12 days of an AI Christmas: Improving care for COPD patients - Microsoft Industry Blogs - United Kingdom


Kelly is the Healthcare Industry Manager at Microsoft UK, working with transformational digital partners and NHS customers to pilot solutions for collaborative working and empowering everyone to do more. She has 15 years' experience working alongside the NHS, and is passionate about the power technology has to create positive change in healthcare. Many of you may know a family member or friend suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties. Affecting over 1.2 million people in the UK, exacerbations of COPD are the second most common cause of emergency hospital admissions and account for one in eight of all UK hospital admissions. WHO (World Health Organisation) forecasts COPD to become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030.

Gatwick drone disruption deemed 'deliberate,' new powers given to police


Traveling during the festive period is often chaotic in nature. Combine poor weather and heavy passenger volumes and you will often find harried staff, overloaded systems, and delays at airports and train stations in the United Kingdom. It only take a few snowflakes to fall in the country for many transport services to come to a grinding halt; we don't have either the infrastructure or equipment necessary to tackle disruptive weather (the argument being that such events only happen for a few days, so what is the point?) However, Gatwick's repeated closures on the run-up to Christmas have highlighted another potential future problem for travelers: drones. Between 19 and 21 December 2018, passengers were bounced from pillar to post, unsure of their fate, as drone sightings forced runways to close and prevented flights from taking off.

Here Are All the Endings to Black Mirror's Interactive Episode, "Bandersnatch"


Black Mirror's "Bandersnatch" is the story of a 19-year-old software developer trying to turn a novel by a psychologically unstable science fiction visionary into a 1980s video game. The dystopian anthology's fifth "season" turns out to be a single project, an interactive movie (if that's not a contradiction in terms) that offers viewers dozens of distinct choices, ranging from the innocuous selection of a sugary breakfast cereal to life-or-death forks in the road. You control Stefan (Fionn Whitehead), a jittery teenager trying to create a joystick-controlled analogue for Bandersnatch, a multistranded novel by the science-fiction author Jerome F. Davies, whose views on fate and alternate realities are clearly modeled on those of Philip K. Dick. Stefan seeks out the already legendary game designer Colin Ritman (Will Poulter) for advice, but instead Colin leads him toward a psychotic break, insisting that freewill is an illusion, that people are controlled by unseen hands, and that what we take to be reality is just one possibility that exists simultaneously alongside many others. In other words, life is just one big game of choose your own adventure.

A fake Amazon Alexa app somehow got into the iOS App Store


If you got a new Amazon Echo device for Christmas and set it up via your iPhone or iPad, you might have a serious problem on your hands. In the days after Christmas, a fake app for iOS presenting itself as an official Amazon Alexa app climbed the charts on Apple's App Store. The app, called "Setup for Amazon Alexa," fooled enough people that it reached No. 60 on the Top Free apps section of the entire App Store. It also made it to the top ten list for Utilities, peaking at No. 6. Reviews of "Setup for Amazon Alexa" in the App Store complained that the app didn't work. Many users made it clear in their review that they believed it was an official Amazon iOS app.

Amazon Alexa suffers Christmas outage in Europe


It seems Amazon's Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on Amazon Echos were both a blessing and a curse. The smart speakers were obviously a popular gift, so popular in fact that the surge in voice requests on Christmas Day overburdened Amazon's servers, causing Alexa to crash, reports The Guardian. Outage tracking website Down Detector noted spikes in the UK, Germany and other parts of Europe. It seems the issue has now been resolved and was limited to those regions with no problems being reported in the US, at least not yet. The blackout follows a widespread Alexa outage in Europe in September.

Festive shopping could lose Brits hundreds of pounds – and the threat is not over after Christmas day

The Independent

Britons could have lost hundreds of pounds through online scams over the Christmas period – and are set to be hit by even more attacks by the presents they have managed to buy. That is the warning from cyber security experts who see Christmas as one of the riskiest time of the year, with the rush to find bargains and last-minute deals leading people to malicious websites. Tens of billions of pounds have been spent online in the run-up to the Christmas period, but despite the growth of internet shopping, many customers are still running the risk of buying with unidentified and often unsafe websites. Brits – who together will spend nearly £25 billion over the Christmas period – are at risk of having £725 stolen from their accounts, according to the cyber security firm McAfee. Scams from such websites are often so significant they can lead to people cancelling Christmas, but shoppers are often enticed to them with the promise of saving money.

Paper review: A royal rift or 'peace and goodwill'?

BBC News

Many of Boxing Day's front pages feature pictures of the Royal Family attending the Christmas Day church service at Sandringham. Much of the attention is focused on the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex amid reports they had fallen out. The Daily Mirror says the pair presented a "united front", while the Daily Express says it was "Christmas peace" for Kate and Meghan and the Daily Telegraph says they "put paid to rumours of a rift". However, the Sun takes a more sceptical approach, saying the two women called "a Christmas truce". It quotes one royal source telling the paper that their appearance was "a bit uncomfortable".

Amazon Echo Christmas features update lets you ask Alexa: 'Do you believe in Santa Claus?'

The Independent

A festive update for the Amazon Echo has enabled a brand new set of Christmas features for its Alexa voice assistant. Owners can ask the smart speaker to sing a Christmas carol, tell a Christmas story, or even find out if Alexa believes in Santa Claus. A number of other Alexa Skills available for download include Christmas Radio, Christmas Sounds, and Christmas Countdown - all of which are free to enable. An Alexa Skill from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) allows people to ask their Amazon Echo device for the whereabouts of Santa Claus. "Just try saying'Alexa, where's Santa'," the Skill's description states.

A map for Machine Learning on AWS – Julien Simon – Medium


It looks like Christmas is a little early this year;) Here's a little something from me to all of you out there: a map to navigate ML services on AWS. Let me know what you think… and have a great Christmas!