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Author Archives: warnermheather

About warnermheather

A programmer, writer, and investor. She is redited with helping to launch the personal computer age with work that made the machines more accessible and powerful.

Learning from scantily clad dancer scandal, Xbox exec calls for inclusivity

Enlarge / Microsoft’s Phil Spencer speaks at the DICE conference in Las Vegas. (credit: Kyle Orland)

LAS VEGAS—In just over four years as head of Xbox and executive vice president of gaming at Microsoft, Phil Spencer has overseen some tough times for the gaming brand. But he says one of the most difficult lessons he has learned in that time came after a company-hosted Game Developers Conference party that featured scantily clad women dancing on podiums.

That “unequivocally wrong, unequivocally sexist, unequivocally intolerable choice” led to justifiable public backlash, Spencer recalled at a keynote speech at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas this morning, which Ars attended. But, he said, the “internal backlash at my own company was almost harsher.” Instead of sidestepping responsibility, Spencer said he “absorbed the hit” as a leader and used it as an opportunity to “bet on what we stood for… we don’t tolerate any employee or partner that enables or offends others… we stand for inclusivity.”

Doing better

This sort of internal cultural transformation has been a deliberate focus for Microsoft since Satya Nadella became the company’s third-ever CEO roughly four years ago, Spencer said. That company-wide “reboot” was especially necessary in the Xbox group, which Spencer admits was in a “world of pain” since “we hadn’t done our best work with the announce[ment] of the Xbox One. The product we built wasn’t meeting the expectations of our customers, market share was taking a nosedive, and it was painful to read all the headlines.”

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Posted by on February 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

“Always Connected” Windows on ARM machines coming this quarter

Enlarge / The Asus NovaGo. (credit: Asus)

Always Connected Windows 10 PCs that use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 ARM processors will work on all four major US networks, the chip company has announced today, with T-Mobile and AT&T joining the previously announced Sprint and Verizon.

In total, 14 different network operators across 10 countries have pledged to support the new generation of ARM-powered Windows 10 laptops and tablets. Qualcomm adds that some of those network operators will also be selling the systems, though it has not specified which will be doing so.

Initially, three systems will be available. HP’s Envy x2 is a tablet with detachable keyboard, as is Lenovo’s Miix 630. Asus’ NovaGo, in contrast, is a clamshell laptop with a 360-degree hinge to enable tablet-like operation.

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Posted by on February 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Onward helps businesses automate their customer service

Onward team How much can customer service be automated? Onward has some straightforward targets — 40 percent of tickets and 40 percent of messages should be automated, and average response times should be 40 seconds on average. Founders Rémi Cossart and Pramod Thammaiah describe this as Automation40 — basically, a set of goals for businesses looking to bring more automation into the… Read More

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Google tries to make Android more enterprise-friendly with new recommendation program

 With so many Android devices out there to choose from, it’s not always easy to find one that’s enterprise-friendly. To help alleviate that problem, Google announced the Android Enterprise Recommended program today. As the name implies, it’s designed to point enterprise IT departments at devices that Google has deemed to be enterprise-ready. This involves a number of… Read More

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Google’s Cloud IoT Core is now generally available

 Cloud IoT Core, Google’s fully managed service for connecting, managing and ingesting data from IoT devices, is now out of beta and generally available. Google envisions the service, which launched in public beta last September, as the first entry point for IoT data into its cloud. Once the data has been ingested, users can use Cloud IoT Core to push data to Google’s cloud… Read More

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

SharpestMinds wants to help startups find AI talent before Google and Facebook snatch them

 Google and other tech giants often have huge recruiting efforts that can target students — but startups might not have those kinds of resources to find or grab them before they head off to those huge companies. The biggest tech companies in the world can offer a lot of resources and bigger compensation packages, but startups may still offer a huge opportunity too. That’s why… Read More

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Vectra raises $36M for its AI-based approach to cybersecurity intrusion detection

 With the trend of growing cybercrime showing no indication of abating, a startup called Vectra that has built an artificial intelligence-based system called Cognito to detect cyberattacks and mobilise security systems to respond to them has raised $36 million to expand its R&D and business development. This Series D comes on the back of a strong year for the startup, with 181 percent growth… Read More

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2018 in Uncategorized