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Microsoft announces intent to build a new datacenter region in Finland, accelerating sustainable digital transformation and enabling large scale carbon-free district heating

“Microsoft today announced it intends to build a new datacenter region in Southern Finland. To support customer needs for high availability and resilience, the new datacenter region will feature Azure Availability Zones, unique physical locations equipped with independent power, networking, and cooling for additional tolerance to datacenter failures. It will join Microsoft’s worldwide network of cloud computing infrastructure of more than 60 regions, over 280,000 kilometers of terrestrial and subsea fiber, and over 190 edge sites.”

Source : Microsoft announces intent to build a new datacenter region in Finland, accelerating sustainable digital transformation and enabling large scale carbon-free district heating – Microsoft News Centre Europe

Messages, Dialer apps sent text, call info to Google

“According to a research paper, « What Data Do The Google Dialer and Messages Apps On Android Send to Google? » [PDF], by Trinity College Dublin computer science professor Douglas Leith, Google Messages (for text messaging) and Google Dialer (for phone calls) have been sending data about user communications to the Google Play Services Clearcut logger service and to Google’s Firebase Analytics service. « The data sent by Google Messages includes a hash of the message text, allowing linking of sender and receiver in a message exchange, » the paper says. « The data sent by Google Dialer includes the call time and duration, again allowing linking of the two handsets engaged in a phone call. Phone numbers are also sent to Google. »”

Source : Messages, Dialer apps sent text, call info to Google • The Register

NeRF Research Turns 2D Photos Into 3D Scenes

“When the first instant photo was taken 75 years ago with a Polaroid camera, it was groundbreaking to rapidly capture the 3D world in a realistic 2D image. Today, AI researchers are working on the opposite: turning a collection of still images into a digital 3D scene in a matter of seconds. Known as inverse rendering, the process uses AI to approximate how light behaves in the real world, enabling researchers to reconstruct a 3D scene from a handful of 2D images taken at different angles. The NVIDIA Research team has developed an approach that accomplishes this task almost instantly — making it one of the first models of its kind to combine ultra-fast neural network training and rapid rendering.”

Source : NeRF Research Turns 2D Photos Into 3D Scenes | NVIDIA Blog

Android password-stealing malware infects 100,000 Google Play users

App requesting the user to login on Facebook

“A malicious Android app that steals Facebook credentials has been installed over 100,000 times via the Google Play Store, with the app still available to download. The Android malware is disguised as a cartoonifier app called ‘Craftsart Cartoon Photo Tools,’ allowing users to upload an image and convert it into a cartoon rendering. Over the past week, security researchers and mobile security firm Pradeo discovered that the Android app includes a trojan called ‘FaceStealer,’ which displays a Facebook login screen that requires users to log in before using the app. ”

Source : Android password-stealing malware infects 100,000 Google Play users

Lapsus$ hackers leak 37GB of Microsoft’s alleged source code

Leaked source code projects

“The Lapsus$ hacking group claims to have leaked the source code for Bing, Cortana, and other projects stolen from Microsoft’s internal Azure DevOps server.Early Sunday morning, the Lapsus$ gang posted a screenshot to their Telegram channel indicating that they hacked Microsoft’s Azure DevOps server containing source code for Bing, Cortana, and various other internal projects.”

Source : Lapsus$ hackers leak 37GB of Microsoft’s alleged source code

The U.S. warns companies to stay on guard for possible Russian cyberattacks

“The White House is warning companies that Russia could be planning to launch cyberattacks against critical U.S. infrastructure. The U.S. has previously warned about the Russian government’s capabilities to digitally attack U.S. companies, but President Biden reiterated the message on Monday, saying in a statement that « evolving intelligence » showed Russia is « exploring options for potential cyberattacks. »”

Source : The U.S. warns companies to stay on guard for possible Russian cyberattacks : NPR

Predicting sex from retinal fundus photographs using automated deep learning

Figure 2

“Deep learning may transform health care, but model development has largely been dependent on availability of advanced technical expertise. Herein we present the development of a deep learning model by clinicians without coding, which predicts reported sex from retinal fundus photographs. A model was trained on 84,743 retinal fundus photos from the UK Biobank dataset. External validation was performed on 252 fundus photos from a tertiary ophthalmic referral center.”

Source : Predicting sex from retinal fundus photographs using automated deep learning | Scientific Reports

Google AI Blog: Good News About the Carbon Footprint of Machine Learning Training

“We identified four best practices that reduce energy and carbon emissions significantly — we call these the “4Ms” — all of which are being used at Google today and are available to anyone using Google Cloud services.

  • Model. Selecting efficient ML model architectures, such as sparse models, can advance ML quality while reducing computation by 3x–10x.
  • Machine. Using processors and systems optimized for ML training, versus general-purpose processors, can improve performance and energy efficiency by 2x–5x. Mechanization. Computing in the Cloud rather than on premise reduces energy usage and therefore emissions by 1.4x–2x. Cloud-based data centers are new, custom-designed warehouses equipped for energy efficiency for 50,000 servers, resulting in very good power usage effectiveness (PUE). On-premise data centers are often older and smaller and thus cannot amortize the cost of new energy-efficient cooling and power distribution systems.
  • Mechanization. Computing in the Cloud rather than on premise reduces energy usage and therefore emissions by 1.4x–2x. Cloud-based data centers are new, custom-designed warehouses equipped for energy efficiency for 50,000 servers, resulting in very good power usage effectiveness (PUE). On-premise data centers are often older and smaller and thus cannot amortize the cost of new energy-efficient cooling and power distribution systems.
  • Map Optimization. Moreover, the cloud lets customers pick the location with the cleanest energy, further reducing the gross carbon footprint by 5x–10x. While one might worry that map optimization could lead to the greenest locations quickly reaching maximum capacity, user demand for efficient data centers will result in continued advancement in green data center design and deployment.

These four practices together can reduce energy by 100x and emissions by 1000x.”

Source : Google AI Blog: Good News About the Carbon Footprint of Machine Learning Training

“The Mandiant brand is synonymous with unmatched insights for organizations seeking to keep themselves secure in a constantly changing environment,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO, Google Cloud. “This is an opportunity to deliver an end-to-end security operations suite and extend one of the best consulting organizations in the world. Together we can make a profound impact in securing the cloud, accelerating the adoption of cloud computing, and ultimately make the world safer.”

Source : Google to Acquire Mandiant | Mandiant

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