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Posted by Rob Knies
Any businessperson in a large organization can testify about the challenges growth can bring. As a business gets larger, for example, the number of employees increases. Further growth might mean multiple offices—some, perhaps, located in distant lands.Ideally, you want your employees all tied into the same network, accessing the appropriate resources and communicating effectively. That can grow difficult, though, once the employee count begins to rise and spills into multiple locations. Managing access to network resources is important—and it isn’t easy.That’s where Management of Access Control in the Enterprise (MACE) comes in. This tool, available for download, enables administrators to collect data from one or more servers and visualize that information to understand who has access to what—which user or security group has read/write access to which resources, be it folders, shares, or File Classification Infrastructure (FCI) files.
Posted by P. Anandan, managing director of Microsoft Research India
The latest in a series of posts from the directors of Microsoft Research’s labs worldwide, this one from P. Anandan of Microsoft Research India.
Another exciting, eventful, and successful year comes to an end. Perhaps the most visible event during the seventh year in Microsoft Research India’s history was our move from our little nest called Scientia in the relatively quiet neighborhood of Sadashivnagar to a nice, new building named Vigyan in the heart of Bangalore. The space is larger and the neighborhood busier. We have managed to preserve the open, studiolike ambience our lab is famous for, thanks to careful design choices. The lovely courtyard on our floor, with its classical Indian wooden pillars, the vertical garden, and the slanted, tiled roofs, is perhaps even an enhancement over our previous digs.
Many people talk to their plants. But what if those plants were able to talk back?That’s the premise behind Botanicalls, a project to enable communications between plants and people. A sensor network provides the flora the ability to call and text people to request assistance, such as “I need water,” or “Not sure if it was you, but someone gave me a drink—I feel great!”It’s a fascinating, precocious venture, one featured on the TODAY show on May 7 as part of a discussion about home technologies. It’s also a window into the work of Kati London, one of the driving forces behind Botanicalls and the newest member of FUSE Labs at Microsoft Research.
Welcome to Inside Microsoft Research, a new blog that provides news and insights into research conducted at our 12 facilities around the world. We are privileged to inaugurate the blog by detailing the events being held around the globe on Sept. 27 to mark the 20th anniversary of Microsoft Research. We begin by taking a look at what is happening in Beijing, home of Microsoft Research Asia.
For several years, researchers from Microsoft Research India’s Technology for Emerging Markets (TEM) group have been studying how to design applications for economically poor communities such as those found in India.
In particular, Indrani Medhi, a researcher at the India lab, has been focusing on user interfaces for low-literate and novice technology users. Medhi, who is completing her Ph.D. at the Industrial Design Centre at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, has co-written a paper accepted for the Association for Computing Machinery’s 2013 SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI). The paper is titled Some Evidence for the Impact of Limited Education on Hierarchical User Interface Navigation and was written with Meera Lakshmanan, a translator and research assistant; Kentaro Toyama, a former head of TEM and now a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley and a fellow of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Edward Cutrell, Toyama’s successor as senior research manager of TEM.
The paper examines one factor in application design for poor communities: the fact that users with little or no education have a diminished capacity to navigate a hierarchical user interface. Medhi’s work has explored ways that UIs can be designed for low-literate people by using text-free iconography that such users can recognize, but the challenge continues.