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Microsoft to offer option of 16 years of Windows Server, SQL Server support through new Premium Assurance program

ZDNet

Microsoft is introducing a new support offering for customers with Software Assurance on December 8. The company is rolling out in early 2017 Windows Server Premium Assurance and SQL Server Premium Assurance, which add six more years of support beyond the current 10. During the six years of Premium Assurance, customers will get Security updates and bulletins that are rated "Critical or "Important." Microsoft officials said in a blog post that the new extended support will help those who need to "continue to meet compliance requirements and ensure security on systems you aren't ready to update." They also are positioning the extended support option as offering "flexibility as you move to the cloud."


Doubts About Testing Remain in Spite of Trump's Assurances

U.S. News

The testing blueprint for states provides details missing from the administration's guidelines for them to return to normal operations, which were released more than a week ago. It includes a focus on surveillance testing as well as "rapid response" programs to isolate those who test positive and identify those with whom they had come in contact. The administration aims to have the market "flooded" with tests for the fall, when COVID-19 is expected to recur alongside the seasonal flu.


Ontology Quality Assurance with the Crowd

AAAI Conferences

The Semantic Web has the potential to change the Web as we know it. However, the community faces a significant challenge in managing, aggregating, and curating the massive amount of data and knowledge. Human computation is only beginning to serve an essential role in the curation of these Web-based data. Ontologies, which facilitate data integration and search, serve as a central component of the Semantic Web, but they are large, complex, and typically require extensive expert curation. Furthermore, ontology-engineering tasks require more knowledge than is required  in a typical crowdsourcing-task. We have developed ontology-engineering methods that leverage the crowd. In this work, we describe our general crowdsourcing workflow. We then highlight  our work on applying this workflow to ontology verification and quality assurance. In a pilot study, this method approaches expert ability, finding the same errors that experts identified with 86% accuracy in a faster and more scalable fashion. The work provides a general framework with which to develop crowdsourcing methods for the Semantic Web. In addition, it highlights opportunities for future research in human computation and crowdsourcing.


EU 'Ready to Examine' More Brexit Assurances to Britain: Draft

U.S. News

The other 27 EU states are not yet in agreement on large parts of the draft text and diplomatic sources expected it to change considerably. The paragraph on the EU's readiness to provide more assurances to Britain was likely to change later in the day because of opposition from Ireland and others.


Iran Seeks European Assurances as U.S. Oil Sanctions Loom

U.S. News

"Our aim is to protect European economic actors who have legitimate commercial exchanges with Iran, in line with European legislation and the United Nations' Security Council resolution 2231," Mogherini and the foreign ministers and finance ministers of the three countries said in their statement.