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Microsoft Replaces LinkedIn with New InJobs App for China

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Microsoft says it will remove LinkedIn from China, no longer making the business social media network available in the country. In its place, a new InJobs app is launching. If you are at all familiar with the relationship between tech companies and China, you probably already know the reason why.

Yes, Microsoft is pulling LinkedIn because some aspects of the app do not comply with draconian Chinese regulations. Instead of making changes, Microsoft will simply remove the app altogether.This ends a 7-year run for LinkedIn in China. The app entered the country in 2014, before Microsoft paid $26 billion to acquire the company. For the most part, the experience in China was the same as the app in other regions.

If you are familiar with Chinese laws, that is quite an achievement. In China, the government wants to have access to apps and prevents a lot of features in many platforms. Microsoft says keeping up with Chinese regulations is becoming more work than is worth it. Specifically, the company is finding it increasingly difficult to keep LinkedIn the same as other markets:

“While we’ve found success in helping Chinese members find jobs and economic opportunity, we have not found that same level of success in the more social aspects of sharing and staying informed. We’re also facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China. Given this, we’ve made the decision to sunset the current localized version of LinkedIn, which is how people in China access LinkedIn’s global social media platform, later this year,” Microsoft says.

InJobs

Considering social and sharing aspects of LinkedIn are the most fundamental, removing the app makes sense. Instead of use a service with the LinkedIn branding, Microsoft says it will launch a new service called InJobs.

Think of this as a simpler version of LinkedIn that acts solely as a jobs platform. The app will launch by the end of the year:

“InJobs will not include a social feed or the ability to share posts or articles. We will also continue to work with Chinese businesses to help them create economic opportunity,” Microsoft adds.

Tip of the day: Whether you’re planning an upgrade, tuning CPU timings, or just curious, it’s handy to know information about your RAM. In our tutorial, we show you how to check RAM speed, type, and size using several built-in Windows 10 tools.

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

Microsoft and Nvidia Announce New Language Generation AI

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Microsoft and long-time partner Nvidia have announced their latest collaboration, a new language model. Called the Megatron-Turing Natural Language Generation model, the company describe it as the “most powerful monolithic transformer language model trained to date”.

This new AI model runs on supercomputers and boasts 530 billion parameters on 105 layers.

“Each model replica spans 280 NVIDIA A100 GPUs, with 8-way tensor-slicing within a node, and 35-way pipeline parallelism across nodes,” Microsoft and Nvidia say in a blog post.

Researchers have been training the model on 15 datasets coverings 339 billion tokens. The companies say this highlights how larger AI models can understand with less training. However, the duo admit they had to deal with a frequent AI issue, bias.

“While giant language models are advancing the state of the art on language generation, they also suffer from issues such as bias and toxicity,” the companies point out.

“Our observations with MT-NLG are that the model picks up stereotypes and biases from the data on which it is trained. Microsoft and Nvidia are committed to working on addressing this problem.”

Video Training Breakthrough

This isn’t the first major AI announcement from Microsoft and Nvidia this year. Back in May, the partnership revealed a major breakthrough in video training by leveraging multimodal transformers.

In a paper titled : “Parameter Efficient Multimodal Transformers for Video Representation Learning,” researchers discuss how they reduced multimodal transformer size by 97 per cent to achieve improved AI training for video clips of 30 seconds (sampled at 480 frames, 16 per second). This is a major improvement on existing models that can process video sequences of 10 seconds or less.

Tip of the day: Thanks to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) you can run complete Linux distributions within Windows 10. In our tutorial, we show you how to install Ubuntu or other Linux packages and how to activate the bash shell.

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

Kaspersky Discovers “MysterySnail” Zero-Day in Microsoft’s Win32K Kernel

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Microsoft rolled out its October 2021 Patch Tuesday this week. We have already covered the general release, including a fix for a zero-day vulnerability in Win32K that is being exploited in the wild. That bug is severe enough that it deserves a closer look. And that is why Kaspersky is doing in a blog post published yesterday.

The security firm is calling the exploit MysterySnail and it was discovered by one of its researchers. Kaspersky informed Microsoft about the flaw previously, hence the company’s fix in the Patch Tuesday rollup this week.This zero-day exploit found in the Microsoft Windows platform allows threat actors to create escalation of privilege attacks to take control of Windows servers. It seems the MysterySnail is an extension of an advanced persistent threat (APT) coming from Chinese speaking hackers.

Through tracking the exploit, Kaspersky found a new type of remote access trojan (RAT). The idea is for the exploit to enter a vulnerable server and help the attackers steal data. Microsoft has already rolled out a patch as part of October Patch Tuesday. That means users should install the update to avoid becoming a victim.

Kaspersky reports “the root cause of this vulnerability lies in the ability to set user-mode callbacks and execute unexpected API functions during execution of those callbacks,” the blog explains. “The CVE-2021-40449 is triggered when the function ResetDC is executed a second time for the same handle during execution of its own callback.”

Attack

When this happens, there is a memory trail that leads to a Proactive Data Container (PDC) that is already destroyed. Hackers can use the broken PDC to call an arbitrary kernel function. Attackers can then read and write on the kernel memory. By using already known techniques, the next step would be to leak kernel addresses.

“The malware itself is not very sophisticated and has functionality similar to many other remote shells,” researchers noted. “But it still somehow stands out, with a relatively large number of implemented commands and extra capabilities like monitoring for inserted disk drives and the ability to act as a proxy.”

Tip of the day: Windows Aero Shake is a handy feature that lets you quickly reduce screen clutter with a shake of an app’s title bar. Doing so minimizes all windows other than the one in focus, allowing you to focus solely on what’s at hand. Another wiggle lets you undo Aero Shake, maximizing the other Windows again so you can continue working.

Unfortunately, the feature can also have unintended consequences. Those who move their windows about or have dual monitors may notice that they’re accidentally activating Windows shaking. Luckily, enabling or disabling Aero shake isn’t too hard.

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

Microsoft and Nvidia Announce New Language Generation AI

Artificial-Intelligence-Microsoft
Artificial-Intelligence-Microsoft

Microsoft and long-time partner Nvidia have announced their latest collaboration, a new language model. Called the Megatron-Turing Natural Language Generation model, the company describe it as the “most powerful monolithic transformer language model trained to date”.

This new AI model runs on supercomputers and boasts 530 billion parameters on 105 layers.

“Each model replica spans 280 NVIDIA A100 GPUs, with 8-way tensor-slicing within a node, and 35-way pipeline parallelism across nodes,” Microsoft and Nvidia say in a blog post.

Researchers have been training the model on 15 datasets coverings 339 billion tokens. The companies say this highlights how larger AI models can understand with less training. However, the duo admit they had to deal with a frequent AI issue, bias.

“While giant language models are advancing the state of the art on language generation, they also suffer from issues such as bias and toxicity,” the companies point out.

“Our observations with MT-NLG are that the model picks up stereotypes and biases from the data on which it is trained. Microsoft and Nvidia are committed to working on addressing this problem.”

Video Training Breakthrough

This isn’t the first major AI announcement from Microsoft and Nvidia this year. Back in May, the partnership revealed a major breakthrough in video training by leveraging multimodal transformers.

In a paper titled : “Parameter Efficient Multimodal Transformers for Video Representation Learning,” researchers discuss how they reduced multimodal transformer size by 97 per cent to achieve improved AI training for video clips of 30 seconds (sampled at 480 frames, 16 per second). This is a major improvement on existing models that can process video sequences of 10 seconds or less.

Tip of the day: Thanks to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) you can run complete Linux distributions within Windows 10. In our tutorial, we show you how to install Ubuntu or other Linux packages and how to activate the bash shell.

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

OECD Agreement Means Tech Giants Will Pay 15% Tax in 136 Countries

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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says it has come to a tax agreement with nations around the world to levy on major tech companies. According to the announcement, those companies will pay 15% tax as a minimum rate no matter which country they operate in.

With 136 countries on board, the deal will cover 90% of global GDP when it comes into effect in 2023.

It is clear the deal is a major step forward in preventing tech companies from avoiding tax payments by operating in favorable countries. However, OECD is eager to point out the deal does not eliminate tax competition.

What it does do is ensure countries get tax payments. It is worth noting the agreement only covers companies with revenues of €750 million or more. Over the years, giants like Microsoft, Apple, and Google have all fallen foul of regulators for their tax avoidance practices.

New Era

Speaking of the deal, OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann, say:

“Today’s agreement will make our international tax arrangements fairer and work better. This is a major victory for effective and balanced multilateralism. It is a far-reaching agreement which ensures our international tax system is fit for purpose in a lobalized and lobalized world economy. We must now work swiftly and diligently to ensure the effective implementation of this major reform.”

All countries that are part of the agreement will create their own domestic legislation next year to reflect the new tax. OECD will provide support to ensure nations can roll out their rules and make them effective.

Tip of the day: To prevent attackers from capturing your password, Secure Sign-in asks the user to perform a physical action that activates the sign-in screen. In some cases, this is a dedicated “Windows Security” button, but the most common case in Windows 10 is the Ctrl+Alt Del hotkey.

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Business Technology

Microsoft Snaps Up OKR Firm Ally.io to Drive New Microsoft Viva Module

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Microsoft has revealed the acquisition of Ally.io, continuing the company’s recent flurry of purchases across cloud and security. Alongside the confirmation, the company has detailed its plans for Ally.io through adding to the Microsoft Viva platform.

If you are unfamiliar with Ally.io, it is an OKR (objectives and key results) company, helping company’s to track results and performance.

In terms of integrating the service into Microsoft Viva, Ally.io will become the underpinning of a new Viva product alongside the four current modules (Insights, Connections, Learning, and Topics). Microsoft has not yet said what that new category will be.

Microsoft Viva is a new employee experience platform comprised of several components. Microsoft 365 underpins the Viva experience, which aims to provide a suite of tools across learning, resources, insights, knowledge, and communications.

The company is already highlighting how the integration works within Viva Connections. You can check out the video below for more details.

Long Term Plans

Furthermore, the company has wider plans for its Ally.io acquisition. For example, Microsoft has detailed its roadmap for the platform heading into 2022 and beyond:

“Over the next year, we’ll be investing to bring Ally.io into the Microsoft cloud, evolve the existing integrations with Microsoft Teams, and weave Ally.io into Viva, Office, Power BI and the broader set of Microsoft 365 apps and services,” the press release says.

Interestingly, Microsoft is planning to make Ally.io a component of some of its most important services, including Office and Teams.

As usual, Microsoft has not said how much it paid to acquire the company.

Tip of the day: It’s a good idea to backup your computer on a regular basis, and the most fool-proof way is to manually create a disk image in Windows 10 and save it to an external hard drive.

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

Leak: Microsoft and AMD Team for Windows on ARM Chip Development

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Microsoft is partnering with chipmaker AMD to develop a proprietary ARM processor for Windows laptops, according to reports. A tip from leaker FrontTron points to the collaboration as part of a report by Clien. It seems Microsoft and AMD will drive a new generation of Windows on ARM laptops running the silicon.

Windows on ARM has had mixed success… it has certainly not been a bold frontier of computing Microsoft was suggesting just a few years ago. Whether it is Microsoft own Surface Pro X or other laptops, the ARM revolution has been halted by patchy performance, app issues, and issues with chip selection.

It is unlikely we are going to get performance as good as top tier laptops, but it will get better. In fact, the leak suggests the performance will be a big improvement on previous Qualcomm chips used on Windows on ARM devices. However, it will not be as powerful as a laptop running a chip such as a GTX 1050.

FrontTron speculates the wider configuration of the Microsoft and AMD chip will include the Cortex-X1 core, 8 compute units, 5G connectivity courtesy of a Samsung Exynos modem, and a mRDNA 2 GPU.

 

While Microsoft and AMD are working on the chip, likely to be used in Surface devices, it will not be exclusive. That means other Windows on ARM OMDs will be able to access the silicon and use it in their devices.

New Era

Microsoft wants to steer Windows on ARM towards being a viable platform. So far, devices have failed to match the promise of laptop computing combined with the perks of mobile. Even the company’s own Surface Pro X failed to impress.

In fact, last year it emerged Apple’s new M1 chip was running Windows on ARM faster than the Pro X. By teaming with AMD, Microsoft likely wants hands on in the development of bespoke ARM chip for Windows devices.

Tip of the day: File History is a Windows 10 back up feature that saves each version of files in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Desktop, and Offline OneDrive folders. Though its name implies a primary focus on version control, you can actually use it as a fully-fledged backup tool for your important documents.

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Business Technology

Microsoft Joins Tech Giants to Form Trusted Cloud Principles

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Microsoft has teamed with some of its tech giant rivals to create new standards for secure cloud services and customer protection. Alongside Google, Amazon, Cisco, Salesforce/Slack, SAP, Atlassian, and IBM, the companies have created Trusted Cloud Principles.

The companies say this is a joint commitment from the world’s largest cloud providers to ensure fairness for customers.

“The Trusted Cloud Principles will help safeguard the interests of organizations and the basic rights of individuals using cloud services so that they can accomplish what they need in a safe and secure way,” the companies claim in a statement released this week.

“This initiative is more important today than ever … when some governments come directly to providers like us for access to customer data without their knowledge — in some cases for legitimate reasons but in other cases for reasons that could hinder basic human rights — it creates a tension that needs to be addressed through both technology and policies.

“Our Trusted Cloud Principles make it clear we seek to partner with governments around the world to resolve international conflicts of law that impede innovation, security, and privacy, and to establish and ensure basic protections for organizations that store and process data in the cloud.”

Principles

One of the goals of the group is to create standard principles that all companies will adhere to. For example, the signatories agree governments can seek cloud data information from customers before they go to the cloud provider. This may seem like passing the buck of privacy protection to the consumer, but it does give people more freedom.

However, it is worth noting this principle does say governments can go direct to companies in “exceptional circumstances.”

How different countries approach data can cause conflict, with differing laws allowing different levels of government interventions. Amongst the principles, the cloud giants want international legal frameworks to be in place to resolve these conflicts.

“We commit to working with governments to ensure digital connectivity among nations, to promote public safety, and to protect privacy and data security in the cloud in line with international human rights norms and the rule of law,” the signatories add.

Tip of the day: If you need to create an ad-hoc network, you can do it on Windows 10. In our tutorial we show you how to easily create a shareable wireless internet connection in Windows 10 as a free WIFI hotspot.

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

VideoProc Vlogger: Maybe the Best Free Video Editor Available Right Now

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VideoProc Vlogger - Editing Tools

Digiarty, the makers of the famous WinX DVD product line, have released its fully fledged free video editor VideoProc Vlogger.

If you still rely on Windows Movie Maker as your main tool for video editing as professional solutions like Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro are too expensive you might want to reconsider.

VideoProc Vlogger closes the gap between free video editing solutions with a limited feature set and commercial video editing tools for professionals

Here is our summary of what this free video editor for Windows and macOS has to offer.

Contents

  • 1 How VideoProc Vlogger works
  • 2 VideoProc Vlogger vs. Windows Movie Maker

How VideoProc Vlogger works

The interface VideoProc Vlogger uses a similar boxed structure like many commercial video editing tools such as Camtasia from Techsmith.

The media library on the upper left manages all video, audio, and image files you might want to use in your project. From there you just drag and drop to one track on the lower bottom. There is a detachable video player in the center and right to it VideoProc Vlogger will show you options for a selected tool or feature, if there are any.

VideoProc Vlogger - File Management - Video Track

VideoProc Vlogger uses four different types of zoomable tracks which can be created on upon another depending on your need: Overlay for videos and EffectAudio and Subtitle tracks. Several video tracks can be aligned easily and resized or placed in the video player canvas on top.

VideoProc Vlogger - Video Tracks and Picture in Picture

Right clicking any positions on a video track brings up a context menu where you can cut/split it and extract any included audio into a separate audio track. Editing tools can be found in a toolbar right above the track panel for cropping, changing speed or adding motion or color effects.

VideoProc Vlogger - Editing Tools

Like in the case of the cropping tool they open in a separate window showing different presets to choose from and also a preview to get an idea about the final result.

VideoProc Vlogger - Cropping

Color adjustments with the color and filter editor can be done using one of the many presets and also freely using one of the sliders on the right side.

VideoProc Vlogger - Color & Filter Editor

When working on audio or effects tracks the available editing tools in the toolbar change accordingly.

VideoProc Vlogger - Audio Track

VideoProc Vlogger supports multiple tracks not only for videos but also for audio and effect tracks which is useful for combining background music and voice recordings which can be added directly using your microphone.

VideoProc Vlogger - Multiple Audio Tracks

The integrated audio editor is not just limited to changing volume and the typical fade-in or fade-out effect. You can also use effects and filters such as Echo, Reverb, Low Pass, High Pass, Gain, Denoise and just sound with a built-in equalizer.

VideoProc Vlogger - Audio Track EditorEven in the equalizer, VideoProc Vlogger surprises with great attention to detail. It offers ten frequency bands and 12 presets.

VideoProc Vlogger - Audio Track Editor - EqualizerWhen editing your video with many cuts, more than 60 transition effects which can be placed between two video segments via drag and drop come in handy.

VideoProc Vlogger - Transitions

With 50 different video filter effects to choose from you should not run out of options to make your video projects enjoyable and impactful.

VideoProc Vlogger - Effects

Because effects can be stacked in separate tracks you can even combine them if you want to.

VideoProc Vlogger - Combining Effects

Once your video project is ready, you can choose the desired dimension and resolution and render it via the two buttons on the right side.

VideoProc Vlogger - Resolution and Rendering

The resolution selector offers various presets for different services and devices or a custom setting.

VideoProc Vlogger - Resolution Settings

VideoProc Vlogger saves into the video formats MP4 and MKV and audio formats MP3, M4A and FLAC. Details such as quality, codec, FPS, and bitrate can be chosen freely.

VideoProc Vlogger - Export Settings

VideoProc Vlogger vs. Windows Movie Maker

Although Windows Movie Maker has been discontinued by Microsoft in 2014 it is still being used by many as their free video editor of choice.

The main reason is simply that basically there are not many free video editors around to choose from. It also offered great usability and the most important features for simple video projects.

With Movie Maker, you can add an introductory screen, credits, a soundtrack, cut portions of the video, add visual filters. It also allows to turn videos 90° if they had been recorded the wrong way.

VideoProc Vlogger basically offers all of the features of Windows Movie Maker as it is a full video editing solution. It also takes benefit of modern GPUs from Intel, AMD and NVIDIA with Level-3 hardware acceleration. This makes editing and rendering as fast as it might get on your PC.

While for beginners switching from Windows Movie Maker VideoProc Vlogger might feel overwhelming the software is very easy to use and definitely worth the effort.

There were basically just two things we didn´t like with VideoProc Vlogger: The dark theme for the user interface which is hard to work with in bright environments and the quite large minimum window size of the program. But as it is a completely free video editor you will definitely find a way to deal with both.

 

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

Google Opens New Travel Sustainability Initiative

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Google-Sustainability-Logo

Google says it has opened a new division that will focus on analyzing the sustainability of travel trips its customers plan and take. The team is comprised of designers, engineers, and researchers that will work on solutions to draw conclusions on the potential impact on trips.

While an expansion to all facets of the travel sphere will arrive in the coming years, Google is debuting the team with a focus on sustainability of hotels. To achieve this, the company is collaborating with Travalyst coalition to help create standards for measuring emissions generated by air travel.

This is now integrated with Google Hotel Search. Now when users search hotels, they can see which put sustainability at the forefront of their experience. Those that meet Google’s standards will be given an eco-certified badge.

Importantly, the certifications are given from independent bodies like EarthCheck. In other words, they hold some real world legitimacy. Google will also include a section in the “About” sections of each hotel to highlight what the organization does in terms of sustainability.

Information Gathering

One obvious question is how does Google assess the hotels and gather its information? Well, the company explains its methods in the announcement blog:

“We’re working with hotels around the world, including independent hotels and chains such as Hilton and Accor, to gather this information and make it easily accessible. If you’re a hotel owner with eco-certifications or sustainability practices you want to share with travelers, simply sign in to Google My Business to add the attributes to your Business Profile or contact Google My Business support.”

Tip of the day: Did you know you can also use OneDrive to save folders and files in the cloud which are located outside the main OneDrive-folder. Check out our step-by-step tutorial to use this practical method also for your Windows 10-PC.

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