Tag Archives: Microsoft

My views on U.S. immigration policy

Below is an e-mail I sent to all Microsoft employees today sharing my views on U.S. immigration policy.  This is an incredibly important topic and one I care deeply about.

Team,

Like many of you, I am appalled at the abhorrent policy of separating immigrant children from their families at the southern border of the U.S. As both a parent and an immigrant, this issue touches me personally.

I consider myself a product of two amazing and uniquely American things — American technology reaching me where I was growing up that allowed me to dream the dream and an enlightened immigration policy that then allowed me to live that dream. My story would not have been possible anywhere else.

This new policy implemented on the border is simply cruel and abusive, and we are standing for change. Today Brad detailed our company’s position on this issue, as well as the immigration legislation currently being considered in Congress, and I encourage you to read his blog post.

I want to be clear: Microsoft is not working with the U.S. government on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border. Our current cloud engagement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is supporting legacy mail, calendar, messaging and document management workloads.

Microsoft has a long history of taking a principled approach to how we live up to our mission of empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more with technology platforms and tools, while also standing up for our enduring values and ethics. Any engagement with any government has been and will be guided by our ethics and principles. We will continue to have this dialogue both within our company and with our stakeholders outside.

The immigration policy of this country is one of our greatest competitive advantages, and this is something we must preserve and promote. America is a nation of immigrants, and we’re able to attract people from around the world to contribute to our economy, our communities and our companies. We are also a beacon of hope for those who need it the most. This is what makes America stronger. We will always stand for immigration policies that preserve every person’s dignity and human rights. That means standing with every immigrant who works at Microsoft and standing for change in the inhumane treatment of children at the U.S. border today. 

Satya  

Geek of the Week: Microsoft’s Raghu Ramakrishnan geeks out on data, how we use it and secure it

Raghu Ramakrishnan has been at Microsoft for six years. (Photo courtesy of Raghu Ramakrishnan)

He’s been a professor and a chief scientist, a founder, a technical fellow and a chief technology officer. Through it all, Raghu Ramakrishnan has been focused on the data.

Ramakrishnan is Microsoft’s CTO for Data and our latest Geek of the Week. In his six years at the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant, Ramakrishnan founded the CISL applied research team and led the development of Azure Data Lake, Microsoft’s exabyte-scale storage and analytics platform.

Prio to Microsoft, Ramakrishnan spent 22 years as a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in addition to being founder and CTO of QUIQ, an early online crowd-sourced question-answering company.

“My early work in database systems has influenced query optimization in commercial database systems and the design of window functions in SQL:1999, and has received the SIGMOD Test-of-Time Award for work on clustering and the ICDT Test-of-Time Award for work on nearest-neighbor indexing,” Ramakrishnan said. “I’ve also written the widely used text ‘Database Management Systems.’”

In his six years at Yahoo! as a chief scientist, Ramakrishnan led, among other things, the science teams for major initiatives, including the CORE project that was the foundation for Yahoo’s personalized portal pages.

Learn more about this week’s Geek of the Week, Raghu Ramakrishnan:

What do you do, and why do you do it? “I think about what’s around the bend in the space of data — the trends in how we’re capturing data, how we are using it, the concerns around appropriate data use and regulatory changes, and the implications for data platforms and technologies. In SQL Server and Azure, Microsoft has industry leading data management and cloud platforms, and we need to constantly up our game to ensure that these are state of the art.”

What’s the single most important thing people should know about your field? “Increasingly, many aspects of the world we live in are reflected in data that we gather to operate or improve aspects of that world. This data is at the very heart of the AI revolution that we now hear about everywhere — you can’t apply machine learning without data to learn from — and database systems are the key to securing this data and ensuring that policies for appropriate access and usage are indeed enforced.”

Where do you find your inspiration? “The fact that data is center-stage in our world today means that we need to build powerful and dependable systems to secure and interpret that data. In a very real sense, your most private data (and mine) are protected by data management systems. So, it’s more than bits and bytes at stake here, it’s about the most important aspects of our lives.”

What’s the one piece of technology you couldn’t live without, and why? “The internet. It’s how I learn what’s going on in the world, it’s how I call people more often than not, it’s how my entertainment is delivered.”

What’s your workspace like, and why does it work for you? “Open, informal, good coffee — what more could you ask for? Oh yes, the only professional team that’s community owned. Say cheese.”

Raghu Ramakrishnan’s allegiance to the Green Bay Packers is evident in his office decor and in some of his answers to our questionnaire. (Photo courtesy of Raghu Ramakrishnan)

Your best tip or trick for managing everyday work and life. (Help us out, we need it.) “Work hard, but don’t mistake work for life.”

Mac, Windows or Linux? “Windows or Linux.”

Kirk, Picard, or Janeway? “Picard.”

Transporter, Time Machine or Cloak of Invisibility? “Transporter. Too many back-to-back meetings in different buildings.”

If someone gave me $1 million to launch a startup, I would … “Tell them I’m too busy to think about a startup.”

I once waited in line for … “An autograph from William Henderson, a guy who made his living by creating lanes for Ahman Green to run through.”

Your role models: “School teachers. The best ones change the lives of our children when they’re most in need of direction, and I value what they do enormously—and I’m humbled by how much the best of them put into their work, regardless of how shamefully they are underpaid.”

Greatest game in history: “The Ice Bowl.”

Best gadget ever: “The wheel.”

First computer: “Fingers.”

Current phone: “Android.”

Favorite app: “Outlook (seriously!)”

Favorite cause: “Against Malaria Foundation.”

Most important technology of 2018: “GDPR support.”

Most important technology of 2020: “Transporters.”

Final words of advice for your fellow geeks: “Dif-tor heh smusma.”

Twitter: @raghurwi

LinkedIn: Raghu Ramakrishnan

Microsoft statement on separating families at the southern border – Microsoft on the Issues

On Monday Microsoft issued the following statement:

In response to questions we want to be clear: Microsoft is not working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or U.S. Customs and Border Protection on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border, and contrary to some speculation, we are not aware of Azure or Azure services being used for this purpose. As a company, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border. Family unification has been a fundamental tenet of American policy and law since the end of World War II. As a company Microsoft has worked for over 20 years to combine technology with the rule of law to ensure that children who are refugees and immigrants can remain with their parents. We need to continue to build on this noble tradition rather than change course now. We urge the administration to change its policy and Congress to pass legislation ensuring children are no longer separated from their families. 

For Sale – Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, with touch cover

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 i5

Model 1631 (i5, 128 GB, 4 GB RAM) with Windows 8.1 Pro.
This has been reset and has the current patches applied.

The device is in used condition and has some surface marks / scratches. There is a small dent to the bottom left hand side of the device (see pictures).

The screen is in excellent condition.

Comes with surface touch cover in black / grey (backlit keyboard), however as pictured many of the keys are quite worn (shiny), the lettering hasn’t worn off.

Comes with original power adaptor, the adaptor has an integrated USB A port so that you could charge a smartphone simultaneously with the laptop.

I do not have the original box but would ensure that it is packaged sufficiently well protected and normally used RMSD for delivery. Postage would include insurance to the value of the sale price.

Price and currency: £250
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT, PPG or Cash on collection
Location: Near Uxbridge (collection may be possible from W1 also)
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
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.

REWIND’s high-flying work with Microsoft HoloLens

Leila Martine, Director of Product Marketing at Microsoft, sees first-hand the excitement HoloLens is causing. “HoloLens is helping companies to work better by empowering staff. Every day we are seeing that workers from a range of sectors can easily collaborate to make complicated problems simple to solve. It really is taking human experiences to the next level.”

Virtual, augmented and mixed reality is becoming increasingly important to companies across the globe. According to market intelligence firm IDC, “worldwide revenues for the augmented reality and virtual reality market will grow … to more than $162 billion in 2020″.

REWIND is at the cutting-edge of that market. The company, which is based in St Albans (Rogers: “We’re only 2.5 miles outside the M25, so we’re London”), was only founded in 2011 but has grown quickly, boasting a team of more than 50 people. The group has already created a multi-award-winning virtual reality spacewalk for the BBC, as well as experiences with Jaguar, Lexus, Nissan, Rolls-Royce, Nike, Stella Artois, Savills and singer Bjork, among many others.

That level of technical experience led to REWIND being added to Microsoft’s HoloLens Agency Readiness Partner programme, which means the company will help other businesses use the mixed-reality headset to transform how they work. Rogers is excited by the possibilities.

“HoloLens is the first device humans have ever had that can augment human intelligence in real time. We have the world’s knowledge at our fingertips with one of these [he holds up his smartphone] but it’s a layer away, a search algorithm away. We have laptops, but what if the second screen is a HoloLens screen? If I can make this [he points to my laptop] as good as talking like we are now, as though I’m really here in the same space as you [when I’m really somewhere else], then why do we need to commute in the way we currently do, why do we all need to be compacted down this end of the country? What if you don’t like the weather so you change it to something else? That’s a little far away, but it’s not that big a leap. HoloLens has some amazing stuff, which is just the tip of the iceberg of what mixed reality can do.”

However, rather than see what he can do with HoloLens in the commercial sector, where the device has been predominantly used since its launch in 2016, Rogers wants members of the public to get their hands on the technology, too.

REWIND’s high-flying work with Microsoft HoloLens

Leila Martine, Director of Product Marketing at Microsoft, sees first-hand the excitement HoloLens is causing. “HoloLens is helping companies to work better by empowering staff. Every day we are seeing that workers from a range of sectors can easily collaborate to make complicated problems simple to solve. It really is taking human experiences to the next level.”

Virtual, augmented and mixed reality is becoming increasingly important to companies across the globe. According to market intelligence firm IDC, “worldwide revenues for the augmented reality and virtual reality market will grow … to more than $162 billion in 2020″.

REWIND is at the cutting-edge of that market. The company, which is based in St Albans (Rogers: “We’re only 2.5 miles outside the M25, so we’re London”), was only founded in 2011 but has grown quickly, boasting a team of more than 50 people. The group has already created a multi-award-winning virtual reality spacewalk for the BBC, as well as experiences with Jaguar, Lexus, Nissan, Rolls-Royce, Nike, Stella Artois, Savills and singer Bjork, among many others.

That level of technical experience led to REWIND being added to Microsoft’s HoloLens Agency Readiness Partner programme, which means the company will help other businesses use the mixed-reality headset to transform how they work. Rogers is excited by the possibilities.

“HoloLens is the first device humans have ever had that can augment human intelligence in real time. We have the world’s knowledge at our fingertips with one of these [he holds up his smartphone] but it’s a layer away, a search algorithm away. We have laptops, but what if the second screen is a HoloLens screen? If I can make this [he points to my laptop] as good as talking like we are now, as though I’m really here in the same space as you [when I’m really somewhere else], then why do we need to commute in the way we currently do, why do we all need to be compacted down this end of the country? What if you don’t like the weather so you change it to something else? That’s a little far away, but it’s not that big a leap. HoloLens has some amazing stuff, which is just the tip of the iceberg of what mixed reality can do.”

However, rather than see what he can do with HoloLens in the commercial sector, where the device has been predominantly used since its launch in 2016, Rogers wants members of the public to get their hands on the technology, too.

For Sale – Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, with touch cover

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 i5

Model 1631 (i5, 128 GB, 4 GB RAM) with Windows 8.1 Pro.
This has been reset and has the current patches applied.

The device is in used condition and has some surface marks / scratches. There is a small dent to the bottom left hand side of the device (see pictures).

The screen is in excellent condition.

Comes with surface touch cover in black / grey (backlit keyboard), however as pictured many of the keys are quite worn (shiny), the lettering hasn’t worn off.

Comes with original power adaptor, the adaptor has an integrated USB A port so that you could charge a smartphone simultaneously with the laptop.

I do not have the original box but would ensure that it is packaged sufficiently well protected and normally used RMSD for delivery. Postage would include insurance to the value of the sale price.

Price and currency: £250
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT, PPG or Cash on collection
Location: Near Uxbridge (collection may be possible from W1 also)
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
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.

Microsoft statement on separating families at the southern border – Microsoft on the Issues

On Monday Microsoft issued the following statement:

In response to questions we want to be clear: Microsoft is not working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or U.S. Customs and Border Protection on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border, and contrary to some speculation, we are not aware of Azure or Azure services being used for this purpose. As a company, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border. Family unification has been a fundamental tenet of American policy and law since the end of World War II. As a company Microsoft has worked for over 20 years to combine technology with the rule of law to ensure that children who are refugees and immigrants can remain with their parents. We need to continue to build on this noble tradition rather than change course now. We urge the administration to change its policy and Congress to pass legislation ensuring children are no longer separated from their families. 

Hortonworks cloud options grow via Google, Microsoft, IBM

Hadoop distribution provider Hortonworks is expanding technology partnerships with Google, Microsoft and IBM to broaden the options for users looking to deploy Hortonworks cloud systems.

Most notably, Hortonworks now supports the Google Cloud Storage (GCS) service, with the ability to run applications against data stored there. Cloud-based object stores like GCS have gained greater prominence, at times supplanting the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) as a repository for Hadoop-based big data applications in the cloud.

For Google, the expanded deal announced June 18 furthers its efforts to close a gap with cloud platform market leaders Amazon Web Services and Microsoft. For Hortonworks, the move is part of its efforts to enable users to run big data workloads on multiple clouds, according to Ovum analyst Tony Baer.

Baer said that for many organizations — particularly ones that are a step below the size of the biggest enterprises — big data analytics will largely be done on the cloud going forward.

“For people just getting started, even with the work done by the distribution providers, Hadoop is a complicated platform with a lot of moving parts,” Baer said. “There’s a lot of knowledge needed just to set it up, and that is not a skill most organizations have.”

When moving big data workloads to the cloud, users often see a money-saving opportunity in cloud storage tools like GCS, the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and Microsoft’s Azure Blob Storage. Such technologies may provide slower performance as opposed to HDFS, but Baer said that gap could close with improvements over time. Among users of GCS now are Spotify, Coca-Cola, the Broad Institute and others.

Cold data play

Scott Gnau, CTO, HortonworksScott Gnau

Hortonworks CTO Scott Gnau said interest in cloud object stores doesn’t prefigure a complete move away from HDFS for Hortonworks cloud users.

“What we see is customers looking to take advantage of different options,” Gnau said. Running applications against data stored natively in GCS or S3 lets users “play the data where it lies without having to move it” to HDFS first, he noted. Object stores are also typically less expensive to use than keeping data in HDFS is, according to Gnau.

However, users are likely to continue using HDFS for Hortonworks cloud applications that require high-performance and sophisticated data analysis, Gnau added. Object storage “has advantages, but it also has difficulties,” he said. “It’s not as performant as HDFS.”

What we see is customers looking to take advantage of different options.
Scott GnauCTO, Hortonworks

As a result, Gnau said he sees the best immediate role for cloud-based object storage in handling “colder data” — that is, data that isn’t an immediate part of an analytics workflow.

Sudhir Hasbe, director of product management for the Google Cloud Platform, said Hortonworks users can now decouple storage and compute by using GCS instead of HDFS. That could make it more cost-effective for on-premises HDFS users to use Hortonworks cloud systems for their big data workloads, he continued.

IBM, Microsoft clouds also in sight

The Google deal complements other Hortonworks cloud pacts with AWS, IBM and Microsoft. Coming on the first day of Hortonworks’ DataWorks Summit 2018 conference in San Jose, Calif., the addition of the GCS support was accompanied by updates to the alliances that the big data platform vendor has with IBM and Microsoft.

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Hortonworks, Microsoft execs discuss moves to the cloud.

Hortonworks said organizations can now run its Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) software natively on the Microsoft Azure cloud, in addition to using the HDP-based Azure HDInsight managed service that Microsoft sells to customers. Hortonworks DataFlow and Hortonworks DataPlane Service, two related technologies offered by the Santa Clara, Calif., company, also are now available for native deployments on Azure.

Meanwhile, in a blog post, Rob Thomas, general manager of IBM Analytics, said IBM is adding a managed service on its cloud platform called IBM Hosted Analytics with Hortonworks, or IHAH. The new service combines HDP with IBM’s Db2 Big SQL query engine and Data Science Experience workbench platform, extending a relationship that began last year when IBM dropped its own Hadoop distribution and agreed to resell HDP instead.

In addition to the expanded cloud deals, Hortonworks detailed plans for an HDP 3.0 release that will let users put big data applications in Docker containers to help speed up deployments and make it easier to move processing workloads to different servers. Due out in the third quarter, HDP 3.0 also adds the ability to run deep learning applications on GPU-based systems, plus support for Apache Hive 3.0, an update of the open source SQL query engine and data warehouse environment that was released in May.

Hive 3.0 functions as a real-time database for analytics applications that require fast query response rates, Gnau said. “It really is a database now versus Hive historically being viewed as a SQL programming environment that ran on Hadoop.”

Senior executive editor Craig Stedman contributed to this story.

Microsoft expands commitment to military spouse community – Microsoft Military Affairs

Today in San Francisco, Microsoft Military Affairs will join our partners from LinkedIn to each share new commitments to the military spouse community.

Military spouses are an integral supporting force for members of our military, but face staggering 18 percent unemployment and 53 percent underemployment due to moves every two to three years, according to a 2016 study from Blue Star Families on the social cost of unemployment and underemployment of military spouses.

As part of our commitment to the military spouse community, Microsoft will launch a pilot program to provide spouses with technology skills training beginning in September.

Microsoft has successfully opened a technology career pipeline for transitioning service members and veterans via the Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) program, which has expanded coast-to-coast and has a graduation rate of over 90 percent. We are excited to explore how to expand and tailor these opportunities to military spouses, which represent a diverse talent pool that is adaptable, resilient and highly educated and ready to take on new and exciting opportunities to further their professional and personal goals.

The U.S. government estimates information technology occupations are projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Because there are 500,000 open technology jobs annually, we know that career programs are needed to help close the technology skills gap.

“Microsoft is excited to work with technology leaders and other organizations committed to supporting military spouses, and to find avenues that lead to meaningful career opportunities for active duty military spouses,” said U.S. Marine Corps Major General (Ret.) Chris Cortez, Vice President of Microsoft Military Affairs.

LinkedIn also announced today that it is expanding its military and veterans program to include military spouses through a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program. Beginning this July, LinkedIn will provide one year of LinkedIn Premium to every military spouse during each of their moves to new installations to facilitate their career transitions, and once again upon conclusion of military service. This will include free access to LinkedIn’s online library of more than 12,000 LinkedIn Learning courses, including its newly-launched learning path designed to help military spouses succeed in flexible, freelance or remote-work opportunities.

The Microsoft Military Affairs team is working closely with military spouses and nonprofit organizations to understand firsthand the unique challenges this community faces as we build out and learn from our pilot program.

We are thrilled to begin our pilot program in the fall and to continue our support of military spouses and their community by providing the skills they need to enter technology careers.