rgl7194 + microsoft   49

How four Microsoft engineers proved that the “darknet” would defeat DRM | Ars Technica
From the archives: How this quartet nearly got fired for it.
It's Thanksgiving week in the US, and most of our staff is focused on a morning coffee or Black Friday list rather than office work. As such, we're resurfacing this story of four Microsoft engineers who predicted the downfall of DRM more than a decade ahead of its time (their paper turned 15 this month). This story originally ran on November 30, 2012, and it appears unchanged below.
Can digital rights management technology stop the unauthorized spread of copyrighted content? Ten years ago this month, four engineers argued that it can't, forever changing how the world thinks about piracy. Their paper, "The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution" (available as a .doc here) was presented at a security conference in Washington, DC, on November 18, 2002.
By itself, the paper's clever and provocative argument likely would have earned it a broad readership. But the really remarkable thing about the paper is who wrote it: four engineers at Microsoft whose work many expected to be at the foundation of Microsoft's future DRM schemes. The paper's lead author told Ars that the paper's pessimistic view of Hollywood's beloved copy protection schemes almost got him fired. But ten years later, its predictions have proved impressively accurate.
DRM  darknet  microsoft 
21 days ago by rgl7194
Why Apple's 'What's a computer' just rekt Microsoft's 'real computer' worldview | iMore
Microsoft's new "real computer" comments juxtaposed against Apple's new "what's a computer?" iPad ad.
Yesterday was strange. I opened Twitter and saw a remarkable juxtaposition of story links. In the first, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was characterizing Apple as a "luxury goods manufacturer" and telling reporters on iPads that they "need to get a real computer." In the second, Apple released a new iPad spot asking, "What's a computer?"
ipad_pro  commercials  computers  microsoft 
28 days ago by rgl7194
What's a real computer? - Six Colors
I like Satya Nadella. I think he’s been a good leader for Microsoft. He’s building a Microsoft that’s more open to innovation and change and letting go of a lot of old ways of thinking. In the late Ballmer era, Microsoft did some incredibly inventive things, only to have them kneecapped by its CEO’s Old Microsoft way of thinking.
That all said, this was stupid:
As he walked into the room along with Microsoft India head Anant Maheshwari, Nadella spots that I and a colleague have iPads and cheerfully says, “You need to get a real computer, my friend.”
Amazingly, today Apple released this ad, titled “What’s a computer?”, in which a kid uses an iPad Pro in countless ways. It feels… familiar.
ipad_pro  commercials  computers  microsoft 
28 days ago by rgl7194
Microsoft Quietly Patched the Krack WPA2 Vulnerability Last Week
Pretty sneaky, Microsoft. While some vendors were scrambling to release updates to fix the KRACK Attack vulnerability released today, Microsoft, quietly snuck the fix into last week's Patch Tuesday.
While Windows users were dutifully installing October 10th's Patch Tuesday security updates, little did they know they were also installing a fix for the KRACK vulnerability that was not publicly disclosed until today. This fix was installed via a cumulative update that included over 25 other updates, but didn't provide any useful info until you visited the associated knowledge basic article.
wi-fi  security  privacy  KRACK  encryption  microsoft 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 Not Supported on macOS High Sierra | The Mac Security Blog
macOS High Sierra is due to be released to the general public today, and it's a good idea to prepare your Mac before upgrading. While it's imperative to prepare ahead of time, we also want to highlight the supportability of software that many Mac users depend on: Microsoft Office for Mac.
Do you use Office for Mac 2011? Well, as of macOS 10.13 High Sierra, Microsoft is dropping support for Office 2011. This means that, if you depend on this software, you need to make some changes. You have several options of which we will focus on below.
macOS  10.13  microsoft  apps  support 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194
How Microsoft Cleverly Cracks Down On "Fancy Bear" Hacking Group
What could be the best way to take over and disrupt cyber espionage campaigns?
Hacking them back?
Probably not. At least not when it's Microsoft, who is continuously trying to protect its users from hackers, cyber criminals and state-sponsored groups.
It has now been revealed that Microsoft has taken a different approach to disrupt a large number of cyber espionage campaigns conducted by "Fancy Bear" hacking group by using the lawsuit as a tool — the tech company cleverly hijacked some of its servers with the help of law.
microsoft  security  privacy  hack  URL  legal 
august 2017 by rgl7194
Graham Hind's Mac and iOS setup – The Sweet Setup
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Graham Hind and I work for EP Books (also known as Evangelical Press), a Christian book publisher based in the UK. We are quite a small company, with employees and contractors all working from home.
What is your current setup?
I have a MacBook Pro Retina 13-inch (early 2015) with a 3.1Ghz i7, 16GB of RAM, and a 500GB SSD. It’s usually in use in clamshell mode while connected to a Dell S2817Q. I use a Magic Keyboard and Trackpad (both the recent versions). I have an Anker Soundcore for use when I want better quality audio. My desk is an IKEA standing desk.
setup  macbook  ikea  adobe  microsoft  writing  PDF  photo  editing  menubar  iphone  email  bicycling  ipad_pro  RSS  youtube  streaming  tv  calendar 
august 2017 by rgl7194
Virtual machine escape fetches $105,000 at Pwn2Own hacking contest [updated] | Ars Technica
Hack worked by stitching together three separate exploits.
Contestants at this year's Pwn2Own hacking competition in Vancouver just pulled off an unusually impressive feat: they compromised Microsoft's heavily fortified Edge browser in a way that escapes a VMware Workstation virtual machine it runs in. The hack fetched a prize of $105,000, the highest awarded so far over the past three days.
According to a Friday morning tweet from the contest's organizers, members of Qihoo 360's security team carried out the hack by exploiting a heap overflow bug in Edge, a type confusion flaw in the Windows kernel and an uninitialized buffer vulnerability in VMware, contest organizers reported Friday morning on Twitter. The result was a "complete virtual machine escape."
security  microsoft  browser  privacy  contest  hack 
june 2017 by rgl7194
Microsoft Develops a Curved Sensor That Beats the Canon 1DS Mark III
The development of curved image sensors may be the biggest advance in camera technology in decades, allowing for simpler, flatter lenses with larger apertures as well as dramatically better image quality. Canon, Nikon, and Sony are working on the technology, and now Microsoft Research has developed a sensor with three times more curvature than previously achieved.
Back in 2014, it was rumoured that Sony’s successor to the RX1 would contain a spherical sensor. While things went quiet on that front, both Nikon and Canon have filed patents for their own curved sensors, though we have yet to see one used in a consumer camera other than Sony’s odd perfume bottle-themed KW1.
camera  technology  microsoft 
june 2017 by rgl7194
How to Tell if Office for Mac Update is Valid | The Mac Security Blog
One of the most commonly found 3rd party applications on a Mac is Microsoft Office. Office for Mac is a software suite that is frequently updated to introduce new features, improve stability, performance, compatibility and security. Office for Mac 2011 and 2016 are the ones I see out there most frequently.
It is imperative to have your Office suite as up to date as possible to make sure any known exploits and vulnerabilities are patched. Updates for your Office suite should be downloaded and installed from the Office for Mac built-in update tool (AutoUpdate) or directly from the source (Microsoft's official website).
In this article, we will dive into greater details on where to safety update your Office for Mac applications, best practices for each download method, and how to tell if your software updates are the real deal. Follow along, we're just getting started!
mac  microsoft  software  download  security  privacy  malware 
may 2017 by rgl7194
Fearing Shadow Brokers leak, NSA reported critical flaw to Microsoft | Ars Technica
WaPo confirms long-held suspicions as NSA cyberweapons crisis threatens to grow worse.
After learning that one of its most prized hacking tools was stolen by a mysterious group calling itself the Shadow Brokers, National Security Agency officials warned Microsoft of the critical Windows vulnerability the tool exploited, according to a report published Tuesday by The Washington Post. The private disclosure led to a patch that was issued in March.
security  privacy  hack  shadow_brokers  0day  gov2.0  politics  microsoft 
may 2017 by rgl7194
The need for urgent collective action to keep people safe online: Lessons from last week’s cyberattack - Microsoft on the Issues
Early Friday morning the world experienced the year’s latest cyberattack.
Starting first in the United Kingdom and Spain, the malicious “WannaCrypt” software quickly spread globally, blocking customers from their data unless they paid a ransom using Bitcoin. The WannaCrypt exploits used in the attack were drawn from the exploits stolen from the National Security Agency, or NSA, in the United States. That theft was publicly reported earlier this year. A month prior, on March 14, Microsoft had released a security update to patch this vulnerability and protect our customers. While this protected newer Windows systems and computers that had enabled Windows Update to apply this latest update, many computers remained unpatched globally. As a result, hospitals, businesses, governments, and computers at homes were affected.
gov2.0  politics  microsoft  security  privacy  windows  malware  ransomware 
may 2017 by rgl7194
Microsoft Exec Blames WannaCry Ransomware on NSA Vulnerability Hoarding Program
Microsoft's Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith has penned a blog post today, accusing the NSA of stockpiling exploits, failing to protect its hacking tools, and indirectly causing the WannaCry ransomware outbreak.
Smith is asking for a collective action between software vendors, cyber-security researchers, and governments across the world, "to take a different approach and adhere in cyberspace to the same rules applied to weapons in the physical world."
Smith wants a Digital Geneva Convention
Earlier this year, the Microsoft top lawyer urged for the creation of a Digital Geneva Convention, an international treaty to govern the proliferation and usage rules for cyber-weapons.
In his earlier proposition, Smith wanted nation-state actors to avoid hacking end-users and private organizations and only focus on each other's digital government infrastructure.
Now, the Microsoft exec wants government organizations to stop hoarding hacking tools, usually built around zero-days, and disclose software vulnerabilities as soon as government cyber-intelligence operatives find them.
gov2.0  politics  microsoft  security  privacy  windows  malware  ransomware 
may 2017 by rgl7194
Steve Ballmer Serves Up a Fascinating Data Trove - NYTimes.com
Guess what Steven A. Ballmer has been up to for the last several years. (No, not just cheering for the basketball team he owns, the Los Angeles Clippers.) It’s a novel project, and he plans to take the wrapping off it Tuesday.
But first the back story, which is a valuable prelude to a description of the project itself.
When Mr. Ballmer retired as chief executive of Microsoft in 2014, he was only 57 and quickly realized “I don’t, quote, ‘have anything to do.’”
As he looked for a new endeavor — before he decided to buy the Clippers — his wife, Connie, encouraged him to help with some of her philanthropic efforts, an idea he initially rejected.
nytimes  business  charity  data  factcheck  gov2.0  microsoft  politics  taxes 
april 2017 by rgl7194
USAFacts - About Us
PRINCIPLES
USAFacts is a new data-driven portrait of the American population, our government’s finances, and government’s impact on society. We are a non-partisan, not-for-profit civic initiative and have no political agenda or commercial motive. We provide this information as a free public service and are committed to maintaining and expanding it in the future.
We rely exclusively on publicly available government data sources. We don’t make judgments or prescribe specific policies. Whether government money is spent wisely or not, whether our quality of life is improving or getting worse – that’s for you to decide. We hope to spur serious, reasoned, and informed debate on the purpose and functions of government. Such debate is vital to our democracy. We hope that USAFacts will make a modest contribution toward building consensus and finding solutions.
There’s more to USAFacts than this website. We also offer an annual report, a summary report, and a “10-K” modeled on the document public companies submit annually to the SEC for transparency and accountability to their investors.
business  charity  data  factcheck  gov2.0  politics  microsoft  taxes 
april 2017 by rgl7194
Steve Ballmer's Second Act — Malcontent Comics Incorporated Presents:
Steve Ballmer has built something that sounds really cool and useful: a database that tracks what the government does with our money. The Times write-up makes it sound fascinating:
"Want to know how many police officers are employed in various parts of the country and compare that against crime rates? Want to know how much revenue is brought in from parking tickets and the cost to collect? Want to know what percentage of Americans suffer from diagnosed depression and how much the government spends on it? That’s in there. You can slice the numbers in all sorts of ways.
Mr. Ballmer calls it “the equivalent of a 10-K for government,” referring to the kind of annual filing that companies make."
Ballmer's publishing the data and a report some time today at USAFacts.org.
business  charity  data  factcheck  gov2.0  politics  microsoft  taxes 
april 2017 by rgl7194
Steve Ballmer’s new gov’t data project assumes that facts change minds | Ars Technica
Op-ed: Showing where taxes go is a valuable service, but facts are beside the point.
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has a lot of money and nothing to prove. Post-Microsoft, his biggest achievement so far has been paying $2 billion to buy the LA Clippers, but on Monday The New York Times dropped an extensive report about his next venture: a project called "USAFacts," which aggregates publicly available government data to tell you how your city, state, and federal tax dollars are spent.
Ballmer has already spent $10 million on the project and is "happy to fund the damn thing" (his personal net worth is estimated at over $22 billion, so he's good for it). He describes it as "a [Form] 10-K for government," a big searchable database that shows where tax revenue goes in and where it comes out. If you want to find out how many police officers or public school teachers the government employs in your area, you can do that; if you want to know what percentage of their salaries come from taxes paid by businesses instead of individuals, you can do that, too.
business  charity  data  factcheck  gov2.0  politics  microsoft  taxes 
april 2017 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Steve Ballmer Unveils USAFacts
Andrew Ross Sorkin, writing for DealBook:
On Tuesday, Mr. Ballmer plans to make public a database and a report that he and a small army of economists, professors and other professionals have been assembling as part of a stealth start-up over the last three years called USAFacts. The database is perhaps the first nonpartisan effort to create a fully integrated look at revenue and spending across federal, state and local governments.
Want to know how many police officers are employed in various parts of the country and compare that against crime rates? Want to know how much revenue is brought in from parking tickets and the cost to collect? Want to know what percentage of Americans suffer from diagnosed depression and how much the government spends on it? That’s in there. You can slice the numbers in all sorts of ways.
He’s paid for the whole thing out of pocket:
With an unlimited budget, he went about hiring a team of researchers in Seattle and made a grant to the University of Pennsylvania to help his staff put the information together. Altogether, he has spent more than $10 million between direct funding and grants.
“Let’s say it costs three, four, five million a year,” he said. “I’m happy to fund the damn thing.”
This is just great.
business  charity  data  factcheck  gov2.0  politics  microsoft  daring_fireball  taxes 
april 2017 by rgl7194
David Koonce's Mac and iOS setup – The Sweet Setup
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is David Koonce, and I’m the Solo Attorney behind Traffic Counsel, LLC.
What is your current setup?
My primary computer is a Late 2013 15″ Retina Macbook Pro. I connect it to a 27″ Dell Ultrasharp display.
Separately, I have a 2012 Mac Mini that is mirrored by Resilio for all work critical files. If my laptop is ever damaged, I can resume work immediately. I use a Drobo 5D for backups connected to the Mini. The Mini also runs a custom home dashboard (family calendar, weather, traffic), manages backups (Resilio, CrashPlan, and a Time Capsule server), and hosts a Plex server.
setup  macbook  mac  NAS  backup  plex  weather  calendar  RSS  watch  appletv  netflix  microsoft  1password  menubar  cloud  messaging  iphone  sonos  ipad  recipes  safari 
march 2017 by rgl7194
The Setup / Jen Christiansen
Who are you, and what do you do?
I'm Jen Christiansen, currently senior graphics editor at Scientific American where I art direct and produce science-centric data visualizations and illustrated explainer diagrams.
setup  macbook  mac  microsoft  evernote  dropbox  google  notes_app  iphone 
february 2017 by rgl7194
The 12 Days of 2FA: How to Enable Two-Factor Authentication For Your Online Accounts | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Enabling two-factor authentication—or 2FA for short—is among the easiest, most powerful steps you can take to protect your online accounts. Often, it’s as simple as a few clicks in your settings. However, different platforms sometimes call 2FA different things, making it hard to find: Facebook calls it “login approvals,” Twitter “login verification,” Bank of America “SafePass,” and Google and others “2-step verification.”
That’s why, this holiday season, EFF’s 12 Days of 2FA is here to help you navigate the world of two-factor authentication. In a series of 12 posts, we’ll show you how to enable 2FA on a range of online platforms and services.
security  privacy  2FA  EFF  amazon  banking  dropbox  facebook  google  gmail  linkedin  microsoft  paypal  slack  twitter  yahoo 
december 2016 by rgl7194
Perpendicular philosophy - Six Colors
This week highlighted the fundamental differences between the product philosophies of Apple and Microsoft. Neither philosophy is unreasonable, and both are rooted in rational decisions based on the strengths and weaknesses of their businesses.
Microsoft believes that traditional computer interfaces and modern mobile-device touchscreen interfaces should be melded together, blurring the lines between tablet and PC. This week’s introduction of the Surface Studio—think of an iMac that can be folded down onto your desk and used as a gigantic iPad—is perhaps the most impressive iteration of that belief to date.
macbook  ui/ue  design  touch_bar  microsoft 
october 2016 by rgl7194
Patriots’ Bill Belichick dumps Surface tablets in five minute rant | Ars Technica
Patriots IT guys can’t fix NFL systems, so nobody knows why they're not working.
In 2014, Microsoft signed a $400 million deal with the NFL to ensure that its Surface tablets would become "the official tablet of the NFL." Microsoft wanted coaches and players to use its systems from the sidelines.
That promotion hasn't been entirely successful. Casters routinely refer to the devices as "iPads," and a number of complaints surfaced about the tablets not working correctly. Those complaints have driven at least one coach, the Patriots' Bill Belichick, to abandon the technology entirely.
football  technology  microsoft  tablet  patriots 
october 2016 by rgl7194
Gareth Harle's Mac, iOS, and watchOS setup – The Sweet Setup
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Gareth Harle, and I’m an ICT Network Manager for two secondary schools and one primary school in and around Doncaster, UK.
I manage and develop all aspects of ICT infrastructure and support services in these organisations. I’m also heavily involved with Microsoft Learning as a Microsoft Certified Trainer and MCT Regional Lead for the UK.
What is your current setup?
Because I need to move between offices all the time, I use my early 2015 MacBook Pro Retina 13-inch for everything. It has a 3.1Ghz Core i7 with 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSD. The MacBook Pro also has a neat 265GB SD Card that provides a bit of extra storage.
setup  macbook  iphone  watch  microsoft  project_management  1password  google  browser  podcast  ipad  PDF 
october 2016 by rgl7194
Microsoft Illustrates Why a Golden Software Keys is a Bad Idea — MacSparky
Ben Lovejoy at 9to5 Mac explains how Microsoft accidentally released its golden key "and it appears impossible for Microsoft to fully patch it."
security  privacy  gov2.0  encryption  microsoft 
september 2016 by rgl7194
Amazon, Google, Apple… Fox News join Microsoft in US gagging orders fight | Ars Technica
Eclectic bunch support MS battle against US government's secret requests for user data.
Microsoft's quest to put a stop the US government's habit of demanding access to customers' digital records in court-ordered secrecy has won dozens of allies in the tech world.
The likes of Apple, Google, and Mozilla—among many others—have put their names to an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit Microsoft filed against the federal government over its controversial and continued use of gagging orders.
When the software giant filed the suit in April, its chief legal officer Brad Smith said that gag orders had been applied to 2,576 demands by various law enforcement agencies for access to user data, including e-mails, over an 18-month period.
microsoft  apple  google  gov2.0  legal  security  privacy  data 
september 2016 by rgl7194
Apple and Microsoft lobbied to remove the rifle emoji from Unicode 9.0 | Ars Technica
"Nobody in the room seemed to mind not encoding the rifle."
New emoji are typically proposed by the Unicode Consortium and approved for the next version of the spec without much fuss, but a rifle emoji proposed for Unicode 9.0 apparently ran into opposition from two major members of the consortium: Apple and Microsoft.
According to a report from Buzzfeed, Apple objected to the idea of introducing a second gun emoji on its platforms, and Microsoft joined in. The decision to remove the rifle emoji, as well as a second "pentathlon" emoji depicting a man holding a pistol among other athletes, was apparently unanimous.
guns  emoji  apple  microsoft  unicode 
june 2016 by rgl7194
I’ve slept on it—I’m still baffled at Microsoft buying LinkedIn for $26.2B | Ars Technica
Analysis: Microsoft is buying the cow when all it wants is some milk.
Yesterday, Microsoft announced that it was buying business-oriented social network LinkedIn for a casual $26.2 billion dollars. It didn't make a whole lot of sense then, and now, having slept on it and taken the time to think it over, it still doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
Microsoft's track record at big budget acquisitions is poor. Marketing firm aQuantive was bought for $6 billion in 2007; that led to a $6.2 billion write-down in 2012. Nokia's mobile phone division was bought in 2014 for €5.4 billion (about $6.1 billion). This led to write-downs totalling about $8.5 billion in 2015 and 2016. The company bought Skype for $8.5 billion in 2011, and while Skype continues to be a going concern, it has ceded ground in many areas. Messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have boomed, leaving Skype behind. Upstarts such as Discord are also becoming viable alternatives for many users, and Skype users continue to have gripes about the clients, the quality of the network, and Microsoft's uncertain strategy for future development.
The LinkedIn deal—$26.2 billion dollars for a company that doesn't make a (GAAP) profit—dwarfs these past purchases.
microsoft  linkedin  M&A 
june 2016 by rgl7194
Microsoft enters into agreement to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion | iMore
Microsoft has announced the company has entered into talks with LinkedIn to acquire the work-focused social networking platform. Shares have halted at the time of writing and the company has published a press release with further details. The deal is valued at $26.2 billion, but the LinkedIn brand, culture and overall independence will remain in tact.
CEO Jess Weiner will retain his position and report to Microsoft's Nadella, and the deal is fully backed by chairman, controlling shareholder and co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman. Both parties expect the transaction to be completed within this calendar year. More details can be found in the press release.
microsoft  linkedin  M&A 
june 2016 by rgl7194
Microsoft will acquire LinkedIn for $26.2B | Ars Technica
All-cash deal will see LinkedIn retain its distinct brand, independence, and CEO.
t has announced that it will acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion (£18.5 billion) in an all-cash deal. The transaction is expected to close within this calendar year.
The deal will see LinkedIn retain its brand, culture, and independence. Jeff Weiner will remain as CEO of LinkedIn but report into Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Reid Hoffman, co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn, and Weiner both support the acquisition. The deal was unanimously approved by the boards of directors for both companies.
When the deal is complete, LinkedIn's financials will be reported through Microsoft's Productivity and Business Processes division.
microsoft  linkedin  M&A 
june 2016 by rgl7194
Microsoft Hates Your Password | On the Wire
As stolen passwords and account information continue to flood the Internet, making life easier for lazy attackers, Microsoft is planning to roll out a new service on its Azure cloud platform that will prevent customers from using common passwords.
The change is not just a requirement that users employ long or artificially complex passwords, but rather a system that will dynamically ban passwords that are commonly used. Microsoft has been using the system on some of its platforms for a while now, including Xbox, OneDrive, and others. The system is based on a constantly updated list of banned passwords that are either too common or too close to commonly used passwords.
The change at Microsoft comes at a time when data breaches are a daily occurrence and lists of stolen passwords from those incidents are a dime a dozen. Or less. The latest dump was a cache of 117 million credentials purported to come from a 2012 breach at LinkedIn.
security  privacy  microsoft  passwords 
may 2016 by rgl7194
If Microsoft is banning stupid passwords, why does it still allow “Pa$$w0rd1”? | Ars Technica
Sadly, there's not much services can do to save users from their own poor habits.
As Microsoft pats itself on the back for its crackdown on easily cracked passwords, keep this in mind: a quick check shows users still have plenty of leeway to make poor choices. Like "Pa$$w0rd1" (excluding the quotation marks).
As a Microsoft program manager announced earlier this week, the Microsoft Account Service used to log in to properties such as Xbox Live and OneDrive Azure has been dynamically banning commonly used passwords during the account-creation or password-change processes. Try choosing "12345678," "password," or "letmein"—as millions of people regularly do—and you'll get a prompt telling you to try again. Microsoft is in the process of adding this feature to the Azure Active Directory so enterprise customers using the service can easily stop employees from taking security shortcuts, as well.
But a quick check finds it's not hard to get around the ban. To wit: "Pa$$w0rd1" worked just fine. And in fairness to Microsoft, Google permitted the same hopelessly weak choice.
security  privacy  microsoft  passwords 
may 2016 by rgl7194
Facebook and Microsoft team up to lay a massive internet cable across the Atlantic | The Verge
A 4,100-mile cable capable of 160 terabits per second
Facebook and Microsoft announced a partnership today to lay the highest-capacity subsea internet cable to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean, starting with hubs connecting Northern Virginia to Bilbao, Spain. The cable, called "MAREA" after the Spanish word for "tide," will be capable of 160 terabits per second of bandwidth and will stretch more than 4,100 miles of ocean in a submarine cable system. The two companies have hired Telxius, the infrastructure company owned by global communications giant Telefónica, to manage MAREA and expand network hubs from Europe to Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Construction is slated to begin in August of this year with a goal of October 2017 to complete the cable.
internet  cables  facebook  microsoft  usa  europe 
may 2016 by rgl7194
Sam Schmitt's Mac and iOS setup - The Sweet Setup
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Sam Schmitt, and I am a current sophomore at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. My current major is Civil and Environmental Engineering, which (in case you didn’t know) is the design and operation of infrastructure such as highways, bridges, and even solar farms. In my spare time, I am learning iOS and web development. I am also trying to write a lot more on my blog.
What is your current setup?
My current setup is a mid-2015 Macbook Pro Retina. I have the version with a 2.9Ghz Core i5, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. It’s covered in various decals from Redbubble for some brands and artists. At my desk, I have that hooked up to a Dell U3415W monitor. This monitor is absolutely amazing. It’s so nice to have such a large canvas to use as my desktop. The extra horizontal real estate also makes it much easier to work in applications like AutoCAD and Xcode.
setup  macbook  microsoft  calendar  twitter  music  1password  iphone  messaging  GTD  ipad  youtube 
may 2016 by rgl7194
Security Risks of Shortened URLs - Schneier on Security
Shortened URLs, produced by services like bit.ly and goo.gl, can be brute-forced. And searching random shortened URLs yields all sorts of secret documents. Plus, many of them can be edited, and can be infected with malware.
Academic paper. Blog post with lots of detail.
google  microsoft  privacy  security  URL 
april 2016 by rgl7194
Guess what? URL shorteners short-circuit cloud security | Ars Technica
Researchers search for Microsoft, Google short URLs, find exposed personal data.
Two security researchers have published research exposing the potential privacy problems connected to using Web address shortening services. When used to share data protected by credentials included in the Web address associated with the content, these services could allow an attacker to gain access to data simply by searching through the entire address space for a URL-shortening service in search of content, because of how predictable and short those addresses are.
Both Microsoft and Google have offered URL shortening services embedded in various cloud services. Microsoft included the 1drv.ms URL shortening service in its OneDrive cloud storage service and a similar service (binged.it) for Bing Maps—"branded" domains of the bit.ly domain shortening service. Microsoft has stopped offering the OneDrive embedded shortener, but existing URLs are still accessible. Google Maps has an embedded a tool that creates URLs with the goo.gl domain.
security  privacy  URL  google  microsoft 
april 2016 by rgl7194
Microsoft sues US government over gag orders | Ars Technica
Says 1986 law violates its First Amendment, customers' Fourth Amendment rights.
Microsoft has filed a lawsuit against the US government over the number of secrecy orders it has received that allow g-men and cops access to customers' e-mails and other records.
The software giant's chief legal officer Brad Smith said that gag orders had been applied to 2,576 such demands over the course of an 18-month period. Microsoft's top counsel added that 1,752 (68 percent) of those secrecy orders had no end date—"This means we effectively are prohibited forever from telling our customers that the government has obtained their data," he said.
Smith added in a blog post...
security  privacy  gov2.0  microsoft  legal 
april 2016 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Microsoft Sues U.S. Justice Department Over Secret Customer Data Searches
Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer:
We believe that with rare exceptions consumers and businesses have a right to know when the government accesses their emails or records. Yet it’s becoming routine for the U.S. government to issue orders that require email providers to keep these types of legal demands secret. We believe that this goes too far and we are asking the courts to address the situation.
To be clear, we appreciate that there are times when secrecy around a government warrant is needed. This is the case, for example, when disclosure of the government’s warrant would create a real risk of harm to another individual or when disclosure would allow people to destroy evidence and thwart an investigation. But based on the many secrecy orders we have received, we question whether these orders are grounded in specific facts that truly demand secrecy. To the contrary, it appears that the issuance of secrecy orders has become too routine.
The urgency for action is clear and growing. Over the past 18 months, the U.S. government has required that we maintain secrecy regarding 2,576 legal demands, effectively silencing Microsoft from speaking to customers about warrants or other legal process seeking their data. Notably and even surprisingly, 1,752 of these secrecy orders, or 68 percent of the total, contained no fixed end date at all. This means that we effectively are prohibited forever from telling our customers that the government has obtained their data.
Kudos to Microsoft to taking a strong stance on this.
From the NYT story on the lawsuit:
In its suit, filed Thursday morning in Federal District Court in Seattle, Microsoft’s home turf, the company asserts that the gag order statute in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 — as employed today by federal prosecutors and the courts — is unconstitutional.
The statute, according to Microsoft, violates the Fourth Amendment right of its customers to know if the government searches or seizes their property, and it breaches the company’s First Amendment right to speak to its customers.
Microsoft’s suit, unlike Apple’s fight with the Federal Bureau of Investigation over access to a locked iPhone, is not attached to a single case. Instead, it is intended to challenge the legal process regarding secrecy orders.
security  privacy  gov2.0  microsoft  legal  daring_fireball 
april 2016 by rgl7194
Microsoft sues to tell you when the government seizes your data - Six Colors
Another day, another vector in the information privacy wars. Microsoft is suing the government over the constitutionality of the gag order in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which prevents the company from disclosing to its users when the government has read their email or other cloud-based data. Microsoft argues that the law is too broad and overused.
From the complaint:
Over the past 18 months, federal courts have issued nearly 2,600 secrecy orders silencing Microsoft from speaking about warrants and other legal process seeking Microsoft customers’ data; of those, more than two-thirds contained no fixed end date. (In fact, of the twenty-five secrecy orders issued to Microsoft by judges in this District, none contained a time limit.) These twin developments—the increase in government demands for online data and the simultaneous increase in secrecy—have combined to undermine confidence in the privacy of the cloud and have impaired Microsoft’s right to be transparent with its customers, a right guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Tech companies have often circumvented the letter of the law in these cases via the use of warrant canaries, but once they’ve become, well, an ex-canary, there’s basically no more information to be gained. This is a serious issue for data privacy and security, and kudos to Microsoft for taking it on.
security  privacy  gov2.0  microsoft  legal 
april 2016 by rgl7194
Tay, the neo-Nazi millennial chatbot, gets autopsied | Ars Technica
Microsoft apologizes for her behavior and talks about what went wrong.
Microsoft has apologized for the conduct of its racist, abusive machine learning chatbot, Tay. The bot, which was supposed to mimic conversation with a 19-year-old woman over Twitter, Kik, and GroupMe, was turned off less than 24 hours after going online because she started promoting Nazi ideology and harassing other Twitter users.
The company appears to have been caught off-guard by her behavior. A similar bot, named XiaoIce, has been in operation in China since late 2014. XiaoIce has had more than 40 million conversations apparently without major incident. Microsoft wanted to see if it could achieve similar success in a different cultural environment, and so Tay was born.
microsoft  twitter  bots  AI/ML 
march 2016 by rgl7194
Microsoft is using Minecraft to train AI and wants you to help out | Ars Technica
Open source AIX platform will be released for free this summer.
Computer scientists at Microsoft have developed a new artificial intelligence platform atop the hugely popular video game Minecraft. Dubbed AIX, the platform hooks into Minecraft and allows the AI to take control of a character and learn from its actions. It's early days for the project; so far, the scientists have been hard at work getting the the AI to learn to climb a hill.
minecraft  microsoft  games  AI/ML 
march 2016 by rgl7194
Best photo backup services for iPhone, iPad, and Mac | iMore
Back up your photos before you lose them all! Arguably the most important things we carry around with us on our iPhones are our photos. They're personal, unique, and irreplaceable captures of moments in our lives, and if something were to happen to and we hadn't properly backed them up, then our treasured memories would be lost forever. There are a handful of fantastic apps for backing up and storing your photos in the cloud, which will keep them safe no matter what happens to your iPhone. It all depends on what features you think are most important. Here are some of our favorites. Apple iCloud Photo Library For those fully immersed in the Apple ecosystem, the iCloud Photo library is a must-have. Not only can you automatically back up all of your photos the moment you take a picture on your iPhone, but you can also quickly access them from any Apple device instantly, including iPhone and iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and any computer or mobile device via iCloud.com. High resolution originals...
mac  ios  photography  storage  backup  icloud  library  amazon  google_photos  microsoft  dropbox 
february 2016 by rgl7194
The good and bad of Microsoft's NFL marketing deal - Six Colors
Microsoft has a big marketing deal with the NFL. As a part of it, coaches and players use Microsoft Surface tablets on the sidelines during the game. As marketing ideas go, it’s not a terrible one, since the NFL is wildly popular and it provides Microsoft with an opportunity to get the Surface in front of people who might not be aware that Microsoft makes a product that is an alternative to the iPad. Unfortunately, when the marketing deal began, game announcers would describe shots of coaches peering into their tablets as involving iPads, not Surfaces. The NFL and Microsoft sprung into action, sending corrective notes to the TV networks and ultimately adding Surface branding on the devices themselves. That presumably ended most of the iPad confusion. But football is still live TV—there are still going to be some less awesome incidents involving the products in question, like the time Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tossed his Surface in anger. But hey, all PR is good PR...
football  microsoft  marketing  advertising  ipad 
january 2016 by rgl7194
Microsoft’s clever curved keyboard for iOS looks very smart | Ars Technica
A good keyboard will get even better... if you have an iPhone. One of the enduring high points of Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile is the Word Flow software keyboard. It looks good and works well, with a generally sensible autocorrect algorithm and a good implementation of swipe-style typing. Earlier this month it was learned that Microsoft was planning to produce a version of this keyboard for iOS and Android, after e-mailed invitations were sent to some Windows Insiders. Through The Verge we now have a good idea of what that keyboard will look like, and immediately we can see that it has a rather compelling feature not found in the Windows version of the keyboard: a curved one-handed mode that arcs the keyboard around either of the phone's lower corners. This neatly tackles a problem that a few of us here at Ars were pondering at lunch: how do you make a swipe keyboard work when the phone screen is so enormous that you cannot possibly reach both sides with your thumb. You'd...
iphone  keyboard  microsoft 
january 2016 by rgl7194
Microsoft's iPhone keyboard reportedly includes a one-handed interface | iMore
Microsoft's recently announced beta test [for the iPhone version of its Word Flow keyboard(http://www.imore.com/microsoft-bringing-its-famed-word-flow-keyboard-iphone) reportedly includes a new one-handed interface. That kind of UI is not included in the Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile version of the keyboard. According to Thurrott.com, the UI is designed to look like a fan, with all of the keys placed on the grid. The layout is made so that users can type on the keyboard just by using their thumb, according to the report. While the Windows 10 Mobile version of Word Flow has its own one-handed mode, it's in the same kind of layout as the regular version, but just made smaller and shifted to one side. The report does point out that the iPhone beta of Word Flow could ditch the fan-based UI when it is officially released. There's no indication that this one-handed interface will be offered to Windows 10 Mobile users in the future. Source: Thurrott.com
iphone  keyboard  microsoft 
january 2016 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Microsoft's Cyber Defense Operations Center
Bret Arsenault, chief information security officer for Microsoft: To support a comprehensive, cross company approach to security, Microsoft invests more than a billion dollars in security research and development, every year. Deepening this commitment, we announced plans to enhance our protection of customer data with a new Cyber Defense Operations Center. This state-of-the-art facility brings together security response experts from across the company to help protect, detect and respond to threats in real-time. Staffed with dedicated teams 24×7, the center has direct access to thousands of security professionals, data analysts, engineers, developers, program managers, and operations specialists throughout Microsoft to ensure rapid response and resolution to security threats. Informed by decades of experience working with the industry to fight threats on a global scale, the center maintains critical connections with industry security partners, governments and enterprise customers...
security  privacy  cybercrime  CxO  daring_fireball  microsoft 
november 2015 by rgl7194
Windows Hello facial logins on the new Surfaces are rather impressive | Ars Technica
Extremely quick and effort-free biometric authentication just from looking at your PC. Microsoft's new Surface Book hybrid laptop and Surface Pro 4 productivity-oriented tablet both include hardware for biometric authentication using facial recognition. Yet when I reviewed them, I couldn't test out the feature because we didn't have a complete final driver stack. Since then, we've been given final software loadouts and Windows Hello has sprung into life. Whether using facial, fingerprint, or iris recognition, the Hello process is broadly the same: first PIN login must be enabled and then you register your biometric data. In common with other biometric systems such as Apple's TouchID, the biometrics data never leaves the machine and is securely stored in such a way that it shouldn't be possible for malicious applications to capture or exfiltrate the data. Registration for the facial recognition is easy peasy: the camera looks at you for a few seconds, and you're done. With Hello...
security  privacy  windows  facial_recognition  microsoft 
november 2015 by rgl7194
Yes, you’ll be able to do clean installs of the free Windows 10 upgrade | Ars Technica
Windows 10 will be offered as a free upgrade to most Windows 7 and 8 users for one year after its July 29 launch. This has led, inevitably, to a number of questions about what happens to those who want or need to reinstall their operating system. Microsoft's Gabe Aul has provided some much-needed clarification on this issue. On Twitter he confirmed that once upgraded, Windows 10 users will be able to perform clean installs of the operating system at any time, even after the one-year free period has ended. Users won't be required to install Windows 7 or 8 and then re-upgrade, and they won't need the Windows 7 or 8 product key, with Aul confirming that clean installs from an ISO will be possible. There's still some uncertainty about Microsoft's promise to provide free updates to the operating system for the "supported lifetime" of the hardware it's installed on, especially in regard to the impact that hardware upgrades will have on this. This question has always been a little awkward...
windows  installer  microsoft 
june 2015 by rgl7194
Microsoft OneNote for Mac — is it an Evernote contender? | iMore
OneNote is Microsoft's answer to Evernote and other note-taking software. It's available for iOS and OS X (along with Android and Windows Phone), but I'm going to focus my attention on the Mac version. Is it a viable alternative to Evernote? Let's take a look. OneNote requires you to use a (free) Microsoft account to create and maintain your notes. The notes are stored online, which makes synchronization and collaboration easy, as long as you (and anyone else you're working with) are connected. The notebooks themselves are stored on your OneDrive account — both good and bad, depending on how much you need to work offline. OneNote is free to download and use, provided you have a Microsoft account. You get a free 15 GB repository on your Microsoft OneDrive to hold your OneNote contents (this is up from 7 GB when OneNote debuted for the Mac in 2014). You can buy more storage either a la carte as a monthly fee or by subscribing to Office 365, which includes 1 terabyte of OneDrive...
evernote  comparo  microsoft 
january 2015 by rgl7194

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