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1. Mozilla Firefox Plans to End Support for Windows XP and Vista OS in June (10/09/2017)
Pretty soon, you’ll stop receiving updates for your Firefox browser if you’re running Windows XP or Vista. Mozilla recently announced that it will be dropping support for the two platforms by next year.

Pretty soon, you’ll stop receiving updates for your Firefox browser if you’re running Windows XP or Vista. Mozilla recently announced that it will be dropping support for the two platforms by next year.

In a company blog post, Mozilla announced that it plans to drop support for its Firefox browser for users running on the two operating systems after June 2018.  “As one of the few browsers that continues to support Windows XP and Vista, Firefox users on these platforms can expect security updates until that date,” the company explained, adding that “users do not need to take additional action to receive those updates.”

Microsoft retired support for XP in April 2014 while Vista was retired in April 2017. This means that Microsoft no longer gives security updates for the two outdated operating systems but third-party developers like Firefox can still continue to support their products running on the two platforms.

Last year, Mozilla announced that they have moved users still running on Windows XP and Vista to Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR). This means that Firefox users running on the outdated Microsoft operating systems still be safe until June 26, 2018, since ESR version 52 will still receive a scheduled updated on May 1, 2018, according to ComputerWorld. The next security update after that is already scheduled on June 26, 2018, which will no longer include support for XP and Vista users.

Thus, Mozilla is urging the affected users to upgrade to newer versions of Windows supported by Microsoft. Running on the unsupported operating systems is unsafe especially since they already have known vulnerabilities that may be exploited.

Mozilla has not released the figures on how many Firefox users are still using the outdated Microsoft systems. However, Net Applications said that the combined Vista and XP users only form 6.12 percent of the total market share, a figure deemed low enough to justify discontinuing Mozilla’s support.

[Featured Image via Mozilla]

The post Mozilla Firefox Plans to End Support for Windows XP and Vista OS in June appeared first on SmallBusinessNewz.


2. Google Launches Ethics Board to Steer AI Efforts (10/06/2017)
Google is finally taking steps to ensure that its rapid development in the field of AI will only bring about positive change for the whole of humanity. London-based company DeepMind, a subsidiary of Google parent firm Alphabet, has formed a new research unit called “Ethics & Society,” tasked to steer the group’s AI efforts.

Google is finally taking steps to ensure that its rapid development in the field of AI will only bring about positive change for the whole of humanity. London-based company DeepMind, a subsidiary of Google parent firm Alphabet, has formed a new research unit called “Ethics & Society,” tasked to steer the group’s AI efforts.

“Our intention is always to promote research that ensures AI works for all,” DeepMind explains in a blog post. Promising to “help technologists put ethics into practice,” DeepMind Ethics & Society group outlined the principles that will guide its future endeavors: social benefit, being rigorous and evidence-based, transparency and diversity.

The group is comprised of thinkers and experts from a variety of disciplines. They include Nick Bostrom (Oxford University philosopher), Diane Coyle (economist from University of Manchester), Edward W. Felten (computer scientist from Princeton University) and Christiana Figueres (Mission 2020 convener) to name a few, Gizmodo reported. The group lists some of the key issues it will address including AI risk management, setting up standards of AI morality and values as well as lessening the economic disruption AI will likely bring when it replaces real people in the workforce.

It still remains to be seen just how persuasive DeepMind Ethics & Society will be in terms of imposing its recommendations on Google’s AI ambitions. A clash between the two groups is likely to happen in the future considering that Google’s thrust of churning out potentially profitable AI-powered products may run counter to the Ethics & Society’s goals and principles.

The rapid development of artificial intelligence is a rather divisive issue even among industry titans. One of the most vocal opponents of unregulated research on AI is Tesla CEO Elon Musk who view artificial intelligence as a potential threat to mankind, calling for a proactive stance in its regulation.

“AI is the rare case where I think we need to be proactive in regulation instead of reactive,” Musk said earlier this year.” Because I think by the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it’ll be too late. AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.”

[Featured Image via YouTube]

The post Google Launches Ethics Board to Steer AI Efforts appeared first on SmallBusinessNewz.


3. Shopify Integrates New Instagram Shopping Feature (10/05/2017)
Christmas comes early for Shopify and Instagram users, with the former now providing Instagram integration to most of its vendors. The eCommerce company and Instagram had been collaborating on the new shopping service the whole year.

Christmas comes early for Shopify and Instagram users, with the former now providing Instagram integration to most of its vendors.

The eCommerce company and Instagram had been collaborating on the new shopping service the whole year. Now the integration appears to be ready and Shopify is offering it to its millions of sellers.

Shopify has already established integration tools with Buzzfeed, Facebook, Facebook Messenger and other sites. With this new tool, vendors on Instagram can now tag photos of their products. This will include links to a page that includes more information about the product and its price. Users can buy the product straight from the mobile app using a “Shop Now” button that takes the buyer to the merchant’s page. And this feature is easier to set up with the Shopify integration, especially for users that already sell products on the site.

The company has admitted that Instagram is one of the major drivers of traffic to merchant stores and this collaboration can boost eCommerce sales. In fact, 72% of Instagram users revealed that they bought products they saw on the site. And last July, Shopify closed a deal with eBay that allowed vendors to sell their goods directly through the website, opening it to around 400,000 users. The company also made a similar deal with Amazon in 2015.

It has been Shopify’s game plan to integrate with various eCommerce channels to make it possible for its clients to branch out from their own sites. It also provides its sellers with small loans, shipping services, and payment tools. Shopify even offers tools for vendors to sell their products offline and provides point-of-sale hardware and software for those with physical shops.

The Instagram integration is currently being offered to select vendors but will ultimately be made available to all the stores and vendors that have accounts on Shopify.

[Featured image via Shopify]

The post Shopify Integrates New Instagram Shopping Feature appeared first on SmallBusinessNewz.


4. Microsoft’s Bing for Business Aims to Transform the Enterprise Search Experience (10/04/2017)
Bing is often seen as the underdog of search engines, but it recently held center stage at Microsoft’s recently concluded Ignite conference. Held in September in Orlando, Florida, the conference allowed the company to disclose how it plans to proceed with the enterprise software.

Bing is often seen as the underdog of search engines, but it recently held center stage at Microsoft’s recently concluded Ignite conference. Held in September in Orlando, Florida, the conference allowed the company to disclose how it plans to proceed with the enterprise software.

With that goal in mind, Microsoft introduced Bing for Business, a novel intelligent search service that focuses on enterprise users. The software is not available to the general public yet but users with existing subscriptions to Office 365 will be able to take advantage of a private preview.

This special version of the search engine will reportedly offer an “intelligent search” feature that combines several data sources to help companies become more efficient. It will also allow company employees to find information that is relevant only to the organization. If properly utilized, Bing for Business can become the technology that many companies would be using in the future to disseminate company knowledge.

Bing for Business will provide businesses with more than the usual web results. The software can scan for information across a company’s shared files, emails, recent documents, and team sites, turning it into the central hub of all information gathered from Office 365.

Instead of providing each app with a distinct search bar, users won’t have to go to another page or site to get particular information about the business. Instead, they can just do a normal web search and have the relevant content delivered. Said content will be presented as cards after the result is finished, with the business data set at the forefront.

System administrators will also reportedly benefit from Bing for Business. The software can integrate with current admin controls so it can be managed by IT enterprise managers. Search traffic will also be protected so that business listing won’t reach the Internet and custom branding options will be provided as well. This will allow companies to keep their identity unique and protected.

microsoftgraphsearch.jpg

Image credit: Microsoft

The upcoming service will be powered by AI and Microsoft’s centralized API, Microsoft Graph. This combination permits for search to collate data from all corners of Office 365, from SharePoint team sites to specific words in office documents. The software will also be linked to the company’s available data analytics tool, like Delve and Power BI.

Users of Office 365 Enterprises, Business and Education can avail of Bing for Business’ private preview by requesting an invitation.

[Featured image via Microsoft]

The post Microsoft’s Bing for Business Aims to Transform the Enterprise Search Experience appeared first on SmallBusinessNewz.


5. Yahoo Releases Its Search Code as Open Source (10/03/2017)
Yahoo is now giving away the crucial technology powering its internal searches. Vespa, the search engine used by the tech company for internal queries, is now open-source and available to everyone.

Yahoo is now giving away the crucial technology powering its internal searches. Vespa, the search engine used by the tech company for internal queries, is now open-source and available to everyone.

Oath Inc., the Verizon company that acquired Yahoo in June, announced that Vespa is now available as open source on GitHub. According to a company blog post, making the Big Data processing and serving engine open source is a step further in Oath’s commitment to opening up its infrastructure to developers.

“By releasing Vespa, we are making it easy for anyone to build applications that can compute responses to user requests, over large datasets, at real time and at internet scale – capabilities that up until now, have been within reach of only a few large companies,” Jon Bratseth, a systems architect at Yahoo, explained via the blog post.

Vespa powers Yahoo network’s internal search feature and is used to determine what recommendations to display as well as the company’s ad targeting system. Currently, Vespa is used in around 150 apps such as Yahoo’s main search engine, Yahoo Mail, and Flicker, CNBC reported. The search tool is also responsible for serving around 3 billion native ads daily.

Vespa traces its roots back to AllTheWeb, a Norwegian search engine which was acquired by Yahoo in 2003, according to Wired. Since then, the tool has been modified as a general purpose engine that Yahoo could use internally in a host of different applications.

This is not the first time Yahoo released some of its technology as open source. In 2009, the company released Hadoop as open source which became a hit when it was adopted by big tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and eBay. Apparently, the plan is to replicate the benefits of making Hadoop publicly available which allowed Yahoo to easily recruit programmers as it became widely used.

But Vespa’s reach has the potential to overshadow that of Hadoop. As Bratseth puts it, “Vespa is larger in scope and lines of code than any open source project we’ve ever released,” adding that it has already been battle-proven in Yahoo’s largest and most critical systems. It is attractive both for its scalability and versatility while it is touted to be better than Hadoop in serving results to end users.

However, there are doubts that Vespa could be successful outside of Oath. According to Wired, Hadoop became a success because it was born open source and arrived at a time when businesses needed it most. This time, however, most large companies have already addressed web search issues that Vespa is designed for. In addition, there are already other open source engines available.

[Featured Image via Yahoo]

The post Yahoo Releases Its Search Code as Open Source appeared first on SmallBusinessNewz.


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