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Business Technology

LinkedIn Joins Social Media Giants Refusing to Work with Hong Kong Law Enforcement

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Microsoft-owned LinkedIn has joined a group of social media giants in halting its work with law enforcement services in Hong Kong. Alongside WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram, and Twitter, the company will no longer process data request from Hong Kong authorities.

According to the South China Morning Post, LinkedIn and the other companies took the action in response to new security laws in Hong Kong. Under those changes, new crimes were created. For example, conspiring with foreigners to incite hatred towards the Chinese government.

This new crime carries a sentence of life imprisonment even though it seems like a groundless accusation. The rules are controversial because they apparently break a pact China made when it took Hong Kong back from the British in 1997.

Specifically, the Chinese promised Hong Kong would enjoy more independent freedoms compared to mainland China. These freedoms would last for 50 years after the switch. Many see the new crimes as China compromising that promise.

Leaving the Market?

As for LinkedIn, the company says it has paused all requests to work with law enforcement. In the report, the Morning Post says the government is likely to retaliate against the companies. Specifically, it could block their websites in the region.

Some believe this could lead those companies to simply remove themselves from the Hong Kong market entirely. Hong Kong IT-sector lawmaker Charles Mok said he thinks companies may reconsider their position in the country.

“They will be worried and start asking themselves if they will be arrested, even if they are just in transit through Hong Kong,” he said.

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

Google Chrome Could Soon Reduce Battery Consumption by Up to 28%

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Google wants to help users save battery life when using its Chrome web browser. To help reach the goal, the company is testing a new feature that will reduce battery consumption from between 13% and 28%.

While technology moves at a rapid pace in some areas, in others progress is more restricted. In the laptop and mobile device market, aspects like screen resolution, power, and performance enhance almost yearly. However, in terms of battery evolution there has been less development. As such, battery life has become an increasingly important metric for customers.

Google’s Chrome testing involves managing the JavaScript timer wake up frequency for tabs that are inactive or hidden for over five minutes. This essentially allows less power to be consumed by those tabs.

According to Google, the feature is currently in testing for Chrome. Of course, Microsoft Edge is based on the Chromium engine these days. If Google launches this new tool beyond testing, it could one day by integrated into the Edge experience.

In documentation detailing the tests, Google shows some positive results. The company decided to look into power consumption when it realized a lot of processing was handled by JavaScript times. These timers place intervals between when code should execute:

“We found that the work done from these Javascript timers was often not valuable to the user when the page was backgrounded (e.g. checking if scroll position changed, reporting logs, analyzing interactions with ads). We made the hypothesis that reducing the number of wake ups from Javascript timers in a backgrounded page could extend battery life.”

Google says it was able to cut battery consumption without compromising the overall user experience. In other words, the Chrome browser will be as fast as normal but will afford improved battery use.

Tests

Google describes two tests, both run on a top-range 2018 MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i9 CPU and 32GB of RAM.

In the first test, Chrome was running 36 tabs (18 tabs doubled) in the background with one foreground tab on about:blank. Google says the background tabs were open to logged in pages for Gmail and Facebook. Tests were run until the battery run out. Comparing the test on Chrome and Apple’s Safari, Google found a 28% (2 hours) improvement.

The same test was run a second time, but now Google used a YouTube video streaming in the foreground tab. The company says this was done to show the background apps can reduce power consumption even when an intensive foreground app is open. This second test resulted in a 13% improvement over Safari.

These tests are currently ongoing through a hidden flag on the Chrome Canary channel.

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

Microsoft ALT: A New Website to Highlight Microsoft Research Projects

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Microsoft has launched a new umbrella under its Microsoft Research division that aims to be “The future from an alternative perspective”. Aptly called Microsoft ALT, the new website compiles research projects that Microsoft deems as alternative.

It seems the project highlighted on the Microsoft ALT website can come from varying niches considering the range of the initial five projects. According to WalkingCat on Twitter, Microsoft has also trademarked the ALT title.

Microsoft waxes lyrical about the concept of ALT:

“The future is discovered in the unexpected. It’s found where no one has thought to look. And where no one, yet, has had the courage to go.”

Those lofty words essentially mean Microsoft ALT will look to highlight ongoing research projects. There are currently 5 projects on the site: Exploring AI at Scale, Building a Planetary Computer, Fusing Art and Science, Optics of the Cloud and Biological Computing.

Details

It is worth noting when you head into one of these projects, there is not a specific line of research. Instead, Microsoft is providing an overview of innovations in these areas. For example, the Exploring AI at Scale section highlights how AI and language models are evolving:

“Training AI models of this magnitude requires a massive infrastructure. We’ve built this large-scale infrastructure on the Azure AI platform composed of huge clusters of thousands of Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) for AI acceleration, interconnected with the latest high-bandwidth networks inside each server and across all servers.”

It seems that the projects chart Microsoft’s progress and ongoing research in certain areas of innovation. Still, it’s a nice collection and worth checking out.

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

Microsoft ALT: A New Website to Highlight Microsoft Research Projects

Microsoft-ALT-Microsoft-768×313

Microsoft has launched a new umbrella under its Microsoft Research division that aims to be “The future from an alternative perspective”. Aptly called Microsoft ALT, the new website compiles research projects that Microsoft deems as alternative.

It seems the project highlighted on the Microsoft ALT website can come from varying niches considering the range of the initial five projects. According to WalkingCat on Twitter, Microsoft has also trademarked the ALT title.

Microsoft waxes lyrical about the concept of ALT:

“The future is discovered in the unexpected. It’s found where no one has thought to look. And where no one, yet, has had the courage to go.”

Those lofty words essentially mean Microsoft ALT will look to highlight ongoing research projects. There are currently 5 projects on the site: Exploring AI at Scale, Building a Planetary Computer, Fusing Art and Science, Optics of the Cloud and Biological Computing.

Details

It is worth noting when you head into one of these projects, there is not a specific line of research. Instead, Microsoft is providing an overview of innovations in these areas. For example, the Exploring AI at Scale section highlights how AI and language models are evolving:

“Training AI models of this magnitude requires a massive infrastructure. We’ve built this large-scale infrastructure on the Azure AI platform composed of huge clusters of thousands of Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) for AI acceleration, interconnected with the latest high-bandwidth networks inside each server and across all servers.”

It seems that the projects chart Microsoft’s progress and ongoing research in certain areas of innovation. Still, it’s a nice collection and worth checking out.

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

Restrict creation of OneDrive for Business accounts for Users

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In this guide, we’ll show you how to disable OneDrive for Business creation for users without stopping them from accessing and using SharePoint Online or the Files tab in Teams.

Many organizations who rapidly roll-out Teams before other services want to stop users from sending files using chat, and want to stop users from uploading files into their personal OneDrive. Most commonly, you will migrate a user’s data such as home drives as a project in itself.

Disable the creation of OneDrive for Business for users

To disable the creation of OneDrive for Business for users, you’ll need to follow the following steps. Note that you’ll need to do this before users start accessing OneDrive.

Learn more: How to quickly install and configure Azure AD Connect

First, navigate to the Microsoft 365 admin center at admin.microsoft.com then scroll down to Admin Centers > SharePoint.

Restrict OneDrive forBusiness accounts for users screenshot

Next, in the SharePoint Admin Center, choose More features.

SharePoint Admin Center

In the More Features section, choose User Profiles.

More features for user profiles

This will open up a new browser window. From here, choose Manage User Permissions.

Manage user permissions

A dialogue should now show in this window. In here you’ll see the settings for everyone within the organization.

Restrict for everyone

To restrict OneDrive for Business creation for everyone, you’ll need to revoke that permission on this page. Select Everyone except external users then scroll to the Permissions section and untick Create Personal Site, then choose OK:

Allow OneDrive for certain users or a group

If you want to allow a user or group to have OneDrive for Business, then you can add people or groups individually. If you are adding a group, this must be a Security group, not a Microsoft 365 group or Distribution Group.

In the example below, we’ll add the “Pilot Group”:

Pilot group

Next, we will select Pilot Group from the list, and then select Create Personal Site, then choose OK.

Create personal site

Within around 30 minutes these settings should take effect in Microsoft 365

Source Practical365

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Business Technology

LinkedIn To Introduce Secondary Status Line for Profiles

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Since falling under Microsoft’s wing, LinkedIn has gone through major changes and more incremental tweaks. In its latest move, the company is looking to change the way users see the status line in the app.

According to reverse engineer Jane Wong, LinkedIn will soon have two status line. Firstly, there will be the “Headline” status line that is currently on the platform. Next there will be a new “Current Status” that will serve as a secondary line.

While it is unclear the exact purpose of the secondary line, it seems to be for status updates that are short term. This would allow LinkedIn users to efficiently tell visitors their status.

For example, the Headline status would cover wider work goals such as “engineer for X company” while the secondary line would allow more incremental status updates like “current developing X”.

While Wong discovered this feature is in the pipeline, it is unknown when LinkedIn will make it official.

Growth

Last month, Microsoft debuted a couple of interesting new features for LinkedIn. The first was a poll tool for feedback information. The new polls feature allows organizations and individuals to gain valuable feedback and can be created in 30 seconds.

Microsoft also introduced LinkedIn Virtual Events. This a combination of the company’s Live and Events features to help businesses host events during COVID-19.

LinkedIn continues to enjoy steady growth, seemingly making Microsoft’s bumper $26 billion acquisition of the company a wise move. In its last financial results, Redmond revealed the platform’s revenue increased 21 percent.

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

Microsoft Confirms Virtual Build 2020 Will be Held May 19-20

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Microsoft has announced the dates for its virtual Build 2020 developer conference. The company says the event will be held on May 19 and May 20.

It seems a long time ago that the COVID-19 outbreak started and first influenced all aspects of our lives. However, it was only two months ago. Back in February, coronavirus was a concern, but its threat only included caution and some tech events being cancelled. How times have changes.

Some of those events were Microsoft’s as the company was about to embark on a busy conference season. Build 2020 was the biggest casualty as the physical event was cancelled. However, Microsoft was committed to delivering its events in the digital space.

“The safety of our community is a top priority. In light of the health safety recommendations for Washington State, we will deliver our annual Microsoft Build event for developers as a digital event, in lieu of an in-person event,” Microsoft said. “We look forward to bringing together our ecosystem of developers in this new virtual format to learn, connect and code together. Stay tuned for more details to come.”

Date Confirmation

While the company announced Build 2020 would be held online, date confirmations were not given. When Microsoft announced Build 2020 last September, the dates for the physical conference were May 19-21.

So, for the virtual event the company is sticking to hat schedule, albeit with one day shaved off. It is worth pointing out Microsoft never suggested the dates would change, so this only serves as some official confirmation.

During the Windows Insider podcase, Microsoft discussed how developers can work with Build this year.

“Join us for virtual booth sessions to ask questions, talk about Build content, and chat with the Windows Insider team. Mark your calendar and follow our Mixer channel now!”

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

Microsoft Forgotten GroupMe App Scores Skype Video Call Integration

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Who remembers Microsoft GroupMe? You, at the back? Well, the forgotten chat and messaging app has been given a breath of life. Microsoft has decided to roll up an update for the tool. This is a surprise because GroupMe has been ignored by the company in recent years.

If you are unfamiliar with GroupMe, it is a service that gives users tools to sort and manage contacts by creating groups. Adding contacts to the app via phone or email brings up several chat options.

Since Microsoft bought Skype in 2011, the company’s efforts on GroupMe have reduced. The app has received updates, but not anything significant in recent years. Despite this, the tool remains relatively popular in the United States.

With version 2.41.1.0 of the Windows 10 app, users can now schedule Skype calls, making it more useful. At the moment, the update is limited to the Android flavor of the app but should make its way to iOS and Windows soon.

Clearly, Microsoft sees an ongoing purpose for GroupMe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital communication services have soared over the last month with hundreds of millions of people around the world confined indoors.

While this is not a full embrace of Skype, it makes the integration between the apps more efficient. Setting up Skype group calls is easy. There’s a Skype logo at the top of a GroupMe chat that allows users to start a video call in Skype. When the icon is selected, a link is placed in the chat that leads to the Skype call.

Expanding Meet Now

The new tool for GroupMe build on Skype’s recent Meet Now feature. Microsoft has recently been talking up the benefits of Meet Up over Zoom. Both Skype and Zoom has seen massive expansion during the coronavirus outbreak. However, Microsoft argues Skype provides several advantages.

Namely, it does not require a host to have an account or download an app. Instead, users create a link and send it to participants through email. These recipients can chat with the host directly through their web browser. They don’t need Skype and the host does not need an account.

You can get the new Skype integration for GroupMe on Android from the Play Store here. The app is also available on iOS here and Windows here sans the new addition.

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

WhatsApp Cracks down on Coronavirus Mass-Forwarding

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WhatsApp has drastically cut the number of people to which users can forward coronavirus-related messages. Under new restrictions, you can only forward messages that didn’t come from a close contact to one person at a time.

This should, in theory, reduce the message chaining that can lead to successful, widespread disinformation campaigns. Last year, the platform introduced the double arrow feature, which highlights messages that have been forwarded many times, and it’s to these the restrictions will be applied.

In the process, though, Facebook’s platform could be limiting the spread of information that’s accurate and useful. Health advice, news and statistics, and event organization for front line workers can all fall into this category. The specificity of the restrictions should help with this, but there will be a small price to pay.

To make up for this potential information gap, WhatsApp says it’s working with WHO and up to 20 national health ministries to deliver accurate information. It’s taking the burden of messaging upon itself and says it’s sent information to hundreds of millions skin for advice. In the past, it’s proven an effective tactic.

“As a private messaging service, we’ve taken several steps over the years to help keep conversations intimate,” said the company. “For example, we previously set limits on forwarded messages to constrain virality. At the time, we saw a 25% decrease in total message forwards globally.”

Indian users, in particular, have noted issues with message spam in the past. Facebook’s messaging platform is intensely popular in the country, and election periods have been a particular pain point. Around a year ago, it unveiled Project Tipline, which users in the region can forward messages to for fact-checking.

However, with Tipline, some publications noted hours of delays or no response at all. There are so many seeking information on coronavirus that it’s clear the automated response is the right one here.

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

WhatsApp Restricts Double Arrow Messages to Stop COVID-19 Misinformation

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Whats App has become the latest tech company to restrict its service during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, while companies like Microsoft has reduced services to cope with the strain of users, Whats App has another reason.

The Facebook-owned app announced this week it has restricted allowing users to forward message with “double arrows”. Specifically, users will be limited to one of these forwarded messages per chat. Whats App says the decision was taken to curb misinformation surrounding the corona virus outbreak.

Misinformation has become common around the pandemic, causing confusion amongst people. WhatsApp debuted the double arrows feature back in 2019. It allows users to know which messages have come from third-party sources and have been shared many times.

However, these messages also allowed people to quickly pass on viral messages. WhatsApp says in the current situation, the feature is being used to spread misinformation. So, double arrow messages are now restricted to one per chat.

“With billions of people unable to see their friends and family in person due to COVID-19, people are relying on WhatsApp more than ever to communicate…

Is all forwarding bad? Certainly not. We know many users forward helpful information, as well as funny videos, memes, and reflections or prayers they find meaningful. In recent weeks, people have also used WhatsApp to organize public moments of support for frontline health workers. However, we’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of forwarding which users have told us can feel overwhelming and can contribute to the spread of misinformation. We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation.”

Recent Chatbot and Facebook Action

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has been focused on ensuring authentic information is used. In March, the company rolled out a chatbot that answers questions related to coronavirus. The bot was created in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO).

In February, Facebook took early action to clamp down on misinformation around coronavirus. Facebook said it will make a more asserted effort to ensure fake news is removed from the site. Speaking to Business Insider, the company said the following:

“We recently implemented a policy to prohibit ads that refer to the coronavirus and create a sense of urgency, like implying a limited supply, or guaranteeing a cure or prevention. We also have policies for surfaces like Marketplace that prohibit similar behaviour.”

Source Winbuzzer

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