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One of the largest telecommunications providers in Europe, Deutsche Telekom has announced the initiative to strengthen its cloud partnership with Microsoft and expand its cloud services to Central and Eastern Europe. The company will provide cloud acceleration services for the publicly available Microsoft Azure cloud platform, rendering the new services across nine countries, from Poland to Greece. Ralf Nejedl, Senior Vice President B2B at Deutsche Telekom, Board Area Europe, said, “Microsoft cloud offerings support enterprises to run and grow their business more efficiently. In combination with our new standardized services we will enable our customers to leverage the potential of the Microsoft cloud in a much simpler and faster way.” According to the company, their automated services will facilitate cloud adoption within minutes and enable cost savings for IT operations from 30 to 50 percent, as compared to on-premise solutions. The cloud experts will offer standardized services based on Office 365, Microsoft…

A consortium of nine technology companies – Intel, Cisco, Dell EMC, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Facebook, Google, Alibaba and Huawei – has been formed in order to create and launch a new standard, called Compute Express Link (CXL). This project will accelerate ever-expanding data workloads, such as high-performance computing, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), rich media services, and cloud applications. Jim Pappas, director of technology initiatives at Intel, said in a statement: “CXL is an important milestone for data-centric computing and will be a foundational standard for an open, dynamic accelerator ecosystem. Like USB and PCI Express, which Intel also cofounded, we can look forward to a new wave of industry innovation and customer value delivered through the CXL standard.” The new cluster of tech giants, described as “the biggest group of influencers driving a modern interconnect standard”, also affirmed the CXL Specification 1.0, which enables…

Microsoft has announced that the latest version of Skype for desktops and laptops now offers the option of blurring the background during video calls. This feature works to distinguish and isolate the subject from the surrounding background, and places the focus on the person as the most important component of the scene. This will provide a distraction-free space, and help eliminate any embarrassing moments during video conferencing. This option was first introduced in another Microsoft messaging application, Teams. Last September the company announced their support for the background blur in this collaboration app, introducing new features for the workplace chat platform and Office 365. The blur feature has put Artificial Intelligence (AI) to use, as this advanced technology has been trained to recognize the human form. It is not just the speaker’s face that is in focus, but also their hair, hands and arms, thus creating a smooth…

The problems for the social networking giant Facebook continue to mount as yet another data-sharing scandal has exploded. The New York Times (NYT) has published a thorough investigation detailing Facebook’s data sharing practices, and reported that the social network provided some well-known tech companies with access to hundreds of millions of users’ data without their consent. Interviews with former Facebook employees and its corporate partners, as well as hundreds of pages of documents obtained by the NYT, confirmed that Facebook made the questionable arrangements with partners such as Amazon, Spotify, Netflix and Microsoft. These alliances enabled the companies to “read, write and delete users’ private messages, and to see all participants on a thread”. The records revealed, that “Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent. The social network permitted Amazon to obtain users’ names and contact information…

Earlier this week, a leading IT solutions provider Tech Mahindra, announced its partnership with Microsoft to build a blockchain-based robust ecosystem meant to tackle unsolicited commercial communications in India. This blockchain solution will be developed based on Microsoft Azure, and will comply with the regulations issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). TRAI has been working with both these companies and other stakeholders to curb the profusion of spam calls and messages so widely spread across the country. While the initial step of introducing a “Do Not Disturb” registry in 2010 seems to be a success with 230 million listed subscribers, the telemarketers still manage to find fraudulent workarounds to obtain consent and continue delivering spam calls. “Blockchain as a technology is a powerful tool to combat the issue of spam calls and fraud risks, to protect user information, as well as the integrity of the telecom sector.…

Sprint announced that 5G PCs will be available to buy in their stores next year. Those computers will be built around Intel’s chips. The operator won’t be the only one to offer 5G PCs as Acer and Asus also recently declared their plan to produce 5G Intel-based computers. With Microsoft, Dell, HP and Lenovo having already announced their plan to launch 5G laptops, the market will see a total of six companies battling for this new segment, until others tech companies come out with their own project. Intel has fought hard for this, as the company met difficulties competing with Qualcomm in implementing its chips in connected devices, especially in 4G PCs that are supposed to be available in stores this year with Snapdragon chips inside.

Negotiations started recently between Microsoft and Apple on one side, and UAE Telecoms controllers on the other, in order to check if the ban on Skype and FaceTime could be lifted. As Hamad Al Mansoori, head of the TRA (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority), the “discussions are still ongoing”. According to arabic news Al Ittihad, those talks are a part of the two companies plan to extend their business in that part of the world. The goal of the UAE is to keep good relations with Microsoft and Apple, as the first is launching a data center in the UAE in order to cover the entire region. Etisalat and Emirates Integrated Communications have applications that offer similar features, called Botim and C’Me. Al Mansoori says that the number of people using those services are increasing. The main difference is that those apps are paid-for video applications. The telecoms in the UAE are…