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Category Archives: Microsoft

Law Enforcement Without Borders

CDT – “A critical case is now working its way through the US courts—one that raises important questions for users and providers of cloud services in both the US and Europe. As part of a US criminal investigation, a US federal court has ordered Microsoft to hand over a customer’s files that the company holds in its Ireland data centre. Microsoft has refused to comply with this order, arguing among other things that a warrant issued by a US court is not sufficient to reach content stored outside US territory, and that the US government must obtain the assistance of the Irish authorities. The crucial question here is: what rules apply when one country demands that a service provider with a physical presence on its territory give its authorities access to communications stored in another country? Because larger policy questions are at stake, CDT and other public interest groups are filing briefs in the case on 15 December. And recently, Dara Murphy, the Irish Minister for European Affairs and Data Protection, asked the European Commission to file its observations. The Commission is now considering adding its voice to the conversation. CDT believes that the European Commission’s views would be helpful in shaping the outcome.”

Reflections on How Designers Design With Data

Reflections on How Designers Design With Data – Alex Bigelow, Steven Drucker, Danyel Fisher, and Miriah Meyer. Microsoft Research. May 2014. “In recent years many popular data visualizations have emerged that are created largely by designers whose main area of expertise is not computer science. Designers generate these visualizations using a handful of design tools and environments.Continue Reading

Paper – The Grey Web

The Grey Web – Dataveillance Vision Fulfilled through the Evolving Web. Richard Gomer, University of Southampton; Natasa Milic-Frayling, Microsoft Research; m.c. schraefel, University of Southampton. 2014. “Over the past three decades, Web has evolved from an information medium to an intricate economic ecosystem. Initially focused on supporting the transition from traditional business practices to e-commerce, the Web has given rise to new,Continue Reading

EFF – Reforming Terms of Service: Microsoft Changes Its Policy on Access to User Data

News release: “Last week we wrote about initial news reports that Microsoft had searched and disclosed the contents of a blogger’s Hotmail account as part of an internal investigation into the alleged theft of Microsoft source code and other trade secrets. Since then, EFF has been in touch with Microsoft to discuss our objections to the company’sContinue Reading

Report – How Google Is Trying to Protect Your Drug Supply

“Illegal online pharmacies play a major role in the growing problem of counterfeit drugs, with regulation often challenging because they sell directly to consumers. As National Journal Correspondent Sophie Novack reports, though, some major internet players are working with the federal government to combat the problem. Writes Novack: “Google is now a member of the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies,Continue Reading

Microsoft Research adopts Open Access policy for publications

Microsoft Research Connections Blog: “In a recent interview with Scientific American, Peter Lee, head of Microsoft Research, discussed three main motivations for basic research at Microsoft. The first relates to an aspiration to advance human knowledge, the second derives from a culture that relies deeply on the ambitions of individual researchers, and the last concerns “promotingContinue Reading

Microsoft releases global survey on Internet users around the world

“A new global survey of Internet users conducted by Microsoft Corp. reveals distinct regional findings and differing viewpoints between the developed and developing world. However, overwhelmingly the more than 10,000 people surveyed from 10 nations said they embrace personal technology, particularly in emerging markets, and see it as the foundation of innovation and economic empowerment.Continue Reading

Microsoft – Create strong passwords

“A strong password is an important protection to help you have safer online transactions. Here are some steps to create a strong password. Consider using some or all to help protect yourself online: Length. Make your passwords at least eight (8) long. Complexity. Include a combination of at least three (3) upper and/or lowercase letters, punctuation, symbols, andContinue Reading

Tech Giants Call for Global Government Surveillance Reform

“The undersigned companies believe that it is time for the world’s governments to address the practices and laws regulating government surveillance of individuals and access to their information. While the undersigned companies understand that governments need to take action to protect their citizens’ safety and security, we strongly believe that current laws and practices need toContinue Reading

Trading Strategies and Market Microstructure: Evidence from a Prediction Market

Trading Strategies and Market Microstructure: Evidence from a Prediction Market – David M. Rothschild, Microsoft Research – NYC; Rajiv Sethi; Barnard College, Columbia University; Santa Fe Institute. September 8, 2013 “We examine transaction-level data from Intrade’s presidential winner market for the two weeks immediately preceding the November 2012 election. The data allow us to computeContinue Reading

Microsoft’s Law Enforcement Requests Report for first six months of 2013

What does the data show? “Microsoft (including Skype) received 37,196 requests from law enforcement agencies potentially impacting 66,539 accounts in the first six months of this year. This compares to 75,378 requests and 137,424 potential accounts in the whole of 2012. Approximately 77 percent of requests resulted in the disclosure of “non-content data”. No dataContinue Reading

Grammarly – automated proofreader and personal grammar coach

“Grammarly is an automated proofreader and your personal grammar coach. Correct up to 10 times more mistakes than popular word processors.” This is for use in addition to Microsoft® Word  – it “scans your text for proper use of more than 250 advanced grammar rules, spanning everything from subject-verb agreement to article use to modifier placement.”