Posted by Rob KniesManaging Editor, Microsoft Research
On Feb. 20, Microsoft Research, in conjunction with The America21 Project, announced the three pilot cities for the Activate Local Communities Across America Initiative (ALC): Chicago, Portland, Ore. and Cambridge, Mass.
The ALC, which grew out of a challenge last summer from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and was featured Jan. 31 during the White House Tech Inclusion Summit, focuses on making America’s cities vibrant, inclusive centers of urban innovation and entrepreneurship that can connect talent from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students in diverse communities to the economic opportunities of the 21st century.
Posted by Jeff MeisnerEditor, Microsoft On the Issues
"Many of the amazing capabilities of technology today are made possible by research done years ago, and innovations and impact sometimes result from unexpected combinations and outcomes at unexpected times," writes Elizabeth Grossman of Microsoft's Technology Policy Group in a post today on the Inside Microsoft Research blog. "One example is Kinect for Xbox 360, for which decades of research by Microsoft and others on artificial intelligence, graphics, motion detection, and voice recognition made it possible for your voice and body to be the game controller."
The post continues by highlighting two key recent opportunities Microsoft has taken to highlight how computing research strengthens our economy, creates jobs, and enhances society and security. Read the full post to learn more.
Posted by Scott CharneyCorporate Vice President, Trustworthy Computing, Microsoft
It has been an interesting time for those that care about cyber security. Last week, the European Union introduced its formative cybersecurity strategy and draft directive on network and information security to better protect critical systems from security incidents and breaches. Two days ago, the White House released an Executive Order entitled Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity to drive a concerted effort across departments, agencies and industry to improve the posture of the nation’s critical infrastructures against cyber-attacks. The White House also issued Presidential Policy Directive 21 on critical infrastructure security and resilience to augment existing policy and enhance existing capabilities, partnerships, and strategies. Yesterday, a bill was also introduced on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) which will continue the important dialogue on the exchange of cyber threat information to help manage cyber risks.
When reviewing the key definitions, approaches and activities outlined in the Executive Order, it is fairly well aligned with a set of global principles essential for enhancing cyber security. More specifically, it recognizes the principles of active collaboration and coordination with infrastructure owners and operators, outlines a risk-based approach for enhancing cyber security, and focuses on enabling the sharing of timely and actionable information to support risk management efforts. It is important to see these principles reflected in the Executive Order for three reasons. First, it is the private sector that designs, deploys and maintains most critical infrastructure; therefore, industry must be part of any meaningful attempt to secure it. Second, both information sharing and the implementation of sound risk management principles is the only way to manage complex risks. Finally, while critical infrastructure protection is important, it cannot be the only objective of governmental policy; privacy and continued innovation are also critical concerns.
Posted by Jeff MeisnerEditor, Microsoft on the Issues
Last week, approximately 100 leading education experts from the public and private sectors engaged in a conversation addressing the steps the United States can take to best prepare American students to compete in our 21st century economy.
The @Microsoft conversation, “Securing American Competitiveness: Effective Strategies for Teaching STEM,” featured Council of Chief State Schools Officers Director of Federal Relations Peter Zamora, National Education Association Secretary-Treasurer Becky Pringle and Montgomery County Springbrook High School Computer Science Teacher Pat Yongpradit. Microsoft Partners in Learning General Manager Andrew Ko moderated the discussion.
This morning the U.S. Copyright Office posted Microsoft’s comments regarding orphan works and mass digitization. Microsoft has worked for orphan works reform for nearly a decade, participating in and supporting efforts by the Copyright Office, Congress and others to devise a solution to this critical problem.
Orphan works – works still under copyright whose owner is unknown or unidentifiable – remain an issue with significant implications for the development of technology, the fostering of creative activity and the preservation of our cultural heritage. The problem is in need of a solution that both protects rights holders and avoids works lying fallow, thereby maximizing the public benefit of the copyright system.
Microsoft’s comments focus on four specific themes that have developed in recent years and must inform any solution, including:
1. The promise and benefits of mass digitization are enormous. 2. The orphan works problem remains an impediment to mass digitization. 3. Additional solutions to enhance the 2008 legislative proposal may be needed. 4. Any solution must be structured to further the public interest and not merely benefit private parties motivated by self interest.
Microsoft continues to support the Copyright Office and the end goal of resolving the issue of orphan works and mass digitization through a solution that takes into account the interests of all stakeholders, including copyright owners, users of orphan works and the public more broadly.