Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Microsoft

Bing to implement HTTPS summer 2015

Bing Moving to Encrypt Search Traffic by Default: “At Microsoft, we’re committed to helping users keep their data safe and secure. That’s why we support the industry’s move to use of TLS protocols as part of our effort to expand encryption across our networks and services. Bing has already been offering users the option to encrypt search traffic for about a year and a half now. Beginning this summer, we will begin the process of encrypting search traffic by default. This means that traffic originating from Bing will increasingly come from https://www.bing.com as opposed to http://www.bing.com. With the move to encrypted search by default we will continue to pass along a referrer string so that marketers and webmasters will be able to identify traffic as coming from Bing. However, to further protect our users’ privacy, we will not include the used query terms.  We will still provide some limited query term data available without compromising the security of customer data through our various webmaster and advertiser tools, which include:

  1. Use Search Query Terms Report. Available in the Bing Ads UI or through the API, the Search Query Terms Report lets you see what search queries triggered your ads and the associated performance metrics such as clicks, impressions and conversions.
  2. Adopt Universal Event Tracking. Universal Event Tracking can provide enhanced performance metrics (e.g. bounce rates, duration per visit, pages per visit and total visits) associated to the query and keywords you bid on so you can better understand conversion performance. For advertisers, Universal Event Tracking is also the foundation to allow for Remarketing in Paid Search (currently in pilot).
  3. Sign up for Bing Webmaster Tools. Take advantage of Bing Webmaster tools as we will maintain keyword and ranking data inside the tools. With Bing Webmaster Tools you can be sure your site gets indexed in Bing, get access to research tools and reports that can help your search ranking and help you understand what led people to your website.”

Information Retrieval with Verbose Queries

Information Retrieval with Verbose Queries – Manish Gupta and Michael Bendersky, March 2015. “Recently, the focus of many novel search applications shifted from short keyword queries to verbose natural language queries. Examples include question answering systems and dialogue systems, voice search on mobile devices and entity search engines like Facebook’s Graph Search or Google’s KnowledgeContinue Reading

Tech giants communicate opposition to decrypted data for law enforcement

Washington Post, Ellen Nakashima: “Tech behemoths including Apple and Google and leading cryptologists are urging President Obama to reject any government proposal that alters the security of smartphones and other communications devices so that law enforcement can view decrypted data. In a letter to be sent Tuesday and obtained by The Washington Post, a coalitionContinue Reading

Microsoft researchers publish paper on new computer vision system claimed to outperform humans

Gigaom: “Microsoft researchers claim in a recently published paper that they have developed the first computer system capable of outperforming humans on a popular benchmark. While it’s estimated that humans can classify images in the ImageNet dataset with an error rate of 5.1 percent, Microsoft’s team said its deep-learning-based system achieved an error rate of only 4.94Continue Reading

Prying Eyes: Inside the NSA’s War on Internet Security

By SPIEGEL Staff: “…Software giant Microsoft, which acquired Skype in 2011, said in a statement: “We will not provide governments with direct or unfettered access to customer data or encryption keys.” The NSA had been monitoring Skype even before that, but since February 2011, the service has been under order from the secret US ForeignContinue Reading

Irish Government Joins Microsoft Against US Govt Access to Cloud Based Servers

The Register: “The Irish government today supported Microsoft in its ongoing fight against US prosecutors – who appear to want access to server hard drives anywhere in the world. Microsoft has garnered serious backing from the technology industry in its case against American investigators. The Feds believe they have the right to access emails stored onContinue Reading

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 holdsContinue Reading

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