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Microsoft

Microsoft Asks Node.js To Allow ChakraCore (Edge) Alongside Google's V8 Engine (softpedia.com) 146

campuscodi writes: Microsoft has submitted an official pull request to the Node.js project, through which it's asking the project's maintainers to enable support for ChakraCore, the JavaScript engine packed inside Microsoft's Edge browser, as an alternative to Node's built-in V8 engine, developed by Google. Earlier in December 2015, Microsoft open-sourced ChakraCore. Microsoft has also been one of the biggest companies to adopt Node.js early on, and is also part of the Node.js Foundation's Board o Directors. The main reason to add ChakraCore support in Node.js will help the IoT version of Windows 10 to run JS apps on IoT devices, just like Samsung is also thinking about.
Microsoft

Microsoft Leaks New HoloLens Details (mashable.com) 71

New submitter moriarty1972 writes: More details about Microsoft's HoloLens have come out. The device will offer roughly five to five and a half hours of battery life when working on Word documents or email, and about two and a half hours when using it for highly intensive computational work involving detailed renderings. Mashable reports: "Microsoft's augmented reality headset called the HoloLens has already won over a number of fans eager to try the device, but details about how it works have been scarce However, a few more bits of information about the HoloLens leaked during a recent event in Tel Aviv, Israel, courtesy of Bruce Harris, a technical evangelist at Microsoft."
Ubuntu

AT&T Chooses Ubuntu Linux Instead of Microsoft Windows (betanews.com) 167

An anonymous reader writes: one of the largest cellular providers is the venerable AT&T. While it sells many Linux-powered Android devices, it is now embracing the open source kernel in a new way. You see, the company has partnered with Canonical to utilize Ubuntu for cloud, network, and enterprise applications. That's right, AT&T did not choose Microsoft's Windows when exploring options. Canonical will provide continued engineering support too.
Microsoft

Microsoft Open-Sources Its JavaScript Engine Chakra (windows.com) 141

An anonymous reader writes: As promised, Microsoft has open-sourced the core components of Chakra, the company's JavaScript engine used in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer. The project, dubbed ChakraCore, has been released under the MIT License on GitHub. The official blog post reads in part: "The ChakraCore repository provides a fully supported and open-source standalone JavaScript engine, with the same characteristics as the Microsoft Edge’s Chakra engine, to embed in projects, innovate on top of and contribute back to. We will be accepting community contributions and input to ChakraCore. Once the changes from any pull request have been vetted, our goal is to ensure that all changes find their way to be shipped as a part of the JavaScript engine powering Microsoft Edge and the Universal Windows Platform on Windows 10."
Facebook

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo Balk At UK's Investigatory Powers (betanews.com) 55

Mark Wilson writes: The Investigatory Powers Bill may only be in draft form at the moment, but the UK government has already received criticism for its plans. Today, scores of pieces of written evidence, both for and against the proposals, have been published, including input from the Reform Government Surveillance (RGS) coalition. Five key members of the coalition are Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo. In their written evidence, the quintet of tech companies express their concerns about the draft bill, seek clarification from the UK government, and issue warnings about the implications of such a bill. The evidence (document IPB0116) says that any surveillance undertaken by the government need to be 'targeted, lawful, proportionate, necessary, jurisdictionally bounded, and transparent'. The coalition notes that many other countries are watching to see what the UK does.
Microsoft

Javier Soltero: The Outsider Microsoft Tapped To Reinvent Outlook (windowsitpro.com) 184

v3rgEz writes: In a wide ranging interview, IT Pro talks with Microsoft's Javier Soltero about his plans to help Redmond get its groove back when it comes to email, walking a fine line between keeping traditional Outlook users (and IT administrators) happy while radically reworking software that hasn't seen a huge shakeup since 2003.
Microsoft

Microsoft Monitoring How Long You Use Windows 10 (betanews.com) 314

Mark Wilson writes: The various privacy concerns surrounding Windows 10 have received a lot of coverage in the media, but it seems that there are ever more secrets coming to light. The Threshold 2 Update did nothing to curtail privacy invasion, and the latest Windows 10 installation figures show that Microsoft is also monitoring how long people are using the operating system. This might seem like a slightly strange statistic for Microsoft to keep track of, but the company knows how long, collectively, Windows 10 has been running on computers around the world. To have reached this figure (11 billion hours in December, apparently) Microsoft must have been logging individuals' usage times. Intrigued, we contacted Microsoft to find out what on earth is going on.
Microsoft

Microsoft Makes a Selfie App For the iPhone (theverge.com) 50

New submitter Nanmillerp sends word about Microsoft Garage's newest app which aims to take the best selfies possible. The Verge reports: "Microsoft's newest app for iOS isn't a piece of productivity software. No, it's a selfie app. Unambiguously called Microsoft Selfie, the product is designed to improve photo qualities like color balance, skin tone, and lighting for the most shareable shot possible. It's a more subtle version of Lumia Selfie, Microsoft's previous self-portrait app designed for Windows phones. On a deeper level, Microsoft Selfie appears to be just one of the many ways the company is using machine learning in everyday situations, similar to the software Microsoft released back April that would guess your age based on a photo. Microsoft Selfie's app description says it takes 'age, gender, skin tone, lighting, and many other variables into account' to help alter your self-portraits with 'intelligent enhancements.'"
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Microsoft Patents a Slider, Earning EFF's "Stupid Patent of the Month" Award (arstechnica.com) 127

An anonymous reader writes with news that the EFF has given Microsoft a dubious award this month for their slider patent. According to Ars: "The Electronic Frontier Foundation's 'Stupid Patent of the Month' for December isn't owned by a sketchy shell company, but rather the Microsoft Corporation. The selection, published yesterday, is the first time the EFF has picked a design patent as the SPOTM. The blog post seeks to highlight some of the problems with those lesser-known cousins to standard 'utility' patents, especially the damages that can result. The chosen patent (PDF), numbered D554,140, would seem to be one of those things that's so simple it raises some basic philosophical questions about the patent system. That's because it's just a slider, in the bottom-right corner of a window, with a plus sign at one end and a minus sign at the other. That's it.
Microsoft

Microsoft Has Your Encryption Key If You Use Windows 10 (theintercept.com) 314

An anonymous reader writes with this bit of news from the Intercept. If you login to Windows 10 using your Microsoft account, your computer automatically uploads a copy of your recovery key to a Microsoft servers. From the article: "The fact that new Windows devices require users to backup their recovery key on Microsoft's servers is remarkably similar to a key escrow system, but with an important difference. Users can choose to delete recovery keys from their Microsoft accounts – something that people never had the option to do with the Clipper chip system. But they can only delete it after they've already uploaded it to the cloud.....As soon as your recovery key leaves your computer, you have no way of knowing its fate. A hacker could have already hacked your Microsoft account and can make a copy of your recovery key before you have time to delete it. Or Microsoft itself could get hacked, or could have hired a rogue employee with access to user data. Or a law enforcement or spy agency could send Microsoft a request for all data in your account, which would legally compel them to hand over your recovery key, which they could do even if the first thing you do after setting up your computer is delete it. As Matthew Green, professor of cryptography at Johns Hopkins University puts it, 'Your computer is now only as secure as that database of keys held by Microsoft, which means it may be vulnerable to hackers, foreign governments, and people who can extort Microsoft employees.'"
Microsoft

The Reason a Surface Phone Won't Fix Microsoft's Mobile Problem (windows10update.com) 154

Ammalgam writes: Microsoft's CMO recently admitted that Microsoft was behind in the mobile arena and needed time to build a competitive phone. In the Windows community however, some feel that the Windows Phone platform is out of time. On Windows10Update.com, the author discusses some of the reasons why a "Surface Phone" might not be enough to fundamentally change public perception about Microsoft mobile phones.
Google

Google Joins Mozilla, Microsoft In Pushing For Early SHA-1 Crypto Cutoff (blogspot.com) 115

itwbennett writes: Due to recent research showing that SHA-1 is weaker than previously believed, Mozilla, Microsoft and now Google are all considering bringing the deadline forward by six months to July 1, 2016. Websites like Facebook and those protected by CloudFlare have implemented a SHA-1 fallback mechanism. Both companies have argued that there are millions of people in developing countries that still use browsers and operating systems that do not support SHA-2, the replacement function for SHA-1, and will therefore be cut off from encrypted websites that move to SHA-2 certificates.
Businesses

Microsoft Buys Talko, Another Ray Ozzie Company (fortune.com) 10

alphadogg writes: Every decade or so Microsoft seems to feel the need to buy a Ray Ozzie company. This time it's Talko, a Boston-based startup dedicated to helping workgroups (or families or other sets of associates) collaborate using their smartphones. Terms were not disclosed, but in a blog post the company said Talko technology, at least part of it, will live on in Skype. If this rings a bell to long-timers it's because ten years ago Microsoft bought Groove Networks, Ozzie's then Boston-area startup geared for, yes, computer-assisted collaboration.
Microsoft

Microsoft Fails Windows Phone Fans Again By Delaying Windows 10 Mobile (venturebeat.com) 189

An anonymous reader writes that Microsoft says the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade will begin early next year. The company had previously promised a roll out this month. Venturebeat reports: "Windows Phone fans and fanboys have a tough job. They have to stand by an operating system with a new name every few years, significantly fewer apps than the competition, and a distant third place spot in the market. The latest news out of Microsoft isn't making their lives any easier. This week, Microsoft failed to deliver on its promise of rolling out Windows 10 Mobile devices to existing Windows Phone devices in December. The new target? 2016."
Microsoft

Microsoft (Briefly) Reveals New Extensions For Edge, Including Reddit and Pinterest (thestack.com) 44

An anonymous reader writes: A now-inactive page at a Microsoft Azure development sites shows a page that reveals the first two extensions for the Microsoft Edge browser to be Pinterest and a port of the Reddit Enhancement Suite for Google Chrome. The page was identified by Twitter user H0x0d, and is now only accessible via Google Cache.

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