Tech and sports titans pay tribute to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen who has passed at 65

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Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft Corp. with fellow billionaire Bill Gates and used the fortune he made from the iconic technology company to invest in professional sports teams, cable TV and real estate, has died. He was 65. Allen, along with Gates, helped create an entire industry selling software for a new breed of smaller, more affordable and widely accessible computers. Allen died on Monday in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to a statement from Vulcan Inc., his investment firm. Allen’s source for his varied investments and sizable…

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Competitive Edge: Tech Giants spent a combined $80 billion last year on big-ticket physical assets stockpile

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General Motors Co. and Google couldn’t be more different. GM musters an army of people and machines to produce the 10 million cars it sells each year. What Google makes doesn’t really exist: You type on a laptop or click play on a YouTube video, and Google zips back bits of digital information. But Google parent Alphabet Inc. and the other four dominant U.S. technology companies—Apple, Amazon​.com, Microsoft, and Facebook—are fast becoming industrial giants. They spent a combined $80 billion in the last year on big-ticket physical assets, including manufacturing…

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Microsoft reportedly working on $400 Surface tablets to compete with the iPad

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Microsoft is working on a new line of budget Surface tablets to better compete with Apple’s low-cost iPad options, according to a report from Bloomberg. According to the report, the new Surface tablets won’t just be smaller, cheaper Surface Pros. Rather, Microsoft is said to be completely redesigning the devices, with 10-inch screens instead of the 12-inch size currently found on the Surface Pro, rounded corners that more resemble an iPad than the more rectangular Surface design, and USB-C for charging. Most importantly, priced at $400, they will be more…

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Microsoft issues emergency Windows update in a move to disable Intel’s buggy Spectre fixes

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Microsoft has issued another out-of-band security update this month, to deal with the issues around Intel’s Spectre firmware updates. Intel warned last week that its own security updates have been buggy, causing some systems to spontaneously reboot. Intel then buried a warning in its latest financial results that its buggy firmware updates could lead to “data loss or corruption.” Intel has been advising PC makers and customers to simply stop updating their firmware right now, until properly tested updates are available. Microsoft has gone a step further, and is issuing…

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Microsoft boss: World needs more computing power

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The world is rapidly “running out of computing capacity”, the head of tech giant Microsoft has warned. Satya Nadella said at the World Economic Forum in Davos that superfast quantum computers were needed to solve some of the most difficult problems. Mr Nadella cited the quest to create a catalyst that can absorb carbon, in order to help tackle climate change. This, he cautioned, would likely not be achieved without an increase in computer processing power. “Moore’s Law is kinda running out of steam,” Mr Nadella told assembled delegates, referring…

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Microsoft makes Azure Bot Service generally available for developers

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Microsoft introduced the Azure Bot Framework more than two years ago and companies have been building chatbots for a variety of scenarios ever since. Today, the company made generally available the Microsoft Azure Bot Service and Microsoft Cognitive Language Understanding service (known as LUIS). “Making these two services generally available on Azure simultaneously extends the capabilities of developers to build custom models that can naturally interpret the intentions of people conversing with bots,” Lili Cheng, corporate vice president at the Microsoft AI and Research division wrote in a company blog post…

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Lightform raises $5M to turn old projectors into augmented reality machines

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In Blade Runner 2049, one of the more interesting stylistic choices was how the film imagined futuristic augmented reality. While the Microsofts and Googles of our real dystopian world are currently approaching AR tech with headsets and smart glasses, Blade Runner 2049 relied entirely on external projection to augment its world and the people in it. This vision of the future may still seem a tad concerning, but it’s good news for San Francisco-based AR startup Lightform. Lightform isn’t a hologram startup, but by capturing structured light, their projector-mounted computer…

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Microsoft will no longer force updates on Users

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Windows 10 will no longer automatically take control of your computer, and flip the reset switch, at the worst moments imaginable. Mind you, Microsoft will still push updates, and it won’t necessarily be easy to completely turn them off. Shortly after Windows 10 rolled out, Windows users began noticing that their computers were automatically downloading the huge Windows 10 update file without even asking. The issue was compounded by vague and confusing update alerts that led many users to initiate the upgrade to Windows 10 without realizing it. Microsoft has…

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LinkedIn loses legal right to block startup from public profile data

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A Judge on Monday ruled that an analytics company has the right to scrape data from LinkedIn . HiQ, the data gatherer, has been processing publicly available data from LinkedIn and using it to train AI models, until May when LinkedIn demanded it stop.  U.S. District Judge Edward Chen in San Francisco granted a preliminary injunction request brought by hiQ Labs, and ordered LinkedIn to remove within 24 hours any technology preventing hiQ from accessing public profiles in a test of how much control a social media site can wield…

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Microsoft just officially listed AI as one of its top priorities

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Microsoft just named artificial intelligence as one of its top priorities in a financial filing. The annual report for the company’s 2017 fiscal year, which ended on June 30, now includes six references to AI, up from zero in the previous annual report. And the company has plunked AI into its corporate vision statement, too. “Our strategic vision is to compete and grow by building best-in-class platforms and productivity services for an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge infused with AI,” the company wrote in the annual report, which was…

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