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Microsoft Acquires Open-source Company to Boost Cloud Business

Citus Data has become one of the latest open-source tech companies to have joined Microsoft since the Washington state-based Internet

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A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. VOA

Microsoft has said it has acquired open-source company Citus Data to bolster the competitiveness of its Cloud computing business.

Citus Data is a company dedicated to the open-source database software PostgreSQL. Microsoft did not disclose detailed terms of the deal.

Microsoft said its acquisition of the start-up company, founded in 2011 with about 40 employees, reaffirms its commitment to Open-Source and accelerates Azure PostgreSQL performance and scale, Xinhua news agency reported late on Thursday.

“Working together, we will accelerate the delivery of key, enterprise-ready features from Azure to PostgreSQL and enable critical PostgreSQL workloads to run on Azure with confidence,” said Rohan Kumar, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Azure Data.

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Logo of Microsoft outside it’s office. Pixabay

Microsoft will continue to build on its promise around Azure as the most comprehensive cloud to run open-source and proprietary workloads at any scale, while it hopes to work with the PostgreSQL community to accelerate innovation to customers, Kumar added.

Microsoft launched its fully-managed community-based database service for PostgreSQL in March 2018 and it will now provide a version of PostgreSQL that scales more efficiently in response to growing demand.

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“Microsoft and Citus Data will further unlock the power of data, enabling customers to scale complex multi-tenant Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications… with the familiar PostgreSQL tools developers know and love,” Kumar said.

Citus Data has become one of the latest open-source tech companies to have joined Microsoft since the Washington state-based Internet and software giant announced the purchase of the world’s largest open-source coding site GitHub with $7.5 billion in June 2018. (IANS)

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Microsoft Asks Social Media Platforms to Act Fast on Terror

According to him, tech firms must also continue to improve upon newer, AI-based technologies that can detect whether brand-new content may contain violence

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is seen outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, July 3, 2014. VOA

Microsoft President Brad Smith has asked social media platforms to learn and act more in the wake of the March 15 Christchurch shootings that was livestreamed on Facebook.

In a blog post on Monday, Smith said words alone were not enough.

“Across the tech sector, we need to do more. Especially for those of us who operate social networks or digital communications tools or platforms that were used to amplify the violence, it’s clear that we need to learn from and take new action based on what happened in Christchurch,” he said.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old self-proclaimed white supremacist, has been charged with one murder in connection with the attacks at the two mosques that killed 50 people, and he is expected to face further charges.

Smith said that across Microsoft, we have identified improvements we can make and are moving promptly to implement them.

“This includes the accelerated and broadened implementation of existing technology tools to identify and classify extremist violent content and changes for the process that enables our users to flag such content,” he posted.

Smith emphasised on developing an industry-wide approach that will be principled, comprehensive and effective.

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Logo of Microsoft outside it’s office. Pixabay

Over two years ago, four companies — YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft — came together to create the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT).

Among other things, the group’s members have created a shared hash database of terrorist content and developed photo and video matching and text-based machine learning techniques to identify and thwart the spread of violence on their platforms.

These technologies were used more than a million times in 24 hours to stop the distribution of the video from Christchurch, informed Smith.

“As (New Zealand) Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern noted last week, gone are the days when tech companies can think of their platforms akin to a postal service without regard to the responsibilities embraced by other content publishers,” noted Smith.

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According to him, tech firms must also continue to improve upon newer, AI-based technologies that can detect whether brand-new content may contain violence.

“We should also pursue new steps beyond the posting of content. For example, we should explore browser-based solutions – building on ideas like safe search – to block the accessing of such content at the point when people attempt to view and download it,” he added. (IANS)