Technology

Microsoft speeds up its Azure SQL Data Warehouse

Microsoft’s Azure SQL Data Warehouse, the company’s cloud-based database service for big data workloads, is getting yet another speed bump today. A few months ago, the company sped up the service with the general availability of its second-generation compute-optimized tier and today it’s doubling its query performance thanks to the launch of its new instant data movement technology. Raghu Ramakrishnan, ...

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Microsoft launches new wide-area networking options for Azure

Microsoft is launching a few new networking features today that will make it easier for businesses to use the company’s Azure cloud to securely connect their own offices and infrastructure using Azure and its global network. The first of these is the Azure Virtual WAN service, which allows businesses to connect their various branches to and through Azure. This basically ...

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Apple partnered with Blackmagic Design on an external GPU for MacBooks

Apple announced external GPU support at last year’s WWDC, finally rolling out support for the feature back in March. Since then, a handful of manufacturers have brought Thunderbolt 3 functionality to their units, including, notably, Razer back in March. Alongside the release of new MacBook Pros, the company has taken an extra step toward embracing the tech by giving its seal ...

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Apple is shuttering its photo printing service

Buried among all of this morning’s MacBook news was word that Apple will be pulling the plug on its Photo Print Products services. That tidbit was first noted by the folks at 9to5Mac, courtesy of an app pop-up noting that the service will sunset at the end of September. The service has been around for a while, dating back to 2002, ...

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Facebook’s diversity efforts show little progress after five years

Facebook has released its fifth diversity report, and it’s fine. Unless companies fire everyone and start over, we’re not going to see drastic improvements anytime soon. “A critical lesson we’ve learned is that recruiting, retaining and developing a diverse, inclusive workforce should be a priority from day one,” Facebook Chief Diversity Officer Maxine Williams wrote in a blog post. “The ...

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Facebook paid $88 million this year to build out its Seattle area Oculus hub

Facebook continues to expand its VR ambitions in the Pacific Northwest. The company has been quietly growing its footprint 16 miles East of Seattle, in Microsoft’s backyard. A new analysis by real estate resource BuildZoom sheds additional light on the Menlo Park-based company’s efforts to build a satellite virtual reality HQ in and around Seattle. Over the last three years, ...

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Snowflake expands beyond Amazon to Azure cloud

Snowflake, the cloud data warehouse, announced a partnership with Microsoft today to expand their offering to the Azure cloud. The new product is still in Preview for now. Given that Snowflake CEO Bob Muglia worked at Microsoft for more than 20 years, it’s certainly not surprising that Microsoft is the company’s second partner after working with only Amazon since its ...

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Facebook’s AI researchers task ‘tourist bots’ with finding their way in NYC

Facebook is getting guide bots to help tourist bots explore Hell’s Kitchen in a virtual New York City. It’s not just for kicks, either; a new research paper published today by FAIR is looking to examine how AI systems can orient themselves and communicate observed data better than humans can. The setup for Facebook’s “Talk the Walk” research experiment involves ...

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Facebook independent research commission, Social Science One, will share a petabyte of user interactions

Back in April, Facebook announced it would be working with a group of academics to establish an independent research commission to look into issues of social and political significance using the company’s own extensive data collection. That commission just came out of stealth; it’s called Social Science One, and its first project will have researchers analyzing about a petabyte’s worth ...

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Hold for the drop: Twitter to purge locked accounts from follower metrics

Twitter is making a major change aimed at cleaning up the spammy legacy of its platform. This week it will globally purge accounts it has previously locked (i.e. after suspecting them of being spammy) — by removing the accounts from users’ follower metrics. Which in plain language means Twitter users with lots of followers are likely to see their follower ...

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