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Microsoft Builds Tree houses For Its Employees

The tree houses are connected to buildings around its Redmond campus. They feature weatherproof benches, hatches that hide electricity sockets, rustproof rocking chairs, a fireplace, wood canopies, and an outdoor Wi-Fi network. There are ramps built in for those who need them. If you get hungry, there’s also an indoor cafeteria that’s extended outside and a barbecue restaurant built into a shipping container.

Has It Made In The Shade

Photo: Microsoft

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New Technology For Booking Travel

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Instead of entering a hotel search and receiving a page with hundreds of options, new data-driven travel agents—using humans, AI or both—are tailoring options based on a traveler’s personal preferences. These new agents use chatbots or messaging to communicate with travel bookers. Elaine Glusac, writing at The New York Times, offers these examples of data-driven travel planners.

Pana caters to frequent travelers. For a monthly fee, Pana is available 24 hours. It uses member profiles and past trips to funnel travel requests to human agents.

Mezi uses chatbots to handle travel booking. If a complicated issue arises then humans get involved; afterward they train the bots to handle it in the future. The more you book with Mezi, the more it learns about your preferences.

Savanti Travel helps frequent travelers cut costs while gaining status with travel companies. It doesn’t operate on commission to avoid the urge to find more expensive bookings.

Hello Hipmunk is a travel-planning messaging system. It runs through Facebook Messenger, Skype or Slack, and lets you topic hop as if you were talking to a human. It can offer tips such as on the cheapest times to travel.

Flightfox specializes in complicated itineraries. The service books flights only; for a fee, agents find the best prices and send you links so you can do the booking yourself. It also uses points systems to find the best deals.

Facebook Experienced Outage Wednesday

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Facebook has confirmed it experienced a widespread outage impacting users’ ability to access the social network and Instagram across the U.S. and parts of Europe on Wednesday morning.

The outage started around 8:20 a.m. ET, according to DownDetector.com, a site that monitors service disruptions. Users of the social platforms reported difficulty accessing the Facebook through its apps and website.

 

The outages impacted users not only in the U.S. but Greece, the UK, Poland and other European countries. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, was also down for a short time, the company confirmed.

 

 

More Medical Schools Going Bookless

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NYU health sciences library

The Association of American Medical Colleges predicted that by 2030, the United States would have a shortage of up to 104,900 physicians. To try to curb this impending crisis, a wave of new medical schools have opened in the last decade. Eleven schools have been accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education in the last five years, and eight more are currently under consideration.

As a condition of accreditation, these new schools must provide access to “well-maintained library resources sufficient in breadth of holdings and technology” to support the school’s educational mission, however, many medical schools are deciding that large print collections are no longer a vital component of those resources.

Paperless Libraries

Charles Stewart, associate dean and chief librarian of City College of New York, of the City University of New York system, said that his institution chose to go a paperless route for the newly opened CUNY School of Medicine on the City College campus for much the same reason — 24-7 access. “Stewart says they chose the all-electronic option since their medical school clearly wanted instant e-access to all their resources.

 

The Frank H. Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University, which accepted its first students in 2013, is designed as a paperless institution. The school has a library space where students can read and study, but the vast majority of the library’s resources are online. Bruce Koeppen, dean of the school, said that by making most of the library’s holdings electronic, it ensured that students and faculty could access information “anywhere and anytime, even when the library is closed.”

Hybrid Approach

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, opened in 2010, with just 50 books on its shelves, however, the students quickly pushed to expand this collection to 4,000 books, saying that they preferred to use physical materials for studying. The school noted, however, that it did not want to increase its print collection beyond the current level.

Fay Towell, director of libraries at the Greenville Hospital System, said that it was interesting that students at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, which opened in 2012, frequently requested access to both print and electronic resources. Given the small size of the library, and the prohibitive cost of providing both print and online versions of texts, Towell said the library had to be selective. She noted that often journals might cost more electronically than in print — “if a journal cost is $4,000 electronically and $400 in print, then the library makes space for print,” she said.

Roger Schonfeld, director of the Library and Scholarly Communication Program for Ithaka S+R, pointed out that when medical libraries thin their print collections, it does not necessarily mean that the campus loses access to those physical materials. “Whether the collections are moved to an off-site facility, or the library participates in a shared print program, it is almost always still possible to provide access to a print version on those occasions when it is necessary to do so.” The trend for thinning print collections is not unique to medical libraries, said Schonfeld — many science and engineering libraries have done the same.

Emerging Trends In Technology

 

Emerging Technologies Bio Sensors

Next-Generation Batteries

The newest developments show that using sodium, zinc, and aluminum constructed batteries make the mini-grid a solid possibility for providing 24-7, reliable and clean energy to entire small rural towns.

2-D Materials

New materials such as Graphene are emerging and are going to change the world forever. Think about the Bronze Age…the Iron Age—these newest materials each contain a single layer of atoms and are two-dimensional. The potential positive impacts of evolving materials are limitless and bound only to the reach of scientists and how far they choose to push.

Autonomous Transportation

Self-driving cars are already in the here-and-now, but just how soon will  be helping to improve the lives of handicapped and elderly will change the quality of life for millions.

Personal AI

From your own personal robot assistant that can anticipate your every need and perform tasks at your whim, to entire AI environments—this could be affordable to everyone with the emerging availability of Open AI ecosystems.

All Yahoo Account Were Hacked

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Three billion Yahoo accounts — including email, Tumblr, Fantasy, and Flickr — or three times as many as the company initially reported in 2016 were hacked.

Names, email addresses, and passwords, but not financial information, were breached, Yahoo said last year

The new disclosure comes four months after Verizon (VZ, Tech30) acquired Yahoo’s core internet assets for $4.48 billion. Yahoo is part of Verizon’s digital media company, which is called Oath.

Verizon revised the number of breached accounts to three billion after receiving new information.

“The company recently obtained new intelligence and now believes, following an investigation with the assistance of outside forensic experts, that all Yahoo user accounts were affected by the August 2013 theft,” Verizon said in a statement.

Verizon would not provide any information about who the outside forensics experts are.

Yahoo will send emails to the additional affected accounts. Following the hacking revelations last year, Yahoo required password changes and invalidated unencrypted security questions to protect user information.

According to experts, it’s not uncommon for forensic investigations to expose a greater number of victims than initial estimates.

 

Firefox Quantum To Match Google’s Chrome in Speed?

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Coming November 14,2017

Quantum BetaQuantum Beta

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