Microsoft

11 stories
InnerCity Weightlifting to open outpost in Kendall Square
Personal trainers from InnerCity Weightlifting work with employees at Microsoft's New England office. Joanne Rathe/ Globe Staff
In this weekend's Boston Globe Magazine, business columnist Shirley Leung writes about InnerCity Weightlifting, the Dorchester gym that has provided a source of support and job opportunities to formerly incarcerated men by helping them become personal trainers. For the past two years, founder Jon Feinman has been pairing members of the gym with employees at Microsoft's New England headquarters for training sessions. Now he plans to take the idea one step further and open a gym in the heart of the Cambridge tech community. As Leung writes:
Come February or so, his theory will face the ultimate test when he opens a gym in Kendall Square, the playground of computer geniuses, scientists, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs. It’s an expensive proposition for a nonprofit — a $1.5 million lease over five years, for which InnerCity Weightlifting is still fund-raising. But Feinman, InnerCity’s founder and executive director, feels certain this is exactly where his program needs to be if the goal is to get men on a path out of their dangerous world and into one with possibilities. “We felt it was a greater risk not to make this investment,” says 31-year-old Feinman, who himself worked as a personal trainer and earned an MBA from Babson College before launching InnerCity. ... The concept is so starkly simple you can’t help but wonder if it could succeed. Can we lift people up from the bottom by exposing them to the people at the top?
Read the full story here.  
Where are they now?
Tracking the Microsoft Startup Labs diaspora
Former Startup Labs employee Pat Kinsel, standing and gesturing to the screen. Photo courtesy of Reed Sturtevant.
A little more than five years ago, I wrote about a re-org at Microsoft's internal Startup Labs product development group. It turned out to be curtains for the Cambridge-based team, led by Reed Sturtevant — even though their old Web address still optimistically implores visitors to "please come back later." But five years on, it's clear the 2009 shakeup and ensuing departures freed up a number of people who've gone on to pollinate the local startup scene. Read More
hide and seek
4 Talking Points: Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith on privacy, technology, Edward Snowden
Flickr-Balloon
It's been about 17 months since Edward Snowden leaked details about the National Security Agency's tracking practices, information that triggered a firestorm of investigations into the US government's access to private data and the way technology companies secured and shared consumer information. On Tuesday, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith spoke at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, facing an audience that included some of the loudest critics of the NSA's activities in the US. Read More
Mining for Future Talent
Big week for Big Data in Boston
<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-181612733/stock-photo-finger-touching-and-make-the-glow-line-on-pcb.html?src=Dt00BFKD4qWJWm4ZM1yphA-1-8">"Finger touching glow line" via Shutterstock</a>
Earlier this week, hack/reduce announced a Big Data-focused college ambassador program, a joint effort with the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. It was part of a bigger initiative this week that puts organizations working in the Big Data space, like hack/reduce, Microsoft, and Thomson Reuters, among others, in the spotlight. Read More
Smarter city
From to Boston to Beijing, tracking taxi trips could help build cleaner cities
The paths of 170 million cabs in NYC over 2011. Image credit: HubCab
Big cities tend to have big pollution problems. But the very source of that bad air — tens of thousands of trips made by crawling, stalling, fuming taxi cabs — could offer city planners a more granular look at the pollution problem. It could even reveal suggestions for fixes, two studies of cab habits in Beijing and New York City suggest.  Read More
Watch word
Watch who watches what you say: MIT researchers can recreate sound based on video of nearby items
I've watched this video a few times, and it still blows my mind: Using high-speed video of nearby items, such as a plant or stray chip wrapper, MIT, Microsoft, and Adobe researchers found a way to analyze vibrations and algorithmically recreate roughly what sounds were in the room, down to actual words being spoken or a tune being played — without any recorded audio cues. Read More
Everyday prodigies
Boston has a hot new app developer. Oh, yeah, he's 8 years old.
Mohamed Tariq Jaffar Ali, 8, was the youngest participant in a Nokia DVLUP Day in Boston. The app he designed, called Kids Zone, has been downloaded about 500 times.
I met a promising young app developer at Microsoft in Cambridge the other day, which wouldn't be unusual except for one key fact: He's 8 years old. Mohamed Tariq Jaffar Ali (he goes by Tariq) is the author of a Windows Phone app called Kids Zone that aggregates online videos from popular cartoons, like "Tom and Jerry" and "SpongeBob SquarePants." It culls YouTube for relevant clips and sorts them into channels. "That's the data source," Tariq told me. Typical third-grade stuff, right? Read More