Review Category : Research

Microsoft today announced the launch of Interflow, a security and threat information exchange platform for professionals working in cybersecurity. The service is now in private beta. Microsoft wants to eliminate manual processes, rapidly detect and analyze using automated machine-to-machine shared security and threat information, while helping reduce cost of defense. It is built based on the STIX (Structured Threat Information eXpression), TAXII (Trusted Automated eXchange of Indicator Information), and CyBox (Cyber Observable eXpression standards) specifications. Interflow enables automated machine-to-machine exchange of security and threat information, using community-driven format and structure specifications. It allows users to create their own sharing communities, and define what to share and with whom. Interflow’s filtering capabilities enable users to create watch lists and prioritize rapid action, instead of manual compilation of data. Through Interflow’s watch lists, customers no longer have to look for needles in a haystack. Organizations and enterprises with dedicated security incident response ...

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  Based on previous reports, we already know that Microsoft is working on a smartwatch. The smartwatch will work with iPhones, Android and Windows devices. Forbes reported that it will continuously measure heart rate through the day and night and will offer up to two days of battery life. Today, Venturebeat confirmed that the rumors and report from Forbes are true based on their sources. Venturebeat also reports that Microsoft’s HealthVault will become a key offering the upcoming Microsoft wearable product. Microsoft HealthVault helps you gather, store, use, and share health information for you and your family. Hundreds of apps and services can share the health related data directly to HealthVault. They also added that Microsoft is still months away from releasing its health wearable. Hopefully, Microsoft will release it before the end of this year! Source: Venturebeat   ...

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Virtual or soft keyboards has now become a norm on touch screen systems as it is the primary way to type text on these systems. Today, an old Microsoft patent went public in which Microsoft is describing a virtual touchpad. Just like virtual keyboards, virtual touchpads will be displayed in the OS and the user interaction on the virtual touchpad will be processed by the OS similar to how they handle actual physical touchpads. Abstract: Embodiments described herein are directed to simultaneously presenting a virtual touchpad and a graphical user interface of an operating system on the same display. A user can interact with the OS using the virtual touchpad, and user touches are read by a touch-screen portion of the display assigned to the touchpad. Touch input software converts touch packets from user touches into data packets relevant to the screen and display resolution of either the display or ...

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Yesterday, we reported that Microsoft is planning to replace traditional CPUs in data centers with field-programmable arrays, or FPGAs, processors that Microsoft could modify specifically for use with its own software. These FPGAs are already available in the market and Microsoft is sourcing it from a company called Altera. The FPGAs are 40 times faster than a CPU at processing Bing’s custom algorithms. Overall system will be twice as fast as Bing’s existing system and Microsoft can decrease the number of servers that they already use in half. Doug Burger, the man behind this Project Catapult talks about this new era of computing.   Larry Larsen speaks with Doug Burger about the findings of a Microsoft Research and Bing research project that equipped servers with reconfigurable hardware, in the form of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), to accelerate datacenter services. Based on the success of the pilot, Bing will roll out FPGA-enhanced servers in ...

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Peter Lee, Corporate VP and Head of Microsoft Research at Microsoft was recently interviewed at FiRe 2014 conference by BBC presenter Ed Butler. The topic of discussion was “Artificial Intelligence Helping Humans: Future Research”. Peter started by talking about what Microsoft Research, how it is well funded by Microsoft and how it touches all parts of Microsoft with its work. Microsoft Research also contributed significantly to the Cortana digital assistant for Windows Phone. He said that Cortana in its current form is the least which you can derive from mining data from users and he expects it to grow in many other ways in the future. He also talks about the limits of Cortana like situational awareness, correlation of data from lots of noisy data and more. Watch the full video above.   ...

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Recently, we covered a key patent Microsoft filed for its eye-wear represented in the patent application as before. According to leaked Xbox documents, Microsoft is expected to reveal their AR glasses for games this year. We didn’t hear anything from Microsoft on this front from E3, so there is a possibility that the project got delayed due to some reasons. Today, WPDang reported that Microsoft’s augmented reality project is currently put on hold. According to their sources, the issue is related to patent licensing. The key patents related to Kinect sensor are limited to their current purpose and cannot be used for these glasses. Bing translated content from WPDang, But recently, the WPDang learned through their own channels, users who expect the Xbox virtual glasses may be disappointed. In current Microsoft Xbox team‘s internal plans, has canceled plans to the glasses, actually related development and without any problem, the main ...

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Microsoft deploys thousands of servers every year in its data centers to run its growing web services and cloud business. In fact, they recently revealed that have about one million computers in more than 100 data centers spread over 40 countries. Microsoft’s problem is that chips are no longer improving at the same rate they once were. They want to improve the data center efficiency. So far, all of Microsoft’s data centers are powered by traditional Intel CPUs running usual server software. Now, they are planning to replace it with field-programmable arrays, or FPGAs, processors that Microsoft could modify specifically for use with its own software. These FPGAs are already available in the market and Microsoft is sourcing it from a company called Altera. This whole idea was started by Doug Burger from Microsoft Research, he called it Project Catapult. In a first for Microsoft, he approved a 1,600-server pilot-system to ...

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Stem cells are undifferentiated biological cells that can differentiate into specialized cells and can divide to produce more stem cells. Stem cells can be used to repair damaged tissue and even grow into new organs. Even though Stem cells are used in come medical therapies, it is limited due to the highly complex web of genetic and environmental interactions based on which Stem cells can do either self-renewal or differentiation. Researchers are finding the way to determine the fate of any particular stem cell. A computational biologist at Microsoft Research in Cambridge has found a more deterministic, reliable method to do that. His method uses Microsoft’s Windows bug testing software which uses the technique called Formal Verification. Researchers have found they could use the software to predict with about 70 per cent accuracy how the cells would respond to genetic changes. They used a technique pioneered at Smith’s lab that ...

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Station Q is a Microsoft Research lab located on the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Topological quantum computing is the main research area over there. They are exploring theoretical and experimental approaches to creating the reliable quantum analog of the traditional bit—the qubit. Speaking to MIT Technology Review, Microsoft Research CVP Peter Lee revealed that Microsoft had previously kept its quantum effort relatively quiet, but that positive results have convinced him to be more open. The theoretical basis of topological qubits was first sketched out at UC Santa Barbara roughly eight years ago, says Lee. Then, around four years ago, Microsoft researchers led work to pose a series of key tests that could show whether those ideas could work in reality. Microsoft funded several labs around the world to work on those questions, says Lee. “Two years ago the results started to come in positive.” Work is ...

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Imagine you are going for a clothing store fitting room, and you can get the different size, color of the garment you need with a simple touch. This is becoming real as a new project by Accenture, Avanade, and Microsoft has prototyped exactly this. This “Connected Fitting Room” project makes uses of RFID technology to track what you try on and use that data for other purposes such as recommendations, etc. In the Connected Fitting Room, each garment in the store is labeled with an RFID tag–a low-power radio transmitter that identifies itself, like, “Hey, I’m a medium Ralph Lauren plaid shirt!” Then, inside the fitting room, there’s a an RFID reader. So when a shopper walks into the room, that clothing uploads to the network, and then it appears on a screen in the room. Want another size or color? Just tap the screen, and a clerk will receive ...

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On the eve of World Cup Football event, Microsoft Bing today posted their predictions for this biggest sporting event in the world. Microsoft recently posted predictions on which contestants were most likely to get voted off or win The Voice, Dancing With the Stars, and American Idol, and they are taking the experiment a step further applying it to the World Cup.   When a user search for “World Cup”, “Predictions”, or any matches, Microsoft will display the chances of each respective team to win as seen in the image above. How Did We Come Up with the Predictions? The process of predicting outcomes of sporting events is unlike voting show predictions, as popularity and some sentiment signals do not play similar roles in determining who wins a contest.  Rather, the actions and performances of a handful of individuals solely determine who wins, loses, or ties.  For the tournament, our models evaluate the ...

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Based on previous reports, we already know that Microsoft is working on a smartwatch. The smartwatch will work with iPhones, Android and Windows devices. It will continuously measure heart rate through the day and night and will offer up to two days of battery life. Today, Gearlive.com claimed that they have seen the device in person, and it was similar to Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit in appearance. The device will include heart rate monitor, accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS, and a galvanic skin response sensor all built-in. The report even claims that Microsoft might make announcement about this device at E3 tomorrow. The Motely Fool even reports that Microsoft has already announced the Smartwatch, Microsoft just announced that it is developing a smartwatch that can monitor a user’s heart rate with a battery that lasts for up to two days. The watch will be compatible with Windows Phone, Apple iOS, and Google ...

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Microsoft always predicts the technology future correct than any other technology company. They did it in the past with PC revolution, tablets, smartphones, smart watches, interactive live TV, and even smart homes. The above video is the Microsoft’s vision of the future smart home released in the 90′s. As you can see, there are lots of things you saw in the video is now available in the market. Yet, there is no Smart home solution that works in a integrated way as Microsoft’s predicted. Hopefully, Microsoft will be able to deliver this Smart home platform before anyone else. Even though Microsoft entered smartphone, smart watch and tablet industries before anyone else in the industry, Microsoft is now trailing. I really hope Microsoft does not miss yet another opportunity. What do you think? ...

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Microsoft Research is working on a system that makes sounds seem to originate from specific points in space. Electronics on the top of the headphones have sensors to track the motion of the wearer’s head. Microsoft Researchers call it a 3-D Audio. Technology Review recently had a chance to experience this technology at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley lab. I put on a pair of wireless headphones that made nearby objects suddenly burst into life. A voice appeared to emanate from a cardboard model of a portable radio. Higher quality music seemed to come from a fake hi-fi speaker. And a stuffed bird high off the ground produced realistic chirps. As I walked around, the sounds changed so that the illusion never slipped as their position relative to my ears changed. That somewhat eerie experience was made possible because less than a minute earlier I had sat down in front of a ...

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Microsoft and the University of Maryland have developed a Bitcoin alternative called “Permacoins”. Bitcoin have become the successful e-cash system in the recent years, but mining Bitcoins wastes computational resources. Bitcoin’s underlying mining mechanism, attempting to solve computational puzzles that have no intrinsic utility. So, Premacoins re-purposes its mining resources to achieve a more broadly useful goal like distributed storage of archival data. For example, you could store some 100GB of government data on your system to earn premacoins. Unlike Bitcoin and its proposed alternatives, Permacoin requires clients to invest not just computational resources, but also storage. Our scheme involves an alternative scratch-off puzzle for Bitcoin based on Proofs-of-Retrievability (PORs). Successfully minting money with this SOP requires local, random access to a copy of a file. Given the competition among mining clients in Bitcoin, this modified SOP gives rise to highly decentralized file storage, thus reducing the overall waste of ...

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This is a new project called deCIPHER which is a collaboration between Microsoft researcher Lucy Vanderwende and University of Washington researchers which uses Microsoft Research toolkit. The project uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to diagnose critical illnesses automatically from a patient’s electronic medical records. They took the data of the electronic medical records in the diagnosis of pneumonia in approximately 100 patients being treated in the ICU at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center. And they applied the NLP tools from Microsoft to identify the critical clinical information and trained the software using machine learning techniques. MSR claims that the software achieved a correct diagnosis with correct time-of-onset for positive cases in 84 percent of the patients. Electronic medical records can be especially useful in the diagnosis of pneumonia, which has a nasty habit of appearing after a patient has been hospitalized in the intensive care unit (ICU). Currently, ...

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