Microsoft’s Cortana voice-based personal assistant has always seemed a little out of place in the enterprise. It’s a useful tool for search, for reminders, and for letting you know when you need to leave to get to that meeting on time. But compared to Amazon Alexa’s growing list of skills, it’s lagging in the personal assistant race.Yes, it connects to Office 365 and LinkedIn to give you some insight into your work, but then again so does Alexa. But if Microsoft delivers the Windows promises made last week at its Build 2017 developer conference, that’s all going to change.As part of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s rearticulation of his original “mobile first, cloud first” vision as one of “an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge,” Cortana is getting a promotion. More than a basic piece of personal assistant software, with the next release of Windows 10 it will be the face of the intelligent agents that will populate … [Read more...] about Cortana moves way beyond being a personal assistant
Microsoft has made major strides to take its development tools out of a Windows-only world, both for the applications you can create and the platforms they run on. The open source .Net development tools that Microsoft got when it acquired Xamarin two years ago are key to Microsoft’s cross-platform transformation.That transformation is very much evident today, with much of the Xamarin’s tools folded into Microsoft’s Visual Studio development platform over the last year, and its MacOS Xamarin Studio rebranded as Visual Studio for Mac with additional features for working with Azure and .Net Core.To support Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s focus on an “intelligent cloud and intelligent edge” mission, Xamarin’s cross-platform development strategy is key to delivering the edge elements of that vision. Microsoft’s mobile strategy has pivoted away from its own Windows Mobile OS (at least for now), and the company is now concentrating on delivering … [Read more...] about Microsoft devs: How to create apps for alien platforms
Settings that show up on the latest builds of the Windows 10 Redstone update portend good times ahead for Windows 10 users. A toggle switch can turn on a feature that will allow your Windows 10 Mobile handset to open the same apps and share experiences on your Bluetooth paired Windows 10 PC. The bottom line is that you can start work on your phone and finish it on your PC. Or vice versa.For example, you can start an email using your handset while out and about. And if you don't have time to finish it, you can do so when you get home by using your Windows 10 PC. Or you can use your home PC to find an address using Bing Maps, and navigate to it while in your car by using your Windows 10 Mobile powered handset.And tasks that you start but don't finish won't be gone from your memory thanks to Cortana. The virtual voice-activated personal assistant will remind you if you have a work-in-progress that was started on your phone and which can be completed on your PC.This new feature is part of … [Read more...] about Redstone update will allow Windows 10 users to send work in progress from mobile to desktop and vice versa?
The Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership (ECSEL) Joint Undertaking announced the Lab4MEMS project as the winner of its 2016 Innovation Award during the European Nanoelectronics Forum, in Rome, Italy.At its launch in January 2014, Lab4MEMS was identified as a Key Enabling Technology Pilot-Line project for next-generation Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) devices augmented with advanced technologies such as piezoelectric or magnetic materials and 3D packaging to enhance the next generation of smart sensors, actuators, micro-pumps, and energy harvesters. These technologies were recognized as important contributors to future data-storage, printing, healthcare, automotive, industrial-control, and smart-building applications, as well as consumer applications such as smartphones and navigation devices.In accepting the award, Roberto Zafalon, General Project Coordinator of Lab4MEMS and the European Programs Manager in R&D and Public Affairs … [Read more...] about Lab4MEMS project recognized with European Innovation Award
AGRIGENTO, Italy (Aug. 15, 2017) - Some of the mystery behind one of Sicily's largest ancient Roman villas is now solved thanks to a team of archeologists from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla. They're the first to successfully excavate the 5,000 square meter Roman villa of Durreueli at Realmonte, located off the southern coast of Sicily. Project director Dr. Davide Tanasi, assistant professor in the USF Department of History, and his students worked alongside USF's Center for Virtualization and Applied Spatial Technologies (CVAST). Together they created terrestrial and aerial 3D scanning of the entire villa, an invaluable tool in guiding the excavation and interpreting the villa's architectural phases. Through a month of excavations, they determined the villa was consistently occupied between the 2nd and 7th century CE and reconfigured to settlement in the 5th century Common Era (CE). That conclusion comes following the discovery of new walls, floor levels, staircase and … [Read more...] about Archeologists uncover new economic history of ancient Rome
It’s been a few years since Microsoft first made it clear that the old “Windows-only” days were behind it. Microsoft continues to push Windows 10, but it’s also putting serious resources behind supporting the competing iOS and Android platforms.At its Build 2016 event, Microsoft announced Project Rome, yet another of its many cross-platform efforts. Project Rome is intended to connect Android devices to Windows 10 machines, and Microsoft has announced that the Android version of the Project Rome software development kit (SDK) is now available for Java and Microsoft’s own cross-platform development tool Xamarin.Project Rome will let developers who are making apps for both Android and the Windows 10 Universal Windows Platform (UWP) enable the app to communicate across platforms. For example, a music app could discover other devices on the same network that have the app installed. The app could then be launched on those other discovered devices, and then … [Read more...] about Project Rome SDK is the latest step toward Android-Windows 10 integration
The Creative Assembly and Sega have announced the next entry in their long-running Total War series of strategy games, Total War: Attila. The cinematic announcement trailer features the titular Hun, promising death, destruction, and fire for the proud Roman empire that you so meticulous built in Total War: Rome (I and II).Janos Gaspar, the fantastically named project lead on Attila at the Creative Assembly promises both the return of fan-requested features and the introduction of some exciting new mechanics that will give this latest historical war simulation a flavor all its own.Family trees and skill trees will come back to the series to enhance the metagame progression outside of individual battles. To better capture the flavor of the era and the Hunnic style of warfare, mechanics for street-fighting, civilians, settlement-destruction, and dynamic fire have all been added, letting you truly feel like a harbinger of the apocalypse to a bloated … [Read more...] about Rome will burn in Total War: Attila
This year, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will break new ground for the FPS franchise as it relocates the action to a far-future conflict taking place across our Solar System. However, the series almost took a turn for the unusual back in 2008, with an installment set in ancient Roman times.At that time, Modern Warfare had just launched, and Activision was interested in exploring a potential spin-off. One of the pitches the company received was code-named “Roman Wars,” and would have cast players as a member of Julius Caesar’s Tenth Legion, according to a report from Games Radar.The project was being developed by Vicarious Visions, the studio best known for its work on the Skylanders series. However, back in 2008, the team had most recently been working on Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2,and so it used a similar top-down camera for their proposed Call of Duty spin-off.However, the game was intended to switch back and forth between perspectives depending on … [Read more...] about Developer reveals plans for cancelled ‘Call of Duty’ spin-off set in ancient Rome
Informatics Virtual Reality: Who says Rome wasn't built in a day?With the rise in popularity of Internet photo-sharing sites like Flickr and Google, community photo collections have emerged as a powerful new type of image dataset. This kind of data presents an opportunity to reconstruct the world's geometry using the largest known, most diverse and largely untapped, multi-view stereo dataset ever assembled. What makes the dataset unusual is not only its size, but the fact that it has been captured "in the wild," not in the laboratory, leading to a set of fundamental new challenges in multi-view stereo research. This rendering of a 3-D model of the Duomo in Pisa, was reconstructed from 56 photographs downloaded from Flickr. Images found on these public photo-sharing sites can now be used to help build accurate 3-D models of the real world. Courtesy of Michael Goesele, TU Darmstadt and collaborators at the University of WashingtonWith the muscle of about 500 computers and 150,000 still … [Read more...] about Virtual Reality: Who says Rome wasn’t built in a day?
Data Mining The anti-crisis project: Thinking our way to a better futureJust a few days ago, at the Love Parade dance and music festival in Duisburg, Germany, 21 people were trampled to death in a human stampede. Apparently, the responsible decision-makers did not see the problem looming before the event. But couldn’t we foresee at least some of the disasters before they strike?In fact, scientists say, with the right kind of effort, we could do much better, not only with crowd disasters, but also in managing traffic problems, impending energy shortages, persisting financial and economic instabilities, climate change, and many other challenges. An ambitious new scientific effort now aims to transform our ability to understand and manage mutually entangled social, economic, and technological systems through an Apollo-like project uniting scientists across Europe. The FuturICT initiative will exploit the revolution in modern computation and information technologies to build an … [Read more...] about The anti-crisis project: Thinking our way to a better future