Tag Archives: problems

Mobile Sharing & Companion Experiences for Microsoft Teams Meetings – Microsoft Garage

Research into Computer-Supported Collaborative Work has explored problems of disengagement in video meetings and device conflict since the 1990s, but good solutions that could work at scale have been elusive. Microsoft Research Cambridge UK had been working on these issues when the 2015 Hackathon arose as an opportunity to highlight for the rest of the company that just a few simple and dynamic device combinations might provide users with the means to solve the issues themselves.

While we had explored some research prototypes in late 2014 and early 2015, for the Hackathon we decided to use a vision video with the goal of getting the attention of the Skype product group, because we knew that the idea would have the most impact as an infrastructural feature of an existing product rather than as a new stand-alone product. We called the video “Skype Unleashed” to connote breaking free of the traditional one person per endpoint model.

team in a conference room
Turning the hackathon video into a working proof-of-concept

When we won the Business category, our prize was meeting with the sponsor of the Business category, then-COO Kevin Turner.  We scrambled to build a proof-of-concept prototype, which at first we jokingly referred to as “Skype Skwid”, a deliberate misspelling of “squid”, because it was like a body that had lots of tentacles that could reach out to different other things. However, we realized that we needed an official project name, so we became “Project Wellington”. This was a related inside joke, because the largest squid in the world is the Colossal Squid, and the largest specimen in the world is in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa… in Wellington, New Zealand.

So as Project Wellington we went to meet Kevin Turner, who also invited Gurdeep Singh Pall, then-CVP for Skype, in November 2015. Both immediately saw the relevance of the concepts and Gurdeep connected us to Brian MacDonald’s incubation project that would become Microsoft Teams.

Brian also understood right away that Companion Experiences could be an innovative market differentiator for meetings and a mobile driver for Teams. He championed the integration of our small Cambridge group with his Modern Meetings group as a loose v-team. The Modern Meetings group was exceptionally welcoming, graciously showing us the ropes of productization and taking on the formidable challenge of helping us socialize the need for changes at all levels of the product, from media stack, middle tier, and all clients. We, in turn, learned a lot about the cadence of production, scoping, aligning with the needs of multiple roadmaps, and the multitude of issues required to turn feature ideas into releasable code.Through 2016 and 2017 we worked on design iterations, usability testing, and middle tier and client code. We were thrilled when first glimpses of roving camera and proximity joining were shown at Build 2017, and then announced as officially rolling out at Enterprise Connect 2018.

a group of people in a conference room
The combined research and product team

We are very excited to see these features released. We are also excited to close the research loop by evaluating our thesis that dynamic device combinations will improve hybrid collaboration in video meetings, and doing research ‘in the wild’ at a scale unimaginable by most research projects. Microsoft is one of only a handful of institutions that can make research possible that will improve the productivity of millions of people daily. So as well as releasing product features, we are exceptionally proud of the model of collaboration itself. And, indeed, we are continuing to collaborate with Microsoft Teams even after these features are released, as we now have a tremendous relationship with a product group that understands how we work and values our help.

To come full circle, then, it was Satya Nadella’s emphasis on the Hackathon as a valuable use of company time, and The Garage’s organization of the event itself, that allowed ideas well outside a product group to be catapulted to the attention of people who could see its value and then provide a path to making it happen.

If you would like to find out more about this project, connect with Sean Rintel on LinkedIn or follow @seanrintel on twitter.

A data replication strategy for all your disaster recovery needs

Meeting an organization’s disaster recovery challenges requires addressing problems from several angles based on specific recovery point and recovery time objectives. Today’s tight RTO and RPO expectations mean almost no data gets lost and no downtime.

To meet those expectations, businesses must move beyond backup and consider a data replication strategy. Modern replication products offer more than just a rapid disaster recovery copy of data, though. They can help with cloud migration, using the cloud as a DR site and even solving copy data challenges.

Replication software comes in two forms. One is integrated into a storage system, and the other is bought separately. Both have their strengths and weaknesses.

An integrated data replication strategy

The integrated form of replication has a few advantages. It’s often bundled at no charge or is relatively inexpensive. Of course, nothing in life is really free. The customer pays extra for the storage hardware in order to get the “free” software. In addition, at-scale, storage-based replication is relatively easy to manage. Most storage system replication works at a volume level, so one job replicates the entire volume, even if there are a thousand virtual machines on it. And finally, storage system-based replication is often backup-controlled, meaning the replication job can be integrated and managed by backup software.

There are, however, problems with a storage system-based data replication strategy. First, it’s specific to that storage system. Consequently, since most data centers use multiple storage systems from different vendors, they must also manage multiple replication products. Second, the advantage of replicating entire volumes can be a disadvantage, because some data centers may not want to replicate every application on a volume. Third, most storage system replication inadequately supports the cloud.

Stand-alone replication

IT typically installs stand-alone replication software on each host it’s protecting or implements it into the cluster in a hypervisor environment. Flexibility is among software-based replication’s advantages. The same software can replicate from any hardware platform to any other hardware platform, letting IT mix and match source and target storage devices. The second advantage is that software-based replication can be more granular about what’s replicated and how frequently replication occurs. And the third advantage is that most software-based replication offers excellent cloud support.

While backup software has improved significantly, tight RPOs and RTOs mean most organizations will need replication as well.

At a minimum, the cloud is used as a DR target for data, but it’s also used as an entire disaster recovery site, not just a copy. This means there can be instantiate virtual machines, using cloud compute in addition to cloud storage. Some approaches go further with cloud support, allowing replication across multiple clouds or from the cloud back to the original data center.

The primary downside of a stand-alone data replication strategy is it must be purchased, because it isn’t bundled with storage hardware. Its granularity also means dozens, if not hundreds of jobs, must be managed, although several stand-alone data replication products have added the ability to group jobs by type. Finally, there isn’t wide support from backup software vendors for these products, so any integration is a manual process, requiring custom scripts.

Modern replication features

Modern replication software should support the cloud and support it well. This requirement draws a line of suspicion around storage systems with built-in replication, because cloud support is generally so weak. Replication software should have the ability to replicate data to any cloud and use that cloud to keep a DR copy of that data. It should also let IT start up application instances in the cloud, potentially completely replacing an organization’s DR site. Last, the software should support multi-cloud replication to ensure both on-premises and cloud-based applications are protected.

Another feature to look for in modern replication is integration into data protection software. This capability can take two forms: The software can manage the replication process on the storage system, or the data protection software could provide replication. Several leading data protection products can manage snapshots and replication functions on other vendors’ storage systems. Doing so eliminates some of the concern around running several different storage system replication products.

Data protection software that integrates replication can either be traditional backup software with an added replication function or traditional replication software with a file history capability, potentially eliminating the need for backup software. It’s important for IT to make sure the capabilities of any combined product meets all backup and replication needs.

How to make the replication decision

The increased expectation of rapid recovery with almost no data loss is something everyone in IT will have to address. While backup software has improved significantly, tight RPOs and RTOs mean most organizations will need replication as well. The pros and cons of both an integrated and stand-alone data replication strategy hinge on the environment in which they’re deployed.

Each IT shop must decide which type of replication best meets its current needs. At the same time, IT planners must figure out how that new data replication product will integrate with existing storage hardware and future initiatives like the cloud.

Wanted – Anyone selling an I5 processor and Motherboard?

Hi guys,

My son is having problems with bottlenecking after i bought him a GTX 1060 GPU so we want to replace his AMD A8-7600 for something a bit more suitable.

It doesn’t have to be current so please let me know what you have to offer.

Many thanks,

Paul

Location: Haydock, Merseyside

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Price drop! Cooler Master 700W PSU & Lide 210 Scanner

Cooler Master 700W PSU for sale.
This PSU is a couple of years old. It has worked fine no problems for me. No high pitched whine or any other issues. Has a connection for pretty much everything. Upgrading my pc for something a little more powerful so this good girl can go to a good home. Normally i don`t recommend 2nd hand psus, but she`s good and is just wasting space doing nothing (I already have a spare psu for testing).

£35 including postage.

LIDE 210 Scanner A4 size).
Love this…

Price drop! Cooler Master 700W PSU & Lide 210 Scanner

Price drop! Cooler Master 700W PSU & Lide 210 Scanner

Cooler Master 700W PSU for sale.
This PSU is a couple of years old. It has worked fine no problems for me. No high pitched whine or any other issues. Has a connection for pretty much everything. Upgrading my pc for something a little more powerful so this good girl can go to a good home. Normally i don`t recommend 2nd hand psus, but she`s good and is just wasting space doing nothing (I already have a spare psu for testing).

£35 including postage.

LIDE 210 Scanner A4 size).
Love this…

Price drop! Cooler Master 700W PSU & Lide 210 Scanner

Alienware M17xR4 – i7 32GB DDR3 / Nvidia 8GB DDR5

This is a fantastic laptop in great condition & with no problems

Absolutely awesome machine for gaming & film editing

I use it for online gaming myself on PUBG / CS:GO / BF1 at amazing FPS & selling so i can build my own desktop computer

I can post anywhere in the country via UPS

Alienware M17xR4

Intel Core i7-4910MQ

32GB RAM DDR3

1TB HHD
256GB SSD

Full HD Screen 17.3”

Nvidia 8GB DDR5 GTX880M

DVDRW

Bluetooth Ready

SD Slot

Windows 10

Built in Webcam…

Alienware M17xR4 – i7 32GB DDR3 / Nvidia 8GB DDR5

For Sale – Alienware M17xR4 – i7 32GB DDR3 / Nvidia 8GB DDR5

This is a fantastic laptop in great condition & with no problems

Absolutely awesome machine for gaming & film editing

I use it for online gaming myself on PUBG / CS:GO / BF1 at amazing FPS & selling so i can build my own desktop computer

I can post anywhere in the country via UPS

Alienware M17xR4

Intel Core i7-4910MQ

32GB RAM DDR3

1TB HHD
256GB SSD

Full HD Screen 17.3”

Nvidia 8GB DDR5 GTX880M

DVDRW

Bluetooth Ready

SD Slot

Windows 10

Built in Webcam

International Keyboard

Price and currency: £795
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PayPal
Location: Cornwall
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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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:

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

For Sale – Alienware M17xR4 – i7 32GB DDR3 / Nvidia 8GB DDR5

This is a fantastic laptop in great condition & with no problems

Absolutely awesome machine for gaming & film editing

I use it for online gaming myself on PUBG / CS:GO / BF1 at amazing FPS & selling so i can build my own desktop computer

I can post anywhere in the country via UPS

Alienware M17xR4

Intel Core i7-4910MQ

32GB RAM DDR3

1TB HHD
256GB SSD

Full HD Screen 17.3”

Nvidia 8GB DDR5 GTX880M

DVDRW

Bluetooth Ready

SD Slot

Windows 10

Built in Webcam

International Keyboard

Price and currency: £795
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PayPal
Location: Cornwall
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 builds and integrates Azure Location Based Services directly into the cloud – The Official Microsoft Blog

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

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

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

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

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

Customers and partners harness the cloud to create mobility solutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Future of Urban Mobility and Beyond

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

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

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

Tags: automotive, Azure, Azure Location Based Services