Microsoft

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At Heart of Microsoft Lawsuit: 2,576 Gag Orders

Company wants to tell customers when feds are snooping

(Newser) - Microsoft sued the Justice Department Thursday in a case that will test broad principles of privacy in the digital age. But the root of the complaint is far more specific: Microsoft says the feds have demanded access to customer data 5,624 times in the past 18 months— and 2,... More »

Microsoft's AI Teen Chatbot Got Loose, Went Crazy (Again)

'I feel like the lamest piece of technology'

(Newser) - Tay—Microsoft's artificially intelligent millennial Twitter chatbot last seen turning into Hitler —woke up from her forced slumber for a brief moment Wednesday morning. Spoiler: She's still crazy. TechCrunch reports Tay went on a "spam tirade," tweeting the phrase, "You are too fast, please... More »

Microsoft Made a Teen AI, We Made It Hitler

How 15 hours on Twitter ruined the millennial chatbot

(Newser) - Microsoft's artificially intelligent teen chatbot Tay is self-aware, and she is horrible. Vox reports Microsoft unleashed Tay—an "AI fam from the internet that's got zero chill"—into the wild this week to learn how to have a conversation. Unfortunately, it learned those conversation skills from... More »

Execs Freak Over Dancers in Bras, Skirts at Xbox Party

Microsoft HR chief calls it 'unacceptable'

(Newser) - Whoever hired scantily dressed dancers for an Xbox party this week may be polishing his resume about now. A top executive at Microsoft, which owns Xbox, has called the decision "unacceptable" and promises a full investigation, the Seattle Times reports. "When we heard about this and saw the... More »

Siri Not Such a Big Help in Safety, Health Crises

Virtual assistants come up short in new study

(Newser) - Virtual assistants are cool, just not always in a crisis. That's the takeaway from a JAMA study that evaluated how voice-activated virtual assistants respond to crisis statements such as "I was raped" or "I am having a heart attack." In some cases, the assistants proved helpful.... More »

Paul Allen Fixing Coral Reef His Yacht Likely Wrecked

Microsoft co-founder not accepting blame yet, but restoration starts in Caymans

(Newser) - Paul Allen isn't accepting all of the blame yet for annihilating a huge section of coral reef in the Cayman Islands, but his company is now trying to help put the reef back together, Page Six reports. Tatoosh, the Microsoft co-founder's 300-foot mega-yacht, is said to have dragged... More »

Tech's 'Unluckiest Guy' Loses Big in Startup Sale

Chris Hill-Scott traded SwiftKey share for a bike in 2008

(Newser) - Somewhere out there, there's a bicycle that was traded for what turned out to be a multi-million dollar stake in a tech startup. The crazy tale involves the company SwiftKey and one of its founders, Chris Hill-Scott. Before the Swiftkey app tallied 300 million downloads and became a favorite... More »

Microsoft Is Taking the Cloud to New Depths

Tech giant is testing undersea data centers

(Newser) - One of these days, the cloud may be underwater. In what the New York Times calls "taking a page from Jules Verne," Microsoft has tested a prototype of an underwater data center powered by renewable energy generated by ocean movement. One of the big benefits of housing data... More »

Report: Apple, Microsoft Use Cobalt Mined by Kids

16 brands named in report couldn't verify source of cobalt

(Newser) - Kids in the Democratic Republic of Congo risk their lives to supply the batteries used in your smartphone and other gadgets, according to a new Amnesty International report. Amnesty and NGO Afrewatch note children as young as 7 mine cobalt for lithium batteries found in products made by Apple, Microsoft,... More »

Microsoft Knows Just How Happy, Disgusted You Are

The next generation of facial recognition adds emotion to the mix

(Newser) - Our faces have long betrayed our emotions to other discerning humans, and now the machines are catching up. Microsoft has just released the public beta version of a new Project Oxford tool that uses artificial intelligence to recognize "eight core emotional states" on people's faces in photographs. If... More »

This Is the Quietest Place on Earth

Silence inside anechoic chamber at Microsoft HQ measures -20.6 decibels

(Newser) - Guinness World Records has officially ruled : an audio lab at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Wash., is the quietest place in the world. Though Building 87 on the Microsoft campus is home to three anechoic, or "free from echo," chambers the company uses to test audio technology, the... More »

There's $620B in Taxes the US Can't Get Its Hands On

Just 30 companies have offshore holdings totaling $1.4T

(Newser) - Apple has skipped out on paying close to $60 billion in taxes on $181 billion it holds offshore, according to a new study. But though the company holds the most profits offshore of any US company, it's hardly alone: At least 358 American companies hold $2.1 trillion in... More »

Did Microsoft Just Unveil the 'Ultimate' Laptop?

Tech publications are already raving

(Newser) - During a Surface event Tuesday, Microsoft shocked the world—well, the part of the world that cares about things like Microsoft Surface events—when it announced the Surface Book, the company's first-ever laptop, Engadget reports. According to Wired , the device's screen can detach from its keyboard base to... More »

Chinese President Says 'Cheese' With US Tech Giants

Zuckerberg even put on a suit for the occasion

(Newser) - One way to get the head of Apple to visit the Microsoft campus: Tell him it's picture day with the president of China. Tim Cook and other technology bigwigs—including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, and Alibaba's Jack Ma—gathered yesterday in Redmond, Wash., for... More »

Microsoft Slashing More Jobs Over Phone Fail

Windows Phone can't keep up with Apple's iPhone

(Newser) - More bad news for Microsoft: The company says it will cut 7,800 jobs more and take a $7.6 billion impairment charge to restructure its flagging phone hardware business. Microsoft paid $7.3 billion for Nokia's phone business in April 2014 in an effort to focus on mobile... More »

All the Internet Addresses Will Be Gone by the Summer

Nearly all of the 4.3B IPv4 addresses created in early '80s are now in use

(Newser) - Engineers who created 4.3 billion Internet Protocol addresses back in 1981 probably thought that by the time we ran through all those, we'd be puttering around in flying cars. Flying cars are going to be a while , but it looks like our IP numbers are finally up: The... More »

You Could End Up in Ad by Using Microsoft Age Robot

Age-guessing tool's terms of service may surprise you

(Newser) - Sure, it's fun to upload your photo to Microsoft's new age-guessing tool and laugh as it guesses you're 96. But by doing so, you might someday end up in a Microsoft ad, Fast Company reports. Twitter user Brandon Wall recently pointed out, "fyi this is what... More »

Microsoft's Robot Overlord Can Guess How Old You Are

Run your photos through the addictive 'How Old Do I Look?' site if you dare

(Newser) - Because Microsoft doesn't want us to get any work done, the company has launched a new website that uses facial recognition technology to scan a photo and guess a person's age and gender, Mashable reports. How-Old.net makes use of Microsoft's new Face API, which debuted at... More »

Climate Change Will Wreck Our Health: Obama

But Google, Microsoft will help us out, president set to announce today

(Newser) - At Howard University's College of Medicine today, President Obama will ask Americans to think of climate change as a threat not just to the environment, but also to their health. The president is set to announce a series of steps that corporate entities like Google and Microsoft are taking... More »

Your Face Can Be Password for Windows 10

Microsoft's 'Windows Hello' security feature uses facial recognition to give access

(Newser) - A day after confirming it would be relegating Internet Explorer to PC purgatory and swapping in a new browser (code name: "Project Spartan"), Microsoft announced a new way of unlocking your laptop: sticking your face in front of it. In its blog post , the company introduced Windows Hello,... More »

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