Tag Archives: created

SAP Concur creates Slack bot for booking flights

SAP Concur has created a Slack bot that lets users book travel and submit expenses within the team collaboration app. It’s the type of advanced business integration that Slack has embraced as a way to differentiate its platform from Microsoft Teams and Cisco Spark.

The SAP Concur Slack bot lets workers search and book flights within a Slack messaging channel. The integration makes it possible to share a flight itinerary with other Slack team members, who can then schedule the same travel arrangements with a couple of clicks. After travelers book a flight, they can direct the bot to create an expense report.

The travel bot is SAP Concur’s latest partnership with Slack. In March, the two vendors released a Slack bot that lets a user file, approve and manage expense reports. A worker could create an expense report, for example, by messaging the bot, “Expense $15 for lunch.”

SAP Concur has not released any bots that are compatible with Slack competitors Microsoft Teams or Cisco Webex Teams, although it does have integrations with Microsoft Outlook 365 and the AI voice assistant platform Alexa for Business.

SAP Concur’s Slack bot for travel uses technology from the consumer flight search tool Hello Hipmunk, which SAP Concur acquired in 2016. The business-grade application of the software syncs with the travel policies enterprises set within SAP Concur.

“I can see significant potential for this to cut down on email back and forth that typically occurs when a travel department sends a list of options to an employee, and then they respond, and then there’s some back and forth before everyone agrees on a travel plan,” said Irwin Lazar, analyst at Nemertes Research based in Mokena, Ill.

Slack builds on integration advantage

Slack has a better track record than its rivals for being able to accommodate and take advantage of deep integrations with third-party business software like SAP Concur, said Wayne Kurtzman, analyst at IDC. Slack has more than 1,500 apps in its directory, far exceeding the inventory of other leading team collaboration platforms.

“Microsoft and Cisco have to make pushes — and they will — to leverage AI in new and different ways that make work easier, but it really has to be easier,” Kurtzman said. “Slack appears ready for the competition, and the team collaboration market will retain double-digit growth rates for most of the next 10 years.”

Slack has recently taken steps to make integrations more useful, and easier to create. Last month, the vendor acquired Missions, a division of the startup Robots & Pencils, to incorporate its technology for helping nondevelopers build workflows and integrations within Slack. The company also introduced a new paradigm for using third-party apps, letting users export contextual information from Slack into those business tools.

Businesses are looking for ways to streamline workflows so that employees can get work done faster, and with easier access to the context they need to make decisions. As a result, the integration of business apps with team collaboration platforms like Slack has become one of the hottest new trends in collaboration.

But those integrations need to balance convenience, complexity and confidentiality, said Alan Lepofsky, analyst at Constellation Research. The industry is still in the early stages of determining which tasks are best done in separate apps rather than within a platform like Slack — as well as which types of apps to trust with confidential data, he said.

“That said, I think the creation of these ‘work-related’ bots is a step in the right direction, as our future will certainly be filled with digital assistants. The question is when and to what level of granularity,” Lepofsky said.

CMS creates chief health informatics officer position

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services created a chief health informatics officer position geared toward driving health IT strategy development and technology innovation for the department.

According to the job description, the chief health informatics officer (CHIO) will be charged with developing “requirements and content for health-related information technology, with an initial focus on improving innovation and interoperability.”

The chief health informatics officer position will develop a health IT and information strategy for CMS and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as provide subject-matter expertise for health IT information management and technology innovation policy.

Applying health informatics to IT

The position also entails working with providers and vendors to determine how CMS will apply health informatics methods to IT, as well as acting as a liaison between CMS and private industry to lead innovation, according to the job description.

A candidate must have at least one year of “qualifying specialized experience,” including experience using health informatics data to examine, analyze and develop policy and program operations in healthcare programs; offering guidance on program planning to senior management for an organization; and supervising subordinate staff.

Pamela Dixon, co-founder and managing partner of healthcare executive search firm SSi-SEARCH, based in Atlanta, said a chief health informatics officer must have all the skill sets of a chief medical information officer and more. Dixon said a CHIO must be a strategic systems thinker, with the ability to innovate, a strong communicator and a “true leader.”

“The role could and should unlock the key to moving technology initiatives through healthcare dramatically faster, dramatically more effective,” Dixon said.

Finding the right balance

The role could and should unlock the key to moving technology initiatives through healthcare dramatically faster, dramatically more effective.
Pamela Dixonco-founder and managing partner, SSi-SEARCH

Eric Poon, who has served as Duke University Health System’s chief health information officer for the last three and a half years, said a successful informatics professional enables individuals within an organization to achieve quality improvement and patient safety goals with technology. Poon oversees clinical systems and analytics teams and ensures data that’s been gathered can be used to support quality initiatives and research.

One of the most significant challenges Poon said he faces is determining how to balance resources between the day-to-day and “what’s new,” along with making data accessible in a “high-quality way,” so faculty and researchers can easily access the data to support their work in quality improvement and clinical research. Being successful means creating a bridge between technology and individuals within the organization, Poon said.

“I would like them to say that we are making it possible for them to push the envelope with regards to data science and research and data exchange,” Poon said. “I also like to think we will have innovators who are coming up with new apps, new data science, machine learning algorithms that are realigning how we engage patients and how we are really becoming smart about how to use IT to move the needle in quality and safety … and patient health in a cost-effective way.”

Emerging roles important for change

Dixon said new and emerging leadership roles are important because they make organizations think about both what they need or want the individual to accomplish, as well as what the organization itself could accomplish with the right person.

“The actual title is less important,” she said. “There are CHIOs that might just as easily carry the title chief innovation officer or chief transformation officer or chief data officer, depending on their focus. The important thing is that we encourage and foster growth, value and innovation by creating roles that are aimed at doing just that.”

The creation of a chief health informatics officer position and the push to focus on health IT within CMS is part of a larger initiative started earlier this year after the Donald Trump administration announced MyHealthEData, which allows patients to take control of their healthcare data and allows CMS to follow them on their healthcare journey.

Johnathan Monroe, director of the CMS media relations group, said the organization will be accepting applications for the chief health informatics officer position until July 20.

Tape storage capacity plays important role as data increases

As the amount of new data created is set to hit the multiple-zettabyte level in the coming years, where will we store it all?

With the release of LTO-8 and recent reports that total tape storage capacity continues to increase dramatically, tape is a strong option for long-term retention. But even tape advocates say it’s going to take a comprehensive approach to storage that includes other forms of media to handle the data influx.

Tape making a comeback?

The annual tape media shipment report released earlier this year by the LTO Program showed that 108,000 petabytes (PB) of compressed tape storage capacity shipped in 2017, an increase of 12.9% over 2016. The total marks a fivefold increase over the capacity of just over 20,000 PB shipped in 2008.

LTO-8, which launched in late 2017, provides 30 TB compressed capacity and 12 TB native, doubling the capacities of LTO-7, which came out in 2015. The 12 TB of uncompressed capacity is equivalent to 8,000 movies, 2,880,000 songs or 7,140,000 photos, according to vendor Spectra Logic.

“We hope now [with] LTO-8 another increase in capacity [next year],” said Laura Loredo, worldwide marketing product manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, one of the LTO Program’s Technology Provider Companies along with IBM and Quantum.

The media, entertainment and science industries have been traditionally strong users of tape for long-term retention. Loredo pointed to more recent uses that have gained traction. Video surveillance is getting digitized more often and kept for longer, and there is more of it in general. The medical industry is a similar story, as records get digitized and kept for long periods of time.

The ability to create digital content at high volumes is becoming less expensive, and with higher resolutions, those capacities are increasing, Quantum product and solution marketing manager Kieran Maloney said. So tape becomes a cost-efficient play for retaining that data.

Tape also brings security benefits. Because it is naturally isolated from a network, tape provides a true “air gap” for protection against ransomware, said Carlos Sandoval Castro, LTO marketing representative at IBM. If ransomware is in a system, it can’t touch a tape that’s not connected, making tapes an avenue for disaster recovery in the event of a successful attack.

“We are seeing customers come back to tape,” Loredo said.

LTO roadmap
The LTO roadmap projects out to the 12th generation.

Tape sees clear runway ahead

“There’s a lot of runway ahead for tape … much more so than either flash or disk,” said analyst Jon Toigo, managing partner at Toigo Partners International and chairman of the Data Management Institute.

Even public cloud providers such as Microsoft Azure are big consumers of tape, Toigo said. Those cloud providers can use the large tape storage capacity for their data backup.

Tape is an absolute requirement for storing the massive amounts of data coming down the pike.
Jon Toigochairman, Data Management Institute

However, with IDC forecasting dozens of zettabytes in need of storage by 2025, flash and disk will remain important. One zettabyte is equal to approximately 1 billion TBs.

“You’re going to need all of the above,” Toigo said. “Tape is an absolute requirement for storing the massive amounts of data coming down the pike.”

It’s not necessarily about flash versus tape or other comparisons, it’s about how best to use flash, disk, tape and the cloud, said Rich Gadomski, vice president of marketing at Fujifilm and a member of the Tape Storage Council.

The cloud, for example, is helpful for certain aspects, such as offsite storage, but it shouldn’t be the medium for everything.

“A multifaceted data protection approach continues to thrive,” Gadomski said.

There’s still a lot of education needed around tape, vendors said. So often the conversation pits technologies against each other, Maloney said, but instead the question should be “Which technology works best for which use?” In the end, tape can fit into a tiered storage model that also includes flash, disk and the cloud.

In a similar way, the Tape Storage Council’s annual “State of the Tape Industry” report, released in March, acknowledged that organizations are often best served by using multiple media for storage.

“Tape shares the data center storage hierarchy with SSDs and HDDs and the ideal storage solution optimizes the strengths of each,” the report said. “However, the role tape serves in today’s modern data centers is quickly expanding into new markets because compelling technological advancements have made tape the most economical, highest capacity and most reliable storage medium available.”

LTO-8 uses tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) for tape heads, a switch from the previous giant magnetoresistance (GMR). TMR provides a more defined electrical signal than GMR, allowing bits to be written to smaller areas of LTO media. LTO-8 also uses barium ferrite instead of metal particles for tape storage capacity improvement. With the inclusion of TMR technology and barium ferrite, LTO-8 is only backward compatible to one generation. Historically, LTO had been able to read back two generations and write back to one generation.

“Tape continues to evolve — the technology certainly isn’t standing still,” Gadomski said.

Tape also has a clearly defined roadmap, with LTO projected out to the 12th generation. Each successive generation after LTO-8 projects double the capacity of the previous version. As a result, LTO-12 would offer 480 TB compressed tape storage capacity and 192 TB native. It typically takes between two and three years for a new LTO generation to launch.

In addition, IBM and Sony have said they developed technology for the highest recording areal density for tape storage media, resulting in approximately 330 TB uncompressed per cartridge.

On the lookout for advances in storage

Spectra Logic, in its “Digital Data Storage Outlook 2018” report released in June, said it projects much of the future zettabytes of data will “never be stored or will be retained for only a brief time.”

“Spectra’s projections show a small likelihood of a constrained supply of storage to meet the needs of the digital universe through 2026,” the report said. “Expected advances in storage technologies, however, need to occur during this timeframe. Lack of advances in a particular technology, such as magnetic disk, will necessitate greater use of other storage mediums such as flash and tape.”

While the report claims the use of tape for secondary storage has declined with backup moving to disk, the need for tape storage capacity in the long-term archive market is growing.

“Tape technology is well-suited for this space as it provides the benefits of low environmental footprint on both floor space and power; a high level of data integrity over a long period of time; and a much lower cost per gigabyte of storage than all other storage mediums,” the report said.

Microsoft creates AI that can read a document and answer questions about it as well as a person – The AI Blog

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Microsoft researchers have created technology that uses artificial intelligence to read a document and answer questions about it about as well as a human.

It’s a major milestone in the push to have search engines such as Bing and intelligent assistants such as Cortana interact with people and provide information in more natural ways, much like people communicate with each other.

A team at Microsoft Research Asia reached the human parity milestone using the Stanford Question Answering Dataset, known among researchers as SQuAD. It’s a machine reading comprehension dataset that is made up of questions about a set of Wikipedia articles.

According to the SQuAD leaderboard, on Jan. 3, Microsoft submitted a model that reached the score of 82.650 on the exact match portion. The human performance on the same set of questions and answers is 82.304. On Jan. 5, researchers with the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba submitted a score of 82.440, also about the same as a human.

The two companies are currently tied for first place on the SQuAD “leaderboard,” which lists the results of research organizations’ efforts.

Microsoft has made a significant investment in machine reading comprehension as part of its effort to create more technology that people can interact with in simple, intuitive ways. For example, instead of typing in a search query and getting a list of links, Microsoft’s Bing search engine is moving toward efforts to provide people with more plainspoken answers, or with multiple sources of information on a topic that is more complex or controversial.

With machine reading comprehension, researchers say computers also would be able to quickly parse through information found in books and documents and provide people with the information they need most in an easily understandable way.

That would let drivers more easily find the answer they need in a dense car manual, saving time and effort in tense or difficult situations.

These tools also could let doctors, lawyers and other experts more quickly get through the drudgery of things like reading through large documents for specific medical findings or rarified legal precedent. The technology would augment their work and leave them with more time to apply the knowledge to focus on treating patients or formulating legal opinions.

Microsoft is already applying earlier versions of the models that were submitted for the SQuAD dataset leaderboard in its Bing search engine, and the company is working on applying it to more complex problems.

For example, Microsoft is working on ways that a computer can answer not just an original question but also a follow-up. For example, let’s say you asked a system, “What year was the prime minister of Germany born?” You might want it to also understand you were still talking about the same thing when you asked the follow-up question, “What city was she born in?”

It’s also looking at ways that computers can generate natural answers when that requires information from several sentences. For example, if the computer is asked, “Is John Smith a U.S. citizen?,” that information may be based on a paragraph such as, “John Smith was born in Hawaii. That state is in the U.S.”

Ming Zhou, assistant managing director of Microsoft Research Asia, said the SQuAD dataset results are an important milestone, but he noted that, overall, people are still much better than machines at comprehending the complexity and nuance of language.

“Natural language processing is still an area with lots of challenges that we all need to keep investing in and pushing forward,” Zhou said. “This milestone is just a start.”

Allison Linn is a senior writer at Microsoft. Follow her on Twitter.

Microsoft builds and integrates Azure Location Based Services directly into the cloud – The Official Microsoft Blog

Microsoft believes that advances in technology will solve many of the problems created in the industrial era and help make society safer, more sustainable, efficient and inclusive.

For example, as enterprises harness the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) to connect their physical assets to the cloud, they are dramatically reducing energy usage and consuming fewer natural resources. While the breakthrough insights IoT solutions can provide are significant, they can be even more powerful when combined with locationbased insights.

Today at AutoMobility LA, Microsoft announced the public preview of Azure Location Based Services, a new Azure cloud offering to power the “Location of Things.”  This includes geographical data that can better connect smart cities, infrastructure and IoT solutions, and empower industrial transformation, from manufacturing to retail to automotive – and everything in between.

Available in early December, Azure Location Based Services provides an enterprise-ready location service for customers to build mobility, asset tracking and other geospatial applications that provide useful insights through one dashboard, one subscription and one bill. Azure Location Based Services also provides enterprises with the privacy, data sovereignty, compliance, scale and simplicity they have come to expect from Azure services.

As IoT continues to transform businesses by providing breakthrough insights and optimizations for connected assets, location becomes even more important. For instance, a department of transportation can now use Azure Location Based Services to analyze and improve traffic in congested cities, freight companies can provide improved fleet management and logistics, and businesses can track the location of assets and be notified when their location changes.

Customers and partners harness the cloud to create mobility solutions

Joining us as our first official partner on the platform is TomTom. Mapmaking is in TomTom’s DNA. The company created one of the first digital maps in the world by harnessing the power of community. We believe that TomTom’s API, which builds on top of Microsoft’s cloud, is the glue between smart cities, smart infrastructure and smart vehicles, rather than Automotive on its own. Esri, an enterprise mapping and geographic information system (GIS) technology leader, also intends to join Azure Location Based Services to provide business customers with a complete set of location data management, digital mapping and geographic analytics, provided through Esri’s ArcGIS suite and developer APIs.

Several service providers in the mobility space have been testing Azure Location Based Services in private preview. Cubic Telecom, an Ireland-based global telecommunications service provider in the IoT and automotive sectors, has built a proof of concept that uses the services to rank the effectiveness of their charging station placements and suggest new charging locations based on network hotspots using their aggregated (and anonymous) connectivity data. Fathym, a U.S.-based IoT solutions company, is using the services to help cities and government agencies and commercial trucking companies visualize road weather conditions on maps and data visualizations and optimize for other routes if weather conditions are unsafe.

Microsoft’s Azure cloud is also the preferred cloud of a number of automotive makers. ICONIQ, a Chinese electric-vehicle maker, has selected the Microsoft Azure cloud to provide predictive maintenance, vehicle diagnostics and analytics, and a voice assistant in its cars. This is a key partnership for Microsoft in the vast and growing Chinese vehicle market.

Microsoft is building digital infrastructure on its cloud with hundreds of thousands of partners from the automotive, smart city and location industries. In addition to TomTom, Cubic Telecom, Fathym and ICONIQ, here’s a rundown of the other Microsoft partner companies that are joining us in our booth at Automobility this week:

BrightBox: provides a connected car platform called Remoto that links drivers to their cars, and the vehicles to car manufacturers, dealerships and third-party service providers.

Cubic Transportation: NextCityTM is Cubic’s coordinated framework for building a smarter tomorrow in the world’s urban centers, where increasing populations are resulting in greater traffic congestion, frustrated travelers and less productivity. NextCity integrates all travel information, payment and other customer experience, as well as operations and analytics in a given region for all modes of transportation.

Delphi: building autonomous driving solutions by integrating safer, greener and more connected solutions for the automotive and transportation sectors.

Otonomo: building the world’s first connected vehicle data marketplace platform for the safe and simple access, acquisition and integration of vehicle data. Otonomo facilitates a win-win situation for auto OEMs, mobility service providers and drivers.

The Future of Urban Mobility and Beyond

Microsoft’s commitment to improving urban mobility through technology goes beyond product announcements and partnerships. Earlier this month, we announced an expansion to an open-source research project called AirSim that tests the safety of artificial intelligence systems. AirSim provides realistic environments, vehicle dynamics and sensing for how autonomous vehicles that use AI can operate safely in the open world. And through the Vision Zero project Microsoft is working with companies such as Open Data Nation (ODN) to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries. Microsoft has also invested in technologies that can help create inclusiveness between governments and citizens, and in collaboration with G3ict and World Enabled, we recently launched the Smart Cities for All Toolkit.

With the number of people living in cities expected to triple by 2050, it’s hard to overstate how important IoT-based solutions, including location-based services, and greater digital connectivity will be in achieving our vision for safer, more sustainable and equitable societies.

Please join us at booth #138 at Automobility to see how together with customers and partners we’ll make connected societies even more possible.

Tags: automotive, Azure, Azure Location Based Services

Saving Lives with Drones

Saving Lives with Drones hero image

Three computer-science students from Argentina created ResCue, a platform that uses drones to enable rescuers to reduce response times during natural disasters. It all started as an idea, but it became a project when they realized that this could really help save people’s lives. ResCue was presented at the 15th annual Imagine Cup World Finals last July.  The team made it through the Finals, reached the Championship and were awarded 3rd place for the first time in Argentinian history.

I work as a Microsoft employee in Argentina and I had the privilege of mentoring the team in their way through the Imagine Cup. They proved to me that no matter how small your project may seem at the beginning you can always become a success that has a real and meaningful impact.

Team Nash: Julian (22), Ramiro (22) and Luciano (26)

We live in times where different kinds of terrible natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes, keep challenging our resolve; technology is the greatest source we have that can help us reduce the damage caused and prevent fatalities. ResCue is one of the solutions that can help people that need it the most.

ResCue is a platform which enables rescuers to identify people in danger at natural disasters by using drones that take pictures of a certain area, designated by the coordinators at the HQ of the incident. The drones automatically fly through that area by using node count generated algorithm, which is an efficient way to cover large amount of territory.

The platform can detect fires, floods and people trapped in debris by using cameras attached to drones. The pictures are then analyzed using Azure, cloud-enabled technologies, and displayed in a real-time dashboard that enables rescuers to get the full picture of the incident.

Is has been a long path since the first time I met the team and learned about their project, they had successfully overcome every step and challenge on their way to the finals. Microsoft empowers entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams, that’s why the Imagine Cup is so important to us.

The idea was born when Ramiro’s brother, who was a rescuer at the Argentine Red Cross, told him that they spent a lot of time trying to locate people trapped at natural disasters and that the first 24 hours were critical. That was the “Eureka” moment, when he realized they needed to do something about it.

Ramiro said to me, “I don’t know why anybody hasn’t thought about a solution to this”.

Five teams were selected to pitch their projects at the Argentina Finals, and I had the privilege to work alongside all of them as a mentor. At the finals ResCue was selected as the national winner, from that moment on they realized that their journey had just began.

We arrived at Seattle on a sunny Saturday afternoon along with two more mentors, just two days before the beginning of the competition; expectations and nerves were high!  The team only had two days to perfect their pitch and be ready to present in front of the judges. Rescue progressed through all of the tournament stages.

“I can’t believe this is happening”, exclaimed Julian on the bus to the Live Finals while Ramiro and Luciano were trying to concentrate on the final touches of the presentation.

Rescue placed 3rd place at 2018 Imagine Cup World Championship winning 15K USD in cash and 25K USD in Azure credits. This was the first time that an Argentine team had ever attained such position.

Imagine Cup was an extraordinary experience not only to showcase their project, but also for the opportunity to meet people and obtain resources that will continue to shape ResCue’s future. The team agrees that the following aspects were critical to their success:

  • Know your pitch: Practice your Pitch, get to know who you will be speaking to, and once you finish doing it, just do it one more time. It doesn’t matter how great your project is if you don’t know how to explain it to others.
  • Ask for feedback: Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback (family and friends excluded). Your worst critic might become your best ally if you know how to listen and adapt to changes.
  • Be bold: Don’t stick only with you already know. Explore other alternatives and technologies that can make your project even better.

Just as the team arrived in Argentina, live-tv shows were inviting them to talk about their Imagine Cup experience. Even the president of Argentina invited the ResCue team to his personal residence.

“If you told me 4 months ago that I would be presenting on Microsoft Headquarters and meeting Argentina’s president I wouldn’t believe you” Luciano said to me right after the meeting with Argentine president Macri.

Nash meeting with Argentina’s president

Looking forward. ResCue plans to work alongside the Argentine Government, NGOs and organizations involved in natural disasters across the gloge in order to fulfil their Mission: “Less Time. More Lives”.

Branko Straub
Microsoft Technical Specialist

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: AI must be built with empathy

Empathy must be embedded in artificial intelligence from the moment it is created to ensure it becomes a positive force in people’s lives, Satya Nadella has said.

Speaking at two events in London that coincided with the release of his book, Hit Refresh, the Chief Executive of Microsoft said new technology will have a “profound impact on our daily lives and do good” but companies must also be mindful of “unintended consequences”.

By ensuring the first wave of AI empowered humanity to achieve more, the technology that follows would be more likely to be a force for good, too, he added.

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“I believe in a world that will have an abundance of artificial intelligence, but what will be scarce is real intelligence and human qualities, like empathy,” Nadella said. “I think great innovation comes from the empathy you have for the problems you want to solve for people.

“We need to take accountability for the AI we create. I think a lot about this. With any new technology we, as a society, have to be clear-eyed on both sides of it – the opportunities for this technology to have a profound impact on our daily lives and do good, and at the same time be very mindful of unintended consequences.

“I am focused on all the practical things we can do as creators of AI. I believe it’s a design choice. We want to create AI that empowers humans and make that a core, conscious design decision.”

Nadella pointed out that some of Microsoft’s best-known products have empathy at their core.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, bowls at Lord’s

“I look back and ask myself: ‘when did we create our best products?’. Beyond having a culture that was a learn-it-all culture rather than a know-it-all culture, one of the things we also had was a deep sense, an intuition, of the unmet and unarticulated needs of our customers. Where does that come from? I believe the best source of it is empathy.”

It’s a key theme in Hit Refresh, which focuses on individual change, the transformation happening inside Microsoft and new technology such as AI. Nadella also covers growing up in Hyderabad, India, his love of cricket, emigrating to the US, “growing up” in Microsoft and becoming only the third CEO in the company’s 42-year history.

During an Intelligence Squared event at the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster and a separate talk at Lord’s Cricket Ground, Nadella spoke about his own “Hit Refresh” moment that made him pause and reassess his life.

Satya Nadella talks to journalist Matthew Syed at Lord’s

“If you had asked me an hour before my son’s birth what I was thinking about, it was: is the nursery ready, is Anu [Nadella’s wife] going to get back to her job as an architect, what will weekends be like? Then everything changed. Zain was born with severe brain damage, which led to Cerebral Palsy,” the 50-year-old said.

“As soon as Anu got out of hospital she was driving him to therapy after therapy; everything that came so naturally to her to give Zain the best chance, didn’t come to me. I was thinking about what happened to me, what happened to my plans, why did this happen. It took me two years or more to internalise that nothing had happened to me, something had happened to Zain, and I had to step up and see the world through his eyes and do my job as his father. I now understand that.

“The process wasn’t linear, it was tumultuous, but it certainly shaped who I am. It gave me a better sense of seeing things through others’ eyes, whether it’s people who work with me or customers. It was perhaps the ‘Hit Refresh’ moment in my life.”

The empathy Nadella discovered “grounded and centred” him. The trait has been a recurring theme throughout his 25 years at the company – even emerging during his Microsoft job interview in 1992. He spent eight hours solving algorithmic and computer science puzzles before being called in for a face-to-face chat.

Hit Refresh, by Satya Nadella

Nadella was asked a series of questions before facing one that threw him completely off-guard. “What would you do if you see a baby that’s fallen on the street?” the interviewer said. Nadella thought for a couple of minutes before responding. “I would call 911,” he said. The interviewer got up, walked Nadella out of the office and put his arm around him. “If you see a baby on the street, you pick him up and hug him,” he said.

Nadella left the interview convinced he wouldn’t get the job. Just under a quarter of a century later, he was CEO.

During the three years Nadella has spent as head of Microsoft, he has created a “growth mindset” culture, while key areas such as the Azure cloud platform have thrived and the company has pushed the boundaries of technology with the HoloLens mixed-reality headset.

The future, he said, would see huge advances in quantum computing – a revolutionary concept that can unleash never-before-seen levels of computing power. Microsoft recently announced that it has created a programming language that would allow developers to run quantum simulators on their own machines.

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“There are a lot of computational problems we [humans] can’t solve. We can’t model an enzyme in natural food production, for example. If you try to solve it using a classical computer, it will take as much time as from the Big Bang to now.

“Think of a maze. With the classic computer you would take a path, find a dead-end, turn back and try another path. Using quantum computing, you can try all the paths at the same time.

“We need a new approach to problems, and we are well on our way to bringing together the maths, the physics and the computer science. The world needs Microsoft to do that.”

MalwareTech arrested for Kronos banking Trojan connection

The FBI detained and arrested a security researcher who allegedly created the Kronos banking Trojan.

Martin Hutchins, also known as “MalwareTech,” was arrested in Las Vegas following the DEFCON 2017 conference after what the FBI said was a two-year investigation. Hutchins, a UK citizen, gained notoriety during the WannaCry ransomware outbreak when he and fellow security researcher Matt Suiche found hardcoded command-and-control servers in the WannaCry code. The two researchers registered the C&C domains and effectively broke the ransomware.

However, the U.S. Department of Justice alleges that Hutchins, who also works for cybersecurity vendor Kryptos Logic, was one of two people behind the Kronos banking Trojan.

“Hutchins was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse, three counts of distributing and advertising an electronic communication interception device, one count of endeavoring to intercept electronic communications, and one count of attempting to access a computer without authorization,” Gregory J. Haanstad, U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Wisconsin, wrote in a statement. “The alleged conduct for which Hutchins was arrested occurred between in or around July 2014 and July 2015.”

According to the indictment obtained by CNN Tech, the FBI claims Hutchins created the Kronos banking Trojan, a co-defendant (name redacted) released a video demonstration of the malware on July 13, 2014, Hutchins and the co-defendant updated the Kronos banking Trojan in February 2015, and then the co-defendant posted and sold the Trojan on the AlphaBay darknet marketplace in mid-2015.

AlphaBay was seized and shut down by the FBI and DEA in the early July and European law enforcement used that closure to lure users to the Hansa darknet market, which was also shut down last month.

However, because Hutchins tweeted on July 13, 2014, asking for a malware sample of the banking Trojan, Jake Williams, founder of consulting firm Rendition InfoSec LLC in Augusta, Ga., said on Twitter that “it doesn’t add up that he wrote it in 2014 and asked for a sample of it in the same time frame.”

The news of Hutchins’ arrest was first reported by Motherboard, which wrote that Hutchins was first detained at the Henderson Detention Center in Nevada.

Andrew Mabbitt, a friend of Hutchins and founder of Fidus Information Security, said on Twitter that he initially didn’t know where Hutchins had been taken, but ultimately found him at the FBI’s field office in Las Vegas. Mabbitt also said the Electronic Frontier Foundation has arranged legal representation for Hutchins.

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