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Category Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft sues DOJ – demands right to disclose when law enforcement seeks customer data

Microsoft v. The United States Department of Justice, USDC Western District of Washington at Seattle – April 14, 2016: “Microsoft brings this case because its customers have a right to know when the government obtains a warrant to read their emails, and because Microsoft has a right to tell them. Yet the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”) allows courts to order Microsoft to keep its customers in the dark when the government seeks their email content or other private information, based solely on a “reason to believe” that disclosure might hinder an investigation. Nothing in the statute requires that the “reason to believe” be grounded in the facts of the particular investigation, and the statute contains no limit on the length of time such secrecy orders may be kept in place. 18 U.S.C. § 2705(b). Consequently, as Microsoft’s customers increasingly store their most private and sensitive information in the cloud, the government increasingly seeks (and obtains) secrecy orders under Section 2705(b). This statute violates both the Fourth Amendment, which affords people and businesses the right to know if the government searches or seizes their property, and the First Amendment, which enshrines Microsoft’s rights to talk to its customers and to discuss how the government conducts its investigations—subject only to restraints narrowly tailored to serve compelling government interests. People do not give up their rights when they move their private information from physical storage to the cloud. Microsoft therefore asks the Court to declare that Section 2705(b) is unconstitutional on its face…”

Microsoft launched Fetch app using artificial intelligence to name dog breeds

“Man’s best friend has inspired a new app – Fetch! Using your iPhone camera or photo library, it can identify and classify dogs by breeds and tell you what kind of human personality fits best with specific breeds. And just for fun, the app will even take an informed guess on what kind of dog… Continue Reading

Reminder – no more IE support for versions prior to 11

Via Microsoft for Business – “What is end of support? Beginning January 12, 2016, only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical supports and security updates. Internet Explorer 11 is the last version of Internet Explorer, and will continue to receive security updates, compatibility fixes, and… Continue Reading

Organizational Restructuring and Collaborative Creativity: The Case of Microsoft and Sony

Gupta, Sonam and Dhillon, Ishneet, Organizational Restructuring and Collaborative Creativity: The Case of Microsoft and Sony (2015). The IUP Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. XII, No. 1, March 2015, pp. 53-65. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2671723 “The need for innovation and cross-dependencies among the departments is forcing organizations to restructure from divisional to functional organizational structure. This… Continue Reading

Not Even Close: The State of Computer Security (with slides) – James Mickens

“In this bleak, relentlessly morbid talk, James Mickens will describe why making computers secure is an intrinsically impossible task. He will explain why no programming language makes it easy to write secure code. He will then discuss why cloud computing is a black hole for privacy, and only useful for people who want to fill… Continue Reading

State Legislature Online Tech Landscape

A comparison of legislature and SaaS websites shows stark differences:  “An analysis of 54 state legislature websites shows that the technology they utilize trails industry standards significantly. A majority, 35 (65%), are programmed in ASP.NET and running on IIS servers – both, usually paired, are Microsoft technologies. This differs greatly from standards seen in leading… Continue Reading

Big Spending by Google Facebook and Amazon on Federal Lobbying

ConsumerWatchDog: “Google trimmed its spending on lobbying in the second quarter by 13 percent to $4.62 million, according to disclosure forms filed today with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, but still significantly outspent other tech giants. Google spent $5.29 million on federal lobbying in the second quarter of 2014 and $5.1 million… Continue Reading

MIT – 50 Smartest Companies 2015

“This year, when the editors of MIT Technology Review began our annual search for the smartest companies, we did not have trouble finding big ideas. To make the list, a company must have truly innovative technology and a business model that is both practical and ambitious, with the result that it has set the agenda… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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 Knowledge… Continue 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 coalition… Continue 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 4.94… Continue Reading