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A brother and sister team are rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean – their equipment includes Microsoft Teams

A brother and sister team taking part in a 3,000-mile race across the Atlantic Ocean have stayed in touch with family and friends by using Microsoft Teams, despite being hundreds of miles from land.

Anna and Cameron McLean have used the Microsoft tool to contact loved ones, and receive weather and race updates from a crew on shore during the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

Known as “the world’s toughest row”, participants spend 60 days at sea in a small boat, braving 40-foot waves, sharks, illness and a schedule that sees them sleep and row in two-hour shifts as they make their way from La Gomera in The Canary Islands to Antigua. To put the gruelling race in context, fewer people have rowed the Atlantic than reached the summit of Everest.

While many mixed-sex teams have completed the challenge, Anna and Cameron believe they are the first brother and sister to take part.

Speaking via Teams on the 35th day of their journey, Anna said the Microsoft tool had been crucial for receiving messages of support that have kept the siblings going.

  • Part of the Microsoft Teams call between Anna McLean, in the Atlantic, and Andy Trotman, in the UK

“We can use Teams to communicate with anyone in the world from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. That’s been essential,” she said. “Teams has been such a dream because we’ve been able to maintain a two-way dialogue with our family and friends back home, as well as our sponsors. We have been able to share real-time updates and pictures, and get information such as the weather forecast. That’s been a big contributing factor to the success and speed of our crossing. Teams has helped us navigate the best and most direct course.

“It’s been easy to set up, too. We connect to the internet via a satellite, and then open up the Teams app on my phone. That’s it.”

Anna, 25, and Cameron, 32, are currently third in the pairs race, in a field of 34 vessels. They are each burning 10,000 calories a day and fighting against sleep deprivation, exhaustion, blisters and bruises. Meals consist of “space food” that has to be mixed with water and left on deck so the sun can warm it up. Sea water is filtered for drinking, and they aim to drink at least 10 litres a day.

Even though they are experienced rowers, having competed at university, nothing could prepare them for a race of this magnitude.

Anna McLean rowing across the Atlantic
Anna and Cameron are spending 60 days at sea in a small boat, braving 40-foot waves, sharks, illness and a schedule that sees them sleep and row in two-hour shifts

“The nights are brutal,” said Anna, who works for Microsoft partner AlfaPeople. “With a lack of moonlight, the nights are so dark that you can’t see your hand in front of your face or the waves that crash over the side of the boat and threaten to capsize you. The sea was so rough one night that we broke an oar.

“Then, each new day brings new challenges. Our water maker and autohelm broke, and we have been followed by what I estimate to be a 14-foot shark. But we have no choice but to overcome those challenges through strength and perseverance.”

Anna and Cameron are rowing to raise money for UN Women, an organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. “The impact they have for women and girls everywhere is just phenomenal,” Anna added.

The pair have around 300 miles to go before they reach the finish line, and Anna is already looking forward to some simple luxuries.

“I can’t wait to see my mum and dad, and give them a big hug,” she said. “I’m also looking forward to a hot shower and eating fresh fruit and vegetables.”

  • Subscribe to the UK News Centre to learn more about Anna and Cameron’s challenge in an upcoming feature

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Author: Microsoft News Center

OTI Lumionics: Accelerating materials design with Azure Quantum

Whether you’ve noticed or not, you probably spend at least some part of your day staring into an OLED (organic LED) display, as they are found in smartphones, tablets, televisions, and computer monitors, to name just a few applications. OLED displays use organic carbon-based molecules to generate light of different colors under an applied electrical current.

Breakthroughs in displays, and most other technological fields, can be traced back to advances in materials science that enable the discovery of advanced materials with unique properties. However, designing new materials with specific desired attributes is extremely difficult because small changes in the structure of atoms that make up a material can dramatically influence its properties.

Computational chemistry simulations can help accelerate the design of new materials, by providing a better understanding of these structure-property relationships. These simulations pose a huge computational challenge because of the complexity of simulating the characteristics of quantum physics, which governs the interactions between atoms, but we now have the compute power to solve some problems that previously seemed intractable on classical hardware, leading to breakthroughs in new materials discovery.

OTI Lumionics has developed a fast materials design approach, tailored to OLEDs and other electronic materials, that consists of a combination of machine learning techniques, computational chemistry simulations, optimization, rapid synthesis, and closed-loop feedback from testing of new materials in pilot production. They work with the largest electronics companies in the world to design new materials that are mass-production ready, enabling the next generation of exciting consumer electronics.

One application of OTI Lumionics materials, that has been designed using this approach, is in transparent displays, which will soon be available in smartphones, helping to hide the array of sensors and front-facing camera under the display. When you are “heads-up driving” – viewing your speedometer and mileage on the windshield of your car – you are looking at another application of this technology.

Instead of using a traditional approach to materials discovery which requires synthesizing and testing thousands of variations to find the suitable candidate, OTI Lumionics has developed software tools to simulate and predict the properties of new materials, allowing a larger pool of candidates to be screened than could otherwise be synthesized and tested. Thus, new materials that meet the precise requirements of the largest electronics manufacturers can be “designed” rather than discovered by chance.

The slowest and most expensive part of the workflow is the computational pipeline – the bottleneck on available hardware when running extremely large simulations, which scale exponentially with size. In addition, some simulations are so compute-intensive that they are literally unsolvable with today’s classical computers. The trade-off between simulation accuracy and compute-intensity is thus a major bottleneck in using a computational approach for commercial size problems.

To get around this bottleneck OTI Lumionics has been investigating quantum computing as a potential candidate to help accelerate computational chemistry simulations of new materials. Since many structure-property relationships of materials are governed by quantum physics, quantum computing, which uses quantum mechanical effects to perform computations, is a natural candidate to simulate these systems more accurately.

“Quantum computing has the potential to revolutionize materials design, by enabling highly accurate simulations that could otherwise not be solved on classical hardware. Unfortunately, current gate-based quantum computing is far from being powerful enough to simulate commercial-sized problem,” said OTI Lumionics Head of Materials Discovery, Scott Genin.

quantum simulation diagram

quantum simulation diagram

Using Azure Quantum and quantum optimization solutions running on classical hardware, Quantum Inspired Optimization (QIO) can enable quantum methods for materials simulations that yield more accurate results.

Scott Genin again: “In the field of computational chemistry, high accuracy property prediction is considered to be very difficult; in fact, some computations are nearly impossible on today’s classical hardware. We have developed new methods, that allow quantum computing algorithms for computational chemistry simulations to be represented as binary optimization problems. Running our quantum computing methods with Azure Quantum optimization solutions, we are getting results that are more accurate than other algorithms.”

As an early adopter of quantum computing, OTI Lumionics has invested in a team of quantum chemists, computer scientists, and software engineers to develop their own quantum computing algorithms and software for materials design, and have made significant theoretical and practical advances in the field. With their algorithms now running on Azure Quantum, OTI Lumionics is able to demonstrate meaningful results on commercially relevant sized problems, today. For example, by using Azure Quantum’s optimization tools in their pipeline, OTI Lumionics successfully performed a complete active space configuration interaction simulation of an archetype green light emitting OLED material – Alq3 [Tris (8-hydroxyquinolinato) aluminum].

“We have designed our solver platform in Azure Quantum with customers in mind,” said Microsoft Principal Research Manager, Helmut Katzgraber. “Our quantum solutions on classical hardware do not have the limitations of other solvers and optimization hardware and are driven by some of the most powerful algorithms currently available, while being easy to use as there is no need to tune parameters. “

alq3 graph

alq3 graph

To give you an idea of the computational savings the same simulation of Alq3 would require 42 error-corrected qubits on gate-based quantum hardware. Mapping the problem to an industry-standard quadratic unconstrained binary optimization (QUBO) using OTI Lumionics reparametrization would require a quantum annealer (or QUBO solver) that could handle 58,265 variables. Solving a QUBO problem with this many variables is intractable, and even an equivalent simulation of Alq3 using standard classical computational chemistry software would require a supercomputer. In contrast, using Azure Quantum, the higher-order binary problem can be handled natively, meaning that this problem only requires 132 variables on classical hardware to perform the simulation.

“The fact is that we have compelling results that show that we can start using quantum solutions for commercial problems in a matter of months, not years,” said OTI Lumionics Co-founder and CEO, Michael Helander. “Using Azure Quantum, we now have the potential to dramatically increase the accuracy and throughput of the computational chemistry simulations that underpin our entire materials design workflow.”

Using Azure Quantum, OTI Lumionics can open their computational pipeline to run more accurate simulations at significantly higher speeds, which could ultimately lead to timelier and lower cost materials design, and thus better OLED displays.

We are excited to be working with OTI Lumionics in helping them find breakthrough discoveries in materials through quantum computing and Azure Quantum.

Learn more about the Azure Quantum preview and sign up to become an early adopter.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Wanted – HP microserver

I have a HP Gen 8 Microserver which I could part with:

I’ve had since new, originally had the Intel Celreon G1610T processor, which I still have but I then upgraded to a i3 3220t (stock air cooled) – still have this processor too.

Currently the machine has a Xeon E3-1270 v2 which is water cooled with rad mounted onto of the case. RAM upgraded to 8gb.

Let me know if it’s of any interest

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Wanted – WANTED All In one Desktop PC

As per title, I’m looking for a all in one desktop pc as part of a study room I’m making for my son.

If anyone has an all in one pc that they would consider selling please let me know.

Ideally within the West Yorkshire area but if your far I would cover postage costs.

Please it must be a good working order with zero faults.

Thanks in advance

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For Sale – HP Chromebook 14-DB0003NA (BNIB)

Just received this as part of a promotion from Google (with early purchases of the Pixel 4).

–– ADVERTISEMENT ––​

It’s sealed in the box so would make a great Christmas present for someone
Here’s a link to the model (John Lewis)

14″ screen
AMD-A4 9120C APU
32GB eMMC storage
100GB Google Drive cloud storage (free first year)
4GB DDR4 RAM
Chrome OS
B&O speakers
2 x USB 3.1 Type-C ports
2 x USB 2.0 ports
1 x microSD slot
Bluetooth v4.2
Webcam with mics
Headphone port

Location
Worthing, West Sussex
Price and currency
£145
Delivery cost included
Delivery Is Included
Prefer goods collected?
I prefer the goods to be collected
Advertised elsewhere?
Advertised elsewhere
Payment method
Bank Transfer or Paypal Friends/Family

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SAP sees S/4HANA migration as its future, but do customers?

The first part of our 20-year SAP retrospective examined the company’s emerging dominance in the ERP market and its transition to the HANA in-memory database. Part two looks at the release of SAP S/4HANA in February 2015. The “next-generation ERP” was touted by the company as the key to SAP’s future, but it ultimately raised questions that in many cases have yet to be answered. The issues surrounding the S/4HANA migration remain the most compelling initiative for the company’s future.

Questions about SAP’s future have altered in the past year, as the company has undergone an almost complete changeover in its leadership ranks. Most of the SAP executives who drove the strategy around S/4HANA and the intelligent enterprise have left the company, including former CEO Bill McDermott. New co-CEOs Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein are SAP veterans, and analysts don’t think the change in leadership will make for significant changes in the company’s technology and business strategy.

But they will take over the most daunting task SAP has faced: convincing customers of the business value of the intelligent enterprise, a data-driven transformation of businesses with S/4HANA serving as the digital core. As part of the transition toward intelligence, SAP is pushing customers to move off of tried and true SAP ECC ERP systems (or the even older SAP R/3), and onto the modern “next-generation ERP” S/4HANA. SAP plans to end support for ECC by 2025.

Dan LahlDan Lahl

S/4HANA is all about enabling businesses to make decisions in real time as data becomes available, said Dan Lahl, SAP vice president of product marketing and a 24-year SAP veteran.

“That’s really what S/4HANA is about,” Lahl said. “You want to analyze the data that’s in your system today. Not yesterday’s or last week’s information and data that leads you to make decisions that don’t even matter anymore, because the data’s a week out. It’s about giving customers the ability to make better decisions at their fingertips.”

S/4HANA migration a matter of when, not if

Most SAP customers see the value of an S/4HANA migration, but they are concerned about how to get there, with many citing concerns about the cost and complexity of the move. This is a conundrum that SAP acknowledges.

“We see that our customers aren’t grappling with if [they are going to move], but when,” said Lloyd Adams, managing director of the East Region at SAP America. “One of our responsibilities, then, is to provide that clarity and demonstrate the value of S/4HANA, but to do so in the context of the customers’ business and their industry. Just as important as showing them how to move, we need to do it as simply as possible, which can be a challenge.”

Lloyd AdamsLloyd Adams

S/4HANA is the right platform for the intelligent enterprise because of the way it can handle all the data that the intelligent enterprise requires, said Derek Oats, CEO of Americas at SNP, an SAP partner based in Heidelberg, Germany that provides migration services.

In order to build the intelligent enterprise, customers need to have a platform that can consume data from a variety of systems — including enterprise applications, IoT sensors and other sources — and ready it for analytics, AI and machine learning, according to Oats. S/4HANA uses SAP HANA, a columnar, in-memory database, to do that and then presents the data in an easy-to-navigate Fiori user interface, he said.

“If you don’t have that ability to push out of the way a lot of the work and the crunching that has often occurred down to the base level, you’re kind of at a standstill,” he said. “You can only get so much out of a relational database because you have to rely on the CPU at the application layer to do a lot of the crunching.”

S/4HANA business case difficult to make

Although many SAP customers understand the benefits of S/4HANA, SAP has had a tough sell in getting its migration message across to its large customer base. The majority of customers plan to remain on SAP ECC and have only vague plans for an S/4HANA migration.

Joshua GreenbaumJoshua Greenbaum

“The potential for S/4HANA hasn’t been realized to the degree that SAP would like,” said Joshua Greenbaum, principal at Enterprise Applications Consulting. “More companies are really looking at S/4HANA as the driver of genuine business change, and recognize that this is what it’s supposed to be for. But when you ask them, ‘What’s your business case for upgrading to S/4HANA?’ The answer is ‘2025.’”

The real issue with S/4HANA is that the concepts behind it are relatively big and very specific to company, line of business and geography.
Joshua GreenbaumPrincipal, Enterprise Applications Consulting

One of the problems that SAP faces when convincing customers of the value of S/4HANA and the intelligent enterprise is that no simple use case drives the point home, Greenbaum said. Twenty years ago, Y2K provided an easy-to-understand reason why companies needed to overhaul their enterprise business systems, and the fear that computers wouldn’t adapt to the year 2000 led in large measure to SAP’s early growth.

“Digital transformation is a complicated problem and the real issue with S/4HANA is that the concepts behind it are relatively big and very specific to company, line of business and geography,” he said. “So the use cases are much harder to justify, or it’s much more complicated to justify than, ‘Everything is going to blow up on January 1, 2000, so we have to get our software upgraded.'”

Evolving competition faces S/4HANA

Jon Reed, analyst and co-founder of ERP news and analysis firm Diginomica.com, agrees that SAP has successfully embraced the general concept of the intelligent enterprise with S/4HANA, but struggles to present understandable use cases.

Jon ReedJon Reed

“The question of S/4HANA adoption remains central to SAP’s future prospects, but SAP customers are still trying to understand the business case,” Reed said. “That’s because agile, customer-facing projects get the attention these days, not multi-year tech platform modernizations. For those SAP customers that embrace a total transformation — and want to use SAP tech to do it — S/4HANA looks like a viable go-to product.”

SAP’s issues with driving S/4HANA adoption may not come from the traditional enterprise competitors like Oracle, Microsoft and Infor, but from cloud-based business applications like Salesforce and Workday, said Eric Kimberling, president of Third Stage Consulting, a Denver-based firm that provides advice on ERP deployments and implementations.

Eric KimberlingEric Kimberling

“They aren’t direct competitors with SAP; they don’t have the breadth of functionality and the scale that SAP does, but they have really good functionality in their best-of-breed world,” Kimberling said. “Companies like Workday and Salesforce make it easier to add a little piece of something without having to worry about a big SAP project, so there’s an indirect competition with S/4HANA.”

SAP customers are going to have to adapt to evolving enterprise business conditions regardless of whether or when they move to S/4HANA, Greenbaum said.

“Companies have to build business processes to drive the new business models. Whatever platform they settle on, they’re going to be unable to stand still,” he said. “There’s going to have to be this movement in the customer base. The question is will they build primarily on top of S/4HANA? Will they use an Amazon or an Azure hyperscaler as the platform for innovation? Will they go to their CRM or workforce automation tool for that? The ‘where’ and ‘what next’ is complicated, but certainly a lot of companies are positioning themselves to use S/4HANA for that.”

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For Sale – 2015 MBP Retina 13″ 16gb 512gb

Helloo,

After upgrading to a 15 inch lifestyle, I find myself ready to part with my beloved 13 inch MacBook Pro.

Specs are:

MacBook Pro 13″ early 2015
16GB Ram
Intel core i5 2.9Ghz
512GB SSD
intel graphics

condition wise, generally good, screen is pretty much pristine, its had a screen protector on it since day 0, and while that had one or two marks from use, simply peel it off and you’ll be left with a perfect display! (as much as I would love to do this, I will save that pleasure for the next person to enjoy)

the bottom casing has suffered a little bit from being inside one of those clear plastic cases. and there are a couple of scratches on the top of the unit, these have been pictured as best I could and a couple of the keys have some wear on them, this was a work machine and I tend to type a LOT.

Overall its been taken care of, but is not pristine, and I have adjusted price to reflect this. This specification is hard to find and has been a great tool.

Will also come with 2 chargers, one apple, 1 third party, so you can have 1 charger at home and one on the go.

this has been difficult to price and I’ve done my best to mark it fairly, but I am open to offers.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_a.jpgUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_18.jpgUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_16.jpgUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_c.jpgUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_6.jpgUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_7.jpgUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_15.jpgUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_3.jpg7410d32b-8d19-4238-8e71-cdb0553af1e6.jpg2249f9ee-6b5e-466a-bb24-46e11c95e672.jpg

Price and currency: 600
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: BT Preferred
Location: Bath/London
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.

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Wanted – WANTED All In one Desktop PC

As per title, I’m looking for a all in one desktop pc as part of a study room I’m making for my son.

If anyone has an all in one pc that they would consider selling please let me know.

Ideally within the West Yorkshire area but if your far I would cover postage costs.

Please it must be a good working order with zero faults.

Thanks in advance

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Wanted – WANTED All In one Desktop PC

As per title, I’m looking for a all in one desktop pc as part of a study room I’m making for my son.

If anyone has an all in one pc that they would consider selling please let me know.

Ideally within the West Yorkshire area but if your far I would cover postage costs.

Please it must be a good working order with zero faults.

Thanks in advance

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Author:

For Sale – 2015 MBP Retina 13″ 16gb 512gb

Helloo,

After upgrading to a 15 inch lifestyle, I find myself ready to part with my beloved 13 inch MacBook Pro.

Specs are:

MacBook Pro 13″ early 2015
16GB Ram
Intel core i5 2.9Ghz
512GB SSD
intel graphics

condition wise, generally good, screen is pretty much pristine, its had a screen protector on it since day 0, and while that had one or two marks from use, simply peel it off and you’ll be left with a perfect display! (as much as I would love to do this, I will save that pleasure for the next person to enjoy)

the bottom casing has suffered a little bit from being inside one of those clear plastic cases. and there are a couple of scratches on the top of the unit, these have been pictured as best I could and a couple of the keys have some wear on them, this was a work machine and I tend to type a LOT.

Overall its been taken care of, but is not pristine, and I have adjusted price to reflect this. This specification is hard to find and has been a great tool.

Will also come with 2 chargers, one apple, 1 third party, so you can have 1 charger at home and one on the go.

this has been difficult to price and I’ve done my best to mark it fairly, but I am open to offers.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_a.jpgUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_18.jpgUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_16.jpgUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_c.jpgUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_6.jpgUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_7.jpgUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_15.jpgUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_3.jpg7410d32b-8d19-4238-8e71-cdb0553af1e6.jpg2249f9ee-6b5e-466a-bb24-46e11c95e672.jpg

Price and currency: 600
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: BT Preferred
Location: Bath/London
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.

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Author: