Microsoft’s Outlook and Hotmail spam filters are currently broken

See the original posting on The Verge

If you’re noticing an increased amount of spam email in your Outlook or Hotmail account this morning, you’re not alone. Microsoft’s spam filters for its Outlook.com email service have been experiencing issues over the past 12 hours, and the company is attempting to fix the problems. “Some users may be receiving excessive spam mail,” reads a warning on Microsoft’s Outlook.com service status site.

Microsoft says it is currently implementing two fixes to solve the issue. “One will provide short term relief preventing spam reaching your inbox,” reveals Microsoft. “The second will be a longer term fix which should stop spam reaching our infrastructure.” Microsoft is currently in the middle of migrating its Outlook.com backend over to its…

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China attempts to reinforce real-name registration for Internet users

See the original posting on TechCrunch

shutterstock china flags China is once again renewing its efforts to get all people who sign up for a mobile number to use their real names. According to state-run news agency China News Service (link via Google Translate), the government has declared that everyone who buys a SIM card in China—even non-citizens—need to show a passport or another form of valid identification. Read More

Microsoft wants VR headsets to run its Windows Holographic OS

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Microsoft is opening up its Windows Holographic operating system to virtual reality headset makers. At Computex today, Microsoft released a demo video of its vision of “mixed reality” where VR headsets can interact with the company’s HoloLens, and more. Microsoft demonstrated a concept of its vision for a mixed world of HoloLens and VR headsets, which included a HTC Vive headset. While HTC is working with Microsoft on VR experiences with Windows 10, it’s not clear if the company is planning to shift its software over to Windows Holographic.

Central to Microsoft’s vision is allowing VR headset makers to make use of the software and OS that powers HoloLens. At present, most VR headsets can’t mix real people and real environments into the…

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Xiaomi will bundle Microsoft’s Office and Skype apps on its Android devices

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Microsoft has convinced another top Android phone maker to bundle its range of apps. Xiaomi and Microsoft have agreed to partner on bundling Office and Skype apps on the Mi 5, Mi Max, Mi 4s, Redmi Note 3, and Redmi 3. Like previous deals with Asus, Samsung, Sony, and Dell, the Xiaomi partnership is related to a patent-licensing deal, and the details have not been fully disclosed.

Xiaomi will start bundling Skype and the Office apps in September, providing Microsoft with a new way to reach Chinese consumers. Xiaomi recently broke into the top five worldwide phone makers (according to IDC), and the company’s rise in market share has been attributed to its success in China. Microsoft is clearly keen to tap into Xiaomi’s rise in growth, and…

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Windows 10 will soon let you unlock your PC with wearables

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Microsoft is opening up its Windows Hello feature to allow wearables to unlock a Windows 10 PC. The software maker first introduced Windows Hello as a way to support fingerprint readers and even your face to unlock a PC, but its now extending it to devices like the Microsoft Band. During an onstage demo at Computex today, Microsoft showed how the Microsoft Band or devices like Bionym’s Nymi can unlock a Windows 10 PC.

It’s part of new updates to Microsoft’s Windows Hello Companion Device Framework that will allow third parties to create wearables that support unlocking PCs and more. As the devices will be part of Windows Hello, you’ll even be able to use them to make payments in the Windows Store or log into websites in Microsoft Edge….

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Low-flying research drones have to watch out for whale snot

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There must be some innate human fascination with cephalopod bodily fluids, because I feel like I know a lot more about the gunk that comes out of whales than I do any other animal. I know about ambergris, for one, the waxy substance that builds up in sperm whale intestines, and was (for some ungodly reason) used as a base for perfumes. And now I’m going to find out about whale snot, thanks to Chinese company DJI and a team of researchers using its drones to collect more whale goo.

Be careful, Snotbot

Researchers for Ocean Alliance are using DJI’s Phantom 4 drone to shadow blue whales in the sea of Cortez, allowing them to capture pictures, video, and — yes — gooey biological samples without disturbing the creatures. The “Snotbot”…

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Lost My Name, the kids “full-stack” personalised book publisher, picks up €4M from Project A Ventures

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Lost My Name Lost My Name, the London-based “full-stack” publisher and kids content startup, has added a new investor to its impressive list of backers that already includes Google Ventures, Greycroft and Forward Parters. This time Berlin-based Project A Ventures has invested €4 million in the company in what is being described as an extension to Lost My Name’s original $9 million Series… Read More

Facebook Spares Humans By Fighting Offensive Photos With AI

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An anonymous reader writes from a report via TechCrunch: Facebook tells TechCrunch that its artificial intelligence systems now report more offensive photos than humans do. Typically when users upload content that is deemed offensive, it has to be seen and flagged by at least one human worker or user. Such posts that violate terms of service can include content that is hate speech, threatening or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence. The content that workers have to dig through is obviously not great, and may lead to various psychological illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder. AI is helping to eliminate such a terrible job as it can scan images that are uploaded before anyone ever sees them. Facebook’s AI already “helps rank News Feed stories, read aloud the content of photos to the vision impaired and automatically write closed captions for video ads that increase view time by 12 percent,” writes TechCrunch. Facebook’s Director of Engineering for Applied Machine Learning Joaquin Candela tells TechCrunch, “One thing that is interesting is that today we have more offensive photos being reported by AI algorithms than by people. The higher we push that to 100 percent, the fewer offensive photos have actually been seen by a human.” One risk of such an automated system is that it could censor art and free expression that may be productive or beautiful, yet controversial. The other more obvious risk is that such a system could take jobs away from those in need.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

HTC’s Front Defense is a solid shooting gallery for the Vive

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If you were expecting HTC’s first game for its Vive headset to be a revolutionary, platform-defining title, I can only disappoint you. Front Defense, developed by “internal startup” Fantahorn Studio, is a World War II shooter that places you behind sandbags to fight off the onslaught of soldiers with an array of weaponry. At least on its Computex showing, there’s no attempt made to solve the problem of long-distance movement in VR, or to provide any degree of structure or progression.

That’s not to say it isn’t a lot of fun. There’s an element of absurdity to the proceedings at first — half the challenge of the game is in learning how to use your motion-tracked hands. You can pick up a rifle in your right hand and load a magazine with…

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Microsoft teases Porsche Design 2-in-1 with Windows 10

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Microsoft’s Computex Taipei keynote is going on right now, and VP of the OEM division Nick Parker has a surprise on stage: a new Windows 10 convertible created in collaboration with Porsche Design. We know basically nothing else about the device — who’s making it, what the specs are, whether it’ll be less disastrous than the Porsche Design BlackBerrys — but Parker says it’ll be coming later in the year.


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