents have been unable to reach their homes for weeks, allowing mold to set in, making homes utterly uninhabitable. While some had flood insurance, many did not. For many, their homes represented a lifetime of hard work and savings now lost in a blink of the eye. With a mission to rebuild communities and lives, Team Rubicon has already deployed over 312 volunteers in Operation Heartlander to provide flood response and recovery support. 

We spent the first day in the field focused on assessing damage. On its face, damage assessment is a fairly mechanical process. First, assess the house for visual damage and potential dangers for the first responder team, and then enter the observations into a system to activate “strike teams” for help. However, I quickly learned that the assessment involves far more than creating a work order to activate strike teams: in many cases, it’s the point of first contact with residents who are in one of the hardest and most vulnerable moments of their life. In fact, one of the homeowners we helped was unable to contain their emotion when they learned that Team Rubicon would support them. The assessment process is about showing empathy and taking the time to hear the resident’s story and concerns. It’s about showing respect, as you, essentially a stranger, sludge through a person’s house and life which has been turned upside down. It’s about the deep human connection that is at the heart of Team Rubicon’s work, and so many of our humanitarian partners around the world.      

On the second day, I had the opportunity to go out to the field with two strike teams of Team Rubicon volunteers. We went to a house that had its 1,200 square foot basement destroyed by water, mud, silt and debris. The situation looked overwhelming and desperate. 

We started by bringing in sleds to haul mud, shovels to scrape, saws to break down debris, hammers and crow bars to peel off molding drywall and ceiling material. We then began clearing large debris – what Team Rubicon lovingly calls “mucking” – shoveling sled-load after sled-load of mud, and hauling it out of the house. Once clear, we began removing drywall and ceiling material to clear the house of mold. At each stage of work, the homeowner worked side-by-side with us, deeply thankful to have the support. After a solid eight hours, the mud was clear, mold removed, and the house was set to dry so that the rebuilding could begin. 

I flew home thinking about the experience, and I felt the immense responsibility we have in the technology industry to deliver affordable solutions that work well and work every time. 

Technology for many nonprofits is what undergirds and supports the work that happens in places like Pacific Junction. Behind the scenes and often invisible to the work on the ground, it’s the technology that my team is responsible for providing which helps organizations like Team Rubicon. Team Rubicon depends on technology to mobilize volunteers, plan missions, and route strike teams. Any glitches mean that the Team Rubicon volunteers are not able to fully support communities. 

I feel energized about my experience with Team Rubicon and more committed than ever to build solutions that truly live up to the demanding environments that so many nonprofits operate in. At Microsoft, we are committed to learning how to better serve this sector each day and evolving our social business model to help move nonprofit missions forward.

I want to thank the Team Rubicon team and all of the first responder organizations working in the Midwest. Microsoft is proud to “step into the arena” with you and be a small part of your mission.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Potential PowerShell telemetry raises security concerns

Privacy and security remain reoccurring concerns that IT pros stress when vendors and developers propose telemetry. PowerShell users responded no differently when the PowerShell team posted a thread on GitHub in February 2019 to get community feedback about adding a telemetry API.

The proposed PowerShell telemetry data collection would transmit information on the PSEdition, platform, application, session type and commands used with the intention to better develop the language to address the needs of its users. The team wants to track statistics including how PowerShell Core usage is growing, what issues users run into in PowerShell Core and what versions and services need continued support.

In light of complaints about the opt-out option of PowerShell telemetry, the team plans to create a more intuitive way users can decline to be part of the data collection. The PowerShell team stated that it would use the data to find trends, not to collect individuals’ data. In addition, the team would make collected data available to the community.

SearchWindowsServer advisory board members offered their thoughts on the usefulness of PowerShell telemetry and what the team would need to do to achieve a balance between collecting data and maintaining the community’s trust.

Telemetry should always be opt-in

Tim WarnerTim Warner

Microsoft collects an enormous volume of telemetry data from its customers. Telemetry streams improve the product, and Microsoft states openly they are not used to spy on customers. The PowerShell team at Microsoft has also been discussing adding a telemetry API to the language. This API wouldn’t be for Microsoft’s use, per se, but for PowerShell scripters.

Imagine we wrote a PowerShell module that automates OS deployment. Wouldn’t it be helpful if we could add telemetry collection to the module so we can receive usage details from those who use the module?

In light of complaints about the opt-out option of PowerShell telemetry, the team plans to create a more intuitive way to do so.

Again, the point here isn’t spying or privacy invasion. By collecting telemetry from users of our PowerShell modules, we can better identify usage patterns and error messages, which we can use to guide and improve our development process.

The big question is how to implement the telemetry. I’m 100% against any default-enabled telemetry feature, particularly when it’s implemented without user consent.

What I would recommend the PowerShell team does is implement telemetry functionality in an informed, opt-in manner, like Microsoft does with the Azure command-line interface (CLI).

Telemetry implementation in Azure CLI
At first launch, Azure CLI asks the user whether she agrees to telemetry data collection.

The only change I would recommend to Azure CLI is that I think the default answer should be No instead of Yes to preserve the privacy of users who blindly press Enter past confirmation prompts.

For more from Tim Warner, please visit his contributor page.

Data collection requires transparency and trust

Stuart BurnsStuart Burns

Telemetry has gotten a bad rap of late with various vendors accused of scooping up data without the option to truly opt out, which is the case in Microsoft Windows 10. As far as I am aware, Microsoft is the only vendor that does not give the average user the ability to fully opt out of telemetry.

Microsoft does a huge disservice to the privacy-conscious amongst us by taking away our ability to choose in real terms what we share. Therefore, anything it does with telemetry is going to be looked upon with great suspicion, tainting any company that decides to use it.

Your laptop or desktop holds a great deal of information about your life, your habits and, sometimes, your financial information or other sensitive material. Vendors and marketers would love to gather such information on unwitting users.

Telemetry can also be good when exercised with appropriate caution. The option to allow vendors to collect usage data is neither good nor bad. Giving the option to developers enables them to potentially build better products using a standardized framework and set of tools. As long as people have the clear-cut ability to choose what data is collected and the usage is transparent, I don’t see an issue with it. It comes down to the simple question of trusting the vendor to do the right thing. With some vendors that I have used for many years and trust, I have no issues. Others, such as Microsoft, I do not trust and will opt out wherever possible, even going so far as to move OS ecosystems.

Telemetry without transparency or data control and opt-out options has crossed the privacy redline and potentially creates liabilities for those vendors, not just the person using the telemetry. I would expect Microsoft to put legal framework around this tool that is reinforced in the actual code to give people choices. Putting it front center with options of Yes or No would work well. Without such a framework, the whole tool set is open to misuse and abuse.

While PowerShell is still very much a closed framework at the moment, I can’t help wondering if Microsoft will write the legal framework around this tool to ensure that it can also collect and use this data.

It all comes down to clarity of usage and manageability options, enabling users to make up their own minds if they want to share what could be pretty private data with vendors or, even worse, third-party data aggregators.

For more from Stuart Burns, please visit his contributor page.

Level of proposed telemetry is too high

PowerShell Core 6 versions have always had telemetry that automatically reports which OS and PowerShell version you use when you start a PowerShell session. You must choose to opt out of this telemetry being collected.

The proposals significantly expand the telemetry being collected. Some of it, such as the use of experimental features, I can see as being especially useful to the PowerShell team, but I question the need for much of the proposed telemetry. Reporting on modules and commands used is going to generate so much noise that detecting a worthwhile signal will be particularly difficult.

Richard SiddawayRichard Siddaway

The other issue is that the telemetry will be turned on by default. This is the wrong way round. You should have to opt in to the level of telemetry being proposed. I suspect that many, if not most, PowerShell Core 6 users aren’t aware that telemetry is currently being collected. The information is in the release notes, but I’d be interested to know how many users actually read them. A lot of organizations don’t allow information to be sent externally, which means that administrators will have to turn off telemetry wherever PowerShell Core 6 is installed. That’s more work for the admins, which will only slow the adoption of PowerShell v6.

The proposal to create an API for module authors to collect their own telemetry takes things too far. There is the chance that a significant overhead could be put on your PowerShell session if you have multiple modules sending telemetry to multiple different places. I suspect this will be the point at which many users will turn off all telemetry.

I can see why the additional telemetry Remote Function Call has been created, but I think it’s fundamentally flawed in its current state. If there is a real need for this level of information, then telemetry should be performed on a number of levels — basic information as at the moment, modules loaded and commands executed, for instance. Each level should be set so that you opt in to it rather than having to opt out. The default should be no telemetry is sent at all.

For more from Richard Siddaway, please visit his contributor page.

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Wanted – Cheap 1150 cpu and DDR3 laptop menory

Discussion in ‘Desktop Computer Classifieds‘ started by geordieboy25, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. geordieboy25

    geordieboy25

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    Hi guys.

    Just bought a 2nd user laptop and a Lenovo M93P sff.

    None of which came with memory and I’d like a few 4gb ddr3 sticks

    Also the M93P was a barebones kit so would like a cheap cpu. Just wanted to get it up and running, nothing fancy please.

    Thanks

    Location: Newcastle

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

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

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

  2. maddy

    maddy

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    CEX are cheap for 4GB DDR3 – £8, or £9.50 posted. They’re the cheapest I’ve found.

    Is your Lenovo one of the tiny range? If it is, make sure you buy an Intel from their “T” series as they tiny ones aren’t designed for the thermal load of a non-T CPU.

    Great little machines.

  3. Krooner

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    I have 2 stick of 4gb DDR3 at home, do you need low voltage ram in the SFF?

  4. geordieboy25

    geordieboy25

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    Not too sure, is it SODIMMS that you have?

  5. Krooner

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    Yes, I know the ultra small form factor units require PC3L is all, not sure about the SFF It was something I ran into on the m92p.

    I have Low voltage sticks, but if it will take standard PC3 then CEX will be 50p per stick cheaper than me.

  6. GIBSrUS

    GIBSrUS

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    Hiya. I have a pentium g3258 if that’s of interest?

  7. geordieboy25

    geordieboy25

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    Thanks but I think I need a “t” series cpu.

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    @geordieboy25 Are you still after DDR3 laptop RAM? I have 2x 4GB matching sticks if that helps.

  9. geordieboy25

    geordieboy25

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    How much please?

  10. Ozzyh

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    £18 delivered ok? I can send via 1st class recorded Monday morning and you should get Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest as I’m at work till 6pm today.

    Would like to avoid sending normal 1st class as just in case they get lost in the post.

  11. Ozzyh

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    Sorry just to add that the modules are a matching pair of the below. They were inside a HP laptop which my 6yr old daughter was using for playing games to help her read. Moved her onto a PC now.

    Hynix 4GB PC3L – 12800S (part number: HMT351S6EFR8A)

    These are going for about £13 for 4GB on eBay so £18 inc delivery for 8GB is a steal

    Thanks.

  12. Ozzyh

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    Not heard back so i’ll create a For Sale advert as it looks like you’re not interested.

    Thanks.

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From finance firms to factories — technology powers industry innovation

Judson Althoff joins in the Redmond opening of the new Bank of America on Microsoft’s campus. The branch is testing new technologies powered by Microsoft Azure and AI.
Judson Althoff joins in the Redmond opening of the new Bank of America on Microsoft’s campus. The branch is testing new technologies powered by Microsoft Azure and AI.

Recently, I joined a ribbon-cutting at the new Bank of America location on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washington. The financial center is a great example of co-innovation with our customers. It features some test technology only available at this location, like a holographic greeter, with capabilities in English, Spanish and American Sign Language. The bank’s associates are equipped with Surface Pros to help stay connected and deliver customer service.

Like Bank of America’s example, businesses around the world are transforming. Our customers across finance, health and manufacturing are partnering with Microsoft to power solutions across cloud, AI and IoT, including companies like Neiman Marcus, Albertsons Companies, TomTom, Goodyear, ExxonMobil, Schneider Electric, Telefónica, AT&T, Razer, Emirates, Daimler AG, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, Electrolux, Airbus Defense and Space and Siemens Gamesa. We also announced new details about the Open Data Initiative, our partnership with Adobe and SAP that will enable mutual customers like Unilever, among others, to unify their business data across lines of business applications and unlock new AI-driven insights.

There are innovation stories behind each of the diverse brands with which we have partnered over the last quarter. What I find most inspiring are examples of how customers are using our IP to innovate faster than ever. Here are just a few examples:

A year ago, we announced a $5 billion investment in IoT. Fast forward to today, where customers like Starbucks, Chevron, Walmart, Walgreens, BMW, Volkswagen and Toyota Material Handling Group are leveraging Azure as their cloud platform with IoT and AI services to accelerate their digital transformation. In fact, IoT is creating a big impact in industries you encounter daily. For example, Ohio-based GOJO Industries, the inventor of PURELL Hand Sanitizer, is a growing digital innovator in public health. The company is using Azure IoT to power its PURELL SMARTLINK Technology solutions. It has about 25,000 connected dispensers that help more than a hundred healthcare facilities streamline hand hygiene compliance through motion sensors, Internet-connected dispensers and a cloud platform that collects and analyzes data.

Two GOJO Industries employees
GOJO Industries, inventor of PURELL Hand Sanitizer, helps hospitals monitor hand hygiene with secure IoT dispensers and hand hygiene data from a PURELL SMARTLINK Technology solution running on Azure IoT.

In the manufacturing sector, digital transformation from the top floor to the shop floor continues to reshape how customers and partners run their businesses. At Hannover Messe 2019, for instance, we partnered with BMW Group to launch the Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP) built on the Azure Industrial IoT cloud platform and designed to break down productivity-slowing data silos by creating an open technology framework and cross-industry community. The OMP’s goal is to significantly accelerate future industrial IoT developments, shorten time to value and drive production efficiencies while addressing common industrial challenges.

BMW Group factory
Microsoft’s Azure Industrial IoT cloud platform powers the partnership announced with BMW Group.

A long-standing challenge for manufacturers is how best to boost productivity while simplifying employee training and development. Commercial truck designer and manufacturer PACCAR shows digital solutions can be applied to manufacturing and across other industries as well. Thanks to its adoption of Dynamics 365 Guides and HoloLens 2 — our next generation  wearable holographic computer that enables businesses to take advantage of out-of-the-box applications — PACCAR employees can access step-by-step holographic instructions to guide them through unfamiliar tasks like assembling a truck door or follow lighted arrows from each instruction card to the precise hole where a wire needs to be threaded or to the location of the correct tool on the factory floor. Holographic drawings superimposed on the actual door demonstrate how to perform that task and brighten structures behind the steel panel that normally cannot be seen.

Worker using HoloLens 2 on assembly line
PACCAR is exploring Guides and HoloLens 2 to improve manufacturing productivity and employee onboarding. PACCAR employee Chelsey Potts works on a Kenworth truck assembly line.

Toyota Material Handling Group offers an additional manufacturing example. The company is the largest forklift maker in the world, but its customers require much more than warehouse trucks and equipment. By providing solutions with artificial intelligence, mixed reality and the IoT, Toyota Material Handling Group is helping customers meet the global rise in ecommerce, and move goods quickly, frequently, accurately and safely. With Microsoft technologies, the solutions range from connected forklift and field service systems available today to AI-powered concepts that pave the way for intelligent automation and logistics simulation – all designed with Toyota’s standards for optimizing efficiency, operation assistance and kaizen, or continuous improvement.

Toyota workers in factory
Toyota Material Handling Group innovates forklift, factory, service and logistics solutions with digital transformation, and Microsoft Azure AI, IoT and mixed reality.

Customers looking to accelerate the digital evolution of their business need partners who can collaborate, co-create and co-innovate with them. That was the impetus behind the February launch of the Accenture Microsoft Business Group, a venture created by Accenture and Microsoft, in conjunction with Avanade, that brings together more than 45,000 professionals — the world’s largest group of Microsoft solution experts — to advance organizations’ digital transformation agenda.

When it comes to collaboration and the modern workplace, Razer is a global phenomenon in a multibillion-dollar industry that boasts 2.3 billion customers worldwide. Razer has 15 offices and is recognized as the leading brand for gamers. Today, the company uses Microsoft 365, a complete, intelligent solution that supports creative teamwork, to achieve the same rapid communications, fast decision making and real-time collaboration required to win a game, while using these same attributes for a competitive advantage in the business world.

Razer employees using virtual teamwork
Virtual teamwork that happens regularly in the Teams collaboration environment inspires creative problem solving at Razer where stakeholders in product development weigh in on design issues, despite time zones and geographies.

In the airline industry, Virgin Atlantic wants employees to have the tools and information they need to make each travel step as smooth as possible. Using Microsoft PowerApps and Dynamics 365, Virgin Atlantic now has a better view of its customers and can quickly and easily develop apps that help its business and field workers excel at their jobs and create an enjoyable travel experience.

Two Virgin Atlantic workers in front of plane
Virgin Atlantic turns to Microsoft PowerApps to help increase customer satisfaction, boost employee engagement, and reduce costs.

Digital is also changing how public sector agencies help families and children. For example, New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) caseworkers are using Microsoft  365 security, Office apps, and Surface Pro devices running on Windows 10 to investigate more than 50,000 cases a year of suspected child abuse or neglect. That time-sensitive work used to involve hours of typing reports and multiple trips between families’ homes and the office to retrieve documents. Now, from anywhere in the field, they can instantly access critical resources and capture notes to focus on protecting and advocating for children and families.

New York City children's caseworker with a Surface Pro
New York City children’s services caseworkers are using Surface Pro devices enabled with LTE to help manage their digital files and notes securely. Shown here: Eric Blackwood, Child Protective Specialist.

No matter the industry sector or geography, digital continues to drive how companies and organizations are reimagining their business models — from how they generate new data and insights, to how they engage customers and enhance workplace experiences for employees. We look forward to extending our collaboration with our customers and partners as they unlock new capabilities and pursue new markets thanks to their digital transformation.

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Wanted – Cheap 1150 cpu and DDR3 laptop menory

Discussion in ‘Desktop Computer Classifieds‘ started by geordieboy25, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. geordieboy25

    geordieboy25

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    Hi guys.

    Just bought a 2nd user laptop and a Lenovo M93P sff.

    None of which came with memory and I’d like a few 4gb ddr3 sticks

    Also the M93P was a barebones kit so would like a cheap cpu. Just wanted to get it up and running, nothing fancy please.

    Thanks

    Location: Newcastle

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

  2. maddy

    maddy

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    CEX are cheap for 4GB DDR3 – £8, or £9.50 posted. They’re the cheapest I’ve found.

    Is your Lenovo one of the tiny range? If it is, make sure you buy an Intel from their “T” series as they tiny ones aren’t designed for the thermal load of a non-T CPU.

    Great little machines.

  3. Krooner

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    I have 2 stick of 4gb DDR3 at home, do you need low voltage ram in the SFF?

  4. geordieboy25

    geordieboy25

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    Not too sure, is it SODIMMS that you have?

  5. Krooner

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    Yes, I know the ultra small form factor units require PC3L is all, not sure about the SFF It was something I ran into on the m92p.

    I have Low voltage sticks, but if it will take standard PC3 then CEX will be 50p per stick cheaper than me.

  6. GIBSrUS

    GIBSrUS

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    Hiya. I have a pentium g3258 if that’s of interest?

  7. geordieboy25

    geordieboy25

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    Thanks but I think I need a “t” series cpu.

  8. Ozzyh

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    @geordieboy25 Are you still after DDR3 laptop RAM? I have 2x 4GB matching sticks if that helps.

  9. geordieboy25

    geordieboy25

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    How much please?

  10. Ozzyh

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    £18 delivered ok? I can send via 1st class recorded Monday morning and you should get Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest as I’m at work till 6pm today.

    Would like to avoid sending normal 1st class as just in case they get lost in the post.

  11. Ozzyh

    Active Member

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    Sorry just to add that the modules are a matching pair of the below. They were inside a HP laptop which my 6yr old daughter was using for playing games to help her read. Moved her onto a PC now.

    Hynix 4GB PC3L – 12800S (part number: HMT351S6EFR8A)

    These are going for about £13 for 4GB on eBay so £18 inc delivery for 8GB is a steal

    Thanks.

  12. Ozzyh

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    Not heard back so i’ll create a For Sale advert as it looks like you’re not interested.

    Thanks.

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Cumulus NetQ aimed at broader enterprise market

Cumulus Networks has overhauled its data center tool set for network troubleshooting and change validation, adding a mainstream, enterprise-friendly graphical dashboard.

The pure-play networking company launched the graphical user interface (GUI) this week as a component of Cumulus NetQ 2.0. The latest version of the network operations tool set also includes a new database for storing and managing more network telemetry data than the previous version.

With the latest release, Cumulus has revamped NetQ to address the needs of a broader segment of the market for enterprise data center networking, said Brad Casemore, an analyst at IDC. Cumulus has three primary offerings: a Linux-based network operating system; branded hardware switches, called Cumulus Express; and NetQ.

“This is all about Cumulus using a new version of NetQ as a means of making Cumulus Linux more acceptable to more traditional network operators who are having to automate and modernize their network operations and infrastructure,” Casemore said.

Cumulus has chosen a GUI design in which dashboard cards are used to display small line graphs, each illustrating a single trend. The cards, for example, provide intelligence on network health, switching hardware, and the number of events and notifications that have occurred over a particular period.

A network manager can share his dashboard with others in an organization by sending a link to the console. The feature is useful when troubleshooting a problem requires help from someone in another location, according to Partho Mishra, vice president of engineering at Cumulus, based in Mountain View, Calif.

Also helpful in maintaining network health is the ability to send notifications of problems to managers via third-party software, such as Slack, Splunk or PagerDuty.

Cumulus developed the GUI while continuing to let customers use NetQ’s command-line interface (CLI) for retrieving specific types of data from the network. Useful information retrieved through the CLI includes the location of containers on servers, the protocols in use, and the configuration of network overlays and switches.

Companies using the GUI can go beyond specified data collection to continuous monitoring of trends that could indicate potential problems, Mishra said. For example, companies would find the console helpful in monitoring the state of networking infrastructure used for containers within cloud computing environments. Such technology includes virtual extensible LANs.

Cumulus NetQ
The card-based graphical user interface of Cumulus Networks’ NetQ 2.0

Cumulus NetQ scalability

In NetQ 2.0, Cumulus swapped the software’s original Redis database with one based on Apache Cassandra, an open source system designed for storing and managing large amounts of data across commodity servers.

NetQ uses software agents to collect data from switches using the Cumulus network operating system and servers running Ubuntu or Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The agents stream information on all events that could affect network state into NetQ’s database, where Cumulus analytics extract the intelligence displayed on the GUI or CLI. Cumulus has designed its database to run on a commodity server.

Cumulus switched to Cassandra to handle networks bigger than the ones the Redis software could support, Mishra said. Cumulus uses the Apache Kafka distributed publish-subscribe messaging system for real-time streaming of event data to the database.

NetQ 2.0’s database architecture will make it possible for Cumulus to eventually host the software in the cloud for any size workload, Mishra said.

“In the future, when we introduce a cloud version with the exact same software architecture, we’ll be able to scale elastically based upon whatever the workload’s processing requirements are,” Mishra said.

Cumulus has more than 500 enterprise customers, Gartner said in its July 2018 Magic Quadrant report on data center networking. The vendor’s technology is most suitable for organizations that need Linux-based automation tools to manage data center switches.

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Rancher’s Kubernetes updates boost security, UI performance

Rancher began updates to its Kubernetes management software this month that improve its security configuration process and the performance of its user interface.

Rancher version 2.2.2, rolled out last week, boosts the amount of data the Rancher UI can load at once with the addition of server-side caching and API response compression. These updates are a high priority for large enterprises that use Rancher’s Kubernetes product; they have seen delays of up to 30 seconds to load data on hundreds of Kubernetes-based microservices in previous versions.

“We want to have one high-availability Kubernetes cluster and use Rancher to manage everything,” said Steven Osborne, senior product development manager at Workiva, a compliance reporting software maker in Ames, Iowa. “We need Rancher to help us grow to that scale and support that customer experience.”

Rancher officials believe the caching and data compression features added with version 2.2.2 address most of the UI performance issues, but will continue to fine-tune the UI in future releases.

Rancher version 2.3

Customers also anticipate a better security configuration process in Rancher version 2.3, which will ship in the third quarter of 2019. This update will scan Kubernetes clusters based on Center for Internet Security (CIS) Kubernetes security hardening guidelines, replacing a cumbersome manual process for security-conscious customers with older versions.

“Some of the commands and configurations [specified in the CIS guidelines] don’t apply or work right in Rancher’s Kubernetes distro,” said Matthew Esser, product owner of container services and infrastructure at Viasat, a satellite telecommunications company in Carlsbad, Calif.

Hardening Kubernetes according to CIS guidelines also made the upgrade to Rancher 2.2, which Viasat undertook in March 2019, more difficult, according to Esser.

“Our cluster was too locked down, and the upgrade wasn’t prepared to handle how clusters were configured,” he said. “Everything was online but the [Rancher] UI didn’t work right.”

In version 2.3, Rancher will verify that its software will work smoothly with hardened clusters, and add toggles to turn certain features on and off according to their compatibility with CIS guidelines.

“Being able to manage that in the UI would be a huge win for us,” Esser said.

Workiva chooses Rancher’s Kubernetes over OpenShift, upstream versions

Early Kubernetes adopters debated the merits of upstream Kubernetes versus packaged implementations of the container orchestration software from third-party vendors. Rancher isn’t the only game in town for Kubernetes in an enterprise-ready format.

Steven Osborne, WorkivaSteven Osborne

Red Hat OpenShift, the best-known and most widely deployed of packaged distributions, wins praise for its Kubernetes security support through SELinux integration and consistently applied security patches in response to vulnerabilities.

Workiva’s Osborne, however, said his company found the Red Hat approach a bit too prescriptive in proof-of-concept tests in 2018. OpenShift supports only OpenShift-managed Kubernetes clusters, while Rancher can import multiple existing Kubernetes clusters based on multiple distributions of Kubernetes and manage them centrally.

“Red Hat had good security features out of the gate, integration with single sign-on features and role-based access controls,” he said. “But Rancher didn’t have any big opinions on how to run Kubernetes.”

Rancher didn’t have any big opinions on how to run Kubernetes.
Steven OsborneSenior product development manager, Workiva

Until mid-2018, Workiva had a wholly different strategy from either of the managed Kubernetes products. The company ran its own container clusters in Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and AWS based on a homegrown approach to container orchestration. The team sought a balance between control over container management and freedom for its IT operations personnel to focus on more valuable work to the business. When it became clear that the team’s time was spent wrestling with the finer points of distributed systems orchestration, Workiva considered managed Kubernetes services on GCP and AWS, along with Docker Enterprise and OpenShift, before it landed on Rancher’s Kubernetes approach and rolled it out in the fall of 2018.

“Rancher lets us optimize bin packing [container placement] within a single cluster that has multiple node groups,” Osborne said. Workiva plans to condense all of its services into a single cluster with multiple node groups, and Rancher enables Osborne’s team to control Kubernetes nodes, an advantage over the competing managed Kubernetes services.

“It came down to what our SRE [site reliability engineering] and operations team excels at,” Osborne said. “They’re comfortable running server nodes.”

Now that Rancher is set up, the team will open its Kubernetes environment to developers through self-service access to Kubernetes Job objects in 2019.

“In the past, we had an opinionated container infrastructure where we had to build it out first, and now it will be just here for developers to pick which pieces to use,” Osborne said. “We can give them direct access, with safeguards.”

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