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Happy 20th Birthday to the Optical Mouse

Remember the days of your computer mouse getting a little squirrely and the remedy being to partially disassemble the mouse and do away with all of the lint, dirt, and general desk gunk that had found its way onto the roller ball and its sensors?  (Which were also the days where a mousepad was mandatory.  And the roller ball made a pretty great toy too.) Thanks to Microsoft, that is fortunately a distant memory as on April 14, 1999 their first optical computer mouse was introduced at a tech convention in Las Vegas and eventually revolutionized our mousing habits.

Microsoft Joins with OpenClassrooms to Prep Students for AI Workforce

It's estimated that by 2022 the number of jobs in the artificial intelligence field will outnumber the number of qualified workers by 30%.  Microsoft has taken notice and partnered with OpenClassrooms, a leading online educator and developed a collaboration to provide more students with masters-level education in AI tech.

You Can Now Log into Microsoft Services with No Password

Users of Microsoft services such as Outlook, Office 365, OneDrive, Skype, and Xbox Live will now get to enjoy the benefits of not having to remember their passwords.  Now, with physical hardware keys using the FIDO2 technology, access to a Microsoft account is as simple as plugging into a USB port or using Bluetooth or NFC to pair a phone to the key.

Initially, the keys were used as part of a two-factor authentication policy, but new browser technology has enabled the elimination of the password requirement.  Now, Microsoft's no-password log on process offers three options:

OpenText Introduces Extended ECM Enabler for Microsoft Dynamics for Customer Service

PaperFree partner OpenText recently announced the introduction of their OpenText Extended ECM Enabler for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service.  This solution combines OpenText's ECM portfolio with Dynamics 365 for Customer Service to improve customer service workflows and customer engagement - in short, it integrates content services into processes.  This solution was developed in partnership with Contesto.

From the press release:

Microsoft Using AI to Determine Best Time for Forced Updates

Users of Windows 10 are well familiar with the inescapable grip of forced system updates - taking their system down for a period of time with no way to cancel or schedule it for later.  However, Microsoft took note of how inconvenient this is for users and implemented a snooze function in 2017.  Now, it's enlisting the help of machine learning to determine the best time to run mandatory updates that won't reboot your computer when you weren't expecting it (and losing all your unsaved work!).

Microsoft Adds Ransomware Protections to OneDrive and Outlook

Ransomware is a menace to data security - locking up a user's files and throwing away the key until a ransom is paid - and it's now showing up in the cloud.  Microsoft is working to remedy this with new protections for business and personal OneDrive accounts, including the ability to revert back to previous images of a user's account, up to a month in the past.  This is a measure that helps users easily recover from compromises without the need of professionals, however it does require users to act before that month's time is up.  Helpfully, Microsoft is also installing monitoring utilities

Los Angeles Public Transport Going Digital to Improve Your Commute

Los Angeles is known for its soul-crushing commutes, but strangely enough, its residents largely don't rely on public transportation to ease the crunch.  This is likely because gas prices are still low, and the fact that busses sit in the very same traffic as everyone else.  And, light rail and underground metro systems in the area can't hold a candle to the more accessible systems of other large cities like London and Tokyo.  Given this, it's easy to see why the average Angelino still reaches for the car keys every morning.