Microsoft may reveal the brand-new generation of its blended truth headset, the HoloLens, at an occasion later on this month.
On Monday, Microsoft’s Technical Fellow for AI Perception and Mixed Reality in the Cloud (you got ta love Microsoft’s task titles), Alex Kipman, released a teaser video for the occasion, and it sure makes it appear like HoloLens 2 is coming.
The video, entitled “2.24.19 #MWC 19” — — the date and tagline for the occasion held one day prior to the main start of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona — — is rather strange. Swellings of silicon are become chips, ice melt, optical fiber links — — it’s all great to take a look at however does not truly inform us much about the upcoming gadget. Read more …
Microsoft’s Bing is down in China, according to users who took to social media beginning Wednesday afternoon to complain and express concerns.
The Seattle-based behemoth has confirmed that its search engine is currently inaccessible in China and is “engaged to determine next steps,” a company spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch Thursday morning.
Citing sources, the Financial Times reported (paywalled) on Thursday that China Unicom, a major state-owned telecommunication company, confirmed the government had ordered a block on Bing.
The situation appears to be a DNS (domain name system) corruption, one method for China to block websites through its intricate censoring system called the Great Firewall. When a user enters a domain name associated with a banned IP address, the Firewall will corrupt the connection to stop the page from loading.
Several users told TechCrunch they are still able to access Bing by directly visiting its IP address as of Thursday morning.
Other users writing on social media believe the block is a result of Bing’s server crash after a viral article (link in Chinese) attacking Baidu’s search quality directed traffic to its lesser-known American rival. Many referred to a Chinese report that says high traffic from Baidu had crashed Bing. The article, published by Jiemian, a news site under the state-owned Shanghai United Media Group, now returns a 404 error.
Microsoft has long tried to play by China’s rules by filtering out sensitive results from its search engine. It also modified Windows 10 for China back in 2017 through a collaboration with state-owned China Electronics Technology Group to eliminate Beijing’s fears of possible backdoors in the American software. Former Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky lamented Bing’s blockage in China, writing on Twitter that Microsoft had “worked so hard to be successful there.”
Microsoft search engine Bing is blocked in China https://t.co/i4jv3JRPFM // No idea what is going on–based on this I am sad. Since 2003 or so had we worked so hard to be successful there. Even went and lived there, built relationships. China's Pres. visited US and more.
Bing remained one of the few non-Chinese internet firms that still have their core products up and running in a country where Google and Facebook have long been unavailable. Another rare case is LinkedIn, which runs a filtered version of its social network for professionals and caught flack for bending to local censorship.
Bing also censors its search service for Chinese users, so it would be odd if its inaccessibility proves to be a case of government clampdown. That said, China appears to be further tightening control over the cyberspace. Case in point, LinkedIn recently started to run strict identity checks on its China-based users.
Baidu remains the biggest search engine in China with smaller rival Sogou coming in second. Bing, which some users find is a more pleasant alternative to local options that are usually flooded with ads, is active on 320,000 unique devices monthly, according to third-party research firm iResearch. That’s dwarfed by Baidu’s 466 million and Sogou’s 43 million.
Google told the U.S. Congress in December it had no immediate plans to relaunch its search engine in China but felt “reaching out and giving users more information has a very positive impact.” The Mountain View-based firm shut down its search engine in mainland China back in 2010 under pressure over censorship but also cited cyber attacks as a factor in its decision to leave.
Cancer is like a computer virus and can be solved by cracking the code, according to Microsoft. The computer software company says its researchers are using artificial intelligence in a new healthcare initiative to target cancerous cells and eliminate the disease.
One of the projects within this new healthcare enterprise involves utilizing machine learning andnatural language processing tohelp lead researchers sift through all the research data available and come up with a treatment plan for individual cancer patients.
IBM is working on something similar using a program called Watson Oncology, which analyzes patient health info against research data.
Other Microsoft healthcare initiatives involve computer vision in radiology to note the progress of tumors over time and a project which Microsoft refers to as its moonshot aims to program biology like we program computers using code. The researchers plan to discover how to reprogram our cells to fix what our immune system hasnt been able to figure out just yet.
Microsoft says its investment in cloud computing is a natural fit for this type of project and plans to invest further in ways to provide these types of tools to its customers.
If the computers of the future are not going to be made just in silicon but might be made in living matter, it behooves us to make sure we understand what it means to program on those computers, Microsoft exec Jeanette M. Wing said.
Indeed, with all the research data available, the Microsoft project, like many othersin the healthcare machine learning space including in cancer cure discovery could help speed up medical discovery for this debilitating disease.
It was December 2012, and Doug Burger was standing in front of Steve Ballmer, trying to predict the future.
Ballmer, the big, bald, boisterous CEO of Microsoft, sat in the lecture room on the ground floor of Building 99, home base for the companys blue-sky R&D lab just outside Seattle. The tables curved around the outside of the room in a U-shape, and Ballmer was surrounded by his top lieutenants, his laptop open. Burger, a computer chip researcher who had joined the company four years earlier, was pitching a new idea to the execs. He called it Project Catapult.