Microsoft’s new workplace mixed reality apps pop up in the Store

Microsoft's new workplace mixed reality app previews pop up in the Store

During its Build 2018 developer conference last week, Microsoft introduced two new mixed reality apps designed for the workplace. At their reveal, Microsoft said the apps would be available in a limited-time preview starting on May 22. However, both apps have now been spotted by noted Microsoft watcher WalkingCat in the Microsoft Store a little earlier than expected.

The first app, Microsoft Remote Assist Preview, is available only for HoloLens users and is intended as a way for workers to remotely collaborate with experts on their Microsoft Teams contact list. Within the app, workers can take advantage of video calling, image sharing, and mixed reality annotations. Combined, the features are meant to enable workers to keep their hands free while being guided through a task.

The next app, Microsoft Layout, is a design app for mixed reality. Users can use Layout to view 3D models in a room at real-world scale, allowing them to see how a room will look in the physical space around them or in a virtual space. The layouts can then be shared and edited with others in real time. We briefly tried out Microsoft Layout with a Windows Mixed Reality headset and it works as advertised, though it’s slightly buggy in its preview form.

Both apps represent Microsoft’s determination to make HoloLens and mixed reality apps a reality in the workplace. That’s something we’ve already seen with companies deploying HoloLens to help out in everything from operating rooms to automobile design studios. However, there’s quite a bit of room left to expand as the mixed reality space continues to grow.

If you have a HoloLens or Windows Mixed Reality headset, both apps are listed in the Microsoft Store now.

[“Source-“windowscentral]

5 Insights Entrepreneurs Who Go to the Gym Gain About Themselves

5 Insights Entrepreneurs Who Go to the Gym Gain About Themselves

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You don’t have to be a Harvard business grad to have a successful career as an entrepreneur. Similarly, you don’t have to be an intense CrossFitter to get in shape, but there are plenty of ways in which having a strong body and mind will benefit you in both life and business.

We often underestimate how strong we are in both our body and our mind. Many of us lack the confidence to put ourselves to the test. But to achieve our goals, we need to push ourselves, trust our instincts and be disciplined in going after what we want. To make big gains, start by taking a detour to the gym.

Here are the five insights you will gain if you become as committed to the gym as you are to your business.

1. You are tougher than you think.

It takes a great deal of work to transform your body or your business. When you put in the hard work at the gym, it improves your energy and stamina, and helps you stay focused. But more than that, getting a good sweat on can actually make you more resilient to stress.

Exercise reorganizes the brain so that it doesn’t allow stress and anxiety to interfere as much with brain function. In essence, exercise can make both your body and your mind stronger and more flexible. The harder you push yourself, the more you realize that you are stronger and tougher than you think. If you dig deep, you can go farther and faster than you thought possible.

We all know that resilience is a cornerstone to building a successful business. Being able to bounce back from a difficult situation is key to being able to move forward and eventually flourish. An entrepreneur must stay levelheaded during the lean times, as well as when business is bountiful.

What better way to teach yourself to be nimble and juggle priorities than to train your body to be resilient in the gym? Along the way, you’ll build confidence, and gain adaptability and flexibility.

Related: This Entrepreneur Lives in the Back Room at a Gym While Building His Business

2. It’all about mindset.

Any given year around January 1, if you ask people what their New Year’s resolution is, many will say they want to get in shape or lose weight or be healthier. But how many people actually accomplish this goal?

Many fall short because they don’t get themselves into the right frame of mind to accomplish their goal. They don’t follow through, set realistic expectations or commit to healthy habits to make it happen. They fail to develop the right mindset.

They will probably keep setting the same goal — and keep failing — year after year, unless they do something to shake things up and change their habits. If you want to succeed, you have to believe you can. Then you have set about making real changes to put you on the right path. Finally, you need to keep going for the long haul.

The same thing is true for an entrepreneur who wants to build a successful business. Often there isn’t a huge difference between one entrepreneur and another. Their mindset and determination are what set them apart. If you want to create a successful business, you have to stop letting fear or lack of confidence hold you back. You have to have purpose and a vision to succeed.

3. More is possible with strong core.

When you work out, you’ve got to do more than just exercise your arms and legs. To truly get in shape, you’ve got to build your core muscles. Without a solid core to support you, you’ll end up with a lot of physical ailments and injuries, and unable to accomplish your workout regime.

The same thing goes for business. You’ve got to build the core of your business. Why are you doing this? Who are your customers? What makes you stand out? You need to decide what your business is focused on and then make sure you keep that focus, even as you build other elements.

Having a strong foundation will allow you to expand and contract as needed with market fluctuations. If you fail to build your core, you will flop.

Related: 5 Elements That Shape the Core of a Strong Startup

4. It’marathon, not sprint.

You can’t just show up on day one and expect to kill it. It doesn’t work like that, either in business or at the gym. Your strength and endurance can only be built slowly.

If you push yourself too far, too fast, you may hit burnout before you reach your goal. What matters is being persistent, showing up day in and day out. Sometimes the biggest accomplishment is being able to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving toward your goal.

You have to know when to press forward, when to work on gaining strength, when to throttle back and when to give it your all. Any transformation you go through will be painful. But if you want to accomplish your goals, you’ve got to push through the pain.

It’s easy to do nothing: to sit on the couch and accept being average. But if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you’ve got to be in it for the long haul. The same thing goes for the gym.

Related: My Journey From Couch-Surfing Kid to Tech Engineer

5. Get your creative juices flowing.

When you work out, you’re giving your body a chance to exert energy, to burn off stress, to focus on the here and now and let go of issues that have been plaguing you.

A good workout session can feel like a chance to purge your body through sweat, but it can also be cathartic for your mind. Working out reduces stress and helps you focus. But more than that, it’s also a great way to open yourself up to new ideas.

The gym can be a great place to get both your brain and your body working outside the box. It can give you that mental spark you’ve been looking for. One study shows that those who work out regularly do better on tests of creativity than those who are sedentary. Moving your body can help you overcome mental blocks and go deeper into a problem.

Scientists now recognize that intense exercise helps your brain produce brain-derived neutrophic factor, an important protein that helps stimulate the process of neurogenesis, which is the growth of new brain cells. What more do you need to know to convince you to hit the gym?

[“Source-entrepreneur”]

New insights into the origins of mutations in cancer

Image result for New insights into the origins of mutations in cancer

Researchers at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), the University of Dundee and the Wellcome Sanger Institute have used human and worm data to explore the mutational causes of cancer. Their study, published today in Genome Research, also shows that results from controlled experiments on a model organism — the nematode worm C. elegans — are relevant to humans, helping researchers refine what they know about cancer.

Enigmatic DNA mutation and repair

Cancer is caused by DNA mutations which can be triggered by a range of factors, including UV radiation, certain chemicals and smoking, but also errors occurring naturally during cell division. A cell recognises most of these mutations and corrects them through multiple repair mechanisms. However, DNA repair is not perfect, so it can leave certain mutations unrepaired or repair them incorrectly leading to changes in DNA. Understanding the footprints of these mutational processes is an important first step in identifying the causes of cancer and potential avenues for new treatments.

“The DNA mutations we see in cancer cells were caused by a yin and yang of DNA damage and repair,” explains Moritz Gerstung, Research Group Leader at EMBL-EBI. “When we study a patient’s cancer genome, we’re looking at the final outcome of multiple mutational processes that often go on for decades before the disease manifests itself. The reconstruction of these processes and their contributions to cancer development is a bit like the forensic analysis of a plane crash site, trying to piece together what’s happened. Unfortunately, there’s no black box to help us.

Controlled experiments in model organisms can be used to mimic some of the processes thought to operate on cancer genomes and to establish their exact origins.”

What worms can tell us

Previous research has shown that one of the first DNA repair pathways associated with an increased risk of cancer is DNA mismatch repair (MMR). The current study uses C. elegans as a model system for studying MMR in more detail.

“Dr Bettina Meier in my team initiated this project by assessing the kinds of mutations that arise when C. elegans is defective for one specific DNA repair pathway,” says Professor Anton Gartner, Principal Investigator in the Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression at Dundee. “As it only takes three days to propagate these worms from one generation to the next, the process of studying how DNA is passed on is greatly expedited. DNA mismatch repair is propagated for many generations and this allowed us to deduce a distinct mutational pattern. The big question was if the same type of mutagenesis also occurred in human cancer cells.”

To address this question, EMBL-EBI PhD student Nadia Volkova compared the C. elegans results with genetic data from 500 human cancer genomes.

“We found a resemblance between the most common signature associated with mutations in MMR genes in humans and the patterns found in nematode worms,” explains Volkova. “This suggests that the same mutational process operates in nematodes and humans. Our approach allows us to find the exact profile of MMR deficiency and to understand more about what happens when DNA repair goes wrong.”

These findings could lead to a better understanding of the causes of cancer and potentially help to identify the most appropriate treatment.

[“Source-sciencedaily”]

Legislators Are Missing the Point on Facebook

Legislators Are Missing the Point on Facebook

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The real issue: How our data get used
  • Facebook has been quite open and obvious about their skeevy practices
  • America needs a smarter conversation about data usage

I’m getting increasingly baffled and disappointed by the scandal-cum-congressional-ragefest surrounding Facebook. Instead of piling on Mark Zuckerberg or worrying about who has our personal data, legislators should focus on the real issue: How our data get used.

Let’s start with some ground truths that seem to be getting lost:

– Cambridge Analytica, the company the hoovered up a bunch of data on Facebook users, isn’t actually much of a threat. Yes, it’s super sleazy, but it mostly sucked at manipulating voters.

– Lots of other companies – maybe hundreds! – and “malicious actors” also collect our data. They’re much more likely to be selling our personal information to fraudsters.

– We should not expect Zuckerberg to follow through on any promises. He’s tried to make nice before to little actual effect. He has a lot of conflicts and he’s kind of a naive robot.

– Even if Zuckerberg was a saint and didn’t care a whit about profit, chances are social media is still just plain bad for democracy.

Politicians don’t want to admit that they don’t understand technology well enough to come up with reasonable regulations. Now that democracy itself might be at stake, they need someone to blame. Enter Zuckerberg, the perfect punching bag. Problem is, he likely did nothing illegal, and Facebook has been relatively open and obvious about their skeevy business practices. For the most part, nobody really cared until now. (If that sounds cynical, I’ll add: Democrats didn’t care until it looked like Republican campaigns were catching up to or even surpassing them with big data techniques.)

What America really needs is a smarter conversation about data usage. It starts with a recognition: Our data are already out there. Even if we haven’t spilled our own personal information, someone has. We’re all exposed. Companies have the data and techniques they need to predict all sorts of things about us: our voting behaviour, our consumer behaviour, our health, our financial futures. That’s a lot of power being wielded by people who shouldn’t be trusted.

If politicians want to create rules, they should start by narrowly addressing the worst possible uses for our personal information – the ways it can be used to deny people job opportunities, limit access to health insurance, set interest rates on loans and decide who gets out of jail. Essentially any bureaucratic decision can now be made by algorithm, and those algorithms need interrogating way more than Zuckerberg does.

To that end, I propose a Data Bill of Rights. It should have two components: The first would specify how much control we may exert over how our individual information is used for important decisions, and the second would introduce federally enforced rules on how algorithms should be monitored more generally.

The individual rights could be loosely based on the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which allows us to access the data employed to generate our credit scores. Most scoring algorithms work in a similar way, so this would be a reasonable model. As regards aggregate data, we should have the right to know what information algorithms are using to make decisions about us. We should be able to correct the record if it’s wrong, and to appeal scores if we think they’re unfair. We should be entitled to know how the algorithms work: How, for example, will my score change if I miss an electricity bill? This is a bit more than FCRA now provides.

Further, Congress should create a new regulator – along the lines of the Food and Drug Administration – to ensure that every important, large-scale algorithm can pass three basic tests (Disclosure: I have a company that offers such algorithm-auditing services.):

– It’s at least as good as the human process it replaces (this will force companies to admit how they define “success” for an algorithm, which far too often simply translates into profit),

– It doesn’t disproportionately fail when dealing with protected classes (as facial recognition software is known to do);

– It doesn’t cause crazy negative externalities, such as destroying people’s trust in facts or sense of self-worth. Companies wielding algorithms that could have such long-term negative effects would be monitored by third parties who aren’t beholden to shareholders.

I’m no policy wonk, and I recognise that it’s not easy to grasp the magnitude and complexity of the mess we’re in. A few simple rules, though, could go a long way toward limiting the damage.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]