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Posted by Rob Knies
If you’re a software developer—or if you follow the work of software developers—you’ve probably heard of TouchDevelop, a Microsoft Research app that enables you to write code for your phone using scripts on your phone. Its ability to bring the excitement of programming to Windows Phone 7 has reaped lots of enthusiasm from the development community over the past year or so.Now, the team behind TouchDevelop has taken things a step further, with a web app that can work on any Windows 8 device with a touchscreen. You can write Windows Store apps simply by tapping on the screen of your device. The web app also works with a keyboard and mouse, but the touchscreen capability means that the keyboard is not required.This reimplementation of TouchDevelop went live just in time for Build, Microsoft’s annual conference that helps developers learn how to take advantage of Windows 8. The conference is being held Oct. 30-Nov. 2 in Redmond, Wash.
Eight sentences. That’s all it took for Rick Rashid, worldwide head of Microsoft Research, to electrify a crowd of 2,000 students and faculty members in Tianjin, China, on Oct. 25 during the 14th annual Computing in the 21st Century Conference.Why did those in attendance respond so rapturously for the conclusion of Rashid’s keynote? The answer was simple: He was speaking in English, but the largely Chinese audience was hearing his voice in Chinese.Behind the scenes, a combination of powerful technologies was at work to bring the moment to life. One, by researchers at Microsoft Research and the University of Toronto, uses a technique patterned after the way people’s brains work, called Deep Neural Networks, which allows for speech recognition significantly more accurate than previous techniques. Another, by Microsoft Research, efficiently maps a person’s voice to another language. When these were combined with the engine behind Bing translator, the conference audience witnessed a dramatic new breakthrough.
India has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. The nation also has a staggeringly high child mortality rate—about 46 of every thousand births result in death.It doesn’t have to be that way. Anemia during pregnancy plays a major contributory role in such cases—87 percent of pregnant Indians are anemic, and anemia is connected to 40 percent of the maternal deaths. The most common cause for anemia is a lack of healthy iron levels in the mother’s diet, but even though that shortcoming can be abated via iron supplements and many governmental hospitals freely distribute iron tablets, Indian women rarely complete the course of medication.Bill Thies and his collaborators at Microsoft Research India, the nonprofit Armman, and Sion Hospital are determined to change things, as he will make clear Dec. 4 during the fourth annual mHealth Summit, being held Dec. 3-5 in National Harbor, Md., just outside Washington, D.C.
Posted by Lili Cheng
As you may know, Socl began as an experiment in social search for students and learning. Over the past several months, we’ve watched Socl evolve into a place where people connect over shared interests expressed through beautiful post collages.We appreciate your continued feedback, which is helping us to gain more insight every day and improve how we can all communicate, learn, and share our everyday lives. We’ve been busy redesigning Socl to match how you’re using it, and starting today, we’d like you to give the new Socl a spin and let us know what you think.
In this, the 100th anniversary of what is now known as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellow program, four computer scientists from Microsoft Research have joined the annals of illustrious individuals who have attained the grade of IEEE Fellow.Peter Key, Yi Ma, Feng Wu, and Geoffrey Zweig of the Class of 2013 represent Microsoft Research’s latest contributions for this prestigious honor, bestowed upon select IEEE members whose extraordinary accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest are deemed fitting.