Tag Archives: month

Intermountain Healthcare relies on virtual hiring to fill CIO role

Intermountain Healthcare will be onboarding a new CIO at the end of this month, making him the first senior executive to be hired virtually by the healthcare organization.

Ryan Smith will take over for longtime Intermountain Healthcare CIO Marc Probst, who announced his retirement earlier this year, before the COVID-19 outbreak and the mandates for nonessential employees to work from home. With remote work in full swing, Dan Liljenquist, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Intermountain, said the healthcare system had to rely exclusively on virtual hiring to pick its new healthcare CIO.

Smith is a known entity to the healthcare organization. He served in IT leadership roles at Intermountain for 19 years from 1994 to 2013. But the hiring team felt his five years as CIO at Banner Health in Phoenix and, more recently, his two years as senior vice president at Health Catalyst, an analytics software and services provider in Salt Lake City, best prepared him for the position.

Smith will start his new role June 29 the same way he was hired: virtually. Smith said the virtual hiring process has been “quite different” from the traditional recruiting process he’s used to.

“Typically, you would fly in for your on-site interview with key executives in a formal setting,” he said. “It’s a strange feeling to put on a full suit, dress shirt and tie to only walk to another room in your home for an interview where you’re the only one physically in the room.”

Onboarding a CIO during a crisis

But going through the virtual hiring process had its benefits for Smith. It made him realize the importance of video conferencing technology — both the criticality of it running smoothly and the new challenges it presented such as making sure the background is appropriate for the meeting.

Soon-to-be Intermountain Healthcare CIO Ryan SmithRyan Smith

And, Smith said, with every interview he grew more comfortable with the virtual hiring process.

“Coming out of each round of virtual interviews, I was surprised at just how much more comfortable and down to earth the conversations felt,” he said. “There are definitely some benefits to this form of interviewing, while also posing some new challenges.”

Liljenquist said the Intermountain Healthcare hiring team used technology to find and interview finalists for the CIO role, even when it came down to final selection.

It’s a strange feeling to put on a full suit, dress shirt and tie to only walk to another room in your home.
Ryan SmithIncoming CIO, Intermountain Healthcare

“All of us know Zoom and Webex and Microsoft Teams better than we ever thought we would,” he said.

Liljenquist said Smith will be using those same tools to connect to and lead his team. While Smith said it will be different starting his new role remotely, he sees his existing relationships with team members from his time at Intermountain as an advantage. He’s also planning for a remote start as CIO to come with challenges, specifically with “rounding,” where he would normally meet with providers and discuss in person what technology is working and what needs to improve.

As part of the final selection for the new CIO, Liljenquist said Intermountain required Smith and other finalists to give a virtual presentation on what health IT would look like post-COVID-19.

Intermountain Healthcare senior vice president and chief strategy officer Dan LiljenquistDan Liljenquist

In his presentation, Smith said he focused on new realities the healthcare industry will face in the coming months, such as reductions in medical care, the continuation of remote work, increases in digital expectations from patients and increases in merger and acquisition activity across the industry.

“We talked about recommended approaches for leading the IT team in addressing this new normal, entailing business alignment and partnership, innovation, accountability, transparency, customer focus and fiscal responsibility,” Smith said.

In a news release, Intermountain Healthcare said Smith will lead the care transformation information systems team, while partnering with others to “implement innovative digital, data and technology platforms and solutions” that align with the organization’s strategic goals.

“There’s never been a time in our industry when there’s been such a great dependency on the IT organization’s ability to be flexible, to rapidly innovate and to drive results in short periods of time,” Smith said. “I think most of the plans I had in mind coming into this opportunity are still relevant, but the priorities may need to shift given the nature of the environment we find ourselves in.”

Go to Original Article
Author:

What’s New in Microsoft Teams | May 2020

This month, we have new meetings, calling, devices, chat, collaboration, platform, and industry features we will not want you to miss. Read on to stay up-to-date. If you are interested in our recent Microsoft Build news, check out our Teams Build blog!

What’s New: Meetings, Calling, and Devices
Improved meeting join launcher experience
When launching a Teams meeting from a link, you will be provided with clearer options for how to join the meeting. You will be prompted with an option to join on the web, download the Teams client, or join with the native Teams client. We are gradually rolling this out over the coming weeks, and in the interim, you may continue to see this and the former experience.

Easily access meeting options during a Teams meeting
We are making it easier for meeting organizers to quickly and easily change their presenter and lobby settings once a meeting has started by providing a link directly in the participants pane. This new functionality is available for both scheduled and “Meet Now” meetings.

Download a participant report in a Teams meeting
Meeting organizers, especially teachers, often need to know who joined their Teams meetings. You can download a participant report, found in the roster view that includes join and leave times for participants. Available in the roster view, meeting organizers can download the report that includes those users who joined while the organizer was present. This feature is only available within the meeting while the meeting is active. Available on desktop (Windows and Mac) and the web.

Set tenant-wide default selection for “Who Can Present” in meetings
Tenant admins can now update their Teams meeting policies to allow for a new default selection when choosing who can present in new Teams meetings (everyone, people in my organization, specific people, or only me). Today, the default selection is “everyone” unless the meeting organizer selects otherwise through the meetings option configuration. To start, organizations can set this policy via a PowerShell cmdlet, and soon after we will have this policy configurable in the Admin portal.

Set background effects policy at a user-level
Tenant admins can soon assign a user-level policy to control how users engage with background effects in Teams meetings. Options include: offer no filters; background blur only; use background blur and default provided images; and all, which includes the ability for users to upload their own custom images.

Better policy controls over screen sharing from chats
Screen share from chat allows you to immediately start sharing your screen in a 1-1 chat or group chat. This entry point was previously governed by the AllowPrivateCalling policy. If this policy is disabled, users are not able to screen share from chat. The option to start a screen share from chat will now be governed by the ScreenSharingMode policy. Further, the ability to “add audio” to a screen share from chat session (if you want to talk to someone while screen sharing) will be governed by a user’s AllowPrivateCalling setting. This ensures that users who have AllowPrivateCalling disabled cannot start audio calls via screen share from chat.

Teams and Skype Interoperability
Teams and Skype interoperability will enable collaboration with more partners, customers, and suppliers who rely upon Skype for Consumer (SFC) as their communication app. On either platform, customers will be able to discover users via email search, then chat or call using audio/video. Clients supported include Desktop, Web and Mobile (iOS/Android). Admins will be able to control user access to this feature from The Teams Admin Center.

Reverse Number Lookup (RNL) Enhancements
In the past, the caller name sometimes did not show when they called you. Back in October 2019 we released the feature to make it easier to identify the caller. With the latest enhancements to RNL, the Telco display name will now also show up in your Activity Feed, Call History, and Voicemail as well.

Microsoft Teams Rooms, app version 4.4.41.0 now available
While physical meeting rooms may not be a focal point for many right now, there are still organizations and industries whose essential workers continue to rely on these spaces during this time. We also recognize the vital role Microsoft Teams Rooms will play when organizations return to work. The latest update, app version 4.4.41.0, is now available on the Windows store and is coming to every Teams room over the next few weeks. New features include: Modern authentication support, New application splash screen, Ability to project content to a single display when using a HDMI cable in a dual display configuration, Support for dynamic emergency calling, and more. To learn more about these new features, read the Microsoft Teams Rooms May Update blog.

Poly announces new solution for Microsoft Teams Rooms
Poly Room Solution for Microsoft Teams not only delivers the premium Poly audio and video for Teams, but also provides a clutter-free experience from start to finish, with simple installation and maintenance in any size room. To learn more about the Poly solutions for Microsoft Teams Rooms, coming later this year, click here.

Jabra PanaCast now certified for Microsoft Teams
The Jabra PanaCast is a plug-and-play device, certified for Microsoft Teams. The Jabra PanaCast is designed to improve meetings by using three 13-megapixel cameras and real-time video stitching to give a full 180° view. Enjoy a natural, inclusive human perspective, with no blind spots ensuring quick, easy collaboration with hassle-free video and audio. To learn more about the Jabra PanaCast, click here.

Yealink, EPOS, and Jabra announce new Teams peripherals
With increased demand for remote work and virtual communication, having the right set of personal devices provides painless interaction and increases time for meaningful connection. With Teams certified devices, you can join professional meetings anywhere with high audio fidelity that removes distracting background noise and ensures that your voice is heard clearly.

Here are some new releases this month:

  • EPOS ADAPT 360, 460T, 560, and 660 headsets range from in ear and over the ear options that optimize concentration and productivity any environment with Active Noise Cancellation, Bluetooth connectivity, and a dedicated Teams button. Availability varies by product: ADAPT 360 (July 3), ADAPT 460T (June 29), ADAPT 560 (June 26), ADAPT 660 (June 22). You can learn more here.

  • Yealink UH36 Dual/Mono is a simple and lightweight USB headset with a dedicated Teams button for long conference calls. Availability starting on May 15. You can learn more here.

  • Jabra Speak 750 is a speaker phone with a dedicated Teams button helps users hold natural conversations with USB and Bluetooth. Availability starting on June 1. You can learn more here.

Limited time partner offers available for Teams Devices
Crestron
Crestron is offering a program for customers looking to upgrade existing systems to those certified for Microsoft Teams. Special offers are available for a Crestron Smart Soundbar, Flex C-Series Integrator Kit and Mercury system. Offers end June 30, 2020 and are available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and EMEA. Purchase orders must be placed through an authorized Crestron dealer.

Poly
For customers using Trio Visual+ in Skype for Business who would like to move to a Microsoft Teams environment, Poly is offering a Trio Visual+ to Poly Studio X30 Trade In program. With this promotion, Poly Microsoft customers can replace Trio with Poly Studio X30 and TC8 controller, or pair Trio with the Poly Studio X30, for Teams video meetings in huddle and small room spaces. Between April 15, 2020 and December 31, 2020, customers can trade in Trio Visual+ and save up to $200 when they upgrade to a Poly Studio X30 or up to $300 when they upgrade to a Poly Studio X30 with TC8 controller. This program is globally available.

Yealink
For a limited time, Yealink is offering a devices bundle trial program for remote workers, giving customers 50% off MSRP on any two WFH devices (limit one per device model). This offer is valid through July 31, 2020 and is globally available. Additionally, Yealink is offering a coupon code for the VC210 Teams edition collaboration bar on the Microsoft Teams devices showcase. Use the coupon code: Yealink4Teams at checkout to access the discounted price. This offer is available in the US and Canada only and is valid through July 31, 2020.

What’s New: Chat & Collaboration
Templates in Teams
Create a new team even faster with a variety of templates for common team types. Options will include event management, crisis response, hospital ward and bank branch, just to name a few. Templates comes with pre-defined channels, apps, and guidance on how to utilize and customize it. IT professionals can standardize team structures by creating new custom templates for their organization. Templates in Teams will roll out in the next few months and appear automatically. Check out the deep dive blog to learn more.

Microsoft Lists in Teams
Microsoft Lists helps you track information and organize work. Lists are simple, smart, and flexible, so you can track issues, assets, routines, contacts, inventory and more using customizable views and smart rules and alerts to keep everyone in sync. To learn more, visit the new Microsoft Lists resource center and get first looks at the Microsoft Lists product demo video.

Create a new list directly inside Teams or bring in one that already exists in Microsoft 365.

You can create, share, and track list all from within Microsoft Teams.

Bring more people together in group chats and teams
Whether you need to collaborate with others to deliver a big project or work with a large group of people to complete an ad-hoc task, Microsoft Teams now allows you to bring more people together. Group chats will now be able to accommodate up to 250 users and teams can now have up to 10,000 members.

Pop out chats into separate windows
Users can now streamline their workflow and pop out chats into separate windows. This allows people to move more easily between ongoing conversations. This is now generally available.

What’s New: Onboarding your organization to Teams
New Skype for Business to Teams Upgrade Advisor
Our newest Advisor for Teams, the Skype for Business Upgrade plan, has launched within the Microsoft Teams Admin Center. Whether you’re just getting started with Microsoft Teams, already using Teams alongside Skype for Business, or ready to upgrade, this provides everything you need for a successful transition. Designed for Skype for Business customers with online or on-premises environments, the Skype for Business Upgrade plan shares a proven success framework for implementing change and step-by-step process to enable your organization’s technical and end-user readiness. We’ll connect you with valuable upgrade resources including planning guidance and best practices, free workbooks, schedules and communication templates and live 1:many planning workshops. Learn more here about using Advisor for Teams to help you roll out Teams and upgrade from Skype for Business.

What’s New: Developer, Platform, and App management
Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code Extension for Teams
Developers can use the new Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code Teams extension to quickly build project scaffolding, configure features, create app package manifest and setup hosting, validate app package manifest, and start the app publishing process (for yourself, to your organization’s catalog, or to the Teams app store). Visual Studio Code extension is available in public preview today. Visual Studio extension coming soon!

Bringing low-code bots to Teams, with Power Virtual Agents
We are working with the newest component of the Power Platform – Power Virtual Agents, which is a low-code chatbot platform. New features will make it easier to create and manage low-code chatbots from within Teams and more streamlined for end users to use Power Virtual Agents bots in Teams. These new features are:

  • Bot Template: FAQ bot template available in GitHub
  • Single sign-on: Power Virtual Agents bots will be available, removing the need for users to sign in again when using a Power Virtual Agents bot in Teams

Simplified Power Apps and Power Virtual Agents “Add to Teams”
Coming soon, Power Apps makers will be able to click a single “Add to Teams” button in Power Apps, which will push the app to the Teams app store. Similarly, the process of adding low-code bots from Power Virtual Agents will be simplified, so developers can spend more time building and less time deploying.

Enhanced workflow automation with Power Automate + Teams
There are several new Power Automate triggers and actions built specifically for Teams to unlock custom message extensions, allow for automated @mentioning, and provide a customized bot experience. To make the process of building automation even easier, we are also rolling out new business process scenario templates built for Teams. When users create a new flow, they will see these templates when they select the “Create from Template option.”

Improved Power BI sharing to Teams
We have made it even easier to share Power BI reports to Teams – simply select the report to share and click the new “Share to Teams” button in Power BI. You’ll be prompted to select the user or channel to send the report to, which will automatically be posted to the conversation.

Users can now also copy individual charts in a Power BI report, and when they are pasted to a Teams conversation, the chat will include a rich thumbnail preview of the chart, as well as an adaptive card allowing users to take actions on that chart.

If you want to read more about all our new developer capabilities, check out our Teams Developer blog post: What’s New in the Microsoft Teams Platform | Build 2020.

What’s New: Education
Change in meeting join experience for our education customers
Today, we allow anyone within an organization to start a Teams meeting, regardless if they are the meeting organizer or not. Moving forward, we will restrict the ability to start a meeting to only those users who have been assigned a policy to create a meeting within their organization. Meeting attendees without the ability to create a meeting will see a pre-join screen indicating that the meeting hasn’t started. These individuals will be automatically admitted into the meeting once a user with permissions joins and starts the meeting. For example, where teachers are assigned a policy that enables them to create meetings, but students are not: if a student clicks on a Teams meeting not yet started by a teacher, they will be admitted into the meeting once a teacher has started a meeting.

Keeping distance learning engaging and secure
With many school and universities closed for the foreseeable future, Teams supports faculty, educators, and students to connect, engage, and learn. Here is the latest guidance on how to maximize learning at a distance and keep students safe:

  • Manage student, faculty, and staff engagement in meetings, live events, chat, and more. Learn more about these settings and how to manage them here.
  • Get started in Teams with student and educator quick start guides and create, run, and attend safe Teams meetings with this guidance.
  • Customize your school’s distance learning toolkit with these LMS integrations in Teams.

What’s New: US Government
In-line message translation in GCC and GCC High
In-line message translation will ensure that every worker in the team has a voice and facilitate global collaboration. With a simple click, people who speak different languages can fluidly communicate with one another by translating posts in channels and chat. This is now generally available.

To see many of these new capabilities in action with demonstrations, check out today’s Microsoft Mechanics video: Microsoft Teams updates | May 2020 and beyond.

Go to Original Article
Author: Microsoft News Center

For Sale – EVGA Geforce GTX 1070 FTW Gaming (special edition)

Hi, any interest in a trade with my 1 month old Gigabyte Aorus RTX 2070 Super ?

Jamie.

Go to Original Article
Author:

Mammoth March Patch Tuesday lands on Windows admins

For the second month in a row, Microsoft doled out a hefty batch of fixes for its products on March Patch Tuesday, resolving 115 unique vulnerabilities that center mostly around the Windows OS and its various web browser applications.

This month’s slate of fixes eclipsed the 99 vulnerabilities Microsoft addressed last month. All told, March Patch Tuesday corrected 26 critical vulnerabilities and 88 bugs rated important. Affected products include Windows, both the HTML-based and Chromium-based Edge browsers, the ChakraCore JavaScript engine, Internet Explorer, Exchange Server, Microsoft Office, Azure DevOps and Azure, Windows Defender, Visual Studio, Microsoft Dynamics and open source projects.

Despite the sheer number of flaws to address, administrators do not have to worry about any zero-day exploits or public disclosures this month. The other good news is most of the bugs are clustered in the Windows and browser products. Of the 115 vulnerabilities, 18 are in the browser and 79 are in the Windows OS.

Now that Microsoft packages its patches in a single monthly rollup rather than individual updates, administrators now have a simpler “all or nothing” choice with patch deployment. In the previous servicing model, which Microsoft ended in late 2016, administrators had the flexibility to choose which patches to apply to different systems. 

“The cumulative model plugs those gaps effectively, so that’s the positive. There are fewer holes in the average environment because one thing people overlook is most of the exploits that are happening are in software that’s months, if not years old,” said Chris Goettl, director of product management and security at Ivanti, a security and IT management vendor based in South Jordan, Utah. 

Chris Goettl, director of product management and security, IvantiChris Goettl

The monthly rollup contains fixes for security flaws, corrections for web browsers and quality updates. Each monthly rollup supersedes the previous month. The downside to the cumulative model is a faulty patch can disable a system, which makes administrators more likely to hold off on deployment until they can do a thorough test.

“Microsoft’s cumulative model makes it more of an all-or-nothing, especially for the OS. It does force people to update it. The challenge comes into play in those cases where companies have more sensitive environments to patching where they let time be more of an element,” Goettl said. 

Microsoft Outlook preview pane could be a threat launchpad

Aside from the browser and OS vulnerabilities, administrators will want to focus on a critical remote code execution vulnerability (CVE-2020-0852) in Microsoft Word which uses the Microsoft Outlook preview pane as the attack vector, Goettl said. In one scenario, an attacker could send a specially crafted document in an email to a user who, if they view the file in the Outlook preview pane, would run code at the security level of that user. 

“That [vulnerability is] a piece of low-hanging fruit for a threat actor if they can exploit the preview pane. That makes their job a lot easier,” Goettl said. 

Administrators will also want to look at a moderate information disclosure vulnerability (CVE-2020-0765) in the Remote Desktop Connection Manager. There are no fixes for this bug because Microsoft no longer develops this application. Microsoft recommends users switch to a supported Microsoft Remote Desktop client version. 

In addition to the March Patch Tuesday updates, administrators should be aware that most of the supported Windows OSes on the client and server side have a servicing stack update. Microsoft does not include these with the monthly rollups and recommends installing servicing stack updates before applying the latest cumulative update.  

Vulnerability from February rears its head

Administrators of organizations that use on-premises Exchange Server for email and have a lengthy test and deploy for patching might want to pick up the pace if they haven’t installed February’s security updates for the messaging product. Microsoft fixed a remote-code execution bug (CVE-2020-0688) in Exchange Server in its February Patch Tuesday releases, but companies that lag in their patching efforts could find themselves in trouble if a persistent hacker finds a way to get inside their systems to launch an exploit.  

On Feb. 25, Simon Zuckerbraun, a security researcher at Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative, posted a blog that offered deeper insights into how the vulnerability worked with an accompanying video that demonstrated how to trigger the exploit. 

“Microsoft rated this as Important in severity, likely because an attacker must first authenticate. It should be noted, however, that within an enterprise, most any user would be allowed to authenticate to the Exchange server,” wrote Zuckerbraun. “Similarly, any outside attacker who compromised the device or credentials of any enterprise user would be able to proceed to take over the Exchange server. Having accomplished this, an attacker would be positioned to divulge or falsify corporate email communications at will.”

The same day, another security researcher, Kevin Beaumont — who recently joined Microsoft to work on its Microsoft Threat Protection product — tweeted about Zuckerbraun’s blog and posted updates showing an uptick in threat actors scanning for susceptible internet-facing Exchange servers. 

This caught has caught the attention of the U.S. government. Not only did the National Security Agency issue a warning from its Twitter account on March 6 but the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) reinforced the importance of patching in a bulletin released on March Patch Tuesday.

“Although Microsoft disclosed the vulnerability and provided software patches for the various affected products in February 2020, advanced persistent threat actors are targeting unpatched servers, according to recent open source reports,” wrote the CISA. 

This type of vulnerability and the groundswell of attention it picked up online shows administrators not only need to be technical experts but also social media savants to pick up what’s trending online to steer their patching priorities.

“Knowing things like what’s actively being exploited and keeping more continuous cycle around evaluating and resolving vulnerabilities is definitely more important nowadays,” Goettl said.

Go to Original Article
Author:

The new Washington Privacy Act raises the bar for privacy in the United States – Microsoft on the Issues

This month, a bipartisan group of legislators in Washington state presented new legislation that could soon become the most comprehensive privacy law in the country. The centerpiece of this legislation, the Washington Privacy Act as substituted, goes further than the landmark bill California recently enacted and builds on the law Europeans have enjoyed for the past year and a half.

As Microsoft President Brad Smith shared in his blog post about our priorities for the state of Washington’s current legislative session, we believe it is important to enact strong data privacy protections to demonstrate our state’s leadership on what we believe will be one of the defining issues of our generation. People will only trust technology if they know their data is private and under their control, and new laws like these will help provide that assurance. We’re encouraged that privacy legislation in Washington has been welcomed by privacy advocates such as Consumer Reports and the Future of Privacy Forum.

To date, the U.S. has taken the approach of enacting privacy law in just a few key areas, such as financial services, children and some health data. However, on average, people today produce 25 times the online data they did in 2010, and this data no longer just records our medical checkups or banking activities but just about every aspect of our lives. The Washington Privacy Act addresses these significant gaps by creating comprehensive baseline protections. As the United States Congress continues to work on these safeguards, states such as Washington have the opportunity to move faster and give people the protections they deserve.

Washington came close to passing a good bill last year. As I wrote in April 2019, every year we kick the can down the road is another year we’ll spend searching for the perfect legislation rather than starting to provide people with needed protection, and then building on a strong foundation. And people are overwhelmingly voicing their support for the legislature to take action now. In a Crosscut/Elway poll conducted in December 2019, 84% of Washington respondents supported “strengthening consumer protections for personal data online” and placed privacy above issues such as carbon emissions and rent control.

Why the Washington Privacy Act is strong

The Washington Privacy Act, introduced by Senator Reuven Carlyle, has four core components that we believe are critical in any comprehensive privacy bill.

Corporate responsibility: First, it holds companies responsible for ensuring they only use data for the reason they collect it and with the permission of their customers. If a company collects someone’s phone number for the purpose of two-factor authentication, they shouldn’t then be permitted to use that information for targeted ad or search purposes.

Consumer empowerment: Second, it gives people the ability to control their data by providing rights to access, correct, delete and relocate their data, and to limit a company’s ability to use their data.

Transparency: Third, it requires companies to be clear about their intentions for collecting people’s personal data in a way that is easy to understand.

Strong enforcement: Fourth, it enables the state attorney general to ensure companies comply with the law. The state attorney general can take legal action with penalties up to $7,500 per violation, meaning total penalties for a non-compliant company could – depending on the number of people affected – amount to hundreds of millions of dollars. In addition to attorney general enforcement, the Washington Privacy Act requires companies to be responsive to consumer requests for information about what data of theirs companies have and how that data is used.

This year’s bill has significant improvements over last year’s legislation. For example, it now requires companies to tell people why their data is being collected and to use it only for that purpose, ensures companies only collect the minimum data needed for that purpose, and prohibits companies from using data in new ways that are different and distinct from the reasons they collected the information in the first place.

Prevent a “race to the bottom” with facial recognition

In addition to addressing the four privacy principles, the Washington Privacy Act sets standards for how and when companies can use facial recognition technology. This portion of the bill includes a range of steps to protect people from this largely unregulated technology, and we think four are particularly worth discussing.

Fairness: First, suppliers of facial recognition technology must build their technology so that third-party research organizations can test its accuracy and examine it for bias.  When undisclosed problems with the technology are discovered, suppliers must take action.

Consent: Second, the default rule is that people must give permission for companies to add their image to a facial recognition database and this consent must be meaningful, not just a footnote buried in legal jargon.

Notification: Third, in any public place where facial recognition technology is used, companies must post clear notice.

Human Review: Fourth, results of facial recognition must be verified when critical decisions such as mortgage approvals or employment considerations are being made, and humans have to be involved in the decision-making process.

The Washington Legislature will also consider an important proposal to regulate the use of facial recognition by government. A bill proposed by Senator Joe Nguyen contains many of the safeguards the Washington Privacy Act applies to corporate use as well as new rules to be applied to governmental scenarios. For example, the technology can only be used in public places to address serious crimes when a search warrant has been issued or when there’s a genuine emergency such as a terrorist threat or a kidnapped child. Law enforcement must disclose to defendants when facial recognition is being used in a legal case against them.

As Brad Smith has outlined, if we don’t act, we risk waking up five years from now (or even sooner) to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues. By setting boundaries before, during and after deployment of facial recognition, we hope that these regulations offer the public more opportunity to be involved in the decisions regarding the acceptable use of the technology by commercial actors as well as state and local authorities. Neither the Washington Privacy Act nor the Nguyen bill provide all the answers to the challenges that will arise with this technology, but both bills provide strong baseline standards that will give people meaningful protections for the first time. Passing these bills in this session will allow the legislature to focus future sessions on building and improving upon them.

Open public dialogue

We believe advocating for laws like these are good for our customers and important for holding the industry to higher standards than the law does today. Microsoft has been engaged along with dozens of entities including companies, privacy experts, advocacy groups and legislators invited to comment on early draft proposals leading up to this session. We are committed to working with lawmakers and stakeholders to ensure the final bill provides comprehensive privacy protection for all Washingtonians. You can learn more about our efforts from last week’s testimony.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Go to Original Article
Author: Microsoft News Center

Windows 7 sunset gives PC market a boost in 2019

Analysts reported this month that the global PC market did something in 2019 it had not accomplished in seven years: It grew.

The figures differ as to how much — IDC reported a 2.7% year-over-year growth in global shipments, while Gartner cited a 0.6% increase — but experts agree that the Windows 7 sunset helped to prompt a hardware refresh for the enterprise. Per Gartner, Lenovo, HP and Dell shipped the most PCs in 2019, seeing growth of 8%, 3% and 5%, respectively.

Whether the boost in growth will be a one-year blip is debatable, but there is consensus that, for the enterprise at least, the PC is here to stay.

Windows 7 sunset gives PCs a boost

Linn Huang, research vice president at IDC, attributed the increase to a confluence of factors. Companies found themselves in a unique position of having to migrate to a new OS amid the growing tensions of a trade war with China, where PC components are commonly manufactured.

“For starters, the January 2020 [end of support] of Windows 7 means businesses — large and small alike — [were] either completing or accelerating their Windows 10 migrations,” he said.

Huang also mentioned shortages and tariff issues may have affected the market as well. Intel faced CPU supply issues that eased during the course of 2019 and, in December, President Trump tweeted that “penalty tariffs” would “not be charged,” thanks to a new agreement with China.

Linn Huang, research vice president at IDCLinn Huang

Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner, said the shipment boost was not because of any renewed interest in using the PC, but almost solely because of the Windows 7 sunset, which occurred Jan. 14.

Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at GartnerMikako Kitagawa

Forrester Research analyst Andrew Hewitt acknowledged the effect of the Windows 7 sunset, but said it was only part of the story.

“I also believe that the PC is becoming more important as organizations try to improve employee experience,” he said. “We know from research that if people can’t make progress every day at work, they’re vulnerable to burnout and can contribute to higher attrition. The PC sits at the heart of productivity, so organizations see it as an important driver of [employee experience].”

Yev Pusin, director of strategy at data storage firm Backblaze, said the business’ clients — especially on the enterprise side — indeed had a need for something that could contribute more to productivity than a smartphone or tablet.

“I think a lot more folks … realized that, for the multi-tasking and flexibility they want, they need an actual computer — a Mac or PC,” he said.

Will PC market growth continue?

Kitagawa expects to see shipments dip in 2020 and 2021 due to a weak consumer market, as the smartphone has largely subsumed the PC’s role in daily life. Smartphones have made inroads in the enterprise as well, especially among younger workers.

Andrew Hewitt, analyst, Forrester ResearchAndrew Hewitt

“People used to carry a laptop or tablet to do work. Now, smartphone screens are bigger, so they are able to handle some tasks as well,” she said. “On the mentality side, many young people feel their smartphone is their primary work device.”

This is not to say that the PC will be disappearing from the workspace anytime soon.

Yev Pusin, director of strategy at Backblaze Yev Pusin

“It’s not the case that the PC is going away,” Kitagawa said. “The PC is a very important business tool.”

Huang likewise expected a decline of PC sales in the next couple of years but said a shift in the market might accompany that trend.

“Consumers and commercial users alike are demanding better and better with each generation,” he said. “Consequently, we expect to ship fewer PCs [in] 2020 and beyond, but the market will continue to churn toward more premium ends.”

Pusin said he did see a continued appetite for PCs in the future but agreed that customers interested in buying computers might focus on the higher end of performance.

According to Hewitt, the PC will retain its central place in the business world, although the form factor may differ.

“Our research actually shows that 30% of the most important factors for improving employee experience are technology-related, and the PC is a big part of that,” he said.

Go to Original Article
Author:

Sophos adds mobile threat defense app to Intercept X line

Security vendor Sophos this month expanded its endpoint protection lineup with Intercept X for Mobile. The new mobile security application extends the company’s Intercept security software to devices including phones, tablets and laptops.

The new offering is meant to bolster mobile threat defense for devices running on Android, iOS and Chrome. Features include:

  • Authenticator: Helps to manage multi-factor authentication passwords for sites like Google, Amazon and Facebook.
  • Secure QR code scanner: Scans target URLs for malicious content.
  • Privacy protection: Detects when personal data is accessed or if there are hidden costs associated with downloaded apps.

“The biggest unique point of the Intercept X model is that we are a security model, and we do security for different platforms and can be configured in one place,” said Petter Nordwall, director of product management at Sophos. “Intercept X, as a whole, can now protect Windows, Mac iOS, Chromebooks and servers. Regardless of what platform they use, they can use Intercept X.”

Sophos introduced Intercept X in 2016 as a cloud-based tool designed to enhance endpoint security already running in an environment. Intercept X for Server was introduced in December 2018; an update launched in May 2019 added endpoint protection and response features.

Mobile threats on the rise

In “Advance and Improve Your Mobile Security Strategy,” a recent report from Gartner, senior analyst Patrick Hevesi found that “mobile security products are becoming increasingly important as a rate of mobile attacks continues to grow.” Hevesi recommended tech professionals track new threats, build a mobile threat defense strategy and set minimum iOS and hardware versions.

He added that organizations should focus on training users on what threats actually look like, rather than letting the systems do all the work.

“Everyone is doing antiphishing training, but think about the application,” Hevesi said. “The user doesn’t think about mobile in the same way; they see a highly rated app and don’t think about why the app needs permission to my contact data.”

Pricing for Intercept X for Mobile ranges from $24.50 to $63 per 100 seats depending on the addition of Sophos’ mobile, a unified endpoint management system. Intercept X for Mobile is available free for download for individual use, from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Go to Original Article
Author:

Forbes’ Google Cloud migration rooted in trust, cost savings

Forbes says its online audience grew from 15 million users per month in 2012 to 120 million in 2018, a growth spike that ultimately prompted a large-scale move off on-premises systems and into Google Cloud.

The Google Cloud migration now supports all three aspects of Forbes’ business: content, sales and its publishing infrastructure, according to chief digital officer Salah Zalatimo.

“[In 2020], we’re going to be continuing to mature our business model and diversify our revenue,” Zalatimo said. “Google Cloud is about giving us flexibility. We’re going to be able to establish new products and test new features really quickly.”

Forbes used to run its publishing operations on an on-premises, WordPress-based system that was heavily customized, with a front end clunked up by an accumulation of legacy code.

The number of actual people those audience figures represent is likely lower, as Google Analytics defines a user as a browser endpoint. Thus, if an individual read Forbes content both on a phone and a laptop, the user would be counted twice.

Still, the scale involved led to Forbes’ 2018 decision to build a new, custom publishing platform. At that point, the company determined it wanted to make a wholesale push into the cloud centered around one primary provider.

Google won Forbes’ business for several reasons, including pricing, incentives to help its Google cloud migration and a lower-pressure approach to sales, according to Zalatimo. “We didn’t have to make any hard commitments.”

While Forbes has a relationship with Microsoft as an Office 365 shop, it quickly ruled out Azure. “We talked to them, but the pricing was just too high,” he said.

Forbes also met with sales teams at AWS, where it initially hosted the new publishing platform, but ultimately decided that Google provided the most ease of use and the best level of automation for its needs. Forbes moved the publishing platform as part of its Google cloud migration during the first half of 2019.

Forbes has moved most of its digital infrastructure into containers and orchestrates them with Google Kubernetes Engine. It also uses the Istio service mesh to wrangle microservices. Google Cloud storage underpins the system and Google Pub/Sub supports serverless operations.

Forbes estimates that the move to GCP has saved 50 engineer-hours per week thanks to efficiencies and automation. Regression testing and new feature deployment time has dropped by 58%, according to the company.

In addition, Forbes is using Google’s AI and machine learning features to train models that suggest headlines, track trending topics and improve reader engagement.

Google Cloud hones enterprise chops

Former Oracle executive Thomas Kurian came aboard as Google Cloud CEO in November 2018. Since then, Kurian has moved to build out Google’s enterprise cloud sales and support organizations — areas where it had lagged behind competitors. Forbes’ experience on this front has been positive, Zalatimo said.

They are still maturing as an enterprise provider, and we knew that going in.
Salah ZalatimoChief digital officer, Forbes

“They are still maturing as an enterprise provider, and we knew that going in,” he said. “But they knew that going in, too.”

Forbes did work with a services partner to help with the Google Cloud migration, but Google’s account representatives were “extremely involved,” he added. “We always had access, even if it was less traditional.” As one example, Forbes’ teams might find themselves having to call a salesperson in order to escalate a technical issue, Zalatimo said.

Forbes is using a wide array of Google Cloud offerings, including its audience analytics platform, BigQuery data warehouse, Hangout meeting software and authentication service, all of which are well-established.


But of all the cloud providers with which Forbes works, Google stands out as keen on engaging customers very early on in the new product development process, he added. “A lot of [vendors] talk about it, and say they want to do it, but I don’t think a lot of companies actually do.”

Weighing Google’s influence

Walmart and other large retailers have shunned doing business with AWS, given how closely they compete with its parent company in e-commerce. Google’s kingmaker positions in general web search as well as the hugely influential Google News service might make a media company such as Forbes similarly think twice about making heavy investments in its technology.

Forbes did factor this into its decision, according to Zalatimo. “Our options [were] either to lean in or lean away,” he said. “At the end of the day, they do carry the leverage. As an independent publisher, we really don’t. So, if you can’t beat them, join them.”

The company is taking part in the Google News Initiative, where Google works with publishers on new product development and other collaborative efforts.

Forbes benefits from this relationship with Google — but not to the extent it gets any special insights into the Google News algorithm, which can heavily affect a publisher’s traffic when changes are made. “They are like Fort Knox about this,” he said.

Go to Original Article
Author:

Customize Excel and track notes in Outlook—here’s what’s new to Microsoft 365 in November

In today’s workplace, change is the new normal. To keep up, we all need to evolve and improve. Last month at the Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida, we announced a ton of Microsoft 365 innovations designed to put artificial intelligence (AI) and automation technologies to work for you. And we’ll continue to innovate across the Microsoft 365 experience, so our customers always have the best tools to navigate an increasingly distributed and fast-paced world. But to succeed at work today, organizations need more than great tools. They need to foster a culture of learning where their people can continue to develop essential skills. We want to help, so this month we introduced The Art of Teamwork toolkit, an interactive curriculum that uses the five attributes of the world’s most successful teams to help your team create and foster healthy team dynamics. We hope you’ll use it—and future educational support coming your way in 2020—to help your organization continue to succeed.

Let’s take a look at what else is new in November.

New features for personal productivity and collaboration

App updates to give you more choice and help you stay in the flow of work across devices and apps.

Keep track of Sticky Notes in Outlook on the web—Sticky Notes allows you to capture ideas, notes, and important info across the apps you already use. Now you can conveniently view, edit, and create notes directly in Outlook for the web, making it easier than ever to keep track of your notes as you go through email. Sticky Notes in Outlook for the web will begin rolling out next month to all users.

Animated image of Sticky Notes being used in Outlook on the web.

Switch to a darker OneNote canvas with Dark Mode—From complex travel schedules to killer meal plans, OneNote is like a second brain to help you track it all. So it should look the way you want. We’re excited to announce that a Dark Mode option is now rolling out for OneNote 2016. Using Dark Mode helps make both the product and your notes more legible, and can improve readability in low light environments, provide better contrast, and reduce eye strain. Dark Mode is available for all Office 365 subscribers and non-volume licensing Office 2019 customers.

Also, in response to feedback over the past year, we’re pleased to announce that we’re continuing mainstream support for OneNote 2016 beyond October 2020—so you can continue using the version of OneNote that works best for you.

Animated image of Dark Mode being used in OneNote.

Collaborate without disrupting a shared workbook with Sheet View—Earlier this month, we announced Sheet View in Excel, a new way of letting users create customized views without disrupting others, so collaboration is seamless. Sheet View allows users to sort and filter the data they need, and then select an option to make those changes visible just to themselves or to everyone working in the document. Once selecting to make changes just for yourself, that filter and sort will not affect other collaborators’ view of the workbook. All your cell level edits propagate through the file regardless of your view, so you can make all your edits right in your personal Sheet View. Sheet View is rolling out to all users using Excel on the web over the next few weeks.

Animated image of Sheet View being selected by an Excel user.

Upload files to Forms questions for added context—Sometimes you’d like respondents to a form to upload or attach files to provide important information or context when answering questions. Now Microsoft Forms enables you to allow users to include file uploads. With this new feature, you can easily create a resume collection form, a claim form, or a photography competition form. To get started, click the drop-down menu to add advanced question types and select File upload. Once you successfully add a file upload question, a folder will be automatically created in your OneDrive or SharePoint.

Animated image of a file being uploaded in Microsoft Forms.

The new Productivity Score, simplified licensing, and the latest Windows 10 release

New capabilities to help you transform workplace productivity, tap into the power of the cloud, and simplify licensing.

Transform how work gets done with insights from Microsoft Productivity Score—At Ignite, we announced Productivity Score to help deliver visibility into how your organization works. Productivity Score identifies where you can enable improved employee and technology experiences—so people can reach their goals, and actions to update skills and systems, so everyone can do their best work.

For example, Productivity Score can recommend user training around how to better collaborate as well as provide IT with documentation to configure external sharing and fine-tune policies, remove problem agents, or upgrade hardware to reduce friction. Join the private preview by filling out the form and see your score in the first week of December 2019.

Screenshot of Productivity Score in the Microsoft 365 admin center.

Leverage advanced security offerings with the U.S. Government Community Clouds—Earlier this month, we announced the general availability of Microsoft Cloud App Security and Azure Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) for U.S. Government GCC High customers. The release of these services delivers advanced security functionality for customers while enabling them to meet increased compliance and security standards. Eligible customers will need a GCC High account or an Azure Government account to purchase Microsoft Cloud App Security and/or Azure ATP licenses. To start a trial for either service within EMS E5, please work with your account team.

Simplified licensing for Windows 10 co-management—We’re bringing System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) and Microsoft Intune together in a new, unified product called Microsoft Endpoint Manager that delivers a seamless, end-to-end management solution without the complexity of a migration or disruption. We’re also excited to announce that the simplified licensing makes Microsoft Intune user licenses available to ConfigMgr customers to co-manage their existing Windows 10 PCs. The change in licensing terms are expected to go into effect in early December 2019.

Announcing Microsoft Endpoint Manager

Learn how we’re integrating Microsoft Intune, Configuration Manager, and more into a single solution called Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

Watch the video

Get the latest version of Windows 10—Windows 10 version 1909 is now available—offering new capabilities and enhancements, intelligent security, simplified updates, flexible management, and enhanced productivity. Highlights include the new Windows Search experience in Explorer, the new cloud clipboard with history viewing, support for third-party digital assistants, processor enhancements, additional customization for kiosk mode, and more. Version 1909 is rolling out now for consumers and IT admins.

As always, everything we create for Microsoft 365 is designed to help you and your organization achieve more by being more productive. Over the last 12 months, we worked hard to build an increasingly seamless experience that uses AI and automation to help you collaborate across platforms, streamline your workflow, harness organizational knowledge, and stay ahead of ever-evolving security threats.

We look forward to bringing you so much more innovation and educational tools in the year to come. Equipped with incredible tech and the right educational support, there’s no end to what you can achieve.

Go to Original Article
Author: Microsoft News Center

For Sale – Huawei B535 4G LTE unlocked Modem £105 RMSD

Got this from 3 less than a month ago to bridge a few weeks between changing names on our virgin media account. Boxed as new, only used in a smoke-free home; extra antennae pictured are included.

Works perfectly… thought about putting it in a drawer, but will see if there’s any interest here. True, they’re £80 from aliexpress…. fill your boots and toss a coin as to whether it’ll arrive or not.

No sim or data included . Collection from B44 if preferred

Go to Original Article
Author: